FLYCATCHER CASTLE – UNCHAINING CRUCIBLE

Designing and eventually completing the construction of the castle brought about tremendous creativity and inner growth. One of the greatest unfolding treasures was moving away from a conventional Christian perception during a struggle process of questioning, contemplation and release, documented by means of several sculptures and artefacts.

From the start, and passionately, several Christian symbols were incorporated into the architecture of the building. Every entrance was embellished with a miniature cross, each suite had at least one painting or object denoting Christianity. A precious collection of antique panels of the Way of the Cross was imported from Belgium and exhibited in a space especially added onto the building, adjacent to the chapel. All over were antique paintings and prints of Jesus. At the main pedestrian entrance to the front garden a plaque was imbedded into the paved area with the words: ”Unless the Lord builds a house the work of the builders is useless” Psalm 127:7. An open Bible (on Isaiah 41) was buried immediately inside the parking entrance gate. A leader of a large denomination came to bless the building.

FOLLOW ME

THE main Christian symbol in the castle is a life size, realistic sculpture of a smiling Jesus with arms wide open depicting a joyous invitation:  “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.”

The sculpting process included making reference moulds of hands, feet, a face and shoulders … mostly of my gay friends at the time. This was not done intentionally, it was a simple matter of impromptu practicality and availability. I used the face of a very kind friend … who had a problem with drugs. The hands were moulded from the hands of a person with whom I had a relationship at the time. Firstly the original face mould was used to make a bust of Jesus, called Man of Joy (exhibited on the deck of the big tower: refer video castle in the Mist: Smiling). Subsequently and for the purposes of sculpting the full-size sculpture the face was changed to give it a more Jewish look (narrower face, thinner, more pronounced nose). I used clay infused cotton strings to construct the hair … prompting one spectator to ask why I gave the sculpture Afro hair!

The Jesus sculpture and Lamb of God (see below) eventually became the centre of turmoil when I terminated a relationship with the person whose hands I used for the sculpture. An expensive drawn out legal battle that ensued once resulted into the Sheriff of the Court arriving at the front gate with a list of my possessions that were to be sold on auction to cover the other person’s legal costs. The Jesus sculpture and Lamb of God were on the list. I valued the Jesus sculpture at R250 thousand, but in the Sheriff’s list it was valued at R5 000! I secretly smiled at this whole debacle … it would have been impossible to remove the Jesus sculpture because I recalled how tedious and difficult is was to move it from my studio to the chapel because the outstretched arms and hands as well as the rock base were too wide for the narrow Indian door. But I followed the advice of one of my daughters and decided to rather pay the legal costs than to risk losing sculptures of immense sentimental-personal value.

However, some time later when I visited a dear friend and biokinesiologist, she pointed out to me that the Jesus sculpture had the hands of the person with whom I ended a relationship … he was actively trying to take my possessions and money. He was the ultimate ”taker” whereas Jesus was the ultimate giver. As a result the hands of this sculpture were promptly cut off with a grinder and replaced with moulded hands from another person. I ceremoniously burnt the original hands in the front garden and celebrated it with cheese and wine. Initially the hands did not want to burn, but eventually went when I poured a whole bottle of Turps over it. At one stage the hands exploded and ashes flew all over … the palms were still intact but the thick wire with which I strengthened the fingers protruded like claws.

The most significant comment about the Jesus sculpture once came from a nine year old boy. They had just come from the famous God’s Window, about 5 kilometres from the castle … and he and his mom arrived for a guided tour. He spoke in an abrupt, low voice and maybe he also had a disability. After walking along the antique collection of panels on the Way of the Cross they eventually arrived in the chapel. With wide eyes he stared at the Jesus sculpture, gasped to his breath and said: ”This is more beautiful than God’s Window!” He saw the real God’s Window!!

