Kubb on the Confluence: a Manifesto

a declaration of a two day kubb project and a new challenge for the world’s longest consecutive kubb friendly

the confluence

the confluence

Where the Eau Claire River runs into the Chippewa, there are Bald Eagles in the trees. I love bald eagles, and I love the rivers. I want people to see bald eagles there. Where the rivers come together. I play kubb there. I will, with Eau Claire. I want to share this sacred space with others. And experience, together, what it can be. I want to raise awareness. A consciousness. To remember. To dream.

There are some big trees at the confluence, and just downstream. Some are giant cottonwoods. The eagles like to sit in those trees, where the rivers meet. And sit. And watch. I do that too, sometimes. I have for years. Near the trees now there’s plenty of parking. And there are some buildings near there, where the rivers meet. A lot has happened between those bricks, and I only know a small part of it since I was here.

I’ve run and patronized many businesses at this location, a leaning pile of bricks some call the Farmers Store on Graham. I’ve called it home. A field of dreams. Starting in the early nineties I was spokes, a bicycle and graphic design shop nestled in with a naturopath, herbalist, reflexologist and counselor. I had a T1 cable from JadeNet, one of the first internet companies in Eau Claire, right into my PC. I watched the eagles from the roof of the furniture store. I saw them from my window. We watched the rivers. We felt the rivers. We made art, music. We healed.

A few years later I remember being at the confluence again, this time at night. We had a party at our house on the East Hill that evening. A friend and I piled the kids into the wooden garden cart he had given me and we rolled them down Gray Street, then to where the rivers meet. To an art and music center, Destini Artworks, for a concert. There was art. There. At the Confluence. Some high school kids were playing, a band. Keyboards, awkward, good. We were dads and kids, having a great time. We felt the rivers, the music.

And then a few years after that I was scoping for a cheap space to rent. Somewhere to house a delivery service, maybe a store to sell food made from friends, farmers. It was a natural space to gather and share, where the rivers meet. It has a history. It is a gathering spot. The Confluence. The Haymarket. We moved in. I saw the eagles. The farmers met the people. They saw the eagles, the rivers, the trees. They saw Eau Claire.

A restaurant opened nearby. They bought and prepared food from the farmers, my friends. The Haymarket. They saw the eagles, the art. Over time, they left. We burned. But a phoenix arose. The eagles never left. More friends moved businesses in. More art. Good energy. It’s all there, at the confluence. I saw it. I heard it. It is a special place. Has been, will be.

To be from Eau Claire is to know that there are rivers. Where the rivers unite is the cultural and ecological heart of Eau Claire. It is a special place. A sacred place. A place to be shared, experienced, loved. And to be from Eau Claire is to know kubb. Kubb on the rivers is Eau Claire.

There’s a belief, a motto. “Kubb unites people and creates peace on earth.” Sounds cheesy, but this is Wisconsin. We’re known for cheese. And Kubb. Kubb is about perseverence. Endurance. Not giving up, ever. Kubb is about building things up and knocking them down. Kubb is about working things out. Kubb is boxing. And ballet. Kubb is art, reconciliation. And there’s a winner.

This is why I will play kubb, with Eau Claire, from the morning Monday March 31 until Tuesday night, April 1. No fooling, I’m going to play a lot of kubb. With Eau Claire. I will share. We will look for eagles, and listen to the trees. We will feel the rivers. We will remember what has happened, where the rivers come together. We will build things and knock them down. We will erect the king. We will sing. We will watch the sun rise, and set, and rise and set again. Then we will celebrate, and rest.

What can I do to help the positive development downtown, I wondered. To add to the momentum, contribute, and learn. I can only do what I do. Play kubb. Teach kubb. Talk kubb. At the confluence. Add to the chorus, to the history, to the future. To share with Eau Claire what it is, what we have, where the rivers meet. I will play kubb, my best kubb.

On Monday, March 31 I will occupy space where the rivers meet, the Haymarket, the Confluence. I will set up a game of kubb and I will play it and I won’t stop for days. I will play with whoever wants to play with me. If they don’t know how, I’ll teach them. If they do, I’ll join them. Kubb will be played alone, and with partners. With friends and with foes. I will keep playing kubb. When one game is done, I will immediately set up another game and begin again. I will broadcast the games live for the world to see. For them to see kubb, and the rivers, and maybe an eagle. And Eau Claire, bulding things, knocking them down, erecting kings.

I will play kubb for two days in solidarity with my friends. With Eau Claire, for building things. Where the rivers meet. To make art, and music. To share food and learn. In my own small way I will help keep Eau Claire on the map. I will help put kubb on the map, where the rivers meet. Where Eau Claire unites. Kubb on the Confluence.

Please join me, at the confluence. For a game of Kubb. Before work on Monday. After you vote on Tuesday. Go to where the rivers meet, where the big trees are. Come build something, erect a king. Be part of history. See the eagle. Sit. Unite. Then we’ll celebrate, and rest.

The confluence is special. In it’s current state, people need a reason to go there, to experience it. Kubbathon gives you a reason, before the vote, to spend a few minutes where the rivers meet. 

Kubbathon rules:

(self-imposed guidelines)

-play the game of kubb using US Championship Rules as much as possible (team size will vary)

-we will always use regulation pitch length (8m), width may be adjusted to accommodate for parking space width, terrain changes or obstacles

-the pitch will move to avoid damage to property and accommodate other park/lot uses

-individuals may take breaks, but the batons will be passed and games continuously played in the same space

-games may be interrupted or shortened to accommodate new players, instruction or scheduled appointments

-on Tuesday after 8am, only players who have voted in that day’s election are allowed (kids welcome)


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