Wholesale displacement may be inevitable; but we should not suppose that it occurs without disastrous consequences for the earth and for ourselves.
– Scott Russell Sanders, Staying Put, Making a Home in a Restless World
My father, when lost, sought Polaris – star-shine surpassing luminous sun – his symbol of love and home. Polaris, sighting my father, set him to “making a home in a restless world” – what would be his life-long labor of love. An architect under St. Patrick’s wings, he transformed with Mayo the hospitals into homes redolent with Rumi gardens and hospitality’s arts.
Imagine being a young teen from Korea awaiting your sixth open-heart surgery in green garden’s affectionate arms and returning this touch by touching red velvet Austen Rose petals while beholding “Earth’s Children,” the sculpture of hands and feet held around the globe and knowing that your two best friends in Seoul are holding your hands and feet.
Or imagine being a widow confined yet buoyed by lazuli-blue-bright sky, erasing four walls, to set sail with Chagall’s dream of floating up, up, up into the cosmos of your wedding day with your lost, now found beloved – pausing on Beethoven’s island of trembling Spring‘s Sonata Number Five and forgetting completely the tatters of your torn life. Or imagine the sculpted Rodin-like Asclepius whose Polaris-arms surrender to uplifting you above desires and loathings to behold true cosmic north – home – homeostasis – hospitality – front-line of health, liberty, happiness, all besting the sapphire-hot joy of distant Icarus (once reliant upon Daedalus-wax-and-feather wings) now dancing joy’s frenzy, not to forget how fragile we all are, but to remember our strength – our wise and medicinal innocence and our calling to make of our hearts a home to have and to hold, to liberate and to love what shines through all the bodies that cannot last.
Ann Reed is a poet, Chinese calligrapher-brush painter and professor of English Literature and Theory of Knowledge. She has taught in Malaysia, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and China, where traditional cultures regard literature a medical art. Her postdoctoral research studies the mending arts of Early Modern English and Contemporary Poetry. Her Chinese calligraphy and brush paintings have been exhibited in Portland, Oregon and at the Shenzhen Fine Arts Museum in China. Her poems have been published in various literary journals, including Burningword Literary Journal.
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