Speaking Stones

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“Speaking Stones”; A garden for the Richmond Community Center, San Francisco, CA; Stones, Pavers, Cast concrete,Text, Cast bronze plaque, and other landscaping materials; 30′ x 150′

This project consisted of selecting specific landscaping materials such as trees, herbs and tree grates as well as designing the overall plan of the garden, the path and individual areas in order to create a meaningful environment for the local community. Meandering along the path, through the garden and in the lobby of the Community Center, one encounters lines of poetry carved into rocks, seat walls, walkways and floors. In the center of the lobby is a bronze medallion containing the single word “Hope”. From this central disk, a series of concentric circles radiate out into the garden. The seat walls outside, curve along the same radius. On either side of the street entrances to the courtyard are two 10 foot diameter colored octagons that are inspired by the Bagwa mirror used in Fung Shui. In the center of each octagon is a 3-ft circle of blue pavers laid in concentric rings.

Poem carved into the sidewalk by the entrance at 18th Avenue:

Happy is the moment,
When we sit together,
With two forms,
Two faces,
Yet one soul.
You and I
The flowers will bloom forever
The birds will sing their eternal song,
The moment we enter the garden You and I.

You and I; Jalal-Ud-Din Rumi (1207-1273 Persian)

Poem cast into the seat wall.

Yesterday they were crimson on the branch,
So fresh
That they stained my fingers at a touch.
This morning I searched for them in vain.
For they had already vanished
And lay
At the bottom of the pool.

Fleeting Blossoms; Hsu Fu (11th Century, Chinese)

Poem carved onto a boulder.

Hours are leaves of life and I am their gardener…
Each hour falls down slow.

Susan Morrison (Age 11)

Poem in the lobby.

Sunshine feels like wishes for hopes,
that promise and dance to the music that comes,
to hopes that hear the sound of whispers.
Poetry is like imagination. Like music to your heart.

Tanisha Miller (1995 Lafayette Elementrary School, S.F.)

Poem carved into the sidewalk by the entrance at 19th Avenue:

All hopes- all distance and nearness
Enclosed in one big circle.

Zinaida Gippius (Russian 1869-1945)

Poem carved onto a boulder.

A leaf crashes gently to the ground
A cricket lands lightly on it
And tunes itself for a song.

Jennifer Hodgman (age 10)