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Responding to Heart of Vashon

As part of its on-going series, “Reading, Listening and Responding”, All Island Forum will host an opportunity for more community conversation focusing on the Heart of Vashon performance reading and project. On Sunday, February 28 from 3-5pm at Blue Heron, All Island Forum invites you to join us as we tune up our listening and speaking skills and share thoughts about the content, process and implications this project has on our Island community.

For those who may have missed the reading, here is a link/url to enjoy the video:

Please feel free to call or write with any questions: Karen Nelson 503-740-0523,

Begun over a year ago, the Heart of Vashon project has touched many Islanders and created a momentum of its own. About 150 Islanders submitted writing, some 50 folks showed up for the first AIF-sponsored gathering in January, and a cast of 14 offered a two-show performance reading which drew around 200 people to Blue Heron last month. AIF is excited to offer a chance for people to reflect on the project on February 28. All are welcome!

Responding to Heart of Vashon, “I have been filled in a wonderful, unexpected way by this project!” writes Donna Klemka, Vashon resident and contributing writer. Reflecting on her experience, Donna shares these words:

5 acres with a small house
Holes in floor, ceiling, walls
No heat
No water

This was the start of our dream, everyone’s, at that time. Thank you Heart of Vashon for giving me the impulse to write about it, to revisit building our lives and home here. I am grateful to Mary Shackelford and Shirley Ferris for initiating this magical telling of stories.

The experience of hearing the reading directed by Michael Barker was heart-filling, with so many quiet, internal aha moments. Equally meaningful to me was gathering in January at the O-Space with readers and listeners. In small groups some of us read what we had written for Heart of Vashon; others listened. Each reading had its own voice, it’s own story about what is important to our sense of place. It was such fertile ground, with people recalling important points in their lives on Vashon – even meeting a colleague of the man who witched and drilled our well back in 1978!

Cold running water in one tap
Tarpaper over window openings
Bib by bit, complete
The shape of things on the land

John Runyan created a very special part of our time at the O-Space when he asked us all to stand in the order of the year in which we came to our Island – a human timeline. There was a solid cluster of people who had come in 1977/78 – familiar faces of those we’d barn-raised and grown food and pot-lucked with, all those years ago. It made real, in a strong physical way, how I fit into this wonderful community, and how long that history is.

Thank you, Heart of Vashon, for giving us our individual voices, and for weaving us all together to reflect the community we share.

Knitting our lives together
Our guide, our sense of place
Our anchor
Our Island home