Feathered Sculpture - Virgil A. Walker

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Chicken, peacock

This sculpture was set aside after casting for several years because I couldn’t see how to proceed. This Fall the color combinations, meaning narrative, and technical difficulties resolved.

I received an email written by ‘Fred’ and passed along by a good friend as ‘interesting.’ Fred is apparently a journalist covering military issues and his article purports to be a summary of all history. The first paragraph warns of “…the gravest plague to afflict humanity: the infernal and irremediable aggressiveness of males.” He continues, “What we call statesmanship is, emotionally and morally, indistinguishable from gang war in South Chicago.” Men cause all war, and our military wear, “baubles and medals and patches and different hats, talk of honor and duty and valor. Nah. Male dogs in an alley.” Fred the Journalist goes on to blame the “commercial combat” and “unrestricted rapine” of capitalism on the testosterone-fused brains of men.

Coming from the internet and lacking a last name, I doubt Fred’s claim to journalist and suspect the possibility he’s a nerdy HS senior in a Che tee-shirt wanting to get laid, so it was surprising to be interested in responding at all. But respect for my friend and as counterpoint to this work, I considered first his history and recalled numerous women of power, from Makeda, Queen of Sheba, to Eleanor of Aquitaine and Margaret Thatcher, and some of those, like Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar, would shame even Idi Amin.


The direction of my interest turned from power to the nature of women with recollection of Kipling’s poem The Female of the Species, that begins:

     When the Himalayan peasant meets

              the he-bear in his pride,

     He shouts to scare the monster, who

              will often turn aside.

     But the she-bear thus accosted rends

               the peasant tooth and nail.

      For the female of the species is more

               deadly than the male.

My family still enjoys the story of a paintball outing attended by my feminine and sweet daughter, Diane. She was timid, reluctant and appalled by the aggression until her 10-year-old nephew took a hit to an unprotected soft spot that brought tears to his eyes. Eyebrows shot up as Diane transformed into a Saxon Berserker and charging, wiped out the culprits.

The liquid, nurturing qualities of the feminine within us all, crowned with a hawk-like perspective and ferocity, can not be diminished by the shallow rhetoric of Fred.   



   Photo:  Richard K. Webb

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