Super patient gentleman Joey lent me a book by Greg Sarris called Weaving the dream. A book about a pomo indian weaver named Mabel McKay. After I read it got all itchy inside and couldn’t stomach it. The concepts were so so so so indian. How else to describe it? Luckily there was a blank canvas in the garage and I could vomit out a review in colors. I used these color markers by a company named posca. You can paint real fast with them but I am limited in any ability to blend or mix or brush like with tubes of goopy paint. Plus there was no orange in the box, just mostly all primary type colors. So if the picture is a little gaudy sorry about that. If it was too rushed sorry about that too, just seems scenes these days running by at clip neck pace and if I pause, ten years pass. Hence got to make the best of a few hours of clarity or inspiration.

If you want to understand how to weave a dream of your own, you actually have to read the book. No substitute for stories first hand second hand. This just a few of the elements I remember from it while digesting.

There was a part about a white snake in the river. Some kinda all powerful spirit creature that probably gives birth to life itself as it sleeps and breathes creation. In chinese mythology there is a white snake who can change into a human; she is like really scary and evil. Real pretty, real bad news. Then there is the band whitesnake from the 70’s. There was just too much baggage with the white snake, so I made it red white and blue. Red white and blue snake river. Mabel’s work floats in the river of dreamscape time that is why theres apples and a basket in there. If I biffed up the basket in terms of its authenticity and details I apologize to the old time indian tribes that could tell the difference between north and south and riverine and upland basketry. Us newcomers can hardly tell the difference between a rush and a sedge, much less the difference between the thickness of the roots seasonally, or be able to compare the ease of splitting from one patch to the next.

On the right side of the river is the wet side, the watershed side, the shady side, and also the side packed with rattle snakes in this painting. In the story the rattle snake comes as a helper to assist in medicine doctoring duties. Rattle snakes everywhere, that is awesome! But of course the white folks do not appreciate this and do not understand. Besides the Christian motif of snake as pure evil that got us all thrown out of the garden of eden, there is the very practical aspect that rattle snakes are poisonous and you do not want them around. That is why I killed most of them with garden implements of farmers and ranchers. But I did leave one of them to live, the really short stubby fat one in the front. Can’t help it, really do appreciate snakes. Same like with sharks or ling cods or coyotes and things, just great fascinating creatures. So in amongst all this blood and snakes I planted the angelica root medicine that old timers smoke, to balance the chi so to speak.

On the left is the open exposed lit dry side of the valley that turned to gated cattle ranches of annual grasslands after the oaks and indians and acorns were swept away. But down by the river and the flat muds theres still patches of basketry materials like sedge and willow and rush too. The hills become sidestepped with parallel line trails from cows and geology, the edges lined with barb wire. In the dreamscape, these are the round and round and round spirals of a coiled basket. If you could see the hills turned upside down you will realize that the landscape is baskets all baskets, spirit all spirit nothing more nothing less. As a reminder of this, hummingbird is there, full of motion, in a standstill as a flying cross. Of course no landscape is all pure and good and without danger. In the story theres plenty of weird crazy bent out of shape spirits that inhabit our realm. Seemingly for no reason – angry frustrated lost and disenchanted spy like beings out to destroy the world. So I painted them there crouched in the hills, a salamander fish thing and a spider antennae thing. Was tempted to put them in cages or stab them with picks but thought it best to just leave them be.

In back of the valley lies the flat mesa of a hill of a basket that is draining rivers and getting pounded drenched by a thunder storm of epic proportions. Lightning and flash and kaboom kaboom thundering action. Somehow in this story people and weather phenomenon are intimately connected by electricity and mana. So when good and significant people die, the sky actually sheds tears or undergoes an emotional train wreck of a transformation. Pretty wild stuff, I agree. At the base of the mesa is a lake, probably shallow Clear Lake where blue gill and bass roam chasing after little teeny bait fish. Very likely a good spot to gather materials for weaving, and chat with the neighboring tribes.

Atop the mesa is the silvery clouds of the storm and a red sky full of moon. Slow drift paste of thin clouds sheathing the bright white glare of her surface. And nestled within the clouds, there can be only one thing – a roundhouse full of indians dancing and singing and making jokes, dreaming everyday into existence.

Hahahhaha. C’est tout fini! Or perhaps just beginning…