|Healing, from the Oracle, a series of 49 digital images by Tanya Torres. 2014|
by Jesús Papoleto Meléndez
I loved you so much
once; Now I can’t remember
how we used to kiss.
Love acts as Nature;
Breeze in the trees’ memory,
Fleeting as snowflakes.
The opening of Passages was a success. The Oracle was on the wall, not as I originally intended, but it worked well. The images were placed randomly on a large wall, forming a square. The first card I made was in the center: Peace. The four elements surrounded it. And then the other cards.
As the night went on, I gave out the matted oracle cards I had prepared for the guests. Each person chose one without looking. And the stories, associations and coincidences began happening.
The woman who got "home" had the most amazing story: there is a pregnant belly image. Her husband wants to have a child now that they have a house and proper jobs. Then her friend, whom I had met briefly at another event and given an inspiration infusion (she actually did quit here job after that, she told me… always makes me feel a little guilty and a lot happy for her…) came back to ask me about the background image in her card "vision". "Is it an Oscar?" she asked without daring to believe it. When I said yes, her smile was even wider. She said it was the perfect card for her.
Another woman got "bliss". Her son had graduated from high school that day and she was feeling very happy. It was the right card for her.
A man got "fire." I could almost have guessed that would be the card for him. He told me that it was the card he had been looking at on the wall. And that it was perfect for him.
My friend Sery got "abundance." He said his house is decorated in green, and he embraced abundance. It worked well.
Some people were afraid to look at me or come get a card. I must have been a strange sight. An artist actually talking to strangers in a gallery opening. I would catch their eye sometimes, and invite them, but still, they stayed away. Then at the end, I left a few on the pedestal and went to sit away from the crowd. Then I saw some of them go and pick one.
And Papoleto Meléndez, the Nuyorican poet, got "prayer" but said that he had a poem for my oracle, titled "Healing." I think it is the perfect poem, it is the poem that predicts the Oracle.
He told me that he wrote this poem when he realized that he was thinking about a woman he had loved a lot, but he could not remember how a kissing her felt. Then he found that the poem he wrote had the structure of a haiku, but a haiku needs to be about nature. So he reworked the poem, and II. was born. I think both the poem(s) and the process are enlightening and beautiful.
Later that night, a cup of wine fell on the extra deck of cards that I had left there for people to see and play with. Peggy, the poet, said that it had been approved by the gods. Those who know about Afro-Caribbean religions know what she is talking about. Her words helped me get over the confusion and disappointment I was beginning to feel. It did get a little crazy in the Bronx Art Space as the audience grew around the poetry and rearranged the art. But I'm sure it all ended up well in the end. (Except for my oracle deck, which was wet…)
I had to leave, but here is a picture.
|Oracle at Bronx A rt Space, part of Language is Identity,|
curated by Yolanda Luz Rodríguez Delgado and Josué Guarionex Colón. Photo by Josué Guarionex.
If you want to see the Oracle in person and do the card reading, then be in my VIP list so I can invite you to my studio when I come back to New York after my two summer journeys to New Mexico and Puerto Rico: Sign up for my VIP List in my new website. Or come to New Mexico and join me at Bright Rain Gallery on Friday, July 18th at 6:30 p.m. for a presentation of my objects and a poetry reading from my pendant book Sophia's Light.
Thank you Papoleto for sharing your beautiful poems. And thank you all who attended the exhibition!