Art: Death to Life

Death to Life – Sometimes there has to be death before there is life

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.


12 thoughts on “Art: Death to Life

  1. I’ve had a very similar experience just last year when I had to face the death of my sister. I saw how my identity was dissolving, and that was the only way to survive. I knew I had to go beyond what’s visible and find the truth in myself. I’m still on this journey.
    You’re absolutely right to say that sometimes to continue to live, a part of yourself, an old self, has to die. You’re very brave and courageous to see the lessons in your hardship!
    Your drawings are beautiful and inspiring! And so is your writing!
    Vilina ❤


    1. Wow, thank you so much! I’m definitely thankful for the journey which never stops teaching me. Without going through this experience I never would have seen things this way. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s comforting to know others relate.

      Liked by 1 person

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