6:30 p.m. End of May. A few bright-yellow Palo Verde blossoms hang on for dear life. Spring is leaving, and they say we’ll hit the Century Mark the end of next week. But those little yellow flowers still explode outside of my third story apartment window. The Mourning Doves sing their last songs of the day. The Great Horned Owl will sing its first night-song in a few hours. And there’s another song, from a wren I think, but I don’t really know for sure. Maybe it’s part homage to Robert Smithson or just a continuation of my decades-long obsession with The Spiral. Or maybe I was just looking for a way to give the birds in my neighborhood a Christmas present. (Even wild birds need a feast now and again.) I cleaned the land of its windblown plastic grocery bags. I dug the spiral trench with a shovel. (There was already the shadow of an older eight-foot spiral there from years ago. I just made it 6 inches deeper.) I emptied 40 pounds of birdseed into the sculpture. And on High Noon yesterday, I took a picture or two. Worst light of the day. Great time of the day. I know I’m weird. I type with my glasses off, my laptop and I sit at the foot of my bed. I put on my glasses, look away from the computer and gaze out my window to the sculpture, to the bird feeder, to a bit of holy ground, a couple hundred yards to the south. It’s just County land that no one uses, where down the hill from the spiral, a small covered reservoir was constructed twenty years. No one walks this piece of land but for me and some coyotes, and I don’t walk it very often and the coyotes prefer the washes. But it’s not bad land. Just good unknown land. We have a lot of that in Arizona. May all those acres stay a mystery for a very long time. I wonder how much seed the birds have eaten in a day and half? I think I’ll put on my boots and go see. And maybe afterwards, I’ll walk over to Starbuck’s and buy a Grande Dark Roast.
[Taken by Craig Acorn at Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, New Mexico, after I helped him in his move to that city recently. And thanks Craig for the nice shot of me and for your friendship. Peace. P.S. I'll be at Imperial Beach for a few days surfing, and I may not have internet, so I'll see y'all when I get back.]
"Polacca Spiral, Hopi Reservation, Arizona" (c) 2010 Stu Jenks
[The windstorm blew the sand across the Youvellas' road. I drew the spiral as I left on Tuesday. Actually, I drew five spirals. The first three and the last one were not so great. Number four was the best. As I drove away, I thought 'I hope Connie doesn't mind.' And then I smiled, realizing that the 50-mile-an-hour wind would erase my handwork within minutes.]