12th November 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A4 cartridge paper
I was sitting on a rock at the beach watching the waves. I felt like a fish being pounded by waves, crashing into rocks over and over again. Then I watched a bird swoop over the water and pluck something from the waves. My first thought was: ‘Well, at least that would solve the problem.’
I smiled at the joke I’d made, for the humour in the midst of the hard time when it felt like I couldn’t do anything right, I let people down, and my identity was disintegrating. Even though death wasn’t an option, I could see how death would at least provide relief from the pain.
Seeing that image of the swooping bird comforted me because it gave me a way to express how I felt. Nature spoke to me through the rocks, the waves, and the bird, and I knew I wanted to draw it.
As I drew, I found the meaning of the image changed. It went from a picture of despair to a picture of hope. At first, the bird represented death, a way out, relief from pain. But as I drew, the bird started to represent joy, freedom, and life.
I learnt that the breaking I went through was like a death. I lost myself, but it was in the losing of myself that I was able to find myself. This picture showed me that what looked like death was actually life. It showed me that joy really can come from tears and beauty can come from ashes.