Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Time Of One

This is Island, a continent surrounded by the sea. Those who live here, even those who do not know much of anything, know the woodlands is the birthplace of the Bird Of Life. And, most everyone knows if they, themselves, were born in The Time Of One or The Time of Two.

Each dusk, a tiny bird lifts above the trees. It circles inland, then turns and flies directly towards the sea. It flies across the bare field, over the river and disappears into the white fog expanding the reaches of Island's outstretched fingers into the sky.

Each dawn, the tiny bird reappears through its foggy gateway from some unknown world beyond Island, perhaps beyond the sea itself, carrying in its beak one tiny seed. The little bird flies back over the river, across the fields, into the trees and buries its seed in the woodland's floor.

After many years of planting, one of the seeds, only one, begins to grow into a tree. When its crown reaches through the protective bower of the woodlands into the sun, seemingly overnight, the bird builds a nest on its highest branch.

The next morning when it returns from its mysterious flight, the little bird carries not a seed but a tiny white egg and places it in the nest. That same day, from out of the whiteness which is like the whiteness of the fog through which the egg appeared, another little bird is born. Thus begins The Time Of Two, The Days Of Song. For many years, the two birds sing and fly together through the woodlands.

One dusk, the two little birds fly side by side into the mists. In the dawn, only one returns, carrying a tiny seed in its beak. Those few who have seen this solitary flight swear that this seed is planted with a tear so small there can be no smaller tear.

This is Island, a continent surrounded by the sea. The sea holds Island much like earth holds the sea and, in turn, much like sky holds earth. Everything gives way to something. Yesterday gives way to today, the day of the smallest tear.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Clay Figure

She is called "Elizabeth" after the name of the model who posed for sculpture class.  I made her by molding and carving damp clay I had shaped around a stick figure made of strong wire which is, in turn, supported by a metal pipe. She has stood for years between two windows in a corner of the old shed. The clay is very dry now and if she were to be moved or jostled, she would crumble away from her armature. As it is, she is both disintegrating and standing in time.