Monday 12.04.2021 tears and lilies and dates

The first thing I notice today as i sweep into The Glen is a long tear in the bark of one of the young trees lining the downward path. A tear in the bark is a massive trauma for a young tree and I wonder about its survival as I see the exposed fibres of its vegetative flesh straggling the length of the wound. There are 3 little purple squares like useless band aids pressed into and around the wound. On these squares are printed images of planets and galaxies, the dot matrix of halftone colour separation and striations of lifted ink produce a kind of weathering across the surface that chimes and mocks the raw injury of the living tree and does something strange to my sense of space and scale.

I walk East, along the parade of swamp cypresses and over the carpet of withered daffodil leaves still there strewn about (where else would they be?) towards the Fleischmann place. Here I find some Arum lilies in rude good health nestling among the ruined walls. I’m a little unnerved by these strange flowers, perhaps because of their association with Easter (the Calla lily) they remind me of religious iconography, Our Lady in a flower. The Arum lily is also known as the Cuckoo pint, from medieval times, when it was believed to be an aphrodisiac, not the poison we know it today. More recently it’s known as “Lords and Ladies”, perhaps because that obvious central figure, the spadix, comes purple in male and yellow in the female flower. The Spadix I discover is a powerful heat generator that emanates an irresistible stench for female midges, luring them to their hairy base and once entangled, enfolding them in their cloak-like ‘spathes’, keeping them captive and snug. Early next morning the lily unfolds, releasing the happy pollen coated flies to another day and another arum that will be their next resting place. The fern fronds are unfurling from their baby fuzz and the Elders are forming flowers already.

The rain threat of rain has passed and the afternoon warms up so I decide to visit The Hatch, just as i arrive a couple take up a place on the wall and I pass by the knobbly conglomerate that usually draws me to lean into the the rushing water, not for me today to lay my belly down over the flow of the ancestors. In passing some scratches catch my eye and I make out a date and some initials.

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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