"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A bear of a year, but

"Grizz," 5 x 7 watercolor Christmas card

2020 closes out, a year of biological, racist and political pandemics, it'd be fair to say it "was a bear of a year."

That however, some of us believe, is an unfair stereotype for "ursas," in its many species, and for me and two of my sons, especially Ursa Horriblis, the grizzly.

If we have a totem, and definitely a favorite animal species, it is the grizzly. My two oldest sons, Vance and Travis, spend two summers  working at the lodges in Glacier National Park, where the bear still roams. We've all seen them in the wild. 

We'd also note that Native American beliefs consider ursa and sapiens linked, even related.

We even root for the bears, especially when unfortunate, or careless or stupid, hikers in Alaska or even in Canada and isolated portions of the U.S., make fatal mistakes in their country. We make jokes about them too. "You can't outrun a grizz, just outrun who you're with."

In my studio/office as I type this, there are about nine photos, paintings, statues, images of grizz. And it's perhaps not an accident that my sometimes gruffness get's me labeled as "an old bear."

So as the year ends, along with my annual watercolor holiday greeting card project, here's a special card for my son Travis, who looks remarkably like Grizzly Adams. 

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