The Art of Patience
Jolene: I’m having some trouble coming into vision. It’s blurry…
Jason: Okay, let’s slowly bring that into focus.
(Pause) It’s like I’m looking closely at a statue, side on. Oh, I’m working on a big… a giant statue! I’m working on the right side and I can see its eye. I’m a craftsman making a statue which will pay homage to our leader.
What is your leader called?
Are you making a statue of him?
Yes, myself and several others as it’s very large. He is a just and wise leader, greatly honoured and respected. I speak for all of us when I say it’s a great honour to have been chosen for our skills and the greatest privilege to undertake this work. It takes a long time, to chip and chip away to get the perfection that this statue deserves.
What type of tools are you using?
I’m using a chisel, well several, and a mallet and it takes such tender and gentle guided movements to get the lines and the shapes accurate. Naturally, there would be spaces where we need to take out large bits but even then, you aren’t hammering away, you are taking measured, deliberate, metered portions out of the rock, otherwise the whole thing is destroyed. You can’t fix it if you have taken away too much so you have to… well, not hold yourself back as such, but hold yourself in this calm, steady and stayed space of patience. It’s an art so this takes time and it takes all the time it needs.
I’m developing the eye, which is such a significant part of the facial features. The eyes have such expression. I want to spend my time watching it unfold as I go. The joy that this gives me, just slowly chipping away and seeing it take shape, is so rewarding! And one day it will be done, but in the meantime, I’m reveling in this and allowing my creativity to flourish and develop. It’s actually really nice not being in a rush…
That is all part of the journey, isn’t it?
Yes. You can’t rush this. Don’t even dare think you can rush this! (laughs) Otherwise it’s spoilt! Just take in that intricate, fine work! We discover the grains of the rock, the soft points and hard points, become personable and develop a relationship. There was a more intimate meaning. It's more than just a statue that enables us to honour our beautiful leader. We all relish in that and work in harmony. We allow ourselves the breaks that we need because we need to look after the body, which is another instrument. If the body is not well, then we don’t work well. We help each other to do that.
This piece of rock allowed me to make an impression on her in the same way that she has made an impression on me. When the statue was completed we all stood before it and felt a sense of beauty and awe. This is what I need to remember now in this lifetime, with my craft, and that I’m developing a relationship with it.
Which will bring a deeper understanding, won’t it?
Yes and I can start doing that now. I mean, I’m kind of doing that already, but it’s not a destination. So, I need to look at it differently because this is something that is going to continue to evolve, until I die. There is no destination, I can release that now. I need to let go of the idea that I need to arrive at some place or level because that is not what life is about. This is a different way of being.
This has been a very interesting journey. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, just one thing… I was allowed to lay to rest at the foot of the statue.
Wow, that is a privilege in itself, isn’t it?