LAMB OF GOD

Besides the life size sculpture of Jesus in the chapel (details mentioned earlier under ”The Auditorium, Flycatcher Castle”) a gentle sculpture  was placed in the entrance to the chapel. It consists of a Lamb (denoting the Lamb of God), an elaborate gilt crown embellished with various crystal jewels (Jesus the lamb but also king) and a little stream emanating from underneath this crown, running past the Lamb (”He will lead them to springs of life-giving water” Rev.17:17; Jer.2:13; John 4:10). Creating the little lamb sculpture brings back fond memories. During a search for sandstone blocks (that were to become the cornerstones in various spaces of the building) I mentioned to a farmer in the Free State-Fouriesburg area my intention to create this sculpture and that I was on the lookout for a carcass of a lamb (if that at all was possible to find!!). The previous day it just so happened that he had dropped a deceased lamb on the farm’s rubbish dump. The carcass was stored in a freezer for several months while the construction of the castle was underway till there was time to make a mould of it. The taxidermy eyes were imported from Germany and the eye lashes made from paint brush bristles. A seemingly useless little lamb, good enough for a rubbish dumb, the remains now resting in the castle’s pet cemetery in the front garden, was destined to fulfil a role of honour, that is to symbolise Jesus.

And then followed a series of testing events.

To celebrate Passover at the castle an event was advertised in the local newspaper. It would include a walk along the isle of the Way of the Cross, followed by communion in the entrance to the chapel and then a short presentation inside the chapel consisting of playing  a brilliant Czech rendition of the Our Father while the English translation was projected onto a large movie screen next to the Jesus sculpture. The Thursday before the Friday a priest  (from Sabie) from a large denomination phoned and asked from whom I got permission to offer communion upon, and without hesitation I answered: ”Jesus gave me permission”, upon which he uttered ”but we are the body of Christ”, upon which I remarked ”but I am also the body of Christ”. The ensuing discussion ended with him hearing that from then onwards he had been banned from the castle as persona non grata.

 

Soon afterwards an email arrived. The provincial religious leader in Gauteng (same person who conducted the blessing of the castle) reprimanded me for causing trouble between himself and the religious leader (same denomination) of Mpumalanga because of my altercation with the priest in Sabie (who must have reported the incident to his superior). He expressed concern that as a result his chances of conducting similar events/ceremonies in Mpumalanga could in future be refused by the religious leader of Mpumalanga. My question: ”Who’s kingdom is at stake here … yours or the leader in Mpumalanga .. or the kingdom of Jesus?”. Needless to say this interaction also ended not well.

 

And then some years later the same leader sent a Whatsapp message, saying that he was in Mpumalanga for a retreat and that he and his wife would like to visit … upon which I reminded him of the previous discussion and that amongst others, as a result of that discussion, I was moving away from the Christian religion. He apologised for contributing to this and said that he would pray for me, upon which I answered that his prayers were not needed.  Some years earlier I attended a religious course under his leadership. His response to my declining his offer to pray for me was surprise, because he said he would have expected that the benefits of that course would still be prevailing in me … His closing remark was that he noticed huge anger in me … and I expressed surprise at his lacking ”insight” into my emotional state.

 

I recall a similar incident when I was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church … the local leader behaved as if he had the right the command his presence and attention. All the time my reaction has been to answer with fire … the method they are accustomed to.

 

Then a very dear relative invited me to her wedding … and her father notified me that the attendance to this wedding could not be with a partner at the time because of us being gay. I promptly sent her a message to convey to her father that I forgive him in the name of Jesus … a language that he was supposed to understand. I did not attend the ceremony. A few years later this beautiful young woman suddenly died of an anorism and I did not attend her funeral because of the persistent prejudice of her father. For example, he sent me a letter explaining his insight under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that being gay is against the Word of God.

 

This infamous rhetoric of threats and brimstone future for gays have been ringing in my mind since childhood. I vividly remember the deep, clear, sombre voice of the reverent, echoing through the gracious building of the Dutch Reformed Church in Kimberly …” I look upon the mountains … where shall my help come from … my help is from God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth” …. The same message of solace often intermingled with clear warnings of hell-fire to gays and other sexually ”deviant” people.

