Shadow Play

We are grateful to the editors of the ever-excellent Orion magazine for alerting us to the publication of Crane Maiden, a collaboration between author Brenda Peterson and artist Ed Young. Published by Chin Music Press, the book is also on display as an animated exhibit in the Eric Carle Museum.

A brief excerpt below:




And a note from the artist:

Taoism is an ancient philosophy of nature, simplicity, and humor. The dualism of Chinese Taoism calls us to attend to opposites, like two faces of the same coin—light and dark, parting and reunion, gravity and flight. Yin and yang complete each other, cannot exist separately, enrich and fulfill the other. Their “interplay of energy makes harmony,” writes Lao Tzu in his classic Tao Te Ching. Just as in physics, the positive and negative magnetic fields synthesize and work as a whole. 

In China, cranes are symbolic creatures of nature. They bring good fortune and rain to crops and wetlands, as well as flood and destruction. Good and evil coexist in this Taoist balancing act. The West perceives truth as static perfection, but Chinese philosophy embraces polarities, always in a state of change, always alive. So red-crowned cranes embody both extremes, like the cosmos, or a vessel that can be perceived as half empty or half full.

How will we choose to live, to dance?


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