Carol Alleman - Graceful One
- Medium: Bronze
- Edition: 47
- Size: 14.5'' x 7''
Original Poetry and Certificate of Authenticity included with Bronze. Exhibited at 2015 GREEN & GRAY Exhibition, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe AZ.
Inspiration: "I was initially drawn to the weeping variety of the bottlebrush tree as it reminds me of the ‘grace-full’ movements of daily life. The slightest breeze will move their delicate branches, even if unnoticed by most. Things are always moving, I believe, in gentle ways as well as larger, more obvious ways, on our behalf – and for our highest good. Most often in the midst of these movements, we are completely unaware of the infinite synchronicities beyond the human eye. Branches of the weeping bottlebrush do indeed move with the slightest breeze, reminding us of the incessant presence of grace, moving quietly and powerfully in the background of our lives.
These graceful, weeping branches also hold a unique habit of shooting seemingly barren branches, only to pop a brilliant bloom at the tip. This distinctive, luring, feature gives rise to deeper reflection. How often do we look upon something or someone, as ‘dead wood.’ neglecting to leave room for mystery, grace, or miracles simply hidden from the human eye? And how often have I experienced seasons of feeling as though nothing were truly alive within me, and then suddenly, one small or large event, person, experience or word, sprouts a new bloom of life, and everything feels immensely different – enlarged?
The genus name for weeping bottlebrush means ‘beautiful stamen.’ The stamen is the pollen producer – the heart of the bloom. It is a beautiful, scarlet bloom that gave name to the species because of its physical likeness to the common household bottlebrush. Bottlebrushes are used to clean those deep, dark corners so difficult to reach with any other tool. We too, I reflected, often need some very special tools (grace, courage, compassion, love) to both reach and cleanse the deep, dark corners of our interiors. And often, this deep cleansing brings with it a share of weeping and of ‘letting go.’ A center core (Heart) holds the thread-like stamen of the bloom. Through both our weeping and our blooming, we too, are indeed held by a center Core.
While sculpting the vessel, I felt stuck at one point and surprisingly disconnected to it. When I first started sketching the surface of the clay with my needle tool, I thought I was creating a haven for several hummingbirds. I very much liked the idea of creating a haven for those incessant pollinators, as they fly wildly, their wings tracing the symbol of infinity. I knew well of their attraction to this tree of ‘beautiful stamen.’ Yet I could not see them in the branches and foliage I was sculpting. Thankfully, I have learned to surrender to the clay and that interior voice above my own limited projections and expectations. I sat, slowly spinning the vessel on the turntable and listening. Within minutes, a small voice within said, “you are missing a deeper connection to the heart of the piece”. I went to the keyboard and googled ‘weeping bottlebrush stamen’ seeking a seed of clarity and clicking on the first reference I felt drawn toward. It opened a site, Nature’s Flower of Life and I was immediately guided back to the essence – the Heart – of this vessel. I found the words on the page giving voice to all that I held inside me. I smiled, realizing once again, a tree had chosen ‘me’ to speak the words I most needed to hear again this season. The words of Solara Zwaneveld, a healing therapist in Australia, gently led me to yet another deeper wisdom of the weeping bottlebrush.
I read and reflected on her words regarding the healing qualities of the weeping bottlebrush flower essence:
'The energy of the Weeping Bottlebrush soothes and relaxes the muscles, allowing a letting go [cleansing] of the tension of holding onto struggle and fear associated with survival of being within this human body. When the body relaxes into a state of peace, the pulsating energy of the seeds of truth that lie behind the illusion of life’s dramas, opens the way to re-membering the Divine Being of Light that you [we] are.
I see the doctrine of signatures of this beautiful, vibrant red flower in the multitude of red thread-like stamen that make up the flower. These, I was shown, to be likened to many threads of energy connecting each Hu-Man Being to the Source of all of creation [and to one another], from their heart centers.'
Used with the generous permission of Solara Zwaneveld, www.flowersforhealing.com
I reflected, with Solara, on the profound qualities of all those scarlet threads as our common bloodlines. When I cleanse a part of myself, I was reminded, I cleanse a part of all of us. And when I weep, I never truly weep alone. And, in this process of growing in peace, we are able to profoundly recognize our common divinity. We are woven together by grace.
Graceful One in her vessel form, opens herself to both receive and to give. She opens herself that she might open a part of all of us, to give and to receive, cleanse and bloom, and remind us of Who we are and all we share, through grace." --Carol Alleman