Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week II

Our story continues.
Sunday was a day in Flagstaff, a very pleasant small city a little over an hour south of the Park. I had a number of errands to run- which I did. One of them included a stop at a craft store to buy some feathers. What? haven't I found lots of feathers lying around the Park for me to incorporate into my work? No, I haven't and if I did I couldn't use them anyway as per Park rules. I assume any feathers that are molted (too late for that) or shed in any other way are either blown away- it is always windy here- or they are gathered by other wildlife. It is a hardscrabble life for both plants and animals- any source of additional warmth, protein or fat will be quickly found and used. So, I am using dyed chicken feathers to stand in for crow/raven, etc. Such is life.
I went to the Museum of Northern Arizona and thoroughly enjoyed their exhibits of both Geology and Ethnography. I saw a lot of glorious, ancient black & white pottery- designs that will show up in later works of mine. I am puzzled by the notion that every design painted on a pot has to have some deep, complex, spiritual meaning. Why is it somehow derogatory that a craftsperson might have created a design that he/she just took delight in making? It was done just to be pretty. Or different than all those designs the other potters were making. It also stereotypes the makers as some sort of perpetual holy people who just happen to have clay on their hands. Living in this area had to be tough, sometimes you just need a little beauty to soften the edges a bit.
I drove back from Flagstaff in the dark, made myself some supper and settled in for the night.
Monday was one of those days when nothing gets done easily or smoothly. Not a day for the record books. Ah well.
Yesterday, I got a good walk in the late morning. From the South Kaibab Trailhead to the Visitor's Center, where I got the shuttle back to the Village. I had thought I might try part of the South Kaibab Trail but once I got there I realized I wasn't up for it, so I walked the Rim Trail. I like the combination of the intimate landscape of the rim on one side and the jaw-dropping and precipitous grandeur of the canyon on the other. And it is easier on my wonky hip. A part of the landscape I walked through showed signs of recent fire and sure enough, it was the result of a proscribed burn in 2004 that went wrong due to a unforeseen windstorm that blew up out of nothing in seconds and swept the blaze over a huge area stopped only by the rim itself. The landscape is much more open and dominated by forbs- the wildlife have benefited by this. As they say, it is an ill wind that blows no one some good. (Wags may insert pun about oboes here.)
I came back to the apartment and got some work done in the studio. I have been documenting my process while I worked on this piece. I am giving a talk about my work on Thursday evening and this will be part of it. Here is the finished piece.

Last evening I went to hear a talk about the animal/plant relationships in the park. It was enjoyable in and of itself and I got to see where I will be speaking on Thursday.
Today some friends from Poland Seminary High School via Sedona will come up for the afternoon. I am tidying up the apartment, working on my talk, and catching up on some correspondence and research.

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