I’ve had the identity of myself as the curator, the writer, the wordsmith for a number of years now, but I’m starting to have radically new visions.
I’m seeing myself in the studio, drop cloths all about, messy overalls and a tank top on (I’m skinny and hot in my visions), working on some kind of sculpture. It’s big, and it’s sexy. Or walking just on the edge of the forest with a bucket full of stuff, some high quality shears, and pockets full of nuts, stones, knobby little branchlettes, asking me to take them home and give them new identities. And in these visions, I’m not the host, the mom making a craft activity for others, the curator appreciating the work of others –I’m the creative one. Visually creative.
How can this be? I have always been the most talkative person in the room- any and every room. This is the gift I have, language. Though I’ve appreciated art, dabbled as a crafts person, I’ve always found design and inspiration completely missing from my skillset. So these imaginings feel very audacious.
I’m not surprised then, to find myself deeply intrigued by a couple of local artists (Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlin). They have different styles, but between the two of them, they make big giant wood sculptures of animals to light on fire (I interpret as a tribute to impermanence), and giant realistic looking boulders made of styrofoam that are installed in trees so it looks like they were dropped there and are about to fall, or crazy giant things made of nothing but vines, branches, wire and paint that feel so alive that I swear I’ve seen them move. I don’t just admire these pieces, they have become what I see when I close my eyes, my day dream images. And they are bumping out the words that have usually been the gift brought to me in dreams.
Last weekend, we went to the Unifier festival, and there was a corner set up with yard waste, cut flowers, unbundled bales of hay, and buckets of dirt. Someone made a human sized bird nest. When I was little, I would sweep the pine needles into a series of nests and play the entire flock, bopping in and out of each of the little apartments. This nest was made of expertly woven branches with a soft hay filling. How is it that as an adult, I have forgotten to build nests? I kneeled in the nest as a joke for a photo, but was overcome by a sense of magic and wonder that left me giddy and speechless.
So before I lose my words altogether (I’m sure they will come back eventually), let me make a bucket list of fantasy art I want to not just see, but actually have my hand at creating:
Scholar stones with those cool curvy wooden bases stained rich dark brown, all different sizes.
A giant styrofoam model (Andy Morlean style, maybe he will come teach me?) of an Easter Island head, tipped slightly and a little broken.
A mini fairy river bed lined with blue glass pebbles with a sweet little raft because some rafts are for crossing.
Cut log stools hand carved to custom fit the butt cheeks of my favorite people’s bottoms.
Painted doors, mail boxes and flower boxes at the base of trees that have those interesting little scars that look like doorways.
Hand crafted cement stepping stones molded from the giant leaves of a catalpa tree.
Little hand carved faces made from the outer casings of the walnut tree made while they are still green and easy to carve, but them dropped back where I found them so they look like it happened naturally
An archway made of branches made just like the one at Unifier (need to find her business card, that artist was awesome)
A patch of hand carved and painted mushrooms made of logs and bark.
A series of paintings or pebble mandalas made to match the shape of those patterns that form when you play certain tones on a metal plate covered with salt crystals. These have words.
A meditation path where the mission statement of the human awareness institute is carefully painted on every other stepping stone, so you can read while you wander.
A giant rubber bath tub stopper and chain at the end of the pond where it flows back to the brook
A series of faceless goddess figurines (perhaps made of Fimo) that are multiracial, all the same height, but varied by body type and “weight” to reflect that study they did about women’s body self perception
So many little things made of fresh cut grass, and photographed over time as the grass wilts then dries to brown
A big fire circle with stones and cut log benches, with a little fire circle and comfortable soft sand for seated meditation, and then a tiny little one for the fairies as well.
A “Poet Tree” with hand written poems on tree cookies, this time properly sealed to the weather so the words don’t fade so quickly
Little signs hung about along the forest path with quotes by religious figures (Jesus, the Buddha, his holiness, the DL, Rumi, Hafiz, etc.) interspersed with little white boards or slates so that the living gods and goddesses on the path can add their own quotes.
Photographs to keep a slightly more permanent record of those words written by said gods and goddesses.
A wailing wall and a little one for the fairies