The Artist

It floats in the air, a strange luminance radiating from its uncertain shape. Like a cloud, it floats, shapeless, bodiless, shifting with the slightest movement of the world around it. Its borders are unclear. Its mist stretches out in every direction, never seeming to finally dissipate. At its center one can detect nothing. It is both there and not there. It defies definition. It is a raw substance, awaiting the magical hand of a craftsman to shape it, bend it, and fold it into a new form.

It must be sculpted.

From an unseen recess in the room a figure appears. Mighty and strong the figure bears no tools but his hands, delicate in shape and perfect in movement. The figure moves forward, appraising the shapeless mass before him. Like a child testing his food, the figure leans forward and, quickly brushing, shapes a small part of the mist. The figure stands back once again, looking, judging, wondering what to do next. Once again his hands gently skim a part of the cloud. That part too gains form where there was none. Again the figure, the artist, stands back, looking, afraid that a wrong move will be irreparable, that a wrong move would destroy the work. With a singular gentleness, the figure moves forward and lovingly caresses another part of the cloud, a valley forms. A flick of the wrist, creating a light wind, tunnels itself into the cloud. Like waves, the undefinable elements of the cloud beautifully take form. A ripple here, a dimple there, a crater in yet another place. But the ripple, when viewed again, seems to have attained more than one form. The dimple, so easily described, attains a life of its own, beauty emanating from its shape. The edges of the crater are unclear, everything flows perfectly.

The sculptor, moving this way and that, striking out here, blowing lightly there, shaping in yet another place continues his work. One part merges with another, they form a single whole, so perfectly joined that they seem to have never existed apart. Quickly, the artist works, his masterpiece taking on form after form. The sculpture, no matter how examined, still defies even the most basic definition, dodges the most basic attempts at understanding. Even the smallest element rests easily beyond the grasp of the imagination. The form, so beautiful, so unique, so complex, so seemingly simple, slips through the mind. The sculpture takes on all forms, and yet becomes none.

The sculpture, flows, as it always will, as if by its own initiative. Still, the sculptor works, his hands never failing him, forming something, which alone among all things, defies the power of the written word.

The sculptor stands back. Once again, he appraises, viewing his own work. The sculptor stands back, his hands, unique among all hands, capable of working the material He has formed.

The material is unique as well. It alone is worked by these unique hands.

It was evening. It was morning.

The seventh day.

The sculpture, the soul, leaves, still malleable, to be finally shaped by itself.

Please g-d this work shall not offend you, king of kings, mighty and merciful, our lord and creator.

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