SADLY THE BRIDE OF CHRIST … AND HER UNLAWFUL LOVER

Using the metaphor of the Armour of God this hateful rejection and condemnation of others was  addressed through the sculpture group named The Bride of Christ and Her Unlawful Lover … with the aim of giving a wake-up call to fundamentalist Christians, especially the leaders who are respected and trusted by their followers but who lure them into a web of hatred. A significant group amongst these leaders call themselves Theologians … “Theo” derived from the word ”god”, and ”logos” from the word ”study”. They even become professors of Theology, each with their own kingdoms of intellectual noise, claiming a superior knowledge of God. The word Theologian represents a ridiculous heresy … Creator, God, the Universe, Light … can never be grasped, can never be limited by means of human concepts and theories.

This sculpture group was created as a frank diagnosis of, but also a plea to a very large group of Christians who attempt to push Jesus away.

 

SELFMADE GOD: THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

The first sculpture representing The Bride of Christ is a stout “Voortrekker” (Settler) Aunty standing on a white washed grave, her feet sunken into the netherworld. Words from an old Voortrekker hymn are carved into the gravestone:” Uit dieptes gans verlore” (“From the depths of being completely lost”).

On closer inspection it is obvious she has no eyes (no life) … her chin is slightly tilted up and her mouth corners have a definite down curve … snobism.

She is suffocating the Bible under her right armpit while holding firmly onto the tail of a snake.

… that, deeper down, inside the grave, is entangled with the reality of the Tannie’s non-being: a skeleton of old dry, lifeless bones.

I used Paul’s metaphor of the armour of God, to convey an urgent plea:

Return to your first Love. Sack your self-created ruler of darkness who changes your HELMET OF SALVATION into a phallic bonnet which masquerades your spiritual blindness . Obsession with the “sinfulness” of “dykes” and “fairies” makes you rebuff God for wanting to redeem all people, everywhere.

Gird yourself with the TRUTH OF CHRIST. Cast off your malevolent belt of darkness with which you perpetually lash “that way”, the belt with which you strangle the Bible to institute a programme of disinformation about … “three letter men” and “fruitcakes” as subhuman spoils, unworthy of God’s kingdom.

The BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS does not suit your bloated bosom of dogmatic indecency against “letties” and “butt pirates”. You try to make them feel unworthy. They too are capable soldiers confidently wearing the worthiness of Jesus. They too enter the battle in what Jesus had done for al.l

Hiding your feet under grave stones of blatant political, social and emotional war against ”queers“ and “she-dogs” makes you morally stagnant. Rather shod those feet with the GOSPEL OF PEACE, the bequest of Jesus to all who trust in Him.

Instead of holding the SHIELD OF FAITH, you clench  a self-constructed, poisonous tail of victimisation , intimidation and domination of the bent, the “tickle your fancies” and “carpet munchers” … suffocating yourself into a lifeless skeleton unable to ward off the slithering, fiery arrows of ego-inspired, foul tactics and strategies.

Your bloodstained dagger of verbal attacks …  “faggots”, “brownies” and “arse bandits”, “fudge packers”, “pansies”, “pillow biters” and “queens”  … exchange it with the SWORD OF THE TRUTH,  Rather speak out the words of Jesus.

Impaling your orifice with a pole of megalomania to stiffen your body into hubris (arrogance against God), sneaking onto a place that is not yours (the bench of judgement), you exclaim: “I am God.”

Leave this place of whitewashed stones that cover the skeleton of your shame. Abandon your charade of being alive, follow Jesus as he invited 2 000 years ago. LOVE THE CREATOR with all your heart, soul and mind, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR as yourself.

UGLIFIED GOD: INVERSE ANUSISM

This is what a very large component of institutional Christianity does to Jesus … their prejudice changes him into a beast who is the unlawful lover of the Bride.

