Aug 21, 2015
Art selection and comment by Lil Copan
Born and raised in New Mexico, Robert Kelly is influenced by Native American and Latino-Mexican cultures which are rich in beliefs, symbols, and rituals. He writes of how forms and symbols become deeply personal through the process of painting—“not breaking away from their sources, but maintaining meanings.” Regarding Creation of the Waters, he recalls visiting a Cistercian monastery where “everything was pared down” save the “primitive renderings of leaves and motifs relating back to creation of the waters.”
Everything in the world begins with a yes. Clarice Lispecter
For Bishop Tom
In the beginning there is only Yes, infinitesimal, infinite, invisible seed sprouting in the swirling dark, the slow integration, expanding, extending, the sudden explosion into light—baby, blossom, universe, all beginnings are the same—and Yes to a world begun before words where nothing separates this from that, and Yes to the senses alive before language, bird song, leaf shadow, skin touching skin, and Yes to Tom whose injured brain erases speaking, reading, names, but through hands cupped upon bent heads, his unimpeded heart pours forth with nothing to restrict the flow of Yes in beginning and Yes in the end.
This is an updated version of the poem that appears in the print edition.