On tuesday of this week I went back to the River Waveney Study Centre, the site of the Waveney River Sculpture Trail in which I participated last year. The managers of the site had very kindly allowed me to leave my piece, Bigod's Way 2, to over-winter so that I could observe how it weathered, how it took on time and the elements. It fared much better than I had hoped, in fact.
I've been to see it several times over the autumn and early winter but now it is time to take it down, so that the space is clear for this years sculpture trail.
The weather was bright and beautiful, sunshine and clear skies but very cold with a sharp, skin-biting breeze.
The site has a different feel, of course, wind singing and reeds rustling, geese, and the colours are fawn and silver-grey, bright green (grass), bright blue (sky), and shades of purple, red and gold on the twig ends of trees.
After taking some final photos of the piece in it's entirety I knelt to begin dismantling it. Just as setting it up became a kind of prayer, so too is the taking down it seems.
Slowly, and with cold-stiff fingers, I began to untie the scraps of cloth. Remembering the love that they represented. Remembering the journey beyond that love that they represented too. The new friends, the year just past, and the years before that year. And wondering what this year will bring.
It will take me some days to remove all the pieces. I am doing it carefully, no scissors, so that I can re-use the cloth, and also so that I don't hurt any of the creatures that have made it their home over the past few months, mostly spiders, but also a ladybird and a few bugs. Breaking it up felt like a meditation in reverse, not better or worse for that but a different quality of contemplation. Just as folding and unfolding have a different quality.
It will be interesting to see how it feels when I rework the pieces into a new something. They have so much of me invested in them, tho' I daresay no-one else would know, to me they are the dreams of my being - excuse me if that reads like nonsense I don't know quite how to put into words the feelings that those lost dreams arouse.