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.


Barbara Muir said...

Dear Mr. Arty,

Always pleased to see that you've written, and painted. Your intense observation reminded me of a book I just read called The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker, one of my favorite books in the past year. What a pleasure to read this post. Please accompany Ms. Esparza on more journeys, and document these trips. Congratulations are definitely in order to that hallowed artist too.

Ciao from Toronto,


Donald Diddams said...

The persistence of that dove, and Mother Nature's rains -- not to mention Ms. Esparza -- are something to be reckoned with!

Melinda said...

It was a thrill sitting there having lunch along the Santa Fe River, watching that small bird and large raven. I'm so glad that you posted about it.

Keep painting. Keep journaling.

Thanks, too, for the mention.

Edgar said...

So nice to see you again, and I'm grateful that you'd stop by and take your time to read.

Artist Melinda is definitely making waves, and it's a real privilege to see the work she does.

I did learn a lesson from the trip, through nature and the other trials that Melinda went through. One lesson: It's easy to be intimidating when you're a momma bear. It's another order of respect when you can be an intimidating dove.

The observation was truly an exciting series of moments for me. As you've documented, so much is puzzling about that trip, it was a relief to have some things that provided my own 'moments of clarity.' :-)

You're right, I need to make some more art, and I think I need to rework this one a tad to see if I can take some of the cartoonishness out of it.

I have another work nearing completion... one I've been working on for a long time. Hope to post soon.

TSL said...

Enjoyed reading your last few posts, your blog is very captivating. Thanks for the inclusion on your blogroll; much appreciated.

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