On display June – August 2021, Rinconada Park
Local artist Robin Mullery has installed “armbands” on 19 trees to visualize how our community has been separated yet banded together to protect one another during the pandemic. The bands are in bright colors with a black fabric underneath, representing both our shared loss and hope. The title comes from Brenda Hillman’s book and poem with the same name, exploring the idea of a universe founded on the tensions of opposites; light and dark, spirit and matter, existence and non-existence – and as in our experience throughout the pandemic, separate and banded together.
In spring, the great pines waited a little faster.
on their big circles, under the earth
and the orchid, which always came back
to the same slanty light
in the forest floor
pushed toward the edges of itself.
Lovers, are you there? Why were you one body
in that moist boat. The flower
could touch you everywhere like a party,
that series of bright confetti
in its throat—
Joy! What is it. Where does it come from;
where does it go? Sunlight
seized the flat leaves;
there should be more witnesses at the edges of the self
where everything is both.
The oak moths,
holding pale tomorrows,
dropped on invisible threads before the flower,
the part that wasn’t ready
stayed inside a little longer
and the part that was ready to be something
Hillman, Brenda. “Bright Existence” from Bright Existence © 1993 by Brenda Hillman. Published by Wesleyan University Press and reprinted with permission.
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