This Great Society - Arts



Jim Boraas: Klatawa


Jim Boraas: Klatawa

Klatawa was the name of a small ferry that crossed the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Langley, British Columbia. Standing on the deck of the Klatawa I spent many crossings not paying much attention to anything in particular. The repetition of sunlight on the water during the summer, the ship lights on rainy windshields the rest of the year, and the great river-blackness of night crossings made one trip feel like part of many before. This, and watching the twin movements of a second small ferry, the trees rotating in response to our arced path, combined to create a comfortably unattended sense of time.

I often think that the inattentive nature of experiencing this kind of beauty is not evidence of indifference but of a long attained sensual familiarity. Over time the movement in the eye is preceded by the movements that will follow it. Like a path that, repeated, can become unconsciously part of the movement until the eye can see its course without a light, beauty can become part of the viewer and seen as much through the body as the eye.

This ferry crossing has since been replaced by a large toll-bridge. Luckily, there is no toll on the sidewalks so I can enjoy building a new view of the Fraser to add to the old any time I like.


*This painting has been donated to a fundraising auction for victims of human trafficking through:
Refugee Women’s Alliance ( and
Washington Anti-trafficking Response Network (

Mars Hill Graduate School
2501 Elliott Ave Seattle, WA
“Art for Freedom”
Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 6:30-9:30pm

If you're in the area check it out for me (I'll be in Vancouver) and, if you're inclined, buy some art—it's good for you.


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