The Capital

Aki is back home in Alaska where the town is getting another dump of snow. Her humans are on the other side of the country, walking through a Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery. (Veneer and the Masters of Genre Painting). The exhibit labels direct our attention to the men and women depicted in each painting. But I find myself looking at the little dogs placed like a grace note in the corner.

Before arriving at the Gallery, we made out annual pilgrimage to the Bill Reid sculpture at the Canadian Embassy—his black canoe. Reid depicts the Haida totem animals paddling a big bronze canoe. Even though the wolf is comping down on the raven’s wing, and the raven is biting the bear, all the animals are pulling hard to move the canoe forward. I find it a hopeful metaphor for the human race—even though we fight, when it counts, all humans will pull for our common earth.

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