This post was first seen on my blog Wanted Chosen Planned as it relates to the rebuilding of my life after the loss of my son Zachary. I featured it there to encourage those who have lost a child to experiment with art (of all kinds: painting, photography, journal writing, etc.) as a means to find healing. I re-post it here as my hope for this blog is to bolster the weary creative spirit within us and to turn our frustration, fear, and failure into the artwork and creative writing that we were born to bring forth.
I have been making sculpture although I am not primarily a sculptural artist. I find the use of my hands in the tactile nature of my recent artwork very soothing. My art has been focusing on the idea that we create our understanding of the world in many ways. When my son Zachary died, my world crashed down. Like a forest burn by fire, I was brought to ash, literally. It is fitting that my artwork uses wood, both natural and manmade. I find this particular piece, “Quiet Rebuild” particularly therapeutic to look at. It reminds me of where I am at, rebuilding my life in a different time, a simpler, basic time where my expectations of the world have been brought into check.
I rebuild my life and my understanding of the world from the burnt forest, atop a humble piece of wood. What I make of my life at this stage is truly of my own invention and each fragment of my understanding of the world comes together in an awkward balance but feels right in the face of everything I have endured.
Art is a personal and unique expression. It may not bring you the answers you search for but it can help you understand the questions you are asking. I encourage you to experiment, play and create like a child. Healing often does not arrive in the way we expect.
“The Quiet Rebuild” – When death comes and takes, it changes us who live. When we see this life as it is, the impermanence of all we hold dear and yet our ability to continue on, to love and value what truly matters, then we rebuild our soul with these lessons, changed yet whole.