Eden

Every day is Eden.  We make our choices.

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I picked the garden early this morning.  I marveled at my patch of cosmos and sunflowers.  I remember sowing the seeds for those flowers and wondering if everything would blow over in the vigorous gale that often sweeps upriver in this high desert country.  To my amazement, I haven’t had a single flower knocked down in the wind and some of my sunflowers are ten feet tall!  I have a theory that the more a tree or plant is battered by the elements, the stronger it tends to grow.  There’s a reaction to wind, specifically; roots spread wider and shoot deeper so that a plant is tethered to a greater anchor.  My garden has been wind-abused but not broken and so it has grown all the more beautiful and splendid.

I walked my excess cucumbers over to my neighbor’s place, chatted for a while and then made my way home to my kitchen where I am batching spicy cucumber pickles and cardamom plum jam.

I have a simple Sunday ahead of me.  I wish you could come work with me, side by side, rejoice in the bounty, play with the kittens and laugh with me like sisters and brothers do.

X

I fell asleep with a splitting headache last night — slathered in lavender oil with an icepack on my neck.  I woke up free of pain this morning.  It was a transformation.  I was healed in the quiet of the night.  I hopped out of bed, threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, let the dogs outside, played with the kittens for a moment, stepped back in the house, fired up the studio, put the kettle on the stove and turned on Rose Cousins’s “Let the Light Come In” — a song I play when I want to be cracked open.

I stood in the kitchen, my bare feet pressed tight against cool hardwood, the grey light of morning streaming in the windows.  I reached my arms out, feeling the slow pull of my chest muscles reaching deep into my biceps, down to the bones of my wrists, into the buzzing tips of my fingers.  I raised my hands above my head, pushing at invisible things, sinews heaving and hauling.  I burst into tears right when Rose sang the word “forgiveness”.  I stayed there in the kitchen, swaying and moving to the music, folding and unfolding, paying attention while shifting and sifting through my body, from top to bottom, isolating and caring for specific muscles and joints, stretching them and rotating them until everything felt loosened and lubricated.

I thought a thousand different thoughts while I was moving to that song.

I heard the kettle heating up.

Penelope barked.

I saw water turn on in the side hayfield and I watched farm boy head down the driveway, his morning irrigation duties attended to.

I recalled my time with my grandmother in Saskatoon, how I took coffee over to her place and as I sat down in her living room I remember distinctly thinking, “I will sit on the loveseat because the sofa is Grandpa’s spot.”  Even though he is gone, I wanted to leave space for him in the room.  The whole time I talked with grandma, I was aware of his absence.  If he had been there with his twinkling blue eyes and his funny laugh I’d have asked for a couple of good stories about the olden days and draft horses and thunderstorms and heavy machinery accidents…like I always used to.

Where did he go, anyway?  Where does everything go?  What were these aching cells of mine before they became me?

The sun suddenly hit the canyon wall and the world turned gold and the palest blue, like faded robin eggshells.  Rose sang out, “Let the light come in…embrace it…” and I reached out wide once more, opening to the morning, to the new day, to a blank page, to possibility, to daydreams.

The kettle whistled.

I began again.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/08/26/13179/

Diana Ring

To dwell in the high country and in the sacred woods!

I’ve had this series half-on and half-off the bench for the better part of six months.  With the hunting season fast approaching, I decided to finish this prototype today.  This is the Diana Ring, as in Diana the Huntress (also known as Artemis).  It features a bi-layer design in heavy sterling that depicts a bull elk wreathed by nimbus and a broken arrow.  I’m looking forward to making a few more of these and perfecting the design.

+Diana+

+The Sun+

+The Moon+

+The Hunt+ 

In The Breaks

I am sipping an Americano in Great Falls in the brick and stone historic downtown.  Tater lays at my feet on a sidewalk that is warming in the late morning sun.  Everyone walking past me pauses to pet him and they lift his face to meet his eyes with their own and they declare, “He is beautiful!” And it’s true.

Every woman I’ve seen on this city sidewalk looks lovely and put-together in skirts and heels, make-up on and hair smoothed.  I look like a tangle of Provence and hippy in a beautiful pocketed linen skirt, a sloppy tank top, layers of wild jewelry and bed head.  I did sleep in a tent last night.

I slept in a tent last night alongside an easy curve of the Missouri River beside the shadows of the cottonwoods that grow so wide and resplendent in this part of the state.  I like this part of Montana, beneath the High Line in the Missouri River Breaks where the land looks like deflated lungs and the deer grow big.  It’s my sort of country, scrappy but secretly tender; true to itself to such a degree that it is entirely unfettered and free as the wind.

In the morning, I stepped out of my tent and felt the sun on my face.  I stretched my arms out wide and found myself suddenly surprised by my wingspan.  It is wide.  It is wider than ever.  I slid my feet into my shoes and began walking.

When I pass through, when I slip through the golden grass beneath the cottonwoods alongside the river, I imagine myself quadruped and fat on summer.  It is late in the season now and the fresh shoots have to be sought out thoughtfully and teased up out of the dry earth so that the simple action of feeding myself the richest things resembles a kiss.

Some things may come and go but I think my inspirations are always going to revolve around these things:

Idaho & New Mexico

Catholicism (more specifically liturgy and icons, more specifically than that —> Mary/Virgin of Guadalupe/doves/flames/hearts)

Antique Mexican Jewelry

1930s – 1960s Native American Jewelry

High Desert Light (high desert everything)

Rivers

Mortality vs Immortality (life and death cycles and energy transference) —>bones —>wildflowers—>ethers

American Country Culture (cowboys and indians, steel guitar, trucks, boots, bandanas, horses, dust, grit, rodeo, love and stars and heartbreak and freedom)

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For years I’ve resisted referring to my jewelry style as “Western” but I think it’s safe to say I make Western jewelry.  When I say it is “Of The West” I am talking about a spirit, not a specific look.  I feel the same about my photography efforts.  I shoot the West, my interests lay in capturing the West, so my pictures are of the West.

I heard an interview with John Denver once and he spoke of how his music is classified as “country” but he has never felt like a country music musician.  Instead, he called his music “western” because he was singing of the people and the land of the West.  That portion of his interview really resonated with me as I feel most of my work could be seen in the same light.  Also, just so we’re clear, I really adore John Denver, I am listening to him on vinyl as I write this and it’s beautiful.

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I found myself with a clear studio bench this week, for the first time in months (maybe years) and I decided to let myself play, to take hours to sketch and draw and fiddle with shapes and forms and to build a few things off the cuff, to not worry too much about perfection and straight lines, rather to allow myself to color outside of the lines and wing it.  The result is some reimagined settings for motifs I’ve been working with for years.  Rustic statement pieces that hold a splash of the mystic.  This is my love for the high deserts of New Mexico and Idaho rising up out of me and a dash of Catholic iconography mixed in with my simple, hayseed heart.

This is:

+Of The West+

 

 

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/08/12/13146/