Where is the story to account for waves of squirrel over branch, or this ache reminding there is no way sometimes it seems to reckon with (to recognize?) the way things are and when the fall and the hawk and the fire–––?
No. Look. Stop this.
I am looking. It’s the seeing that won’t come. I remember when sight was like a vision, the undulating body of it, ripe with equal parts recognition and want. Now this spinning, keeping watch, shapeshifting dark. It knows me. But I want to remember the other one. Who laughed and meant it.
Let’s rehearse, she told us. Lick this joy first, wherever you can find it. Even there, she said, at the bitter root. Especially there. Because this part will kill you, but this part will restore the dead. These are the same plant, child, do you hear me?
Survival demands distance from what kills you, and yet here is your life. To remind you how you will never get close enough. Only keep returning, back and back to that which makes you want to run.
Here is the cave of the dragon. Here is the belly of the whale. Here are the bowels of the ship, the depths of the sea, the strangest creatures you have known. You recognize them, don’t you?
Here is flight: suspended, perfect peace. Now the absence of the air you need. Now the desperate kick, up and out of its saving embrace.
Up to the surface. You can still see. Linger. Notice what shines as its holds you. Now back again, down. Down.
There is a sculpture in the center of our circle. We look, and when the speaking begins, it becomes clear that while we have been looking toward the same object in space, we have not seen the same sculpture.
It has often been assumed that when the eye sees, the spirit will know, but knowing is a palette, not a product.
One of us had a question. When working, how much of a given environment do you censor to meet what demands? He saw no difference between painting and sculpture, the idea being that any picture is a living thing, sculpted by changes imposed from outside, and never done.
Inspired by American sculptor David Smith. The italicized question above is his.