Back in the studio!

After months of working on my historical novel, “Angels Shall Not Keep Me,” and finally having gotten it to a sufficiently finished state that I felt comfortable sending it to agents and publishers, I was able finally, in good conscience, to get back out to my studio in Ann’s Garden, and do sculpture again. Wow, did that feel good! So much time writing–an early morning daily regimen–had the effect of making me feel like, “oh, this is my true calling–writing,” and wondering whether my patient exercise of the skills required for figurative sculpture would have atrophied, or whether my interest would simply have drained away. No, thank goodness! The skills were there, and so was the interest–magnified. “Oh, this is my true calling!” Really, what I give myself to, becomes my “calling.” If I attend, I can attain what D.H.Lawrence called, “at-one-ment,” that state of absorption in which the self is merged with the work, and which becomes “atonement.” Of course, being outside in Ann’s Garden, there is the additional general wonderfulness of being surrounded by our own little blooming, teeming segment of the “natural world,” and by the sounds of our neighborhood, a mix of bird song and dog barking (which includes, sometimes, our own dog, Sabine), wrens chattering at their birdhouse in the peach tree, or the sounds of tree work in the next block over. I’m “in the world and not of it,” with the warm clay in my hands, working on Isaiah the Prophet, or Pan (who had been Mr. Tumnus, but shed his umbrella and scarf to return to his ‘pagan roots’), or Rebecca, with her water pot–and enlarging upon their stories as I do so.