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.


Creating Red

“I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white.”
—Terry Tempest Williams

Here in autumn’s New England,
the world is drenched in red.
Holly berries, like embers,
burn in the bushes,
the rowan is crowned in red beads.
I have sumac aflame in the yard,
maples blazing by the roadside,
cheery crowds of mums
gossip in their pots.
Fuscia dangles its bells
even to the first frost,
singing out red, red, red.
How can you say the world
is black and white,
while blood drips steadily
from my fingertips onto the keys.

©2012 Jane Yolen All rights reserved

Oh, the Roxanne Swentzell's sculptures are amazing!

And to follow up on my comment from yesterday, I look forward to getting to 'Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert'. The quotes today resonate and with Jane's poem it's just...perfect.

Jane: Gorgeous, as always.

Sebina: I'm so glad you're digging into TTW's books! I'm going to post one last quote from her tomorrow and then move on to other things before this turns into the all-Terry-Tempest-Williams blog. But it's been a real treat for me to go through my shelf-full of her books and pick out favorite passages these last few weeks.

Thanks so much for treats from TTW that spawn more magic, more life.

The sculpture is water to my parched pump. And this quote:
"I write as a witness to what I imagine...." cream to my morning tea.

Just back from my first visit to Roxanne Swenzell's website...I am speechless and so grateful to discover her, thank you.

oh such beautiful work and words!

Terri,I admire and thank you for this shared space of yours. I had not known of Terry Tempest Williams's work and am off to visit Roxanne Swenzell's website now. The two talents that you combined work wonderfully well together. I value time spent here... a delightful source for my ongoing education, much appreciated entertainment and a window to all kinds of possibilities. Please keep the door on the latch, I won't be gone long.

Thank you so much, Heather.

The comments to this entry are closed.