Saturday, August 23, 2014

Catharsis

This is my version of release...

The Rabbit skittered in and out of my life as quickly and quietly as you would expect a rabbit to do.  A sweet early morning specter nibbling the grass that disappears like the mist as the sun rises; lasting perhaps more than a season, but not two.  In these dealings with the ephemeral, one can only be grateful to take joy in what joy there was, learn lessons that still need learning, and keep moving forward with one's own life.  I originally created this sign for the Rabbit to serve as a beacon on a joyous occasion - to stand out in the sea of folks waiting for their friends, families, and loved ones to exit the airport terminals:

The Dancing Rabbit

I held it at midsection and was found.  It is perhaps 12" by 12", composed entirely of cut pieces of paper, and remains in the Rabbit's possession so far as I know. Now the early morning mist has dissipated, the specter is gone, but despite my clearing vision, I felt compelled to give new life to my dancing rabbit. I wanted to remove its former association by transforming it into something else; namely, a linoleum (lino) block print for my shop. It will never again be the joyful beacon it once was in its original incarnation, but for all of its representative joy, I wished perhaps to mollify whatever it is that tells me to look back. There is no looking back. This rabbit delights in the present. It does not care for the past, or worry about the future. The process of cutting the lino block, which requires my entire focus not only to keep my lines straight, but also for the safety of my own fingers, is the perfect reminder of that. A lesson in taking care of one's self and being present.

My original drawing.

To begin, I miniaturized my original image into a tiny 2" by 2" square.   

It was transferred to a 2" by 3" lino block, since that is the smallest I have.

...the cutting...takes...hours...


...and that is partly the point...hours of concentration for what is happening right now...
...keeping the blade in the center of the graphite lines...
...choosing which lines to cut and which to leave...
...turning block and blade in unison to create curves...
...minding the fingers and the pressure placed on the cutting tool...
...accepting imperfections in this imperfect life...

...steady, steady...



The finished lino print...

...which leaves me here now, with half a day past, an empty stomach and a want of tea; but also satisfaction in the completion of a tiny work and dare I say less anxiety?  I'm not sure yet if I have succeeded in altering the rabbit's association within myself, as creating change in the mind can take time, but I will keep reminding myself that this particular rabbit, the one that dances with the moon and the lilies of the valley, demands I live and rejoice in the present, take care of myself now so there is a future, and leave the unchangeable past firmly behind. Here's to what never was.



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