The ceremony held yesterday to honor the victims of the Charleston massacre was well attended and moving. It included statements from the Mayor, prayers by a priest and a rabbi (sorry I don’t have names, I wasn’t there to take notes, and there weren’t enough flyers to go around). One long prayer was broken into sections and read by nine people (or groups of people), each of whom lit a candle in front of a large photograph of one of the deceased. Even reading out very short bios for each victim (church treasurer, pastor, retired pastor, track coach, librarian, great grandmother… ) lent a sense of the enormity of loss suffered by the community — these people were GIVERS. I should say: added another layer to the sense of the enormity of loss. The centerpiece of the ceremony was a rousing sermon delivered by a Reverend from the Myrtle Baptist Church (Alicia Johnson, I believe). She called upon us all to acknowledge the wound of racism (how wide and how deep) and then DO something about it. Surprisingly, there was a lot of hope articulated. “Amazing Grace” was sung by the LoveTones to finish and I might have cried (others did), but for the sound system’s wincing blasts of feedback. I wore a little nine patch on my chest — made that afternoon — to represent the victims. I also wanted to be able to include cloth in the “Hearts for Charleston Quilt” that had been in the energy of this vigil. My larger square was rolled up and tucked in my purse. And get this — do you see the woman standing in the middle of the picture above? I bought that very dress at Savers a couple of years ago and have been using bits of it here or there ever since. TWO STRIPS of it are woven into my Charleston square!! I literally gasped when she stood up. The dark strips below with ivory stamping on it, sometimes barely peeking out, are from that very dress. This synchronicity had a way of making me feel like I was in the right place at the right time, and now I wonder: does all synchronicity do that? Since she read a prayer for one of the victims, I determined that my square should be dedicated to her: Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.
P.S. The heart above is not a ‘go’ but I like the idea of a tiny nine patch occupying its center. Among other things, doing so would give the suggestion of a fractal (if not an actual fractal) — which is a sophisticated style of patterning employed by many African societies (posted about here).