Although this horrible being is wearing a coat patterned with all the abused, so-called anti-gay verses in the Bible, he is oblivious to the fact that his shirt collar is strangling him with a truth about his own, warped perceptions. For example: “Bonking is bakgat (good-/cool) as long as it is straight”.

Because of lacking moral-personal hygiene, his skin is swamped with black heads. Here and there a dark brown tick is relishing his beastly blood. A few penis warts started to grow on his head

His teeth were salvaged from the carcass of a stumped nose fish.

He is crowned with a halo of razor wire

… and a life cast anus lures inside his mouth.

INVERSE ANUSISM:

Second hand hermeneutic (the art of interpretation) banalities and fixations

with mistranslations of Bible verses,

not on camp homo sapiens (but on temple prostitution)…

in tandem with arrogant, razor blade devoutness

and suspect moral stoutness …

changes the natural functioning of the digestive tract

into a condition of inverse anusism:

The anus digests the body until only itself remains.

SEX OBSESSED GOD: DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO STATE THAT THERE CERTAINLY ARE (IF NOT THE MAJORITY) MEMBERS OF THIS DENOMINATION WHO ARE PASSIONATE, REAL, LOVING, NON-JUDGEMENTAL FOLLOWERS OF JESUS. THIS SCULPTURE IS NOT DEDICATED TO THEM, BUT SPECIFICALLY A LARGE GROUP OF LEADERS AND ACADEMICS. ONE OF MY BIOLOGICAL FAMILY MEMBERS IS THE EPITOME OF LOVE, TOLERANCE AND HOLINESS AND OFTEN REMINDS ME OF WHO JESUS IS.

The level of crudeness and obscenity as depicted in and through this sculpture matches the obscenity, crudeness, moral arrogance and evil in the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa.

They are worthy of being referred to as “cunts”… a profane, extremely degrading term for the vagina … vulgar slang and the most offensive word in the English language … an example of one of the most hateful and powerful examples of verbal abuse.

I dislike this obnoxious, contemptible institution because it worms itself into the intimacy of the biological family and cancers its perceptions about sexuality, amongst others, that being gay is a sin. In this process it manages to break up the family, splitting it into those who go to heaven and those who go to hell.

Instead of preaching and practicing LOVE, they cause tremendous, permanent suffering in intimate family relationships between brother and brother, sister and brother and parents and children … all for the sake of control over people’s minds and money … and to persistently write their own ego stories of unfulfillment..

I did not plan to ever publish pictures of this “creation” because of the possibility that it shall shock and antagonise. However, after our family had to say good bye to my Mom, old scars linked to prejudices conditioned by the Dutch Reformed Church, almost started bleeding again. Children who have not seen one another as a result of moral-religious condemnation of my being gay … this brought strain to primary relationships that can never be repaired. This sculpture is dedicated to the institution that brought havoc into a family. I am not angry anymore, but I want to say this in conclusion, to those who persistently uphold this denomination and who stubbornly cling to their intention to kill: you are what you can see in this sculpture.

This sculpture was exhibited in the art gallery of the castle, but always covered with a velvet cloth, in case it antagonizes someone. It was only on request that the cloth was removed. All who then saw it burst out in laughter. Some naïve gay men expressed surprise at the various hair styles and they had to be told that the sculptures were merely decorated with wig parts and did not represent reality! Two guests from the United States even recognized their current president in this sculpture! However, once a large group of affluent people visited. One of them had removed the cloth (laughing about the sculpture) and forgot to put it back. Another guest then saw it and insisted towards a member of staff to stop what he was busy with (running around serving people) so that he could listen to the guest expressing his disgust. Another member of this group said that, had he known about this sculpture, he would never have visited because he was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. At the time my daughter asked him to stand in my shoes and see what I had to go through to have gone so far and publish such a sculpture. But he was adamant and left without a smile

GOD OF PREJUDICE: SCROTUM TOTEM

A totem is a revered emblem or symbol which is a reminder of the existence of something else like ancestry. Scrotum Totem represents prejudice … a preconceived judgement or opinion, an irrational attitude of hostility that connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance … the dangerous trait of humanity that causes much pain and suffering.

