Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: Turning the Corner?

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
UPDATE: Just checked him again, and it's official. It's him.

Fair warning: If frank discussions of equine colic and its effects and byproducts will disgust you, you may want to skip this post entirely.

From Ice's perspective, yesterday was probably the worst day yet in this whole process. It was certainly his most uncomfortable.

The bloating was obvious, and clearly painful — the kind of bloat that resembles ordinary colic much more than it does the sand colic that he actually has. Inability to pass more than a little of the usual liquid diarrhea, although with a slight change to the consistency, finally. Not precisely loss of appetite, since he badly wanted eat; simply that after a couple of mouthfuls, he felt too sick to eat anything more. Lots of posturing, lots of lying down (which is fine, provided that he doesn't thrash or roll), lots of plain old misery.

And the hell of it was, I was actually pretty sure that all of this was, in the long run, a GOOD thing.

Because all of this is a direct byproduct of the psyllium I'd finally, through various machinations, managed to get into his system over the past few days. That and the flaxseed powder. And they were both working exactly as intended, which is to say, the psyllium works just like it does in humans: It causes peristalsis, causes the lower intestine to spasm, and that action moves what's in the gut along to where it's supposed to go (which is to say, OUT of the body). Unfortunately, also just like it does in humans, it causes gas to build up, hence the bloating and extreme discomfort. The flaxseed, on the other hand, turns gelatinous when wet, and it coats both the inside of the intestine and what's in it, helping to grab onto bits of sand that have loosened from the impaction and carry them on out.

Yesterday afternoon, the vet said that he didn't sound like he was making enough progress, and that she'd be out to tube him again this morning.

Last evening, Wings went out to check on him, and promptly yelled for me to come outside — and, of course, my first thought was, Oh, God, what's wrong with him now?

And there's Wings, bent over a pile in the pen.  A pile, not a puddle.  Still lots of liquid, but also a few small clumps of the usual shape and size mixed in.  For the first time in more than two weeks.

Now, we did not see it happen, so there's an outside chance (very, very outside) that it might not be his. But Spock was shut in the stall; only Ice and Harmony were together in that pen, and we'd already seen what Harmony had produced yesterday evening. This was  an entirely different consistency, brilliant green (from the pasture grass), and, yes, loaded with sand. I walked across the pen and found a couple more small piles that were entirely normal-looking but for the brilliant green color and presence of sand in them. I checked on him early this morning, and there's much more out there that appears to be his.

The vet is checking in with us in a while. I think it's a safe bet that she will not be tubing him today.

So here's yet another heart-felt thank-you to everyone who has been with us along the way over the past two weeks.

Friday, May 30, 2014

It isn't about you.

Photo copyright Ajijaakwe, 2014; all rights reserved.

After the last few days, I'm starting feel as burned and broken — as dead — as those limbs.

This happened when the Sandusky story broke, and apparently, it's something we need to work through again and again and again. And then again.

Someday maybe I'll feel more up to writing about my own experiences.

For now, I've spent the last several days haunted and taunted by the images of my own past. Not even the basic sexism and discrimination, oh, no. This is a whole other depth. Reliving — refeeling — the touches and pinches and gropes and bites and things shoved into places where they're not welcome and not wanted. Memories as tactile physical sensations. 

And the blame, always the blame. It must be your fault. You had no business being out at night. Why are you wearing that skirt? Well, you must have done something to lead him on. You're a tease. You're a bitch. You're a slut. You're a whore. You asked for it.

Day in, day out. Every day, world without end, forever and ever, amen.

So you'll understand if I'm really not interested in tolerating hijacks and derailments. For me, for any of my sisters.

Because it's not about you.

This time, for fucking ONCE, it's about US.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Tushinde Pamoja" — now with English subtitles! Send it viral.

I first posted this video back at the beginning of the month, the fruit of a collaboration between Congo's "girl mothers," Congolese pop stars Innoss'B and Maisha Soul, a group of dedicated activists (including a friend of mine), and a group of donors from all over the world who brought the Kickstarter project into being.

The video, of course, is in Congolese. Honestly, you don't really need to understand the literal meaning of the words to grasp the larger meaning; the song is one of those that doesn't beat you over the head with its message, but it worms its way into your heart and soul, and later you'll find yourself humming "Tushiiiiiiiinde pamoooooooooja," whether you know what it means or not. 

But now, you can sing along in English if you like, because we have subtitles!

