Asking questions
Wild Mercy

Touching the source

Emergence of Clowns by Roxanne Swentzell

From "A Letter to Deb Clow" by Terry Tempest Williams:

"I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget....

Making Oneself by Roxanne Swentzell

"I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness....

Storyteller by Roxanne Swentzell

Fruitful by Roxanne Swentzell
"I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine....

"I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love."

Held by Rozanne Swentzell

The sculptures above are by Roxanne Swentzell, from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico. The pieces here are "Emergence of Clowns," "Making Oneself," "Storyteller," "Fruitful," and "Held." Please visit the artist's website to see more of her remarkable work in clay, glass, and bronze.

The quoted text from "A Letter to Deb Clow" comes from Terry Tempest Williams' essay collection Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert (Pantheon, 2001). I highly recommend seeking out the whole piece. It's simply gorgeous.