‘Knowing’ – This piece is about trusting, trusting that you can find peace within the storm. Deana Fisher Wilfong
…completion. An aspect of knowledge is now a part of you to such an extent that nothing can diminish it or be added to it. … Completion is the natural progression of the planet established out of the characteristics of the planet. Gregge Tiffen, The Language of a Mystic: Completion – September, 2009
Nine years or so ago, I purchased a beautiful sculpture at a local charity fundraiser. I’d come to know the artist shortly after moving here and often admired her work in our local cooperative artisans gallery. I fantasized that when I ‘won the lottery’ I’d purchase a Wilfong sculpture.
I didn’t win the lottery, but the stars aligned the evening of the fundraiser and ‘Knowing’ came home with me. She was beautiful in so many ways: sensuous yet strong, soft yet rugged, a bit sassy, mystical, perfectly imperfect in reflecting a deep sense of ‘Knowing’. The artist’s statement of the piece’s meaning spoke deeply to me, a reflection of my soul’s conviction about trust.
And, Wilfong’s description of the firing process (15 days in the beauty of the New Mexico desert, including 7 days in a kiln reaching 2419 degrees Fahrenheit with constant attention), the teamwork and trust required enhanced my sense of the deeper meaning as I contemplated the sculpture from time to time. Noticing her in my home always reminded me to trust.
One evening several years later in the midst of some excited human and canine play, ‘Knowing’ toppled to the floor, breaking into three pieces, a few small shards and a bit of dust. I don’t recall, but I probably cried.
I packed her away in a box. I had no idea of what to do, yet I was committed to saving her from the landfill.
Months later I mustered the courage to tell the artist what had happened. She assured me that repair was possible and that she’d even help. We didn’t make that happen right away, and, after a while, ‘Knowing’s’ repair slipped from my awareness as I moved, settled in a new home, and engaged in life. Several years passed.
Then, one day last year I pulled the box off the shelf and contemplated bringing ‘Knowing’ back to life. The artist instructed me on the materials needed and encouraged me to do the repair solo. “Don’t try to hide the repair,” she said, even suggesting that I might paint the seams gold.
Over the next several months, stretching into a year, I started the process several times, testing the material, yet not feeling quite ready. Sometimes a life event came along that took my attention away. But I didn’t pack ‘Knowing’ away. Her pieces lay patiently in full sight on a shelf in my office.
Finally, a few weeks back, I knew it was time. I was ready. I prepared the repair mixture and put the two larger pieces together. They didn’t look or feel right. And, they weren’t staying together. Hmm … Life is like that, we finally dive in to make things right, then something doesn’t quite fit. I realized that I’d started late in the day. The lighting was poor, and I was more tired than focused. I cleaned the pieces and decided to start fresh the next morning with fresh material and better light.
As I worked, I thought about events in life that sometimes seem to break us. Resilient beings that we are, we put the pieces together and begin anew. We carry those life experiences in our cells. They are a part of us.
With that insight, I decided not to paint the repair seam gold. I liked how the new material blended with the original and thought the seam would be the perfect place to use the small shards and ceramic dust. ‘Knowing’ now carries them with her.
I waited a few days to repeat the process, this time, to attach the head. Smaller and more intricate, I found myself wanting to hide the repair. But, ‘Knowing’ would have none of that. She was delighted to be coming back, a reminder of the beauty in bouncing back from life’s curve balls. She guided me to make the seam thick, like an adorning necklace, and to add something new. A small shard of flint, found by a friend on a recent hike and beautifully matching ‘Knowing’s’ color palette, was perfect.
At long last, I embraced the sweet satisfaction of successful completion and acknowledged the learning that had come along the way. Through our journey to completion, ‘Knowing’ reminded me that every event in life adds to our knowledge. While, as Gregge Tiffen suggests, that knowledge cannot be diminished nor taken away, it is up to each of us to tap into it, use it, and keep that knowledge in our awareness.
Indeed, the completion we experience sets the stage for another cycle in the natural progression of life. Onward!