I finished this Stick-Figure sculpture in November 2011 just before undergoing two operations, (right foot and left leg) which immobilized me for many weeks. I symbolically assigned this Lert to stand guard over my health and wellbeing. It was comforting to have it there before me each day as I dealt with severe pain.
For me the title, A Lert: Stillness, reflects the nature of meditational awareness: an attuning oneself to the outer and inner world simultaneously. The Lert has his glasses on, observing; his ears pricked up, listening; his cheeky tongue out, tasting the world; his nostrils filled; his toes flexed; and legs ready for action. All his senses are “on alert,” but he is still. Not moving at all, he stands guard over the nest egg, which is heart, which is life, which is precious.
My ten year old niece, Sarah, encountered my Lert when she came to visit me laid up on my couch. She loved the idea of meeting a Lert, and was most taken with it, asking about what it was that it was protecting. She spent time looking at it attentively… alertly.
Then for Christmas, she gave me a card with a fabulous drawing of a lert wearing a santa hat with an egg at its feet, cracked open with a young lert emerging, poking his tongue out at the world. I realised that I had seen the Lert as protecting the “heart” egg from breaking, whereas Sarah had recognised the potential for new life manifest within the egg. A birth! Sarah had drawn a Christmas nativity scene with a difference.
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.” Ekhart Tolle: A New Earth p.274