Working and blurring

goddess iris


This statue is of the Ancient Greek Goddess Iris. Iris was the messenger of the gods, and linked the heavens and the earth – she was also the goddess of the rainbow. I love how the sculptor carved her dress as if rippling in the winds. And how this creation, even after hundreds of years and lacking a head, limbs or wings (she is often depicted as a winged figure), is still elegant and powerful, suggestive of great speeds –


And so I’m using the image as motivator. January has been a slow, creeping month in terms of writing. I have been tackling a long essay – which I will talk about more later if and when it is accepted where I hope it will be – and also on Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts. Editing is a painstaking business sometimes. A few hundred words here or there. A handful of pages. Keep going! Keep chipping at it until the text ripples with motion but still has weight. My reading has slowed as I attempt Beckett’s Molloy, which itself requires a patience, as if reading occurs with my head underwater, and I must resurface, catch my breath. Even thinking of its flash-fiction like intensity makes me take big gulps of air.


I put great spaces in everything. I take my time, picking over the surface. But I’m happy doing so. Focused, even if frustrated.


What are you tackling? What keeps you on a steady keel?



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10 responses to “Working and blurring

  1. wow, that statue is amazing, thanks for sharing!!
    i know about your editing blues, even though i am strangely right now in an editing euphoria. ahhh.

    • Glad to hear of euphoria. Strangely myself I’ve been in a good mood in other parts of my life, just not the writing. One day flipping it round would be good.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    Yes, I love this, too. I also like how the breasts are not identical. Have you been to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC? I took so many pictures, like this, that left me feeling so inspired, so alive. Perhaps I’ll do a post on it this morning.
    I need a little dose of what you’re serving. I’ve been zipping by so quickly, I can’t focus on a darn thing.

  3. What an exquisite piece! I imagine that it’s incredibly moving to see in person. One of my favorite moments I’ve ever had in a museum happened with a 4th grader. I brought an entire class to a museum here in Austin, and as we went upstairs to the classical sculptures, I saw the boy become entranced by the figure of a woman. I know I should’ve stopped him, but I watched him walk toward her, and with his hands outstretched, he touched the sculpture’s breasts. It wasn’t a sexual moment so much as a moved by the form sort of thing. I let him have his second and then politely suggested we use our eyes and not our hands to understand (which made me very, very sad). I need desperately to find a way to slow down, to calm down and find a way to focus on one thing. This post is a perfect reminder to me to get my butt to the museum and sit down and write there–I need the quiet, contemplative space of the museum to happen in my head I think.

    • That’s a beautiful story. In the Scottish National Museum they have a section where children are encouraged to touch things – although nothing so precious as this sculpture.

      I plan to spend a lot of time in that museum this summer.

  4. I stood in front of that statue for a long time when we were in London a few years back. Balanced by the belly as am I. When I watch what I consume–in every way–I am best able to move forward.

  5. It is so precisely carved. There is substance under those beautifully carved garments.

    I’m off to do my yoga now…

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