Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Once again , the simple power of this project has lifted my heart. On June 11th, 2009 I showed up at Market Sq. Portsmouth to read over 250 messages. Like most of the past month it was a grey drizzly day. My dear son Robin came to shoot a short video.
By 12:45, the rain really settled in. So we packed up the flags and other stuff. I had almost completed reading all the messages that I collected to date. Then, to my surprise in that day's mail delivery....about 40 new messages from a young woman in Everett, Washington. Thanks Gabriele!!
And then an invitation to send flags along with a group called Slum Doctor. Slum Doctor Programme is a grassroots organization of concerned individuals that began in 2000 as a small voice, a cry for help and hope, for the 22 million Africans who live mostly in silence with AIDS. Early next week, I will get a set of flags out for delivery to Omobogo Girls' Academy in Kenya.
Photos of installed prayer flags arrive now and then too. Here are two images~ a rug hookers group from Corea, in Down East ME and three lovely German women holding the prayer flags in front of the cathedral in Paderborn, Germany (the home town of my artist friend Brigitte). Thanks to all !!
Simple gestures made bold by the energy and effort of many.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Joy for June! Just when I think that the "waters" of the Woven Voices project are calming down, a new wave washes to shore.
This past week I received images from Africa. Ian was a student at Bowdoin College in Maine when he sent me dozens of messages of hope and peace from his fellow students. Now he is a Peace Corps volunteer in Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa. The photos here taken were taken on Muslim New Years in front of his school, Suduwol Upper Basic School. I sent these flags to him in the fall/2008 with the hope of receiving a photo someday. I learned from Ian's mother that it takes him 7 hours in a bus with many river/ferry crossings to get to Banjul where he has slow Internet access!
Here's what Ian says: "Thanks for the flags. They are standing up well to the African sun and wind, and the rains will be coming soon. The students are the 7th and 8th graders in my school who are in the Library Club."
Heartfelt thanks to Ian for going the extra miles to get these images to me! I am VERY grateful.
I also have images of the prayer flags in Germany which I will post soon. The ripple effect of the Woven Voices project is still in motion!
Speaking of continuity, I will be back in Market Square, Portsmouth, NH on Thursday June 11th, at noon. I have about 100 messages to read which should take about 45 minutes. I hope you will join me to read and honor these words of peace and hope gathered from as far as Nepal and as close as home.
As always, continue to send me messages and please consider coming to my studio to weave prayer flags (York is a lovely destination in the summer!).