Day 23

February 6, 2015
Day 23: Elephants

I promised myself when this project started that I would try and stay away from using quotes unless they had a sincere impact on the last eighteen years that I am celebrating. Instead of injecting a morsel of Whitman, introducing the warmth of Dickinson or even pulling back the curtain on Shakespeare, I’ve decided to make life a bit simpler…

The wisest of fictional, celestial beings is quoted as having said, “Attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed, that is.” Granted, credibility is thrown out the window once someone has publicly consumed and regurgitated the words of “Yoda,” but in this case I’ll take my chances.

Ann’s least favorite Cardinal sin, the sin we all love to hate, used to be vanity. Over the years, vanity has taken a bit of a backseat and now she has grown more disgusted by envy and greed.  “We all want what we can’t have, “she’ll say.

So, to quote Yoda in this case isn’t all that inappropriate. His words ring true throughout all of our daily lives. Examples can be found all around each of us without little effort.  I remember hearing those words spoken for the first time and I quickly repeated them to Ann. She just smiled at me and said, “See, that’s what I keep trying to tell you…”

But Ann’s lack of faith in the human species department shouldn’t come as a shock to any of you reading this. Her calloused display of mortal discontent comes with great reasoning. “We wage war against all that’s helpless, taking what we cannot make on our own. And for all that we do have, we continue to destroy only to ensure we’ll never run out.  The grass is always greener and enough is never enough…” These are her words and until just recently, she has built an incredible foundation upon them…

We were watching one of her many animal documentaries a good handful of years ago when a segment about elephants came on. As they narrated through the senseless murdering of these arduous creatures, Ann began to tear up. I hadn’t seen her eyes water since our wedding and even then I think she just got dust in her eye. She became enraged and noted how appalled she had just become with man and all his “supposed” glory.  For weeks, Ann was livid and you could see she felt helpless.

Ann would mutter throughout the house each day, “How can anyone kill an animal that is so clearly empathetic? An animal that struggles to help another who’s dying and demonstrates time and time again just how heroic they can be. And for what? For Ivory?! These people make me sick…”

She would gain a small amount of relief, which came a few years ago, when a show came on about some Navy SEALS who took up the cause of protecting elephants from poachers. Watching her watch that show is exactly how I picture the world watching the Super Bowl and then their team scores. Side note, we are a “non” football/sports kind of house. Yeah, so there’s that… Anyway, every time a poacher was cold busted by these brave men, Ann would cheer away!

I try to paint an elephant when and where I can. I actually did one back in 2013 in acrylics. I remember showing the final piece to her and she smiled, walked over to me and gave me a hug. Not some kind of pat you on the back two times with a thanks/no-thanks kind of feel, but an embrace that spoke more eloquently than any Monet ever could.

So in honor of all that should’ve never been taken, I present this elephant. Every time I see an elephant now, I am reminded of all that’s supposed to matter. I eagerly listen for her voice of reason and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.


Medium: Watercolors
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website:


Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!