Prepare for opportunity disguised as something that looks like a loss

  • By Mavis Muller
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 4:29pm
  • News
Prepare for opportunity disguised as something that looks like a loss


he 12th annual enactment of the Burning Basket interactive, impermanent art was a brilliant success. A giant intricately woven basket and labyrinth were created by people of all ages. Nearly 100 hours were donated to gather materials and to build the installations, with over 30 people participating, as well as 80 students and teachers from Fireweed Academy who came to add their special creative touch, thanks one and all.

 The event theme was REACH — Basket of Remembrance and Unburdening. The epic art was a gift, and all were invited to come and walk the circular path, and decorate the big basket.

 The project faced a new challenge this year, two acts of vandalism. A premature igniting required rebuilding two walls, and then Saturday night, in a quick flash, the entire sculpture was chained, torn down, drug off and thrown into a gully. Word traveled fast, and many concerned citizens arrived to retrieved the ruins, and with perseverance in strong winds, we REACHed beyond disappointment to a cohesive determination to repair, reunite and rebuild the basket, and to reclaim the positive intentions of this autumnal community celebration of creativity and imagination.

 At sundown, the restored basket sculpture, REACH AGAIN, was ignited as planned, and met its conclusion in a brilliant fire-art display that lit up the night sky and the faces of the hundreds gathered around it. The sparks and flames REACHed out in loving memory of departed loved ones, in letting go of what stands in the way of our REACH, and in REACHing out to accept what is and what will be.

 Applause and standing ovation to our art-rageous community of Homer. With hearts as broad as the beach, a community woven tight like the strands of the basket performed a heroic task of art recovery and at the end of the day, a masterpiece, and beauty prevailed. Thank you for your inspiring resilience, and for communicating, with this art, that the power to choose light over dark is within REACH of us all.

 Special thanks to the committed dream team of “reachers” — Char Jump, Garry Betley, Tom Fanatia, Laurie Daniel, Mariyam Medovaya, Girdwood, and Robert S. Flemming, Oakland, Calif. Your tenacity and creative spirit was impressive. Thanks for the fun and heart that you brought to the project.

Thanks to those who brought food and campfire wood, for night watchers, radio, newspapers, the city parks department and the police department. To the amazing drummers and fire spinners, thanks for weaving your threads of ambiance into the overall celebratory design.

 To each of you who came to respectfully interact with the art, and who attended the burning, your presence was appreciated.  Your heartfelt inclusions made it a rich experience for us all. The labyrinth is still present and will remain until storms wash it away.

 Gratitude to the plants used to create the basket; the alder, spruce, wild grass, fireweed, nettle and seaweed. We are blessed with your presence in our wonderful wetland world.

The gift was given, the warmth received. May the flames warm us many times over, with gratitude for life’s offerings in each passing moment, and may the memories we made keep us illuminated and connected.

 Something has ended. Something has begun.

 A peaceful and productive autumn to all.

 Mavis Muller is a well-known environmental artist who came to Homer in 1984. She is the creator of Homer’s Burning Basket project.

More in News

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read