Thursday, September 4, 2014

Patchwork Coat of Muses: The Star Fishers

A scrap from my morning writings, a glimpse of stars, inspired by the transcendent work of Jeanie Tomanek. 
The Star Fishers, by Jeanie Tomanek
It may not be until you're all of five-and-twenty that they let you go out in the boat alone, only your hunting dogs to keep you company. It may take you that long to make an acceptable net. Net-weaving, you might be surprised to learn, is more than half of star-fishing. They don't swim very fast, after all, but they are dreadfully hard to hold, stars—slippery and steaming, singeing, bright and embered. This is no berry-picking, nothing like fishing in the creeks with nets and weirs, where you can scoop them up with your hands.

Our nets are made not of plant fiber, twisted into cordage, no, but of the sinew of creatures who live in the far north, among the whitest snow, and near the pole. Snowshoe hares, caribou, lynx—these are the proper sorts of animals. Their bodies are shaped by cold, and must be tough to survive, and so their sinews are just the thing, tempered by cold and the endurance of glaciers. They are our neighbors, our big family in the cold. For how do you imagine we get up and down to do our fishing, except by the pole itself, and the colored aurora too, when it lays down its silk, and hoists us up?

Our country, the country of the Star Fishers, is the pole. We keep it nice and straight, all polished, pointing north and hitched securely to Polaris, who we would never fish and eat, no indeed--and upset the great order of the world? Not yet, anyhow. It is not yet time to unravel the very stars. 


  1. thanks so much Sylvia, What an honor to have a lovely story written that was inspired by my painting. Wonderful writing.

    1. Jeanie, your artwork is stunning, moving, and so magical, and I am honored you found this little tale!! Thank you so much for visiting. All of your work touches me deeply. xx

  2. Thank YOU, Sylvia, these days I particularly need an affirmation coming from someone as inspiring as you.

  3. Two inspiring artists calling each other inspiring. Love it! Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and pictures both of you.