Choose to Bloom window mural with

featuring words by Tonya Ingram


Beautiful words by Tonya Ingram painted with permission.

When I won this call for artists to brighten up some large windows at the Orchard Town Center, I wanted the phrase to carry meaning relevant to this heavy year, and bring some encouragement to those passing by. My friend Lydia introduced me to Tonya Ingram's writing—she's a mental health advocate, kidney transplant hopeful due to Lupus, and amazing Black female poet.

Tonya's original quote said "Despite the condition of the soil, I will choose to bloom," but I found a recent post where she changed the phrasing to "we." In her words: "despite the condition of systemic racism. despite the condition of police brutality. despite the condition of another name on a hashtag. despite the death. despite the injustice. despite the evil of white supremacy. despite hatred. despite the heaviness we are blooming. we always have. we always will."

In this instance, "we" might not be about me, but I want to use my art to amplify Tonya's words and share her strength. Despite walking a long road of living with a chronic illness, despite this dark year—she chooses to bloom and reminds others that they can, too.


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© 2018 Hillery Powers