Circle of Life
2021 Collection | Up Close & Personal - A healing journey through grief
“Circle of Life”
Canadian Artist, Susan Seitz
Original Acrylic Painting on Canvas
47″ Round Canvas
“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed – to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.”
| Parker Palmer
I did a call out to my community and invited others to share in what ever way felt right to them, their grief story. Some called, some shared a text and/or few words in a message. Many sent letters.
I wanted to create a safe place for those who wanted a witness to their journey. This is the last painting I did in this collection. I waited till all the others were completed and I was available to hold space and under my apple tree, read each letter one by one.
While I was writing this summary underneath my apple tree (just prior to me painting this piece), a wind came through and showered me with apple blossom petals. I looked up and saw the sun shine through the branches where I had taken a photo the day before. I smiled and inhaled the aroma of the blossoms. It reminded me of the circle of life – and the dawn of a new day beginning. This Apple Tree was witness to me witnessing your stories and I was moved so much, I decided to change my plans in the subject matter for this painting.
The apple blossoms that I photographed the day before were all gone days later.
I was originally going to paint a heavenly sky with shadows. I was hoping a more organic decision with this piece, but time was closing and I felt that the sky would be a really great symbol to use. While I sat under my apple tree and the blossoms fell all around me – in that moment I was deeply moved to change the subject matter to the apple blossoms above. I recorded the time of this moment – May 19th 2021 1:48pm
I’ve been having fun with my connections to the numbers – so out of curiosity, I googled what Psalms 148 would say … and I was blown away! Would you consider this a positive sign that I was right to change my subject matter for this painting?
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
In real time – this is what I wrote (before I made the connection to Psalms 148):
While sitting under the tree. Honey bees are buzzing about. The birds are singing and calling out to one another. I hear a blue jay, a dove and a robin. There are 2 other birds that I am not familiar with … but loving their sweet little sounds. The blossoms are falling – the sun is shining through this gorgeous tree. In this moment I am holding space for all of you.
I feel you.
I hear you.
I see you.
The squirrels are jumping from limb to limb.
The scent in the air fills my lungs with lilacs and apple blossoms.
Making their way to earth.
The dandelions in my backyard are shining their brightest light for you. And the wild violets & wild strawberries along with clover & thyme, ferns & forgetmenots and little tiny flowers that look like daisies, fill this space with Grace.
As the new season transitions into the next, Mother Earth holds space while we, as a grieving community, sit in the Devine timing … and when you are ready, and only when YOU are ready – you too, will start again.
Blessing Dear Hearts – may Love surround you, Peace be with you & Hope sustain you.
You are so very loved
This whole time I was going to paint a big sky with tree shadows. It turns out … God had a different plan … I share with you this Apple Blossom inspiration.
A gentle reminder that we are not alone and that we all belong to the Circle of Life.
Studio Reflections ...
The collective grief stories filled my heart as I painted. For me these stories helped me understand that I am not alone in my grief. Somehow these personal stories supported me as I forged through layers on this canvas. Each one echoed as I stumbled through.
Bright yellows to start.
Now the darks have arrived.
This doesn’t feel right – bring in the bright greens, fluorescents and whites!
Just like grief – if you are moved to try something – do it! The process got me moving in and out of this piece. If it doesn’t feel right – pivot and make a different choice.
I need my colours back!
I need my sunshine back!
While painting the apple blossoms, I was reminded how there are 5 petals on this beautiful blossom. The number 5 kept repeating over and over … so I was curious and googled the meaning of the “number 5”.
The biblical meaning of the number 5 is ~ a symbol of God’s Grace. It also symbolizes God’s kindness and favour to humankind.
With the repeat of all these sweet blossoms, five after five after five ~ I felt a sense of Grace upon Grace upon Grace.
My Grandmothers name was Grace. She was never given a middle name. She was the sweetest loving soul. I loved her so very very much.
She passed away the year I was entering high school. Her death had a huge impact on my life. Those were the years I could have really used her support & love.
Gramma Grace was one of my Mom’s favourite people. Gramma Grace was my Dad’s Mom. I remember my Mother telling me Gramma Grace felt like a true Mother to her. She loved her deeply and felt profound grief when she died. My goodness, as I type this I am feeling the “loss of Mothering” in my family lineage.
There it is ~ Grief Just Found Me.
Tears are pouring out.
Feeling all the feels.
I am in awe of this moment. This intuitive moment that lead me to look up the meaning of the number 5, where I sat under the apple tree, where the apple blossoms fell from above and the connection to God was made and I was moved to change my plans for my last painting. Supported by the collective souls that offered their own personal grief story for this collaborate piece. Supporting me on this journey in ways they wouldn’t have imagined. I am in awe that the finally piece to this collection truly comes full circle for me. As it began with my Mother urging me to begin. And now, in the final creation ~ my Mother and her Mother and the Mothers before them, have appeared to me through the heavenly sky, shining down with Grace.
I love you Mom. And I love you to Gramma Grace!
Thank you for your continued guidance and connections to me through my life’s purpose.
Thank you for loving me with all your heart.
Thank you for finding ways to show me you are still here with me.
Thank you to all the collective letters that found their way to my inbox.
And thank you God & Mother Earth for holding them and me and all the souls who grieve in your loving arms.
Grace upon Grace.
We are wondering souls just trying to find our way in all of this.
This circle of life.
Supporting each other along the way.
I love this painting so much!
Looking at in now that its done … its as if all the little white dots are the spirits of our ancestors – gathering and supporting our circle of life.
Art Show and Exhibition at Southampton Arts
July 14 – July 4, 2021
Call to book your scheduled appointment
519 797 5068
10 – 5pm
Book 1/2 hour time slot – 5 people per time slot
There will be no reception due to COVID restrictions