The year-turning holidays are always a bit disjointed for me. Here are a few tidbits from recent travels.
First, an art assemblage I saw being constructed at Denver International Airport a while ago. It is ephemeral, as is its topic, and it will be going away. I'll miss it.
It extends through both sides of one of the arched bridges between the terminals and consists of 10,000 paper cranes constructed from an unpublished manuscript, along with similarly sized crystals. Called "Shadow Happy," it is by Brianna Martray.
DIA's copy of the artist's statement is here. There are many more photos on the artist's site, as well as a link to a YouTube video (about 11 minutes long) about the installation, which I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to see part of. I flew in and out of DIA a number of times during construction, guessing at and then having revealed the reasons behind the blue-tape markings throughout the passageway.
"Shadow Happy" will be in place through February 2012 along the walkway from the main terminal to the A concourse.
Because of our travel plans, I wasn't able to be in Salida, Colorado, for the winter solstice celebration of the life of my friend Richard Cabe, who left this plane of existence on November 27. Richard, who was among other things a sculptor who saw rocks as "ambassadors of the earth," worked in a way that was as elemental as, although dramatically different from, the vision in "Shadow Happy." (That last link contains a couple of pictures of Richard shaping granite, and a mention of a scholarship in his name to support other artists.)
In our luggage, my daughter and I carried with us some of the materials to make luminarias in Richard's honor, linking the memory of his life to another part of the globe that was important to him, the one we were traveling to, the Pacific Northwest. My sister and brother-in-law had on hand the other items we needed.
It was, fortunately, not raining. Beanie the cat supervised, as did the heron my sister received as a gift one Christmas.
The luminarias burned a long time (except the two that Beanie knocked off the deck rail).
Speaking of Beanie, she helped wrap presents:
. . . and got into my luggage and retrieved (and claimed) a plastic-wrapped fish knitted by my friend Jodie Aves. She liked it even better after we took the ripped plastic bag off.
It seemed to make her very happy.
The family gathering lasted close to a week and involved our two 87-year-olds, plus honorary long-time family members (I'm not sure what J. is doing with my aunt's cane, but neither she nor Mom looks worried) . . . .
. . . and, for the first time, one of the younger generation participating by video chat from across the country.
I spent a lot of time doing preliminary sorting of family photos and artifacts from the boxes we packed when we moved Mom to an apartment a couple of years ago.
That's just the start of one section of the 1940s material, which included about 200 photos Dad took in China/Burma/India.
We were home in time to pick up the dogs from the kennel on New Year's Eve, although I drove the backroads to get there because of the high winds—the interstate is exposed for most of its length. I learned later that it had been closed altogether for a couple of hours that morning. Our trip was uneventful, although the winds had also knocked out traffic signals along our route, and it was good to have the two-legged and four-legged household reunited.
A quiet evening was topped off by neighborhood fireworks (the official city ones had been cancelled because of the weather), which gave Ceilidh an opportunity to demonstrate exactly how small a corner a dog of her size can fit into.
I think her perception is accurate that there is safety in the vicinity of a spinning wheel, a ukulele (the black case along the bottom), and a supply of dog food (the white container).
We also played Settlers of Catan on several evenings, as well as one round of Carcassonne, and my daughter and I got my mother and a friend of hers past their stuck spot on one of their jigsaw puzzles. I also managed to get almost all of the yarn samples prepared for teaching at Madrona, but that's a story for another day.
May 2012 bring us all lots of friend-visiting time, good conversations, rewarding work and discoveries, and restorative play.
Edited to add another "we're home" photo, actually the one that started me writing the post. I looked down this morning and saw this, which amused me a great deal:
It's obviously an indicator that I'm in a familiar environment.
Happy new year again.