Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh Ye of Little Faith

The phoebes have three very hungry, very orange mouths to feed. The duck and her seven ducklings are taking the path up from the pond. And to think that I, for weeks now, have doubted even the existence of the mother duck, so well had she hidden herself, though her nest must be close by the creek.

In his book Earth: an Intimate History, Richard Fortey writes about tectonics and the fault line where Africa and Europe meet. All the alps of Europe were squeezed out of a seam in the earth no more the twenty kilometers wide, and extruded northward like pasta or spaetzle, in layers and layers of metamorphic rock. It’s a similar fascination to me that a sweater can be made from a long piece of string, or that babies arrive from tiny blobs of genetic material.

As I hope to breach the current impasse in my studio practice, perhaps it’s not too much to wish that something be building below the surface of my thinking to come forth in a rush of inspiration, or hatch like ducklings in seven permutations of a single mother concept. What power keeps the baby phoebe stock-still on the edge of the nest til it’s ready to fly?

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