I love the name of the Norse wolf and how it jig-saws two of my favourite things if by nothing more than a vague similarity in look and sound.
Puzzle piece Uno -- In Norse mythology, Sköll (Old Norse "Treachery") is a wolf that chases the horses Árvakr and Alsviðr, that drag the chariot which contains the sun (Sól) through the sky every day, trying to eat her. Sköll has a brother, Hati, who chases Máni, the moon. At Ragnarök, both Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson will succeed in their quests. (wikipedia)
Puzzle piece Dos -- Richard Selzer is such a cool cat. Master wordsmith, he perfectly conveys the sheer awe and reverence I have for this peculiar thing we both are and have, we call both “it” and “I”. Following are selected parts of my favourite essay of all time. I understand the sentiment completely; I share this total enthrallment with the ultimate storyteller -- bone.
“Bones”, Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery, by Richard Selzer
Bones. Two hundred and eight of them. A whole glory turned and tooled. Lo the timbered femur all hung and strapped with beef, whose globate head nuzzles the concave underpart of the pelvis; the little carpals of the wrist faceted as jewels and as jewels named -- capitate, lunate, hamate, pisiform; the phalanges, tiny kickshaws of the body, toys fantastic, worn upon the hands and feet like fans of unimagined cleverness; the porcelain pile of the vertebrae atop which rides the domed palanquin of the very brain; the vast, slumberous pelvis, called to wakefulness by the sweet intrusion of sex or the stirrings of an impatient fetus. Out of this pelvis, endlessly rocking, drops man. I agree with those African tribes who decorated themselves with bones. It is more to my taste than diamonds, which are a cold and soulless shine. Whist bone, ah bone, is the pit of a man after the cumbering flesh has been eaten away.
Bone is power. It is bone to which the soft parts cling, from which they are, helpless, strung and held aloft to the sun, lest man be but another slithering earth-noser. What is this tissue that has double the strength of oak? One cubic inch of which will stand a crushing force of two tons? This substance that refuses to dissolve in our body fluids, but remains intact and solid through all vicissitudes of temperature and pollution? We may be grateful for this insolubility, for it is what stands us tall. How is it that in these rigid, massive pieces is the factory of the blood, wherein each day, one million million red blood cells are made and discharged into the circulation to course their three-score-and-one-days, then die.
Stony and still though it seems, bone quickens; it flows. It is never the same at any two moments. The traverse of calcium from the blood to the bone and back again is a continuous thing, which ceaseless exchange of mineral is governed by hormonal potentates from glands afar. Fluid, too, is pressed into, then extracted from, the bone in a never-ending current, yet slow as Everglade.
Break a bone, and almost at once the blood clot between the two fragments begins to carnify. Fibrous tissue and blood vessels invade it, turn it meaty. Now, with cast or screw or metal plate, immobilize the bone so that further disruption will not take place, and the jellied mass is entered by bone-forming cells, the Blasts. Calcium salts are accepted here, and in time there is a bridge of new bone between the fragments. It is the trauma itself, the fact of fracture, that triggers the restoration. It is a cellular call to arms, a furious mobilization, an act of drive and instinct. It is the wisdom of Bone.
Ah, but there is more to the skull than helmet to the brain, to the sternum than shield to the heart, to the ribs than staves of the thorax. The rest of flesh is transient, strung like laundry upon a lattice. To dwell upon bone is the contemplate the fate of man. Bone is the keepsake of the earth, all that remains of a man when the rest has long since melted and seeped and crumbled away. It endures for a million years and, if then dug up from the ground, suggests still to anthropologists the humps of meat that once it wore, and to poets the much that was from the little that remains.
So, I have decided. No gourd, nor royal drinking cup, nor forest strew for me. Upon the wall of some quiet library ensconce my skull. Place oil and wick in my brain-pan. And there let me light with endless affection the pages of books for men to read.
* (I do not have source info for the skull artistry but thought the work was exquisite nonetheless)