On a dreary, drizzly late-summer evening, Homer’s annual Burning Basket lit up the Spit on Sunday.
Artist Mavis Muller coordinated the construction of the 19th annual basket, “Breathe: A Basket of Rembrance & Unburdening,” and she and volunteers offered it to the community on Sept. 11. As twilight fell, people interacted with the basket, placing notes, origami cranes, small works of art and other mementoes. Some honored people who had recently died. One note read “prepare for opportunity disguised as loss.”
A smaller basket attached to Breathe, Sphere of Love, honored Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, the Homer woman who went missing in October 2019. Homer Police have charged a former Homer man with Murnane’s abduction and murder.
People were invited to take spruce cones, think positive thoughts and place the cones in the small basket. People also tied red ribbons to the basket in remembrance of missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from sympathy cards sent to them, and artists folded the envelopes into fans and attached them below the Sphere of Love.
Artists — including students from Little Fireweed Academy — also built and decorated a labyrinth, with the entrance marked “Inhale” and the exit marked “exhale.”
Before torchbearers lit the basket at sundown, Muller spoke of the basket’s theme.
“The first thing we do is inhale,” she said. “The last thing we do is exhale. Everything in between is what matters. That’s all we have to do is breathe.”