I’ve been a student of the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) for the past half year. Recently I viewed a workshop they hosted, in which comic artist David Lasky taught us how to make haiku comics . We were to write a haiku having to do with the feeling of cold or heat, and this I did, using as inspiration an experience a friend had shared with me.
This week I dug up my notes and drew and painted the comic. Here it is. Enjoy!
Recently I was deeply distressed and disheartened as a prominent voice on our island attempted to incite division and harm against a subset of our community. Vashon, this is not who we are.
And honestly, this is not who any of us is. Let us all take a collective breath. Let’s regroup and reground in both the beautiful nature of the locality we call home and the best of our natures. Let’s take some time and recall what we have loved most about our communities.
The ideas and updates we exchange in check out lines. The amazing nourishing foods and lovingly prepared dishes we offer at our potlucks along with servings of tales, witness, advice, and dreams. The events we birth, the good work we do, our unique character as a community and as intersections and rings of them. Our original inspirations and intentions whenever we gather to start something new. Our support of one another when we’re ill or grieving or lost. Our grit, grace, and gratitude.
Let’s remember how we came to be here in the first place, and why we’ve stayed.
We’re here on planet earth to live a life of love, and to find our way back to that soul ground no matter what. We are neurologically wired and genetically sourced to live as both unique-in-the universe expressions and as an exquisite tapestry of earth community weaves. We are here to come together in difficult times, and share out onto a wide and colorful blanket an amazing array of gifts: Insights and reflection from our spread of backgrounds, perspectives, skills, expertise, artistry, imagination, hard-earned wisdom, intellect, and above all, our compassion and commitment to one another as we are.
We are not meant to arrive at a one-size fits all solution to a problem and deliver it, but to ponder the constellation of considerations and concerns and to listen carefully to what each one knows is important to say. From mutual respect and all ideas on the table, we can arrive at a true understanding — grand yet familiar, with wanderings alongside, away, and between — of how we may best serve one another.
From here we generate a network of strategies that leave no one out in the cold, nor vilify anyone. Which neither seeks to bully and coerce one another to change their minds when they have already said ‘no,’ nor aims to destroy livelihood as part of some perverse notion of “it’s good for you.” Which will not tarnish tolerance and respect with “… but not in your case.” Which strives to walk our talk in all we do and with everyone we meet — even when we don’t like them!
When we inevitably stumble or discover our blind spots, we do the necessary work of finding our way back to our core, our Sacred, our integrity, our Source. We reach out with humility and apologize from our very roots and heart, and mean it. We commit to doing what we can to make things right. We renew ourselves to a devotion that is more generous and strong, far-reaching and intimate, potent and wild than we previously understood.
This is the way to true community health and resilience. We are vastly diverse and powerfully creative. We are synergies and individual notes of exquisite beauty. Make no mistake: whoever and however and wherever we are, we all care.
Islanders, my family, my friends, this is who we are.
Kinfolk and Kind. This.
We have always been hearth to one another. And for us collectively it’s been a very long and hard day.
My dears, the fire is warm and the food though simple is delicious. There’s a song and story to soothe our minds and call the wee birds who had flown away in fright back to the nest that is our hearts. Let us know ourselves: we are home.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
Each time I go to Forest Halls, I choose a new route in. Today I climb a steep slope. I have to take my backpack off and shove it and the ground cloth ahead of myself so I can climb through the tangle of branches.
I settle in at the fire circle …
… and light a fairy fire of Mugwort and Lichen.
Back to work on Paloma and Wings: An Herbal Comic. I’ve rewritten and reorganized the beginning material. Now for more copy edits. It looks like I need to digitally edit some of the images. Feels like I’ll never finish this part of putting the book together!
Luckily, I’m in Forest Halls. And while the book production part of this project is (for me) tedious, I can hear the babble of the creek below, and I’m companioned by trees. The beauty and quiet of the place soothes me when the tech-work gets to be too much.
Nature News: The other day, here in the office, I heard shrieks and squeaks. Moments later, Hawk flew by, bearing a large rodent in their talons: life and death in the forest. Later that morning, small birds stirred into a chatter. A minute later, Barred Owl made an appearance. Bird language!
Banana Slug has been a regular roamer on this land.