This past weekend a friend an I took a photo-road trip through lower Alabama, otherwise known as “LA”. In Montgomery, we went to see the newly opened Memorial For Peace And Justice / ( New York Times Story). It is a moving, stunning exhibit. I am glad that I attended; growing up in the South I have always been aware of the story but I do not think I have experienced the injustice and horror surrounding the lynchings aside from watching as a child and then reading, “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
My parents, both artists, made sure my brother and I were exposed to an age-appropriate level of the inhumanity of southern racial prejudice. I vividly remember being taken to see the “colored beach” in Savanah, Georgia at an age when I was expecting pirates to pop out from behind trees and buried treasure to be found anywhere one dug deep enough in the sand. It was cruel. It was inhumane. The children, my peers, were having just as much fun in the surf as my brother and I had earlier that morning; they were just doing it in water covered with oil slicks; with dead fish floating white-belly up on the small waves. There was a buried oil drum at the water line with rust stains seeping across the sand to the water line; traversing iridescent bands of rust and oil marking the receding tide levels on the “beach”.
So, What’s the connection to this image? you ask.
It is what I found walking back to our parked car. I can not tell you where the petals came from. There were none to be seen anywhere else; they did not come from trees. I can not tell you how these few found their way to sit atop the air conditioning condensation sliding downhill from a car. I can tell you there was no breeze to place them there. I have no explanation other than that I needed to find it.