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“PRESENCE THROUGH ABSENCE - COVID MEMORIAL” - To mourn the lives cut short and to spread the light of hope through the darkness during these tragic and unprecedented times.
COVID 19 - A disease that is powerful, potent, destructive, and has taken the lives of many.
It continues to destroy physical, mental and emotional health,
relationships, the economy, and much more, all through the power of TOUCH.
A minuscule yet deadly virus has attacked, and rapidly spread to every corner of this world.
“Presence Through Absence” is based on the concept of the power of touch.
COVID 19 may have stripped us from the power of physical touch,
but has enhanced the power of meaningful, heartfelt, intangible touch.
Here in Joe Palaia park in New Jersey,
centered around the Jewish Syrian community where many have passed on, we fuse together two strong ideas.
Physicality is represented above ground and spirituality below ground,
portraying the physical and non physical ways in which the victims of COVID have touched and affected this world
and the people close to them.
Above ground is life, presence, physicality, and strength.
An unknown virus came about and affected the entire world simultaneously.
People affected by this virus, who were not ready to pass on,
along with their families and loved ones, were taken by complete surprise,
yet fought hard to hold on until the unfortunate end.
Monumental hands, longing and reaching out to touch each other,
are a representation of physicality and strength that victims had while fighting for their last breath.
They are a symbol of the love, courage and perseverance that these victims endured throughout this tragic time.
Underground, there is absence, darkness and empty space,
with only a ray of light shining down from above.
COVID is invisible to us, however it completely surrounds us and controls us.
It is not physical,
it cannot be seen, heard, smelled, touched, or felt, but can still rule our lives.
Through the darkness, the empty space, and the absence,
COVID has forced us to use our sense of touch in a non physical way.
We must shine our hearts light, strong enough to be seen and felt,
through the emptiness and the darkness, onto those around us.
We must take this opportunity to touch like we have never touched before,
with the intention and hope, to bring meaning and happiness into the world.
The COVID victims will always be remembered as they shine their warm light down through the darkness,
illuminating us with their presence through absence.
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