Sunday, November 23, 2008

Animal Dreams

Six bear sketches, pencil on paper.

Planning/thinking sketches for a piece I'm working on. You wouldn't guess that I don't have any interest in being a wildlife artist. I always enjoy looking at good wildlife art, but as with the rest of my work, it is the memory of experience that I am interested in. Memory of the natural world, and how that shapes us as human beings. What things fill my mind and imagination, inform who I am and how I relate to the world.

Jim Harrison has written of his dreams of animals and how he thinks they are somehow representative of himself and how his psyche is trying to work things out symbolicly that he can't figure out in his waking life. I'm sure that's a terrible interpretation of what he said, but that's why I paint and don't write novels. It doesn't mean I agree with him any less.

Bears, dogs, horses, birds, fish. And pretty much every other animal. All interesting to me. All in my head after I see them. It's funny to me, but I dream of animals frequently, and while I can easily see how many/most of the animals I dream of could be representative of something else, Molly and Finn are always there as themselves.

Always themselves

Horse by Jim Harrison

What if it were our privilege
to sculpt our dreams of animals?
But those shapes in the night
come and go too quickly to be held
in stone: but not to avoid these shapes
as if dreams were only a nighttime
pocket to be remembered and avoided.
Who can say in the depths of
his life and heart what beast
most stopped life, the animals
he watched, the animals he only touched
in dreams? Even our hearts don’t beat
the way we want them to. What
can we know in the waking,
sleeping edge? We put down
my daughter’s old horse, old and
arthritic, a home burial. By dawn with eye
half open, I said to myself, is
he still running, is he still running
around, under the ground?

from The Theory and Practice of Rivers, Winn Books, 1985

Lifted from poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our town died last week.

South Lima is a funny little place. Split between two townships, those of us on the north side of the road vote in Lima, those on the south side in Livonia. There are a mix of people, from those who farm the land around town, to those commuting to Rochester and the surrounding area for work.

A couple years ago Darby and I were wondering why we like it here, and finally narrowed it down to our immediate neighbors and the the Post Office.

The South Lima Post Office. Not the gem of the USPS. An old trailer, to which they added a ramp last year. But there was no mail delivery available in South Lima and you had to go down to the trailer to get your mail, and in the process, over the course of a year, see nearly everyone in town. Over the time we have lived here, the Postmistress/master position has changed a few times. Always a cause for concern - Now who? Will they fit? This could suck!?!?

And each time, the new person has fit at least as well as the last. We have been lucky, as a community. Until now.

It couldn't have been a reasonable expense. I can't imagine there has been enough mail volume to justify the expense of even one employee and heat/ac expenses. But in this era of questioning what we want from government, providing a sense of community to a little bump in the road place like ours was awfully nice.

The South Lima Post Office closed last Friday. Darby and I opted for keeping our address the same, picking up our mail down in Livonia. The hours will be more convenient, but Livonia's not our town.

And we still vote in Lima.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I rode last night for the first time in ages, and had a blast. I've been bogged down by the combination of end of season blahs, rearranging the studio and life in general.

I realized yesterday I had fallen off the blog horse, so I'm slapping this up for a jump start. Couple posts a week coming up, as I have several projects I am excited about.

Is he laughing at me? Probably a yawn. Or a little stress. A snicker?

See ya soon.