Monday, January 28, 2008

An Indian Dream


A diptych  that I haven't  exhibited.  Two images that need to be seen together.

Indian Dream

I had these dreams for years after my uncle Wilbur took me out to hunt for arrow heads.  I guess he was familiar with the area where I would find a treasure.  Only later did I realize that a tragedy may have occurred  at that that site.  

Me on Lonely Pony


Post Card - Villa of Brule - Photo by C.H. Grabill  1891


Wilbur
My dad moved east during the dust bowl era to start a new life and a family.  He was from a family of eleven; once a necessity, but suddenly a liability on a farm/ranch measured in sections, not acres. We returned every other summer to help with the wheat harvest.  This was the highlight of my youth.  To become a cowboy, ride horses, mend fence.  We stored hay for the horses, collect eggs, milk the cows and slop the pigs.  It was a life I just longed for when I had to return to the east.  My fathers death came early, but I did return with the love of my life, Karen after we married.   My uncle Wilbur was immediately taken with her when she grabbed the shaggy dog Corny and brushed and clipped out all the mats. Plus Karen can ride with the best of the cowboys.  She was a hit and 30 plus years later we're still in love.

Red Thread

Now what does this have to do with my art? I became aware of the Indian plight and the horrible genocide our government waged against the indigenous  population.  In some ways my ancestors benefited from from this, even as I was struggling to become a cowboy.  In recent years my wife and I have spent weeks on the Pine Ridge reservation trying to help elevate the sad poverty in the midst of the vast wealth of our country.  For a great voice and force in trying to effect change in Pine Ridge visit Re-Member. (blogger is having problems so I can't link directly at this time so go to www.re-member.org)    I remain intent on using zen koans to silence that voice in my head whenever I want to sit and create.  No more lists of things to do, just stand in the moment and create. My red thread is art.
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