Thursday, April 12, 2012

Owls: Return to Mad Potter

“Perhaps he does not want to be friends with you until he knows what you are like. With owls, it is never easy-come-easy-go.”  ~T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone

“The Owl thinks slowly, but the Owl thinks long.” ~Ursula K. LeGuin, Catwings
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” ~T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone.

Between the ages of five and fifteen, Disney's 1963 adaption of T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone was one of my favorite animated features.  My overactive imagination loved the idea of a Wizard showing up at my front door, animating my mother's kitchen wares, and offering to educate me in the ways of devilry free of charge.  To my young and impressionable mind, nothing sounded more excited than spending an afternoon researching life from a squirrel's perspective or watching a Wizard's Duel.  Yet, despite loving everything Old Merlin could offer me, I'll admit, my favorite character was not the kind Wizard, but, rather, his sidekick, the snarky and disagreeable Archimedes the Owl.

Archimedes: So, from now on, boy, you do as I say.
Arthur: Yes, sir.
Archimedes: Now then, to start off, I want you to read these book <Points to a huge pile of books>
Arthur: All of them?
Archimedes: That, my boy, is a mountain of knowledge.

Archimedes was the Fucking Bomb, Dude.  I'll brook no argument on that subject.  In fact, with age, I am beginning to resemble the Feathery Genius (yep.  I just complimented myself.  I'm shameless!).  My response to any question whether about a good way to pass an afternoon or a historical inquiry normally requires me to point to a "mountain of knowledge".   Read, my boy, Read! And of course, like my Grumpy Role Model, ruffling my feathers is not recommended.  Only deep affection stops me from pecking out someone's eyes. With all this in mind, last Monday, I returned to Lexington's Mad Potter for a little Ceramic Painting Therapy.  

The last time I visited that establishment, this Hysterical Gal was in the midst of a major crisis.  The upset of that period bothered me enough that I've never finished the piece of pottery I started that day...and I'm not sure I ever will.  Instead, I decided to make something Hopeful.  Something that would remind me of Dandelions in the Spring.  After making no less than seven laps around the store, I finally settled upon the idea of decorating a little Owl.  Each time I looked at that little bit of clay I thought both of Archimedes and a line from a Neko Case song, "This Tornado Loves You": "My Love, I'm an Owl on the sill in the Evening.  But morning finds you still warm and breathing."   "Perfect," I concluded.  

As usual, I plunked myself down and painted my Feathery New Friend all sorts of Wild Colors, ignoring all suggestions from the helpful staff, and finally writing a few words and names on my Buddy's wings when I'd finished.  The point of the exercise is to calm my mind and pour my hopes and fears into a project.  For a Wild and Emotional Tornado of Feelings such outlets are not only helpful, they are crucial to survival.  Of course, no one was impressed with my storied piece of junk.  But that's okay.  I didn't paint that owl for anyone else.  It was for me. That Messy Rainbow Colored Owl is a representation of my Heart: Not much to look at, Full of Mistaken Conclusions, but still Hopeful, still Waiting, still Loving.  Some Hearts might let go and move on, but I've always been an Owl.  And with Owls, "its never easy come easy go."  For now, I wll continue to sit on the window sill, pray, and remember: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Here is Neko Case's "This Tornado Loves You."  Enjoy
And here is an awesome Parody of Owl City's retarded "Fireflies" song called "Electronic Wuss".  Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, so intro first so I don't look like a creeper; my nickname for my gf is Archimedes, cuz to me she looks a bit like him when she's mad, so in one particular instance of her being "grumpy," I googled images of our owl compadre, and your blog came up. I, too, love owls, so your blog intrigued me. And your clay owl thing is AWESOME. I'm a huge fan. So if no one else likes it, or if no one else can see its genius, at least you know there is one. Like Highlander.