The subject for this chalk pastel is a literal scene taken from shamanic work I have done with my students. The client of this work was a herd of buffalo spirits of place in Buffalo Lake, Alberta. In dreams and forms of divination we were shown that the buffalo were still part of the nature of the place, even though now the lake edge was massed with summer cottages, boat ramps and recreational vehicles. Their presence was strong in winter, when all the human toys were stored away and the lake edge whispered with the dry rattle of bare branches. We understood the buffalo were starving because no one was feeding them by remembering the beauty of their living there. And of course as spirits, they could not die, but could continue to starve.
In one of those synchronistic moments of inspiration before leaving for Edmonton, I asked my partner to make us some little arrows of wood, plus I cut some pieces of doweling and drilled holes to fit the two together—knowing not what the little boats were for.
Upon arriving and settling in our guest house on the lake , my students and I realized that the winter birds could carry our prayers as food to the buffalo, and so we set about building boats full of seeds for the birds, that they would look kindly on our request for their help. In order not to build competition or jealous comparison into our project, which would not taste good to birds or buffalo, we passed each boat to the next woman at each next stage of its construction.
When all the boats were built and filled by everyone, we took them to every kind of terrain we could find so our prayers would fly in all the voices of the land. From high on hills, and in the tangle of sedge and willow, and along the lake edge—we sailed our boats to feed the birds who could carry our prayers of remembering to the buffalo. And later, it did seem like everything moving among the empty, silent summer cabins that night was warm and well, and had full bellies.
FEEDING THE HOMELESS
Custom fine art print on acid free velvet art paper
with archival inks
17” x 11” (43 cm x 27 cm) unmatted….$190.00
shrink wrapped on foam core for shipping
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