Studio Reflections …
Field of Dandelions
It was the night of the 3rd lockdown announcement in Ontario. Friends had started a
Facebook group sharing thoughts around the vaccine and joking about needing to get
some more wine. I piped in to say I would be into drinking heavily, but honestly have
no money to purchase it! I laughed (because crying was so exhausting at this point. I
then said, wait! My grandfather use to make dandelion wine … to which I added “I am
so deeply sad and trying not to go down the rabbit hole of despair. And loving
dandelions that I do, I said – “I need something happy to paint!!! So I’m going to paint
a field of dandelions tomorrow and calling it … f**k the neighbours! I laughed
hysterically with the biggest stress release in a long time.
A perfect metaphor reflecting grief as a process – how we, as a society, think we have
to “do grief” a certain way. Or make our grief story easier for friends & family to
manage. Society telling us “its time to be strong and move on” or “at least you have
the memories” or “they were old and lived a good life”, as if that makes the sorrow
less. Feeling the pressure to move on because that is what you think society is
expecting – so you do – you tighten up, push down and put aside your natural flow into
healing, in order to make others feel more comfortable.
Dandelions – have you ever felt the pressure that you need to cut your grass or spray
your lawn because your neighbours are pointing fingers at your field of dandelions?
What would it feel like to say “f**k the neighbours” and you do your life (your grief) the
way that feels right for you?
Even the choice of the words used in the titled made me feel uneasy. I feel the urge to
buffer & over explain why I love this title, to protect myself from what others might read
in to the title. I secretly LOVED it! But how could I publicly say “a bad word”? What
would people think of me? I love my neighbours!
Should I call this piece “Love Thy Neighbour’?
I could … but that would miss the whole point. Stop worrying about what
others think. Do what feels right for you in all of your grief. After all – we are the only
ones who truly know our deepest pain and what is best needed to be with it, sit with it,
walk with it, hide it, heal it, laugh with it, feel joy with it. Get angry, frustrated, or rejoice
Sometimes you just have to take a stand in what you believe in. And sometimes when you are grieving – you just have to lay in a field of dandelions and realize how beautiful they really are and how letting joy in, even in our darkest moments, can be a really
good thing to do – if that feels right for you.
Take your power back! Own your courage! Follow your dreams!
You do you.
Shine on dandelion … shine on!
To the amazing human who will claim this creation for their very own – Bravo! I see
you! Thank you for your audaciousness and your connection to this piece. It will make
a stunning focal point reminding you of your brilliance & courage and your ability to
shine, even in your darkest moments.
P.S. – I really DO Love my neighbours … they are the best! 🙂
“Shadows” is two separate bodies of work showing at once at Southampton Arts ~ “Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey through Grief” by Susan Seitz (Walkerton) and “Come and See | Culture Oppressed” by Brent Henry (Saugeen #29).
For More Information Contact Southampton Arts Centre Website HERE or Call 519 599 5068