Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Last month George and I drove to Santa Fe to pick up the fired sculpture I made last summer at Roxanne Swentzell's workshop.  The drive was 2 twelve hour days there and 2 twelve hour days back, but we got her home safe and sound.

Before we brought her home we took her out into the desert to photograph her in her natural setting.  She is not a light girl so George helped me move her all around, trying to capture the best light and angle.

The sculpture's name is "Abierta", which means "openness".  When I did the original blog post about making her, I wrote about how the hole has several meanings to me ranging from infertility to joy and abundance.  But when I sat down to write this post another interesting idea occurred to me.

Last week was a challenging week in a couple ways.  My Dad's house was hit by a tornado.  He was lucky he didn't lose his roof like most of his neighbors.  But he did lose his fence.  He had a wood fence that was completely flattened by the wind.  As we were picking up the pieces of the fence I saw his neighbor's fence two houses down was still standing.  But the fences were different in one important way.  My Dad's fence had no spaces between the vertical wood slats while his neighbor's fence had a space about the width of a slat between all the pieces.  The wind just sailed right through and his neighbor's fence was spared.

The other challenging thing that happened this week was that I had a fight with a person dear to me.  There was a stressful situation and I felt a couple of negative comments directed at me.  Afterwards I was sitting with the hurt of the words and had the thought, "Can I let these 'arrows' fly through me?'"  I had to ask myself if there was truth to the negative comments.  If there was truth to the comments then those arrows were going to hurt and I need to further examine my responsibility.  But if I honestly looked and there was no truth, then the wise thing would be to let the arrows fly right through.

As I thought about both my Dad's fence and my argument I realized that there is a great advantage to being open.  The more open I am, the less resistance I present.  The less of "me" (or my ego) there is, the more likely the wind won't knock me down, the arrows will fly right through, and maybe if I am lucky a little sunlight will come in.

Although the last paragraph was the prefect ending to the blog post I had to add an addendum.  I have been struggling this week with the question "Is it possible to be too open?"  I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know it is important to have boundaries.  "Fences" serve an important purpose.  They help keep the good things in and the bad things out.  Maybe the trick is to find just the right balance between strong boards and empty spaciousness.  I want to be spacious enough to feel the thrill of those strong winds but also to remain standing when the tornado blows through.  The truth is we will all get knocked down.  But every time we get knocked down we are reminded to find our inner spaciousness and our strength.  We are both the tornado and the calm.


Rudyink56 said...

A transformative moment from Huston Smith. Openness, closure? Or, just Being? (3-5 minutes)



Nessy said...

Thank you Rudy, that was beautiful.