At the De Young, I savored and reveled in the Turner exhibit and also visited the one on Royal Hawaiian Featherwork.
The work is magnificent but along with the beauty and intricacy of the capes, cloaks, staffs, and feather leis is a history of what it was for the Hawaiians to come in contact with the West. As we know, it is tragic what happened, what was done to these people, their environment, their way of life. It was sobering to stand in the light, dim, so as not to fade the feathers, and consider the aftermath of the meeting of these differing groups of people.
It is a day for reflection, a day to reflect on how we have treated other people and how they might therefore respond to us. It is not to judge, but it is for each of us to look at our shadow and shine a little light on it.
It is a day for feathers, gathered and spread as we sort, lift, ground, and wave the light.
How do we treat others? How do we treat ourselves?
Peace begins within, and through exhibits like this, we may begin to see a history that inspires us to look with receptive and open eyes and hands, rather than with the exploitive, greedy, destructive eyes and fists of the past.