A Bitter Sculpture

An Ice cream sculpture.

An Ice cream sculpture.

Many years ago, my favorite team the San Antonio Spurs took a quote from Jacob Riis to use as their motto.

Riis was talking about observing a sculptor and how he was able to do so much work and have it make such a little impact.

This is what he said: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

When it comes to creating your identity as a human being, it is like a sculptor pounding away at the rock that is you. It takes that vibrant, happy-go-lucky forehead of yours and gives you a pounding headache you lacked at a young age.

Pounding headache.

Pounding headache.

It pounds out all the smooth skin and makes it rough, dry, scaly and angry. It hardens and roughens you so much that all you can think about is how you wish you were the bitter young person you used to be and beat him over the head with a hammer and tell him to stop participating in sports, working hard, or being around people, because all that ever did for you was not win something and left you with this mess of a body and mind.

The bad back that has been carrying way too much front. The bad back that realized long ago that too many vertebrae were watching too many funny spine videos on YouTendons, and got fired from the Bitter Nerve Backtory.

The knees that decided to protest in downtown Kneeattle, and fought back against the Joint Chiefs of Staph Infections and demanded to be replaced by some professional Steelers from Pittsburgh.

A sculptor will do his or her best to harden away your smooth edges, chip up your smiling face, and push out that full bitter potential you’ve been working so hard to hide inside.

To help find that inner bitter.

To help find that inner bitter.

He will take his Almighty Thor’s hammer, the Mjolnir, and pound away at you 100 times or more, just like the sculptor to make that piece of you crack. Whether it be one more piece of your body giving out too early, a kid or other annoying person pushing your buttons, literally or figuratively, or one more object that you cared for and cause it to be lost, stolen, broken, or damaged beyond repair so you will lose all hope in humanity, your body, or stuffkind.

As the great author Jacob Riis mentioned, bitterness is not typically something your are born with (me being the exception), it is something you need to work at, chip by chip, piece by piece, pound by pound (the hammer and the weight). I encourage you all to work hard at, or be lazy at getting to your bitter place. Because there are two things in life that are inevitable, losing and bitterness and the faster you accept that the bitterer you will be.


Bitter Sculpted Ben


30 thoughts on “A Bitter Sculpture

  1. Just one more blow on my rock-solid head and all the angst, ugliness, and all-around bad qualities would have fallen away. I would have been perfection, and not that annoying fake perfection that would have made people want to throat-punch me. True perfection, and everyone would have basked in my aura of wonderfulness. But the damn sculptor gave up, threw down his hammer, and stomped away. You don’t wonder why I’m bitter. You know. It happened to you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if I’m too lazy to become bitter. I take lots of naps. Will nightmares make me bitter? How about all those little noisy things that wake me up from my naps? How about when I try to take a nap, but can’t sleep? I’m hoping one day I can become as bitter as you, but I wish to do so the lazy man’s way. By napping.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, you are so right. I just witnessed a Dutch athlete lose the last chance of getting to the finals of indoor cycling. His reaction: “It’s bitter. I am so bitter right now.”


  4. Hah this post was perfect at this moment in time. I just recently found my diary from my first semester in high school, and my immediate reaction was, “How the hell did you have friends?” What a wonderful quote to live by though.


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