Wednesday, November 30, 2011

long may you run

All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
Si'ahl, aka Chief Seattle (c. 1780 - 1866) leader of the Dkhw’Duw’Absh (Duwamish)

we are wrapping up the mouse's recognition of native american heritage month with a bit of wall art from the pacific northwest. this mural is found in bellingham, washington .

the mural depicts both the native people of the area and the non-native settlers and the close association humans have with the animals and of living with and off of the natural world.

when i visited bellingham this last year i learned that its nickname is the city of subdued excitement. i've made quite a few visits to b'ham over the years and i can attest to the fact that the town lives up to this moniker. i first visited in 1995 with my daughter when she was checking out potential schools- incidentally took a photo of this same mural during that visit. it seems as if the city is proud of the mural as it is well maintained.

gazing at this wall reminds me of annie dillard's remarkable 1992 novel the living. although i read the book fifteen years ago the book has stuck with me and remains one of my favorite novels. it is a powerful book about the people who settled in whatcom country (which includes bellingham) in the 19th century. the book primarily focuses on the white settlers but it also discussed life of the area's indigenous lummi indians. for those who enjoy a compelling read and being transported to a different time and place, i highly recommend the living.

neil young's 1974 song long may you run. the song appeared in 1976 on an collaborative album with the same title that was released by young and stills. the song was written by neil as an ode to a beloved car, i choose to redirect the message and say - long may the salmon run!!

photo: bellingham, washington, april 2010


Watson said...

well mouse, next time you come to Bellingham you might plan a side trip to Vancouver Island! :-)

I love the salmon in the mural. It is such an important part of First Nations life and culture.

Anonymous said...

I've actually never heard that name for Bellingham, but it's very fitting. It's also the place where I come home to discover half of the change in my pocket is Canadian.

Kate Hanley said...

Well now i have to visit Bellingham, although I've only been on the west coast a few times. Thanks for the tip about the novel, it sounds wonderful

Rubye Jack said...

Wow. What a beautiful mural.
Long may those salmon run!

don said...

what a great site!!!I must come back.