Queen of the Night

 “Queen of the Night” is the series I completed during the darkness.  Like the people of Bhutan who pilgrimage to monasteries perched like bird nests on cliffs, each piece in the series is a step in my pilgrimage toward the light.

Since the dog pack attack in the spring of 2015, both my body and the studio carried a cranky awkward unfamiliarity. Detached. Cliff championed my return to the studio the following spring. I would arrive at dawn to see smoke billowing from the chimney; a friendly invitation to work. My body grew stronger. My mother’s body weakened. 

Cliff died. 

Numbness settled deep within bones still unsettled by the dog trauma. My heart stretched loudly as Alzheimer’s ripped and tore at my mother’s mind. I bathed, dressed and fed her. She willed herself alive long enough to witness my marriage – a blessing. For ten days and nights immediately after my wedding I tended my mother during her final days – another blessing

The project for the king of Bhutan gifted me with space, place and purpose during a time of deep grief. A magical country steeped in tradition, color, kindness – and feral dogs.

Bhutan kicked my ass. 

Part of the ass-kicking came from Mother Nature. Three trips over the ocean to live within the majesty of the Himalayan mountains during various seasons but even the warm seasons were “unseasonably cold” - brutal when spending long days carving outside. Persistent wet cold camped out in my bones. Challenges on top of challenges – but it was good.

Last Fall I completed the carving for the king and returned home. Depression hung a heavy wool cloak onto my cold tired body.  Beneath the itchy weight of the wool, I tentatively, quietly got back to work. “Queen of the Night” is the series I completed during the darkness.  Like the people of Bhutan who pilgrimage to monasteries perched like bird nests on cliffs, each piece in the series is a step in my pilgrimage toward the light.