In case you missed the backstory, here it is, from one of my earlier posts:

One of her former students launched the project, and is collaborating with musicians in Congo to help what are known there as "girl mothers": very young unwed mothers who have been abandoned by their families and society. These young women have decided that they will not be tossed aside, and instead have banded together to mount a fierce fight for their own futures, the futures of their children, and the futures of all of Congo's other girl mothers and their families.
This is leadership. Leadership, in fact, at a level that most of us can't even begin to imagine. It's difficult, it's frightening, it's dangerous. All the more so in a place like Congo right now, where bloody internal strife is being leveraged and exploited by outside colonizing forces that want to steal the region's wealth of valuable natural resources.
Now, this Kickstarter project is trying to help amplify these young women's voices. Two popular Congolese musicians, Innoss'B and Maisha Soul, have committed to working with them to create a powerful music video and help send it viral throughout Congo (and, everyone hopes, the world beyond). It's a message of hope, expressed through the cultural commonality of music.
It's a message that these young women and their children matter.
Today, you don't need to do anything that will cost anything more than a few seconds of your time. Nope; no request for donations. Just a request to send this viral.

The many people who worked so hard to produce this video wanted to send it viral across Congo to reach as many young women (and their families) as possible with this message of hope. But it's a message that needs to be heard worldwide. And now that people are able to follow along with the subtitles, that message can be brought directly to the entire English-speaking world (and from there no doubt translated into other languages, as well).

So please: Click the links and send it viral. No, not this post; the YouTube video itself. There's a function called "Share" beneath the video on the YouTube site, and it'll let you disseminate it via every major form of social media. You can also cross-post it wherever you hang out on the Internet.

And special thanks to rb137, who brought this great project to my attention and who plays her own role in its creation (and in so many other hugely important projects).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

Photo copyright Wings, 2013, 2014; all rights reserved.

Maya Angelou, April 4, 1928 to May 28, 2014.

If I can live by her words, I will count it a life well lived.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: A Lover and a Fighter

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

Yes, he's both.

Twenty minutes after this was taken, he managed to get both of us but good while we were trying to medicate him.

After another 15 or 20 minutes of fighting with him, we finally got him doped. And by "doped," I mean orally syringed with a combination of Powdered psyllium and powdered flaxseed and powdered probiotics and aloe juice and a dash of molasses to make it go down more easily. 

But for a horse who's been injured and abused around the mouth area, it's a battle, and it takes some strategy. And by "strategy," I mean that we feed a lunge line with a loop end through the chin band of his halter, wrap both ends around the hitching post and feed the leather end through the loop, make damn sure it's his right side next to the post, so as not to rip out his IV cath, and then I crank on the lunge line with every ounce of strength I have. [It's showing in the biceps and triceps, by the way.] Then Wings grabs his snout, jams the syringe into his mouth, and pushes the plunger.  Then we release the lunge line and get the hell out of the way.

Some days it works better than others.

And five minutes after that mess, here he is:

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
I'll do my best to carve out time for a real update tomorrow. For now, suffice to say that we think his prognosis is good, we think he'll make it, and we also now think that this has actually been a lifelong problem for him — basically, his ordinary state of existence, which might explain why he's still here and going strong when any other horse would've been dead almost two weeks ago.

He's on his third round of IV fluids (4 bags), and otherwise, we're just going to be managing him the way we have been. The only difference is that now, we're looking at this as a management plan spanning a period of months, not days.

Also got a great compliment from the horse vet today. Out of the clear blue, she said to me, "And you make a great 'vet tech.' If I could afford it, I'd hire you in a minute."

Not bad, for a non-pro at all this stuff, huh?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not the kind of holiday where you wish someone a "happy."

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

I don't have a Memorial Day post in me today. 

I really don't. It's one of those "holidays" that I particularly dislike, for one thing: It commemorates horrors rooted in colonialism of one form or another, a commemoration that gets tossed aside in favor of the pursuit of capitalism. [Note: I am not in any way demonstrating a lack of respect for those who died honestly for their country; I am pushing back against the constant human regressiveness that creates the wars that must be fed by their deaths — and against the notion that such cannon fodder is somehow similarly-suitable fodder for retail exploitation.]

For another, I've really grown disgusted with two persistent aspects of it —aspects that occur to almost no one. And so for today, I'm outsourcing those two topics to two people who I regard as family, and who can do better justice to them than I:

1) The real roots of Memorial Day.

2) The fallen warriors that every Memorial Day forgets.

And, no, the photo has nothing to do with Memorial Day for anyone except me. Through some strange confluence of childhood influences, the day's associations are inextricably intertwined with thoughts of World War I, leading to thoughts of Joyce Kilmer, leading, of course, to thoughts of Trees

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Misogyny. I have some things to say.

