Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Visit From a Friend

Photo copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved.
It snowed for 32 hours straight.

It ceased for about three hours, then resumed for a while; stopped again, and now a light and feathery dusting is again falling from the sky.

It's been a strange two days here: a deep quiet, not quite a void of sound, but a sense that all noise has been enveloped so thoroughly that its voice can simply no longer be heard.

The horses and dogs have loved it, alternating between episodes of running through the drifts for the sheer joy of it and resting silently, as though unwilling to disturb the earth's mute watch.

The birds are a bit less enamored of it, the chickens mostly content to stay in their free-range coop, the wild birds simply grateful for the contents of the feeder.

One, however, paid us a visit, albeit from a distance: Gegek, Hawk. In this case, a Red-Tail; from appearances, the female of our pair, who is the larger of the two. Their nest seems to be in the stand of trees across the road, near where she sits in the photo above, but they do spend time here on our land, hunting prey among the chamisa and sage. One of them flew overhead a few days ago, harried by ravens protecting their nest on our side of the highway.

She sat there watching me, mucking out the horses' pens in a near-foot of snow. I went to get the camera, hoping she wouldn't decide to leave. I needn't have worried; she stayed in place for me to get a dozen shots, then remained while I finished my work.

Still. Immovable. 

As though she sat her own vigil atop the outstretched arms of the ancient wooden guardian, beneath a gray and lowering sky.

In some cultures, they are escorts.

Here, she's a friend.





All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

The Spirit of the Horse, Captured In Stone

Photo copyright Aji, 2015;
all rights reserved.

Today at The NDN Silver Blog, it's wild horses in wearable form: three types, three stones, all beautiful. For horse people like us, it's a spirit-filled art form. Of course, the elk antler and amber versions remind me of Ice and Miskwaki, respectively. [And, yes, both rescued boys are doing very, very well.]

We have about a foot of snow so far, and a lot to get done today (including, I hope, making a sale or two, which is sorely needed right now). So for now, I'll just ask folks to share the post itself, and especially Wings's main page, with thanks in advance.





All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Spirit Sentries

Photo copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved.

The snow began at half-past midnight
It's ebbed and flowed, sped and slowed
But it has not stopped since that dark hour

Half a foot by afternoon
More, much more
Than predicted, than expected
More yet now
Surprise, blessing undisguised

Silence reigns
It has all night, all day, all night again
A layer, a cushion, 
Muffling sound beneath a pearlescent blanket
Pure cold, yet oddly warm

All day, the trees have watched,
Allowed the feathery white to rest upon their limbs,
Waited 

They fade into the darkness now
No longer visible, yet still they stand
Sentries, 
Watchers,
Landmarks by which the wing├ęd escorts chart their flight

Still they will stand upon the morrow
And the one after that
As long as needed
Eternity

Watching, waiting 
Reaching out their arms, 
Aided by the snowy blanket
To enfold a spirit in their embrace

To hold it from that brief moment
Before those with wings arrive to lift it
To carry it onto the snowy currents
To keep it aloft until it finds its own wings

Until the spirit flies under the strength of its own joy
As it will.







All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.



Missing Earrings, Missing Souls. #NoMore #MMIW

Photo copyright Wings & Aji, 2015; all rights reserved.
Today's Friday Feature at The NDN Silver Blog is something very different: It's not a feature in the usual sense at all; there's nothing for sale in the post, although there is an image of Wings's work. The subject is earrings, missing ones — and the missing and murdered indigenous women who wore them.

Today's post is long, and difficult, and very, very personal. Those of you who know me know that this an issue that has been close to my heart my whole life, for too many reasons to discuss here. I've written about it at length, too many times. I'm going to ask you read it again. All of it. And then I'm going to ask for your help. It's all in the post.

And that photo? Yes, that's me. It didn't feel right to use a photo of one of the [recorded thus far] 1,181 of my sisters who are among the #MMIW, the missing and murdered indigenous women. So I took a photo that some of you have seen before, of a person you know, and I altered it to show what would happen if that person you know so well were to be stolen, to disappear — one of my sacred water birds gone from my ear, face blurred by time and societal dismissiveness, fading into invisibility both actual and complete. It took Wings aback; I hope it does the same for you. I can't even look at it, knowing what it represents for more than 1,100 women and their loved ones.

I'm also going to ask you to share the post (not this one, but the one at this link), even if you never have shared and never will share another. This one matters.

#NoMore #MMIW 





All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vigil

Photo copyright Wings, 2015; all rights reserved.

Waiting
Awaiting the snow
A silence so complete that it speaks aloud

Stillness
Air heavy and yet so light
It touches the skin but weights the body not

Life sits in abeyance
Breath bated
Waiting, waiting

All keep silence
Breathing barely to be dared
No audible sound, no spoken word

Outside, the clouds hang low in the night
Pregnant with a strange anticipation,
With emotion dammed, with possibility

Amid the fullness of the dark
One solitary snowflake drifts
Falls . . . .






All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Butterfly Wings

Photo copyright Wings, 2015; all rights reserved.
My sister was Butterfly Woman
The mourning cloak
Red wings darker than the blood we share, limned with dove white
Drifting gently around my face each summer
A reminder that her spirit yet lives
It soars on the currents and dances on the rays of the sun

Another spirit is about to take flight
Her cloak not red, but brightest orange flame
Like her namesake, a spirit rare and endangered 

She spent her life spreading light, and joy, and passion
Like the monarch spreads pollen
Fertilizing, feeding, nourishing
Causes, people, life itself

Her wings have slowed in this world
For now
But her spirit animates them still
For now, that spirit plans its journey
Consults its map
Plots its path to a new garden
Filled with flowers that hold a new pollen
One that nourishes the spirit of this world she loves so much

And so, soon,
She will gather her wings
And she will take flight

And when summer comes
And you feel that gentle touch on your face
But cannot see the wings themselves
You will know that it is she
Nourishing your soul



We love you, Cedwyn.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.







#TBT: Visit From a Young Spirit

Photo copyright Wings, 2015; all rights reserved.
It's #ThrowbackThursday at The NDN Silver Blog, and although we're not going very far back in time, we do encounter a spirit from an ancient clan. It's a very personal story, one Wings and I and our animals shared with a visitor from the wild late last year. It also features a piece that had come to us only scant days previously, one that for me now embodies the spirit of the encounter related here.

Shares of the post itself, and especially of Wings's main page, are of course much needed and welcomed with our thanks.




All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.