laurie laurie, February 6, 2019

The Dalliance of the Eagles

By Walt Whitman –

Skirting the river road, (my forenoon walk, my rest,)
Skyward in the air a sudden muffled sound, the dalliance of the eagles,
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,
The clinching interlocking claws, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel,
Four beating wings, two beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling,
In tumbling turning clustering loops, straight downward falling,
Till o’er the river pois’d, the twain yet one, a moment’s lull,
A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,
Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,
She hers, he his, pursuing.

Donald Ewing, 350 Eugene’s Videographer/Photographer, passed away on Feburary 1, 2019 after a long illness. His quiet, determined presence, talent, passion, and sacrifice inspired the rest of us in untold ways. For the first five years of our chapter’s existence, Don’s event flyers, photos and videos of a range of events – including rallies, lectures, city council meetings, Raging Grannies in song, and Climate Kids at court – captured the heart and soul of a community learning how to fight for the sake of this beautiful, living planet.  We will miss him dearly.  Enjoy his spectacular photos of a snowy owl, two eagles in flight, a sampling of his many 350 Eugene event photos and a beloved poem by Walt Whitman, which he read to us at one of our leadership retreats.  Peaceful, soaring flight, dear friend.
Facebook Memorial Video: here

TRIBUTES

Since 2014, when the small number of 350 Eugene organizers began to meet to work on our first campaign, Don Ewing was always there. Our first campaign was to get UO to divest from fossil fuels. Don made the most amazing promotional materials. If we had big name speakers, like Winona LaDuke or Sweetwater Nannuck from Idle No More Washington, Don shared amazing wild photos from his days of photographing raptors in Hawaii and created posters befitting our honored guests. Any graphic design or video production project, Don planned and carried out with detailed care. Every rally, every demonstration, every direct action, every march and parade, Don was there, and he always thought to take young photographers under his wing to learn the ropes. Most of all, Don was a serious Climate Activist. He understood the global emergency and organized his life to do all he could with his talents to make a difference. He was even an honorary Raging Granny, and did a lot of work to support the awesome work of our local “gaggle.” Don, you were the consummate climate buddy. You showed us how it is done. With professionalism and selfless determination. Bet that’s how you earned that Purple Heart. Don, we salute you. You will be missed.
Deb McGee and Patty Hine, 350 Eugene’s Co-Directors/Founders
I remember Don reading the Whitman poem, slowly and clearly, after saying that we do our work for nature as well as for the children. He loved nature. He showed me where a pair of eagles had nested on Skinner’s Butte. At that time, I had never seen an bald eagle before, but I have since. I will think of Don whenever I see one for the rest of my life. Such a gentle, good man.
Linda Heyl, Campaign Lead, Drawdown Eugene and Community Climate Coalition

 

I met Don while walking the paths of Mt Pisgah Arboretum over three years ago.  There he was accompanied by his tripod and camera asking me if I knew where the Bird Viewing area was.  Two minutes into our walk to the platform he said, “What I am really worried about is Climate Change”.  Our meeting place was in the natural world so I offer the following piece by Robin Wall Kimmerer:

“… I think there is another language, the forgotten language of the land.  Its alphabet is the elements themselves, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen.  The words of this language are living beings, and its syntax is connection.  There is a flow of information, a network of relationship  p conveyed in the rising sap of cedars, in tree roots grafted to fungi, and fungi to orchids, orchids to bees, bees to bats, bats to owls, owls to bones, and bones to the soil of cedars.  This is the language we have yet to learn and the stories we must hear; stories that are simultaneously material and spiritual.  The archive of this language, the sacred text, is the land itself.  In the woods, there is a constant stream of data, lessons on how we might live, stories of reciprocity, stories of connection.  Species far older than our own show us daily how to live.  We need to listen to the land, not merely for data, but for wisdom.”

I feel so fortunate to have shared so many amazing experiences with Don at 350 Eugene events and planning.  Best of all, Don had the best hugs and such a fine, big smile!  Don was and continues to be a Wisdom Carrier.   Love You Always Don.

Elizabeth Chandler, 350 Eugene Event Coordinator, Oregon Fracked Gas Resistance, Resilience Work Group