"And now you are free to go in and out of infinity." Thomas Merton
Here is a dragon who grew into an accordion book as I made the folds. The title came when I asked if it wanted words, having taken the form of the a book. Yes. The Fire of Creation Feeds the Soul of the World.
Yes. We matter. What we create here matters and is part of the great stream of our ancestors' journey through the world. Our relationship to this world continues the songs that rose in their hearts. Each of us is part of a gift that started its exchange long before we can remember. It is fine to be a small part of a far greater whole, offering our expressions of delight to the wonder of it all. This is how we feed each other. The Fire of Creation Feeds the Soul of the World.
Yes, it was a ridiculous task to recapitulate a dragon toy on sticks, but I wanted to, as a gift for a seven year old fellow artist. Unfortunately I botched the job and had to cannibalize the original toy to create the new dragon. Once the bell was in it's mouth all was forgiven! For a while we lived in a neighborhood adjacent to Chinatown, in Philadelphia. The drums and smoke from the firecrackers would waft into our windows, when the dragons made their way through the street. I felt honored to be able to view these events, and all the red color! I suppose a sophisticated artist would not have a favorite color, but mine has most often been red, in every variant.
There is very little originality in my paper dragon, save the surface patterning. But working on this object of delight sent shivers of possibilities my way, and I am already at work on the next realm.
So excited about new projects brewing! But for now, here is what is on my table this morning.
The husk is shattering and new life emerges. This is the only way. We are not intended to remain comfortable here. We are here for transformation.
Somewhere there is a tree of life with flowing rivers. The roots of peace grow from justice, the lion lies beside the lamb in peace and Love Wins.
This one is for all those who work in the community, on its streets and in its gardens, with others, and never completely alone, yet sometimes in silence, to turn the world around.
We planted our lovely tomato seeds yesterday, dreaming of transplanting seedlings in 8 weeks, or so. Here is a paper sculpture card that I made last December for a commission. Hoping to build more beds when the ground is less damp. Meanwhile creating more artwork of birds and gardens and the subterranean dream of Spring.
Port na bPúcaí (Music of the Fairies) is a haunting song that I heard played by the fiddler Rebecca Grube. I was very moved by her rendition of this piece from the Blasket Islands. One story is that the tune was a response to the singing of the fairies, which may have been the songs of the humpback whales. I love that the source was a mystery that called forth such a beautiful response. I feel this reflects the creative process, when we sense a calling, not knowing where it came from or where it might lead, and yet we follow.
World of Wonder, new paper sculpture...a tiny attempt at recapitulating the structure of an ecstatic world. The music of spinning through time, our lives unfolding, in space, through grace.
Experimenting with paper sculpture in a "tunnel book" setting for the story of Icarus. If the ability to create resembles a portal to the divine, the fear is of hubris. Will the wings we fashion bring us so near that they melt and send us crashing to the waves? Like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, will we lose access to Paradise if we reach too high? There is a resonance to the cautionary tales, designed both to stir and quell, curiosity.
Remembering my first glimpse of the milky way, in Bar Harbor, Maine. In the darkest of nights, my father told me that we were inside the river of stars that fell like dust upon us. In that moment I understood that the deepest dreams are the ones being dreamed through us.
"Where are we going, when will we get there?"
"I don't know...we will know when we get there..."
When I finish one piece, I launch into the next, as soon as possible. Until I do, I feel I am in limbo. I may have a sketch, more likely I just set my hands to moving. I have worked this way since childhood. Making things is my way of being at home in the world. Still, I often feel it is all being dreamt into being, off the map. My task is to bring the dreams into form and discover their relationship to one another.
We are swimming in a great river of light that pours in our windows and into the work of our hands. It is glorious to catch just a little of it for the moments we’re here, to shape it and send it back out on the great spiral, to be caught by other hands and spun onward.
Greg Boardman asked me to make a poster for an upcoming concert. With less than a week to complete it, I chose to focus on the way that the music is uplifting, to gladden the angels. The ethereal nature of music has the power to transverse new dimensions, and enter the deep dwelling of the soul. Thank you for the music...
In this season of dying light, my thoughts have been held by Creation, both big C and small. My own hands feel so small beside the wonders of the world, and yet these are the tools at my (sometimes) command. Paper sculpture is a slow process, and as I work my thoughts go to the genesis of worlds, the divine and evolutionary improvisation. For my part, I am thankful for the angelic bells, heard and unheard. May they never cease to ring!
A glimpse of continued work on shape building on my desk today...
A further exploring of form. I find myself moving these days between figurative, story telling pieces and these more abstract, centering works. They both explore and add to my understanding of the endless paths of paper sculpture.
A friend has invited us to attend Janmashtami at a local Hindu Temple. This is a celebration of the birth of Krishna, and it was suggested that I bring fruit and an image of the baby Krishna. In this paper sculpture Krishna is holding a stick of butter that is dripping, because he was full of mischief and he loved butter. He is also associated with the peacock, among other animals. So many wonderful stories surround the life of Krishna, and I am excited to attend this celebration.
Update: September 5th, 2015
Janmashtami at the Hindu Temple was a complete delight. People of all ages sat cross legged on the floor, singing and clapping before beautiful images, draped in flowers and surrounded by flame. Children dressed like Krishna ran and giggled, and no one seemed to mind. We bathed in light and rocked a cradle with a tiny image of Krishna, then we ate food fragrant with spice. A clear outsider, I felt completely welcomed and guided by all.