The idea for creating this sculpture was sparked by the scrotum-lookalike air sack hanging under a ground hornbill’s large beak, in front of the neck …

and to exacerbate this image several life cast copies from human beings’ scrotums were added onto its shoulders and elbows …adding severity by replacing its armpits with life cast anuses

… and adding another penis behind its back.

But its ultimate malevolence, but also subliminal sexual connotation, is depicted by the puffadder wound around its waist. To complete the image of repulsion some polyester resin faeces were placed around the sitting figure.

In contrast to the above, the figure is sitting in a lotus position as if in a meditative, spiritually aloof, devout, saint-like position … denoting hypocrisy.

 

SCROTUM TOTEM

Emblem of kinship

in

obscenities

vulgarities

smut and vile

impurities,

indecencies

filth and foul …

easy to expose

in

others

scary to concede

in

self

CANNIBAL GOD

This sculpture group is a fragment ….  one perspective. I accept that the people who fit this description can in other aspects of their lives be worthy, for example, being a good, loving mother or father, or helping the poor. Or in a couple of years they may change their outlook and see life in a more tolerant, loving way.

 

There are millions of Christians, if not the great majority, who are gentle, honest, passionate, compassionate followers of Jesus. They knowingly or unknowingly submit to the authority of villains (many leaders as well as ordinary members) who perpetually attempt to control their souls, minds and lives to feed their own egos. These villains arm themselves with titles, degrees, they even become professors of theology. They become specialists in knowledge about God!!! And yet the smallest, simplest of children who live a life of love, are closer to God. If Jesus were on earth today in human form, he certainly would have great trouble to keep showing the way to a recalcitrant group of self-appointed advisors who collude to overrule him when his ways are against theirs. Jesus does not figure prominently in their CV’s and their ego stories because he is not enough to feed their self-seeking souls.

 

The life size, realistic sculpture of a smiling Jesus with arms wide open depicts a joyous invitation. However, self-righteous humans then made Jesus a mere religion instead of following him on a journey toward union with God. This brought about a religion where the fruitless search is for God through feeding an unfulfilled, insecure self with excessive accumulation of things, power, arrogance, envy, bigotry and murder.

This religion is embodied as follows:

A human body invaded from within, by a praying mantis … forcing its head through the human’s neck area … one leg pushing through on the right hip, causing blooded wounds that eventually terminates life. The common name is Praying Mantis, but the scientific name, mantis religiose, is apt in the case of this sculpture. Mantis derives from the Greek word which literally means diviner or prophet. A praying mantis is a formidable predator, a large green insect that feeds on other insects and clasps its prey in the forelimbs as if in prayer. This insect lies in ambush or patiently stalks its quarry. It uses the front legs to snare its prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye.

 

Sometimes, after copulation, the female kills and eats the male … a phenomenon called sexual cannibalism. In the case of ”Religious Cannibalism” the praying mantis is changed into a Preying Mantis … a religious prophet preying on others in the guise of praying … a matter of religious cannibalism … praying (saying “please”, “hoping for something” or “speaking to express love, admiration or thanks”) …  then changes to preying (“hunted for food, a person who is the victim of an enemy, swindler, plunderer”).

One hand stretched out, offering a diamond. The other hand hidden behind its back, clinching a knife. A diamond is a symbol of Jesus … of light. The ”prophet” offers light, ostensibly benevolently. As soon as the prey accepts the light in good faith, the ”prophet” goes for the killing.

Gigantic genitals. A symbol of obsession with sex, persecuting those with differing life styles and viewpoints, but at the same time also sexual envy that masquerades own unfulfilled sexual needs and sexuality. A symbol of obsession with power, to control other’s perceptions, way of living, emotional life, feeding on the lives of their followers. They build religious empires around themselves to feed their hungry egos, to entrench the unfulfilled search for self, creating suffering for themselves and others.

