Mapes Creek

CPL at Mapes Creek (dxʷwuqʷəb)

March 14, 2024
Splabman

The Cascadia Poetics Lab is thrilled to be working with a community group here in Rainier Beach that seeks to create greater awareness of e creek that comes out of the ground south of legendary Kubota Garden, runs through a series of ponds there, through a ravine and through pipes before it sees daylight in Be’er Sheva Park near the CPL world headquarters. The project is: Engage, Educate and Discover at Mapes Creek and it is part of an effort to the the Rainier Beach Link to Lake project. A wonderful video tells the story well:

Mapes Creek Video

As you can see in the film the Cascadia Poetics Lab is involved because our mission is “Empowering people to practice poetry and deepen connections to place, self and the present moment.” We believe poetry’s the nexus at which self-knowledge, bioregionalism and expansive creativity converge and we seek to empower articulation of the heart-mind world of place via a democratic approach to poetry, the arts, restorative justice and other practices of intimate ecological awakening.

We’ll be part of the Saturday, April 13 re-opening of Be’er Sheva Park from 12N-4pm, where the creek is now a main focal point in a beautiful new design.

In addition, we are planning a blessing for the creek on Saturday, April 27 from 9-12N, details coming soon, but we’ll meet near the creek in the parking lot by the restrooms.

On Sunday, July 14, we’ll present Postcards From Here, an event at the new stage in Be’er Sheva Park at 4:30 and all postcard poets and those interested in poetry are welcome to attend.

I have been spending a lot of time at the creek these past few months and have been greatly inspired and perhaps transformed in my thinking engaging in Spiritual Ecology field work. One note from David Abram has been very helpful in this engagement. It is from his essay The Air Aware and he states:

It may be far more parsimonious, today, to suggest that mind is not at all a human possession, but is rather a property of the earthly biosphere — a property in which we, along with the other animals and the plants, all participate. The apparent interiority that we ascribe to the mind would then have less to do with the notion that there is a separate mind located inside me, and another, distinct mind that resides inside you, and more to do with a sense that you and I are both situated inside it — a recognition that we are bodily immersed in an awareness that is not ours, but is rather the Earth’s.

This stance has begun to inform my workshop facilitation and my next round of workshops happens in May. See: https://paulenelson.com/life-as-rehearsal-for-the-poem-larfp-cascadian-zen-basket-two-empty-bowl/

With that in mind, I have started a series of poems — in part — about the creek and surely inspired by it. Here is the opening:

We hope to see you at the creek and if you want to hang out there with me, get in touch, or come to one of the upcoming events.

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