SUBMITTED march 2015
23Kachinas Bronze Hummingbird
I have had many solutions to the poem but the only that intrigued me the most was when Forrest gave me some lost wax at his home in late September this year and showed me how to mold it under warm water to bend it for an art project he encouraged me to do. My heart leapt out of my chest as I thought “begin it where warm waters halt!” but tried to keep my cool because after all I wasn’t 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. Forrest’s direction was to make a wax art piece and return it to him to be bronzed. He said if it was ugly he wouldn’t make it – no pressure so I took a good two months and brought it back to town when I was on business in early December to be bronzed.
The end of that story thrills me even more as I mapped Shidoni Foundry and see that it could be 8.25 mile north if you take a certain route to the place. His mid December posts about bronzing methods and patina fueled an excitement I cannot explain in words. I wondered how long would it take to make a bronze?
I got an email from him around the toothbrush post asking when was I coming to get my bronze? Again, imagine the excitement of seeing something you created with the help of Forrest Fenn actually materialize into a real thing?
I worked on finding time to go back to Santa Fe and was able to fly out there late January to pick up my beloved Maya hummingbird with all of the light blue, green and grey beautiful patina she is. I would say it felt like having a child only because I’ve never had one and this was such a special treasure for me in my life.
As I walked into the Collected Bookwork’s I saw Forrest in line at the coffee bar. I hoped he would like my crazy hat (Yeti with blues eyes and horns) but he doesn’t know I’m part Norwegian and I wore it to look like a Kachina. I hugged him warmly with a big smile so happy to see him again. He said hi Kid.
After the greeting, Forrest gave me a red box, asked what I wanted to drink – so I said what your having (hot chocolate) to take a departure from my double espresso routine. Next Forrest told me to take the box and go sit at one of the tables. In the back of my mind I thought about his comment it took two trips to hide the treasure but we all know what it’s like to start thinking everything is related to the chase. I retrieved the red box and sat at the one nearest the books with the box and tears filled my eyes but I held in the emotions from boiling over because people were around.
I was so full of joy and nervousness. I couldn’t wait to see how the lost wax was turned into a bronze hummingbird I named Maya. By the time Forrest joined me with our hot chocolates I think a year had passed. Eternity is clearly when your waiting with too much excitement inside of you.
When he sat down I opened the box and melted into the moment of seeing Maya for the first time. This is where I didn’t follow the advice tarry scant with marvel gaze. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the creation as I studied all of its beginner flaws. What a sight to behold. We chatted for a while and I inspected a tiny arrowhead that he included since my previous SASE letter had been returned for lack of postage. He told me that little arrowhead the size of my pinky finger could kill a buffalo. Crazy I thought..what an efficient weapon. He needed to go rather quickly back to his appointments of the day so he said bye Kid and I hugged him then watched him walk away wondering if I would ever see him again. It felt a little cold to me but I guess his mind was preoccupied with meetings with writers coming in a snow storm from Salt Lake City. At least Forrest made time for me and made me realize a creative side of myself.
I get sentimental about the whole thing because it was such a moment for me that I needed time before I could tell the blogosphere. Sometimes people online can be cruel and really I’m not wired to deal with unkindness. Right now I have more questions than answers and I miss Forrest’s post on the blog as much as anyone.
It was the thrill of the chasing the wax and the bronze for me. Maya gives and gives and gives back every time I hold it in my grateful hands. Thank you Forrest, I owe you one. I’m keeping our pinky swear for the million year deal.