Buoyant: No. 6 of 40 Forts
I spent most of yesterday thinking about the word “release.” Finally I decided to say a short prayer. Novel idea considering this is a project for Lent. I said, “Please release me from whatever I am holding on to.” And like that, my hips instantly relaxed. Wow. It was almost like I just needed to ask the magic question. Or say the magic word, please!
In January, I went to get a massage. It was, in fact, Epiphany and the entire experience was a little Wizard of Oz like. The therapist said, “The answers are all within you.” In the end, she said that my left side was overworked. She meant that metaphorically and literally. For days, I thought of “This Here Giraffe” by The Flaming Lips
He couldn’t tell the right side of his brain
And just lost all interest in his left
And you feel yourself shrinking
Plus I had some knots in my behind. I knew from working on my posture with Stephanie that I was standing in a position with my feet turned out. I needed to keep them in a neutral position. Just being aware of how I held myself would help me shift my posture and begin to feel a lot better. So I did have an epiphany on Epiphany. And I resisted the urge to buy Scrabble to get a little left brain exercise.
But the idea of just releasing whatever I was holding on to was novel. And easy. All of a sudden, I felt lighter and more fluid. I kept praying for release throughout the day. I started with specific body parts and then moved on to feelings that were not beneficial.
I think growing up in the South, it was inferred that we should just grin and bear. Grief is consoled with sweets on Sunday or liquor on Saturday night (although not in my household!). As a culture, we end up bearing so much that we don’t even realize what we are carrying around with us day in and day out.
When I first thought of this piece, I wanted to create lead weights and the body parts floating above like balloons. But then I found this piece of the models swimming under water in their dresses. Perfect. Plus I had already had a conversation with Henry, my beloved editor, that the word buoyancy implies water, like a buoy. Even better because I wanted to use that in my “biostanza,” which eventually evolved into
Once she cut her ties, she was surprised by her buoyancy.
As I worked on the piece, I was reminded of the movie “The Piano.” I don’t want to give away the climax of the movie, but it is my very favorite baptism scene ever. I don’t know that anyone else would consider it to be a baptism scene besides me. But you should add it to your Netflix queue and let me know what you think.
This paper sculpture, roughly the size of a coffee cup, is one of forty forts I created during Lent 2010 as a creative exercise and spiritual exploration.