Monday, February 13, 2006

Alan Rickman and Rachel Viner have won three Theatregoers’ Choice Awards for the playMy Name is Rachel Corrie.The play is about the former Olympia Washington resident Rachel Corrie and what motivated her to leave her home in Washington to take up the Palestinian cause in Israel.
Although I never knew Ms. Corrie, I lived in Olympia as a child in the seventies; I went to Evergreen State College for a stint before completing my Lit degree at another university, and resided in Oly for several years as an adult. The only memory I have associated with Rachel Corrie was after her death.

Every year in Olympia there is a celebration near Earth Day, called theProcession of the Species where the beauty of the earth is honoured and cherished. In the festival, anyone who wants to participate will dress up as one of the Elements: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. Some people costume as animals, others as geographical entities such as lakes or volcanoes, et cetera. The police block off the streets and the revellers parade around downtown for one to two hours. The celebration also acts as a food drive where the fee for the experience is donations for the local food bank. The Olympia Procession is the founding Procession of similar festivals around the world.

After Ms. Corrie’s death, many of the participants dressed as peace doves in her memory since signs are not permitted in the parade. It was a fitting nonverbal memorial to one of ours, a Pacific Northwesterner.


No comments: