HomecomingJanuary, 1996
Oil on paper

Home drumming with a community of people I love.

The fall of 1995 was a time when I checked in with my growing up family in Pennsylvania both in person and through a series of paintings. Connecting with the deMolls in a new way proved to be a wrenching challenge and the paintings following that sequence – especially as expressed by “Homecoming” show a confirmation that my true home now lies here on the north Oregon Coast. These are the people I am choosing to growing old with. Deeper even, than community, I have since come to call them my tribe.

Journal 1/7/96: It took several days but my life has slipped back into a happy groove after Christmas in Rose Valley. The turning point was New Year’s Eve (appropriately enough) when calls went out to friends for drumming. I felt such love for those people and the process by which we had come together. Not to socialize, really, but because there is something about this free-for-all rhythm business we do that is both profoundly moving and profoundly freeing. No rules except courtesy and caring. No virtuosos. Some talk and laughter, but mostly blended sound. I felt so strongly that I was home.

Barbara and Chuck McLaughlin really epitomize that community – we’ve been through so much together. Know so much about each other’s warts and wrinkles. Yet we keep coming back together. Somehow I think they will be as important on this next stage of the journey as they have been on the last couple (child birthing and Fire Mountain School come to mind).

Between them is the glass hurricane lamp with candle that Chuck commented on that evening. And I just realized that it was given to us by one of my sisters as a wedding present which makes me want to cry. This is my return painting – home from the sojourn and siege with my family. But the light my sister gave us glimmers softly there …