We all had our own reasons for going to Haida Gwaii. Of course it was the On Root Project that brought us here, a one week artist residency designed to introduce us to the damaging affects of industrial logging and to immerse ourselves in pristine old growth forests. Nevertheless we all had our reasons. Some didn’t make it, perhaps another time. For those who ended up on these shores at the edge of the world, the journey to get here, the place, the people and the journey home, left us cradled in a new understanding of belonging.
Buried in whatever wasn’t being said I wonder if the reason we do things is not for the thing but for a single moment tucked inside the bigger thing. Maybe we’re pulled to give in a way unknown to us before. Perhaps there’s something wanting to push us about but it had to wait until we got off a ferry in some remote bucket-list destination. Perhaps it was waiting for us to arrive.
Perhaps it’s a conversation or a piece of a conversation. Maybe it’s the tiniest of moments that’s been waiting for all the riddles to slide up against each other and rub a certain way. What if the reason was waiting for us to turn to the left just so it could speak its voice.
Yes, each of us were extended an invitation from the On Root Project to spend an immersive week at an artists retreat and yes, there’s still an art show to pull off. But for those of us who jumped the hoops to get there and stay there and be there, we still had our silent reasons for going to Haida Gwaii.
Sometimes we’re the watcher and sometimes we’re the watched.
~ Savanna McGregor on the morning of her 31st birthday, Nadu Harbour, Haida Gwaii.