Witnesses to the Resurrection: Color on the Rise

chicoryBy Jim Perkinson, Detroit, MI

Resurrection shows up as color: the riot—bombastic or subtle—that is spring.  The oldest, most ancestral “return” from the grave is clearly the gift of plants—for millions of years now refusing to stay embalmed in earth.  Revealing every tomb as womb, disclosing soil—even dusty versions—as a compost deity!  Indeed, for the indigenous the globe over, the trash heap was the most ancient of shrines, the place where seeds and discards of every manner recombined into life. And Life, in every wild and insurgent upwelling shouts color. What hits the ear as percussion and polyrhythm, titillates the iris as shocking brightness. Red as wily ribaldry; green as svelte grammar; blue as primordial echo of grief or iridescent hint of the kiss of sky on water!   Tribal peoples have always known the truth that color is the first language of trance, of seeing beyond the surface of the present. The world over, resurrection-peoples have squeezed their resistance to the colonial into even so subtle an upsurge as chartreuse shoes and pupil-popping scarves.  In Detroit, Tyree Guyton makes paint a tool of spirit-war, pulling an entire neighborhood out of the grave.   Bronze-toned Jesus and purple chicory: signs of the same.  Irrepressible!

This is part of a series where people are naming the places they see resurrection. Please consider sending your own reflection to lydiaiwk@gmail.com.

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