sacred

I know this thirst will not last long for it will soon drown in a song not sung in vain,

I feel the thunder in the sky, I see the sky about to rain, and I hear the prairies calling out Your name.

Rich Mullins, Calling Out Your Name

 

The view from my window took a decidedly interesting turn last week.

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One week I’m playing a brothel whore in The Threepenny Opera.

threepennyandhannah 011aThe next week I’m guiding Amarillo artist Andrew DeJesse through the petroglyph cave at the ranch. Go ahead, reward yourself. Take a minute to peek at his art.

Andrew provided the interesting art gracing the cover of Amarillo Opera’s program last season. Seems our executive director, David O’Dell, wants Andrew to provide his unique viewpoint to our cover again this year. David thought viewing some ranch scenery and crawling through the petroglyph cave could fuel Andrew’s imagination. I became the chief tour guide.

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Contemporary artist face-to-face with prehistoric artist.

Andrew was an excellent sport.

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On top of the art cave.

I enjoyed talking all things ‘art’ and ‘great plains’ with Andrew and his gracious wife, Elizabeth.

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In the midst of a three-year drought, browns are the predominant color in northern New Mexico. What could the artist possibly see in this stark environment?

Maybe I’ve enjoyed a day more.…but I simply can’t think of one right now.

We stopped at all my favorite places. Looking for inspiration on the Great Plains is not an activity for sissies.

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Rock pen.

Looking at the old rock pens, we spoke of wondering about the family who once lived here.
ranchesandrewdejesse 123aAt times I felt as if I should reimburse Andrew for the art lesson, as we discussed the many sources of inspiration for texture.

ranchesandrewdejesse 124aHe pointed out the inspiration for shape scattered around our feet.

ranchesandrewdejesse 129aHe helped me see how a jumble of rocks could be just as stunning as a beautiful bouquet of carefully arranged flowers.

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Nature’s bouquet.

I confided in Andrew and Elizabeth of how I like to have my camera slung around my neck as it forces me to see. To observe and not rush by.

Elizabeth and Andrew weren’t even the slightest bit irritated when I chirped,

Let’s go see the graveside. It’s just a five-minute walk!

ranchesandrewdejesse 178aAfter 30 minutes walking uphill in the wind and scaling a rock basket for a barbed wire fence, they remained unflappable. They possess the true wonderment of explorers.

Andrew explained he has a passion for this area of the country (he was born in New Jersey) and he wanted to move here. His muse is this land.

Come again, Andrew?? Were you out of town for the entire dust-bowl month of March?

Old rock storage shed on table-top pasture land. If you squint you can spot Rabbit Ear mountain.
Old rock storage shed on table-top pasture land. If you squint you can spot Rabbit Ear mountain.

Andrew’s knowledge of the history of this area is impressive. I prayed he wouldn’t ask me any ‘New Jersey’ questions. Garden state!!

I’m no art critic (a-men), but when I ponder Andrew’s art I see an artist with a profound talent for elevating the ordinary to the sacred. He never overtly sentimentalizes his subject matter. In fact, he says he tries to ‘stay out of it’. Much of his subject matter deals with the harsh realities of life on the Great Plains, but I think his art reveals his reverence for the area and the land’s hardy inhabitants.

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Swallow (mud dauber) nests along the creek bed.

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Thanks Elizabeth and Andrew for the holy day. I’m grateful.

Hope you discover your muse this week, dear reader.

Sacred love to all.

keeper of the plains

I need to quit watching/listening to the news. I can never unsee Geraldo Rivera’s preening selfie, the drama of Weiner’s wiener, and the over-publicized outcome of a very high-profile trial. Geez…..and it’s only Wednesday.

I need some eye/mind bleach.

Thanks to Sprout #1 filling my email inbox with these photos, I have the perfect mind-scrubbing solution.

This is an update to my wild things post.

Let’s see what the beasts in northern New Mexico have been up to, shall we?

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They’ve been staying up past bed time.
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They enjoy 2 for 1 drinks during happy hour. They even bring the young’uns.
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They munch on hors d’oeuvres while having their drivers license photo snapped.
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They display their massive racks. Who has the most points? Very attractive to the ladies.
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Regrettably, they find themselves still at the bar in the wee morning hours mustering the courage to ask the foxy bear for a date.
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The ruins of the old home in the ‘doctor’ pasture. Is this the ‘doctor’s’ house?
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Bear’s turn at the water tank. Look at the 2 cubs! Do I hear an ‘awww’?
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I wouldn’t want to accidentally stumble across this mama. Mama bears are fierce.
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These buddies are enjoying a snack and relaxing.
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Couldn’t resist cropping this. Wanted to get a better look at that massive back paw. Look at the size of that thing!
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Enjoying some salt.
Exercise extreme caution. This beast can rip off a finger while lunging for a biscuit.

Observing the rhythm of the animal kingdom here on the prairie never fails to inspire. Is that a spark of the divine I see in them? What sort of creator made these magnificent animals? Perhaps they point to the ‘keeper of the plains’.

I’m closing with this Rich Mullins‘ video. Rich was a Christian artist who passed away in a car accident in 1997. Such a loss….I still miss his heartfelt music. I think this song perfectly captures the majesty of the keeper of the plains. You won’t regret listening to it. Promise.

The prairies are calling out His name. Are we listening?

Love to you, divine creature.