Angels and Foxes

It continues to be a time of rehearsing and preparing for this and that performance. I am doing my best to embrace the activity, the sharing, the anticipation. Doubts visit me at times, especially when I think of singing for an audience. Yes… Once again the voice is called upon to dance its way into existence. In the coming performance at the Mary C, which is to be a celebration of America (the 4th of July), I shall be singing – re: the vietnam war era – “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”. I shall need angels to buoy up my confidence  and to clear the conduit from soul to sound.

The angel in the photograph was finished this Monday. In the midst of all the involvement, I found some evenings to re-acquaint myself with the wire and to summon a confident and soaring angel. Thankfully, she came willingly to my awkward hands, easing my struggle by her readiness to be. By opening her arms, spreading her fingers, and allowing her torso to flow into dancerly legs, she convinced me of my own readiness to soar again. But not with out a balancing  element.

I guess, for me, the balance comes from daily life: The often tedious business of living where I am, the endless tasks that can distract but also ground one for the less tangible reality of making art (in whatever form). Tedium and sweetness come from these tasks, and though they sometimes leave me depleted and having to summon the will for creative projects, they serve that old necessity of yielding to gravity’s pull that I might rebound.

After seeing my wire angel lifting free – nearly dissolving into the ether of infinity – I decided she needed a balancing element, a little extra weight to balance her flight. I thought of a dragonfly, but no: a dragonfly is surely more of the air than of the earth. Think, Leify… What creature is clearly of the earth: at home in the glory of created matter, yet fleet of foot – mysterious in its nature? Is there such a creature in your own environment that attracts your interest on a daily basis, coming and going in a fascinating and unpredictable manner? What creature can you imagine hitching a ride on the large spread-fingered right hand of your soaring angel? A fox, of course…

There are indeed foxes afoot in the woods surrounding my house. I first became aware of them as I walked the dogs at night. An unearthly scream pierced the air and – not knowing its origin – my imagination created a banshee, with me in mind for a feast. It seemed to be matching our pace, coming closer, getting louder. My heart quickened and bounced in my chest as my own pace increased and I yanked the dogs from their fascinated sniffing and their urge to pursue. It was some time before I discovered who this infrequent and frightening visitor was. By that time I was catching glimpses of the sleek russet body, the distinctive pointy nose, the marvelous tail so like that of my orange cat. Ah yes… The cat… Sunny seems to have made some agreement with the fox, some sort of mutual admiration – at a distance, of course. I have seen my fat orange cat recline on the bricks of the entranceway to my home, while the fox sits only a few yards away. Their gazes are joined in an unfathomable communion.

So I follow my cat’s example, have decided that acceptance of this frequent yet somewhat ephemeral visitor – albeit at a respectful distance – is the way to go. I have even grown accustomed to the screams that penetrate my nightly slumber. I can lie there in drowsy awareness as she makes her way through the underbrush and onto the path to my house. I listen as she lingers, sending her cries forth in an agony of wanting. My heart seems to recognize these cries, and in my mind I speak to her through the darkness: Dear little fox… What do you long for? What do you cry for night after night? And why do you search my woods every night, yet seem almost content when I see you in the light of day?

So as I have allowed the fox to hitch a ride on my daily life, I have invited a foxy image to accompany this moment of creative soaring. I have decided that foxes and angels can be compatible – in life and art.

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2 Responses to “Angels and Foxes”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Perfection. The sculpture. The Blog. The balance in your life. For this moment, which is all we can ever hope balance will be.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Yes, dearest friend, balance is fleeting, but probably more present than we realize. Thank you for realizing my moment and telling me so.

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