A Picture-Book – Pierrot and the White Wolf

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Pierrot in the fields

Pierrot in the fields

This story for our children, and for the world’s ageless children in ourselves, was written in French by Catherine Harding during the 1990s; she asked me to illustrate it. In due course it was published privately in France, with a few of my illustrations, as “Les Explorateurs du Vrai Monde”Explorers of the Real World.   Here is the complete set of drawings and paintings I did for Catherine, plus a few extras at the end.

Pierrot’s story is a celebration of the late Douglas Harding’s life and work. Douglas was born in Lowestoft, and trained as an architect. After he discovered his real Home, he travelled all over the world for sixty years to share it. His unique series of experiments tap our resources of infinity, and demonstrate the treasure lying at the heart of the great traditional faiths.   The experiments can be done at any time and place, right now.

Douglas and Catherine met and married in about 1991; their loving and down-to-earth teamwork – built open for each other – enchanted all who attended their workshops. Douglas passed away in 2007, age 98.

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Nacton

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Sholland, Nacton

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For more information about Catherine and the Headless Way, contact The Sholland Trust, 87B Cazenove Road, London NW16 6BB, or visit www.headless.org.   Douglas’s many books include On Having No Head, The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth, The Trial of the Man who said he was God, Look for Yourself, The Spectre in the Lake, To Be And Not to Be, Head off Stress, and The Little Book of Life and Death.

Douglas's 90th Birthday

Douglas’s 90th Birthday

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Now, here are the pictures which tell the story. To view, click on any image.

Chapters One and Two – A White Wolf Arrives in the Village

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Chapters Three, Four, Five, Six – Experiments in Seeing

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Pierrot showed them all his secrets

Pierrot showed them all his secrets

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Chapter Seven – Sharing the Seeing

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Chapters Eight-Thirteen – The Attack

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Chapters Fourteen-Seventeen – A French Village Awakens

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Artists’ Epilogue

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It is time for the artist to ask herself some questions.   As I draw my self-portrait, what do I see? What enters my extended hand and heart? What fills the un-named movement along my arm, what welcoming focus – shape to space?   What ancient world, before historians wrote a word?

Who draws through me? the taut flow through finger and thumb to a dancer’s point ?   What smile in space for lines of life to happen?   What urgency gives birth?   And the tight hours – as often as not – groping towards the magic “touch” with tippex, eraser, and elimination?

How many faces do I see? Do I have one here?   Or is it yours? Plainly, my daily life and relationships require the same careful attention to precisely what is there.   Not what I’m told, or think I should believe: but receiving the curve – “I am you are. Thou art I am.” Keep practicing. Look, I am built open. I may trade faces with Pierrot’s white wolf, or with my foot on the floor, a still-life on the window sill, a sketch-pad on the kitchen table, the sense of dotting an I. I may trade faces with you or with the sky whose clouds keep changing curtains.   Where I look in the room, looks back, and I, un-named and changelessly, change all the time.   Look, if I cross my eyes a bit, there’s a nasal blur and spectacle frames – as I thought. But when I put them on … The One Eye has these details like a mountain spring.

As I put life’s tunnel on my nose, who comes to meet me but my Friend?

47 spectacles

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and now a surprise Present to unwrap at the End of …

48 douglas in paper bag

“Wait,” said Douglas (on our first meeting in Nacton), “How many faces in this bag?  Scientifically – how many faces do you see?”

I looked for some time silently.  The sides of the paper bag removed Douglas’s face from the context of everyday resistances.  Bit by bit I freed myself to gaze and to receive the information as if I never saw such a thing before.  It was rather warm in the paper tube, and from time to time we had to come out like divers, for air.  At first the intimacy made me feel selfconscious.  Presently as I overrode my small fret, I found myself contemplating with compassion, a living landscape.  I received the searchlight of that sensitive terrain into my emptiness.  I saw how the pupils and lids of the eyes narrowed or dilated, as they roved and scanned mountains and valleys.  They examined features in detail – eyes, nose, the lines in forehead, the contour of the cheek, the growth of hair, the twitch and lilt of expression.  I saw the baby unborn and everlasting, the bed of the river, the vulnerable soul in those dark eyes which, like wells, never age or end; the youthful profundity of that searching glance.

I received and beheld an inescapable mysterium, a humanity.

“Just the one face,” I replied.

“Yes,” rumbled Douglas, “You’re starting to see the point.”

Put on your space

Put on your space

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Gene Keys Golden Path Program
My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

6 thoughts on “A Picture-Book – Pierrot and the White Wolf

    • Dear Amanda – you can buy it: On having no head, by Douglas Harding (Zen and the rediscovery of the Obvious) published by Arkana, 1961. A little book to carry around in your pocket for ever. I’m sure you can get it from the headless website. Douglas used to say “space for the world to happen in.”

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