Roots of Arlington: New Video Project from Peter Gordon

Arlington poet, playwright, artist, and videoist Peter Gordon, has produced a new series of video shorts which will play on ACMi’s Public channel. The contemplative, narrated videos focus of the literal “Roots of Arlington”, Gordon’s title for the series, and their unique majesty as seen in a local cemetery, curbside on local sidewalks, around train tracks, and in other places “Here and There” in our town.

You may watch these four videos here.

To read a description of the project in the artist’s own words, see below.

Notes for the Roots of Arlington video project produced by Peter Gordon, 2012

A child at a kitchen table in the town claiming to be the Birthplace of American Liberty. Conversation, weighted words passing overhead, uncomprehended, unheard. A table from which he fled, climbing to the top of a pine tree where he began to listen among ants, moths, birds. Where he began to watch clouds obscure stars, or release them. He fled again, to film, to paint, to paper and words. Provoked, he lived for both light and its absence.


Decades later, removed to the town next door, a pilgrim not done walking, he again came to trees, a pilgrim now looking down as if clouds and stars had become exhausted, no longer eye magnets. Walking, looking down, in the cemetery where some of the creators of his new town, indeed of his nation, he noted the stones, carved with printed words, which held them down, held them in time’s embrace. Stones themselves held by roots. Yes, held by trees also walking in the cemetery, walking with light while seeking sustenance from the dark silence below, trees writing their own biographies, their common history. Fulfilling their mysterious purpose, sucking up ancient nutrients so that their present could become their future. Roots, skinny or burly, straight or coiled, heedless of stones and flags, each generation seeking eternity but no Shakespeare, no Paul Revere, among the multitude of acorns, no voice other than the wind to cry out the alarm, Life is but brief!


No voice to memorialize their having been except this embalming lens preserving Cemetery.


Yet so many more roots! In combat with other tombstones, Curbs and Sidewalks, even a paved Railroad. In combat Here and There, and often winning.


And so the child, grown old if not wise, continues to carry the light-capturing device.

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March 25, 2013