Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finnegin Beginnegin, Nobody Owens and Phoenix Stories are for Humans

There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,

He grew whiskers
on his chinnegan,

Shaved them off and they grew in ag'in,

Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag'in)

Did you sing that song as a child? I did.

I sang it to myself once more as I twisted wire for armature, to begin again the process of sculpting the piece I accidentally destroyed.

It's a good song, that.

Stephen King writes that Hell is repetition.
He's right too. Still, repetition seems part of human life.
We wash the dishes, go to work, brush our teeth, wake up in a cold sweat.

Recreating destroyed work is a different sort of repetition. It carries the burden of loss.

Both kinds of repetition bring experience. Any twelve-year-old practicing scales, no matter how reluctantly, will become skilled eventually. Same as coping with setbacks.

So. The sculpture that was destroyed was this one. It wasn't so much the hours and effort lost, or that it was to be the next The Graveyard Book sculpture.
Sure, that was loss, but the truth is,
I loved her.

I glance at The Poppet Who Lives on My Desk...
Right. Silly human.

Real, after all, is relative.

Sid commented about losing written work. Over the years I've lost both written work and art. Some through error, some through no fault of my own( &^$(*&@!! computers!) and some in spectacular fashion such that demonstration would require stunt doubles. Each experience was unique. Each work, whether words on a computer screen or a work of art, carries whatever life we've ascribed to it. After all, in everything we create, there we are.

Possibly this experience---loss and recreation---as Syd and Melissa P commented---the Phoenix--possibly it's part of the human curriculum. Is that idea at all comforting? Tell me your stories about losing and recreating work. The more brains, the closer we get to figuring things out.

As Poppets are fond of saying:

"How many humans does it take to answer a single question?"

"All of them."

There's still snow on the mountains, but spring has arrived. When it comes, you just know. If the weather hasn't reached you yet, not to worry, it's coming. Equinox soon.



Anonymous said...

Omigosh that is BEAUTIFUL! I suspect I'll be finding some way to get myself one of these. Shonna

Melissa P said...

Such a beautiful piece! So many wonderful elements in it too.

You're right, Phoenix stories are for humans. Our small little brains have such a difficult time grasping the big picture. The one where time and space and ego are absent.

I relate to the loss of written words and those #*@^&) computers. Roughly 30,000 words up in smoke (literally, the computer caught on fire). The back up disks were corrupted too. I still haven't recreated all those words--even though the story is still alive in my psyche. Somehow, a part of your heart seems to go numb and it takes a lot to get the blood going there again.

That's why I like the Phoenix and all it symbolizes. It reminds me that not only do good things come from the ashes, but more importantly, sometimes that's the only way for the new life to emerge. Painfully true and hard to put into use in "real" life. Because ultimately, you have to put in the hard work all over again and still remain uncertain of the outcome.

k8et said...

I attend Burning Man and similar events regularly. The artwork (on sometimes epic scales) that is created solely to be enjoyed for a brief moment before burning to the ground is amazing and astonishing, even more so because of the temporary nature.

Once created, it always exists, even if only in your memory....

Sorry for your loss - unintentional destruction can hit us hard, but I feel we can still take the same lessons from it as we do with intentional destruction.

Carl V. said...

She is so incredibly beautiful. I mean, WOW!!! I thought I understood some level of your sadness at the loss before, but now that I see this I can much better understand just how devastated you must have been (and perhaps still are). I am so glad that you went back to this despite the loss.