Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Art of Sitting Still

As I gazed out the window, trying to "plan" the day, as I deal with a headache, I catch a glimpse of an eagle perched in a large evergreen tree. He sits so still and regal, as the gulls and other birds fly tumultuously around him. He remains undisturbed and still. The formations of geese are flying by, returning, as spring is upon us in a few days. Each day the buds are opening more fully on the cherry blossom tree, as if spring ahead has put them into fast forward mode. The birds have practically cleaned me out of suet, and the air is alive with birds. The crow, the flicker and the stellar jay have all been vying for a spot on the feeder, as they comically try to balance, knocking off their smaller feathered fellow birds, who are no competition for them. And the eagle remains still. I am not ready for the fast forward of spring yet. I still feel like I am trying to settle into the dark, quiet, yin time of winter. My exhibit was like a bulb being forced to blossom for spring too quickly, not a natural feeling. I still crave the darkness, the quiet. I rejoice, when I awaken to the rain and grey skies, whereas others celebrate sunlight, longer days and spring. I still need my personal winter. Ironic how the "Waiting" continues to be a reminder, there will always be the waiting. The eagle glances around, but remains steadfast on his branch. The wind is blowing and gusting and he remains undisturbed. Spring make me feel as if I have to be doing, rather than being. My clay awaits me in the studio, waiting to become. Today I feel sluggish and the creativity that flows through my hands, feels as if it is in need of hibernation mode today. Yet my head tells me I should "do", I should "make", I should move forward, get it done. The eagle still sits and subtly moves his head and glances around him, waiting. As the wind gusts, the reflections of the trees on the lake begin to ripple. What was once a mirror image of the trees, now becomes distorted. It looks like my vision feels to me. One eye remains crystal clear, while the other is rippled like the wind blown water. I worry that the work won't get done. I fear the eye surgery, that is less than a week away. I feel as if I don't sculpt today, it won't get completed. I want the sculpture to reflect the fearful vision I have right now, yet it seems to have a mind of it's own, not wanting to be molded into that vision. Who knows what it will be? Maybe the clay needs to sit a bit today and solidify. Yesterday, I had so much energy, and worked so fast that the clay began to cave in on itself. The clay is a good teacher, always has been, if I listen to it, like I am called to listen to the eagle. I glance down at my computer, and when I look up, the eagle is gone as quickly as it came. I never noticed it arriving or leaving. It remained still and waiting, until it instinctively knew when he needed to move forward. Another lesson from nature. It is all around me if I only listen. But I resist listening to the frenetic birds, the quickly blossoming trees. Sometimes you have to listen in to your own rhythm of nature, your own inner clock, and sometimes you have to look toward the stillness of the eagle to hear the message. My head pounds this morning, and it is distracting me from the work I feel I need to do, planned to do today. How can I not listen to the pain? The eagle did not get distracted from his rhythm by the swarming birds, but instead stayed steadfast in his stillness until it was time to move. That is what today is calling to me to do today, but can I listen?

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