This is the Cuyahoga River near
where I grew up in Ohio. It won
notoriety by catching fire near
Cleveland in 1969. That outrageous
event sparked the passage of the
Clean Water and Clean Air Acts
and the formation of the Environmental
Protection Agency. I am
happy to say the Cuyahoga has
made a come-back and is now one
of 14 heritage rivers in the US.
I made a pilgrimage to find the
headwaters of the Cuyahoga one
spring. What I found that April
morning rises as a hundred seeps,
rivulets in a young wood at the
edge of farmland. This journey to the
source influenced many paintings,
those that follow and many in
the series Ceremonial Coats.
I have been gone from Ohio for
decades, and yet there are things I
sorely miss: the habitat of tall trees
and big rivers, in particular.