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

No, this is not about Ice; circumstances remain essentially unchanged on the front. It's an image that reflects my mood right now.

For two days, I've been watching a storm blow up over the shootings in Santa Barbara — the white-hot air of honest and well-deserved rage crashing into the ice-cold and culturally stagnant front of misogyny.

I have some things to say. 

No, I'm not going to provide a bunch of footnotes, as links or otherwise. I've written about these issues for decades, and I've done plenty of recent writing here and elsewhere that covers the statistics, the demographic data, the pathologies and effects. You can find them easily enough; it's not my job to do others' work for them.

But as I said, i have some things to say.

If you think that it's appropriate to link arms in solidarity with the MRM, then you've just become a misogynist. I don't give a shit that you say it's about child custody; that bunch is about hating women, and you cannot support their agenda without being tainted by it. And, of course, we all know that when an MRA says, "It's about child custody," it's usually not; it's about not being able to control everything, including another autonomous human who happens to be a woman, and about not being able to treat her or the children in question as property.

And while we're on the subject: I don't give if a shit if they're "your children" biologically (or otherwise). THEY ARE NOT YOUR PROPERTY. Humans are not property, not commodities, not something to be owned, not even the smallest humans.

If you're actually going to hawk up the tired meme that says "there is no war on women": You're part of the war on us.

If you're going to hawk up that equally tired and vastly more dangerous old canard that you don't know a rapist (or, alternatively, that you don't know a woman who's been raped), then you're willfully blind to the point of delusion. That's me being nice, of course; more likely, the willful blindness stems not from anything excuseable, but from plain old misogyny.

If you're going to hawk up the tired and vicious old trope that it cannot be rape because [she was out at night she wore a short skirt she smiled at him she didn't scream he was her husband he was her father he was her brother he didn't have a gun he didn't leave a mark he didn't use a penis or any of the other bullshit excuses], then the kindest thing I can say is that you don't understand what the word "rape" means. More likely, you just don't give a damn.

And if you're defending those memes, like certain people do routinely (and a few of the white men and a couple of the white women in there doing so already have track records: You never met a POC to whom you would not condescend with whitesplaining, nor a woman to whom you would not mansplain, nor any bigotry that you would not defend in the service of the dominant culture): You're part of the problem. And I'll say it, flat out: You're a bigot. You're so invested in defending your privilege and the privilege of those like you that your first instinct, and the one upon which you act, is always, always to defend any statement, no matter how offensive, against the oppressed population it targets. Yes, I see you. Your motives are not the pure idealistic goals you like to flatter yourself into thinking you have.

When a dear friend of mine must must make her signature this . . . when another dear friend must write this . . . when yet another dear friend must write this . . . when a long-established bigot responds with this . . . this is a sick culture.

When my own history is this (and that is just the very top of the visible tip of a very large and very deep iceberg) . . . when merely for a being a girl a young Black girl is subjected to this . . . when our own women and girls are being abducted, assaulted, raped, tortured, trafficked, and murdered like this . . . this is a sick, violent, abusive, murderous culture.

It is a war on women. it is especially a war on women of color, but on all women. It is embedded in this culture, warp and weft, blood and bone. It is in the DNA of the twin evils upon which this country and culture were birthed, genocide and slavery. It is in the DNA of the most fundamental and inextricably intertwined twin characteristics of this country and this culture even today, colonialism and capitalism. 

It is the rape of the earth made manifest in brutalized bodies of our women.

And it has to stop.

That is true of too many of my sisters.

Go. Read this. Then read the comments. Make yourself do it. 

Can't? My heart bleeds. Because you know what? We have to LIVE IT. Every day.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ice Storms

Male Bullock's Oriole, May 24, 2014
Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

You can see from the shadows in the photo above how brilliantly sunny it was this morning.

We're now under a severe weather advisory until 9:00 PM, and the rain is coming down so hard that it's pooling right on the ground. We managed to get muck duty finished just as the storm was hitting.

Climate change. The same climate change that is partly responsible for Ice's condition.

We managed to get Ice out to walk and forage for grass a couple of times today before the weather hit. Still no real progress yet where it's most needed. He's off the IVs for today to give him a bit of a break, but he's on antibiotics now — plus probiotics, plus Banamine, plus ground flaxseed powder, plus aloe vera juice. Medicating him is a nightmare. After watching him fling the three of us around yesterday, Wings and I decided to try hobbling him today. All was going great until some idiots up the road decided to pick THAT FRICKING MOMENT to haul two horses past in a trailer . . . and, of course, all of ours started making noise. So Ice joined in, and tried to move to see what was going on . . . and discovered that he was hobbled. And promptly panicked. And damn near pulled both my arms out of their sockets trying to restrain him so that Wings didn't get stomped.

