Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the painted desert cometh

huh.  it's a funny thing that the last time i wrote anything here there was a lunar eclipse.  and now today, the venus transit.  it's a cool name actually; the venus transit.

it's been a bit of a challenging time.  yote's back on the east coast and is unable to help out though he really wants to with the painted desert project.  i'm feeling his absence.  step's working this summer on the river with grand canyon youth and another organization the name of which i can't remember.  my crew ain't here.  

anyway, things are coming together.  in anticipation of gaia, overunder, doodles, labrona, breeze + tom greyeyes arriving, i wanted to get some work up.  it was cool going out again and spending all day in the heat just scrapping an old installation off of the wall surfaces like i did in gray mountain and at hugo's stand.

while i was installing the tanks at gray mountain, an older, dinĂ© woman with streaks of grey in her hair stopped by.  she said she knew my work and liked it.  i think she said her name is rebecca and she's from big mountain.  she comes from a family of activists up there.  i smiled knowing some of the history of activism there.  she said she'd planned to get in touch with me about doing something around water rights.  i told her that as soon as i drove away from her, i was going to install a piece with the theme "water is life."  i showed her a mockup of the piece.  i'm not sure what she had in mind but i don't think that was it.   as she walked to her older model, bumped, dinged and scratched, fuel efficient japanese pick up truck (i think it was japanese), she said "...this is my war pony!"

so, i drove to the site.  interestingly, this is the spot where yote + i first exchanged work 3 years ago.  it was getting late; the sun was setting so i worked quickly.  i had to clean this wall too before painting it.  my old piece of mary reese smiling was starting to come down.  someone had spray painted over the remains with "water is life."  but because they'd spray painted that onto paper, the paper was breaking away such that it was hard to read.  i figured, what the hell.  i'll clean it up and put a water related piece up having been buoyed on somewhat by rebecca.  i got it up just as the sun set.  i finished working on the piece with my car headlights.  the next night i came back to photodocument it.  i'm not sure what prompted me to write a poem but boom!  there it was.  and, with the advice from the woman in baltimore still fresh in my head, i signed it.  

so, i was bummed today to see that the boards covering the windows had been pulled off.  i had a dental appointment in flagstaff and was running a late.  i didn't stop to check it out.  as i drove, i kept thinking "...huh, both windows are uncovered.  odd.  a lot of my time in flagstaff i  spent thinking "...man, i hope someone took the window coverings down is because they're going to use the stand again."  

wrong.  i think the people who did the "water is life" piece have made this site their spot and personalized the piece by taking the window coverings off.  (maybe i'll get photos up of the altered piece; maybe not.  initially i was too bummed to take pictures.)  this incident is yet another reminder that the project is still about learning lessons in letting go.  the piece ran for about a 5 days (and that's only a guess. i hadn't seen it since putting it up may 28th.)   breathe.  let it go...

anyway, it'd be cool to talk with the people who hang at this spot.  they left alone the piece i did with annette in february on the other side of the stand.  (it's already starting to come down but it's a natural peeling away. ] it hasn't been bothered.)  i've got ideas about interacting with the altered piece.

meanwhile, raam (race across america) is about to begin next week.  i wanted to get work up for those guys too and give them some love.  last year was the first time i got something up intentionally with them in mind.  yeah, it still blows my mind that the fastest riders do this race in just under a week on a bike.  that, and they pass right through the rez when travelling from flagstaff to durango.

so, here's to race across america and the painted desert project!  

step + yote.  i love you + you're missed.

wow!  i just had a nice talk with doodles.  i've never met him before.  although he, overunder + labrona are having transportation challenges, we know it's going to work out.  doodles is really excited about coming.  talking to him, i feel better.  thanks man!

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