JOKER GOD OF MEN OBSESSED WITH SEX

Having ventilated stale air towards institutional Christianity does not imply that the object of their prejudice is an innocent, gentle lamb. In fact they too struggle with their own self- created joker god of sex obsession

 

 

JOKER GOD

 

Many a gay man’s

self-proclaimed

valid aim

of lustful living:

Only one’s own happiness and pleasure

through

unbridled, uncontrolled,

excessive  interest

in sexual desire …

MONEY GOD

Christianity’s cannibal god is but a mere relative of the money god of humanity at large. This monster merely aborted another hissing creature when humans invented religion … a god of money perpetually blurting out its song of creed:

 

Allow me,

the mighty

god of money,

to

curse

with inflaming,

insatiable hunger…

to

devour

God’s beauty

and splendour.

For my sake

I’ll burden

with

ravenous crave,

a selfishness

to

pollute

and destroy.

I pray this

in

the name of

the fake,

the savage

and

the holy profit.

AH MONEY

The idea of creating this sculpture came when I stumbled across the remains of a small antelope (duiker), quite close to where I was creating Flycatcher Castle. The remains (hooves, intestines, some bones and the skin) were in a plastic bag and someone dumped it in the veld … obviously the sickening fruit of snaring that is so rife in the Graskop area. The womb still contained a complete fetus of a minute male.

I made a mould of this fetus and created a  monster grabbing, killing the vulnerable fetus : new life. This killer monster epitomises the sad plight of Nature around Graskop and indeed nature at large … a most beautiful, biodiverse ecosystem that is dying a slow death because of the greedy pursuit of riches as manifested in illegal snaring, removal of indigenous plants, perpetual scorching of the total natural veld all around commercial forests, to protect investments  … and arson, mainly due to alcohol abuse.

In line with a callous attitude, the “crown” is that of a Staffie’s skull. Someone dumped the carcass on the banks of the Braamfontein Spruit, Johannesburg … sad plight for a once loyal dog and friend. The Rietbuck horns a friend gave me. I added it to give the sculpture a feeling of poisonous tentacles. The necklace consists of numerous snares used to kill numerous animals in this area, including domestic dogs that are neglected and as a result, trying to survive by hunting wild animals and then falling prey to snares … a horrible, painful death awaiting.

And then this monster is binging after money that is of no use at all, spiritually speaking … epitomised by the useless coins all over this sculpture.

But the obsessive devotion towards money has a serious comeback. Those egoic minds who bow before money eventually have to bow down before other self-created gods like drugs and alcohol. It becomes a self- destructive quest (reference: the bottle of liquor in of the claws).

The hand painted crocodile eyes are from Germany … to add to the theme of a silent reptilian killer. The face of this monster resembles that of a previous South African president, the ultimate icon of mammonism, together with likeminded cohorts of a democratised State Capture.

DIVINE SPARK, UNIQUE CREATION

The last sculpture in this group was created first, but only many years later the realization dawned that it represents the completion of a journey recorded in the preceding sculptures. It brought a portal allowing an awareness that there is indeed freedom from transient things … thoughts, possession and situations. Criticizing the supporters of religion about prejudice in itself represents a partial and temporary truth which in itself is prejudice … all are emotional noise which does not bring lasting peace.

Unique Creation (a human nipple magnified 14 times) depicts a celestial body, somewhere in the macro cosmos of humanity, it celebrates the wonderful, special, holy uniqueness of each human being.

An inimitable, complex system of foothills, craters and valleys surround the main peak. A closer look at the foothills reveal endless cascades of more foothills and more valleys with vast detail of inter-functional micro-topography: an overwhelming majestic landscape, frightfully wonderful, designed and created with the same completeness and detailed thoroughness as the gigantic galaxies of stars. Not only has each human being distinctive fingerprints … each miniscule part of the body is the only one of its kind.

A myriad of similar uniqueness is visible all around the nipple planet … they represent the cosmos of humanity since the beginning of time and generations still to come.

