Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grief: Wonder Grows Anyway

I went to a process painting class.  In process painting you paint from your instinct.  No skill required.  I was going to paint Artie in his hospital bed and then put layers of black covering everything.  Thick thick black.  I'm not much of an artist.  I started by putting the paper at an angle - since everything in my life feels off center.  Then I drew the hospital bed in black and Artie lying on it.  To my surprise I took a small brush and curls of red and orange and pink shot up from the bed and all around the paper.  Then I got the biggest brush I could find and started with the black.  It streaked as it went over the center where Artie was.  When I first met Artie he had a condo in Phoenix with a small balcony.  I bought him a tree. No one had ever done that for him before.  It was a solanum - lots of green leaves and tiny purple flowers.  Wherever we lived we planted one and called it our love tree.  At the celebration of his life I rented two and they were on either side of the couch where I and a friend sat at the front for the celebration.  As I painted big red arrow came out of his heart pointing up and then it turned into a tree.  Green sprouted out from the black - from the border and the hospital bed - and everywhere in addition to the big love tree that was coming up from the center.  Everywhere on all the green sprouts there were purple flowers.  It wasn't what I intended.  I intended to let the black take over - but it refused.  Like my life.  I feel that the black has taken over but I keep going out and doing things.  Keep filling my life with growth while I wait to be with Artie again - hopefully I will.  It's hard to adjust to his body not being here.  Sometimes the sadness is too much.  I bought a beautiful necklace today - I want to wear it for him.  And yet...things keep growing out of the black.  Maybe our love is such a rich soil things can't help but grow in it.  Watered with tears. 

The funny part was that we were standing on cardboard to protect the floor.  Everyone had very clean cardbooard.  Mine was covered in paint.  I had brushes in my smock pocket and in my hand and a pallet (interesting slip - a pallette for paint - not a pallet for a dead body!).  Painting like a crazy lady.  Then I covered a second piece of paper in a purple wash.  I was going to go back today but my allergies took over.  I was going to write I don't want to be happy - then I broke it down - I don't want to be.  I don't want to.  I don't want.  I don't.  I.  There it was.  Eventually it's I.  I liked we better but now it's I (in an earthly body) and I have to choose what words to put after the I and try to act on them - or maybe not do that all.  Probably do it sometimes - and other times just escape from the fact that Artie's dead and dream we are still together.  He says we are.  I know that - but I mean pretend he can walk in the door later and give me a big hug.  I know he can't - but in my imagination I can create anything.  A very powerful thing that - imagination.

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