Hobbles off, then. We have a hitching post in the middle of the larger pen, so I brought him up to it and we tied him up. Of course, I brought him up on the wrong side, the one with the IV implanted, natch.

Start over. Bring him around, tie him up on the other side. I crank on the rope as ballast while Wings tries to jam the syringe in fast enough to get the meds into him.

And it works.

So. We have a new method. I have also promised him that when he takes his meds without trying to kill us mow us down as he makes his escape, I will promptly take him out for a walk so that he can graze. 

I think he's starting to get it now. I took him up to the north pasture, which is almost entirely grass (v. alfalfa), and every few bites, he'd stop, look up at me, bring his head straight up to mine, and stare at me until I put my forehead against his. It sounded like "Thank you" to me. And when I checked on him at the beginning of the storm, every time the wind kicked up or the thunder rolled, he leaned his head against my back to try to hide. He's standing there now, calmly enough, if not exactly happy about it. 

Now, I just need to find a way to erode that mass in his gut and get it to move on out.

Because every day it remains, it takes a little more of his life. He's still running out of time. I've got to find a way to claw it back for him.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: Peaks and Valleys

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think I'll just have a nice fit of hysterics and get them both all over with at once.

Let's start with the observation that I have been up since 3:14 AM. I have not yet had a shower. That should tell you something about what this day has been.

No vet until 12 hours after I capped off the drip at 3:30 this morning; she had two surgeries today. Meanwhile, Ice's sedation had mostly worn off, he wasn't able to get any IV fluids, and he was hellishly uncomfortable. A couple of globs of sand and a lot of green water, but not much else making its way on through.

Have you ever tried to medicate a horse? If you haven't, it's not something I recommend trying just to say you've done it. Most horses aren't too thrilled with having a syringe full of crap shoved into their mouths in the first place. Add to that a horse who clearly has been abused in a way that involves, among other things, an apparently likewise-hellish experience with a bit (useful as a torture device, unfortunately), and add to that a horse that, despite what all the evidence says should be happening, is strong as an outraged draft horse, and it's a recipe for disaster, or at least serious injury. In his case, it takes two of us, sometimes three, to hold him, and Wings is the one who has to do the jamming in of the syringe. We've been through that routine three times today so far.

Earlier today, not having heard from the vet again yet and not seeing anything in the way of . . . erm . . . movement, I was at the "cry" point. I'm just beat, so is Wings, and there's nothing we could do except wait.

Just before the vet left, she amended her statement from yesterday. She said, and I quote: "Any other horse, he'd have been dead. This guy?" He's incredibly strong, despite the damage and trauma to his body; his will to live is apparently made of iron. I know, logically, that the medical indicators are still very much not in his favor. But I still think he's gonna make it.

As usual, more when I have it . . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: He Might Actually Make It

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
This was our boy yesterday.

Yeah, he looks pretty mellow, but look at the bloating and the prominent spine. What the photo doesn't show is the amount of pain in his eyes. He was even worse this morning. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where pain is actually often a good sign that things are doing what they should be doing.

And this is him this morning:

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
Yeah, he looks a little sleepy there; he was still sedated, and more than a little confused by the contraption that turned his stall into a hospital room.  But within five minutes, the electrolytes were already kicking in, treating the dehydration — and thus, also treating the fatigue and the lack of alertness.

Still not a whole lot of movement, but some. The vet will be back early this evening to hang bags (he has four of them going simultaneously) that will last him through the night.

And she finally admitted today what we all secretly knew: He should not be with us today; in fact, he should've been gone a week or so ago. But he has an incredible will to live, and he does not want to leave his loved ones, and before she drove off, she said, "I think he might actually make it."

More later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: A Little Progress

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

Or maybe I should say "a little movement."

That's what we have, and that's all that matters at the moment.

No IVs today; the vet was called down south of here this morning on an emergency, and she was still there shortly before 6PM when she finally called. Another bad case of sand colic; not as bad as Ice's case, she says, but apparently not doing as well as Ice seems to be doing, either.  She'll probably be there another hour or two, from the sound of it.

For those who want gory details, it's all over the jump.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

No news. Have an earworm.

Sorry; too tired today for anything more substantive than sticking you with my current ear worm. I have no idea where my brain picked this up this time, but it's been running around in circles in my head for two days, so it might as well start driving you as loopy as it is me. Maybe I can get rid of it that way. 

