My One and Only

Despite its title, this post isn’t about my marvelous spouse. But it could be. After all, like the actual topic of the day, marrying him is one of the most meaningful, fun and satisfying achievements in my life, and an act I intend to perform exactly one time ever.

But don’t we all have those? There are certain life experiences that we are so glad happened or are so pleased we did, yet there’s no intention whatsoever of our repeating the episode. Whether it, like my marriage, simply cannot be replicated in all of its fabulous fantastic-ositude-inous-ness, or it’s too expensive or difficult or ephemeral to do more than once in a lifetime, there are just things that will only occur once in our lives.

Making a stone sculpture is one such thing, for me. It was a required project somewhere along the course of my art studies, and I am glad it was required, because I doubt I’d ever have attempted it if the materials hadn’t been put right into my hands, the techniques taught to me on the spot, and the work necessary for me to fulfill the requirements of the class. I’m old enough by now to have figured out that there are a whole lot of activities and things in life I’d never have dared try, let alone figured out how happy I was to pursue them, if I hadn’t had to do them. Stone sculpting is one of those things that fell into the been-there-done-that category, finally, but besides having a decent little piece of art to show for it I am glad there was that one chance in the beginning.

Photo: Alabaster Sculpture

My very own [Untitled] alabaster sculpture, the one and only. Approximately 7.5″ (19 cm) H x 8″ (20.5 cm) W x 11″ (28 cm) W.

Luck and happenstance, of course, have their own parts to play in the determination of whether any new experience becomes a one-off or a lifelong passion. Or, like my marriage, a one-time event that turns into a lifelong passion.

In the case of the rock sculpting, there were a few particulars that [ahem] shaped my attitude about the experience. One was that when the pile of alabaster hunks appeared on the table in front of my sculpture class, I chose a piece, lone among the heap as far as I remember, that had no major, unavoidable fissures in it. This allowed me to make a piece that was not a lot smaller than the original stone without having large parts of it crack and fall off. And my bit of alabaster had some nice coloration, attractive pale veining, and a natural overall shape that guided my sculpting choices. So all I did was refine the existing form and exaggerated it, and that led to the abstraction I made in the end. I just aimed for a sort of rounded Henry Moore-ish sculptural curvaceousness to showcase the silky, milky beauty of the alabaster as best I could. It was a slow and fussy process to chisel out an alabaster sculpture, and it made me ever so much more appreciative of and awestruck regarding the accomplishments of all real stone sculptors throughout the ages. Also, glad not to put my perpetual laziness into extended servitude to stone carving.

So, yeah. I made an alabaster sculpture, and I kind of like the result. And I’m happy that I did it, that I had the experience and learned a deeper appreciation of that art form. And yes, I am also pleased that I don’t ever have to make another alabaster sculpture, with the possible exception of the if-and-when instance of my deciding someday to have another go at it. Meanwhile, I have a decent memento of the experience. And if I get tired of it as a decorative object, it’s big and heavy enough to make a decent doorstop. If not beauty, then utility: that’s kind of how those once-or-more decisions can go.

17 thoughts on “My One and Only

  1. You did a great job, Kathryn, it’s beautiful and I’m glad you did it! I’m also sure you know that I’m elated for your happy marriage, too! 🙂 I can’t relate to making something that I’m proud of but I did experience something that I was fearful about. I wrote about it in my recent two posts. My hubby and I vacationed in Bend, OR last week, which was wonderful in itself. However, the highlight was our white water rafting trip. I was a rookie and so happy I didn’t allow Fear to take over. Then I wouldn’t have had the awesome experience, memories and photos. So in a round about way, this ties in with you sculpting! Well, anyway, I’m happy for you and cheers to trying new things! xo

    • I stand in awe of your courage! That’s one thing I can’t imagine myself ever daring to try, but I love ‘experiencing’ it vicariously through your delight!!! Bend is soooo fabulous, and I’m so happy you got to spend time there! 😀

      • I never thought I could do it, either, but I’m so glad I did. I probably won’t go over a Class 3, though. Why replace fear with excitement? If you have time, check out my photos from my blog posts “Around the Bend” and “Fear or Fun.” Bend was great with so much to do so we’ll have to return! 🙂 Unfortunately, we were there in the midst of a heat wave, high 90’s, so except for rafting and canoeing two of the days, we were in ac during the middle of the days. We wanted to go horse back riding, but it was too hot. The mornings were spent either walking/hiking or bike riding for exercise before the heat set in. Anyway, it just goes to show you there is so much beauty to see in the USA alone! 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday, my friend. xo

        • It was kind of you to let the horses keep their cool! Next time, perhaps. ‘Cause I can’t imagine visiting Bend just once!

          Had a great weekend all through—fun with R’s two departing doctoral student assistants on Friday and Saturday, walks and wandering for just the pair of us, two good Sunday services (the choir is still in high spirits after the tour!), replete with 7 or 8 baptisms of adorable kids and their families all in full regalia. Then, lunch out with a couple of our great friends from the choir, eating and chattering and laughing up a storm. Oh, and ice cream on our way home. 😉 Pretty fabulous, no??

  2. I can see why you were drawn to this rock, Kathryn. It’s a beautiful piece of alabaster and you did a wonderful job sculpting it. I regret never having taken anything more than art appreciation classes. It’s not that I feel myself a latent Da Vinci. I just would like to have had the experiences, that’s all. And today, if I want to work with my hands, I can get out into the yard and pull some weds. 🙂

    • Trust me, I respect the artistry of great gardening (especially from a dedicated rosarian) as much as any fine art! But it’s never too late to take another course of something-or-other, too, if you get the itch. 🙂

  3. For some reason I don’t believe in regrets. Even when I don’t wish to repeat something. It all has it’s place in my soul’s journey… some stops more for lingering in than others. Another lovely post, Kathryn. So glad I’m taking the time to visit. Beautiful is the happiness of your marriage. I think the secret is that you both bring such interest and vitality to each other. And imagination. And music, of course! XO ♥

    • Music, of course!!! I am constantly in awe of the gifts of love and friendship with which my life’s been so blessed, both with Richard and with friends like you!

  4. It is a beautiful sculpture. I’m exactly the same. Been there, done that. I think there is no need to repeat certain things, in the same way one does something for a few weeks, months or years and then moves on. Once we have learned what we need to learn, we move toward a new set of lessons. Those persons and things that engage us long term are truly our gifts, our passions. Thank you for highlighting this concept.

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