You might have notice that I changed my avatar. I thought I’d give a little back story.
My new avatar is a detail from this photo, taken by my wife (like all the shots in this post). You’ll see that it’s a beautiful, fey pipe. Part of what makes this pipe so fey is how the faerie creature–Pan, I’m thinking–changes his face depending on your angle of view. The image I’ve given you is pretty friendly, inviting even. But see him head-on:
Then there’s his sly side:
He can also look frightened:
Now the backstory. My father purchased this pipe back in the sixties during a trip to Germany. He bought it as a gift for his father. But my grandfather never smoked this one; when he passed on, this fellow made his way back to my father. Some years later, when he found out I enjoyed a pipe now and then, my father gave it to me. I’ve smoked it twice now.
The pipe, in a way, represents my love of the Grimm fairy tales, the German side of my heritage, and my love of pipe smoking. But added to all that, this fey fellow represents, to me, the shifting faces of faerie.
Any theories? Is it Pan? A faun? A satyr? Or someone else?