Ice: No news. Which I'm stubbornly taking as good news. But if there's no news soon, he's in for another tubing. If that doesn't work . . . then it becomes very bad news very fast. I hate praying for something that I know is going to cause him tremendous pain and discomfort in the process, but it's the only way he's going to get better, so please: Pray for horseshit tonight. Piles of it.

That would be, you know, fucking awesome.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Ice Chronicles: Saving Our Tough Guy

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
It's still very much touch and go, and we still don't know for sure that he'll make it. But things look better than they did yesterday.

I will not ruin everyone's dinner with the kind of play-by-play that only someone fighting to save a horse's life would appreciate.  Suffice to say that, unlike yesterday, he has gut sounds from all four quadrants, which indicates movement; his heart and respiratory rates are lower; his gums are ever so slightly paler, though still toxic; and there's been a small amount of fluid passage. He's somewhat interested in water again, and fresh [blade] grass, and he handled the vet visit — and the mineral-oil tubing — like a champ. [She didn't get here until around 4PM, because she had a couple of morning emergencies go sideways, apparently. Yes — it's colic season. In a big frickin' way.]

At any rate, we continue as we are for now. No Epsom salts for him; too dangerous. And no, don't ask me about the bill; I have no frickin' clue what or how. We'll deal with that when it gets here. I've walked I don't know how many miles with him over the last three days, both literally and metaphorically. Trouble is, it's all around and around in a circle in the pen. Well, my tan's kicked in pretty thoroughly. I'll also no doubt be up again at 4:30 in the morning to check on him. 

But he's got a hell of a will to live, so what we need now is gut movement (and some softening/solubility would seriously help, too). She says it's likely that this was already well under way when he showed up here, abandoned, starving, and dehydrated, on Christmas Eve. It says a lot about his overall soundness in the face of abuse and neglect, and his willingness to fight to survive, that he's managed to do so well for so long. So I'm exhausted, I've expended a lot of tears, but I'm hopeful.

Please, just keep those prayers and vibes and candles and so forth comin', folks. He's not anywhere remotely close to being out of the woods, but I'm convinced we can get him there.

Chi miigwech and ta'a, from me, from Wings, and from Ice.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces. The Silverwork.


Welcome to Wings's online silverwork exhibition from his recent one-man show, Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces.

Below, you will find photos of each piece that was included in the exhibit.

Originally, we planned to use Wings's own locked jewelry cases at the venue to ensure an attractive and secure display. To that end, we inserted small cards into lucite holders to be placed between the various silverwork pieces. Silverwork items were coordinated in groups according to their relationship to the show's theme and subsidiary narratives. The cards provided background into Wings's artistic vision in creating them and the relationship the pieces bear to the imagery in the photographs, as well as information on materials used and pricing. 

Upon arrival, we found that they had readied the locked and lit case built into the beautiful coffee bar, where George R.R. Martin normally displays his Westeros collectors' coins. It was an elegant solution, and displayed the some-forty separate pieces perfectly. However, it meant that no room remained for the cards, so we simply tagged the items and created a corresponding inventory list for the staff containing the information on the materials used and the price of each piece.

The photographs of the silverwork pieces include the original interpretive text associated each group, where applicable. Because the silverwork prices vary along a spectrum of some $1,200, costs of shipping, handling, and insurance will likewise vary by item and are not included here.

Finally, there are two silverwork pieces that will not appear here. They were originally intended for the show, but not for sale: They were exhibit gifts for our hosts, the venue owners. Wings did not get photographs of the two pieces before giving them; if the time comes that he is able to do so, I will post them here.

For now, come with us, and let us walk with you through this special collection of Wings's silverwork. 

Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces. The Photography.

Welcome to Wings's online photography exhibition from his recent one-man show, Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces.

Below, you will find digital versions of each of the photographs that appeared in the exhibit.

During the period of Wings's exhibit, as you entered the coffeehouse at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, you would have seen photographs arrayed on the walls to your immediate left, and across the room on the right.

Mindful that people read English from left to right, Wings placed his images in a particular order beginning on the left wall, each image a chapter in the larger story he wished to tell. Seven photographs (five smaller; two larger) hung on the longer space on the left; three large ones were evenly spaced on the shorter wall to the right.

Each photograph was accompanied by interpretive text beneath it, providing context for the image from his personal perspective. I've reproduced his text here, beneath each image, followed by size and pricing information.

