- Hide menu

Friday Feature: A Coming of the Water

Child Turtle Hand Drum Straight

After a bone-dry week, we may actually see rain this weekend.

The forecast changes daily, of course — even hourly. But this time, storms have amassed on the West Coast, and if the current pattern holds, we will see them, or at least their remnants, before long.

It can’t come a moment too soon.

Two days ago, there was water in our pond; a night or two before that, one of the local duck pairs flew in for the evening. By yesterday, though, the bottom could barely be called mud. Once the flow shut off, a thirsty earth sucked it dry, and by today, even the lowest point of the pond’s floor is drying fast.

A visit from the rain spirits would be a gift and a blessing.

And so it seems fitting, today, to invoke a pair of water beings: Turtle, in two guises. She has the advantage of being able to navigate water and earth alike. But her association with water is fundamental, especially for those cultures whose origin stories include the account of how she saved the First People by holding their new world on her back. Today, it’s two complementary works, both drums, made from more earth-bound materials but accented with the imagery of the rain, and both infused with Turtle’s own spirit. The first appears above; from its description in the Other Artists:  Drums gallery here on the site:

“Sacred Hoop” patterns accent Grandmother Turtle’s shell and water emanates from her feet on small hand drum.  Dual-sided with a twisted hide handle, the drum comes with a traditional beater and is sized for both adults and children.  Drum by Elk Good Water (Taos Pueblo); artwork by his wife, Dolly Concha (Zuni Pueblo).

$125 + shipping, handling, and insurance

My favorite aspect of this one is what extends from Turtle’s feet: Taken one way, the zigzagging lines could be seen as a cascade of falling water; but regarded from another perspective, they look like lightning, too. Either way, they invoke the spirit of the storm — beautiful, animated, intense, and always welcome here.

The second one is similar, but not identical. From its description in the same gallery:

Child Turtle Hand Drum Curved

Grandmother Turtle wears an ancient “kiva steps” pattern on her shell on this small dual-sided hand drum.  Perfect for either adults or children, the drum bears symbols of water and the Four Directions, and comes with a traditional beater.  Drum by Elk Good Water (Taos Pueblo); artwork by his wife, Dolly Concha (Zuni Pueblo).

$125 + shipping, handling, and insurance

To me, the striking aspect of this one involves the dotted water-like imagery than the motif at the center, a combination of a Sacred Directions and a Kiva Steps pattern that reminds me a bit of M.C. Escher’s stairs in his lithograph entitled Relativity. That, too, gets at the imagery of the storm: a turning in upon itself in which all of the world’s routes of ingress and egress lead inexorably back to the vortex at the center of all things. It’s an image of great power, and one that will make the human brain a bit disoriented if one stairs at it too deeply and too long.

And now, as I write, the clouds have moved in overhead: lead above, pewter at all sides around the horizon. The wind is rising, the air electric, and the thunder, just out of audible range, is nonetheless perceptible by feel.

The rain was not due until tomorrow.

Perhaps we will be blessed with an early gift, a coming of the water from this day’s skies.

~ Aji









All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2018; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owners.

Comments are closed.

error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.