Torque: a ring-like band worn around the neck

As I write this post, on a soft and humid summer morning, the DOW is down about 350 points.  Uncertain economic times.  But really, don’t you agree that to be human is to live in uncertain times…?   We may choose to open ourselves to uncertainty, because in the unknown we find inspiration, meaning and expression; and in this way we’re kindred spirits with those who choose to spend time in what might be called sacred or magical.  It’s a trade-off: dallying in the misty playground of the collective unconscious means we are not reorganizing closets or crafting a business plan.  The idea that we can hold onto certainty is an illusion.  With practice, we can aim to be certain of some essential things that relate to our own behavior, if we are lucky.  I am certain that I will try to safeguard my granddaughter’s well-being when she is in my care; and yet, the other week she tripped over her own little feet while walking across the sun room and broke her fall with her face against the leg of a desk.  We both survived, but it was a humbling moment for me, three feet away and unable to prevent her hurting herself.

In the ornaments and embellishment of ancient people we can read their conversations with uncertainty.   While in Ireland I spent time entranced by the Celtic torques: neck bands, many of them gold, huge, twisted shapes that are simple in design but convey so much energy.  Some torques were embellished with animal images, others have geometric forms.  I want to create felted torques as a dialogue with uncertainty, infusing them with the most precious element: time.  I would love the wearer to feel protected, as if the torque conveyed the belief that along with the challenge of the uncertainty of our existence there is a companion blessing of connection and free will.   To lavish time on a work of art is to say that despite being aware of how short life really is, time has been taken to honor and celebrate something of beauty or other significance.   This celebration is not a thing, it’s an awareness: the knowledge that the touchstone offers.   We need reminders of transcendence so we don’t think that our souls fall with the stock market, as troubling and real as economic uncertainty may be.


Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment