Wolf the Artist From Apocalypse Back
Art by Wolfgang Carver
Words by Lisa Carver
I have been told that I see the world through different eyes. I can be rather childlike in observations of my surroundings and I can get caught staring at the stars sometimes too long, wondering what's up there, out there and how I can know without having to be a scientist or an astronomer or an extraterrestrial researcher. Sometimes, I float around in this world of ours, ignoring what's defined as important and I can forget to vacuum or change the cat boxes...I long for more time to drift, but I get bogged down by the laundry or phone calls or opening small businesses.
Wolfgang Carver does not get bogged down. From birth, his mind has been immersed in nature and the beauty and darkness of it. I remember when Wolf came into the world, a child born from creative and sometimes tortured minded artists. I did wonder what this boy would be like and waited for his mom, Lisa, to share about him, his life and not being a mom myself yet, I wanted to see how someone I related to raised her child. You see, I wasn't so sure I wanted to be a mom and I really wasn't sure I was capable. When I eventually did become one, I used Lisa as a point of reference- if she could, I could. And it could be done differently.
What I didn't know at the time was the special arrangement Wolf was born with, that he had chromosomes that were missing something, that he would be very different from the rest of us. That can be such a scary prospect for a parent, challenging and overwhelming. For Wolf, it meant operations and a feeding tube and to quote Lisa "a rather eerie lack of balance/depth perception, so he can never quite orient himself, always feels like he's about to fall over". For Lisa, it meant a long road of appointments, doctors and fighting a system designed to fail. Like she does, Lisa figured out a different way for Wolf.
From Apocalypse Back is the story of Wolf.
Simple, beautiful, better than the rest of us.
Wolf's art is made up of the delicate,
a fantasy mixed with the purest reality.
Aliens, Sasquatch, the Apocalypse,
Jesus and Eden, Hamsters Underground,
the Night People....
all the creations of
play a part in his story.
As Wolf puts it, "I'm really excited this week because I'm going to go see some sheep. They're cute, gentle. Nice creatures. I would like to make beds for them. I'd shear them every once in awhile, feed them, play with them. I draw sheep at night. I get scared that I'll have nightmares, so I try to think about sheep, and then I have happy dreams sometimes."
|Lisa and Wolf|
Initially, I read the book and just cried. and cried. Mostly out of the painful reality that I am just incredibly selfish and self centered, hence the selfish cry!
Next, I read it again and again, trying to put my finger on the feeling I was having.
Finally, I sat with the book and enjoyed every moment, I turned the pages slowly, washing away my smorgasbord reading technique where I devour everything too quickly and remember nothing later.
That's when it happened...
Every illustration rose off the page and danced in
front of me
like a drive in movie,
Lisa's words played
like a teacher in story time,
only better because
she was in love with the words.
I fell so in love
When Wolf sees a Van Gogh for the first time and relates to his love of nature,
thinking he has found a kindred spirit, only to find he is dead, he wants to bring hay and flowers and caterpillars to his grave.
Wolf makes a Facebook profile to see if there is anyone else out there like him. In the About Wolfgang part, he writes "I want to talk about realistic things. Animals, ghosts, life on other planets, hole in the ozone and how it can effect the weather and the world. And how Jesus' life was. Maybe you know something I don't about these things. I'm curios where Eden might be."
|This is one of Wolf's Bigfoot drawings. I think he likes Bigfoot.|
When I asked Lisa why wolf wanted to do the book, this is what she told me...
" Wolf wanted to do the book to help other kids with disabilities
to work through it and feel good."
Wolf sees the world for the beauty it is.
He isn't bogged down by what you think. Or even by what he thinks.
We define Wolf as disabled when really,
he is more capable than I have ever dreamed of being.
An ambassador for the small things, the lovely things, the thoughts we so easily let fall away and replace with new electronics, less important things.
I feel like this book changed me from the minute I took it out of the envelope.
Everyone should read this book, everyone.
Here's how you can buy this book...
or at suckdog.net
"I feel like this touched a place inside of me that I don't know, it was like this hidden corner I didn't know about. A raw place. but not a bad place, a really lovely place that I think resides somewhere inside of all of us. Wolf just lives it everyday while the rest of us bury it so deep under consumerism." -what i wrote to Lisa about the book