Wandering Nevada! Be in in a Jeep or on my feet that’s what what makes me most happy. Such wandering puts me in constant view of Goshawks, jackrabbits, coyotes, badgers, and snakes. And though never seen, there are tracks of mountain lions and bobcats.
The collecting and crafting of Mustang Preserves came to me organically, one might say. Ambling along I find delight in picking up bits of worked obsidian and plain old rocks, rusted cans and bits of bone, deeply weathered wood and dead car parts. Everything, at an interesting angle, is beautiful. And though I like the comforts of town (like bagels and lox, time sipping wine, and really hot, long showers) what most preoccupies my wishes is figuring more time being out, being gone, being lost.
In my book about cowboys in France (coauthored with Lorraine d’Entremont Rawls) the epilogue talks about the challenges of cowboy identity. Can it flex in the present and remain true to a past? In such musing is a lot of consideration of what it means to be a part of The West.
The West is a thing so often codified and stylized in the process of being loved, until it is not itself. Not to babble too much of that here, but Mustang Preserves, beyond being stuff that makes me happy, is a kind of performance art meditation of this inclination for packaging The West. As performance art, that’s an essay for another day.
Yet as an experience, that’s been the surprise fun of gathering and crafting Mustang Preserves. It started for me as “even dung should be beautiful,” and then pondering how to make it so. Like, a mustang won’t fit in an apartment, but still there is a part of it to “have and to hold.” Figuring out how to make that so, was for me fun.
Now, when I hand someone a jar of Mustang Preserves invariably the first reaction is delight. If you like natural botanicals, the outdoors, the colors chocolate brown, sage, and light golden grasses are certain to make a smile as the colors reflect in the glass of an all American canning jar. Then zooming into the lid the colorful mustang and a few choice words give a dawning realization of what actually is in the jar. It took me a while to get it all together just right so that this experience was conveyed without me having to interject with an explanation.
Anyhow! I love making Mustang Preserves- ‘cus it means hours upon hours of walking under Nevada sky through landscapes covered in pinyon pines and big sage. Also, I love Mustang Preserves because it lets me share Nevada, and her mustangs, in a way that gives people who can’t be “out there” a smile to have and to hold it.
On day I handed a pint jar of Mustang Preserves to someone. I was focused on getting some books out of my car when I heard them chuckle. I turned to find them peering intently into the jar, turning it around, holding it up to see all sides. Smiling and smiling. They said they would love to have one for their office. And then they suddenly asked, “So what is this good for?” I said, “Nothing.” That’s Nevada. A whole lot of nothing that’s always touching my heart.
Anyhow! Thank’s for visiting.
If you have any questions or comments I would LOVE to hear them. You can post here, or send me your thoughts the old fashioned way.
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