Now for something completely different. It’s 14 feet in diameter and is the weightiest thing I’ve ever done entirely on my own, right down to the hoiking of the slate, some pieces weighing around a hundred pounds. I leveled the slates in the circle and the triangle first, trying to work with Zen hands, making a ching in the ‘roof’ of the triangle.
It became a kind of battle between circles and triangles on different levels, and before I filled in the rest of the slate and basalt, looked like I was trying to signal for alien space ships to land, or call down the wrath of religious fundamentalists who dislike triangles. Now I’m in the process of filling in the ‘water’ made of green and black beach stones and cement — and I find it hard to restrain myself, keep from adding a red or yellow stone here or there. I can do about one 25kg. bag of cement in a day of other demands and duties, when it’s not raining.
And suddenly, the rainy season has begun, and it feels as if I’m living in a big green sponge.
As I worked, I realized there were so many paths and destinations in the area, it wasn’t going to be a gin-and-tonic patio, but a kind of entry piazza. This is fine, though the place I put the thinnest slates has become the main thoroughfare, so I’ve laid them in cement also.
The work in the central triangle will have to wait for the dry season, because I’m going to be doing a mosaic with smaller beach stones in dry sand and mortar — a slamon in the water — with fish-scales made of the wonderful carnelian red, ochre, and pink stones I’ve guiltily picked off the beach.
I’ve unexpectedly fallen in love, love, love, with working in cement. It’s such a wonderful way of displaying beautiful rocks, and ti’s such a durable thing to mess with — and it’s exciting, bizarrely enough. Yes, really.
There’s a kind of exalted terror from working in an art form with a time constraint — even more so when I’ve never done it before. I suppose the only remedy for doing cement badly is getting out the jackhammer.
Of course, that might be fun, too.
The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason, Charles Freeman.
It took hundreds of years for the Catholics to become good Catholics (under orders and patronage from various pagan Roman Emperors).
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, Geraldine Brooks.
Ethics and Human Reproduction: A Feminist Analysis, Christine Overall.
Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them), Bart D. Ehrman.
Sonnets From the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, Joseph Campbell.
No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, Fawn M. Brodie.
God told me to read this. Actually, I told God to tell me to read this. Really, I told everybody that God told me to read this.
I loved the strange nineteenth century names: Obadiah Dogberry, Dr. W.P. Purple, Professor Hugh Nibbley, and Phinlastus Hurlbut, the latter sending my son into giggle fits.