Archive for November, 2011

The Mother Dance

November 20, 2011

I have been doing the mother dance all this week, celebrating each child’s birthday, seeking the best gift, seeking the words and gestures that would best express my love for my November babies: now forty-six and thirty-nine. I fear that this kind of love and connection  can’t really be expressed by gifts, words or gestures. These rituals are nothing beside a lifetime of living and witnessing. Countless touches, smiles, tears and comfortings have filled up the years, as have the failures and accomplishments, the praise and reassurances, the play and laughter, the being there and not being there. Gifts given and received have pleased and disappointed. Well-meant words have been met by anger, while simple  unplanned gestures have inspired a wave of understanding. Love can been reborn, but rarely does it happen on a birthday.

As this week concludes, and expectations (more mine of myself than those of my children) recede, I post this sculpture done several years back and I find that I am the child in need of motherly care and understanding. This tired child would flee from external expressions of love or obligation, from adult compulsions to be there for others – socially responsible and present for whatever ritual. Even as a continuous stream of nationally celebrated holidays approaches, I fling myself symbolically against my  mother’s belly – trusting the cool, familiar  hand to descend upon my fevered brow, trusting her to be patient with my tears, trusting her to lead me to where I need to be. A quiet unpeopled place would be good.

And suddenly I am there. Simply writing these words – just sharing these feelings – has soothed the child, brought peace to the woman who finally understands and mothers her weary self.


Autumn Bouquet

November 11, 2011

I look at this

 my minimal sculpture of a squirrel:

squirrel made of wire

just whimsical enough to catch the eye

of someone at the “festival” to buy.

He holds a bouquet

a seasonal symbol of changing leaves

appears to give what he has gathered

as a child might give.

No thought is wasted wondering if

the gift will be of value

to a possible recipient.

A God-made heart is simple in its generosity.

It simply gives.

In The Name of Art

November 9, 2011

Over the last few weeks I have rushed hither and thither in the name of art. In the name of art, I have entered a sculpture and drawing in the Ocean Springs Art Association show, rushed to complete more sculptures for The Peter Anderson Festival and attended that same festival to uphold the family name. In the name of art, I have joined my family in honoring yet another visiting poet who would write of my famous father, while the  poet within me languished for want of attention. I have gone through the motions expected of a member of the artist’s family. The artist in question – even when still alive – wisely held himself aloof from such.  Walter Anderson was true to himself. Am I really honoring his artistic legacy by setting aside my own truth, in the name of someone else’s art? Would he want me to bear such a weight to the detriment of my personal journey? Don’t we each have messages worthy of delivery?

Balance and Beyond

November 1, 2011

This angel was made in the aftermath of my recent performance, and retains the exuberant joy that I experienced on that “Grace-filled Sunday. She trusts the balance realized by her maker and has the courage to move beyond. It does not bother her that the future is unknown, that vaguely glimpsed possibilities may take some time to gel. As I see it, she is content to rest on the verge – suspend the leap of faith that may connect her with…