Heaven & Hell ©1995 Jerry Kott

Heaven & Hell ©1995 Jerry Kott

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ART HEALS



The Pond


Along with the walking meditation, I began to read. Leor had suggested
many books that all seem to strike a chord. Like the phrase, "when you
are ready to learn, the teachers will appear". I read many of Joseph
Campbell's Works from "Origin of the Myth" to "The Hero with a Thousand
Faces" etc.. I was living a morality tale, a passion play of sorts.
Where
understanding what personal power was and how to use it.  I learned if
you want to know what scares other people, pay attention to what they
use to try to scare you.

 Studying the belief system of our Native
Peoples brought more peace and perspective to the circumstances.
Observing a red tail hawk ketteling was a blessing. Finding a feather
on the walk was like finding a prayer. I always seem to find them when
I needed guidance. Studying animal medicine and totems gave me an
understanding I never had. I read books about oracles, about wounded
healers. "The Road less Traveled", " The Gift of Fear", "Thoughts
without a Thinker", The Power of Now" were
just a few of the titles that not only cultivated my personal power but
helped me to understand my place. I learned to take control of the
situation
and not let it control me. A rebirth was slowly happening. Maybe I was
accepting who I was. I have hundreds of feathers that have been found
on my walk, we refer to taking the path as "The Walk". I often refer to
the collection of feathers as "building my wings".

Being an artist, my work was evolving. As a child, I always wanted to
live on a farm. What we have is close enough. It was at one time a
working farm, but now more of a gentlemen's farm with no farming. As a
young boy I enjoyed playing in the mountains and creeks surrounding my
home town. It was
a struggle to keep our property looking civilized. But there was some
therapy in
doing the upkeep. Working out in nature does have a healing effect. My
work was changing. I was making a transition from Fashion to Home
Fashion. I still had my high style vision but never quite clicked with
the fashion crowd. I was just too down to earth, too sincere. I felt
sort of disconnected even with hosannas about my work in Vogue Magazine
and the New York Times. My focus
was now the home and it's environment. I always had a Bauhaus attitude
about necessity. Fashion does have a valid place in culture, but the
home is where the heart lives. I wanted to create things I could use. I
was evolving.

One of the major attractions to our property was that it had a pond,
sort of. It also had an old xtone barn that was to be converted into a
studio. I say "sort of" describing the pond in that it was poorly
maintained and was used as a dumping ground. We spent the first summer
cleaning the slate from the old roof which was dumped into it in
addition to garbage bags and other assorted stuff. We were house poor
so this was an ideal project . The pond was spring feed which
makes it a tad mystical in that in the Winter the water doesn't freeze
and a mist hovers over the surface as the warmer water evaporates into
the cold Winter air. I wanted to make improvements to the property but
my budget didn't allow any serious improvement. I had a real desire to
make a mark .The pond had several transitions. Years later, I
decided to make the pond conversion
a meditation center of sorts. I needed my own  Walden Pond as an
anchor. Water does have a cleansing quality not only for the body but
for the spirit. Being near water is inspiring. I need to leave a mark
that we weren't going anywhere and we are here to stay. Get used to it!

It took the whole summer. I could feel myself becoming more grounded in
the process. I designed it to be modern, mystical and practical. It was
my first real concrete project. Scott  and I built wooden frames, used
170
bags of concrete that was all hand mixed. Al Gore hadn't invented the
internet
yet in 1991, so I had to depend on research and asking questions. That
is when I first realized the whole manhood thing that takes place in the
hinterlands. I had learned that men will give you an answer instead of
admitting they don't know. I had to read between many lines and just
remembered that the biggest mistake people make in working with
concrete is to not let it cure property. I employed Scott's nephews,
Evan and Peter Johnstone for the different stages. We worked like
crazy. But it was worth the struggle. There isn't a day that has gone
by, while at the house, that I don't appreciate the pond. It brings
peace.

Does Art Heal?


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