this years new mandala began on Tuesday the 13th of July with the sweeping of the site. The old shone through, albeit faded, yet one of the more distinct keepers in the mandala's story. A mild year meteorologically. Swept, smudged, and power washed. The design had been tooling round the back brain of Mandala co-founder and artist Rob Marion for months, and he looked for inspiration many times spending Creeker time around Chak-Chak point. One afternoon he spotted some dorsal fin activity off the pier and checked in binoculars to spot a pod of orcas in communal joy, perhaps fishing together. The sheer majesty of their freedom co-linked with the tragedy of the BP oil spill and the dire consequences for all sea life called into being a prayer for restoring the vibrancy and grace of the ocean and its dwellers, realizing we are all connected and dependent on the health of the water around us and in us.
Meanwhile, Erica Snowlake was escaping the Coast rainy season in Venice Beach, California, writing for local newspaper The Free Venice Beachhead about the calamity called The North Pacific Gyre, a swirling mass of billions of tons of plastic bags and floating garbage, and in another issue promoting the practice of Xeriscaping in order to address the average Californian's wasted usage of 40% of the imported drinking water for lawn-watering and car washing. Water seemed to be on her brain as well!
The Mandala was lucky to have an amazing crew on this its 13th year. We remarked we were going to finish on a full moon, and since honoring the 13 Moon Calendar of Natural Law and Indigenous Peoples has always been one of the Mandala's focus, the team decided to include a tribute to these 13 moons in the body of the design. The moons have been interpreted by 13 artists with the intention of dramatizing what each moon means to life on the Sunshine Coast. Thus we see moons representing: the Blank-spaced Full Moon (the cycle of art from beginning to completion), the Berry Moon, the Mushroom Moon, Harvest Moon, the Day of the Dead Moon, Snow/Solstice Moon, Silver Grey Moon, Candlemas Moon, Spring/Owl Moon, Frog Moon, the May Queen Moon, the Strawberry and Foxglove Moon, and the Mandala Moon coming Full Circle!
We rely strictly on donations every year and this year looked a little rough going into it. We held a yard sale early in June and raised some funds to get the ball going. We also asked several friends who are known for their culinary skills (Rashmi, Kelly Rielly, Lee Mason) and a few local restaurants (the Gumboot, Pepper Creek, Strait Coffee) to supply us and our volunteers with yummy food. With help from the community in Roberts Creek more funds rolled in daily, along with watermelons, cinnamon buns and fresh fruit. Crucial support from businesses like the General Store, GBS, and Benjamin Moore guarantee the mandala will shine brightly.
(to be cont.)