In memoriam of the first Patra #103
so beautiful…and so broken
The Passage of Patra #3 was, apparently, turbulent. A bumpy transport had split even the artfully constructed wooden box which, when untied and opened, revealed shiny golden shards of a broken vessel wrapped in stunning orange silk. It was, as I wrote Lynda, “So beautiful. . . and so broken.”
I dreaded telling Lynda how badly her work had fared on its journey to Texas, but I shouldn’t have worried. Ever philosophical, she observed how much of life itself is “So beautiful. . . so broken,” and promised to get to work on a new #103 while I contemplated anew the meaning of a favorite oxymoron, “postal service.”
The new #103 arrived in pristine shape, even more beautiful than we had imagined the first to be. It took its place on a narrow table alongside the three small bowls we had purchased from Lynda’s first show of vessels and beneath her intriguing painting showing bowls not only empty or filled, but shallow or deep or fading off the canvas. It seemed the perfect spot. We loved Patra #103, and everyone who saw it remarked on the beguiling allure of its unique beauty.
But then there’s this: I really liked owning these works and the pleasure we derived from them. I confess I felt rather smug to have grasped so quickly the value of Lynda’s work in this new medium, and felt privileged to watch her grow and develop the art form with all the intellect and care she invests in it. So Patra #103 – in its very mission and transience — made me feel guilty; I wasn’t supposed to own it, I was supposed to share it – enjoy it and pass it on, even if I didn’t really want to. I did have a game plan for it, one worthy of the project, I thought. (I will send it to my daughter, Sarah, in Portland, a teacher, writer and artist who knows and appreciates Lynda already. She is teaching at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and I am quite sure she will introduce the Patra Passage to her artist/students and give them yet something more to think about as they make their way as artists in the world.)
But still, there are these questions to confront:
How does one support an artist (i.e., buy her stuff) and still share the art with the larger world? Aahhh, metaphor. How does one support a child (i.e., love and nurture extravagantly as a mother does) and still share that child with his/her spouse, children and friends, indeed with the larger world? How does one support an idea (political, economic, belief) and eschew owning it in order to share it? In other words, Lynda, you have forced me to think in new ways, often more generous and loving. And that, I believe, is what good art does. Thank You.
And safe passage, #103!
My husband and I just received the Patra a couple days ago and it is so lovely. We put it on our altar and are enjoying seeing it daily. It offers a moment of delight every time I look into the gold center. Thank you for allowing us to take part.
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