Bird in Space

With Constantin Brancusi.

lighted matchstick on brown wooden surface

Those who tried to know you called you an escape artist, but your sculptures embodied pure presence. What presence, though? Something just beyond.

Here is prayer. Here is torment. Here is the gate of the kiss. Here the sleeping child, beginning of the world. Here the torso of a young man, boundary maker. Here is the eye. Enter.

You worked the substance of your bronze, polishing an intention. Let there be light. All my life, you said, I have sought only the essence of flight. You positioned your bird to catch the sun. 

Some thought it was a tongue of flame, the point where fire becomes spirit. You said only that your task was to unite all forms.

When asked what moves you, you said, love. In this, you saw a light stronger than sun. Being loved matters little, you said. The purpose of a life is to give and give it continually, with all the strength of being.

Until? Until you are beyond this state of being. Until you are something else.

Like a bird? Someone asked. And another, like light? You replied only, like any One that contains all forms.


Inspired by the life and work of Constantin Brancusi. I spent time this morning with this article by Sidney Geist in Notes in the History of Art: Brancusi’s Bird in Space: A Psychological Reading (Spring 1984). 

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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