Wednesday, April 6, 2016

After the Feast: Silk Art in Progress

The Native Americans gather from all over the North West U.S. and Canada, by canoe, to potlatch,
Photo taken at Port Gamble
renew relationship ties, practice native languages, and honor traditions. Sometimes we have accompanied one of them as a support boat. If a paddler needs a break from the canoe for any reason, we are there with blankets, hot drinks, and a working toilet.

One year we met them at  Port Gamble, a former lumber town on Keystone Peninsula, for a clam and crab bake. From there, we accompanied the Blue Heron canoe to Port Townsend. Mike Evens was the skipper of the canoe, which represented the Duwamish people. His paddlers were all ages, including teens and sometimes a really young passenger. Many a lost young person has found themselves and turned their lives around with the support of the Canoe Journey.

The year we met the Blue Heron canoe at Nisqually, a young woman--I think she was 14 years old--came aboard for some quiet time. She showed me a scar on her ankle where she had carved her boyfriend's initials. She spent some time in introspection on the bunk under our NW carving of Raven, which happened to be her totem.

"After the Feast"--a work in progress
A few years later I met her again, doing a presentation about the Canoe Journey with Mike Evens. What a strong competent young woman she had become! So proud to have been a small part of that transformation!

The photo I took at the clam/crab bake reminds me of her. I love the colors and I love being reminded of the community and camaraderie of that time. I think of these as I work on "After the Feast" in silk.

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