Please note:  The smaller photographs themselves, as originally produced, were 11" by 14"; the larger ones were 12" by 18". Some minute cropping occurred prior to production, and matting further reduced the visible images by about an inch overall: The visible image of the smaller photographs is roughly 10.5" by 13.5"; of the larger ones, it is roughly 11.5" by 17.5". Each photograph is signed on the lower right corner of the white matting, and reads "Wings, 2014; People of the Red Willow." The smaller photographs are framed in a rich brown wood; the larger ones, in a black wood that was ordered specially for these pieces.

The smaller photographs are $625 each, plus $100 shipping, handling, and insurance. The larger ones are $775 each, plus $125 shipping, handling, and insurance. Special packaging and handling are required to ensure safe transit. For unusual circumstances, such as overseas shipments, the cost will be higher.


We also have 8" by 10" prints of each of these photographs, made available in a limited run of 100. Each is signed and numbered on the reverse, no matting, backing, or framing. Cost is $100 per print, plus $10 shipping, handling, and insurance.


Now, come with us. Let us take you on a tour of the ancestral places and sacred spaces of Wings's people and culture and everyday life.

Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces. Welcome and Introduction.

From April 15th through May 11th, 2014, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico hosted a one-man exhibition by Wings: Taos Pueblo:  Ancestral Places, Sacred SpacesThe show included a variety of work from both of his preferred media: photography and silverwork. 

The photography exhibit features ten large images, all matted, signed, and framed. Some are from earlier in his career, and you may have seen digital facsimiles posted online, but this is the first time any of them has been developed, printed, and mounted. Five were taken using film; five were taken using a digital camera.

Each photo is of a subject in the old village at Taos Pueblo. Every subject shown is of something accessible to outsiders (although a couple were obtained from vantage points not accessible to anyone except tribal members); nothing shown here is a restricted subject or area, nor do the narratives include any forbidden information.  What is different is the fact that he has taken such ordinary, everyday sights and offered viewers a wholly new vantage point on what they see: a cultural context of a breadth and depth that is simply not accessible to anyone who is not a tribal member. It provides a new frame of reference for how visitors view the public areas of the Pueblo.

Likewise, the silverwork comes from a spectrum of time and experience, and the inclusion of each piece is built around the same themes that animate the photographic entries. Some are items that he created years ago, pieces that found new life and relevance in the context of the show's theme. Others are more recent, reflecting his current interests and vision. And some were created expressly for the show, designed to give voice to the show's overarching message.

Below, you will see the various pages of the brochure we created for the show, to be used by visitors and viewers as an introduction to Wings, to his art, and to Taos Pueblo, and as an interpretive guide to provide context for the exhibit and its narratives. The text of each page is presented next to the image. All photos except the one of Wings himself will appear in this retrospective.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tomorrow Morning: The Online Retrospective of Wings's One-Man Show, Here

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

Yes, finally.

I still have a bit more to do on it: connecting text to make it flow, etc. But the hard part — the downloading, the photo editing, the uploading, the formatting, the captioning, all the time-consuming details required to make it look comprehensible — that's finally done.

Watch this space tomorrow morning, Sunday, May 18th.

It requires three separate posts to make ot work in any kind of manageable way: an introduction; a retrospective of the photography; and a retrospective of the silverwork. I'll be posting them in the obvious order: Introduction; Photography; Silverwork. What this means, of course, is that if you get here after I've posted all three, they'll appear on the page in reverse order.

Scroll down and start at the beginning. Trust me; you want to do it this way.

It's been a huge amount of work for seven months now. We both hope it winds up paying some financial dividends somewhere along the line. But either way, I am so proud of Wings and the art he creates, and I truly cannot way to share it with it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Gnaw Marks

Beaver Leaves His Mark
Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

If the soul were a tangible, visible thing, this is what mine would look like right now.

Too many weeks — months — of competing demands on our time and attention and resources generally. The last couple of weeks have been especially difficult, with pain of a variety of types being deliberately inflicted on us from certain sources. No, I'm not going to elaborate. Suffice to say that by last night I was so thoroughly wounded and demoralized that I was ready to chuck my entire online presence and participation in various communities.

But I can't. If only because there are people who need help to whom I've committed doing what I can. And as always, this, too, shall pass. I know this, but there are days when remembering that becomes damn near impossible.

I know that I have FB and other messages and comments to answer; it may be tonight before I have time to sit down and get to everyone. Today is going to be another day overflowing with tasks that must be done rightthisminute and more external demands pulling me in twelve directions at once and more pieces being gnawed out of my soul. There is nothing for it but to put one foot in front of the other.

There is one thing you can do for me. You can help my friend Bobby save his farm and his family. No, I'm not asking you to give money yourself, although if you can afford it, that would be wonderful. But if you're reading this, then there is one thing you unquestionable can do that will cost you absolutely nothing except a minute of your day, and that's to share the link to his GoFundMe page. We have a challenge under way for $500 in matching funds: If we can raise $500, that will automatically double to $1,000.

