Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Mystery Revealed....

I alluded to a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) in my last post. The thing about BHAG's is that they are a bit scary. Big + Hairy = Scary. And Audacious. As in, "What are you thinking?" Or, "Who do you think you are?" So is it any wonder that I was not quite ready to reveal the exact nature of my BHAG?

Well, I have begun to let a few people peak under the covers. I have made a few tentative steps to let a little air around the idea. And in the process I have learned something. As Big, Hairy, (Scary), and Audacious (Bold) as this idea may be, or any BHAG for that matter, without letting it out into the air, it will probably never happen. Trying to protect ourselves by keeping the idea close only makes it less likely that the idea will move forward. Sending those first few e-mails emboldened me. It made me realize that the only way that this idea would happen is if I let the BHAG out of the bag, and let the universe give it some momentum.

If you know anything about me, and my work, you may have suspected that it has something to do with cranes. And you would be right. When this BHAG first started to form in my head, it was the idea that I would love to see 1000 cranes made from polymer clay, all together in an installation. It immediately went into the "Nice idea, as if that would ever happen" file. But every now and then, I would bring it out and reflect on the idea. Yep. It would be cool. Back in the file.

But recently the idea has taken a bit of a turn, and given it some new propulsion. It feels like something I have to do.


My BHAG is this; I want to create a crane for each soldier who has lost their life in Iraq. Each crane will be made from translucent clay, and on each wing their will be a name, the date the soldier died, where in Iraq they died, and how (hostile/non-hostile, IED, mortar, illness, ....). I want to have all these cranes, at least 4000 of them, all together in one space. Ideally a white room. Arranged by date. As you pass through the exhibit, you pass by the lives that have been lost. Each one ennumerated in a crane.

The crane is a powerful symbol for this idea in my mind. As a symbol of peace, and a symbol of long life, it will honor each of these men and woman. Regardless of our feelings about the war, or the soldier's feelings about being there, they are lives that need to be recognized and honored. A decision was made that led to this massive loss of life, which pales in comparison to the loss of Iraqi lives. The war has faded into the background. It goes on in spite of a general sense from many that the continuation of the war makes no sense. I want a visual image of these lives. I want to recognize them, and recognize the price of this political decision.

Some will hate this idea. That is okay. This is just something that I know I need to do. It comes from my heart.

I plan to start a new blog. One that will track this project. The ups and downs and ins and outs. The count of lives. The count of cranes. I will eventually start a way to raise funds to support this project. More will come about that later.

The biggest obstacle, .....aside from making all those cranes!!....is finding a place to install a project like this. This is the universe part. I am making this public so that as this project unfolds, a place may emerge. Perhaps several.

I will still post here.

I know.

"How does she find the time?"

I don't know. I just don't worry about that. The time will take care of itself. I will fold the cranes, as I continue on with my other work and the rest of my life. Stay tuned.....






Pretty Big and Audacious, huh? I think the hairiness diminished a bit by letting it out of the bag. I am more sure I need to do this, and that eventually it will happen.

14 comments:

Barb aka rubarb said...

I think it is a lovely idea Judy!

You are planning to have them sitting on tables, correct? I have a bad habit of scanning too quickly, hope I didn't miss something by not reading more carefully.

I picture them hanging at different levels, swaying gently...free to fly.

Kathi said...

Judy...what an amazing adventure you have laid out for yourself. I am in awe of your goal. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. This *IS* a very doable BHAG.

Judy said...

Thank you Barb and Kathi for the encouragement. Barb, I am thinking that they should be both hanging and sitting. But I am not fixed yet in this part of the project. To some degree the space may dictate....and I have 3900+ cranes left to make.

Libby said...

Judy, I think it will be an amazing journey and a beautiful and touching project in the end. The simplicity of the plain translucent crane is perfect. Excellent concept. I hope you get some serious publicity on this as it progresses and through that a great installation spot.

Sue C said...

Judy, I read your blog faithfully and I think this is a phenomenal idea. I don't have a location or know anyone who might, but if I can help in any other way, please don't hesitate to ask. My son is a former Marine, my son-in-law and daughter-in-law are both in the AirForce (along with their families, by default), so the military is near and dear to my heart. Hugs, and thanks, Sue Castle

Judy said...

Thanks Libby. I do trust that a place for this project will emerge over time. Somehow, the universe does have a way of taking care of things.

Sue...Thank you! Your comments have only reinforced my desire to make this happen. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

DrMom said...

I love your idea... I think we need to often visualize things to truly feel the impact of them. 4000 is a number, but 4000 flying cranes is a beautiful haunting vision.
Where to hold this? I can see them hanging down a long hallway...

Barbara Forbes-Lyons said...

You are such an inspiration. I think your BHAG is wonderful.

tinat said...

I, too, agree Judy!! "...your BHAG is wonderful." It truely is! What a wonderful way to honor those who have served our country.... Wishing you the best of luck, and don't sweat the details, everything will fall into place....

Just sounds Beautiful!

TammyVitale said...

BHAGs are always great - they're what lead us on, dancing, to whatever's next. Like they say: if you miss the moon you still land among the stars!

Enjoyed your comment over at Alyson's blog on art viewing spaces. Think you're right on!

Judy said...

Thanks everyone for all the enocuragement. It seems overwhelming, and yet doable all at the same time. Baby steps, right?
Dr. Mom, Rachel Carren also mentioned the idea of a long hallway, and I think it is quite intriquing....representing the passage of time...

Tammy, I found Alyson's question about the settings we view art within an intriquing one. Good luck at BMAC! I am crossing my fingers for you and others who are heading there soon.

Anonymous said...

MountainMaMaDuke here:
I am a faithful reader of your blog, enjoy the thoughts and effort that you put into it. This idea of yours for the soldiers of this Iraq war is wonderful. I have never been aware of anything negative in the past, so when this war started, I began a hand written list of each soldier that gave their life, each day I look at several sources on the internet and look at their photos and a brief description of where they were and what happened, and where they were from etc. My feelings are this, if each soldier is brave enough to leave their home to fight for my country, I can at least pay them homage enough to say one last hello and goodbye. My sadness to this project is that I never thought that my list would grow to be 70 pages long.
I wish you a tremendous amount of good luck with this huge project. A fan from Marlow NH - Pauline Duke (NH Polymer Clay Guild)

Polka Dot Creations said...

I imagine when it is all finished and on display that the sight will be positively breathtaking. Wow.

Jeanne Rhea said...

I like the idea of a big open space above a spiral staircase so that one can walk up and see them at different levels. I am thinking of something similar to the beaded curtain that evokes images of the Northern Lights at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. Some libraries have this kind of space with a mezzanine. I have seen it in lots of galleries as well. I think it should not be in a closed room, but in a common area for all to see.