Love, Create, Share

This last weekend I made an angel for an angel. Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, was on the coast for a reading and signing of her new book: SHADES OF WALTER INGLIS ANDERSON.  On Friday I received a call from the lady, herself, asking if I had an angel in my studio that she could buy. She already has my “Angel with Fox”, but it soon became clear to me that this one must carry a book and in some way celebrate who “Maggi” is, to me and to so many others. I would have to start from scratch and complete it before the reading at the Walter Anderson Museum on Sunday.

I was already tired from a weeks worth of active going and doing. It had been about as social a week as I am capable of. So I wasn’t too thrilled with the project, couldn’t imagine summoning the energy. But there is something about Maggi that brings forth a generous spirit in those who share her orbit – even for a short time. Perhaps it is her own generous spirit: who she is overflows and affects. She inspires our adoration, while nurturing our own realities. Maggi has a great big heart.

So when I sat down in my recliner, doubting that I could even get the plastic wrapper off the new spool of aluminum wire, it could only have been Maggi’s faith in Walter’s dancer daughter that wakened the dance of the wire beneath my faltering fingers. It didn’t take long for me to catch on, to rejoice in the formation of yet another angel. My willingness – and the thought of the one who just might delight in the gesture – kept the wire uncoiling from the spool and threading its way through my hands. I simply cannot forget the dance I was born to dance.

On Saturday afternoon the angel was hung against the black drape where I could see to refine certain areas. I tweaked and photographed, not yet ready to think about any additions. I couldn’t yet see a book in either hand, couldn’t imagine how the words would fly or even what words would come. That would have to happen on Sunday – when I was fresh. It was time to let go.

Trusting the last minute magic that is beyond one’s understanding is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. I cannot plan or manipulate the outcome. I may seem to manipulate the wire, but I never know ahead of time the result. It is all about sensing and following where the wire will take me. On Sunday, it was the same. Yes, I knew I would make something suggesting a book, because Maggi makes words that turn into books, but I didn’t know size or detail, or even whether it would fit in one of the angel’s hands. Only when I carried the vaguely book-shaped object downstairs and tried it this way and that, did I know where and how to attach it.  Even then I knew she was not complete. In a sense the angel would have to read or evoke the contents of the book (or the motto of the life). I went back upstairs, sat down in my chair and the stiff gold wire spelled out LOVE. I thought “Of course… Love has to be the beginning. Without love, where is the longing to create.” CREATE came next, as naturally as breathing. Delighting in one’s creation leads to sharing, therefore SHARE.  And Maggi’s angel was complete.

Later, Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee and joyful angel in one, shared her self and her words. In the small exhibit room at the museum, she read, cavorted and drew her enthusiastic audience to her generous bosom. Maggi shared her world and our world was made new. Thank you, Maggi.

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