Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Kiama's Charm no. 22

I have finally come to the last posting of the tribute trail I left this summer, in the US in memory of my daughter Kiama.
Our 3 week holiday had come to an end. It has done us both a world of good to spend 3 weeks away from home, breaking all our habits and patterns and surround ourselves with new sights and sounds, living a different life for a while. I felt truly energised and inspired. Creating the charms and leaving this tribute trail was not only fun but an important part of my grieving process. It definitely helps, expressing your thought and feelings when you suffer a bereavement and to find ways of creating something positive out of it.
I thank the friend, who, during a lunch just a week before we went holiday, suggested to do a trail - you know who you are!

So on the 3rd of July we spend a couple of hours at Sea-Tac airport (Seattle-Tacoma airport) waiting for our flight back to London. Kiama loved travelling, both on the inside and out in the world. Although she hadn't made any firm plans, she was always talking about travelling after finishing university. So what better place then an airport to symbolise this part of her.

In walking around the airport we came across an exhibition display, near Gate A-1, celebrating the life of Jimi Hendrix. We had no idea that he was originally from Seattle. I don't know if Kiama knew much of the music of Hendrix, but she certainly loved learning to play the guitar.

Another talented artist who died so young and for me another reason to make this the last place for the last of the charms - no.22, symbolising the 22 years of Kiama's life.

The charm was placed on a panel on the back of the wall.

Here is Kiama playing the guitar - the photo was taken almost exactly 2 years ago, 25th of August 2011 in Spain!!! She was visiting one of her Spanish friends during her holiday there.
Rest in peace, my lovely

Kiama's Charm no.20 - Recycle Art

We visited  Dick & Jane's Spot, which is right next door to the skatepark in Ellensburg, where we hung Kiama's Charm no.21,  which I posted about before.

Dick and Jane are 2 artists who turned their house and garden into a wonderful art site. They used all kinds of materials from bottle tops, scrap metal and wood, nuts and bolts, bicycle parts, paint and lots of reflectors.

I absolutely love this place, the use of all the recycled materials is so imaginative I couldn't get enough of it - walking around the house, shooting photo's and peeping through the holes in the fence...

A kind of totem pole creature.  The graffiti wall in the background is part of the skatepark next door.

 A tree made with bicycle wheels.

Kiama would have loved this place, as it was such a tribute to what we can do with recycling. She created herself some art work out of bicycle parts when she attended university, like this Ram’s Head sculpture, which she sold to The Bicycle Shop Café in Norwich.
  If you ever happen to visit this lovely spot in Norwich, you can find the sculpture downstairs in the Handlebar.

So I had to place one of Kiama's Charm's somewhere at Dick & Jane's Spot. I decided to hang no. 20 on the holder of the Guest Book after writing a message in the book in case they (Dick & Jane and their visitors) wonder what this charm is all about...

 I know from my friend Mary, that the charm is gone now, but who ever found it didn't make the effort to contact me.

Still, I do hope they were curious enough to peep at my blog...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Kiama's Charm no.18 - News coverage

For all of you, who follow my postings on the tribute trail I left in the USA in memory of my daughter Kiama there is a little follow up story on Kiama's Charm - no.18, which was found by 2 girls in the place Odessa in Washington.

Every 2 weeks I skype with my friend in Ellensburg and last week she told me that her brother, who lives in Odessa visited her and spoke about the intrigue of Kiama's Charm. Apparently it became the talk of the town, as the story was placed in the local newspaper, The Odessa Record.

Thank you, people from Odessa for your kind support!!

Kiama's Charm - no.16, 17 and 19

After a night hooking up and parked on the driveway of Mary's sister near Snoqualmie we cleaned the RV and took it back to Cruise America near Seattle. We had a few days left with our friend in Ellensburg.

One of the days there we visited the Clymer Museum & Gallery and got stuck inside for a while because of a freak thunderstorm with a downpour which turned the roads into small rivers.

When the rain eventually stopped we took our sandals off to cross the road for a coffee and watch people wading through the waters. By the time we left the café most of the water in this street was gone.

I placed a charm for Kiama on a bench in North Pearl Street.

One night, after a not very exciting meal out, we passed a sports shop with lots of skateboards in the shop window. I am sure Kiama would have popped in the shop if she would have passed here.

There was a hook underneath the letterbox, perfect for no. 17

The same evening we decided to rent a DVD, so we walked the streets of Ellensburg to look for a Redbox. We came past the abandoned Ellensburg Windmill (originally build as an office for a petrol station).

Across the street was a Redbox on the forecourt of a petrol station.

Like many of us Kiama loved watching films. One of her all time favourites was the feelgood French film Amélie. This film inspired her so much that it found it's way in her approach to life and her love and ambition of making a positive difference in the life of others was reflected in many of her art projects.

I had a mix up with the numbers on the charms in my pocket, so it was no.19 instead of no.18 which came to hang on some kind of electricity transformer next to the Redbox at Circle K on 204, S Main Street.

Kiama's Charm - No.14 and 15

We were nearly at the end of our roadtrip with the RV and we didn't manage to book a campsite for  our last night, so we took a risk turning up at the Maryhill State Park.

A very simple campsite on the most beautiful spot next to the Columbia River.

