Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 76: Death and clay

I spent most of today at the wheel, trimming yesterday's pieces, and making two large bowls for a couple of the pug rescue volunteers. We just got Netflix hooked up to our PS3 so we can stream instant movies on our television, so I put on Art 21 in the background while I worked. It was an episode about emotion in art. I was half listening to a female sculptor talk about learning to weld and making huge rusty sculpture while drinking beer, something she originally pictured as a male thing, and I was smiling to myself as I worked. Then she quite casually said "Recently, everyone I loved died," and began to talk about her new installation about loss and sadness. She built a huge mass of black and white nests of roots that overtook the gallery. It was really beautiful.

I immediately began to pay attention, because it struck me as such an absurd statement for someone to make. Even at the end of your life, most people have someone left around that they love. I realize that not everyone does, and I find the thought terrifying. It's one of my biggest fears, outliving everyone. It's why I'm so afraid of growing old. I'm afraid at some point I'll be all alone, with just memories and sadness. I don't want the end of my life to be that way. The thought of losing even one person dear to me fills me with so much sadness, I can hardly bear it. I know that people in their 80's and 90's have lost a lot of people they knew simply to old age and time, which is sad enough; but this woman couldn't have been any older than 50, and she's already lost everyone dear to her. Everyone she's ever loved.

I found it strange that this is something I've been thinking about so much recently - I think ever since Dad's accident, when I wasn't sure if he'd be ok, and then reading Time Traveler's Wife -  and I just happened to come across this episode about a woman who's lost everyone, and she continues on. She makes work about it. I don't know if I would be that strong. It seems unimaginable to me.

On a lighter note, here is some of the stuff I've been making. It's all very simple, but I'm happy to be throwing again. I'm out of time for today because I have work in 40 minutes, but I figured out what I'll be doing with my 20 cups. I'll post more about that on Friday.

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