Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daughters of Antiquity


It amazes me when I work with my clay that no matter what design I have in mind for a particular piece, the clay seems to decide exactly what it wants to be. Early in development of the piece, I finish the eyes. As soon as I do this, the piece seems to take on a life of its own. At this point, I'll automatically know how to pose her arms, hands etc. She begins to tell me who she wants to be.

As I work on the piece, the woman inside the clay begins to whisper hints of her story to me. I've written many stories of women in life situations that can be found in my book, She Who Whispers. By the time I finish a piece, the woman who has evolved from the clay dictates which story I should attach to her.


There were three doors opening in her life.
The doors of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Yesterday appeared to be only an illusion,
tomorrow a vision. Both were vague and
nebulous. Today was a place she could not
bear to be.

The choice was at hand. The
voice of intuition began to speak to her and
somehow she knew in her heart that all time
is simultaneous..the first cry also being the
last..for there is only dealing with
life in the present, she could begin to remove
some of the scars of the past and thus change
her future.

With a renewed sense of the importance of
now..and a recharged inner essence..she
entered the door of today...where a new
world awaited her....

Cheryl Dolby

Forty-four of my stories can be found in my book She Who Whispers.

I imagine that many other artists have had the same experience. When I know a piece is finished, whether it be a sculpture or even a book that I am writing, I almost always give the Montessori sigh of relief. I had read about the Montessori 'sigh' and observed it first hand when my daughter, Kirsten, attended a Montessori kindergarten. All the children were carving pumpkins as we parents sat in the observation deck behind a glass wall. The children, one by one, finished carving and took their pumpkin carving equipment and pumpkins to a cupboard -- everyone except Kirsten. She kept working on her pumpkin. The teacher, meanwhile, had the other children start on a different project. Kirsten continued to work until – finally -- she was finished. No one had asked her to clean up, to keep up with the others, or to do anything else that would break her concentration. And then, there it was: a deep intake of breath, a firm exhale, and she was finished and happy with the result.

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