Last week I traveled to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to participate in Springboard for the Arts Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend. I was among ten Springboard Hinge Artists that presented at a special event on the first night, where we all shared about our time at the Kirkbride, and summarized our various residency projects. I spoke about how perfect a two-week residency was for me. I rarely get dedicated time like that to work on projects, particularly because of my work as an arts administrator.
I screened my short film "Loss" and then I read three chapters from my next film, "Moonland," a project I started developing while doing my residency with the Hinge Arts program. After I returned to my hotel that night, feeling appreciative and excited, I realized that it never crossed my mind to ever do public readings of my poetry before. I quickly posted to Facebook: "I have always just incorporated my writing into my films. I know now from the positive experience of reading my work that I need to find more opportunities to do readings. I am very thankful for this realization...which is really a new door that I have opened and may enhance my artistic process."
I also enjoyed learning from and meeting other Hinge Artists and local artists of Fergus Falls. Community is very important to me, so this event will also remain unique to me, as I was able to connect with other artists that lived and worked at the Kirkbride, too.
Now that I am back home, and it has been a week since the event, I find myself looking back...to two and half years ago. When I lost my mother in 2015, the experience introduced me to raw emotions that ranged in levels of grief. To respond to this process and the complexity of death I made Loss where I chronicled my last moments with my mother. I have a few things I want to say about the video and where I am now, as I continue to make art around the experience of losing her:
I said goodbye to her,
I make video poems about her.
I sit with my feelings.
They reveal to me,
through images first
and then words.
Words mean a lot to me, but they alone
cannot express everything for me.
I need images too.
They tend to always come first.
That is why I make video letters, essays, and poems.
What is loss for me?
...Rather, what was loss for me then?
I felt a loss, mom, when I could no longer talk to you.
When I made Loss the word for me at the time was about holding on as well as letting go. I was going through an emotional process, and I still am. Now loss is more like an experience for me.
I stand here now.
Do you see me?
The word loss for me
is more like nodding.
I am saying yes to where I am now.
What was before me is an always.
Now is always changing.
Now is an antecedent.
Loss is the first in a video series I have been working on called "Video Words" where I explore my emotions attached to words.
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