Through wealth, political power, social status, racial identity, academic and intellectual achievements people are often tempted to confuse their wonderful, special and holy uniqueness with selfist eminence, notability, importance and influence. It is sobering to realise that, compared to the rest of creation a human being is but an insignificant particle of a speck. About 80% of a human being consists of water and 20% of, amongst others, calcium, phosphate, natrium, zinc, copper, cobalt, cilenium and vanadium. In a human being weighing 70 kilograms the above-mentioned proportion will be 56 (140 litres or 7 X 20 litre water buckets) and 14 (7 clay bricks) kilogram. To compare, for example, the 140 litres with the volume of the sea (100 thousand million billion litres: 100 000 000 000 000) goes beyond human comprehension, it is like comparing the volume of a miniscule splinter grain of sand with the volume of the Drakensberg range mountains.

Although in human terms the earth is massive, it will take 1 387 earths to fill the volume of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. However, compared to the sun, Jupiter’s volume is humbled: 952 of them will fit into the sun. But then the sun is only a medium sized star. 11 942 275 suns fit into the giant star called Antares.

Through an ordinary telescope the M16 or Eagle Nebula ( a cosmic womb where new stars are born) in the constellation of Serpens ,looks like a feint bunch of stars. Through the Hubble telescope massive dust and gas pillars are visible, some up to 4 730 000 000 000 kilometers in length. A string of 14 471 Antares stars will fit into this length. Imagine the earth as a grain of sand with a diameter of 2mm and a string of these grains stretching over a distance of 70km (eg. From Johannesburg to Pretoria and about 20 km beyond towards Warmbaths/BelaBela).

Furthermore, the sun is one of 300 000 million stars which form the galaxy named Milky Way. There are billions and billions of galaxies, each with thousands of millions of stars and thousands of millions of planets.

In the light of the above, how “on earth” can one, through human achievements, justify and explain the eminence of a unique, special, wonderful human being who is but a short lived flower, a breath, a passing shadow? We are wonderful sparks of the Divine.

WE ARE THE LIGHT

To persistently answer fire with fire (as happened in creating the sculptures) was not the final answer to reach inner peace. The weight of carrying a burden as depicted in the sculptures just became too much so that eventually, like the water plunging over the precipice of the Lisbon falls, I ”crashed ” into a stillness of an new awareness, a consciousness of the omni-presence of the Creator. Freedom, stillness and peace arrived when the journey ended with fire as the manifestation of the Ultimate Creator. This happened in my castle room 3 o’clock in the morning, with all peaceful and quiet and my darling Border Collie (Flynn) sleeping peacefully next to my bed. I got woken by a loud sound of burning fire, saw something, thought it was just a dream and immediately dozed off. But the fire woke me a second time and then I was wide awake, It lasted about 20 seconds … a large, roaring fire about two metres in diameter and about three metres from where I was sleeping. I walked to the window and looked outside, expecting fire damage … all quiet and no smell of burning … Flynn was peaceful … it was the Unverse, the Creator, Light in the suite, in me, all around me, in fact, in every living organism, rock and plant.

 

The sculptures in this section were initially exhibited in a public space. Not so long ago they were removed into storage, a deliberate action to signify withdrawal from fire and preparation for my final withdrawal from the castle that precipitated an unchaining crucible. I now seldom think of them, it is as if they don’t exist anymore, the issues they represent have become superfluous. What remains is an ever-growing stillness. And that is enough.

Little did I know that the slogan of Flycatcher Castle, ”heaven on (a new) earth plentiful mirth”, created about twelve years earlier, was destined to depict the liberating crucible of unchaining.

Little did I know that the words of Dante Aligheri (AD 500) would shed light on the final sculpture in this group: ”Divine Spark”. For years his words have been exhibited on the back of my LDV, ”Above you the majestic celestial wheels are turning with eternal glory and still you keep your eyes on the ground” … and lately the last three word were changed to ”on your  ”cell phone” … representing ”your story, your ego, your illusions”.