Rosecrans 1


Journal Entry for Sketch #1
March 16th: 3 Days before Start of U.S./Iraq War


This is my first visit to the cemetery. Getting oriented and trying to figure out how to find graves of those who died in war. I wander through cemetery and finally sit down to sketch.

>> Next: Journal Entry for Sketch #2

15 thoughts on “Rosecrans 1

  1. A figurehead king escapes from missles while the true culprit sneakes away on the other side, his role obscured by the ornate cloud behind his head. Or, the king runs from the damage his has caused while his supporter loses interest and admits defeat, walking away. The figure in the center and objects floating around remind me of Ganesh, who broke off his right tusk to fulfill his commitment to write the Mahabharata. The right tusk symbolizes wisdom, the left emotion. In breaking it off, Ganesh demonstrated the need to be free from the grip of pairs of opposites such as pleasure and pain so that we can awaken our creativity (writing, in G’s case). It also points to breaking off the ego to achieve spiritual fulfillment. The figure in the center also seems undistracted by the drama and movment of the other two characters. A very focused, centered, in fact, heart-centered piece. “The Warrior Opens His Heart” “The Warrior Finds Love” “Ganesha’s Commitment”

  2. I really like the “Warrior Opens His Heart” name because it speaks to the way non-violence gains power over violence. Perhaps this is a way past the violent wars we currently wage.

  3. “The Song of Life”, there are so many references to life, the spermazota, the egg, primal forms such as the jellyfish or perhaps an amebic cell sucessfully impregnated and changing form…there is a rhythm in the graffito.. in the undulating marks both recessed and in relief. The sesuality of the music is heard and felt.
    The attended figures mysterious opposites of expression
    and movement…

  4. I have found that brad’s work is always thought provoking. It looks like a landing to me. bombs bursting. a man in a boat with a horse(mode of transportation). the sea. a lion gauarding or controling(a troup ship, or the comander). I would like to call this one “BEACH HEAD” or “LANDING”. I know that it is a concrete title and many of Brad’s works have very exotic names, but this one, to me, is much different.

  5. “Warrior Opens His Heart” seems very fitting for this work and reminds us that the warrior fights for us all and that his heart and soul are at risk.

  6. This piece seems to elicit a lot of life or death or perhaps it is love and hate thoughts about war. Since this was my first visit to the cemetery I am wondering if the person in the middle being bombarded isn’t me the artist, perhaps being made aware for the first time of the terrors and judgements and commands and inspirations that create war and kill the soldiers (represented by the accompanying figures and line patterns). The “dog” soldier in the middle seems to be taking a terrible hit directly to the heart. He is the one tasked with fighting and possibly dying. His earnestness and idealism appears to be at the center of it all. Some of the commenters have focused on the survival side of the “hit”; the others on the the death. Two of the commenters saw the crossing point between life and death as the point(the “stand”, “beach head”, or the “dualism”). I am reminded of the martial training of the oriental warrior who receives the force of his opponent in order to win the fight. I feel the name “Warrior Opens His Heart” speaks best to all these issues so far and also challenges us to discern a human direction which is not so much about personally winning as about finding what is best for human kind. It speaks to a warrior motivated by the highest species survival principles. So, do you all agree?

    B Burkhart, Sculptor

  7. I like “Ganesh Takes a Holiday” the central figure sees to be holding his hads much as Buddha would. Maybe a sign of peace. Ganesh seems to be throwing off the horns or tentacles, even defending the other figures that seem to be tagging along. In the background appears to be sperm fertilizing eggs, a symbol of life and joy? The figure on the left seems to be lion like and wearing a crown, maybe representing confidence. The figure to the right seems to be a serpent, maybe represting our fears.

  8. In trying to bring this naming to a conclusion, I am brought back to the figure of Ganesh who has come up several times. In doing more research on him, I see that he is known as the “Remover of Obstacles”. Commonly this is contrued to mean he is a habringer of success and money, hence the lucky elephant charm. Ironically his symbol is the Swastika utilized by the Nazi’s. So, it appears there are types of succes that may not be benefial to others. Wars have this quality.

    His two tusks represent the rational mind (knowledge) and the intuitive mind (emotion). He has broken off the knowledge one which is also the ego self. He is also known as the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. So, perhaps this is the key past war. War seems most essentially to arise from individual or community desires to unfairly control the lives or resources of others. Secondarily it is motivated by retribution for these unfair actions. As Gandhi understood, it is only when “The Warrior Opens His Heart” that it is possible to break this dynamic by changing the connection between warring parties from a self serving one to a common problem to be solved together.

    In this sculpture then the way Ganesh removes the obstacle of war is to allow both mind and emotion (the tusks) to reattach through the heart rather than being attached to his head. This results in the movement away from war reprented by the departing figure on the right and the movement toward creativity repesented by the fecund, rising, and smiling figure on the left. The seriousness in the central figure make us also aware that this path is not easy and will involve sacrifice.

