Winter may be associated with things going stiff and dormant, but not so in Ovando. In fact just when I thought October was off the calendar, I got our Town Crier’s news. (Kathy Schoendoerfer) Terry Sheppard got creative and thought up the perfect thing. Thanks Terry!
Because isn't it about time to have some?
and we can keep it all friendly with distancing and masks.
The Alpine Artisans Tour fortunately came in the thin sliver of autumnal October that I mentioned last time. It was not just at the Brand Bar Museum in Ovando but a tour that stretched across the valley. A reminder that the arts are also alive and well, in spite of the pandemic.
8 stops along the tour
- #1: Handmade in Seeley Lake
- #2: Grizzly Claw Trading Co
- #3: Gallery 83 in Seeley Lake
- #4: Willow Creek Studio
- #5: Swanwoods with Martha and Jerry Swanson off Woodworth Road
- #6: Brand Bar Museum downtown Ovando with
- - Artoutwest - with Diane Whitehead
- - Cabin Fever Originals - wit Angela Williams
- #7: Lincoln Art Haus Co-op
- #8: Blackfoot Pathways in Lincoln
Arts staying alive during the pandemic is a serious challenge worldwide. We have seen orchestras offer remarkable concerts, zooming from their living rooms, but these don't keep the rent or the salaries or production costs paid; the same problems facing small businesses everywhere. One resourceful solution was found by the Atlanta Opera company. They have a beautiful performing arts center for their productions but not a Covid-safe place. What is a premier company like this to do?
The feat of our Capt. Tom Moore, who at age 99 walked one-hundred laps across his back yard with his walker to raise money (40 million pounds!) for first-responders, continues to ripple out in its effect. He received 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday. ("Now children, I know you are bored, but why don't you make a card for that nice man.") Presumably 98 year-old Zinaida Korneva of St. Petersburg has knit him his socks, while she recounts war stories on YouTube to raise money for the health workers.
Well Tom's record has been topped. Tired of being stuck inside during the shut-down, 104-year old Ruth Saunders, from Newbury in Berkshire, said to her son in North Wales, “I’m fed up with this, do you think it would be all right if I went out and had a little walk?” "Certainly," he said. "You can do a little more each day." So she took hold of her walker and set out. No doubt inspired by her countryman Sir Tom, and urged on by her daughter to go for the marathon distance of 26.2 miles, she and her walker have done 130 laps around her house to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Ah the choices we can make and feats we humans are capable of if we put our mind to it. Bravo Ruth! Click to read more and see the video.
If you look up in the sky at Mars, now visible in the east to southeastern sky at evening, you can imagine that somewhere in the space between us, a triangular rock roughly the size of the empire state building is orbiting the sun every 1.2 years. That is Comet Bennu, named by a 9-year-old boy for an ancient Egyptian avian deity, in keeping with its visiting spacecraft, Osiris Rex. Scientists speculate that carbon-rich Bennu might have seeded Earth with the building blocks for life. It is remarkable that a small spacecraft launched in 2016 to do reconnaissance of Bennu was able to make a momentary touch-down to take a sample of dirt and rock to bring back to Earth. The work has been described as a labor of love for researchers around the globe who invested years of their lives into the historic mission. “Transcendental,” Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator of the mission, said moments later. “I mean, I can’t believe we actually pulled this off.” So don’t get the mistaken impression that the world has shrunk to ballot boxes and campaign ads. There is still a lot of exciting stuff going on even 200,000,000 miles away.
But plenty of great feats and labors of love go on closer to home. Consider this Chinese couple and the hours-upon-hair-raising-hours they spent in perfecting this acrobatic dance for World's Got Talent. And pity their poor son, standing backstage, holding his breath.
As Covid continues to constrain us, you may find yourself stuck at home again with your mask in the laundry and nothing to do. The idea of standing on point on your partner's head, or being the head that is stood upon, may not appeal, but there is still a form of dancing that you might find simple, relaxing and amusing. I thank Bonnie Spence for this, imported from someone in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Try finger dancing! Or just watch this one and tap your own to the rhythm. It's fun! Watch dancing fingers .
Then there is the world of nature around us to bring us joy with its beauty and endless inspiration for artists. Peggy Fly sent on this lovely piece on Birds in Art. You can feel the love, attention and patience that goes into the pains-taking rendering of each feather and feature. This is exquisite and not to be missed.
Now relationships with four-footed creatures like dogs, cats and horses may not be so unusual. But kinship with invertebrates (i.e. without a spinal column), particularly a marine invertebrate? How likely is that? I have been following Octopus studies and clever creatures like Athena, a lab octopus featured in Sy Montgomery's book The Soul of an Octopus introduced to me by Anthony Hawkesworth. What a lot we have to learn about our fellow creatures! I waited eagerly for the forthcoming documentary on Netflix by a brilliant South African film-maker, Craig Foster. "My Octopus Teacher," the moving story of his relationship with an octopus in the wild, did not disappoint. The underwater photography is stunning. Here is the trailer.
I end with an ode to the October that isn't, yet may still be remembered in memory and looked forward to in hope. Warm, yellow October with coronavirus gone. Here is a peaceful version of the Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken."
Please take care and be well.