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birdback

With both hands, I cup the body of Mama Bird with her cracked, broken wings, and apply gentle pressure.  Kneading and smoothing.  Adding and taking away.  These wings, each lovingly shaped and adorned with small flowers, sat for a few weeks too long, wrapped in wet rags and sitting in a black garbage bag.   When I finally get around to attaching them to  Mama Bird’s body, the wings have started to dry and crack into pieces as I lift them from their solitary perches.  Wings left unused become frail and brittle.

Sensing the panic welling up inside me, my art teacher declares,  “You need to pop those suckers on soon and work from there!  There’s no way to do it gently.”  It is the end of class, so I pack-up the pieces and parts of my bird, once again, in wet rags and lug them home with me so that I can do some emergency repair work.   When I unwrap the clay that next morning, I feel a sense of reverence.  I aim to make this bird whole again.  I can’t help but think, as I hold these broken wings in my hands, that this must be how God feels when He cradles our broken spirits.

The molding process?  It can hurt and it might last longer than we would like.  In the case of Mama Bird, with some work, I am able to put her back together, all in one piece, but her transformation is still not over.  We have glazing issues, where for some odd reason, the “feather white” glaze that I have so carefully chosen, chips-off in tiny pieces when we remove her from the kiln.  Even with repeated glazing and firing at higher temperatures, Mama Bird’s glaze continues to flake-off in places.  For some reason, though, I am okay with it.  Her “shabby chic” exterior speaks to me.  The bare clay peeking through is evidence of Mama Bird’s journey.  Scars of a warrior.

Early on, I had decided to keep the hole open in Mama Bird’s chest where I hollowed her for firing.

birdfront (2)
I imagine a huge spray of colorful flowers flowing from that hollow, spilling forth with beauty.  The tiny little flowers that I fashioned from vintage fabric and wire sit patiently in a block of green foam while Mama Bird undergoes her many transformations.  Now it is time to fill that hollow space.  After playing with flower arrangements and securing the wires with a final dose of resin, I step back from Mama Bird and take a look.  There is still something missing. This mama bird is a warrior.  She needs a crown.

WarriorMamaBird1

To all my fellow warrior mamas out there, I want you to know that it is never too late to repair your wings.  We make mistakes.  We suffer losses and heartaches.  We may even feel so broken that we cannot fly again.  But God, the Master Artist?  He specializes in crafting beauty from our brokenness.

 

 

 

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finalsoulmusic

I create to share the music within my soul.

The girl with the red socks.  She’s the one who kept me from writing last week.  She kept beckoning me to come work on her.  Make my wings!  Put-on my socks!  So, other than the writing that I did in class last week, I chose to focus my creative energies on my girl.

I started this project, The Girl with the Red Socks, last Spring.  Had my girl painted along with a plain blue background and then summer came and it sat on a shelf up until a few weeks ago.  I was so excited to get back into this project because once all the groundwork is laid, things pick-up momentum, ideas start churning, and things really start getting fun.  While I had one idea for making wings, one from a book I had been studying, my art teacher suggested making paper mache wings and boy did they turn-out great!  The process of combining tissue paper, feathers, and glue was quite satisfying…I don’t think I could ever be one who only paints, as I love pulling-in different mediums and watching the texture grow.

The red socks are significant to me as they represent that “wild hair” in me that just wants to color outside the lines sometimes.  While many admire my seemingly serene, relaxed presence, I enjoy knowing that there is more to me than meets the eye.  Yes, I am an introvert, but I do have a lot to say, I just don’t share it with everyone, especially if I have to compete to get a word in edgewise.  That said, I scored this great red wool sweater for $2.oo at the Goodwill, felted it in my washer and dryer and could not wait to put the finishing touches on my girl!

After taking oodles of photos, trying to capture the essence of this project, I realized that my camera lens was on manual focus for a good 3/4 of the photos (I thought things were a bit cloudy!), but I ran-out of time before heading-out to lunch with a girlfriend and did not have the chance to retake them.  I considered retaking them this week so that things would be in better focus, but since I am still in the midst of my “Six Weeks of Raw Writing,” I am excited to share my imperfect work with you…Just in case you can’t read the words on her dress, they say, “Be Yourself!”

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