Last night I went to visit my friends. It was nearly night, almost 11 p.m., but I decided to walk — fortunately, I live nearby. The city grunted, grumbled, tossed and turned like a disturbed bear in a den, and then breathed out noisily and suddenly calmed down. The streets were empty, just me and a couple of impressive guys walking towards me. Such people are orinary for St. Petersburg to walk their Yorkshires and Toy Terriers in the evenings. Reaching them, I snatch a phrase out of the conversation: "Man is the king of nature". Words, staying in the air between us, decided to stick to me.
So I came home, twisting and turning the phrase in my head. I sat at the computer, looked if there was anything important that needed to be done and stumbled upon the photo. Elephant, a huge, majestic animal, embodying wisdom, strength and tranquility, froze in thoughtful stillness. He lied on his belly, in front of a little boy, on whose lap was an open book. Just these two figures, nothing else. Animal and human, face to face with each other.
This photograph was taken by Gregory Colbert, a Canadian photographer and film director. Being already recognized as a newsreel filmmaker, in 1983 he decided to go on a long journey to remote corners of the Earth and disappeared for 13 years.
Returning back, he presented his stunning project to the public, a film "Ashes and Snow", as well as art installations and a novel in letters. These letters, like the whole project, are a heart-to-heart talk, a song about love! A conversation with yourself, with a woman, with Nature, with a Goddess! They are the quintessence of a 13-year journey, 365 letters written by Colbert to his wife.
For Colbert, a man and an animal are not the king and his subjects, but children born from the same Mother Earth, born from the same womb and bound by blood ties. "We are of one blood — you and I!" The one who remembers it, and Gregory Colbert, undoubtedly, remembers, can talk heart to heart with elephants, dance with sperm whales, sing with birds, laugh with wild cats…
Gregory Colbert's film "Ashes and snow" is a stunning work, a guide leading us to the very depth, to the point of silence in which you can hear the heart of the great Goddess, feeding life with love and wisdom. Listen, does your heart beat together with it?
"An elephant with its trunk raised is a letter to the stars.
A whale jumping out of the water is a message from the seabed.
These images are a message to my dreams.
These messages are my letters to you."
Gregory Colbert, "Ashes and Snow"