October 2012

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lessons in gravity

I like a good action movie. One with suspense, a bit of twist in the plot, a car chase or two and a bit of character development would be nice (just a little). I’m not particularly interested in an hour and fifty-seven minutes of target practice. There should be a plausible story line (that narrows the field).

In the last several years, the characters in action films are more super hero than Regular-Joe-International-Spy types doing his thing for society. Now, even the Regular Joe seems to have super hero qualities.

Recently, I angered an old shoulder injury. A few years ago, I misstepped walking downstairs. Once under the influence of the natural forces of gravity, I instinctively reached for the banister spindle to stop my downward trajectory. Considering force (F) = mass (m) x acceleration (a)…without revealing my variable (m), trust me, there was considerable F. Proof that our instincts don’t always lead us to the best solutions.


~in progress

My injured reserve status has me attending physical therapy for several weeks now and has kept me from producing much
work in the studio. During my down time, I’ve been able to take care of some kiln maintenance – replacing an element and the wall plug for the kiln. I’ve also taken advantage of this pause to set up glaze tests and get some drawing done for a new tile piece. For me, drawing is the antithesis of an action movie. Nothing is really moving fast. Still, the process allows for plenty of time with my thoughts and inspiration; working and reworking solutions for the clay, as well as giving consideration to action heroes.

Muscles spasms across my back and shoulder interrupting my creative energy gave way to the realization that if those action heroes were doing the things we perceive on the silver screen, they’d be rendered lame three minutes into the first chase scene. The bad guy would win; the movie running out of pretense faster than you can unwedge that third Milk Dud from your porcelain crown.

Ethan Hunt, Mission Impossible II (2000).

Every action film has a scene (or two) where the hero is jumping from one vehicle/roof top/ fire escape/ rock face to another, only to narrowly miss their goal. Sliding…guided by the natural forces of gravity, stopping their downward path by grasping the outer edge of the original target. Yeah, well…. Since F=ma then, this guy hurts too much to pull himself up from near disaster…much less punch the bad guy in the next scene.

Despite my disappointment in the illusions of film reality, I will see this through. Functioning at a slower pace; taking time to work through solutions and listen for inspiration.

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