On The Verge

I seem to perch precariously in this day, having slept  late: my body’s attempt to rest and release the caregiver role, the weight of responsibility, the active and entertaining grandmother for the solitary artist waiting upon the muse. I wake surprised by my alertness; my eyes are stretched wide to take in the now I find myself in. I am a bird who does not know its age or limitations. My feet shift nervously, carry me upstairs and down. Wings flutter and pause: eager for flight but not quite ready to soar.

Humanly, I am in shock between what was and what may be. Wisdom tells me that stillness is good, that grounding is necessary, yet the fool that makes possible impulsive flights and creative courage is causing my fingers to vibrate and quiver against the keys. The life force is eager – darts hither and thither even as I sit here seeking order in my restlessness.

Last night, exhausted from that recent stressful love dance with the children, I opened an email which asked that the artist appear at once. Would I select one excellent, saleable work of art to appear in a New York exhibit? I would be one of several familly members whose work would appear: The Legacy of Walter Anderson. My immediate response was: It’s about time. Then: How can I possibly deal with this now? So I gave myself until this morning, and found myself over-responding. Countering old feelings of inadequacy and fear, I sent off several images. I work in so many different mediums. How can I possible choose just the right one for such an opportunity? Even so, as I looked at the images representing my own art history, I felt some hesitant joy in sending off reflections of who I am. I am no beginner. Years of living and creating back up these images. Yet, I am a beginner – trembling on the edge: of relinquishing obscurity for a new kind of freedom, or of one more familial flight, shadowed and invisible amidst the flock that follows the pure and unencumbered soaring of my genius father.

The fool is capering happily, heedless of the abyss. Her feathers fly as her wings move wildly around her body. She has no patience for her cautious and considering other self, who would wrap the wings close, tucking the shy head under with eyes tight shut. She cannot abide the tendency to overprotect. Wings are for flying – wherever they take you. They know the way.

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4 Responses to “On The Verge”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Let us know which piece they pick. It’s wonderful to be wanted.

    Did you know it’s Mahler’s 150th birthday today? We’ve been having Mahler all day in his honor, and I think of you dancing.

  2. leiflife Says:

    I am slightly embarrassed – getting so worked up about one piece of art on display in New York. But I think the writing was the thing yesterday. It felt like dancing: energy popping; gestures unleashed. Thanks for letting us know about Mahler. I shall search for him in my CDs. I know I had him on cassette – back then.

    I am still favoring my injured toe, and the oak floor is so hard. I have this fantasy about a large oriental rug in the middle of my studio, and me on it moving, tender body cushioned and caressed by softness and color.

  3. Kendall Says:

    Hold the thought of that rug. Sounds like an idea whose time has come. And this is so lovely, Leif: “The fool is capering happily, heedless of the abyss.” In the face of the abyss, caper.

  4. leiflife Says:

    Yes, my darling friend… In the face of the abyss, caper.

    Perhaps tomorrow I will go in search of a rug. Did you know that Isadora danced on a rug in performance?

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