still waiting

It was about this time of year, and I was having thoughts about the darkness and the gradual return of light. I was trying to explain them to N. “It’s getting lighter,” I said, “but nothing’s really changed yet. We’re still waiting.”

“Where is God in all this?” she asked (she was a Presbyterian minister).

I thought about it for a minute. “God is small,” I said, “and needs close attention.”

A few months later, I told her I felt like I had a wire cage inside of me. She looked at me like I had two heads, so I made a sculpture for her as a visual aid. It would be the first of a series, but I didn’t know that yet. The sculpture was human scale, too large to bring to her office, so I brought her a photo of it.

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what a healthy girl — and such plentiful organs! (2004)

N said she thought I would be better off working with someone else.

Years later, E and I stood in my studio in front of the actual sculpture and I told her that story. “How was that for you?” she asked.

I said it had been a relief. We had been stuck for a long time. The sculpture showed me the way out.

We stood next to each other, looking at it, and I felt the beginning of a sort of light returning to my body. It had been gone so long I had forgotten it was even missing. Nothing had changed yet, but something was different.

Merry Christmas, my invisible friends. I wish you just enough light to see the next step. It turns out that’s all you need.

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