13 May 2008

Moonlight Skiing: Altarwise by Owlight

Here is the other half of my recent collaboration for the Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation show, "Visions & Voices." -- a collaboration of 55 artists and 55 poets/writers -- as part of the first Art Walk for this year in Butte. This first part was exhibited at the MoFAB gallery in the old YMCA (405 W. Park St.). For the
second part of the collaboration, exhibited at the Venus Gallery in the Venus Rising Cafe' (124 S. Main St.), see EcoRover blog entry for 05 May 2008.

Moonlight Skiing: Altarwise by Owl Light

Cross country skiing by the light of the full moon, he recalled a fragment of a poem by Dylan Thomas. "Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
The gentleman lay graveward with his furies..."

His father had died earlier that winter, and since that time he could taste life. It was like late summer raspberries, sweet and juicy but with an off-flavor that made you hesitate before eating another one. But you knew the end of season was at hand and soon they would be gone, and so you kept eating. Past sixty, he should not be skiing alone at night on narrow trails with the temperature edging below zero.

Leo and Janet were to have met him in the parking lot, but as usual they bagged out. Probably Janet had some new imaginary illness, or perhaps Leo had driven halfway and remembered how the truck’s starter had been acting up. Oh, hell. They had the good sense to stay home on a cold night. What had happened to the days when a dozen or more of the gang would meet up for a midnight ski, build a bonfire, drink brandy, and careen back down the trail to the parking lot?

The steep climb left him breathless. It was a beautiful night. He paused in the big meadow to catch his breath and looking up at the moon, for just a moment he felt the earth and sky swing round the North Star. From the vast silence there arose a faint sound of voices. Too far into winter for geese. Maybe Leo and Janet, following his tracks? No, it was the stars, singing—just as the Kalahari Bushman had taught him. The song was coming from the Pleiades.

He heard his own voice, "My feet are getting cold." It was time to go home.


And here is the painting created by Kathy Cashell after reading my bit of prose (it's a poor photo that does not do the art justice, but it's the best I could do with the glare and reflection from the glass):


Friday evening art strolls in uptown Butte, a place and time when friends meet. Jan Munday & I made a quick stop at the Venus gallery before meeting Gloria & Dave Carter for Jan & Gloria's birthday supper at the Old Hotel in Twin Bridges. On our way to the cars, we met up with Frank & Hwe Ackerman, and Andrea & Don Stierle (Andrea Stierle had several beautiful paintings in the show). Of course we did what Buttians do: stand in one lane of Main Street and talk:

The Old Hotel is (in this humble bumpkin's opinion) the finest place to dine in Southwest Montana:

And here's one of the birthday girls, Gloria Carter, at the restaraunt:

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