Earthsongs Journal

“…the nothing which is everything.”

by | Oct 17, 2020 | Community, Studio | 4 comments

Someone cleverly remarked that the Pandemic has reduced us to the same lot as Peasants living in the Middle Ages:

“Bake Bread, Avoid the Plague, Revolt Against Tyranny.” 

How true!      I laughed. 

…but it brought me to think about the inherent connection all of us have with all those humans who have gone before. And specifically for me, my connection with all those craftspeople, sculptors, potters, those whose skill adorned public and religious structures, even those who painted murals on the rock walls of the caves of Altamira and Lascaux.

Every day in the studio pushes me deeper into an understanding of what art is and what it is all about.  The Dutch artist Frederick Franck describes it this way, 

“Art is neither a luxury nor merchandise, and far from a hobby. Art must arise from regions fathoms deeper from the deepest recesses of the human Spirit.  It springs from the maker’s core, as if it is to touch the core and the very truth of the one who confronts it.”

So while I toil away at 242, creating functional sculpture hopefully to bring beauty to individual residences, my real effort is to infuse the core of life into each work. And while I have a prominent piece of wall sculpture for sale in Papillon, it is there with the express purpose that someone will recognize something of their own spirit in that work and allow it to resonate in their home.

Kafka tells us, “Art is a nothing that is everything,” 

I think most of us have a sense of that. Art distinctly changes the energy of a place. I tell my clients who commission work that they are “my Medici;” they make it possible for me to create.  To commission a piece of art is inherently different from simply purchasing any other object, a pair of shoes, a kitchen appliance.  Those may well make life more comfortable, easier, but they do not deal with a matter of ‘soul.’

It was a comfort to remember that while many were doing the “bread baking” thing, there were also…even back then…many others who were engaged in creating art, that “nothing” which is everything. 


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    Perhaps it is the passage of time; perhaps it is being fortunate to have travelled to a few far away places; perhaps it is having trodden ancient paths and touched timeworn stone…perhaps.

    But more and more, as years pass, I feel deeper connections with the earliest peoples, and I wonder about their lives so long ago.

    My soul, spirit, life force has changed. The more intense the emotions I feel, the more questions I ask. Sometimes, it makes life exhausting…but fulfilling.

    (Linda – thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here. The above is from one of my own journal entries from a couple of years ago. I may share it in a blog post in the near future. ,-) )

    • Linda

      Hi, Barbara, I am grateful for your responsive presence always; you make a good point, those of us who have had the opportunity to travel have been given a strong sense of connection not only with people outside of our own sphere and nation, but those who have gone before as well.

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    Art enriches our lives, and I am grateful for you & the local artists who help us live through a pandemic with the enrichment we need. We are far better off than peasants centuries ago, but Covid-19 certainly has been humbling all humanity together.

    • Linda

      True enough, Suz, we are better off! But I found that superficial connection striking, nonetheless.


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