I wondered if I could use the digitial pen to embellish one of the moulded samples. I chose the smaller of the successful cotton moulds and wondered what it says. The smooth side reminded me of how I tried to make myself invisible and silent, how I wanted no bits of me to stick out and risk getting snagged, so I turned my voice inside. I used the 3D pen to write these words for the smooth side then recalled a Gerard Manley Hopkins quote. I studied GMH for A-level many, many years ago, but this poem came back to me in its entirety this afternoon as I created. In the past something rescued me from the oblivion and darkness that overwhelmed the poet as he hit the pits of despair and perhaps depression. For me something, somethings…hope…my children…bloody-mindedness? Something kept me from being smothered by despair when circumstances contrived to push me there. I felt this sample was speaking of this poem:
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old anvil wince and sing —
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief.”‘
O the mind, the mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
I’ve emboldened the lines that particularly speak of the upperside of this sample and it was these words that I 3d-d and attached.
After that I wondered if I could use the pen to sketch one of the earlier successful samples and see what it would add to this piece. I chose the sample that had been moulded from the bits and bobs draw. Doing a blind sketch involved pressing into the lining paper that I used as a base for the plastic mark-making as there is no sound to respond to as there is with pencil or pen. I then peeled the sketch and dangled it from a point, it tangled toegther in a very encouraging way. The centre shot below is my favourite having a number of marks of interest and a real liveliness that lifting from the page provides. These marks become free and reanimated by becoming mobile.
I enjoyed this process. I appreciate from Judy’s comment that this plastic will deteriorate and does not have the longevity of pen or pencil, but the learning, the observing is where the change in me has happened. That is precious. Not the sample.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief’, Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)