http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2017/10/03/13280/

Resero

I bought a horse in July.  It is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.  I grew up riding horses and ride every chance I get but I have never truly had a horse of my very own.  Resero will arrive at the farm with much pomp and circumstance in the first week of October — which is to say, my sister and her boyfriend are hauling him to Idaho for me and I am going to do a little dance when they pull through the gate, around the corner where the old apple trees stand and come down the final stretch of the driveway to our house.

Let me tell you a few things about Resero.  His name means cowboy.  He is sorrel with a tiny star on his forehead between his eyes and a huge white splash on his rump (it’s getting bigger as he grows up).  He is seven years old.  He is sturdy yet elegant, built somewhat like a mustang but with a refinement to him that makes him seem like a gentleman.  He likes corn on the cob, unhusked.  He is a Peruvian Paso.  My sister’s boyfriend bred, raised, trained and competed on this horse in a professional capacity — to Tanner’s credit, Resero is a great horse because Tanner is a great horseman.  When I sit on his back I feel like I might be siting on a lightning bolt.  He has fire and charisma but also a very fine quality to him that I can sense when I look into his eyes and feel when I urge him into his gait and collect him up tight so that all his fire and power seems to reside in the thickness of his arched neck where it curves up and away from my quiet hands.  He’s majestic and utterly masculine.  In short, he’s superb.

I never thought I would wind up with a Peruvian; gaited horses were generally off my radar until we bought the farm here on the Snake River of Idaho.  My neighbors have Peruvians and I’ve been able to ride those horses over the past year and I really fell in love with the breed.

I randomly texted my sister about Peruvians about six months ago and she almost immediately told me that she and Tanner had a horse she thought would be perfect for me.

I rode him while in Alberta — in the arena and on the trail (and in a river, as you can see here) and I knew he was mine.  Something I love about this horse is that he challenges my skill set.  I am a good rider.  Resero asks me to be excellent, because he, himself, is excellent.  I must rise to meet his high standards.  He’s going to make me a great horsewoman.  For that, I am already grateful.

Berry Stained Fingertips

Fabricated ferns, cast New Mexico jackrabbit vertebra, satin polished Snake River rock and cobalto calcite druzy (cut with my rock saw and polished on my lapidary wheel — feels good to be using those tools again), one of my SOS nuggets and a trail of soapy finish, natural rubies.  I call this color palate “berry stained fingertips” and I’m sure you find it appropriate!

Organic elation!  The seen, the unseen, the living and the dead and the cycles in-between!

I’m so glad I had one of these in me this week.  I started this fern and bone series over a year ago and each one has been such a joy to create and a beautiful truth to build.

Thank you to Idaho and New Mexico for making this piece possible.  My lands of love.  My inspirations.  My greatest gifts of place.

+OF THE WEST+

I’m just mad about Saffron…

…Saffron’s mad about me.

Fifty Bucks

I wouldn’t call myself a slave to the work, because the work has brought me joy, but I have been galloping since May while working on a big project and on the fifth of September I suddenly felt my world slow down.  I was eating dinner with a film crew on the edge of the lake in McCall and I let myself relax.  I felt it in my bones, in my neck muscles and shoulders — something easy passed over me and my work-hardened spirit softened.  At some point, after our table had been cleared, I looked out into the night where a floating trampoline sits in the lake and I asked the crew (who are my real life friends) and Robert (he was there, too) what it would cost them to swim out to the trampoline and do a backflip.

Someone said, “A thousand dollars!”

Some other numbers were tossed out and we mulled it over for a time and I spoke the words, “Fifty bucks.”

One of the guys reached into his wallet and pulled out a wad of cash, set it on the the table and we all sat there and looked at the money for a moment.

Then I stood up, climbed over the stone wall that separates the dining patio from the beach and I took off my corduroy pants and button down shirt and waded out into the lake in my underwear beneath the night sky.  When I was hip deep, I submerged myself and began to swim, thrilled by the feeling that comes with being in water in darkness in the summertime.  When I reached the trampoline, I climbed up the ladder and jumped around for a bit while my friends laughed with delight from shore.

The water was warm.  The act felt young and true and free of the responsibilities and seriousness that comes with being thirty-five years old.  I swam back to the restaurant, stood dripping on the patio, wrapped in a down jacket, smiling and shivering and Robert said, “Well guys, I guess we’re going swimming.”  They, too, left the table, stripped down to their underwear and swam out, eventually doing backflips off the trampoline into the lake.

I never did pocket the fifty dollars that my friend set on the table.  The money wasn’t my reason for swimming.  Nor did I do it for attention.  I did it to make a memory with the hopes that my friends would choose to make a memory, too.  I did it to feel young and free and wild.  I did it because I knew should not, because it’s not considered ladylike to publicly take off your clothing and swim around in your undies while people eating in a nice restaurant are watching.  I did it with the hope that others would follow in my mildly outrageous footsteps and find themselves ageless for a moment.  I did it so we could all swim out and feel the night surround us, paddling with childlike strokes towards distant lights.