I’ve been feeling recently that now the grief has gone there is this void, some kind of space left. I originally called this post the ‘hole’ that grief left, but a hole implies something empty, something that something will fall into, no escape, where as a ‘space’ is more fluid and open, something where things can move in and out as they like, and that’s what it feels like. Not quite sure what it is, but it feels good. I recently wrote that I wouldn’t be writing about grief anymore, but I’ve still have so much to say, whether its grief or after grief it’s still there and writing about it helps me understand it, so I’ll continue.
Feeling this space reminds me of what was there before; pain, hurt, hopelessness, misery, mistrust, loneliness. Thankfully I don’t feel any of these now, and hope never to again. I suppose nothing will ever feel as bad, it’s a good feeling to think that’s all in the past, nothing of that magnitude can get me again, which is a great feeling.
So what is it that needs to fill this space, I’m not sure, someone or something fun I hope. The one good thing that came out of grief for me was it altered my style of work, the way I looked at things changed, my practice changed greatly. I think dark times are far most creative periods for artists, I’m not sure why, perhaps you feel emotions so much more. Most good art comes from dark places, look at Bowie’s new album, a bloody amazing piece of work. He created a masterpiece whilst starring death right in the face, what an amazing piece of work to have done, and more so at that time. So upfront about death. What a way to announce to the world you are dying and then die right after release, what a release in all senses of the word! I can’t stop listening to it, I’m listening to it right now as I write this, I’m in awe of this work and the beauty of his handling of his own death. What a man.
Death is always seen as this dark violent secret thing that happens in private, but I always feel you can have beauty in it. That is what I tried in my Tulip project, it wasn’t about death, it was about love, and the final precious moment my mum had left. I never showed her dying, why would you. I told the story of her last weeks and days, and in that there was real beauty. Beauty doesn’t have to be happy, dark sad beauty is the most intriguing to me. I saw The Revenant film last night, wow what a beautiful film in so many ways. Many reviews said it was mindless violence ‘pain porn’, yes it was violent but not mindless in anyway what so ever, it was not there for entertainment or effect. The story is beautiful, all about the undying love for a child, and gosh what an outstanding way to tell it. A really beautiful piece of art, everything was good: directing, editing, cinematography, sound, everything. A complete understanding of the craft and a trust in what and how they were telling it. My point on this is beauty is not pretty and clean, it’s hard and painful even, and I suppose what I’m saying in general is I hope this space that has emerged in me hasn’t taken away that type of feeling for me, I need to keep that. Life would be so boring if anything was bright and cheery, I like dark, I like depressive (sometimes), I like fellow people with issues and problems especially ones who can laugh at these things, without this life would be dull and boring, and who wants that.
It’s interesting looking through my Tulip project now, after 5 years, seeing things in it I didn’t before. I understand why my mum didn’t want to see it until she ‘was all better’. Who would want to see their progression into death, especially when you are finding it hard to come to terms with it yourself. We don’t do death well in our society, so I totally understand why she didn’t want to see it. But I think she might have been pleasantly surprised how I found the beauty in her story. I know she would want to see it now, and as I get ready to send it off out into the public world I think in someway she will be able to now. As these next few weeks unfold, getting closer and closer to finally releasing my project to the ‘world’ I feel my control relinquish, I’m letting go, it has it’s own life now and perhaps I do too…