Archive for dogs
Dunga Brook Diary
Infused Metal Plates
Float Mounted, Ready To Hang
Art comes into being in that abstract interval between a thought and reality, and no one – not even the artist who created it – can remeasure the influences that caused it.” (Edgar A. Payne)
“One of my mentors, Miss Pamela des Barres, imagines that if my images were music they would sound like Beethoven, Sinatra and the Beatles combined. I’ll take that.
It is my intent to deify and illuminates the ordinary and my desire is that you might find the beautiful in the ordinary, too.
Each photo is imbued with the mystery of love at first sight, infused with my present and my past and my daily rebirth into a new freedom, a swan dive, if you will, into the deep end of the pool, lit by color, texture, and emotion.”
If you are interested in being a collector, thank YOU!
There are 5 in a series, some near sold-out, email a description of your selection.
Credit cards/Paypal, shipping- West Coast $15, East Coast $10
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera
“Stare. It’s the way to educate your eyes. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” ~Walker Evans
So, its about 11 degrees out, snow on the ground, and I come home late from the art studio and, since they’ve been in the house for hours, I let the dogs out.
Chevy disappears into the night.
I call and call and call. Time passes, I wait for his scratch at the door. Now I want to go to bed. I try again but despite the cold, he isn’t coming back.
About a half an hour ago, he let me know with a distant bark that he was at Tim’s barn. An acre or so away. The ancient barn I take pictures of incessantly. That big, dark behemoth of a barn that scares me just looking at it.
The temperture is dropping. I put on my boots, coat, hat, gloves and grab the flashlight and walk into the dark. I love this dog. There isn’t any other way about it.
As I cross the field, I hear the crunch of snow beneath my boots, a billion stars twinkle in the sky, in the distance a dog barking urgently, not Chevy, probably coyote hunters.
The moon is bright, the snow is blue. I stand beside the silohs and the moon streams between them, I wish I had a camera, I don’t even have my iphone, it is insanely beautiful. Insanely cold.
I think about the time I was caught outside, alone, in a typhoon on a late Hong Kong night, morning really, and how I almost died from hypothermia (I embellish), my clothes were heavy with the tropical rain that came down in solid sheets when the wind wasn’t whipping it sideways. I was lost, a bit drunk from a typhoon party in a bar I’d walked out of an hour before..walked right into rain so solid that I lost sight of the other patrons and since then I’d seen no other living thing. Lightning was jagging the sky and illuminated a dead cat floating down the sidewalk, now a river around my feet…I was in mortal danger. But it was just so beautiful.
Tim and Margo (the barn’s owners and my only neighbors) are on a long trip, there is no one here in the night but me. Careful, I think, don’t fall down, there will be no one by. Until spring.
The silohs are black giants. Looking up at them and the moon, I don’t feel so alone.
Finally, I hear the sound of a dog galloping across the crunchy snow- it’s Chevy, full of burs and bursting with the joy of having such an adventure to share in the night with me.
I scold him half-heartedly.
We head home by the light of the moon.
Dunga Brook, 8am, the dogs want out, the wild birds want to be fed, I want coffee but pack on my jacket, boots and gloves instead.
Outside, it is a wintry wonderland of deep blue skies lit by a fierce winter sun already half-way into its daily trajectory…spring is coming, it is inevitable, this repositioning by 8am says it all.
There is a fine frost on every bare branch and twig, making the trees white as ghosts. On the ground, the fresh snow twinkles in delight.
It is cold, I can tell because my iphone shutter is slow as molasses. Chevy has disappeared into the glen, so Plato and I amble to the roadside where the Wild Parsnips stand as tall and as straight as summer, each one coated with rough cut diamonds.
I do a lot of thinking out here. One thought is, what is money when all this beauty is free? Money didn’t make this happen, couldn’t come close to it…then…but money keeps me warm at night thanks to my Harman pellet stove, and money bought my down jacket and touch pad friendly gloves from REI and my Bogs for the army supply store in Herkeimer. I hate money. I love money. Argh.
Iphone in hand (money), I lose myself again to the beauty of central New York’s flora and fauna (free).
Lately, I have been ground up by thoughts of money because money is and has been flowing out faster that it flows in. By an extra long country mile.
One part of me, the Black And White me, feels like my money situation will never get better.
The other part of me, the one who is forever cleaning up after Miss Black And White, understands that hard work and time take care of most things.
This Wild Parsnip in front of me didn’t spring up over night, it took weeks for it to get to its full height of 6 feet. I took its lifetime. It also didn’t crumble up and disappear at the end of its summer season, it stood tall and dispersed seeds so more of it could grow in the spring.
What am I doing? Coaching myself through a rough spot in The Middle Of Nowhere with a Wild Parsnip as a mentor…isn’t that what you’d do?
Tonight, the sky is clear and full of stars. It’s 13 degrees.
I walk with the dogs in the deep fresh snow. In the dark my house seems framed by the milky way, the warm light pouring out onto the snow from the windows doesn’t dim the glow.
Looking up, I see the darker reaches of the universe and I realize that when we die, that’s where we’ll go.
Not bad, I think as I call the dogs back and go inside.
Today, the wind is howling. Blue skies, sunshine, snow flying off the trees. Inside, a fire is burning.
Last night, Chevy ran away. The snow was coming down beautifully as I stood in the doorway calling his name. I could hear a bark now and then but I couldn’t stand the cold anymore and closed the door. When I warmed up, I tried again.
It isn’t like him to run away at night. Suddenly, I had visions of finding him in the morning, mauled by coyotes, a death grimace on his face.
I stood in the doorway again with snow falling on my hair, in my ears, on my eyelashes and I called and called and called. Closed the door. Went back and tried again.
I live in the middle of nowhere. Local friends think this is a tedious statement, as if I am embellishing the isolation. Friends who live near towns with neighbors close at hand. The closest town to me is 17 miles away. The closest neighbor is half a mile away.
I am not complaining. I am in love with the middle of nowhere. For years I have been anywhere but the middle. A constant see sawing from left to right then back again. Black and white, no gray. Finally, gray. The exact middle.
I put my layers on, found a flashlight, put Plato on a leash and prepared to go into the dark to find Chevy. My plan was to follow his tracks, they’d lead me to the field behind the house. Possibly into the crumbling barn that used to house a thousand dairy cows. I needed to hurry, before the snow wiped all traces of them away.
Chevy isn’t just any dog, he has, in the past 2 years, become the love of my life. I can’t get enough of his brown eyes, his shiny fur, his confirmation, intelligence, humor, wit. My plan was to go as deep into the dark as I must to find that dog, no matter what the risk.
When I opened the door there he was, smiling, covered with burs, delighted to have been allowed a little extra time in the snow.
Everything in life has led me to this place, this middle of nowhere, beneath the hungry gaze of a wintry behemoth.
We are ready, loaded with food, water, internet, closed cell foam insulation, a pellet stove, bags of pellets in the basement, a generator powered by a gas tank holding a months worth of gas.
Around 4pm the snow finally arrived, sideways. I turned my back to it, watched the dogs fight and shit, one more round of freedom before we hunkered down in the 1820’s farmhouse.
And now that the sun has set there is more to be unseen than seen.