Beauty in Sweeping Gravity

The statue in the featured image is Lorenzo Quinn’s Force of Nature II.  Somehow, either through an NPR article about Tehran and the potential economic growth or just through idle clicking, I found an image of this statue.  And I knew I needed  to write about it but was uncertain about how I should write about it.

For the last four days, I have kept tabs open that would allow me to go back and look, once more, at Mother Nature spinning the Earth, at a woman in a sweeping cloak, swinging the world in a centrifuge.

I love how she is curled backwards and away from the globe.  I love how her feet are in perfect counterpoint to the arch of her back, to the tight grip of her toes against the grain of the world below her.

She sweeps the world in a perfect circle, swinging it in an almost halcyon swirl.  But that potential emotion is counterposed in the virulent folds of tarnished, greened bronzed cloth that blinds her.

She reminds me of Justice, blindfolded, holding her scales.  Holding the world in tenuously balanced point and counterpoint.  If Justice were to lose her objectivity, I could see her wrapping the Earth and all its residents into sling of her blindfold and just twirling in an angry circle, ready to heave the Earth off into the farthest reaches of the universe.

Force of Nature II reminds me of my childhood, when my friends and I took turns swinging each other in terrifying, scary circles.  One moment, we were barely airborne, our ankles skimming the grass.  The next, we tumbled to the ground, tearing out divots of soil with our elbows and knees.  Grass stains scarred our jeans, our shirts, and then we would leap to our feet, sweep off the dirt and take another turn.

I remember when I became too old, too big to be the counterbalance, to be the person being terrifyingly swung around and around in dizzying, nauseating circles.  I remember being the reluctant axis, missing that brief freedom when I slipped free of physics and gravitational laws and just levitated.  I remember how I reluctantly lifted my friends up and off the ground, pulling with all my might against the burden of their heavy bodies and just spinning.

And spinning

And spinning.

And eventually, my friends’ hands would slip from mine and I would tumble backwards, naturally relaxing my body so that I could avoid the worst of the pain as I jounced into the ground.

Quinn, the artist, was inspired by the destruction in Thailand due to hurricanes.  And I can see how he is channeling his grief, his pain, his mourning through the billowing cloth, through the tension in the lines holding the Earth to Mother Nature.

But I still see something more than just a reminder that we are subject to the Earth, to the forces of nature that can easily stamp out our existences.

I still see something lovely, something wonderful. In the femininity of the Earth, in the way the cloth cups the woman’s abdomen, I see life.  I see the possibility of life.

I also see David swinging his sling as he prepares to hurl his stone at Goliath.

I see the fragility and tenuous lines of my existence held in absolute abandon.

I see destiny.

I see the potentiality of my reflection if I were to stand beneath the globe and look up.

I see myself in the woman’s hidden face.

I see…

And I don’t see….

if that makes any sense

I know that one of these statues has been installed in New York City.  I have the address and know it’s in the courtyard of some business.  And I know that the purpose is to raise money to help children in desperate need.

And I would love to have just five minutes, even if it were only five minutes, to stand beneath the dancing woman and just see.


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