Life is a Delicate Balance
1988

Immediately after the sculpture Heartless, Maarten had asked me on what base I saw it.
I quietly said, “A hand.”

“A hand, a hand, I don’t know how to carve a hand! I don’t even know where these whales are coming from
and you expect me to carve a hand?” was Maarten’s response.

As I retreated from the studio I answered, “You asked me what I saw and I saw a hand.”
The noise of tools and the mumbling of ‘a hand, a hand’ is all I heard as I disappeared into the safety of the house.

An hour later he was upstairs calling for me.  The energy in his voice and the excitement in his eyes along with the words,
“I’m carving a hand, I don’t know how, it feels electrical, like I’m getting help or something.
I just drew five circles on the top of a block of wood and started working down!
I’m carving a hand Nadine, I’m carving a hand, come and see!”
Maarten
With the exuberance of the artist child he went running back down and
I, caught in the creative vortex of his energy, was in fast pursuit.

And yes, he was carving a hand, man’s hand, and later a Sei whale
would drape over the hand and be called ‘ Delicate Balance’.

This was an emotionally packed time as Maarten felt that the whales’ plight
was ours, what we do to them, we do to ourselves.  Everything is connected
and he started to take a closer look at his own beliefs and values.
Delicate Balance
Family life paralleled a story of delicate balance when the passionate artist insisted on
Putting ‘Delicate Balance’ on our dining room table. 
I had asked it to be put in a safer place but he felt it would be better seen on the table.

Our younger teenage son, Troy, bumped the table while running for the phone
and ‘Delicate Balance’ took a fall.  Maarten insisted the boys had to learn to live around
the art, and after mending the whale returned the sculpture to the table.

 A few months later, our older son, Trevor, in hot pursuit for the phone, bumped the table the next time.  The whale was now irreparable.
Man’s hand was undamaged.
The boys and I were distraught as was the artist.  With a period of grace, a new Sei whale was sculpted,
And ‘Delicate Balance’ sat proudly and safely on the mantle overlooking the gallery.

The moral of the story is to listen to the wise women who create the space for harmony in the family.

Story by Nadine Stewart Schaddelee
from her book “Inspirations From Maarnada”.


Nadina - Storyteller of Maarnada

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