a woman is knitting a blue scarf…

Isn’t that radical?

There’s something about the simple integrity and purity of it that I love.  You see, there she sits, among others, many wearing blue scarves, in this auditorium, where 200+ people are gathered to speak their minds about something else…  something that could use some simple integrity, truth be told.  It’s something that’s been growing here in this wet Northwest corner of the beautiful Earth where I take photos indoors and out, where I feel privileged to live every day.

You know, I actually try not to mix the advocacy aspect of my work with my passion for photography.  Question of staying a bit sane.  But sometimes you don’t get the choice.  Or maybe life just has a way of delivering both to you, whether you like it or not.  Or maybe it’s the same passion that’s behind both, I dunno.

So:  Carry a big camera, and they’ll think you’re a journalist… there’s a tip for you all.  I just shrugged, but whatever, come on up to the gallery and look down on the gathering crowd.  There, the fly-in journalists and newsies are toting great monstrous video cameras, maybe anticipating protest and mayhem… (see how they scurry when the ceremonial entrance begins…).  But they seem a bit deflated as day 2 drags on and there’s nothing but a roomful of concerned people, more and more donning blue scarves, speaking from their hearts and encouraging one another as the hearings proceed.

The story is… well, you know it’s actually a bit painful to get into, it really is.  The story can start anywhere, so welcome to the middle, for what it’s worth (you’ll wanna click that if the rest of this is going to make any sense at all, or just read on for the cryptic version…)

Back to the blue scarves in the room: a symbol of solidarity among those who want to see this region protected from the threat of oil spills.  In the hall below, the blue scarves are multiplying… and on the second day of proceedings, there are more… but the big cameras, I notice, are fewer.

One of the members of this community takes us on a photographic tour of the Channel, weaving together the spiritual values of experiencing nature, with illustrations of the unique ecology of the region, outlining gaps in the environmental assessment, and at one point inviting the review panel to take the time and indulge in the natural beauty of the nearby creeks which feed cold, clear water into the estuary.

Speak to me.  So I do.  A break in the proceedings, enough to get out and scramble about Minette Creek.

(and isn’t it delightful when so much satisfaction can be derived from getting a mere ten feet in sneakers?)

But I’m out there ill prepared, not unusual (already, a New Year’s resolution down the drain!), and it’s a bit chilly and I’m cold…

So tomorrow I think I’ll get scarf.  Maybe blue, blue’s not too radical, is it?

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