Hello 106. When I met you at the museum, I thought we were meant to be together. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my mate on this journey is your closest sister, number 105. Safe travels. I will see you again in 2015.
When I received the carefully wrapped box holding the lovely 106, it was right before Christmas, and so it did not register as strongly in my consciousness as it might have been at another time. It was competing with other objects coming in decorated packages, that would make a permanent home here, reminding me of someone dear. But now the beautiful bowl 106, and all the details on it and the box and the fabric drape, are centrally featured in my living room. When I engage with the Patra Passage project, looking at the other bowls in the photos online, considering the artist’s concept for all the pieces, I am really moved by the huge process and flow of experiences. Being chosen, receiving, claiming, embracing, then choosing someone else, and releasing, the work. All of this is an amazing process. The love she put into the piece entrusted to me is palpable; so I can only expect that the love is obvious in all the others as well. And each person who gets to hold one of the bowls, who feels the heft of it, and registers the crackled and detailed surface, will be moved by the love in it as well. So far I haven’t decided whom I will give it to next, but it already summons something in me, saying, “Choose well.” It needs to be someone for whom the concept will also resonate, and the beauty will be touching. Just this much reflection flashes the recipient in me, and I know where 106 will go next!
Here is my latest thought about the whole project, which has been working on me since I sent my bowl on to the next home it would have for a while: This project is like God making the world and all the little beautiful people in it. Each one is a bit different from others, but all share some characteristics. All are made with love and care, and released into the beautiful world. But each one has its own journey. Each one will meet its own fate, will touch its own people on its way. Each one will have its own story.
The fact of this project, the very conception of it, is so over the top, so prodigiously generous and extravagant, amazingly creative and fertile. Just like God’s action in the universe. Why does God do stuff like this?? –Maybe for the sake of curiosity, to see how it will all evolve. Maybe for the desire to love and be loved by the creatures s/he made. Maybe for love, which has to be expressed in the heart of the creator, and which has to be born again and again in the lives created by it.
I imagine all those vessels on their journeys: some getting broken; some getting supremely honored; some generating anxiety, perhaps viewed as too precious to unwrap; some catalyzing unexpected new connections. Each one traveling through the lives of others, causing ripples in the experience of each individual who receives one.
Gail M. Sieckman, had 106 for a while
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