Tag: calling

poem: reaching out

Grubby, dirty hands
covered in ink
and clay
and pigment
reaching out
with desperate longing –

that is what art is,
one spirit calling out
to another –

an exhibitionism of the soul.

Reaching out,
fingers waving,
voice pleading,
begging to be noticed.

i am alive!

Here i am!

See what i have made!

Like a child
at show and tell –
the smiling commences,
pride and joy in the eyes,
holding out
some masterpiece
or another
for you to notice:

See this drawing!
Look at this pretty pot!
i wrote this story,
see what i can do!
i made this for me
but also for you.

Oh, how this desire
tears open
the heart,
this wrenching need
for someone to share
an experience
that was so primal
and private
in its birthing.

But, these hands
can’t stop reaching,
hoping,
and praying
that these words,
and this art,
and these forms
will start
wandering
through the world,
making the artist
more real
through her art.

11 december 2015

skills

I have been woefully far behind on my writing – blogging and poetry and novel writing.  Neglecting the written word puts me on edge, even when I know other things have to take priority.  More than any other form of creativity, I use writing to keep me sane and balanced.  Despite this, necessity demanded going forward with other work.  Monday and Tuesday I tore apart the studio and moved a lot of it to the house (Thank God for friends that helped!) – I can’t afford to heat two buildings this winter, so painting, clay and glaze have to move – and the non-art-oriented work that I have done in the days since gobbled up a lot of my time and all my energy.  I fell asleep eating dinner two nights ago, surrounded by chaos and upheaval.

Thankfully, at  gallery yesterday I was able dancingbymyselfto make the best of no internet service by drawing eight different pieces, paired with eight new haiku.  It was marvelous to lose myself in the flow of art for the first time in ages.  After a couple of weeks in business attire and wearing a consistent facade of professionalism, being an artist for a few hours felt like coming home.  Art and word will always be my sanctuary – maybe that’s why my drawings have been so wildly joyous, because while I am making them the chaos and instability of life, as well as the things I must do to keep making the art, all seem irrelevant.

At any rate, that was not the point I intended to make!  What I wanted to write about was one of the epiphanies (I had two) during my recent business trip.  I have said over and over again, for years, that I am only good for art.  There is some basis for this assertion: I have this engine driving me to create that cannot be denied, this work gives my life meaning in a way nothing else ever has, and my health stubbornly demands a flexible schedule. (Case in point, I was days recovering from my trip – not because of any fault on the part of my employer or the work load, but because my body seemed angry about being “on” for days on end.)

However, during those days away, I discovered that I actually have skills.  Marketable ones, even.  I knew it, but the realization fell upon me like a sack of bricks – each explanation, each moment I was doing the work that I had been hired to do because my employer did not know how, I thought, “Well, five years in business has taught me some things. I have learned some skills.”

I felt wildly grateful for that knowledge.  Art still feels like it’s all I’m really good for – it is where my bliss lies, after all. bowingratitude But, maybe, just maybe, the things learned during these years of thrashing toil and wildly uneven success trying to make a living on my own have been useful too.  I kept thanking God for this epiphany, for teaching me that there are other ways up the mountain.  These might seem like detours, pulling me off the path I thought I should be hiking, but all this experience and adaption is useful.

poem: creating

The compulsion has not vanished.

All yawning mouth and shining eyes,
it cries out within me,
not just during moments of idleness,
or those spent on the chorus of life,
but even while i feed it
with one form of art.

When i am a poet,
the hunger cries for clay.
While i throw,
paintings flow through my mind,
vivid and clear,
their edges dragging sharpness
across the plane of psyche.
i paint and then watch
as sculptures build themselves
in the back of my skull.
Through it all,
characters from stories
poke at me for attention,
not surrendering their cause
even though their novels
have become unmoored.

Even asleep, the need to explore
either image or tale or form
cannot take a break –
i dream what i do.

The truth of my compulsion
flows from my weary, eager hands.

Even though i collapsed in utter exhaustion,
these words continue to leak out my fingertips.

i am caught up in a river,
it flows through me in tides and torrents,
and i would not stop it if i could.

The urgency can take on calmer tones
when my soul rests in deep stillness –
indeed, it can soften to a whisper –
but the engine remains ready to turn,
to churn until all distractions are consumed.

At least a hundred times
i have asked friends and strangers,
anyone i thought could bring me answers,
why i have no lover,
no family,
why i am so unwillingly solitary
and aching with loneliness.

Tonight,
the clay, the paint,
and these lines
whisper the answer
to my overflowing heart.

8 february 2014

These words save me

These words save me
over and over,
every moment of every day,
they grab me by my shirt
and pull me up.

When i am not writing,
the act remains a salvation
for i can come back to it
like a lover whose passion
never exhausts itself.

My sanity resides
in the madness of creation,
my purpose dances somewhere
inside the magic
of letters moving together
to make words.

i am so lucky.

i am so grateful –
and as always,
i take these emotions
in my hand
and i pour them out
with ink
like blood
onto the page.

 

From “a seed of wild kindness” – a poetry collection of mine available on amazon.com

winter solstice

warpedsculpture3This winter solstice, i am tucked safe within my home as a thin layer of ice coats this corner of the earth.  The slight shuddering within my hands and chest, the after effects of using a nebulizer to get my lungs working better, is my only complaint.  The Christmas tree in the corner has done its magic. For the second year in a row, waves of happiness and gratitude overwhelm me, eclipsing the lingering sighs of loneliness and want. My spirit dances with an abundance of joy. i feel wealthy in friends and blessed beyond measure.

sculptedjar2Today, i managed a solid day of work.  i finished two sculptures and got this year’s Madonna and Child nearly finished.  The sunshine will start coming back tomorrow and i am encouraged by the ability of life to change.  In the morning, hopefully, I can brave the ice and start throwing two commissions.  If i do it, this will be the first time i’ve thrown a decent amount in a month.  However, if the ice is too bad, or the power is out, then i will be able to conquer these tasks when they come. Either way, i am at peace.  Even more remarkable, i am brimming with optimism.

It all feels possible.  My heart – if nothing else about me – feels strong and courageous.  These days recently lost to illness and fatigue tried my soul and taught me a great lesson. i am doing what i am meant to do.  i am doing all i can.