The Community Rejuvenation Project cultivates healthy communities through beautification, education, and celebration. We achieve this mission through experiential programs that promote professional development, artistic and cultural expression, and community empowerment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Releasing the Prayer

One of the mural's destroyed in the Funktown Arts District was a memorial of my grandmother, Bama. I started this a few months before she passed away and was able to bring her a blown-up photograph on my last visit to see her. We used it to cover up her television. When she passed away, I made some additions to the mural and placed flowers, candles and food in front of it to remember her and make her transition easy. During the year after she left, I would return to the wall periodically to remember and appreciate her presence in my life.

I probably would have left the mural up forever. The sudden destruction of the piece gave me a quick shock but I quickly realized the temporary nature of our paintings. Mike 360 taught me that our murals are like Tibetan sand paintings and that the prayers are not complete until they are erased. The tibetan spend up to two weeks constructing elaborate mandalas with sand only to sweep them up a broom immediately upon completion. No photograph is taken. No record is kept. This teaches us about the transitory nature of the universe.

While I was restoring another space on the Parkway, a beautiful Eritrean woman came by and I asked her for permission to photograph her. She had a beautiful spirit and I knew that she should take my grandmother's place. Eventually she will be releasing butterflies from her uplifted hand to represent the release of the prayer back into the universe. I am glad that this stage of the prayer is complete and thankful to the person who destroyed my grandmother's portrait for reminding me of the transitory nature of the universe.

- Desi W.O.M.E


  1. it was beautiful! why must people destroy what is good?

  2. I appreciate the perspective you bring to what would otherwise seem like a pointless destruction of something beautiful, Desi. I just wonder if the person who destroyed the mural of your grandmother in the first place had any intention whatsoever beyond that simple, destructive act. I'm so pessimistic that I would think not. :(