Most of my creative energy flows into writing. That river branches into a visual stream. For most of my life, I’ve kept a file of ideas for physical art that came to me unbidden. In 2017, I experienced a burst of energy. Like my soul got in my face and said, “What are you waiting for? Get your ass down in the I garage and make this shit.”
So I did. Before I was done, I had created three sculptures and a painting. These all relied heavily on found materials. I love browsing the scrap piles at construction sites. Other stuff just falls from heaven, like when I’m walking through a parking lot and look down and spy a lost baby pacifier. It goes into the art bin, for future work.
I’ve been feeling the urge again lately. I have an idea that involves a vertical piece of natural (as opposed to milled) wood. I went through the transfer station, looking at the yard debris pile for something I might use. Nope. I looked at my own wood pile. Nope. Too short.
Yesterday, on my daily dog walk east of town, I came to the turn point at the Pocket Falls. Last winter, during a storm with strong wind, a large fir snag toppled into the base of the falls. Ka-blooey. Wood everywhere. While the dog sniffed, I scanned the debris pile. Ah-ha! There it was. The perfect piece, correct diameter, and with some judicious trimming, of perfect length (height).
I was clearing branches that held it down, yanking on it, when two bicyclists stopped, a young man and his girlfriend.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Not accusatory. Just curious. Love that. If you wonder, ask. So I told them about my idea and how I hoped to use the log. I dragged it to the side of the road. “I’ll get it next time, when I’m not dragging a dog,” I said.
We parted. “Good luck with your project,” she said.
A hundred feet toward the trailhead, the male cyclist pulled up next to me.
“If you want, I can take the log to the trailhead for you,” he said.
“Seriously? You don’t need to do that.”
“It’s not a problem. It would be easy on my bike.”
“That would be awesome,” I said.
He asked my make and model of car, so he could set the log near it. Then he went back and got it and the last I saw, he was riding up ahead of me with a piece of my future sculpture perched on his shoulder.
His girlfriend rode past. “What are your names?” I called.
She told me. “Thank him again for me,” I said.
“He likes to do this.”
And off she rode.