Gaudy by Neola

Koyanisquatsi and the Great Worrier

Today is Earth Day and so I am thinking about art and life and our mother earth. On days like today life seems to fight with art and art usually loses and I am compelled to take on my mantle as the great worrier.

For me to be artsy or creative, I require peace, tranquility, rhythmic balance and a knowledge that all is well in the universe. And when life interferes, and I cannot concentrate on beading or playing with clay or writing, I am reminded of one of my favorite words, Koyanisquatsi, a Hopi word meaning "life out of balance." Koyanisquatsi is a condition that I am all too familiar with.

The political situation is a daily struggle for me, the bigotry, racism, hatred and bullying make me sad and angry. I worry about the future of our great nation, about climate change and the pollution of our air and oceans. I do not abide hunger in any creature, man or beast, and war makes me weep with sadness. I do not tolerate any hardship animals may experience and so I worry about the plight of the polar bear, the animals left outside in the extreme desert heat, the future of the rain forests and so on and so on and so on.

I spend these days tense, stressed, roaming sleepless at night, contemplating and worrying. I have an internal locus. I am the great worrier. And I only want to be the great beader.

My mind is often occupied by these external influences and I feel compelled to make some small attempt to correct what I experience as a dangerous course for the future of the planet. I never give up on my belief that we each can make a difference, that we count, that we are seen and heard. So I continue to speak up, to reach out, to contact my representatives. I send my small monetary contribution to the candidates I believe will most likely reroute the river in the direction that will allow me to go back to my art, to my beading, to creating.

I hang on to an eternal optimistic belief that everything will balance out in the end, that I can get back to the dance, to laughter, to good wine and great food, to good books and to love. And inevitably, Koyanisquatsi is over, life is right again. I get out the beads, or some fibers or paint. Hope is back, the earth is on its axis, the universe sings, and I am done with my worrier job for a while. But only for a while.

Neola Bye-Beza

I have always been attracted to all things natural and earthy. As a bead artist living here in the southwest desert I am surrounded by wonderful lapidary folks giving me access to unusual cuts of jasper and agates that lend themselves to the unique "one of a kind' beaded jewelry I design. Working with natural stones and seed beads which I embroider onto leather or suede using my own original designs with native stitches and techniques I sew or loom each piece individually.


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