Tuesday, January 30

man walking

I saw the sculpture: a wiry, thin person, long legs in full stride, thrust his small, mute head forward into the empty air. Six feet tall, bronze . . .

I saw a stilled figure in a swirl of invisible motion. I saw a touchy man moving through a still void. Here was the thinker in the world--but there was no world, only the abyss through which he walked. Man Walking was pure consciousness made poignant: a soul without a culture, absolutely alone, without even a time, without people, speech, books, tools, work, or even clothes. He knew he was walking, here. He knew he was feeling himself walk; he knew he was walking fast and thinking slowly, not forming conclusions, not looking for anything. He himself was barely there. He was in spirit and in form a dissected nerve. He looked freshly made of clay by God, visibly pinched by sure fingertips . . .

I drew Man Walking in his normal stalking pose and, later, dancing with his arms in the air. What if I fell in love with a man, and he took off his shirt, and I saw he was Man Walking, made of bronze, with Giacometti's thumbprints on him? Well then, I would love him more, for I knew him well; I would hold, if he let me, his twisty head.

-- Annie Dillard An American Childhood

Giacometti's Walking Man II