Archive for September, 2014

FAITH IN THE FLOW

September 22, 2014

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 027 (1024x615) (2)

I believe in flow.

Flow has been at the heart of my life as a dancer.

If dance has been like a river flowing

throughout my life,

changing times and an aging body

has caused the river to branch into tributaries

of poetry, clay sculpture, drawing and music.

Singing has had its turn

and painting, too,

to flow around obstacles created by doubt.

Doubt has often loomed heavily,

obscuring the way,

and times of despair have caused drought.

My progress has stalled…

bogged down in the muck;

my heart feels dry and my world

appears colorless for a while.

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 023 (1024x646) (2)

Recently, decorating pottery in the Shearwater annex

has brought flow and color back to my life.

I have found renewal in the clay:

the feel, look, smell of this earthy substance

has grounded my body…

revived my heart.

My right arm –

stalled by extensive and painful surgery –

has grown strong and brave,

and has carried out my purpose

of resuming the flow.

The river of dance –

still present in my seventy-year-old being –

has formed yet another tributary.

Praise heaven and all the angels:

I am able to bring color to my world!

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal),Green Heron, Ohr 028 (1024x615)

As my confidence has grown in the present flow, I have pondered sculptural shapes: free-form vessels formed by my hands, conducive to my particular style of decorating. Not instead of my work at the annex with my dear women companions, but a possible means of growth…a chance to explore. So clay was purchased – and a small expensive kiln. The latter with considerable fear and trembling. At my age you do not take on such things as blithely as when younger. I approached the clay before the kiln was delivered, as tentatively as someone who had never created clay sculptures before. I wedged the clay, slamming it down repeatedly to soften it…bring it to yielding. I felt my shoulder object, and I wondered what I was doing. I felt old and scared: doubt did its damnedest to stop the meager flow that was trickling forth. My hands kept moving: pushing, pulling, stretching and stroking despite the doubt…despite the twinges of pain. I didn’t last long that first session. I wasn’t encouraged by this beginning. I covered her quickly, a bit embarrassed by my efforts. It took a while to return. When I did, I reminded myself that judgment at this point was foolish; completion was so far off, and decorating and firing were more than half of it. I had begun!

A few days later the kiln was delivered from Dogwood Ceramics via movers I had hired. It rode in the back of a truck thoroughly crated in wood. I was daunted, but the movers dealt with it vehemently. Finally the kiln stood on my screen porch where the old non-functioning one had stood for years. But it did not look right. The box on the front: the computer and electrical unit was pulled out, metal bent, screws pulled loose. There was obvious damage. The kiln, expected to contribute to the flow, is itself an obstacle.  A terrible question looms: Who is responsible? Another: Can I keep faith that the river of dance that is my life will maintain its flow. Of course I can… But I might need a boat.

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LOVE AMONG THE HERONS

September 7, 2014

Great Blue Heron (Inner Harbor) 002 (2)

Great Blue Herons

are a very familiar shore bird

where I live.

They perch on fishing piers

and fish in the marshes.

They wade along shorelines

and nest in tall pine trees.

They fly overhead

with a startling, raucous cry.

They are as beautiful and strange

as they are familiar.

Great Blue 030 (1024x680) (3)

In recent weeks

I have found myself beguiled

by a particularly dashing bird.

Coy and seductive,

ready to pose for as long as I aim my camera…

Of course I am entranced.

In the morning –

turning just so in the bright-lit water –

he casts a shadow

on his handsome feathered back.

In the evening

he leads me among the pier posts,

shows me his mirrored image.

He fills my mind

and causes my heart to linger

in heron-land.

No wonder I danced with him

on the surface of my most recent pot.

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No wonder I shamelessly lounged

in the marshes he frequents…

Heron Pot on Art Table 057 (1024x683) (2)

kicking my legs in the air

and  basking in his presence.

Heron Pot on Art Table 055 (1024x683) (2)

No wonder I celebrate my love

for the constant bird

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by bringing my heart to my art.