This small wire sculpture with cork, nails, and beads represents my struggle with intimacy. These experiences include connecting with others, my inner self and a Higher Power (for myself, God). Through this three-dimensional piece of art I offer a metaphor, a fencer with extended foil keeps the world at a distance while always holding the stance, in fencing parlance, “En Garde”.
Intimacy holds our emotions, physical presence and thoughts. The self locking washer placed on the forehead of the fencer embodies the later, only keeping one eye open. Fear of seeing the world as it is, instead of just our stories, partially blinds leading to a state of imbalance with life’s goodness.
All around the fencer are nails, signifying painful experiences, generating a fear to take steps (even small ones) so as to trust others, oneself and God. They signify the “noise” from anger, guilt and shame. Small corks placed on a few of the nails suggest attempts to make the ground safe, others have been blunted while a few nails have been toppled though most stand. Paradoxically, the “one-eyed” state of imbalance compounds the constant weariness that the fencer will step on a sharp pointy object. It is tiring and never-ending.
Suspended in the center of the sculpture’s chest are two blue beads, symbolizing love and trust … our soul. Swirling wire weaves a heavy and thick protective garment around the beads. This “cage” signifies the unwillingness to “open up”, restricting both giving and receiving intimacy. Although necessary to adapt and establish boundaries so as to maintain our dignity, the girth of these garments constricts the ability to reach out and signals “keep your distance”.
It is my hope to share another creation demonstrating a different analogy, one that honors our inherent worth, the worth of others (showing them respect even during painful times) and connecting with the Higher Power. In so doing may we have direction, grace and solace in what it means to be human.
I wish to thank Karen Freeman for her guidance in the past and the writings of Pia Mellody. For everyone, as the holiday’s begin, I wish you my complements of the season and a peaceful Solstice.