Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 9 of 365

Today is one year, at - actually right about this time- I got a phone call from my dad. He led up to what he was going to say in such a way that I went outside.

Nana had died.

Normally, I am not one to harp on people who have passed away. I don't understand why people tattoo loved ones with their date of death on their bodies, make memorial stickers and put them on their vehicles, or make a t-shirt with the loved one's death information on it. That kind of grieving or coping just makes no sense to me. Tattoos of things that remind you of your loved ones, I get. I've painted cardinals on Christmas cards in memory of my Pawpaw. I've bought polar bear Christmas cards for my Grandpa Pete. I've loved prisms and talked to passing milkweed seeds for my Grandma Lee. It is through my own memory though, that I remember the day they passed away. Every holiday from Thanksgiving to, formerly Christmas, now my birthday has been touched by the loss of some of my most loved family. Day after Thanksgiving, I lost Pawpaw. Two days before Christmas, I lost Grandma Lee. Five days before my birthday, I lost Nana. I hate the holidays for this reason. But I miss them so much.

So I guess the fact that I spent today animating is now in honor of them. Hug a loved one today.

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, two days ago I wrote the best anything I have written in many years on here and when I tried to upload it, it disappeared. I've been upset and somewhat "broken hearted" ever since because it was the right thing to send you at the right time and was meant to be encouraging and enlightening and entertaining. My mood has been wrong since then to re-write it but I will make the effort now. Please accept it for what it is because of who it is from.

    Amanda, Every day is some ones' birthday, and every day many people pass away; some fighting their way out of this world, some pass very peacefully. Your four grandparents were all blessed to leave this world in a peaceful manner, all but my mother passed away in their homes quietly and without real pain. Life leads to death but life is NOT about death, it is about what we put into living, sharing, loving and caring for those around us and hopefully finding something at the end other than regrets or bitterness.
    Some of your genetic makeup is from my mother who was an artist. She loved to create using oils, watercolors, pencils and even dabbled in mixed media work. Her real love was conceptual pieces by Salvador Dali, flower and garden works by Asian artists and those inspirations led her to painting in oil in a style not unlike Van Gogh, whom she definitely was inspired by. My point is, YOU are an artist using pencil, ink, photography, motion animation, sculpture and you have a lot of skills and much talent. Your talent is desperately trying to spring forth for the world to see it, understand it and appreciate it. Whether you paint Christmas cards, animate a movie or just sketch it is all YOUR expression through the use of a medium. It is what you were born to do and we all knew it from when you were very young. Make ART, DO ART, CREATE and CREATE some more.
    Please don't think about NaNa's death at your Birthday, or my mom's death near Christmas, or PawPaw's death at Thanksgiving. Those are just dates on a calendar, printed to remind us of upcoming appointments, and remember the things we did on a certain day in the past. Don't associate their deaths with Holidays but celebrate their lives with their zest for art, with being who they were in their time on earth and passing those genes to you. When I see the light generated by my mom's prisms in our window I think of her and talk to her because that time of all that flashy spectral color moves and then disappears, only to return the next morning. I thank her for appreciating that the prisms were designed by an engineer, created by a craftsman *(artist), sold to someone who appreciated what all of them did to get that splashy color on the wall each day. I have to appreciate all of them when I see that color. When you talk to milkweed as they float by, tell them your story, let them take that story to another place and plant themselves there and grow, for that is its purpose; same as your purpose is to create art and inspire others to grow.
    My mother had a fascination with Butterflies. The more gaudy and colorful their wings the more she loved them. In many cultures the butterfly represents change, ascension and resurrection as it evolves from a crawling ground-bound caterpillar to a wrapped and covered stage *(death) and ascends or is resurrected into a beautiful creature that flies everywhere. It is a spiritual analogy to Christ's life, death and resurrection. I hope every butterfly is a vehicle to carry a spirit around to a new place to enjoy a fine garden, or water feature and delight all who see it. All this writing is simply a way to suggest to you to look at your life with a more spiritual view and look at your grandparent's deaths to smile and encourage YOU to do the art YOU want to do and display it to others. You do it for love and for your personal expression and we watch to see what creation YOU will bring us next. All my love for all time. Your Dad.