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The NDN Silver Blog

These are dark days. Oh, the day is beautiful enough: The sun is shining, the air is warm, the winds mild . . . but the undercurrent that runs through the seasons like a contaminated river will not be ignored. Our world is under siege on multiple fronts, although for our peoples, they all flow […]

I know the dominant culture dictates that today is a day of military remembrance: a time to honor all things martial, to find glory in particular kinds of death, to venerate the American flag. Wings and I don’t observe it. We don’t even mark it in any of the more customary ways, such as cookouts. […]

Yesterday was unusual: warm and breezy beneath pale gray skies. The clouds lasted all day, that itself a novelty here, only beginning to clear out with the sunset. They brought no rain, although one could feel its distant presence on the winds that also carried the smoke of wildfires west of here to add to […]

Today we have two brand new featured works: a pair of rings, just completed by Wings only this afternoon. These are bold pieces that blend traditional elements with a contemporary feel, invoking the freedom and power of cosmic spirits and their singular refusal to be bound by the confines of human geometry. The two are […]

We have no waters now: ditches lined with mud only; the pond, empty and dry. What we do have, strangely, is a fantastically-elevated water table — fantastic in the sense of “unlikely” or “surreal.” That, too, is a product of climate change. Fewer than two years ago, we broke ground on our home. Laying the […]

  The last Friday in May, and we are running out of time for planting. Green notwithstanding, the drought is still with us; two days of small amounts of rain won’t change that. In years such as this, we are reminded of the efficacy, and indeed, the inevitability, of the old ways. Where do you […]

If you’re like me, you’re old enough to remember the original Crayola Big Box of 64 Crayons (yes, it had a title, although a quick Google search tells me that “Big Box” is now used for the 96-count package, which originally came in a long flat board-game-sized tray-like box). And if you spent as much […]

Two days of rain in relatively small amounts — enough to soak in; not enough to run off — and the land is alive again. In truth, though, it was never otherwise; Wings and I were talking just this morning about how green our world here had already grown despite the ongoing drought. Part of […]

The air feels weighty this morning, clean and slightly damp. For the first time in months, we have had rain. For weeks, the thunderheads have built up on all sides, monsoonal patterns clearly here — and just as consistently, the winds have blow the storm over, around, or out entirely. In recent years, this land […]

      That water? We don’t have it this year. Oh, we have the river, all right, but the flow? Nothing like the image, which is to say, nothing like an ordinary year. A season that should have been filled with runoff, with a melting snowpack sufficient to green our whole small world, is […]

Much of the world this weekend has been focused on the trappings of empire: the pomp and pageantry of a colonial culture. In this instance, a royal wedding held some interest for those of us otherwise disposed to scorn such events, simply because the bride’s very identity was transgressive of colonial barriers. So, too, were […]

  Elsewhere, this has already been a day of pageantry, of pomp and ceremony, of hearts and flowers in the most archetypal fashion. It’s possible to appreciate the significance of this particular ceremony and still recognize the colonial institutions and the immanent white supremacy that are a part of them. It’s also possible to appreciate […]

We have been blessed with a remarkable number of bird species here this spring — in most cases, not just a bird or two, but seemingly the whole clan. We get a fairly wide variety year-round, but both their kind and their numbers tend to be fairly predictable. Not this year. This year, we’ve had […]

      Since we spent part of yesterday focused on fine stampwork detail by way of one of Wings’s newest pieces, I thought today might be a good day to revisit an older example of such work. It’s a piece that summoned the spirit of light of a different sort — not the steady […]

Wings’s media are silver and stone, solid, tangible materials that in his hands become light and shadow itself, substance and spirit. He has four new works out, with more on the way, but one so perfectly suits this week’s subthemes of light and shadow, of the working of metal to live in the light, that there […]

Planting season, and it’s time for work. Even today, it’s hard labor; much is still done the old way, and on a small enough scale that by hand is the only way that makes sense. These days, there are cast iron gates and plates, the occasional concrete drain or stray PVC pipe, and plenty of […]

Love lives in the unlikeliest of places. We abjure shadows and soil, dirt and dust, but there is beauty in hard work and honest sweat. This time of year, we are given plenty of opportunity for them all. Much of the weekend was spent building an enclosure for two half-feral puppies, newly spayed, the better […]

The morning is cool and bright, all green leaves and golden light. The projected high is 72, which means that we can expect it to reach 82; the official forecasts are nearly universally wrong anymore, always set a good ten degrees too low in the warm months, ten too high in winter. This is, after all, […]

Despite the welcome new warmth, summer is not here yet. Today’s wind chill is proof enough of that, strong and fast enough to drop the air temperature in the face of the mercury’s declarations. That air is bone-dry, too, and the brightness of the day is dulled by the walls and spirals of dust sent […]

A bright and gentle dawn has given way to howling winds. The new blooms are being battered, fragile petals and leaves perforated by the abrasive force of a million million grains of sand. And still, the flowers and leaves flourish. That is one of the great gifts of this place: In a land of uncertain […]

Periodically, Wings returns to his silversmithing roots, seeking to explore new ways of conceiving and creating old traditional styles. Recently, he’s begun working once again with his rolling mill, a piece of equipment generally used to form strands of silver shaped in specific geometries out of ingot — blocks or lengths of solid metal created […]

We are newly blessed with warm days of ever-lengthening light — and what we hope will be, before long, the gift of the summer rains. Now, Wings has created a new collection in miniature, one designed to evoke these spirits of the summer winds and the gifts they bring: A Fall of Water and Light. […]

Spring continues to confound us. That’s an ordinary state of affairs here, of course; the issue now is that even its very arbitrariness manifests in increasingly odd ways. Normally, the season is a sunny affair, especially by this point: too bright, too windy, warm but not hot enough to withstand the wind’s chill. This year, […]

This week is marking a shift in seasons, in space and time. Colder spring winds will no doubt return, but for now, summer is here, a warm and still-gentle spirit seeming to awaken and revive our small world with a touch so light as to be virtually imperceptible. Even the straggler aspens have begun to […]

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