Due to the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic in 2020, masks have been an important part of both battling the infection and keeping healthcare workers safe, while also providing safe care. Working in hospice I've now had a great deal of patients and met a great number of family members who I only know by their eyes and not the rest of their faces - and what I find amazing is how much we can understand and communicate from just using our eyes for facial expressions.
Thank you to these friends and to all healthcare workers who are striving to help during these difficult times.
|Jen, Hospice RN Case Manager|
|Stephanie, Hospice Medical Social Worker|
|Ashley, Hospice RN Case Manager|
|Jo, Facility RN|
|Michael, Hospice Medical Social Worker|
|Florence, Hospital Medical Social Worker|
|Sheila, Hospice LPN|
|Amber, Hospice Medical Social Worker|
|Penny, Hospice Resource RN|
|Sue, Hospice Music Therapist|
The great I
Both Masked and Unmasked Once the Same the Same the 01001001
Cry the Scream the Silence Complicit 01001001 see the I in me and in I
01001001 See you but Pretend not
Flow the See the Time starts now and turn me away to 01001001
Unmasked and Masked I see the Pretend the Face I cannot see
01001001 see so more clearly
The great I
Through Fingers barren the freedom of I The Rights of I the obsession of I
Not the me who you through trust I
but me - recognize Me through your eye
Run the time through Fear of you
Disguised as the glorification of 01001001
Touch from Afar but far from touch
Disconnected through I of 01001001
I walk away from the You that is not Me
Masked yet Unmasked 01001001
The photo is a reflection on how in the time of SARS-CoV-2, though many people are masked both literally and/or metaphorically through being hidden behind a computer, tablet, or phone screen, people have become a lot more vocal about their beliefs. But without face to face communication much is lost in translation and much misunderstanding is perpetuated (I'm part of this problem just like everyone else).
The "I" in a negative sense emerges - a disturbing trend of people focusing more on themselves than on others, perpetuated often times through electronic communication which serves to both advocate beliefs that can be harmful, and as a way to rally people to commit harmful acts. This has been intensified by the murder of George Floyd and other people of color in a time that already has significant social challenge. This photo is black and white as a reminder of how important discussions of race are right now, and how important it is to be anti-racist to the absolute best of our abilities.
01001001 is the binary code for capital I - in the brief reflection/poem above the number 01001001 should be read as "I." This is the number stamped on my hands as well, as the electronic communication that can fuel both good and evil is generally entered by hand (or thumbs). My phone is in my hands as a placeholder for the phones, tablets, and computers we communicate with.
Mask from Diop, a black-owned business based out of Detroit
Though the words of the reflection are all my own I need to give a nod to Evanescence's 2011 song 'My Heart is Broken' written after Amy Lee and her husband got involved in an organization that helps rescue victims of sex trafficking, which is where my titling of my piece came from. Video here.
My Heart Is Broken
The trees will memorialize all of the hospice patients who pass away by placing the number of leaves on the tree of each season to match the number of hospice patients who have passed away that season. The leaves will hang on the tree for a year, then when that season comes again we will send out new leaves to the the families of those patients which match the tree of the season that their loved one passed away during. The first tree that will contain leaves will be the winter tree, which will have 667 leaves made out of white, blue, and clear glass from patients who passed away during the winter of 2019-2020. The 'overview' photo with leaves will be updated by season as it will be a full year before all four trees have their first round of leaves on them.
The trees are installed at the Allina Hospice and Home Health office at 1055 Westgate Drive STE 100 in St. Paul, MN. Due to infection prevention concerns due to SARS-CoV-2 the office is currently closed, but once the state is no longer shut down the area that the trees are installed in will be open to public access.
Each tree contains 600 53" 15 gauge aluminum wires, which is approx. a half mile of wire each tree. Additionally, the seasons are marked by 7 colored wire bands in the trees - green for summer, gold for fall, blue for winter, and light pink for spring. Around these colored wire wraps are twists of three 26' foot wires which bind the trunks together The leaves represent the patients, the branches and wires within the trunks represent the patients' families, and the colored wire bands and wraps around the trunks and into the branches are meant to represent the hospice team doing their best to bind together the hospice families and their patients during difficult times.
The leaves are being created by brilliant hot-glass artist Alli Luhmann (www.alliluhmann.com)
Overview photos. These photos will be updated as the leaves are added.
(Note - the fall tree was the final tree to be completed. The red wire is both my signature and indicates the last three wires to be twisted together during the first part of the tree creation - cutting and twisting wires into groups of three. The small blue wire at the top of the tree indicates the last loop to be made at the end of the branches - loop number 2400.)