Stefan's Bear

 

Terracotta
38 x 59 x 28cm
2019
Stefan was the plaster technician.
A quiet man, polite, he would polish his tools
with WD40 at the end of each working day.
We called him the plaster wizard,
that we were channeling Stefan
in order to complete some demanding part or mould.
I remember him fondly with a smile
and that he would always prefix my name with ‘young.’ ‘Here’s young Jonathan,’ he would say.
Stefan would sometimes quietly tell a joke
or story to break the built up slurry in the studio.
One such time came shortly after my divorce,
where burying my head in work seemed the best thing to do.
Stefan appeared at my side
and told me of two campers who had pitched up in the forest.
they built a fire,
put on a kettle,
then walked off to explore their surroundings.
When they returned, they heard a great howl of pain,
a bear had wandered into the campsite and scolded itself on the pot.
It’s natural reaction was to try and crush it,
yet in doing so the hot metal continued to burn.
Sometimes, Stefan said, everything tells us to hold on
to the thing that causes us pain,
where often the best thing we can do
is to just let go.
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Stefan's Bear

Terracotta 38 x 59 x 28cm 2019