I took a 24 hour break from thinking about painting/photographing construction sites and went up with my sister to Rainbow Springs near Goldendale, Washington. The grass was pink with tufts of green and some scatterings of purple and dayglo yellow. The light and clouds, in typical PNW fashion, were dramatic. There was silence (except for the birds and bugs) and at night, complete darkness. We hiked to Ekone Ranch, followed a welcoming team through the horses and foliage to look at lady slipper flowers, and stayed for lunch (volunteering to wash dishes). We spent the last hour or so sitting in front of the canyon – I was able to get an underpainting started, while my sister read excerpts from her book about the social hierarchies of baboons. We have been processing the news of a family member’s sudden passing. The processing still continues but I’m glad my sister came up north this weekend.
Mt. St. Helens is my favorite mountain. Granted, if she blew up right in front of me, she may not be my favorite mountain (since I’d be drowning in lethal hot ash). But in her current dormant state, I can appreciate her up close and personal. It’s more of her energy that I’m drawn to than her specific location or shape. I couldn’t quite describe what kind of energy, but my sister put it best when she sweetly said, as we were playing with our bare feet in the white dust diagonally from Spirit Lake – “This is a wounded place”.
Things that passed through my mind and our conversations during our hike in front of Mt. St. Helens (in no particular order):
– the 6th extinction
– whether La Croix is a suitable substitute for desert hydration as opposed to bottled water
– existing and extinct ecology
– global warming
– body modification as means of protection/defense
– Roxane Gay’s book, Hunger
– Native Americans
– bodies being soft verses being hard
– how orange, purple, and yellow are my favorite wildflower color combination.
The dichotomy of women’s bodies and the earth have been discussed for years and years and years. Describing parallels from my end will only ring very cliche, but I recommend reading Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her by Susan Griffin (1978).
(Of course I’d also be interested in finding references that stem from more recent intersectional feminist perspectives – i.e woc and non-binary).
I’m glad my sister and I are closer.