Patience rewarded

November 1, 2010

Over five years ago in July of 2005 I finished three small sculptures I called “Still-a-Life” as a play on the phrase “still life” that is used to describe a painting of natural objects. The idea was to emphasize the notion that life is ever present even in apparently inanimate objects.

Then, to honour the physical beauty bestowed on humans through the process of growing older, and, to give additional meaning to Rilke’s writing on patience, I placed the carved bases of the three sculptures (minus the shells, stones and already weathered pieces of wood) outside directly on the ground beneath a tree. There they stayed through the years, through wind, rain, sun, heat, cold and insects, and slowly accumulated a fine layering of dirt, moss and a new patina on life.

…all progress must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything. Everything is gestation and then bringing forth.

To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life, in understanding as in creating.

There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing.

Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of Spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. IT DOES COME!

But it comes only to the patient, who are there although eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.

I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am Grateful: PATIENCE IS EVERYTHING!

Rainer Maria Rilke

This week, after lightly sanding and oiling the “aged” sculptures, I re-photographed them on my lawn. Maybe because it is that I’m well into my 60’s, but don’t they look richer now; more deeply beautiful; more alive even?

And…… what’s good for the artist is equally good for the gardener. This past week also had patience rewarded in another way: the harvesting of broccoli later steamed and ladened with butter. So, so tender. Oh, wow.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

laurie December 13, 2010 at 7:10 am

O broccoli! Is it possible, I wonder, to create a sculpture that would also attempt to capture the divine feeling of that said newly-steamed-and-buttered broc (with an additional small thumb-and-forefinger sprinkling of Himalayan salt…) as it hits the eager palate?? Ive still to grow broccoli- my neighbour does it so much better – but the first cabbage of the season hits the taste and energy jackpot almost as well! Thanks for the postings. My friend Paul happened on your place a few years ago whilst tripping about your end of the world and last night described the sculpture garden and Roaring Beach to me. So taken was I with the name of the bay and his description that i felt i needed to see it somehow for myself. So thank you for the photos and the descriptive and emotive (for me) outpourings. You are being my creative force until my own comes into full play. Wonder what that’ll look like when it shows up….bye

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