Creating Communities ~ Weaving Indra’s Net in Whatcom County
This past January I received a grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation. Shortly after this past 2016 presidential election, the Foundation put out a call for entries in Whatcom county for project proposals in all disciplines, the grant called Project Neighborly was intended to build bridges between diverse communities. “It’s easy to find comradery with others who believe what we believe, look like us and have similar backgrounds. And yet we know that the best ideas and decisions come from groups of people with differing perspectives working together . Building bridges (and community) is challenging, often messy work. When it happens, it is exciting and infectious.” The WCF awarded a total of 30 grants which amounted to over $300,000. I feel enormous gratitude to be part of a community with this commitment to bridging these social, economic and often political divides.
My grant proposal, Creating Communities, Weaving Indra’s Net in Whatcom County is being sponsored by the Whatcom County Library System Foundation. This will be the third generation of Indra’s Net which began in 2011. As in past projects, Indra’s Net is a multicolored, collaborative net made of vast amounts of recycled natural fabrics that have been stripped into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces of fabric of various lengths. The fabric pieces which come from personal donations and local upcycle fabric shop, Ragfinery, are then tied together into long “threads” which are knotted into a large net. Participants can choose to write prayers or statement on the strips before they are knotted into the net. The net is begun on a suspended 20′ piece of hemp rope . Individuals working on the net are able to sit on chairs or on the floor and tie these strips together after some simple instruction.
People can work across from one another and side by side, several people at a time or simply one person at a time. The events will take place over several weeks at our ten local branch library locations in Whatcom county. My hope is that this will provide an opportunity for people who hold a diverse range of personal positions to come together and share in a simple task ~ embodied in the working hands and hearts that represent “connection” and “interdependence”. I believe we all share many of the same hopes and dreams inspite of some of our beliefs and differences.
At the completion of our tenth event I hope to take our community made net and find a permanent location to install it as a symbolic representation of working together towards sustainable connections and building bridges within our community.
Lynden Library ~ March 25
Ferndale Library ~ April 22
Point Roberts Library ~ May 10
South Whatcom Library ~ May 13
Deming Library ~ May 20
Everson Library ~ June 10
Sumas Library ~ June 24
North Fork Library ~ July 1
Blaine Library ~ July 15
Lummi Island ~ July 22