Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Life as Art

Life as Art,
originally uploaded by siridean.

Lately I've been reflecting a lot about what I write, and why I write. To some the notion of chronicling my daily experience with grief may seem likely a slippery slope. Perhaps it is. But if I'm going down that slope anyway, why not learn from it, grow from it, create from it, and share from it.

My daughter has always had a natural talent for art. From a young age she was able to capture images beautifully through her drawings. With practice, and formal training, she developed an ease about her talent, which really came alive when sketching, especially with charcoal. And although she has put it aside for now, she is blessed with the ability to communicate her feelings, or capture thoughts, through her drawings when needed.

As a child I was one who dabbled in many creative forms. I loved drawing, painting, singing, piano, acting, but most of all I loved writing. As I got older, and began moving further along in my education, then on to my career, I let go of my creative side. My life became more analytical, more pragmatic. Fortunately for me, with parenthood came many school art projects. With home ownership, and kids, came creative decorating. And with love, and loss, I have found my way back to words.

One of the best things about being in love is passion. I'm not talking about sexual passion, although it's pretty high on the list, I'm talking about being ignited with passion about life. When I fell in love with Michael, I became so much more aware of life around me. It's as if my senses were suddenly heightened. I began to feel emotions in a much more dramatic way. If I was happy, I was on top of the world, if I was angry, my blood would boil over. I felt so much more alive. The joy, the true blessing of having a loving partner/spouse, is the freedom to fully express yourself without fear of rejection. With Michael I didn't need to have filters, although I know there were times he wished I had. Even when he was first diagnosed with his brain tumor, and came home from surgery, I could cry with him, and vent with him. He was a very patient man.

What I lost with Michael was that ability to express myself without fear and without worry. I didn't always have to be in control. I didn't always have to be doing well, or present well. This is why grieving him is so difficult. He is who I need. He is who I crave. He is who should be here for me, telling me that one day it will feel okay. And until that day comes, he should be here to put his arms around me.

This is what leads me back to my written words. My writing is the art of my life right now. It is what makes me feel most alive. Everything else is such a struggle. Everything else has to pass through a filter. Here I have made a commitment to not filter my emotions, to not filter my thoughts. Here is where I express what makes others most uncomfortable. None of us want to think of our loved one's as suffering, or going through such a painful experience. We long for them to find peace, to find strength and to find comfort. What we need to do is to hope they have found a way to express what they are going through. When life gets this tough, we cannot will ourselves better. We cannot rush ourselves through it. The best we can do is get through each day, and authentically express ourselves.

I have many wonderful friends. I have many wonderful family members. Some of you are probably, in fact, reading this. I know that it is difficult reading, seeing, and hearing about what I am going through. Remember this, whether you know me personally, or are getting to know me through this blog, this is my art. This is my creation. It is not necessarily something I want to later analyze. It is not necessarily a cry for help. It is my expression of where I am now, today, this minute. It allows me to step back once I have hit the save button, and reflect on where I am a moment later. It allows me to look back the next day, the next week, the next month, and understand myself a little bit better. I try not to judge my words, or to see them as a linear chronology of my grief. I look at, and experience each post, as a singular expression in itself.

My life is out of control. I lost control of my life when I fell in love. I am a bit of a control freak. I don't want to control this. If I feel better tomorrow, then I feel better tomorrow. It says nothing about today, and it probably says little about the next day.

This process is painful because I loved someone, and he is gone. This process is painful because someone loved me, and he didn't choose to leave. I never want to lose that love, and I never want to feel better about losing him. So where does all this leave me? Hell if I know.

If you find beauty in my words, that is what they were meant to evoke. If you find heartbreak, you are likely right on track as well. Try not to over think this. I don't.


  1. my own art has been my voice, sometimes my only voice, for most all of my life. i am glad you have returned, as you say, to the written word. in it there is beauty, there is hope, and there is the celebration of a love so profound that the death of that beloved has left you bereft. you've family and friends. even encompassed by your grief, you are blessed. you are in my thoughts, as all of us who mourn are.

  2. Well I, for one, am glad you have returned to the written word. I recognize so much of what you write in myself and it makes me feel calmer. That said, I shall never be comfortable with the fact that I seem to gain comfort through others' misery. I know that it is a human thing to not want to feel alone in this, but I still don't like the fact.

    Hugs to you

  3. I think for all of us who write online, there is the purpose to share our experience, painful though it is. Yet, as you both say, we all find comfort in the sharing of our experience. This is why I can only benefit from speaking through this process openly, and honestly. If it gives you comfort, it is because your experienced shared comforts me as well.

    I think of this as our collective wailing wall. Think of how alone we would feel without this.