I guess because it’s cold, and the nights are darker earlier, I start to think about the coming summer, and also my mind goes back to the memories of last summer.
Last summer towards the end, I made this large sculpture. It came about within the landscape of my life, not from some “art idea’ but from the fact that Will and I had cut down enormous oak branches from the 100 year old trees which hang over our small house.
It had always been a worry, the large branch that hung above our bedroom, about ten inches off the roof. My father had always remarked about it when ever he came over.
Will cut it down with a hand saw one late summer evening with my daughter Flannery. Will had instructed her how to hold the long end of the twelve foot branch gently and allow it to drop slowly to the roof, as he sawed. He gave her instant by instant instructions about what would happen, and how to gently help the branch down to the roof.
Once we got the large branch to the roof, we had to figure out how to get it safely to the ground. Many plans were gone over and then finally Will seized upon it. The garden hose would be employed to help the branch down. The hose was tied to the oak, flannery and I sat on the roof, feet applied to the branch, and Will down below. Will counted off from one to three, at three, Flannery and I pushed with our feet, the huge branch off the roof, while Will pulled with the hose out into the yard. The branch did what it was supposed to do, it was flung out and onto the yard below without breaking any windows, or damaging the house.
We celebrated. Actually, Flannery retreated into the house while Will and I swept off the oak leaves from the roof, drank from a wine bottle filled with water, and eventually sat on the roof to rest. We drank heavily from the wine bottle, admired the view from up there and lay down on the roof, sweaty, to look at the sky which was turning dark bluish.