So I love the Wind.
Lord knows I love it!
Thus it’s with reluctance that I take my Morning Pages and coffee into the cafe rather than onto the grass of Courthouse Square as originally planned.
The midday gusts carry just enough chill — winter’s thready vestiges perhaps? — to reroute me to a prime seat at a large window — perfect for people-watching!
Not that that’s my intention.
I do try to write my Morning Pages — journaling first thing each day, before the day and mind fully unfold.
But distractions happen. Procrastination in particular happens. Truth be told, I’ve done Morning Pages in afternoons and evenings. Not ideal but better than a (too-common) big fat 0.
But today (dammit!), I’m letting nothing get in the way of the Pages. Not the many tourists and townsfolk strolling the streets of charming downtown.
Not the variety of vehicles, the cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles.
Not dogs on their leashes — abundant in this dog-loving town — leading their humans/owners (or vice versa if the owner’s good) around the grassy square.
Not even the state and American flags billowing furiously courtesy of the Wind.
Neither restless branches nor jittery leaves of giant trees on the square set against a crystal-blue sky can stop pen upon paper this fine day.
With iPhone set to Pandora’s Van Morrison station and earbuds securely stuffed in — chiefly to drown out the Most Annoying Dronish Voice of a female patron nearby — I begin journaling. The words flow, flow, flow.
So imagine my surprise when eventually I break concentration to raise my head, glance outside and discover the presence of a man directly on the other side of the pane!
Where’d he come from?! When did he arrive?!
He sits by himself at the small round outdoor table.
An older fellow that honestly I couldn’t describe in detail save for his gray ponytail – perhaps – and gray cotton shoes – definitely.
It’s what he’s doing that captures my attention.
Precisely, he’s applying very dark gray (almost black) clay onto an armature of a human in motion. The wire armature is perhaps a foot tall.
I’m riveted as he fleshes out the torso, a little bit of clay at a time. He presses here, rounds there, smooths here, creating curves of a rib cage.
He’s as focused on his art as I am on mine. Or was — ’til I glanced up and spotted him and his clay male figure just on the other side of the window!
I observe passersby responding to the unusual sight of an artist crafting, oblivious to the world An experience and feeling I know very very well!
Some slow, look over their shoulders, keep walking.
Some glance, barely, and keep walking.
Scant numbers stop altogether for either a closer look and/or to chat with the artist. Who, judging from the brevity of exchanges, is more interested in continuing with his creating than conversing.
Can’t say I blame him! Not a bit!
Like him, I’m more interested in continuing my writing than closing my journal to continue watching the fascinating scene unfold.
So I put pen back to paper and look up only now and then to observe the sculptor’s progress. He’s molding and shaping his way up from the armature’s feet to legs to torso. Still to be fleshed out: the arms and head.
Due to a commitment, I haven’t time to stay until its completion — if indeed completion loomed soon.
I pack up my backpack, exit the cafe and pass the artist, who’s now standing, evidently for a better angle while working.
While Inquiring Minds — Such is Mine — Need to Know, I forego query or conversation with the artist so for him to have his space and solitude.
As someone who FREQUENTLY writes in the noisiest, most ruckus-y of places! — from pubs and bars to street corners, cafes and courthouse squares — I appreciate being left alone while engaged in creating. Or reading. Or any solo activity.
In that regard, I sense a kindred spirit and let him and his man-in-the-making be.
But I leave you with this: a quick sequence of snapshots, my side of the window. Look closely and you can make out the wire arms, extended, and the head still to be fleshed out.
What these snaps capture are the creator’s hands flowing down a limb, giving it shape, giving it form, giving, ultimately, Wind beneath the feet.
Poetry in clay, poetry in motion, today’s perfect moment …