Another day. A slew of headlines. Tweets. Rallies. A jeep barrels past me on Main Street. American flags wave from its antennae. Stickers, posters smear across the vehicle. The driver waves his fist, slams on the horn. Is it past life memories that make my heart skip, or fear for this present?
There are times when it makes sense to take on the world, fight for the justice I know possible. After all, didn’t I cut my teeth on Peace Marches in Berkeley? There are other times when it feels like the best escape is to find like-minded companions, find peace within their circle, and then go on.
Today, for me, finding peace within a circle of calm makes sense. This nightmare can, for at least this moment, become a bad dream. Through affirming, with others, the goodness, the Oneness of what is around us, my purpose renews. My life takes on meaning.
And where can look for models for these times? One person I have met recently fills this order. Healingwolf. She was given this name by her father at an early age, when he found her healing a wolf. Her mother’s family was Iroquois. She has always felt privileged to live with, to heal, and to be healed by wolves.
Her home, Medicine Wheel Lodge, is a magical place to visit. Once a stage stop, and owned by Wyatt Earp’s brother, Morgan, it is now a sanctuary for wolves, and for their healing power. Four wolves, rescued under various circumstances, live there. Their magnificent spirits suffuse the lodge.
The power of the wolf brings out instinct, intelligence, and a desire for freedom. This power is the power HealingWolf holds, shares with others. On December 10 HealingWolf will share this power with us. She will lead us into a space where we can experience Harmony and Balance, where we can connect to one another within this reverence.
Before we begin our discussion soon after 3:00 at Adrift Studio, 423A S. 6th St. White Wolf who will share her wolf poetry. Our soiree will move on to with Healing Wolf, She will speak, conversation will follow. We will continue into a powerful meditation facilitated by Laina Reynolds. Using her harp and cello, Laina will lead us through vibrations that can heal our world.
We will end our soiree with, Whitewolf leading us in howling through the pain around us, into the healing power of wolves. This will be a remarkable, transformative afternoon. Our hope is to use this experience as a starting point for more community building, more meditation and Earth-Healing.
We will be giving donations to Healing Wolf. Caring for wolves, their food and lodging, their vet bills is expensive,
I began to prepare for Open Studios about a month before the event. Lainie had come by. She looked at my studio and commented, “This floor needs to be painted.”
I looked down. The floor, stained, cracked concrete did look worn, non-artistic. I did not need to worry about what I dropped on it. I realized, though, this was the gallery-part of my space. I did not drop paint and stuff out here, and it might attract guests.
I took a few small red rocks out of my case over to Ace. “Would you match this in a floor paint?” We moved all the furniture out of the way and rolled paint across the floor. It improved the look of the room. But now the walls needed attention. We trekked back to Ace and my friend Jodie helped me pick a lighter version of the floor color. The look of the walls improved the overall effect of the room, but something more was needed.
Back to Ace. Jodie showed me how to pick complementary colors to the ones in the studio. We selected an aqua, a brown, a grey. I added silver and copper. These colors were swirled around the room. When the sun shone in the room the shadows from my mobiles blended in. I felt the room looked enchanted.
Walls and floors improved, I turned back to the cases in the room. I hit the garage sales and found a huge, heavy oak case. It was a major improvement over the wobbly white case it replaced. I bench with rusting “Chevy” on the back filled in an empty space beneath the pass-through, and provided seating.
The outside needed attention. Being in an industrial zone, my space needed definition. People needed clues in order to find me. I made mobiles to hang from the eaves and found an A-frame open sign. I got it to prominently display my address. I spruced up the numbers on my door, made them easier to read from a distance.
I needed to do my committee work for the event. One morning I got up to Jerome before the parking lots dried up. For two hours I climbed all over the hills and dropped pamphlets for merchants.
I remembered the local bank had told me they had a space where local merchants could advertise their businesses. I signed up for the week before Open Studios. The Monday before I went over, arranged eight pieces and some rough signage. I was pleased by the effect.
My cat Manzanita began to look sicker and sicker. I knew he was at risk for feline leukemia. I took him up to the Humane Society. They pointed out his labored breathing, his high temperature, his lack of eating. He was quite sick. They offered to take him in, doctor him. When Juniper showed her distress a bout being separated from her brother. They offered to take her i as well. Now I needed to drive up to Jerome daily to visit with them.
The day before the event I worked ten hours fo ready my studio. The morning of the event I arrived at my studio at five. Pieces needed to be repaired. Others needed to be repositioned.
Ten a.m. Open Studios were to start. I continued to rehang my weedholders. I strung a final vertical mobile, then mounted my ladder to hang it on the ceiling. My d=hairdresser came in! Her studio is three blocks away, but she had never had the time to stop by. She helped hang pictures of my sick cats.
A few more friends trickled in. Lots of compliments. Finally, six hours later. my phone rang. Was I Ann Metlay? Was mu studio open? Could I guide them to find me. Two women walked in. They explained they sought me out because they were looking for art that was different.
I explained how I obtained my wood in local deserts, how papier mache worked to bond my assemblages.
“This is so natural. So organic. Each piece is unique. Such imagination to do this!”
By the end of the day six people had come to visit. Four were friends my Saturday continued slow. Towards the end of the day the phone rang. I recognized the heavy German accent, Irmagarde, an elderly friend from my old neighborhood. She and Klaus decided they wanted to visit only one studio, and from the picture of my assemblage, selected mine.
Klaus and Irma remained in my studio for over an hour. They moved from piece to piece, found an eagle in one, a fish in another. Delighted, they discussed who they should send to my studio. These were the visitors I wanted to attract!
Sally was not feeling well, so I did not need to run up to Jerome to visit the cats. I headed over to the Cliff Rose Trail to pick up Mormon tea roots.
Sunday, Norma came by with Lynda. I invited her to stay. We talked as she wrapped string around keyrings for my mobiles. I wire-brushed wood. We talked.
By the end of Sunday twenty-five people came through my studio over three days. About half were friends. Was it worth the work? My place looks inviting. My pieces are attractive. Hopefully word will get out my art is worth notice. I met several other artists. Maybe they can mentor me as I continue on the journey of art. A few weeks from now it is Made in Clarkdale. Last year I was turned down for this event. Maybe this year my pieces will get notice, my reputation will grow.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"