Hoop of Flowers

San Rafael Bay, June 2021

Date:   June 2021
Location:   San Rafael Bay, Marin County, Northern California
Collaborators:   Amelia Ida Letvin and Jeffrey Blumenthal
Summary:  Hoop of Flowers Offered to the Sea

With access to kayaks and a glimmer of an idea, we set out our raw material. Layering and binding stems and flowers, the hoop took shape. We carefully carried it to the docks then anointed Jeff the hoop-bearer as we draped him with the precious cargo. Amelia and I boarded our skiffs and followed him as he paddled out into the Bay. On the way out, a returning kayaker told us of  the commemoration of a tragic surfing accident in similar ways. We paddled to where the Bay opened and where, to our west, there already existed a shrine of flowers on the shore. Jeff and I carefully set the hoop in the waters. 

The losses of these pandemic times have been enormous. On shore, the hoop seemed to gather intention with each binding of flowers and strengthening of its shape. It’s empty center seemed to hold a weight more than matter. As we placed it in the water, it seemed very small, a token symbol, one hoop among so much sparkling light. A portal that opens in other realms. We spoke of the Buddhist teaching– that achieving a human life is as rare as a sea turtle surfacing for the first time in a 100 years arising into the only golden hoop on the sea. We each said some prayers for the living and the dead and those to be born and whatever words and feelings flowed through our hearts in that moment. We left the hoop drifting there and paddled further out then back into the strait.