Thursday, May 28, 2015


Dearest Readers,

I’m done. I’ve lost my fire for building my stick hut-in-the field. She (may I call her she?) sits in the yard like a spiny tumor taunting me to finish, when I truthfully just want to get back to painting. My mother would say, ”Your eyes are bigger than your stomach”, an adage that means, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Most days Miss Hut is intractable and irascible. She is not an easy girl to deal with. She’s gnarly and spiky at this point and not very beautiful. She needs a lot more work, trimming and filling in.
Etta in the hut-front view
The only time I like her is when Etta and I crawl inside her protective womb.
Etta James and I inside in the late afternoon

I’ve reached a point in my figure-it-out construction style, where I need to saw limbs for pieces to fit. This has irritated an old rotator cuff issue, and like me, the hut has developed a stoop to her back. 
Miss Hut with her sloping back

The maple seedlings I used as roof supports last fall did not bend symmetrically front to back.  

So, I’ve reduced the curve of the rear baseline, and brought it in closer to the center. 

Despite all the yanking out of intertwined sticks, I’m glad I corrected that. She is more shapely now.
Rounder now
The hut has turned into a metaphor for my body and soul.
She is teaching me the limits imposed by aging, and quickly dispels any hubris I had regarding my environmental sculptural prowess. I was looking to repeat the accomplishment I felt in digging the Mother Hole back in 2012 at The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland Vermont. It was spiritually a perfect piece.
The Mother Hole

Located just four miles from the burial place of my Civil War ancestors, the hole fit my full body standing up. I dug, descended, and resurrected back out on a hand-made ladder. I created a cylinder of marble-lined emptiness that was “full of fullness”, to ask my mother about the nature of death.

I’m reminded of a day in 1996 around the time I turned fifty. Two young women approached me in Aurora Coffee Shop in Little Five Points, in Atlanta, and said hi! I looked at them quizzically, and they reminded me we had spoken at a recent art opening. I had no remembrance of their names or their faces. I was shocked at this mind gap. It happens regularly now. Back then it felt like a little turning point, where a window in my consciousness opened and some birdlike definition of an invincible self flew out without a word of goodbye. She seemed confused, landed on a bush, then quickly took wing, disappearing into the clouds.  Another little bird has left the premises. This one is the bird of a strong body. 

But it’s OK.

I’ve turned my hut over to friend and landlady, Cynther, who lives below me, and who plans on covering the hut in morning glory vines, creating a blue poof in the field. I like that image.  Better than being incinerated as a burn pile.

1 comment: