Sunday, July 19, 2015

"How Raven Accidentally Wiped Out The Dinosaurs"

Take a look at the work of Alison Bremner who is Tlingit. Be sure to read the descriptions of each of her pieces. One of her drums won first prize in the Bellingham National Art Exhibition & Awards. Scroll down to see "Potlatch Ban."

After visiting the Whatcom Museum, I headed over to the hospital gift shop to find an animal toy to give as a gift to a baby who is due to be born any day now. I found just the right gift for the baby

and then found myself laughing out loud with a Tyranosaurus Rex which now sits at my work table in my music chair when I am not sitting there. One of the people in the gift shop referred to it as a crocodile, but it is clearly a Tyranosaurus Rex.

The light was unusually welcoming when I  entered my tiny living room early this morning and discovered Alison Bremner's webpage and smiled to see the Tyranosaurus Rex looking up at my Bob Dylan songbook.

"... I catch dinosaurs ..." (Bob Dylan, 1963, lyrics from "I Shall Be Free" on "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan")

"Cat Lady," by Alison Bremner:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Tree Is Alive

The Way In

Above is a living tree in Whatcom Falls Park. It's on the trail where I walk frequently. The sign appeared this week. The bark was stripped from the tree about a year ago.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Odd duck with her ducklings, revisited

Haven't been doing much walking in the past month. The first time I saw this mother duck with her ducklings was on May 23. Was delighted to see her and her ducklings again yesterday at the Derby Pond in Whatcom Falls Park.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Some things I learned on the 4th of July 2015

This morning when I got together with a group of friends, there was some talk about celebrating the 4th of July and freedom. A man who is a member of the Lummi Nation quietly said that he had been giving considerable thought this year as to what the 4th of July means to him as a Native American, and his conclusion was "nothing," except that it is an occasion to honor tribal veterans. He said this in a matter of fact way that startled all of us awake. He is a kind man with a keen sense of humor, and his life is devoted to helping others. I'm grateful for his honesty. His words gave me much to think about.

It's been a long long time since I read the Declaration of Independence. He inspired me to find a reading of it on YouTube by a diverse group of readers. Watch for Graham Greene, a First Nations actor who was chosen to read, with some irony, about "merciless Indian savages" at 6:25:

"... He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions..."

Here's Morgan Freeman's introduction to the above reading of the Declaration of Independence.  It was featured on the Doonesbury website today and was part of the inspiration for my blog post today:

From the article from "Indian Country":

As Americans everywhere celebrate the 4th of July, I think about how many American Indians are taking their yearly vacations back to their reservations and home communities. All across Indian country, tribes hold modern celebrations -- including powwows, rodeos, and homecomings -- that coincide with the United States' Independence Day celebrations.

As for me, I'll be with my two daughters, and we'll watch a huge fireworks display!

-- Dennis Zotigh (Kiowa/San Juan Pueblo/Santee Dakota Indian) is a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Friday, July 3, 2015

"Give us all the courage and the grace"

Sparkle on the ocean
Eagle at the top of a tree

The phrasing of the first two lines of "This Place," written by Joni Mitchell in 2007, has sounded hauntingly familiar to me for the last few days when I have listened to it while driving in my car. This afternoon I suddenly realized that it has echoes of the first two lines of "Spirit on the Water," written by Bob Dylan in 2006:

Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep

Here is the last verse for "This Place":

Spirit of the water
Give us all the courage and the grace
To make genius of this tragedy unfolding
The genius to save this place.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Saw When I Looked Up

The day lilies on my porch and a person with a bike on the trail across the cattail pond:

The Shasta daisies on my porch (reminding me of palm trees on what was a hot summer evening) and the full moon rising:

Buffy Sainte-Marie saying that life is precious, diverse and worth protecting and saying so many other heartening things I needed to hear this morning:

Woman Looking Up (Rembrandt pastels on paper, 1984, by am):