    For these reasons the final name for this piece will be: The Opening of the Warrior Heart

  9. The king of the octopi, the smartest animals in the sea, represents the brain and technology of modern times and the serpent represents the fierce raw primitive powers still lodged in human DNA. In the center is the poverty stricken figure, perhaps North Korea or medieval areas of the Middle East, and it will end all war by tossing wicker wrapped (for shipping) H-Bombs at both the raw primitive and and the pompous intelligence of the human experiment. This signals the failure of the human experiment to peace. The result is still another mass extinction. This is total destruction as the fallout poisons the poverty stricken figure and ends all human life on Earth.
    Life starts all over with some left over DNA in random sperm and eggs and jelly fish. Is this hope or is it despair? Are the orbs bombs or opiates or gifts of wisdom – somehow the story changes depending on the gifts of the orbs. . .

  10. Tonight I just spent about 2 hours “grokking” your Rosecrans 1. I spent the time because I’ve always really liked this project and wanted to be supportive. On my webpages I too am always exploring paths to non-war and railing against our failure to take them. Even on one of my most recent pages (on fireflies), I go off on the “evil-ness” of the Gita, weapons made “beautiful,” etc.

    I deliberately didn’t read the other comments first as I wanted to see the sculpture with my own eyes/mind/heart first. I’m glad I made that choice because once I submitted it, and then read the other responses, I saw how very different the approaches are. Fascinating.

    Honestly though, I don’t see that we can get beyond war. I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion over the years that there is indeed a hidden, secret, obscenely wealthy, powerful, nameless, multi-national group of ancient families that really run everything. No way will they allow a redistribution of wealth, without which we’ll never get past wars. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep trying however. We can continue to function as the 13th fairy in Sleeping Beauty. We can’t reverse what the angry, vengeful fairy decreed, but we can mellow it.

    I haven’t looked at any other responses to Rosecrans #1 yet. I just wish to start with Brad’s question: “How do we get past war?” In looking at this work, what comes to my mind is this: “…By Remembering That We’re Lovely Beasties.”

    On the left, I see what looks to me like a lion’s head surround by sun/star rays. He says “Shine!”

    Then comes a lithe elephant with a mermaid’s tail, rising up out of the sea, her arms folded in a dance posture. She says “Dance!”

    Above her and between her and the lion are cosmic webs, which suggest the karmic weavings of the Norns, the Fates, Grandmother Spider Woman — weavings in which humans are just one of countless, endlessly transforming life-forms. The webs’ whisper, soft as wind, “Accept.” After all, we humans aren’t really that big a deal. We’re immature and unwise — which is ok, especially since we’re still such a young species, but we’ve lost a precious sense of humility in the face of the wonder around us. We need to get that back if we’re to evolve more wisely. Why do we think we have the right to turn our toxic toys against our own species, other species, even our planet? We’re out of control. To get past war, we need to re-find our place within the “Jeweled Web of Indra,” which spans the universe, or within Earth’s own heart, that dark, fertile kiva of Grandmother Spider Woman, or the Norns’ mysterious realm hidden among the roots of Yggdrasil. This means accepting a path of creative simplicity instead of foolishly trying to reshape and control the cosmic web. I think of the old song, “‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.” We’ve lost sight of that. We need to use our wondrous minds to weave ourselves back into the web and take our destined place there, each of us shining, shimmering, twinkling like the playful jeweled light we truly are.

    A crucial footnore here. None of this can happen without 3 major changes. I could write a book on these three but it wouldn’t matter. So let me state them simply: 1) we need to educate our young to understand such mysteries; 2) we need to make room in our societies for the expression of the immense creativity embedded within each of us; 3) we need to take a good look at Martin Luther King’s writings on providing each of us a living wage — not borderline poverty, but a *living* wage. He argues that we have the money — it’s a question of redistributing it more justly. Then, those who want still more money can work, create new jobs, new products. The rest of us can buy those products, if we wish, but we would primarily using our living wage to devote ourselves to the arts, travel, healing others, following spiritual paths, whatever speaks to our depths.

    Back to Rosecrans 1:

    On the right is an unknown, wide, cone-shaped sea-creature eating what might be a mythic sea-apple. S/he says “Taste — It’s Good!”

    Above the lion I see cavorting sperm and eggs. Their message: “Play!”

    Finally, there are a number of curved, banded, horn-shapes. They might be mollusks but their horn-shape makes me think of Viking drinking-horns or wind instruments made from the horns of rams. They’re scattered about like notes of music — five of them and each is a bit different so each should have a voice. One says “Make Music!” Another says “Drink!” A third says “Just Be!” A fourth says “Don’t Forget Your Inner Trickster!” The fifth laughs (or honks) and says “All of the Above.”

    So that’s how we get past war, “…By Remembering That We’re Lovely Beasties,” and truly part of a far greater whole.

  11. After reviewing all the comments again I have decided to name this piece Warrior Opens His Heart as this name best unifies all the comments. Thanks to all who have contributed.
    Brad Burkhart, Sculptor

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