In the thick darkness that shrouds most of our days, it can be hard to see where to place our feet and how to walk our paths. At times, one feels the need for a light that will illuminate the journey.
Is this the light that shines from a massive beam which has been strapped to the top of a truck? Is it the spectacular displays of color and form which adorn the faces of houses all across Homer? Are there other ways to find a beacon of light?
The sculpture above, “Tuyanitun: Tuggeht,” shines like the beacon we need. However, where is its powerful production and overwhelming shine? Where is the intricacy of its construction? Also, it seems to be lacking consistency — I cannot turn it on whenever I please.
This Dena’ina wayfinding system imagines the source of light differently. While the Betster cannot speak for the Indigenous people and their cultures, the sculpture serves as a metaphor for this newsroom perspective.
The light which shines forth from this sculpture is not generated within the structure itself. There is no battery or fuel source. Rather, the light which pours out is a reflection, and focusing, of the light of a super solar other, the sun.
The brilliance of this piece of art does not come from any extraordinary complexity but in its simplicity. In a humble, yet genius, way the sculpture draws no attention to itself. It cherishes the fundamental energy source which provides light every day, and tactfully borrows and redirects its light for the purpose of directing the viewer.
The statue itself is not grand, but in its meagerness it allows the truly vast and incredible power to become directly visible. Funnily enough, although the sun’s light is almost always present (even if concealed by clouds), sometimes it takes something small to make it visible.
The light of a Christmas tree or of a candelabra will provide a glow that brings comfort. The careful reflection of another’s beautiful light can also, however, provide the beauty and guidance that we need.
To find more places that lights may take you, check out these Best Bets:
BEST TURKEY POTLUCK BET: Want to share Thanksgiving the old fashioned way with neighbors and friends? Head out to the Community Thanksgiving Potluck from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24 at the Homer United Methodist Church. If able, bring a dish to share or games to play with your neighbors — everyone is welcome!
BEST YOU HAD ME AT CHOCOLATE BET: Everyone knows See’s Chocolates are the best, so if you’ve been longing for a box of varied yumminess, they’re on sale now at Classic Cook, Homer Bookstore, Homer’s Jeans, Lisa Ann’s Grooming, North Wind Homer Collection, Petro Marine and the Art Shop Gallery. Proceeds benefit Hospice of Homer. You can also pick up locally made decadent bars from Homer Truffle Co.
BEST GET READY BET: Thursday will be a day of probably too much food and not enough exercise, so get in shape with free community yoga from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday at the SPARC. Yes, the paper says “Thursday,” but with our early press deadline, you get this week’s paper out a day early on Wednesday. The classes are open to all skill levels. Please bring a yoga mat, layers, water bottle and blanket. SPARC is located at 600 Sterling Highway next to Homer Middle School.
BEST NOT ALONE BET: In this season of joy, some of us are reminded of loss. Need some help navigating grief? Listen in at 9 a.m. Wednesday when KBBI’s Coffee Talk invites representatives from Hospice of Homer to talk about about grief and depression during the holidays. Tune it at AM 890.
BEST BIRD ON BET: The Kachemak Bay Birders aren’t fair-weather watchers, because they know that winter brings some amazing birds. Want to learn more? Head to a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in the Seminar Room. Following a short meeting, George Matz will present “Birding in Costa Rica.” This January, George and Jeannie Matz visited Costa Rica for an 11-day guided birding trip in the Northern part of Costa Rica and a 5-day guided trip on the Osa Peninsula. George’s eBird report has 283 species (most of them lifers) and photos of 150 species. Some of the highlights will be shown at the November Kachemak Bay Birders meeting. Masks are encouraged. All our events are cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. All events are free and everyone is welcome to attend. All events will comply with FWS covid-safe practices. For questions, call Lani Raymond at 907-399-9477.
BEST KEEP WRITING BET: With the long weekend, you might have some time to put pen to paper and polish up that work of genius you’ve been thinking about. The deadline for the 25th Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Contest is coming up soon at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 16, so take the time to finish your works and enter. The contest is open to KPB residents of all ages. For contest rules and entry visit homerart.org.
BEST MARK YOUR CALENDARS BET: This won’t happen for a week, but as with all things Santa Claus, you have to prepare. The annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonywill be 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. See the tree light up, meet Santa Claus, enjoy a performance by the Homer High School choir and enjoy s’smores, hot cocoa and cupcakes.