In Cherokee stories, Selu is the mother of corn. She and her husband lived in a kind of Eden like paradise on the top of Pilot Mountain (or Pilot Knob), which is a strange rock formation just west of Greensboro, NC. I climbed this mountain on a recent, clear winter day. The wind was blowing powerfully around the peak as I roamed about looking for interesting things. At the edge of the cliff I came upon this unique moss formation growing at the edges of the rock. The self-repeating form immediately made me think of the photographic cut out I had recently made (and kept in my wallet for such a fortuitous occasion). In this cut out, the hands form a self-repeating square pattern. The color hands are my own while the monochrome hands are those of a Cherokee woman taken in the late 19th Century.
For me, these multiple levels of repeating form speak to the inherent urge within nature for rebirth and return. Everything cycles back eventually. In the Cherokee story, Selu dies as a gift to her wayward son who has set loose all the wildlife man once fed from with ease. The blood from her body brings the first corn. The blood given and sacrifices made by our ancestors continue to feed and nourish their children through stories, values and a connection to the land.