Rocking the Boat is a one-of-a-kind large sculpture of multi-fired hand-built earthenware, slips, underglaze, & glaze. Size: 30”x12”x9”

Rocking the Boat

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At the time I made this piece, I was emerging from the dissolution of a 25-year marriage, and although I was deeply compelled to make this change in my life, I feared the effect it would have on my children and extended family members. I wanted to believe that everyone connected to me would extend unconditional love and forgiveness. But our human emotions and morals are sometimes biased, and forgiveness does not flow easily, especially toward people who seem to repeatedly create a stream of mistakes.

During this difficult period, a friend suggested that it might be easier for my family to deal with my death than to cope with a divorce. My sorrow and self-hate was so forceful, that as I would run along the river path each morning, I would look down at the churning water and fight the overwhelming urge to throw myself into the river. This daily compulsion haunted me for some time.

In hopes of finding a way to heal, I sculpted a strong woman, bare-headed and chest exposed, resplendent in her vulnerability. Her remorseful tears flow–so many that her dress literally becomes an ocean. She is trying to protect her children by lifting their boat above the churning water, but perhaps she has put them in more danger by precariously elevating them on her head.

Her delicate spine is exposed, revealing her fragility and humanity. Yet she powerfully births creatures (emerging from her water-dress) and moves forward, perceiving that difficulty will eventually bear resilience, wisdom, and strength.

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