A short term solution.
I finally got into my studio. I knew it would be cold, and it was, very cold. The landlord being reluctant to spend money on heat when no one is in. I have no idea how long the furnace has been off? I turn on the lights, and the furnace, it's "on-switch" connected to the light switch, roars to life. I wait for for the 15 degree temperature to turn to 21!
I've had Christmas, New Years, a death in the family, dealt with the estate, spoken at the funeral, driven 800km back and forth twice, half of it white knuckle driving through up to 70km blowing snow better known as "white-out" conditions. Then, too it's January, a time when renegotiation's happen with clients for the coming year. Finally, I'm back at the studio, but I'm feeling cold, hesitant, and unmotivated. Making and placing more swords on the huge "Game of Thrones" chair is getting old, and may I say, tedious. Yet, slowly the old movements and habits kick in. The music goes on. I run the water for my work till it's hot, then fill my working container. With the clay so cold it will keep my fingers warm as I work. I begin placing swords, slicing a strip off the block of clay, rolling it flat, cutting it to size, rolling the sharp edging...
About an hour in I notice a crack developing at the very centre top of the chair, and moving down two of three inches. It's small, no worries. I wet it, cover it with existing clay alongside the split, plus adding new as necessary. And it's gone, once again a clean surface. You would never guess there had been a split. I carry on applying more swords.
In half an hour, it has reappeared, but now it's rapidly moving and opening down from the top. My new clay I'd applied obviously no match for the apparent stresses pulling the back relentlessly into two pieces.
It's clear, this is now more than a simple little crack. With it's rapid development I realise I must deal with it, for if I do not, the integrity of the chair itself will soon become an issue.
As you can see in the photo above, I found the materials whereby I was able to use the old tourniquet trick to force the two halves together, and hold it there, without cutting the sides and keeping the integrity of the back intact. Whew!
But now, I cannot stop thinking about it. This "Throne of Swords" is a metaphor of King Saul's life. A man who's life began to crack and fissure. There came a time when he simply could not keep it together. Haha! I know, bad joke! So he tried to hide it. Fix it in some way. Someone told him about David, who was a gifted musician, one who played the harp. Possibly he could play for Saul and so, when his demons came upon him, his playing might bring relief and healing. Taking away all signs of the cracks and rips in his life. Pretending they did not exist at least to the public, the country just outside his door he was to lead as a king.
And so, he became an actor, a fake. Under enormous pressure this ordinary man who became king was forced to attempt to live in such a way that no one would suspect the very reality of his problem. And he had not even had acting lesson! But, not only that, all in his court, became complicit in the ruse. The cooks, the generals, the foreign ministers, the priests, his wives, and such, all lying, making excuses, to cover for his bouts of depression, roaring fits of anger, his dramatics, like spears thrown and stuck into walls. His inconstant and arbitrary decisions, and confusion. Were they under pressure? You bet, for if they failed, it's not just their jobs, but their lives that are at stack!
I can just hear one of them explain that the music heard through the doors was simply entertainment for the king and his courtiers from a new up and coming musical protege!
It's a reminder that the "tourniquet" is a very short term pressure solution to any cracks or brokenness in our lives. We must look elsewhere for the solution that brings not only lasting healing but freedom and a life of integrity.
"Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall." Proverbs 28:18