That might sound rather anemic, so I must say I was back in the studio for more than bringing something or getting something. More than for just dreaming, thinking or journaling. I was really back. Back at work. Back to get my hands into the clay.
I attend a men’s group every Wed morning, and traditionally I go to the studio after that meeting. One of the guys always says, “Have fun playing in the mud Cliff”. And that’s exactly what I’m doing,
I’m back “Playing in the mud”.
Another reason I’m back in the studio “working” is because I just can’t take it anymore. I’m going nuts not being creative! I’ve
actually been having nightmares. It certainly helped being Wilma’s “Assistant Artist” but that was about her art, not mine. Still, it was a relief to get back into something creative.
The other thing I’m constantly battling is the fact that I do have a business to run and whenever I get into my art, my business suffers. My organised lift brain is telling me not to do this, you are
going to mess up your business. You will miss appointments, miss job opportunities, make mental errors in your invoicing or payroll, you will be distracted from what’s important, something important like….making a living!
It is the inner voice of doom, “You do this and your business will suffer, you will get complaints. Projects will fall through the cracks and you will be severely embarrassed and you will lose work,
customers and clients!”
This of course is a replay of the voices I heard as a kid back home. Then it was along the lines of “Stop sketching and doodling in your scribblers because then you’re not listening to your teacher and you will fail your grade.”
So, I’ve decided to ignore the voice of the past. The left brain arguments of the present and go with my right brain which is
making me miserable because it is being ignored. This side of my head is dreaming up all kind of things I should create. It’s luring me with dreams and thoughts of mental comfort in creative endeavors. That despite the fact that it will be hot like a sauna in my second floor, un-air-conditioned studio, it will be a very “feel good” and “fulfilling” time spent creating in my studio. Knowing
full well that once I begin a project, which cannot be done in one session, I will be committed to come back, again and again to get the project done! I know, I know, I’m well aware of the guile my right brain is using, but you know, I’m now in its side so I’m listening and going with it. Weird eh?
“Well ok Cliff,” you say, “so now that your back can you at least tell you what you are doing?”
Sorry, I know I’m just kind of chatting here and I am doing something. You do see the sketch above right? Well that is as you can see a sword. “Oh no, not another sword!” says my left brain.
I know, my left brain is completely disgusted because I’ve just finally completed this large “Throne of Swords” which consists
of what felt like thousands of swords and kind of decided I’d never make another sword again. By the time I was done I was sword challenged. I was over sworded in every way possible. I did not want to see another clay sword!
Well, my creative 3D right brain realized the importance of the sword metaphor and convinced me that there is another whole
concept that seems to need expression.
This sketch is inspired by the sword in the stone the future King Arthur pulled out of the anvil and the stone. This was the sword
that no one else could pull out. Men with muscles, men with high leadership skills, men with important positions in society, no matter who it was, no one could pull out the sword.
This is a quick summary of the story. Arthur becomes orphaned as a child when his father the king dies. Merlin arranges for him to be raised by foster parents, the father’s name being Sir Ector who has a son named Sir Kay. They have no idea this child is of kingly descent. Thinking he’s a bastard child they look down on him. Sir Kay and his friends tease and taunt him. Arthur grows up in
shame of his own birth, never knowing of his true lineage.
One day when Arthur’s was around 15 years of age, the family goes to a tournament. Arthur is squire to Sir Ector and Sir Kay. At
one point, Sir Kay breaks his sword and they send Arthur home to get another. Passing the sword sticking out of the rock, Arthur goes over and draws it out, bringing it back to Sir Kay. He, seeing the inscription on the sword, "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone, is the right wise born king of all England." realizes immediately that it’s the sword from the stone. Both him and Sir Ector cannot believe that this scrawny 15 year old kid could have pulled this sword out of the stone.
To make a long story short, Merlin shows up and confirms that he is the rightful heir and in due time Arthur is crowned king.
How was it that he could pull this sword out of the stone? He was worthy and he was of the right family line. His father had been the king of England. Merlin knew this and had prepared Arthur for this moment.
Here is what I know. This is my story. First, I have become a member of the right family line. Secondly, I have been prepared in many ways for this. I am making a sword which is sticking not out of a rock or anvil but out of a pile of rope. I have actually done this metaphorically. I have drawn this sword out of this rope, cutting it in the process. The deliverance it has brought me is huge, beyond words, and gets magnified every day of my life.
This sword will be easy to make. This one is fun and is done with a heart full of wonder and gratitude.