The park had a variation of beautiful trees providing necessary shade on hot summer days.

and the sprinklers in the morning threw lots of magical rainbows above the lush green grass.

I hung Charm no.14 on the no.48 signpost of our camping spot. This was after the park ranger came to put a 'reserved' notice up for the next visitor.

The next morning we went to visit the The Maryhilll Museum of Art in Goldendale, WA, situated above the Columbia River Gorge.

With the most beautiful views.

There was an outdoor sculpture exhibition with some fantastic sculptures, 

and this intriguing concrete installation by the architect Brad Cloepfil. It is called 'Maryhill Overlook' and it offers a myriad of interesting views of the Columbia River Gorge.

It was a hot day and there were lots of little lizards about sunbathing on the stone walls.

The museum has an interesting and surprising collection of sculptures and watercolours by Rodin, Native American Art, Royal possessions of Queen Marie (of Romania), a whole gallery with hundreds of chess sets and more.

The Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing of the museum opened just 2 days after Kiama's death
on the 13th of May 2012

There was also an Education Centre with an exhibition of photographs made by Native American teens, who took part in a residential art development camp. It was accompanied by moving stories of what they learned about themselves and each other during the program.

Kiama would have loved this place - art/education, scenic views and her favourite little animals playing hide and seek in and out the sun.

So Charm no.14 found a place here:

on a little pipe sticking out of the wall, facing the steps to the entrance.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Kiama's Charm - no.13

I am way behind with my postings on Kiama's Charm's. It seems ages ago we where in the States and there are so many other things I want to post about, so I have decided to rush a bit through the rest of the numbers.

We stayed at a Koa site at Klamath Falls in Oregon for the night. I originally read the signs for 'Klamath Falls' on the highway wrong and thought the 'l' was an 'i', making it look like Kiama(th).
The next day we had to go to the postoffice before hitting the road and we parked our RV on Klamath Avenue.....

in front of Hutch's bicycle shop.

A fitting place for our bicycle loving girl, we thought.

So we hung no. 13 on the bicycle rack in front of the shop.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Kiama's Charm - no.21 is found - Skateboarding, Art & Poetry

I have to skip a few charms as I got a lovely reply from skateboarder, Josh, who found no.21 at the skatepark in Ellensburg, WA. I am delighted to know that Josh is a fellow 'charm placer', as you can read in his comment under the earlier post of  'The greatest gift is the present".

We were staying the last days with our friend Mary in Ellensburg, where I left five charms at different places in town. Kiama loved skateboarding, so I definitely wanted to place a charm at the skatepark but when we came there, there were a few kids around and we couldn't do it without being seen.

If you have a son or daughter in Ellensburg and you wonder why they come home without shoes, here is your answer:  zoom in and you can spot several pairs of shoes hanging over the telephone lines.

We decided to wait until it was dark and came back after we scattered some of Kiama's ashes in the fast flowing Yakima river.

I wish I could say Kiama was a safe skater, but I can't. I had to pick her up once or twice from A&E, as she had fallen unconscious after a big crash, once with some convulsions as she didn't like wearing her helmet.

She was apparently pretty good though as she got second at a national Girl Skate Jam competition in 2008. Rogue Skateboards left a tribute to her on their website.

I like how the art decoration on the ramps lit up by the flash of my camera. We also discovered some ceramic artwork on the wall. It looked like all the art work was done by young people, probably sponsored by the town's art department or so.

I was especially touched by the wording on this panel below, it really struck a chord with me and I am sure Kiama would have felt the same. She was different, not a follower and wanted to be heard and listened to.

I have an opinion
but they won't listen
I have rights
but still they won't listen
I have a voice
but they won't listen
I have a voice
that they won't hear
They, who?
Everyone, why?
Because I am different
Because I am not a follower
Nor am I a leader
What am I?
Only what I know how to be

I am also moved by this one, especially when I think of those young people that can't find their way in life and choose not to live and end their lives. It takes courage to live, especially when we have come to face some real big limits in life and realise that we have to free ourselves or accept living a life without ever reaching our full potential.

For me, Freedom is a state of Being beyond all limitations and can only be found in realising who we truly are. The road to this Freedom is not an easy one and perhaps not for everyone but I am so glad that I choose to live this life to find out.

I hung the charm on the fence next to the information board.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Kiama's Charm - no12

Leaving Lake Oroville we picked up Highway 5 until Weed where we took a more scenic drive via US Route 97.  Just about 20 miles north of Weed we stopped at the Grass Lake Rest Area.

A beautiful spot with the most amazing views of a 'lake' of soft moving grass in various colours, but
no water in sight. Although historically there was an actual lake, it is now a wet meadow.

Apparently  the water drained away in the early 20th century through a development effort, which broke the seal of the underlying lava rocks, locals call it 'The Glory Hole'.

The area was populated with the most adorable looking chipmunks. John and I had never seen them before and we couldn't get enough of watching their antics. They were very curious and came up quite close to us. I wished we could take one home for Ilana, our eldest daughter, who loves cute looking little animals.

There was a very good information display about the geology, flora and fauna of the area. A rare species of the Tiger Salamander was only discovered at the end of the 60's when hundreds of them  were crossing the road. They get up to 10 inches long.

Kiama loved little lizards and because the salamander looks like a lizard I decided to hang one of the charms next to the information panel.