Kevin Vickers used the floor as his technique to overcome an enemy. In this new clay project my two warriors will begin their
existence also so to speak, on the floor. With the clay being so wet the figures cannot be made standing upright in their fighting positions. Hence, I must compensate and begin with them in a position they can hold while the clay is still damp, and that is prone on the floor.
Of course, I will have to be clear about what their fighting positions will be before I begin. Then create each figure horizontally with props that will hold them in these positions as I continue building them into the vaunted amazing physical specimens they must be. Ha!
As I work, I'm thinking about the sargent-at-arms Mr. Vicker's and his conduct and wonder, what is it that makes a warrior a warrior? I think about the millions of soldiers who have fought around the world over the years. There are many examples of failures and successes and heroes, but the question remains, what makes a person a warrior?
Yes, it is true warriors do these things to protect the community, politicians (our leaders), the children, the women, those who cannot defend themselves etc. They do it to preserve certain ideals and even just to be able to defend a border, a source of food, keep the peace etc.
But, that is what we see them do. What is it that makes normal men or woman make that decision to become that warrior? . After all, one can expect to die, and that changes everything. That means fear has to be faced and controlled. His very faith is also challenged and he has to deal with that on a personal level. Plus, he needs to be one hundred percent committed to go out there and put himself in harms way. He needs to be good with the cause of the fight. Once the bullets are flying he cannot hide somewhere and decide this is not for him. His buddies, family, tribe and nation are depending on his commitment and word to do this. That failure to go through with it on the battlefield has dire consequences in itself and usually is considered treasonous. That means he has to think about the cause he's fighting for and be totally committed.
Another thing the warrior has to think about is the fact that he will be able to legally kill fellow human beings. In fact, he will be trained for that purpose and expected to do that. He has to come to accept that reality. And, finally he or she has to be disciplined. They must be in good physical shape. They must learn their weaponry and be comfortable with them. All of this takes time, practice and a disciplined approach to be the "best you can be." Each soldier knows others will be depending on that when that time comes. Like for Kevin Vickers, it came on Wednesday morning and of all places, the parliament buildings, and he was ready.
So what is it that makes a solder a solder? Obviously he has to be more than a mercenary, or a thug. He who is in it for glory or money is not a true solder. They are not defending an ideal, or a piece of ground. They are in it for themselves and will disappear if things begin to look bad.
True soldiers are humans with real feelings and ideals. They are self aware having to come to terms with the challenges and decisions of being a warrior. They must have the kind of character that lives on principles of lasting value. We will talk more about this in the next blog.
Meanwhile, I must know about this, explore it and become familiar with it. I want to know the character of a man like our sargent-at-arms Kevin Vickers because I must honor him and all warriors in my art with the kind of body language, even in battle, that reflects who they really are on the inside.
victory however long and hard the road may be;
for without victory, there is no survival.”
— Winston Churchill