The average human head weighs 5 kilograms, or 12 pounds. I never would have guessed it was that heavy. Until now.
Her head lolls about as if afflicted with some kind of palsy. She refuses to cooperate by holding her head up high, no matter how much I beg, plead, cajole and threaten. Finally, in an act of rebellion, she self-decapitates, and her head rolls to the floor.
I’m referring to the figurative sculpture I’m working on for the exhibit at the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts (CCACA). I’ve had her wrapped up all summer long, distracted by painting and more mundane projects.
Now I’m on a mission to complete the project, and the wet clay head just doesn’t comprehend.
Frustrated, I pick up her head and put it outside on a fence post as a warning to all other figurative sculptures.
Kidding. That’s what I want to do. It would dry very quickly out there in the 103 degree heat of the sun, and I could make some real progress on the piece before I leave for Texas. But the thought of cracking from too-fast drying chastens me.
Emotions are an energetic feedback system. Frustration or anger, for example, show up when what’s happening in our world doesn’t match up with what we think should be happening. We get angry when a loved one’s behavior isn’t what we think it ought to be, or when a friend does something we think is unfriendly. Something unexpected flies in the face of our beliefs, and we all have beliefs about how we think people, or the world in general, should operate. But if we are “wrong” even once, then we have disproved our theories. Our emotions give us feedback so we can decide whether to hold on to our beliefs and in this case stay angry, or let them go, at least temporarily so we can examine everything with more clarity, or permanently, when it’s clear those beliefs do not serve us.
I’ve chosen to let go of my self-imposed time constraints, stop pushing the envelope of wet clay and and wait for the right time to attach that head. One small victory at a time.