We Are The Weavers, 2013
Just before the 2013 February full moon, I created this piece of writing to accompany an exhibition of the five paintings below. The paintings were created to tell the story of a group of friends who are actively creating and developing their own sense of tribe, stories, and indigenous relationship to themselves and to the land in which they live. That full moon I exhibited these paintings, this piece of text, four other text pieces written by others who were there that night, and one of the canoes. At the time of the exhibition, it had been a full lunar year since the original adventure.
We Are the Weavers
A lunar year ago, ten of us gathered on the river. Into it we lit three canoes and nestled in for the journey. The February full moon was bright, the sky was cold and clear. The river was slow and shallow, but it didn't dampen our spirits. It helped us soak in our surroundings, and the sense of peace that one can only experience while floating, bundled in blankets, under a starry winter night.
In our boat, I was in the middle. I was so cold they wrapped my entire self three times in blankets. Behind me, my lover, in front, my sister and the Head Seamstress. Her stitches were always perfect, and she had a gift of seeing the finished pattern before a single cut was ever made. She was the organizer of the night.
There were ten of us that full moon. There are more than that now. And after tonight, there will be more still.
Of the ten, some were clear, some were altered, and some were just along for the ride. Two fell in. Their feet and legs soaked up icy river, but their smiles and laughter never wavered. Their canoe held four. It was the party boat. There's always one. They brought the clowns and the fun. Our boat held the severity, the depth and the vision. Tucked between two paddlers, my eyes had time to take our journey in.
That night there was one who shared his birthday with the fullness of the moon. And like the moon, his face was always bright and full of mystery. He kept his secret the whole night so the celebrations could be everyone's. There was also a silent heartache among us. Once our canoes reached their destination, her story wove into ours. Crystalline and smooth, the island's blanket of snow and ice silently held our footsteps. We moved across the cold surface to the middle of a ring of five hollowed Cottonwood stumps. There a warming fire was built. Then candles were lit and placed inside the five tall corpses to create a circle surrounding a circle; light encircling warmth. All of us gathered around our altar, except for one. Her absence made us feel her all the more.
Some of us were festive, some somber with gratitude. Yet all of us were there that cold winter night. We were learning to take care of one another, to listen-to each other and to the place. We were remembering how to listen.