When I was ten years old my mother passed away quietly in her sleep. Death came to my mother in her 40th year and it hit our family completely unprepared. I am the youngest of the four children and I didn't actually know what happened until I came home from school that day. I will never forget climbing up onto my dad's lap and weeping. My life changed forever in that moment. The next day when I walked to school it seemed so strange that the whole world was just going forward like it always did. Something had come to a stop in my life like the slow motion film clip of the crash test dummies going through the windshield. My mother had gone away for ever, stopped existing but the rest of the world carried on.
As with all terrible things there was a gift hidden within the event of my mothers death. I learned from an early age that we can survive horrible things. Life becomes difficult and then it gets better. It is as if life has a sort of wave pattern like the sea alive with its waves and of course so is sound. Eventually my wound and leave me with a glorious scar. In two years my father would find a new life partner (still with her 44 years later) and my lost mother was replaced- sort of.
When I think back to this early dance with death I think that it may have been the moment that I became an artist. That day I walked to school and noticed how strange I felt and how separate I was from the rest of the world, maybe I was stepping into my artist destiny. I believe artists endure a certain separateness. This separateness the artists feel is not one that makes them in any way better or worse. They are still obviously part of the human family. It is the separateness that the shaman feels in his village or perhaps the prophetess that speaks to the people on behalf of God. There is this certain out side looking in that I have always felt. Ok, maybe it's is too grandiose to think that artists might be speaking for God (tho I think Joan of Ark certainly was and what artist doesn't identify with Saint Joan?). Another way to think about this is just that artist have a hard time fitting into the regular world and so they end up making their own world. They make it the way they want it to be or feel that it should be. In my world death is not the end but a new beginning. Death is a stepping over into another kind of life. Death is when our time to take or test is over and it is time to hand in what we have completed. Death is the stopping point for when we rise up into our next life.