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Upstream Future


I live just uphill from the Columbia River, one of North America’s greatest watersheds, and a place with thousands of years of human history bound to it. These days it’s a shadow of its glorious self, choked by dam after dam all along its sinuous length. The great salmon runs that rise up into the land along it were vastly depleted by those dams, and several species went extinct as a consequence. As I write this, however, it’s the beginning of the late-year Chinook salmon run, and numbers are way, way up from previous years. Here’s hoping that they continue to rise, as a symbol of the resilience of the land to the bad ideas wrought upon it by the society that ate this continent. Maybe someday, upstream, as the waters rise and push into the rivermouth from rising sea levels, the bears will return to eat the salmon, balancing precariously on the ruins of the other world.

This is an entirely handmade print, made with no computers involved. A linoleum block was cut to make the details of the fish, and the other layers are cut from rubylith film. Printed cooperatively at Flight 64 Studio in Portland, OR.

More by Roger Peet

Posts by Roger Peet

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Happy New Year

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