Lifelines Go On…


Lately I seem to be drawn to line. So to speak. Drawn to letting it be a force of its own, contending and conversing with the shifting moods of color and texture surrounding it. A blazed trail snaking through the wilderness. Apart, but a part. In my last post, I spoke of lines and lifelines in the form of handwritten letters. Lifelines is also the name I chose for a series of mixed-media paintings I created last fall, inspired by a favorite sculpture I like to visit, a short walk from my house.


The sculpture has evocative lines that convey an achingly deep loss, which is appropriate since it is a cemetery memorial. It is a woman, maybe a biblical Mary or maybe not. What matters to me is the richness of mystery surrounding her and the equally evocative inscriptions underneath her kneeling, draped form.


When I first encountered her, something strength-giving reached out to me. Like some kind of lifeline. An odd thing to say considering the setting, not to mention the eroding, fragile stonework, with bits of her fingers and face missing. But therein lies my takeaway. Doesn’t it take courage to ‘come out’ as the vulnerable, crumbling beings we are? For all to see?



While studying and drawing different points of view of this single, poignant pose, I wondered about the many angles of grief. Emotional trauma. The path to healing is anything but orderly. It’s a messy, archeological dig. An exhausting search for artifacts of feelings in the rubble at our feet. We’ve all been there. Or still are. Whole swaths of society have needed healing journeys. Still do.


I contacted a caretaker at the cemetery office to find out more about the sculpture or the person who brought it there, to no avail. No help from Google, either. Which only fueled my drive to make something more out of all this. So I did.


I was interested in how the drawings could be combined, could contain each other. I selected various combinations and considered what imagery would best support them that would suggest a loose, unbound narrative of different ‘stations’ along the circuitous track of recovery. Turns out a very mixed-up-media way.


Balled up in a dark corner of a bottom drawer were four old and worn-out pillowcases. Meant for me. For this… catharsis. I gave each a framing of wire to allow changeable edges—a kind of solid softness, like the sculpture itself that inspired me. Out the rest came—string, ribbon, paper, paint. A needle and thread, a few drops of blood. Some odd, rough scraps of some odd, rough days. Another interesting journey. 


More to come around the bend…

4 Responses to “Lifelines Go On…

  • Your Proud Mummeth
    5 years ago

    Another inspiring and beautiful example of your creative journey, a literary and visual process that has no boundaries, constantly expanding and unlimited. The lovely cemetery sculpture and the inscription on it evoke a poignant response, and your words, drawings, and mixed-media paintings reflect this. While you have not yet learned any details about the sculpture, it continues to be noticed, providing an ongoing lifeline in memory of Lawrence Lee Locke.

    • Thanks, proud Mummeth! 🙂 I sure do wonder about who LLL was… but sometimes a mystery is enough.

  • Peter Southam
    5 years ago

    Some poetry is beautiful! Poetry comes in all forms. Your prose is like poetry, too! What a perfect blend of the visual and worldly words!

    • Thank-you… I just try to play around with words until they feel right. Sometimes a bit of a battle, so I appreciate your comment. 🙂


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