Friday, December 19, 2014

land grab (and more public art)

Just south of where we're staying - and just south of the Chesapeake arena - but before the river - is a canal, linking Bricktown (which tries to look like a resuscitated bit of the city, but really is just full of bars and restaurants for conference attendees and sports people) with the river (that would be the Canadian, or the Oklahoma River).   And by the side of the canal - indeed, crossing the canal - is what is one of the largest freestanding bronze sculptures in the world - some 365 feet long, when it's completed.  It's by Paul Moore, celebrating - "celebrating" - the 1889 Land Run, when President Benjamin Harrison opened up some 2 million acres of "unassigned" Indian territory to settlement.  So settlers rushed in, and grabbed.

Is this really something that should be celebrated?  There is, indeed, one lone Indian, standing at some distance from the spectacle of greed.  Of course, it's quite an impressive piece - here the settlers are charging towards an old grain elevator, which is now a climbing gym.

But I wish that I'd been here to see the alternative (and soon removed) installation in the summer of 2013, when artist Geoffrey Krawczyk scattered some 39 cast-iron skulls - some with simulated blood - over the site.  That seems to be far more faithfully in the spirit of the grey and desolate land.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

public art in oklahoma city

The Oklahoma City bombing memorial - one of the best public memory sites I've ever seen;

and from the other end: these two square arches bookend it;

Indians on the courthouse (earlier victims of violence, of a different kind);

glass in the Art Museum, in a tall sculptural pillar of curly bits;

and some penguins.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

oklahoma city

The view from our hotel window!  An ice rink!  A faint glow on the left is the Chesapeake Arena - home of the women's volleyball national championship - whoooop whoooop!  Yes, this may be an off-beat way of spending some our break - whooop!  (and after a day's snow-and-rain filled travel, we still got into time in time for dinner ...).  Tomorrow - well, we'll be supporting Penn State and Texas in the two semi-finals (we'll draw a discreet veil over USC's fate this year, but it's so much fun to be here and part of the scene ...).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

moth, packing

Moth doesn't just know that we're packing: she knows that there is a catnip Christmas toy (a bright green catnip filled cactus, indeed) for my parents' cat inside it.  She has made her feelings felt - as if we didn't already feel bad enough about leaving ...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas lights

There isn't ever a year, probably, when - despite all my planning (too much of which probably exists inside my head) - I feel as though I haven't left too much seasonal organization to the last minute.  But this year, I did manage to buy a whole lot of solar powered lights that I've strung into our New Mexican trees, and very pretty they look, too.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

the day bookended: dawn and dusk

A wintry dawn - that LA storm caught up with me in NM, and left an inch or two of snow, and a biting cold wind - and then a Biblically golden evening (with neighbors' children playing in the dusk).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I can't breathe - the Santa Fe Farmers' Market version

Today's I Can't Breathe protest in Santa Fe's railyard was more than a little surreal, since it was in hot competition for space with a childrens' Christmas festival - long lines of parents with children waiting to have their photographs taken with Santa; face-painting; a toy train giving rides - and a die-in offered rather more bodies to step over than some of these people had anticipated.  And that's before you get to the regular farmers' market crowd, buying chile pepper wreaths and goats milk soap and anemic looking carrots and green chile pizza and raspberry chile jam and tamales and green chile mustard.

I struck up an ill advised and bad tempered conversation - argument? - with a bad tempered woman who complained that we were Spoiling Christmas.  I suggested that it had already been spoiled for the Garner and Brown and other families.  Well! she said - they shouldn't have been fighting with policemen.  And this here was wrong, in front of children ... So ... is a twelve year old not a child? another woman asked.  And so it went ... it was like finding oneself in the middle of the worst kind of talk radio.  And then everyone stood up again, and drifted off, under the eyes of five cars worth of police men who were doing their best to not seem like policemen, and I headed off to buy my chile products.