Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whale of a sign


My friend, Donna, has a way with gifts, finding just the right one. She knew I was working on a novel connected to the ocean when she gave me this card with a print by Peggy Oki. I love the power, exuberance and beauty of that painting and had it sitting by my computer as an inspiration for months but didn't realize until I turned it over today and read the back that this was the tail of a sperm whale.
Since I just wrote a scene with a sperm whale, which is the largest toothed whale on the planet, and spent some time considering if I was choosing the right whale for what I wanted from that scene, making this discovery felt serendipitous. Of course, I have proved to you before that I love to find signs from the universe, even if they're a bit of a stretch. So here I go again.
I decided to google Peggy Oki and found more connections. I hadn't realized the artist was the same person as the girl on the Zephyr team in Ocean Park/Venice, California that changed the sport of skateboarding and eventually became one of my favorite documentary films, "Dogtown and Z-Boys." I spent part of my younger years in Venice and still think of that scrappy beachtown as home.
And, hey, Peggy is involved in several campaigns to save whales and other wildlife in peril. Check her out.

13 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

Some people have a knack for getting just the right thing. I love the card!

Stephanie Thornton said...

That's a beautiful card! We just went whale watching in March- those are magnificent animals.

Char said...

serendipidious and beautiful

Paul Greci said...

A very cool connection to make. And, a nice card too.

Matt de la Pena's edgy YA novel is partially set in Venice Beach. I'm not sure of your reading tastes but thought I'd mention it.

Bish Denham said...

Funny how the word serendipitous is showing up. The universe has its ways of showing us things if we will just be open to them. I'd say that card was definite sign.

Donna said...

Wow! I love the art, but knew nothing of Peggy Oki's Venice history.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ: Oh, she really has the knack. :D

Stephanie: Yay, whale watching.

Char: I'm basking in it, yeah.

Paul: I haven't read de la Pena. I'll have to check him out.

Bish: I'm open to signs, for sure. Maybe I need the validation or mystery of them.

Donna: Isn't that too cool? I was delighted. I really do love the Z-Boys doc and now will watch again to check out Peggy.

Liza said...

Syncronicity for sure...which leads to inspiration, I think. I'm glad this happened to you.

Jade said...

Whales are awesome! I grew up in a town that had a whale siren. When there were whales in the habour, the siren would go off so you could go look.
It freaked a lot of tourists out though.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Liza: Me, too, and thanks!

Jade: Oooooooooo, a whale siren! That's amazing. I'd be one of the people who'd be running out to look. I wonder what the whales made of the noisy welcome whenever they came to town. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the print! One of the jobs I once considered was a marine biologist. It would be incredible to work with these amazing creatures.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love those serendipitous discoveries :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jemi: Dang! I wish I knew a marine biologist to check some of my story points. I'll probably connect with someone at an aquarium or something, but it would have been sweet if it was someone like you!

Sherrie: They feel like a dash of magic, don't they?