Creating Art Out of Loss
By Karen Ballum on May 31, 2012
Some of the most beautiful pieces of art come out of loss and grief. Some people use words, while others use paint or clay to create their masterpieces. Adam and Mia channeled their grief into music. As much as Gayle Forman's novel, Where She Went, was about the two of them, it was also about being able to find beauty again after loss.
"I know what's coming. I've heard this before. It's this thing that reporters do. Reference other critics' opinions as a backhanded way to espouse their own. And I know what she's really asking, even if she doesn't: How does it feel that the only worthy thing you ever created came from the worst kind of loss?" Page 24
As I've already documented, I have no musical ability so I'm rather jealous of the way that Mia and Adam where able to create beauty out of grief and loss. That they were successful at it was just fortunate. Yet it had to be incredibly painful to even think of being asked that question. I can't say I really blamed Adam for his reaction to that line of questioning.
The only answer could be that he'd give it all up in a second to have Mia's family alive. The only answer could be that he'd rather not play music again than to have Teddy be forever eight years old. The only answer could be that it's horrible.
I've known people who have been able to channel their grief into art. I think the most valuable thing they got out of the art was the relief that they had someplace to channel all those feelings. Their art -- whether or not they found success with it -- gave them a place where they could lay it all out and begin to accept that their lives were still going to go on. Art allowed them to live with the grief, but it didn't eradicate it. Nor would success.
I don't think I would ever be able to create a great work of art that is worthy to the world following grief. I do know that I can channel that emotion through my fingers to the keyboard or through a pen and onto paper if it's not something I want to publicly share. It might not be worthy to anyone else, but whether the art I make out of words is done in private or public, it would have great worth to me.
Do you channel your emotions artistically?
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