Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Mani Clock


UNDER A MOUNTAIN-BLUE SKY a woman weaves prayers into the winds that blow over the bright lands of her birth. The Himalayan light adorns her, and the colours all around her glow jewel-like, turquoise, coral, in the cold air.


In one hand she holds a prayer-wheel, which she spins as she prays, setting intention in motion, sending the words out onto the wind. 


With her other hand she spills out coloured sands to create a sand-mandala on the ground in front of her - a geometric circle pattern of colour-magic that will last as long as the winds will it. 



But this mandala is also a clock, and so the transitory nature of time and the ever-turning, ever-changing present is spelled out in two mandalas overlaid - one, a beautifully-crafted ritual from the east, the other, a ubiquitous wheel of numbers which we look at every day. 


Above our prayer-weaver in the blue blue skies blow coloured flags. These contain prayers too, which are caught by the winds as they pass by, and carry them to other places and people and ears to hear them. 


The words painted on the flags are in Mongolian. At the bottom edge of the clock, the same words are written in Tibetan. They spell out a well known mantra to the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, the patron deity of Tibet. The repeated sounds of this six-syllable mantra - om mani padme hum - are thought to reverberate throughout the universe, and can be found written all over Tibet on mani stones, prayer flags, prayer-wheels and in many other places. 


I love the idea of stones and flags written with prayers, being left all over the land, for the wind to catch. And the idea that the spinning of the wheel is equivalent to chanting the mantra contained in it many times. 


This clock was created a year and a half ago in oils on wood for a woman who loved these lands of the Himalaya mountains, who loved Sanskrit scripts and calligraphy, and all things Tibetan. But sadly at the time I was finishing it, she was travelling in India, a country she loved, and was very badly injured in an accident. Since then, her family has been waiting for her recovery and putting all their funds into paying for hospital treatment. Unfortunately this means that there's no possibility of them paying for this clock that I had made, which has left me with a dilemma. I really wanted this clock to go to the person I made it for, and I have waited and kept it a year and a half in the hopes that circumstances might change.


But they have not. And my client's husband has given his blessing for me to sell it on to someone who will love it. So here it is ... The Mani Clock, a jewel-like thing which I am quite proud of, and which I now pass on to you. Would you like to own it? Or know someone for whom it would make a unique gift? I know that many folks have been waiting for another Once Upon O'Clock to be listed. Now's your chance! I will put this in my Once Upon O'clock etsy shop at 8pm tonight - 29th October 2013 - UK time (here's a handy time converter to work out what time that will be in your part of the world). [EDIT: The clock is now listed here.]


Meanwhile, as the winds blowing through these lands right now take prayers with them to other places, I leave you with some beautiful singing by a young boy in Tibet:

20 comments:

Bedford Gypsy said...

It is such a wonderful clock, so sad to hear about the woman you made it for, sending healing thoughts out to her and her family. The artwork is beautiful as ever and I am sure you will not have any problem selling it.its stunning.

Oya's Daughter said...

It is a beautiful piece of work: I have an idea - is there anyway we could donate toward the expense of the clock so the original buyer could have it and yet you also can be paid for your work? I'll happily drop some coppers in the hat for that.

Rima Staines said...

Thank you both... I rather love it too :)

Oya's daughter: yes I had thought of that, but it depends on a large number of people contributing.
Also - I haven't been able to get in touch with the family at all lately. All my emails bounce back.
So this seems the only solution.

Starr Sonam said...

Oh my thoroughly distracted with this piece, my tea is cold their are tears in my eyes and my whole himalayan family is sitting here watching that sweet boy sing their songs. Thank you

Suzanne said...

I GASPED OUT LOUD! Simply wonderful! I really hope someone that loves me will buy this for me as a Yule gift! ;)

jinxxxygirl said...

I think you should donate it to them since you feel so strongly the lady should have it. Perhaps it will help with her recovery. Maybe the family could help you with the shipping costs at least..... If i were you that would be the only thing that would sit right with my soul. deb

Rima Staines said...

Thank you Starr and Suzanne!
Deb - I cannot do this unfortunately, however much I'd like to. Even if I was in a position to be able to donate my long hours of work, I am unable to contact the family - my emails just bounce back.

Heather said...

What a clear true voice that Tibetan boy has.
How sad that your intended client cannot have the clock, but I feel sure there is someone who will be delighted to have the chance of buying it - it is so beautiful and will have great meaning for the right person.

Nancy said...

I'd be willing to donate to the clock for the original client. I have a fixed income but I can always eat rice and beans. If you do contact them and go that route I will donate some.

Maggie said...

What a lovely work. It's hard for an artist when people's circumstances change, but you are right in selling it to another, as you need to cover your costs as well. But perhaps the family will see this blog post and contact you?

Kerry O'Gorman said...

I would also donate for the family to receive this gift. Have you tried googling their name? Let us know. It may very well help heal the woman it was designed for.

Eva said...

This is a very beautiful clock and a lovely colorful piece of painting. Too bad the lady had an accident! But this gives you some time to do some tiny corrections on the Mantra which now is Om Mani Pad "Mi" (should be "Me") Hung. The Accent on the 5th syllable is different from the 3rd one. The parts of the Hung should be connected closely, they are seen as one letter.
Love the clock. Hope it will be in its owner's hands soon.
http://harmonyxxx.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/buddhist-prayer-for-healing/om-mani/

pRiyA said...

What an utterly absolutely stunning clock. I cannot stop looking at it.
It is really sad to read the story of the lady who commissioned this beautiful piece of art. I hope sometime somehow she will be healed.

ewelshjewellery@gmail.com said...

I can't stop looking at her Rima. I absolutely love this painting. Her face is stunning and the colours. I'm not usually a fan of blue but its perfect for this scene. I can't imagine how many hours you must have dedicated to her. I'd love to buy her if I could. I'm saving to buy an original in the future. I wondered if you might be making prints from this in the meantime? Much love Emma x

Lunar Hine said...

Beautiful and good and sweetly right - the concept; the work; the decision you have made. This clock should be loved. It was made for this particular woman and will always resonate for her - it is a prayer clock! But she is uncontactable and otherwise has more important things to be concerned with. This will find a loving home as it should. It is stunning.

Rima Staines said...

Thank you all for your lovely words about this clock. Your comments are always so appreciated. And I'm glad you have enjoyed the delightful singing too.

Maggie - thanks for the words of support :)

Kerry - I have tried, to no avail - they are impossible to find.

Eva - thanks for your input on the Tibetan... is it possible that a little wonkiness could be allowed in here as it is with the rest of my work, including lettering in English? ;)

Els said...

Oh Rima, what a sad sad story ....
First I feasted my eyes on your beautiful beautiful painting, untill I found the story: and it made me sooooo sad. I think I would not enjoy it when I could buy it (I'm sorry, but sure I don't have the money to pay for this unique beauty)
I would gladly support you with some money if there was any possibility that the woman who it was made for could have it .... I will hear what will be .....

Rima Staines said...

Emma - I'm also not a big fan of blue, but there's something wonderfully clear and zinging about this kind of turquoise sky blue, especially next to dark reds... :)

Ida said...

Absolutely stunning, as always. ;)
Ciao!
Ida

Moon and Hare said...

What an exquisite clock! Your work is beautiful, as always.