So please:  Share this link with every single person in your networks. You never know who will be moved to give. The weekend's virtually here, and I'd like to get this raised for him before people get diverted by their weekend plans and projects.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Saving Bobby's Farm: Turn $500 Into $1,000 Now

Photo copyright Bobby and Juan; all rights reserved.

One of those days.

So let's keep this simple.

We have $500 in matching funds available to help save Bobby's farm.  Go here to donate, and please share, like, tweet, pin, e-mail, republish, repost, cross-post, print, and spread it by word of mouth.

Let's keep these happy little guys home where they belong.

Here's that link again. Go do it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saving Bobby's Farm: Matching Funds Turn $500 Into $1,000!

Photo copyright Bobby and Juan; all rights reserved.

Yes, it's true. We can magically transmogrify $500 into $1,000. And Then Bobby will be a quarter of the way to the $12,000 total he needs to save his farm and his furry and feathered family.

What sort of alchemy is this?  It's very easy, actually.

I have an anonymous donor who has pledged $500 — IF we can raise another $500 from other sources. It's a very common fundraising tool in the nonprofit world; I've administered challenge grant processes many times over the years for groups I've worked with, whether as a staffer or as a volunteer. It's a great way to drum up participation, show engagement with and belief in a cause, and magnify the results.

I'm going to set a deadline of 11:59 PM Sunday night (May 17th). Normally, it would be less, but because weekends entail slow Web traffic, I think it's a good compromise. The donor might even be willing to extend it if need be.

So here's the deal: We need to raise $500 — from any and all sources, in amounts large and small — between now and midnight Sunday night. It's a great way for people who can afford to give modest amounts to leverage their donation and magnify their impact. Got a spare $5? It's just become ten.

Provided, of course, that we can raise the initial $500. We do that, and Bobby gets $1,000. And then, he's a quarter of the way there.

Here's what you do: First, share the link to this post with everyone so they'll know how it works. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoogleGroups, e-mail, printed, word-of-mouth, you name it. Second, share the link to Bobby's GoFundMe page so they'll know where to donate. Third, when anyone gives via the GoFundMe page, in the space for a message, note that it should be added to the $500 challenge so that we can tabulate it as we go.

And finally, if you're still not convinced: Look at those adorable little baby goat faces. Who can say no to them?

I can't.

Chi miigwech.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Even Ice is inside the stall this morning.

A Raven in the Snow
Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

That photo is from last month, but that's what it looks like this morning. Well, almost.  There's actually much more snow on the ground, and Raven is safely indoors, curled up on a dog bed.

Last night, the farrier said he'd see us early this morning, provided that we didn't have a blizzard. No farrier's visit today. In mid-May, it qualifies as a blizzard when you wake up before 5AM to two inches already on the ground, more coming down steadily, and a bitter Northeast wind blowing up a white-out. Bad enough, actually, that it drove Ice fully into the conjoined stall for the first time ever. When I went outside a while ago, the other two were outside; he was fully inside it, staring out at me calmly but showing exactly no inclination to step out into the weather.

Which at least means that after the pain yesterday's trip inflicted on my body, I don't have to spend hours standing out in the cold and blowing snow, holding five horses in succession in place while they get pedicures. I imagine Cree will get hers done tomorrow, regardless, but I can manage it for one horse. The weather's supposed to be vastly different tomorrow anyway (and near 80 by the weekend).

Still, never enough hours in the day.  I'm gonna need more coffee.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A lot going on today. One big request.

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.

So, I am indescribably glad that this particular weekend is over. More about that later. Maybe.

For now, gratitude, a to-do list, and one big request.

First, the gratitude: that Fineena has met her goal and is going to have a roof over her head again, reunited with her beloved four-leggeds.

Second, the to-do list: It starts this morning when we head down to Santa Fe to dismantle Wings's show and haul everything back up here. [Lots of gratitude involved in that, too, actually.] We'll be taking Griffin with us again, because of his condition. And then tomorrow and Wednesday are taken up with farriers' visits, next steps for Cree, and various and sundry appointments of different kinds. And if the weather cooperates later this week, getting the garden in — but since we're supposed to be getting rain and snow through tomorrow, that may have to wait yet another week.  Climate change; gotta love it. 

