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Health, Life

Cobra constitutionals and carving connections

04.21.10 | Comment?

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I’ve been going on mini-hikes in the Gorge regularly with my brother now that he’s in his exam week and the weather is getting better and better. Mini because we’ve both got things we need to do, but can’t resist nature in the sun.

I also can’t resist a chance to grab some fresh nip for the kitties, and right now it’s perfect for picking. I even tried to bring an entire plant home and transplant it into the side garden close to the basement window where the cats sit all the time, thinking they could “hit it” without even having to pick it. I’m not sure it’s going to survive since I did pick a huge plant, tear it out brutally, then not even water it. So far it’s still alive but terribly wilted.

One of the days we got there and the carving shop at the top was open. I went in and asked for information about the courses they offered and talked to the owner/operator/instructor. He said they only offered kids courses, but if I was really interested I could stay in touch with him by visiting there regularly and possibly in the fall work with him in his shop. I would love to learn even a small fraction of what I’ve seen him create. Although I think most of what is on display out front of the shop is stupid, what he had for sale was awesome.

While talking to him I realized he wasn’t a decent carver with poor taste, he was a great carver who was stuck carving ridiculous shit like Sponge Bob because the people here don’t appreciate native art at all. He told me he was from BC originally but moved here to teach traditional native carving. No one here is interested in culture or heritage, or at least not to the degree you see out west. He said he’s forced to carve what draws the crowds, and unfortunately that means cartoon characters. Out west you see beautiful stuff everywhere, and almost no graffiti or vandalism of any type. Here, this guy carves one totem, puts it on a public access path and has to repair it a half dozen times before giving up and just leaving it broken.

I’m hoping he was being sincere, and not just saying what I wanted to hear so I’d leave him alone. I’d really like to master hand carving one day.

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