Making for a living

So is that how it is, then? You write little things and set them out on the sidewalk with price tags tied to their bottoms the way a street corner craftsman might.

You make these objects and paint them yourself and they all pretty much look alike. They’re each a different take on the same theme, striped birds, spotted frogs, cartoon-like fish. Brightly colored, so the spirit of the artist comes through.

And the craftsman tries not to look while the customer eyes his work. But in that moment it’s like they’re at the animal rescue debating should they take one in, give it a home.

And they’ll see something in one of the things he made and pick one out as their favorite, but he’s grown detached from it all and a bit disgusted even, having to do this for a living. Taking what he once loved and turning it into this, a carnival game.

It’s said the Zapotec Indians who carve sculptures from tree limbs breathe life into them at the end, as part of their finishing process. The life in the eyes of the happy armadillo, the playful long-legged birds, the goofy-looking rooster.

The artist did that, put themselves into it. Like a cook or a baker who kneads it with their hands, you never see it but that love for what they do comes through.

Maybe they did it more for you. Or because they were drawn to that way of living, themselves even carved, hand painted too.



Categories: prose, writing

Tags: ,

8 replies

  1. If only Marx, when he was contemplating the alienation of the workers, had been a more worldly man and known about the Zapotec way.

    Anyway, I know where we will be walking this morning: Braeside park, which contains some strikingly ruddy animals, carved into massive Cyprus tree trunks. Definitely not Brutalist Socialist art but creatures that run and soar with the life breathed into them with a chainsaw.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blue sky, still air, greenery, brownery and blossoming everywhere; golden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your writing
    Don’t comment often as the password is not always handy
    However, I do read your posting daily
    It was part of my ritual in the fiercest times of lockdown

    You write like the British books sounds in my head
    But I think you are a neighbor down south from us
    Here in Alberta

    I like to write neighbour, but the computer draws a red mark under it
    As if I am in school and the teacher feels my spelling is bad
    That is the way I like to use it
    Keep going please and
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey wow that made my day, neighbour! Don’t let the computers tell you how to spell: what do they know (they were built by humans and all our inadequacies). Knowing you read means a lot to me and more so that you took time out to write a personal note! Thank you so much for the encouragement, sending you beams up north. Funny your comment about the British books and super cool, that…be well. Bill

      Liked by 2 people

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