"What do you mean - missing?"
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" it is early Saturday morning - really early and our Art Talks are scheduled to happen that evening.
"I thought you would be too upset. You needed to concentrate on your examination," he says.
I had been in Victoria the entire week, attending Capstone and completing my course in Executive Coaching taking the panel examinations.
I glance over at him. I'm not overly upset with the news, I have had worse news - a lot worse news.
That's when I notice how upset he is..... really upset.
Dancing David is the last piece sculpted in Cliff's trilogy of King David. During the trial, Cliff had identified with David, studied him thoroughly, became an expert on him, and adored him. King David of the Old Testament was artist/warrior and human/saint. He had killed a giant, Goliath, as a youth then escaped Saul's army for seven years while he became an excellent warrior/leader of a small band of man. Yet he is best known for writing the Psalms, a book of exquisite poetry. This combination of being a poetic sensitive man, a deeply spiritual man often called a man after God's own heart - yet a skilled warrior and leader who never lost a major war makes him worth emulating - studying - especially during the trail when we ourselves were feeling embattled.
However King David was not perfect. Passionate, sensual, he wasn't above temptation and stalked beautiful Bathsheba. Cliff caught this moment in his first sculpture of David, Foxy David, a man with a fox head looking though a spyglass. It was sculpted when we as a family were learning during the trial that Candace had been stalked.
Next Cliff had sculpted Resting David - a beautiful sculpture of a tired warrior after a long battle, weary and worn. Again it was what Cliff was feeling after the trail.
A few months later, Cliff had sculptured another famous moment, King David caught in the euphoria when overcome with joy he had shed his clothes and had danced naked in the streets with his people. David's wife had not been impressed, but the people loved their king for his ability to be vulnerable and express his joy so openly.
To Cliff - Dancing David represented the joy of a completed trial, as promised, the "truth will set you free." It represented euphoria - the shedding of 27 years of "not know" what had happened to Candace.
The David sculptures were a trilogy.
A very precious trilogy.
Art shows are often about selling pieces, but Cliff has never been able to part with any of those he creates. The shows main purpose is to tell story. We spend money putting on the show - not making it. I sometimes wonder why we do this - but this is what we do.
It is unbelievable that someone would just walk of with Dancing David. It wasn't as if it had been an easy thing to do - there was always someone sitting the show, the doors locked, - and there had been no sign of break-in. It would have taken some skill to walk off with it.
I thought it might be a prank. If someone knew the sentimental value of the piece, they would return it so we put out a bit of a request - a plea to have it returned.
But in truth we know that we might never see it again.
We have learned over the years, that someone might steal something from us - but they can't take away our joy - our memories - our ability to tell the story.
It is a sculpture of joy - of happiness - of complete abandonment - of vulnerability. We will immortalize Dancing David for ourselves, by holding him close in our stories.
Life is the dancer and you are the dance - Eckhart Tolle