A Story painting by Rebecca Lee Kunz from her 2021 Exhibit STORY PAINTINGS: A Mythological Narrative told by the Creatures of the Anthropocene 

at the Lloyd Kiva New Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts ©2021

As covid began to take grip in the spring of 2020 I began a downward spiral into despair. One night as I began my run, my legs almost wouldn’t carry me forward. All I felt I could do was to go down on my knees and weep. But alas, onward my legs did carry me! I ran through tears and more tears in a state of timelessness. My body felt strangely skeletal, but a skeleton made not of bones. Simultaneously I had the feeling that I was melting into a four-legged landscape. Coyotes began to call out as the sun started to set. Through their calls, I listened to their messages- messages that sounded like ancient code being spoken in Coyote. Messages about how to move forward in balance, how to guide my children through this strange time, and how to simply survive. I was reminded that we have been through this before, but that we must listen and learn from our past. Not only did our human survival depend on it, but the earth did as well. This was about much more than just Covid.

I will never forget that day and the feeling of desperation, free falling. And…I know I was not alone. It was a time of mounting anxiety on our planet. Many of us never imagined we would face such uncertainty. We never imagined we’d still be in this today.

Since that day, I’ve had many runs alongside my coyote friends, and many chances to open my heart.
I welcome the opportunity to learn from our animal friends, who speak a language beyond words


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