goodbye & hello... good things come in large packages

Almost exactly 24 hours after we said goodbye to Roux, we had the most spectacular sunset we've had in quite some time... I like to think of it as Roux's sunset. Gentle rains followed for a couple days. I always look for signs from my environment during times of sadness or stress... a special bird, or animal, or sight... something to tell me things will be fine or right themselves soon. I take this as one of those.

Now, I have a new guy in my life... he's a good listener with soulful eyes, who kisses my tears away when I am sad for missing Roux, who lays his great, warm head in my arms, who looks at me & says, "I know how it feels to be sad, but I'll help you feel better & I'll love you with every fiber of my being all of my days on this earth because I am so happy to have found my forever home"...

meet Roger!

Roger was dropped off with 3 other dogs by the same person at the county animal shelter & then rescued by a local no-kill group. I found him by looking at Petfinder.com . I cannot go to shelters myself because it is so overwhelmingly sad for me, even on a good day, that I cry. Roger was advertised as a 1 year old mastiff-retreiver mix, but our vet is quite sure he is about 2 years old, mostly Rottweiler & with his black spotted tongue & soft coat, maybe retriever with chow or sharpei?

All I know is that he is a 90 pound love sponge, with pretty good house manners, a yarn fetish, a fascination with birds & bunnies, & a little bit of separation anxiety, which I am working on. He loves hanging out in the studio, although he does need to learn not to put his head into the working parts of looms.

I found out about the yarn fetish when DY Begay dropped by for a visit... she was in Tucson to bring her weavings that will be included in the 3 women artist collaboration exhibit, Land, Art, and the Sacred: Three Perspectives, being held here at Pima Community College. It will be quite a dazzling exhibit, already on display, but I am waiting for the gallery talk & artist reception so I can savor the anticipation of seeing it for the first time. DY came by to let me choose & purchase a saddle blanket woven by one of her relatives on the reservation. We presented it as a gift to our beloved vet, Dr. Nunn. We gave his partner, Dr. Koski, a small blanket I had woven from local Alpaca yarns, & the staff a couple pizza certificates to thank them for all of the care our pets have received from their clinic since we moved here.

So, about Roger's yarn fetish... as DY & I were looking at the blankets she had brought, I heard a noise that sounded like Roger was rolling on his studio bed & playing with a toy. Well, he was rolling on the bed, but he was rolling around with a ball of yarn in his mouth! When he ran through the studio with it wrapped around him, I figured it out pretty quickly, especially since that particular ball was attached to a poncho in progress on my triangle loom! I discovered that wrestling with a 90 pound dog that flops on the floor thinking it's part of the game to keep grabbing the yarn once I got it pried out of his mouth can be challenging, especially with a guest standing there watching the whole thing! Luckily, DY has a large Akita, so she understands & she even helped untangle Roger.

He has tried making off with other balls out of my yarn baskets, but I've caught him before it was too late. When I was putting away newly wound yarn I had just bought from Norsk Fjord Fiber, I had my yarn cabinets open & Roger sat gazing into them like he was looking at shelves full of chocolate. Wow, well I guess most of us feel like that about fiber, now that I think of it. When he went to the old dog toy basket & rummaged around, the toy he brought back to the studio was a sheep. Hmmmmm.......

Earth, Air, Fire, Water opened at Tohono Chul two weeks ago & the exhibit is ¡muy fabuloso! The reception was crammed with people. I immediately saw my earth & sky & Bengt Erikson's Rincons since they were displayed near one another, but then a friend mentioned there were two other tapestries in the exhibit... I turned around & gasped as I saw Michael Rohde's two magnificent tapestries, hung on either side of the exhibit hall's large picture window. They extended nearly floor to ceiling. How exciting to have other tapestries included in the same exhibit! I especially loved how my tapestry was displayed alongside some beautiful jewelry pieces, one with a large chunk of polished agate. All of the tapestries garnered much interest during the reception & I talked to many people who were quite intrigued with the process of tapestry design & weaving. Although earth & sky was quite small compared to most of the works in the exhibit, many people came up & told me they were drawn to it from across the room because of the colors & subject (The Vermilion Cliffs).

The other Tohono Chul exhibit, Turquoise, opened the following week without a reception in the smaller gallery. I have a tapestry in there as does Deborah Komisarek, a fellow Desert Tapestry Weavers member. Surprisingly, neither of us knew the other was submitting... we both designed geometric tapestries based on the concept of inlaid turquoise jewelry & even had very similar titles-- hers, Inlay 1, & mine, inlay 9. I have visited that exhibit & our tapestries complement each other very nicely. I hope to revisit the exhibit & get some photos to post of both our works on display.

And, speaking of Michael Rohde, he is in town teaching a rug weaving workshop at the Desert Weaving Workshop. I had the exciting pleasure of attending with my dear friend, Stacey, a slide & video lecture he gave last night on his trips to Tibet & Lithuania that explained the inspiration behind his body of work, Houses for Nomads, which was exhibited in a solo show in Lithuania last year. A wonderful lecture with fabulous photos & videos with audio that he took of the people & many festivals that were going on during his visit, along with photos of all of his tapestries. It was very inspirational to hear how he was inspired by the people, their lands, their culture. He brought a few of the tapestries with him, how very special to get to see them! I hope to make it into town tomorrow evening to the little gathering they will be having after the workshop is finished for the day.

So, Roger & I are settling into a routine of morning walks, helping him learn to be comfortable & learn the rules in his new home, & working in the studio. Right now I am working on writing my class notes for my upcoming beginning tapestry workshop I will be teaching in the nearby town of Bisbee at the end of February. My weaving consists of weaving a sampler on one of the frame looms the guild is providing, one, so I will know how their looms work, and two, because it is helping me while I am writing. So, I weave a bit, jump up & go the computer, write a bit, & repeat, while Roger snoozes (& sometimes snores quite loudly) on his studio bed. My sister is coming for a visit in mid-February & as I have been helping her learn to weave, we'll be able to get some hands on time to help her advance her skills. I also hope to take us on an overnighter field trip while she is here up to Burnham's Trading Post so she can see some beautiful examples of Navajo weaving & we can buy MORE yarn!

You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~Emily Dickinson


tapestry13 said...

Hi Lyn,
Good to hear from you with happy news of a wonderful new family member and friend!
Happy weaving and yarn enjoyment to all!

K Spoering said...

Roger definatly has labrador retriever in him! The ears, the sweet eyes and face, even the body! He'll be a puppy until he's several years old. Labs are real sweeties, but I swear they all have a bit of ADD. He looks like a real love, in spite of his desire for your good yarn.

April said...

Oh, I could get lost in those big brown eyes!
Roger is such a cutie!

whatcomweaver said...

Roger sure looks like my John. He was a rescue too and the vet tells me he's a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Does Roger have a line down his spine where the hair is different? Either it grows in the wrong direction or it's a completely different texture. Regardless - we need these gentle souls in our lives.

lyn said...

Thanks everyone! Roger is like the darkest, richest, sweetest chocolate... with just enough spice thrown in to keep it interesting! He is one of the most loveable dogs we've ever owned. He was advertised as a Mastiff-Retreiver mix, but we are thinking Rottweiler-Retriever. Although his coloration & markings are similar to a Rhodesian Ridgeback, he doesn't have the characteristic fur ridge along his spine & his body is far too blocky & compact. He's quite a chunk of a dog!