Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paul Lisicky's "The White Deer"

Earlier today, in amongst the scritch-scratch of lists, the stacks of corrugated cardboard and various other piles of 'stuff' I had to work through, I popped over to Paul Lisicky's blog to read his latest entry, The White Deer.

My response to this spare, contemplative piece was full, raw, visceral. I felt things align and re-align inside me. I was so moved by his story that I found myself returning to his site several times during the day to re-read it. Two paragraphs in, a priest pronounces - "The closer we get to someone, the more we must stand humbly before his freedom... " and in that moment, Paul's "every molecule" is "turned to him. . . What on earth could such a thing mean?"

The White Deer has something wild and graced and luminous about it. I urge you to read it.

Not a white deer, but a light in the darkness, no less. . .

This exquisite fragile sculpture is one of Christina Bryer's porcelain forams, made for our 2008 season in Explorers Cove. Shawn Harper took this photograph of her shard-like piece lingering on the underbelly of the Explorers Cove sea ice.


  1. claire, sometimes the right words/dog/deer arrive at the door at the right time. thank you welcoming them, sharing...

  2. sorry: "thank you FOR welcoming them, sharing..."

  3. Thank you for the link to this post, for the clarity and ease with which situations are woven with feelings. To notice the signs, the messages, when they are presented, means being willing to deal with what is left in their wake.

  4. "The closer we get to someone, the more we must stand humbly before his freedom."

    I read these words in Paul's post just when I was infuriated with someone who wasn't doing what I thought he should . . .

    Chances are I'll be furious again and read these words again . . .


  5. Thank you Claire, for sharing this. It reminded me of:

    "I look for omens everywhere, because they are/everywhere/to be found.They come to me like strays..."

    Carl Phillips, from 'Custom'

  6. Dear Susan - yes, you're so right. Words, a dog, a deer... turn up at just the right time, often knowing something we don't yet. Slowly but surely we learn to trust the gift they are, even when it appears they have chosen to come at an unlikely time and in an unlikely shape? It certainly keeps us on our toes and engaged in the elaborate, intricate dance... Thank you, Susan.

  7. Marylinn - thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I sense you have been 'here' before and speak from the heart of your own experience. This is especially valuable. I send you my warm greetings, Claire

  8. Dear Mim, isn't this so often the way?! Our dance with loved ones constantly being defined and redefined according to a kind of push-pull/hold-release/empathy-outrage/ego-soul/conversation-combat dynamic (and so much more)?

    So long as the ballroom floor is well-sprung and the cheek-to-cheek dancers are free to sit out from time to time, perhaps that's enough? As you say, the same moments come around again and again; perhaps the best we can do is notice and get ever-more creative in our response?!

    I do believe that fury has its place. It's one of the more discomforting emotions because it so often takes us by surprise, but at its best, it can be a powerful agent for transformation.

    (Sorry, Mim, I'm going off on a bit of tangent here --- evidence of CB's 'propensity for intensity! Time to head outside and feed my birds... their chatter has a way of grounding me!)

    L, C x

  9. Hello Mariana - what a marvelous quote! And so perfectly timed... I see from the time you posted your comment that it was within minutes of the rainbow that flared across our harbour yesterday afternoon, which in turn was within seconds of my posting about my old mud house... I needed a sign in that moment, and a beautiful one appeared.

    You have just offered us all another one. Thank you.

    There is much wonder and magic in our world, that's for sure.

    L, C