As about 200 people watch, the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” catches fire on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

As about 200 people watch, the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” catches fire on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Just breathe

Annual Homer Burning Basket lights up the Spit on Sunday night

On a dreary, drizzly late-summer evening, Homer’s annual Burning Basket lit up the Spit on Sunday.

Artist Mavis Muller coordinated the construction of the 19th annual basket, “Breathe: A Basket of Remembrance & Unburdening,” and she and volunteers offered it to the community on Sept. 11. As twilight fell, people interacted with the basket, placing notes, origami cranes, small works of art and other mementos. Some honored people who had recently died. One note read “prepare for opportunity disguised as loss.”

A smaller basket attached to Breathe, Sphere of Love, honored Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, the Homer woman who went missing in October 2019. Homer Police have charged a former Homer man with Murnane’s abduction and murder.

People were invited to take spruce cones, think positive thoughts and place the cones in the small basket. People also tied red ribbons to the basket in remembrance of missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from sympathy cards sent to them, and artists folded the envelopes into fans and attached them below the Sphere of Love.

Artists — including students from Little Fireweed Academy — also built and decorated a labyrinth, with the entrance marked “Inhale” and the exit marked “exhale.”

Before torchbearers lit the basket at sundown, Muller spoke of the basket’s theme.

“The first thing we do is inhale,” she said. “The last thing we do is exhale. Everything in between is what matters. That’s all we have to do is breathe.”

People interact with the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People interact with the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

As about 200 people watch, the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” catches fire on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

As about 200 people watch, the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” catches fire on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The Sphere of Love is a memorial small basket for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane placed on the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. People were asked to take three spruce cones, think positive thoughts, and put them in the Sphere of Love. Ribbons tied on the basket honored missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from cards of remembrance sent to them, and the cards were folded into fans on the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The Sphere of Love is a memorial small basket for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane placed on the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. People were asked to take three spruce cones, think positive thoughts, and put them in the Sphere of Love. Ribbons tied on the basket honored missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from cards of remembrance sent to them, and the cards were folded into fans on the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A woman ties a red ribbon on the Sphere of Love, a memorial small basket for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane placed on the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. People were asked to take three spruce cones, think positive thoughts, and put them in the Sphere of Love. Ribbons tied on the basket honored missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from cards of remembrance sent to them, and the cards were folded into fans on the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A woman ties a red ribbon on the Sphere of Love, a memorial small basket for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane placed on the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. People were asked to take three spruce cones, think positive thoughts, and put them in the Sphere of Love. Ribbons tied on the basket honored missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from cards of remembrance sent to them, and the cards were folded into fans on the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Letters spell out "remember," one of the messages people left on the 19th annual Burning Basket, "Breathe," on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A woman ties a red ribbon on the Sphere of Love, a memorial small basket for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane placed on the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. People were asked to take three spruce cones, think positive thoughts, and put them in the Sphere of Love. Ribbons tied on the basket honored missing and murdered people. Murnane’s family donated envelopes from cards of remembrance sent to them, and the cards were folded into fans on the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

One of the portals in the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. People placed notes expressing various sentiments inside the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

One of the portals in the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. People placed notes expressing various sentiments inside the basket. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Little Fireweed Academy students made this garland for the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Fireweed students traditionally visit the basket during build week to help with the basket and a labyrinth. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Little Fireweed Academy students made this garland for the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Fireweed students traditionally visit the basket during build week to help with the basket and a labyrinth. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A fire dancer spins flames at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A fire dancer spins flames at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People interact with the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People interact with the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign marks the entrance to the labyrinth at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign marks the entrance to the labyrinth at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign marks the exit to the labyrinth at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign marks the exit to the labyrinth at the 19th annual Burning Basket, “Breathe,” on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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