Saturday, March 15, 2008

Camille Comes Back

A woman waits by the sea, intoxicated by the air beyond the horizon. A sculptor of air, sand, water, the breath within her is the greatest form of all, the passion of the gods writhing or singing in her throat, in her wrists and hands, even her feet. Her mind itself is the bow and arrow she envisions, from Greek myth, from hunting days, from her brother, father, and every man she has known, every arrow she has been, every bow. This whirls her into nothingness, yet she returns. No longer faceless, the brash mask she carries is her old memories that want their way with her, nipping at her joints. Tenderness is overtaking her.

In each turn of a century, each arc of a movement of time that has built itself into a cresting wave comes the moment of opening, spreading, fanning out into whitewater lace, the filigree network of spiderwork.

She waits by the sea, turning with then against the wind, feeling from the deepest ocean cell within her – as the wind gusts, the water sprays, the gulls cry, the fine sand glistens, its gold flecks shining. When it rains, the moments of sun are tenderly taken, or the rain takes over, its mothering cleansing, even when hard. The tension and flex of this ballet she knows. New is her awareness that these patterns inside her are the same. She is learning to know mimicry and truthful reflection, or a reflection of truth. What is revealed is always the truth as it is. The joy of self-discovery reveals the playful nature of creation. Belaboring over tools teaches the patience of precision, and joy teaches the pleasure of artful creation.

Camille Comes Back

I am a woman, she cries.
I have died inside.
This iron, these gloves,
The sparks that fly
Tell me life is fire, and burns,
that I will go with it.

I know better, she says inside,
Her head on her arm, the dark encroaching
All the way in, her candle glowing.
The force of Rodin, with the poetry
of marble inside, is both flame and stone,
a man like she has never known.

Her world is rocked with it,
This power that so depends upon his
Demand, his urge. Where are the gods
Now, but inside her playing havoc
With all she knows and wants to remember.

Make the clay mine, she whispers,
Then shouts, all urges coming together
Like the roar of the sea, her tools her hands,
The metal, the life in the wet clay forming itself
As she moves. Precision comes, as daylight does,
and extremities show the most
Awesome care.

They move me forward,
My hands, feet
. she says.
Caress, feel me there, she is
Frantic with the urge of clay.
At last she sleeps, dreams
Of limbs, beautiful, the sea roaring.
The tide is turning.

Camille Claudel

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