Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Isn't it lovely."

The Saguaro and the Kachina

Isn't It Lovely

My art student, hunched over her walker, seemed to have melted to mere skin, bones, and dents. She informed me she is too weak now to come to class. I am saddened. Several years back, this vibrant, talented woman, whom I assumed was in her early seventies, shocked me by volunteering. "I am ninety-two." 

After class, still somewhat shaken,  I relate the encounter to a friend.  "Isn't it lovely." she replied, thoughtfully.  Angry, I wanted to shout, "No, she is dying." Then a memory stopped me. One afternoon walking in the desert, surrounded by what I thought in one moment were dead saguaro cacti, in the next moment were more alive, were more intriguingly gorgeous in  their variety of rich brown, yellows, purples, and greys.  No longer green and full, they now stood amazingly undulating, in crisp, curled forms dancing in the intense desert heat. All wrinkles, dents and boneless flesh, they had made their transition.

My logic said, "No" to this dance, but something else whispered, "Be careful Augusta, do not dismiss it. Allow your heart, your invisible being to expand until you catch the aliveness, the beauty of those dancing forms."

Here in the southwest certain groups of  Native Americans put on the mask of the kachina and dance the dance, not of the “live saguaro” but of it’s transformed energy. My art student-friend is in the process of her transitional dance.  I think she knows, walking away from me; dignified, dented, crisp, and faltering that indeed, her possibilities are lovely.

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