Winterscapes

I am stocking my shop shelves on October 28 at 7PM (mountain time zone).  I have eight rings, five pairs of earrings and a handful of bead strands ready to go out into the wide world.  I hope to see your shining faces there!

XX

Sunday Morning




A glimpse of a few quiet moments on the farm this morning.  We had a great day here.  Robert has been away on a mission the past few days, fetching our ’71 Ford pick-up from the Methow Valley (finally) — our final tie to that place has been severed and we are free!  Our rig looks terrible, sadly.  The pal we left it with did his very best to turn it into a heap of rust (not on purpose, just due to thoughtlessness).  That said, the V8 still has that lovely growl I fell in love with (anyone who knows trucks is saying, “But the ’71 came with a V6…” — this one did too, but it was pulled out and replaced with a V8.).  We took it for a quick joyride along the river tonight and boy howdy, the engine still purrs like a kitten.  We have some work to put into this truck and that’s ok.  I don’t think I want to let it go.  Robert gave it to me as a gift, one fire season, when he was still based out of the Methow Valley and we were living at the little cabin in the woods and I view it as a relic of that former life of ours.  We’ve grown so much since then, as individuals and as a committed couple.  This truck is a sort of vestige of our former selves and reflection of the beauty of our life transitions.  How could I sell it!??  That would be like severing an appendage!  This truck is such a piece of us and our story.  We must keep it!  So we will.

We spent most of the day working with Resero doing some important groundwork and desensitizing.  He’s never had a human like he has me now and I’m in the business of making him the very best horse he can be.  He’s a very sensitive boy so we’re starting out slow with a flagged-carrotstick, tarps and basic bending work.  After an hour of groundwork I took him on a long stamina ride to the top of the mesa while Robert and Tater ran alongside.  Once home again, I lengthened the stirrups on my saddle and had Robert ride Resero around our in-yard, coaching him on his posture and generally chaperoning the two (Robert is a less confident rider than I though he is making great progress).

Now we’ve got a fire brewing in the fireplace and pizza cooking in the oven.

I guess I just wanted to say, “Hey!”

I hope your weekend was lovely.

XX

Winterscapes

Look at these Lilliputian winterscapes frozen in dendritic opal!  Dendritic agates and opals have been a favorite stone of mine for years, for obvious reasons — they’re magical.  These stones have lovely depth and dimension to them.  I’ve set them simply in flawless, heavy sterling with 23K gold orbits.  I have six more on deck for completion and I’ll try to list a few of them in my shop next week for you.

High Hunt Field Notes

My perspective has been reframed by a set of sorrel ears.  Everything is better with a horse.  I have ridden Resero every single day since we arrived in this basin and assembled the tipi.  Last night after riding, I untacked him, put him on a long lead, sat down in the grass with a book and let him graze around me — a casual togetherness in a beautiful place.  Every now and again I spooled him up, spoke to him softly until he dropped his head and muddled my fingers with his lips and then with the comfort of closeness to him, I settled back into reading and the last warmth of the sunset.  I am charmed by him when he is aloof, when he’s being savage and sensitive and without confidence, when his head is up high and his eyes are focused on something distant and futuristic in the sagebrush and he is completely unaware and uncaring of me.  I am charmed.

I have been passionate about horses since I was five and I figured out how to overturn a grain bucket and scramble up a white mane onto the warm back of a palomino.  I have ridden all my life and sought equine companionship as often as possible, leaning and reaching over barbed wire fences for soft muzzles on country roads in different states where withers and swaybacks matched the curve of distant ranges.  It’s only now, now that I have him, that I can say I am officially a student of the horse.  I study him with a curiosity that is as wide as these Idaho valleys and every detail I learn about him and his kind is like a white mountain looming up before me, an exultation of illumination.

Day by day I learn the power of his mortal being and the curious workings of his mind.  His essence is complicated because a portion of him belongs to the wind and so he remains, at his very core, ethereal and ever changing.

I can call his gentle warmth the zephyr.  I can call his changing from coldness into warmth, his softening and resulting calm, the chinook.  I can call him tempest, gale, squall, breeze and when he moves with strength and confidence, I can name him jet stream.  But no matter the shape he takes in any given moment, he moves with a freedom and power, no matter how strong or weak our connection in any given moment.  Though I am with him, though I ride on his back in a way that renders us dependent upon each other, we remain separate until I channel him to such an intensity that our passage through space is effortless, my communication invisible and his responses become the definition of fluidity.

His very self is utterly natural, who he is today may not be who he is tomorrow.  Yet, he is true to who he is, moment by moment, so that every bite of grass or breeze-braided piece of mane is God given, humble and brimming with quiet destiny.

He is simple.  He is true.  Being with him makes me wonder about my own homeostasis.  Who am I when this spinning world sets me down in silent rest?  How far or close am I to my intended self, the beautiful design of my God-hungry spirit, the unfettered cloak of my crackling soul (in me is a flame that requires no fuel)?

When I step forward through the sage, I, too, am all the names of the wind.  I shuck the four walls that seek to bind me, the pressures that attempt to define me in a singular way, the crush of the things that hope to press me into being one thing, but not another.  I look out, I turn in place, I see four directions and I set out into space.  I am free to move fast and to rise in the gloaming so the sinking sun becomes my halo and I am rich with the gold of the world.

This is my house, this crown of peaks in this gaping wilderness.  I forget where I come from.  I can’t recall where I’ve been.  There is the spin of cycles and seasons — moon, wind tides, blood, breath, earth spin, sunrise and sunset, planting and harvest, the headwaters of a river, the holiness of the springs as they pour forth from stone.  Every blade of grass rises up in worship.  Every living thing sings praise.

The material of life recycles itself in infinite ways and I watch the rotation of elk into wildflower into river riffle into exhaling trout into riparian zone into bear tooth into mule deer whisker into me.  And more or less cosmically, in me there is the very life and death of the innumerable cells that build and bind my body together, the everturning wisp of a thing in me that shines outward to illuminate beauty and understanding and closeness to the eternal so that everything I encounter is as large and as small as a burning star and a sage leaf, thrumming and holding steady through the span of time.

 

Fresh Up

I am stocking my shop shelves at 4PM (MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE) today!

I hope to see you there.

I look forward to spending copious amounts of time in the studio this month now that the fire season is over and Robbie is home.  Thank you all for being here and for your everlasting patience.

+Of The West+