Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, January 30, 2012

What of Art? What of Longing? Where Is My Head?




































Okay, so I remember when I was posing for this sculpture...(nah, just kidding.  I have never had, nor will I ever have, rippling abs.  I also have my head, and all extremities too, as of this writing.)

Anyhoo, this sculpture lives in my yard. About seven years ago I was in a garden shop and I saw this sculpture and I said to myself, "You know what, Self?  You have three sons and a husband - you are drowning in playoff games, fart noises, and Axe deodorant. The last intellectual thing that went on in your house was a game of online Solitaire.  But what of Art?  What of Culture?  What of Man's Longing for that Which Is Indefinable Yet For That Which Is Still a Part of the Search for That Which...oh, never mind, Self.  Just grab that statue and let's go."

Well, my sons, at that time, ages 5, 15 and 18, were horrified when I put my statue in our old backyard.  They immediately wrapped her in a beach towel, and begged me to throw her away.  (I privately named her Clothilde; classy, mait non?)  For boys that snickered endlessly about "boobs," when presented with two plaster breasts, they had precious little to say, but did a lot of blushing.

Oh, I forgot to mention - she had a head back then - a cute Greek head with those precious short Greek curls; one can imagine the subject of the sculpture gently sawing off her curls by the Aegean Sea with a seashell when they became too long.  Anyway, she moved with us to our new house (I remember she was hanging out of my husband's window, looking expectantly down the highway) and recently I glanced up into the garden to the side of the driveway and noticed that dear Clothilde was...headless.  What?  I stormed in and demanded, "Where is the head of my statue?"

My youngest son James, who is 12, and has been vehemently opposed to Clothilde since she came, said, "Oooh,  about that, Mom.  I, well, I accidentally kicked a soccer ball when I was out with the guys, and it knocked her head off."  I was distressed; Clothilde did not remind me of all that is pure and fine and desirable in Society with no head; instead she reminded me of...well, she just wasn't herself.

And yet, she was herself.  I do still like to look up in the garden and see Clothilde turned gracefully to look out to sea.  I still like how her plaster has aged, and how she reminds me of that day's persistent internal response to a piece of plaster gracefully rendered.  And as any friend would, I've looked for her head, but it was apparently thrown away in fear; right into the back of the trash truck as it rumbled away.

Ah, Clothilde, together we still search for that which is nameless and yet pursues us like wind as we walk...ah, forget it.  But rest assured; headless and ever beautiful Clothilde knows just what I mean.

2 comments:

  1. She can have my husband's head.....it's available anytime...but only if I can trade for her breasts.

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  2. I am partial but here's an ahem impartial view...

    I've been thinkin' about this, how you have a knack of saying what many people think but won't say!
    We love the laughter you bring!

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