Alexander Calder, Balloons
Water Beneath the Sun
I am the ocean and you are the sun, water and fire undone
by one another…
I am a restless wave, you the steady flame
Dark and deep and cold
Light and transparent and warm…I feel your heat
Above me, below me, through me…you make me evaporate
turning into steam just to be near you.
Why are you the only one
with so much power over me?
With so much burning desire that I dance ……under your eye, at the touch of your hand,
begging you to notice me?
You rise and fall at my body’s horizon, encircling me like I am your end game, and also the
making me believe, if only for a second, that you want to dive into me,
to fall from your place in the sky and let me catch you
but you are afraid you will sink again,
Even though I’ve promised you that won’t happen with me,
I will make sure you swim,
floating on the sure current of my unchanging heartbeat.
A String For My Balloon
My mother used to tell me that I was like a balloon—a dreamer, a wonderer, a see-er of possibilities—and that I needed a string (the perfect kind of string) who would let me soar into my imagination, my “head in the clouds” space, but would balance me with his practicality (because it’s always good to have something to hold onto); a string who would keep me from floating too far from reality without pulling me all the way down. Because even though I can be logical and practice common sense for the most part, I think we can all agree, I am mostly a right-brained girl who feels better at ease thinking with my heart more than my head, hoping that all that is best will unfold in time. But we all know balloons that fly too far away eventually burst, so having a string to give them just enough freedom, to make sure they don’t dissolve in thin air and that keep them attached to the land of the living is paramount for the survival of the balloon, and also gives life to the string. Anyway, when I look at Calder’s “Balloons” lithograph, I am always reminded of her telling me this; even though I’m sure Calder didn’t necessarily place such implications on his balloons and strings, or even on the sun and the water below.I am the water beneath the sun.I am just a balloon looking for her string.