Monday, August 8, 2011

Ravens and doves

A trip to New Mexico resulted in an extended experience: first in Lordsburg, then in Santa Fe, when the two events came to work together.

The text on this piece says:
"New Mexico World"
"I watched an aerial battle today. A small gray-brown mourning dove chased a young raven in circles over the tree-lined street. Around and around again. The raven landed on a power line & the dove lighted about twenty feet away, as though a momentary truce was declared, to catch their respective breaths. Sure enough, the dove arrowed at the raven once more. But this time, the raven couldn't get away with his lazy circles, as the dove cut across his arc, coming up at him from below and behind. Again and again the dove made vicious contact and the raven nearly flipped over trying to get out of her reach. Now, he twisted and turned, dodging between narrow gaps in tree limbs. Finally he landed again on the wire, and the dove took to a tree, watching him to see if he needed another beating. Another raven landed near the first, who was now tending his hurts. They cawed and billed each other. The second raven sidled up to the first, lookinng him up and down. I'm sure the message -- between two juvenile pranksters -- was, 'Dude, you just got your ass kicked by a dove!'

"In Lordsburg stand two endangered mountains, the ore processing plant that is eating them away is in place about a half mile from them. I saw this, and the sky looked vast and dwarfed the mountains and the chemical plant. In the distance thunderclouds were gathering for the afternoon storms, and I realized that, while these mountains will disappear one after the other, to be reprocessed and redistributed into great flat expanses of concrete, the storms have been coming and going for millions of years, wiping out mountains and scattering the ruins of lost civilizations. So, as picturesque as a blue sky is, and as frisson thrilling as it is to watch a storm from a great distance, I realized that nature was going to win this one. Because just when you start feeling like you rule the skies, some dove is going to show up and kick. your. ass."

This is presented with many thanks to Ms. Clarity for letting me tag along in New Mexico. It is always an inspiration to see you inspired. And, many congratulations as well, to Artist Melinda Esparza, artist-in-residence at the Grand Canyon. Your talent and hard work well deserve the honor.