Sam Bauman: In the horse’s eye lives wisdom and a special beauty
December 6, 2016
It's rare when I write about prowling the corridors of shopping malls. I don't shop; shopping seems to miss the point. If I need something I go to a place where they would sell it. You didn't find me in the mob of Black Friday scrambling for bargains of things I didn't need.
But there is my smart friend Patti who never goes "shopping." She knows what she needs and buys it.
But recently she asked me to join her for a trip to the Carson Mall; there was something she had to show me.
So off we went, entering the mall from the back. The first thing I saw was a vendor's display showing a mass of photos of horses. Horses rolling in straw, horses in small groups against the sky. A large head of a horse in brilliant, almost glowing, gold. A slightly smaller one below.
"I have to reprint those with better materials," said a thin woman with authority. She introduced herself, Denise D. Walker of Stagecoach. "The pictures are my work," she said.
And the pictures were poignant moments of mustangs on our hills, perhaps two horses standing in water. Or a lineup of around 40 horses casually in a line.
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But most striking were the color photos of horses' eyes up close in incredible detail. They seemed to tell a story by just looking out at the world with clarity. Some were close-ups where details were clear. Others showed the eye shaded by hair that fell into place.
The eyes were bold or shy but always alive in richly colored photos.
"The eye of a horse has wisdom," is a Native America saying. And looking at these photos seemed to confirm that.
Ms. Walker shoots these photos from her home in Stagecoach where mustangs roam freely. Her Facebook page is Myth Maker or at YouAretheJourney@aol.com.
I spent a long time looking at both the "functional and nonfunctional art," as she describes her work.
I finally decided on the picture you see in this space, no name, just hair and the eye looking at you. I bought it for my son and his wife Laura for Christmas. They don't have mustangs roaming the lakes and ponds of Minnesota, so I'm sure they will enjoy it.
I bought a similar one for myself, one plain without the wisp of hair. I framed it in a very simple black wood and it hangs next to my favorite Japanese woodblock prints by Kiyoshi Saito I picked years ago in Tokyo.
It seems to fit right in.
Mrs. Walkers' photos occupy just about a third of their display. The rest offers her husband's creations based on Native American traditional art or religious symbols. He is part Native American, she said. He varies tradition at times and his golden "Sun Catcher" is a dazzling change on the tradition dream catcher. It does seem to catch the sun.
Her work seems so natural in mustang-loving Carson City. And perhaps if we look at the horse's eye we can find some of the wisdom. Such as this old saying: A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient horse walks in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you.
The Walkers will be at the Carson Mall through the holiday season. Phone 775-629-0712.
Good yule show at Eldorado
The Reno Eldorado comes through with a holiday-time winner of a stage show, "Miracle on 34th Street." It's a slightly shortened version of the Hollywood movie (that starred Natalie Wood) and Broadway play, a nice variation of the Yule story with some nice twists. It poses a Kris Kringle who in anger at defaming Santa punched a drunken Santa and won the job for himself as Santa in the annual Macy's Christmas parade.
Kringle insists he really is Santa Claus and a jury trial takes place.
Meanwhile a postal employ reads are Kringle's claim to really be Santa so he arranges for bags of dead-letter mail to Santa to be sent to Kringle.
This federal recognition of Kringle as Santa exonerates Kringle and all goes well. The show even has the bosses of Macy's and Gimbles becoming friends.
The Eldorado production has a good cast, great live music and 50 percent off dining with the purchase of show tickets. A fun show unlike some of the past where on Christmas the show offered a dog act for unknown reasons. No dog in this show.
Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.