“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are the messengers of overwhelming grief,
of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
La Artists - a painting by my friend and colleague, Tamra Sanchez
. . . HeaL . . .
Today is El Dia de Los Muertos, the day we celebrate and honor the lives of loved ones who have crossed over before us. I have been thinking so much about loss lately, mourning and grieving with my community and friends here in Santa Rosa. In this short blog I am considering what other losses that I might observe: One's home, one's community, one's livelihood - one's nest egg, one's breast, one's health . . . one's country.
It takes time to come to the point of celebration as in this ancient tradition. Life lived hand in hand with death. Loss requires a deep grieving and much courage.
There was a time in my life that in my deepest grief I could not paint, didn't even want to. The viceral event that brought me back to painting was during the time while my daughter was in chemo, a young mother with two very young children. That was the point that painting became a paramount part of my survival, a strange and arresting alchemy.
Regarding El Dia de Los Muertos, in the same way that I I dance with my departed grandson - I dance with the memory of other great losses, because they are what made me who I am today. I look at my life and see a stunning, unending thread. I see the brilliant colors of the frontside and the shadowy backside of a tapestry, all in interconnected with each other, all so genuine and poignant. Today I celebrate the beauty of life and just how Lucky I have been to have lived both sides with such generous benevolence.
Indeed, one has to look for the lucky part to see it. I send my deepest condolences and heartfelt love to all effected by the fire. Be gentle with yourselves.
-Jill Keller Peters
You may also want to read:
It Looks So Simple and Easy, Right?
Two Artists Under One Roof
Do Something Beautiful
"The Greens Are Envious of Each Other"
Why All Those Squares, Anyway?
Luminous Color Explorations