© 1998 Ginger Henry Geyer
glazed porcelain, 5" x 14" x 9"
Adaptation of William Blake's God Answers Job out of the Whirlwind
When my friend Rosemarie commissioned me to create something for her husband’s 50th birthday, I asked her what Frank's "growing edge" might be. She quickly replied, "Patience". She went on to say that patience was the virtue he was intentionally cultivating to gracefully enter this next stage of life. Frank and Rosemarie are German and live in Freiburg. They earnestly practice a blend of Christian and Hindu spirituality and frequently visit a guru in India. Thus, this sculpture is a hybrid of images, influenced by Hindu teachings of the goals and stages of life, and by Biblical passages on patience and waiting. Patience at any age or in any era is difficult, but perhaps moreso in our fast food culture. Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote of it in the mid-1800’s. Here’s the beginning of his poem:
Frank and Rosemarie are right; the virtue of patience has to be nurtured over time. Frank spends a fair amount of time in his office as an engineering consultant. So we figured his reminder of patience needed to be something in his daily environment something that waits…like a call. So I designed a desk telephone, replete with handset, text screen, speakers and many buttons. Since patience deals with time, the telephone keys evoke time in various ways. The single red key says “HOLD”. The yellow screen repeats the word “WAIT” over and over. The grid of four white keys is marked “SPEED, MUTE, DO NOT DISTURB, and REDIAL.” The four colored keys are the four goals of life in Hindu tradition: KAMA (desire), ARTHA (wealth, prosperity to give to others), DHARMA (righteousness), and MOKSHA (liberation). These four goals relate to the four stages, or periods of time in one’s life which open up every 25 years. By turning 50, Frank was entering stage 3, Vanaprastha. That stage is for retiring, looking within, delving into the spiritual, becoming "the beggar in the forest."
"a time to be born, and a time to die;