Thursday, July 18, 2013

Full Circle

I was a small child when the first grand tour of the treasures of Tutankhamen came to America. The madness in the art world that surrounded it filtered down to my childhood world and, through books and magazines, found it's way into my soul. Not long after it was a tour of the permanent exhibit at the Carnegie museum's antiquities section that really stirred my imagination.

For all of the luster and glitz of KingTut, I was even more taken by the simple, everyday possessions of the ancient Egyptian that I saw in that museums cases. It was that first glimpse into the life of, what I imagined to be, a boy just like me, that inspired the life long love I have held for that era and the pantheon of Egyptian deities.

So, now with my adult self creating statues and amulets that are all directly inspired by ancient pieces and primarily those of everyday worship in that ancient Egyptian world, I have received a very meaningful nod to my work that ties hits whole cycle up in one small way.

Yesterday two of my pieces were purchased by a woman who is part of the La Habra Children's Museum in La Habra CA. They are having an installation come October that will be a walk through tour of a scribe's life in ancient Egypt.

The pieces are these below:

 Bes and Taweret

She also sent me this description of how the exhibit will be set up.

***The exhibit is called Egypt: Land of Ancients, and it basically follows the life of a scribe named Peneb. The gallery is rectangular in shape and is about 1000 sqft. Guests will enter through a gateway following the river Nile, which cuts through the room diagonally (blue carpet, with fiberglass rocks, papyrus reeds, a fiberglass crocodile etc). On the East side of the Nile is Peneb's house which will simply show daily life for a scribe's family; a market place with food and livestock, a textile stand and a spice stand; and a temple to Thoth, which is also the scibe school, where touring kids can learn hieroglyph-to-alphabet symbols and spell out their names with wooden blocks, and also a simple number system.

There will also be a small copy of the Rosetta stone and an explanation of it's importance, an alter to Thoth, and an area on papyrus. Across the river to the West will be a wabet, where kids can wrap a mummy, with explanations regarding egyptian beliefs on the afterlife. We then move upriver to the present to an archeological campsite and Paneb's tomb. Inside the tomb will be a wooden coffin and artifacts, plus a DVD on egyptology.***

 Needless to say the best part of this, for me, is that it is for young hearts and minds! I can only hope, looking back over the years and the way those early exposures to ancient cultures helped form the person and maker-of-things I am today, that there will be one or two who come away with the same intrigue and sense of awe. . . as well as the comfort and connection I felt then, the kind that permeates the soul and settles there to reappear at some point in adulthood when it is needed most.

For me, every piece I send into the world is a wonderful affirmation that those ancient spirits never die. . . and these two, going to be part of something that will open new eyes and minds, well, that makes me feel incredibly joyful.  . and I just wanted to share that with you today.


Friday, July 12, 2013

You are "Here"

If there was one special superpower I would love to be able to instill in others at will, especially other creatives who want to make their way to making a living from a craft, it would be the ability to step back and distance themselves enough to realize that everything in this life takes time, maybe an entire lifetime in some cases, to unfold and I'd give them the ability to stop thinking in the short term with an immediacy there is almost never a good reason to hold. I'd give the gift that would allow them to just grow into their work one day at a time. Because, the truth is, sometimes we just aren't ready yet. . . 

Is that two superpowers? Maybe. . .

The Gods know I was as guilty as anyone of trying to hit it big with everything I ever did. Always thinking of the best scenarios and the highest accomplishments and, often, that came at the expense of the reality that I hadn't the skill or the know how to get there on a jet rocket trajectory. .   and to be honest, my endless energy and belief in what I was doing took me further than I probably should have gotten with the abilities I had.  Belief does factor in to a degree. . .

I had reasons for pressing on in that way in spite of what I lacked. . . some of the reasons were healthy and many, of course, not so much. In the end my greatest enemy was my inability to see that it takes time to develop and mature into any pursuit.  There is no better or more proven way and often, those who find the rocket trajectory beneath them, come down too fast and too hard on the other side. 

Of course, looking back, I could not have gone about it any other way. I didn't know enough and I, of course, did not have these superpowers either.

I knew I had to press on though.
I knew that you do and will figure it out as you go.

It is hard for me to write or explain the path I took to get "here".  It seems, sometimes, like such a short story having just walked away from owning a coffeehouse two years ago to now creating all of my art and craft that currently supports my life. But in truth, it is a lifelong story that has been  unfolding all these years and it wasn't until I embraced the beginnings, the mistakes and the growing pains I did experience and began to work with what is inherent in me from childhood that the page turned and I started to find my way. . . and, just for the record, I am not "here" yet, nor will I ever likely be. I expect it to be a lifelong pursuit and a lifelong path of creative expression, ups and downs and ultimately as many frustrating days as perfect ones. But that's all fine with me. . .  I no longer feel the need to achieve anything that is big-goal oriented. Just to work hard at my craft every day to bring something beautiful into it each day and to hopefully be fortunate enough to share that with others along the way.

The fact is our life should teach us about repetition and patterns and the way life prepares us over and over for the cycles it moves by. We all went through those wonder-filled childhood years, were subdued in those awkward teenage angst years and dodged the insecurities and the uncertainty of stepping out on our own for the first time. We all had our individual experiences to work with of course,but the point here is they should also teach us that we will repeat them in life within any pursuit we undertake.

The cycles of life repeat always and in all ways.

So, you want to follow a creative dream? Then whether you really begin that path at 15 or 35 or 55 be prepared for the phases of it to mimic your early life. I actually think this is what keeps most people from trying something new with all their heart. The realization hits early on that this is not going to be easy. That you'll have to learn new skills, leave old programming behind and reinvent your life to fit the new "you" that you envision.  You have to walk through it all again. . . the young innocent phase, the awkward teenage phase, the first steps into adulthood phase and hopefully, eventually, the mellowing into it mid-life phase where it all comes together.

The calm in the storm. . .

And, since you went through it over those early years of life, it should not take as long this time around.

Don't hang the entire world on an ideal of quick success and always give yourself a chance, a REAL chance,  to grow into it as you have anything else throughout your life. . .  And then, eventually, one day,

You are "here"