Thursday, December 01, 2005

Coyote & Manitou
5" x 7"
Acrylic and Gold Leaf

I originally intended this to be a horse, but I suppose my brush disagreed and showed me what was supposed to be.

As I look at this piece, I am reminded of living in Southern Alberta with the incredibly vast sky and the scarcity of trees. I am also reminded of my dog, a Black Lab who now lives with my parents. His name is Thor and he was a rescued pup, welcomed into our home after some tough times. Every morning, I would walk with him a bit, talking to him about the world and he would pretend to listen. I knew he was anxious, so I would open the gate (which he could've leapt over quite easily), and he would bound across the fields toward the horses in the neighbour's pasture.

I would watch as the horse and dog would solemnly touch noses and then regard each other, presumably speaking to one another, discussing their respective time apart. Then, in one motion, mighty Thor and a small herd of horses would turn and begin to run. They would run over the hillock and be lost to my sight, distances and obstructions being what they are, and I would go inside for a bit of breakfast.

Sometimes, when the horses were not about - having been moved to another pasture, I suppose - Thor would go off by himself. I saw him one day looking straight into the sky. His head was slightly cocked, and I have always wondered what he was listening to. The wind? A cry? The voice of god? What special knowledge was he receiving? I'm not sure.

He is a fine dog and in the winter I would marvel at his blackness against the pure white snow. Going for long walks, I would throw sticks for him and you should have seen that sleek, lean body run! His coat glistened in the sun and he seemed the most beautiful, living shadow I had ever seen.

Once in a while, I will see some creature or other silhouetted against a darkening sky and it will bring to mind those other days, and other adventures.


Linda said...

I love this -- and love reading your commentary!

Anonymous said...

I can identify with your description of Thor. We have a Deerhound/greyhound cross called Archie. He communicates with our cats, sheep and chickens in very individual ways. The silence between them means so much. He also looks at the horizon for long periods taking that time to listen that so often humans forget to do when so far removed from the a natural environment. Just seeing an outline of an animal such as a horse, dog or the hares and stags I also see sometimes feels like I have shared a secret moment to cherish. Thanks for the lovely image. M

Aaron Paquette said...

Linda, thank you.

M, that's exactly it.