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Monday Mourning: The Rivers and Tides of Grief

September 21, 2020:

Tomorrow is officially the first day of Fall. I adore this season for its influx of color and transitional slowing down pace. Watching the leaves and landscapes change makes me think of my favorite artist Andy Goldsworthy. He’s known for using materials immediately available to him in whichever natural setting he’s chosen (forest, riverbank, beach, snow, etc.). Temporariness is a main theme - his work is created and then left for nature to reabsorb.

In 2001, a documentary was made about Andy and his work called “Rivers and Tides.” In it, he talks about how the death of his young sister-in-law greatly impacted him. Her death created a hole in his and his brother’s lives. Andy processed his grief and memorialized his sister-in-law by creating radiating works of various natural materials, each with a hole in the center.

Andy’s works reflect on fragility, temporality, change, and process. There’s a child-like exploratory connection to nature underlaid by sorrow and grounding. When I watch “Rivers and Tides,” I’m reminded to approach life and death with curiosity, gravity, and understanding. I’m also reminded that each of us can use our strengths to connect with our individual process of loss.

What’s something you’ve created to process your grief or memorialize your person?

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