“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
While doing an internet search on quotes about “Sorrow” I came across a page with many, many quotes about it. This one above by Rumi really stood out to me because it made me think of what usually comes after a storm. Sometimes storms are violent, sometimes they are calm but usually there is a period of darkness and then light. Even the storms that come at night… Have you ever felt the energy after a storm has passed? It always feels very “light” to me. Again, there are varying intensities of storms and some can be intensely destructive but they are almost always cleansing in some way, allowing for new things to grow.
I am making my way through Brooke Shaden’s 15 Day Challenge (slowly but surely. Check out Day 1 here) and the theme of today’s challenge is ‘Emotion’. I picked sorrow for my emotion. In Brooke’s e-mail about the challenge, she asked us to think about what emotion we connect with most strongly. Honestly, I don’t connect with sorrow most strongly. I connect with whatever emotion comes with whatever I am experiencing at that moment – be it fear, joy, passion, love, anger, sadness, etc.
For this challenge, I left myself wide open. I read it before going to the beach just to have an idea for what to expect but I had no clue what emotion to pick. Truth is, it just happened.
I am about to tell you my story behind sorrow and it is not going to be what you may expect.
We were at the beach one afternoon and the Gulf was crystal clear. The water was warm and it was just amazing. But, with amazing warm waters come jellyfish. I am slightly terrified of them. I saw a dead Portuguese Man of War wash up on the shore when I was little and my dad cautioned me about them. In my opinion, jellyfish are beautiful creatures but I am terrified of sharing a body of water with them. I was enjoying a swim in the ocean when I saw a jellyfish float past me. OMG! I was TERRIFIED and jumped out of the water. Then, (ASPCA please don’t come for me) I had the following brilliant idea. I grabbed a net and went back in the ocean to swim. My plan was to catch whatever jellyfish was near me. Well, I caught one! I showed it to my family. Instead of putting it in a bucket and releasing it later I decided to bury it in the sand.
The intense feeling of guilt overcame me and then sorrow. I do not like killing animals senselessly like that. I thought about that jellyfish all afternoon and decided not to get back into the water out of respect. My own fears are what manifested that creature to come around me and it didn’t deserve to die. So, on the more positive side – I thank this creature for inspiring me to create art. Up until that point, I had no idea what emotion to create. The intense sorrow I felt for the jellyfish made me want to honor it by making art in its memory.
Yes. I am freaking weird and I am okay with that.
You see, inspiration comes in the most interesting of ways. Often times, it’s not what you expect at all. Something so crazy as my guilt for my actions, inspired me to create and share this story. Now can I say that I am perfect? No. Plenty of mosquitoes and flies have died at my hands but I do my best to save all spiders and critters out there. I just adopted an abandoned dog and have two shelter cats. I’ve had my run in with critters that people would probably kill to protect themselves – if I can, I try to run in the opposite direction.
Circling back to the challenge… Part of what we needed to do was depict the emotion without showing faces. I thought deeply about my pose (slouching) and color of clothing (black to mourn). Drama is something that I very much love in all of my images which I depicted through the dress flying in the wind, the sun beams and storm. I usually try to hide “three of something” in my images to symbolize past, present and future.
What is an emotion that you are connecting with most strongly right now? Comment below.
I had a little faux paux with my speed edit… Somehow, the second video didn’t save on my computer so I had to finish it off with images to show how the rest of the image came together. I hope that you enjoy and please don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to watch more videos.
Original image from which I built sorrow
Behind the Scenes