Showing posts from March, 2009

A Spring Equinox Tribute to My Father, Loren E. Dunton

Note: This essay first appeared in Kathleen Jo Ryan's photographic essay collection WRITING DOWN THE RIVER: INTO THE HEART OF THE GRAND CANYON (winner of the Willa Award, Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, AZ, 1997; foreward by Gretel Ehrlich ). “In the Canyon, you will hear the voices of our ancestors,” whispered my only sister from her home on the Big Island of Hawaii. “The River will be a good place to grieve.” Together we mourned our father’s death. Together, we cried. Our father had died at high noon on the spring equinox – when the sun was at its highest directly overhead, and day and night were everywhere the same – a time of earthly balance. Then comet Hale-Bopp streaked across the sky, the earth moved between the moon and the sun, and our eclipsed world became a shadowed place. Weeks later, I left my Wyoming ranch to be a crew assistant on a 13-day, 226-mile raft trip down the Colorado River. Envisioning hours of welcome solitude in which to grieve, I prepared mysel

Cataract Canyon and Roxanne Swentzell - Earthly Treasures

Last year’s Westwater Canyon River Writing & Sculpting Journey for Women with guest Pueblo artist Roxanne Swentzell and her daughter, esteemed artist Rose B. Simpson , inspired poetry and sculpture. This year, some of the same women are returning. Others, new to the adventure, will experience it for the first time. This time, we'll spend six days in ancient Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park . What did we do each day? We journaled. We talked about story spirals. We sculpted with river clay. We sang in grottos and swam in whirlpools. We watched Big Horn sheep scatter across red rock. We watched Rose stomp a Flamenco dance in the sand to the impossibly horrible clapping rhythm of Page and Roxanne. We ate way too much delicious food cooked by amazing women guides. This year, we get to do it all again. Amazing! Go to to find out more. The following poem is formed of bits and pieces from all of us.... We hang onto little moments of our trip.