Today the grave digger came. He brought a worker to help with the clearing and luckily for me carried all the pieces and assisted with the laying in.
For a while in my artist imagination I thought I might dress in black, carry an umbrella, lean over the hole with sadness…..maybe even have a fellow artist help me with the placement. But no, this was better. I took the helper aside and said, “Listen, you have to do this in a certain order. It matters.”
His response, “Yes, Miss Sandy.”
How perfect was that!
Here he is laying down the cloth in the fresh dug hole.
Then the houses are placed. Tony, the helper does all the carrying down a slippery slope and hands the work to Steve who dug the hole.
Then all those patriarchs….so glad to be laid to rest by men they would have appreciated.
Lovingly collected earth pigments mixed together and tossed over.
The war works get laid next and I tell the boys to be careful as these represent the suffering…lay them down softly.
Then the Expedition to Elsewhere pieces go down.
I toss the collection of Artist Group Meeting notebooks into the center of the pile.
Once the boat gets laid on top with all the specimens inside, they cover it with the banners.
My final view. And then the dirt goes back.
Pack it all down.
And then it is done.
I turn and find a small piece from the Expedition to Elsewhere….it was just a small basket made to fill wall space in the exhibit. I will bury it with the rest while the dirt is still soft enough to get it underground. And I will scatter the rest of the soils on top of that and cover it all with the sweetgrass. Just not today. It is hot and humid out there.
My outside studio space is empty again. I can’t remember when there was not a pile of things out there waiting for something to happen.
I will go read a book….another good book.
I tried to not read too quickly the book by Paul Howarth titled, Only Killers and Thieves, but yesterday it wouldn’t leave me alone. Like a Cormac McCarthy the writing draws you in with the writing of place, descriptions of people….but like McCarthy, not for the faint of heart. I have to say I loved it and hope that he writes a sequel. It reminded me in no small part of McCarthy’s first of the Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses.
So now I have dug out a book that a friend in Australia gave me to read on the plane coming back home. I saved it to read when I had just finished another Australian story and was not quite ready to say goodbye.
Then I am sure it will be back to some other mystery from the Brits to get lost in.
And just a couple more remarks about Australians. I miss them. I miss that I am not on the roster to teach this coming year. We mostly keep in touch and they will let me know who the lucky tutor is that will have them in a workshop. They are the best students ever and will push themselves to get the most from whatever is on offer.
And you know what else. They will call each other, “gorgeous”. I love that they use that to compliment each other and no one checks to see if that person really is “gorgeous”. I miss being called gorgeous, but last week I came close.
The Hispanic waitress at the diner looked me right in the eye and said, “You are very beautiful.” And all I did was order my usual pecan waffle. The word “beautiful” is lovely in a Spanish accent. Made me feel gorgeous just hearing her say it.