It’s taken over two and a half years, but this week — with steely determination — I suffered through dusty eyes and the final 360 grit sanding of the last of four Buddha Bead poles and applied the first of several coats of tung oil to it.
Yes, the glossy, oily finish certainly looks luscious enough to eat before it gets wiped off and I’m totally satisfied with the end result, but what an emotional roller coastal trip for this sculpture from start to finish. (In actual fact, there is still the completion of the four bases to stand the poles in, but having finished the ten foot poles these bases will be “no sweat”.)
In March of 2008 I carved the first model of the Buddha Bead Poles and then set to work on the actual sculpture itself. But, as life would have it, the intervening years had me spending more time outside my little studio, than in it.
There was a large, ephemeral sand sculpture on the east coast of Tasmania, a relationship breakup, a 6 meter tall sculpture for Denmark, an emotional break down, five months of preparation for a series of lectures for Schumacher College in England, a rebuilding of my sense of self, and, twice around the world reconnecting with family, friends, colleagues and my sense of purpose. Travel time alone took nine months.
Needless to say,
despite the, at times, immense emotional pain experienced during these last two years, many invaluable lessons were gained about just who I am, what my limitations are, what steps I can take to lessen the impact on myself and others caused by my limitations, and, what I can genuinely offer the world through whatever skills I possess. Happiness, still elusive at times, drops down upon me often now.
And why? Basically, I have to parrot the Dalai Lama when he was asked how does one achieve happiness:
From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.
Needless to say,
after a day of tough love, what really heals is a soothing soak in a tub of epsom salts and bath oil while an image of the Buddha casts his loving gaze upon me; gently guiding me into a meditation on what the Dalai Lama speaks while my mind floats up through the leaves and greets the clouds.