[Fresh water tank, Great Lakes Aquarium, Duluth, MN, July, 2021]
On a recent visit to Duluth and unable to visit the delightful Tweed Museum of Art, shut down for renovations, I discovered Duluth’s American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO). Closed because of COVID, AICHO’s website offered what I was hungry to see: an online gallery of art created by Indigenous people of the Great Lakes. (At a previous visit, I’d become a huge fan of Rabbet before Horses Strickland.)
And lo, what did I discover? Another version of the “Skywoman” creation story which begins Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass—a retelling which speaks to me. For in Karen Savage Blue‘s lyrical depiction, Skywoman reaches down; down into icy, creature-rich waters. Skywoman rescues Muskrat! Don’t you love it?
I do. So much so that I am now in the process of buying a giclee of Savage Blue’s watery, female-superstar, Love-infused depiction. (In deference to AICHO, I am not reproducing “Creation Story” here because I do not have permission to do so.)
I love that a creation story can shift. Change. Evolve. I love being reminded that creation continues. That our universe is a work-in-progress. And so are we. I love being reminded that “inbreaking” happens: “If, as I believe, the soul has its root in God, it should not be strange or amazing that fresh installments of life break in from beyond us and refresh us,” the Quaker mystic, Rufus Jones, tell us. And, yes, I’ll admit it: I love how Savage Blue has turned Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” upside down and sideways!