Third, the request, and it's a big one: While I'm out today, I hope everyone who reads this will promote our friend Bobby's GoFundMe page, set up to save the farm he and Juan shared that is the refuge for all their rescued animals. Out of an overall goal of $12,000, he's already raised $1,535 in three short days. There's no question in my mind that we can do this, provided people send it viral. Later this week, I really want to recruit someone to offer a challenge for matching funds to try to leverage the donation rate. If you're interested, let me know. Even if you're not in a position to give, you can promote his fundraiser by sharing this link with all your networks, on- and offline. Share and Like it on Facebook, Tweet it, Pin it, send it to all your e-mail contacts and your listervs and your GoogleGroups and your blogs and your Web sites and your other communities, repost it/cross-post it, print it out and give it to people, share it word-of-mouth.  PLEASE.

Fierce Little Fledgling Dude up there wants you to do it. And since he and his sibs survived being laid/hatched/fledged a full two months early, in the midst of drastic and extreme weather fluctuations and snow and sleet and single-digit wind chills, I think he should get what he wants, don't you?

Chi miigwech. From me, and from little apishi-gaagaagiins up there, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces." It's your last chance to see it.

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
It's the final day of Taos Pueblo:  Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces, Wings's one-man show at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.

Tomorrow, we head down to Santa Fe to dismantle the exhibit, pack it up, and bring it home. Soon, I'll post images of all the pieces here in an online retrospective, but it'll take a few days for me to get everything organized, uploaded, and curated properly, for lack of a better term.

But since there's still one day left to see it, please, send these links viral. As I said last week:

The two most important links to share are this one and this one. Once the virtual show goes up here, I'll ask you to share those links, too, since most, if not all, of the work will still be available for sale (shows are about long-term exposure, not immediate $$ — which is, of course, yet another reason why it's so difficult for Indian artists to do them).
It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and Wings really outdid himself. I'm so proud of him that I really don't have the words to describe it. And we're both profoundly grateful to all of you who helped make it possible.

Chi miigwech and ta'a, from both of us.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Winter is still coming, y'all. Let's help Fineena.

Photo copyright Fineena; all rights reserved.

So, I see some brilliant person took my advice and snapped up that cowl that I posted yesterday, the one made by my friend Fineena. It looks like maybe a few other pieces have sold, too. Very smart of you.

If you missed out on that one, here's another one of her pieces for you to lust after.

And, you, know, BUY.

Yes, I know for a lot of you it's basically summer already. The thought of winter scarves probably makes you itch. But she's got some gorgeous summer stuff on there, too — maybe I'll post some of those pieces later. But as Ned Stark would say, Winter is coming. And where else can you get a piece of fiber art handcrafted from "handspun yarn, hand dyed yarn, wool, novelty yarn, rayon, mohair, llama, [and] alpaca," all for $85 plus shipping and handling?

You can't.

Like a good Stark, you'll be prepared for when the snow flies again (it was flying here only two days ago, actually). Or you'll have one holiday gift already in the bag.

And Fineena will be that much closer to being no longer homeless: reunited with her beloved dogs and in that sweet little house I showed you yesterday.

At last look, she still needs a little more than $1,700 to make this happen. So c'mon. If you want to see the breakdown of expenses, go to my dear friend Avilyn's diary from yesterday.  Then share Avilyn's diary, share this post, share Fineena's etsy shop. Go shopping. Or, if you absolutely don't need anything but you still want to lend a hand, go to and use this e-mail address to donate to her:

Chi miigwech.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saving a Family, and a Farm — Already More Than 1/10 of the Way There

Photo copyright Bobby and Juan; all rights reserved.

Note:  This was supposed to post much earlier, but my day and evening got hijacked. I'm posting anyway to catch any overnight surfers and my early morning peeps.

I wrote last night about the situation my friend Bobby is facing, and his efforts to save the farm he and his late husband Juan shared with their many beloved rescue animals. He has created a GoFundMe page, with an overall goal of $12,000. This will allow him to save the farm, get their animals back home where they belong, and make it until he begins his new job. 

In just over 24 hours, he's more than a tenth of the way there.

For one day (and the end of the workweek, too), that's nothing short of phenomenal.

But this means that 9/10 must still be raised. So we have work to do.

If you can give, wonderful. But I know how tough times are right now. So even if you can't, please share the link to his GoFundMe page, with everyone you know. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, news sites, listservs, GoogleGroups, e-mail, word-of-mouth, print-outs shared by hand — please share this every way you can think of, with every single person you know. You never know who will be in a position to give generously and will be moved to do so.

I'll be back tomorrow to promote it again. Yes, you're going to have to listen to me for a while. Sorry about that. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

Here's that link again: Bobby's GoFundMe page. You know what to do.

Chi miigwech.