Murawai studio week one
I am excited by a whole new palette here. The colors all shot through with light, though not so on this cloudy day. As I begin my exploration the entry point seems to be through the sea and its changing atmosphere. I love to walk the beach in all weather. I am thinking about edges…those distinct and those lost. Edges of the internal as well as the external landscapes. I am looking at the lines lost as sea and sky dissolve into each other, those shapes defined by their shadows as our aliveness is shaped by the ever-present shadow of loss. I am looking at the dark shapes of the dunes given weight by the lightness of the sage- silver shimmer of beach grass ever-shifting. I look at and cradle in my hand transparent pearlescent shells, halfmoon slivers like the castoff scales of water gods, metallic black sand, weathered warm greys and more silver of driftwood, the volcanic looking charred remnants of beach fires.
All these edges, these studies in contrast, lead me naturally to the ultimate edge and its borderlands, the territory of life and death. Like the sides of a coin, we cannot separate life from death. Death is always in our midst. In the week since I have been working in this New Zealand studio, two souls within my extended family have left this world. Two funerals have been held. Though I have never met either of these men, their sudden leaving is deeply felt. The disturbance of death always asks of us the living, to examine and to re-order our life. It is through great loss and suffering we can find ourselves destroyed or through the struggle find a way to transform our heart into something wider, deeper, more full with empathy and compassion. To accept the pain of loss without rejection, to allow ourselves to become intimate with death is to give oneself the greatest possibility for intimacy and vitality in life.
I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death’s note wants to climb over—
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke