Monday, April 23, 2012
FRANCOIS Wood Sculpture by Candace Knapp
29" x 42" x 13" $ 4800. Photo Bjorn Andren
I see the way you look at me! You are thinking, “he is made of wood. He does not suffer.” But you are so wrong. I suffer more than you can imagine. People look at my beautiful horns and they say, “Oh, he is a goat.” Would you be happy if someone called you a goat? I am NOT a goat. I am Francois but people do not want to know this. They do not want to know me! They prefer to decide that I am some animal so they won’t have to know me or speak to me. They insult me and then they turn away. I tell you I am Francois. I have dignity, I hold my head high...but I bleed inside. They hurt me, these people. And here I was ready to be their friend ! It is a painful truth.
There is something more. You see, I have short legs. Many people have short legs, Napoleon had short legs. It is not so unusual. I have my dignity AND I have short legs but people do not see this. They say a terrible thing. I almost cannot say the word it is so hurtful. They call me a dachshund. I am not that word. I am not some poopie little puppie! I am Francois! Why do people always want to know “What is it?” Then they can put me in a box in their mind and forget me. Why do they not ask, “Who is he? How can I meet him? What does he eat for breakfast?” Why do they not say, “How strange and beautiful and friendly he is?”
I am glad you are standing there listening to me. You are probably thinking, “Francois is just some old sculpture standing around all day. He has no adventures, no stories to tell.” How little you know! I smile inside! Right now I am having an argument with myself. Should I tell them or should I not tell them? Are you really listening to me? Do you know that listening is a great art? Can you listen without running off someplace in your mind? It is not so easy. Now I am looking at you and I see that you have beautiful eyes. I think I would like to tell you one of my secrets.
This is a small secret. You think I am just standing here. Everyone thinks that but I have fooled them all. I travel far and have adventures you cannot even imagine. How do I do this? In my imagination! One place I love to go is the forest. My forest has a lot of very tall thin yellow trees. It is so dense that the light filtering down to the grassy floor is in thin golden threads. Up above I hear the leaves shifting in the wind. That is my favorite music. It is easy to be lost here because it looks the same in every direction. My mind gets confused but the land rises and falls and my feet remember the way. I follow my feet. I cannot say there is a path but there is a slight opening between the trees that seems to continue and lead me on. I find that it is always like this. There is always a direction if you know how to look for it. I keep moving. I trot along like a great war horse. I can even leap over fallen trees. I tell you my legs are terribly strong. This place I am going to, it is calling me. It is pulling me. I am on my way and the way seems very familiar. There are tall grasses. Afternoon sunbeams warm my back and I can smell something. What is that? I think I am thirsty. Now the trail is going down to a clearing. Oh I remember. There it is, a pool of clear water surrounded by mossy rocks. I approach carefully and with great respect. I reach down and taste the cool water on my tongue. I drink deeply. It feels like life is coming into my body. Then I just pause and sniff the air above the water. The water becomes calm like a mirror. Suddenly I see him, the magnificent Francois with his beautiful horns and his kind eyes. He is there in the pool looking back at me! My heart rejoices.
Friend, I won’t tell you any more right now. I have given you enough. But don’t you agree that I have wonderful adventures? Someday I will tell you another story but first you must give me a beautiful smile and be careful because I will know if it is a real smile or not. Now go away.