It was the first full Wolf Journey class we’ve had back in Bellingham since moving out to Lummi Island in 2000, and old friends as well as new students showed up for a great kick-off! We began by learning the “reverse wrap” method of making cordage so that as people introduced themselves, we were also productively working on an artisanry project, just as if we were sitting around the “caveman’s tv” in the old days.
I gave everyone a hand-out on the routines of an earth skills lifestyle and we discussed that before talking about the Wolf Journey Earth Skills Training Course, which I introduced with my Coyote Howl story about accidentally finding a study site on the south side of Bellingham in 1997. Krista also discussed her experience with finishing Wolf Journey Volume I back in 1999. Then I showed everyone a picture of my new study site in Puyallup. You can follow along as I work my way through Wolf Journey again on this blog, by the way. Letha pointed out ethical concerns about feeding birds, and she is right. I would never do it in the past either, but now I want to study them up close, so I’ve chosen to do it for a while. Any thoughts?
In the second hour of class, we went outside to finish processing Devil’s Club (recumbant stem and root) that Chris, Jason and I brought as leftover from a workshop (see blog entry from last week) that we took from Michael “Skeeter” Pilarski. We showed everyone how to clean and remove the bark from the stem, then make a tincture with 100 proof vodka in canning jars. My method has been a bit different than Skeeters, so it was great to improve toward his level of expertise.
Before class, I had met Gene Tagaban in downtown Bellingham, as he wanted to show me the new Urban Longhouse he has co-created with his wife Debbie and the proprietor of a multi-media studio who produces Gene’s CDs. It would be a great location for class, and holds up to 75 inside an incredibly inspirational setting, along with separate workshop rooms that our instructors could divide groups into. The next class is March 8th, so take a look at the Wolf Journey Class Schedule once we confirm its location. See you there!