I will be reading from my new book, Dancing with the Gods: Reflections on Life and Art, at the South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings, South Dakota, on the 22nd of September, at 10 a.m. Dancing with the Gods is a series of thoughts and reflections on the inner life of the artist, written for anyone who practices an art form or wants to understand some of the often unseen joys and challenges of the creative life. I might also read one of my favorite pieces from my recently published book, Native Echoes: Listening to the Spirit of the Land. I encourage you to show up. The South Dakota Festival of Books is a wonderful venue — very intimate and convivial. You can usually get a few words with any of your favorite authors and have a chance to brush shoulders with a good group of readers and all around friendly people. Here’s a link to the website: http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/. See you there.
“We are not apart from nature. We are a part of nature.”
As a writer, you have heard me say that my work has been a search for an authentic American spirituality, a place where the rich humanity of the Judeo Christian tradition met with the profound earth bound humility of Native American belief.
Thirty years ago, as a sculptor, I committed to making one final image that would embody that spirituality.
It was to be an echo of a crucifixion, an homage to the heartfelt Medieval crucifixes of northern Europe enlivened and defined by the haunting power of nature.
The only way I could do this authentically was to allow the forces of nature to have their hand in the sculptural process.
And so this piece, slightly smaller than life size and carved from a living piece of black walnut, has now been given life by thirty years of weathering by the forces of nature.
It has lay in the hot summer sun, stood against the harsh forces of winter snows and winds. It spent a year submerged among the shifting sands and lapping waters of a deep northern Minnesota lake, and seasons touched by the gentle breezes and changing light of autumns and springs.
It has taken its final form at the hand of nature in a way that could never have been done by human touch, and I now wish it to find a final resting place in a church or meditation setting where it can speak to anyone who sits in its presence.
To do this, I need to find a setting and I need to find a donor. Or, failing this I will need to run a kickstarter to pay for the piece and its transportation and erection on its final site.
This is a labor of love and finality for me. I will very likely never do another sculpture, and this piece, that I have always called “Angelus,” says everything that, as a sculptor, I have needed to say.
If you know of a setting, or know of a donor, or wish to be part of this journey of passage, please contact me either through this site or at email@example.com.