Two Ducks Under Sweet Gum TreeFor days I have felt the desire to write this blog. My desire is a soulful desire – abiding as my body yields to flu-like symptoms. Fever, aches and pains, and debilitating congestion have put me on hold, forced me to wait and test the desire. Would it survive frustration? Would it eventually break through the muddled mind and body into clarity? Could I find words to express the very state that had been forced upon me?

Even before the illness – as the holiday season and all it entails began to encroach upon my modicum of peace – I began to contemplate one word and how it might make possible a different approach to the coming weeks. The word is abiding, and when I began to stress  over the usual seasonal demands, it came to me and  hovered in my mind. The word appeared to be a promise and I took it into my heart and made it my prayer.

Not so long ago I wrote a blog called “Companionship” about two ducks who abide in the Inner Harbor Park. Though I have moved beyond the blog, they are still with me – perhaps a symbol for the state I seek. Over the last few months I have done many sculptures of angels – for shows, to display in the Realizations Shop, even filled orders. It is good to know that the work of one’s hands is pleasing to others, and the work itself is satisfying and grounding. The sculpture in the photo above is something else: a gradual creation that came about in the lull between the other more purposeful making. First, one little duck surprised my hands. Then it sat alone on my bookshelf – barely visible unless the sunlight touched it briefly and in passing. A few weeks later – in an idle moment – I made for him a companion – slightly smaller: a gentle mate to join him on the shelf. It was some time before I wrestled the wire into a tree-like structure, and even longer before the leaves appeared, inspired by the star-like foliage of the sweet gum trees. I watched as they did their autumn dance, releasing gold and crimson leaves to brighten the path I took each day.  Then I formed the tiny imperfect ornaments for the tree beneath which my dear little ducks might abide.  No… It is not the real thing, yet it is a modest tribute to the living creatures who inspire me: a work in progress like the state that I aspire to – an icon to inspire “abiding”.


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3 Responses to “Abiding”

  1. leiflife Says:

    I re-read my own blog this morning and found it to be OK. Yesterday, writing it, I often fest stressed by the act of finding words, and wondered if perhaps it might reflect my difficulties. I was really too ill to take on a blog that meant so much to me, but the “abiding” of the past few days had made me restless. The photo, also was not yet what I wanted. So I rushed the process – doing the opposite of what I was writing about. Human nature, I guess – and forgivable. The blog is OK, coming close to saying what I had wanted to say. Dear little duck(s)…

  2. Christopher Says:

    Leif, GREAT sculpture, my favorite, or one of my favorites. And abide?
    The sound carried me toward a rhyme in a half-remembered sonnet of Shakespeare, and I went and looked it up…

    Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
    For then my thoughts, from far where I ABIDE,
    Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
    And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
    Looking on darkness which the blind do see….

  3. leiflife Says:

    Thanks, Christopher, for your response. Glad you like my “Abiding” sculpture. I like the way it simply happened with no real intention. Like my visits to the park with the dogs each day… The ducks are simply there most days, but they have come to symbolize a certain sort of “all is well”.

    And thanks for the beautiful words of the Bard. He is so dependable… Isn’t he? Those sonnets, especially, return and return. Bequeathed to us, they ABIDE with us.

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