i used to sculpt with stones. big pieces of heavy granite that made me sweat and pant and grunt when i carried them. it was comforting because the stones had a life of their own. they were beautiful without me. unlike a white piece of paper that was nothing until i laid down my lines, called life and form from the ether. the stones would talk to me. sometimes i could not understand the words, but there would be a secret language between the organic lump and my own hands. my hands would caress the raw shape, feel the grain of the stone, try to see it's story. what do you want to become stone? what do you want to show the world? how can i help that process? i would lovingly pet and swaddle the stone like a mother pets her baby.
i worked with one stone that was white. it became a phallic object, but very pointed at the tip. in the beginning, i did not understand the lines i was cutting and filing. then one day i looked, and was making a scary penis. i carved an alien language of symbols and heiroglyphics on the sides of the shaft. i was afraid of sex at the time, and did not understand men. i lived in a neighborhood with lots of homeless people, and was terrified of being followed to and from my car. my breath would get fast, but i would try to walk slow and look nonchalant, confident. i had been sexually attacked late at night walking to my car the year before. and once, i was coming home around midnight from the laundromat, and a flasher jumped in front of my car. in the headlights he opened his coat to expose his sex. at first i was afraid, i drove away as fast as i could. and then i became angry. i was filled with rage and was embarrassed for my fear. i am the one with the car, i thought. he should be afraid of me. and i drove through the alleys looking for him, to chase him with my car if i found him. how dare he make me the victim? in general, i did not understand the sex that ran through my veins and dripped from my pores, always giving me away as a girl "who liked it". and yet i knew, like food, i could not live without sex. i had to find a way to have a healthy relationship to it.
there were times when i felt an energy coming from the sky through the crown of my head, through my body and passing to a man who was sexually attracted to me. even if i was not interested in the man, i liked the feeling of this energy and knew that because he was desiring me, the energy was pulling through. and i liked the heavenly feeling of the energy. it was it's own reward, this secret satisfaction between me and the invisible realms. there were times it was a man i felt particularly disgusted with, and yet i felt, who am i to deny him communion with this energy? i am only a vessel. this man should feel loved by this force.
i put the white stone phallus to the side and began working with soapstone. soapstone is the color of jade and grey clay and brown mud and pink coral. it is so soft, you don't even carve it. you make a rough shape and then you form it by wetting rags in water and rubbing the stone with the rags until it begins to melt into the grooves you rub into it. like silking a stone. this was so delightful to feel and watch. no hard hammering or chiseling, just the stone letting her body be contoured to my fingers and the wetness of the rags. that was many years ago, i have not sculpted since then.