To me, this sculpture, “Rising Cairn,” by Celeste Roberge captures grief —when you feel doubled over in pain, and so weighted-down you can’t move. Apparently, it isn’t what the artist had in mind, but the language of the link tells me I’m not the only “beholder” to read it that way.
It’s how I felt a week after my husband Tom died, after friends and family had gone home, returning to their lives. On my first day alone, I stood outside my front door, immobilized. I needed to pick my kids up from camp—two separate places with a tight timeline in between. They were so young, 4 and 6—one on the autistic spectrum, and both a mess for having lost their dad so abruptly. It was never easy; now it felt impossible.
I leaned on my front door and remembered a dream I had as a kid. In it, I had 100-pound weights chained to my ankles and I could not budge. All the will in the world wasn’t enough to pick up a leg and take a step, though I tried and tried.
I did eventually get off the porch and into my minivan and I picked up my kids and somehow I kept doing what I needed to do. As my dear friend Norma counseled: “Take your steps. When if feels impossible, concentrate on taking that next step.” But oh, was it hard.
This sculpture made me remember.