Monday, October 12, 2020

On Indigenous People's Day

Now that the brick-making labor is over, I find myself desperately grasping for things to keep me from becoming completely unglued. Being home so much means finding fault with tiny details that I used to not notice so much. One was this trash can I made of scrap hanji (did I make it a year ago? Two years? I can't remember). I was unhappy with the way it was lopsided and how the openwork looked and mostly that the rim was falling out.
It became my weekend project and I used a different rim finish so that it's much more secure. It's shorter than the original but that's okay, as I'm usually laying on the floor when I find hair on the yoga mat to put into the trash, so it is even more functional than before.
In the process, I opened up the trimmed cords to find lots of old treasures. Some of the paper was plain hanji from imperfect sheets. But other paper was actually abaca from an old performance in grad school, and I could feel the ones that had extra kaolin. After the performance, years later I turned the paper props into sketchbooks and journals, so I found lots of bits of writing and drawing. Now completely fragmented, it seems much more interesting than when I let myself tear them into strips for cords.
I finished the third (and probably last) piece of this family last night. It reminds me very very much of a lemon, and of course I think about how we are all making lemonade as best we can. My hands really feel it. I haven't been making books aside from the ones I make for my book class this semester, but the Verne Gallery had a nice post about the new books that they are carrying at the gallery now.
Here are the unraveled scraps. After I filled out my ballot to deliver tomorrow, I thought about Native people not only here but all over the world, how they have survived genocide, attempted genocide, and countless horrors and injustices from the beginning of colonization. We let them be so invisible in our culture and go along with their erasure, but at a terrible cost. Unraveling the complex web of lies that I've learned since I was born in this country has been heavy but necessary. What buoys for now? This analysis of a poem by Natalie Diaz about Lot's unnamed wife—which brings discovery of a Native poet and a new book to find.

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