I want to take a moment and write about a date that is branded into my heart, November 16th. No matter what I am doing on this date, I always feel the weight of what it has meant to me and to so many others…the empty space created. November 16, 1995 is the date that Amy Elizabeth German was killed in a car accident on her way to school. Senior year. We had our whole lives in front of us, feeling the power of being almost 18 years old with nothing but milestones in our future. Amy was many things to many people. She was the only child of John and Jennifer, close friend to many, musician, fierce beautiful spirit. To me, she was my best friend.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Amy, but November 16th is always the tough, because the bad memories of that day always rush back…being in the office by accident when they received the phone call about the accident… hearing them pronounce her name wrong…sitting in art class working on a self portrait and having a hard time with the colored pencils because my eyes kept filling with tears…the ride with my mom to the hospital, not knowing how bad it was…thinking that maybe she would be in a wheel chair and we would have to put rhinestones and flames on the sides…then…just…being…there… in that room… hearing the news. More than my own hurt, was the anguish of her parents…I think I could actually hear hearts break that day…and the rest was a blur….going into her room later that day and feeling like there was a presence missing…her grandfather Dillon coming and putting his hand on my shoulder…sitting down to pet Bo and Boo, her cats, and then crying because it felt like they knew she was gone…the funeral…standing room only…these are the things that flash by my eyes…and I hate November 16th because that is the day that Amy was taken away.
This year for the 16th I had made plans to participate in the Art Nouveau Harry Potter event. I second guessed doing this event…like I should just stay at home. But I think that Amy would want me to make art, especially on this date. So I did. And I will keep making art. I feel so much love and inspiration when I am creating, like I am making something that has the potential to create a small space of beauty for someone, somewhere. I don’t know if I am idealistic, or silly, but that is how I feel. The act of creating art calms something in my soul…and it is just something that I feel I have to do. So I participated in the event, and I am glad that I did. I will write about that in another post.
Much of the work that I have created over the years have specifically related to Amy, and in some ways every time I pick up a pencil, paintbrush, or needle and thread I am in some way making a tribute to my friend. Since her passing, others have gone….Oacie…Dillon…Lucy…each time someone leaves I feel that it makes me want to remember them somehow in my art. I paint angels sometimes...I like to think that those people that I love never really left…I do figurative work because I feel like love is within the human spirit, and beyond any religion my spirituality is based on love and kindness…the relationships that we have with others….I work with saturated color because I feel that the color shows life and vitality. Most recently I have been working with the tree form…thinking about the larger human family tree and the connections we all share. One of those connections…loss. Everyone out there has lost someone and can relate, even though the individual experiences are distinct. I deal with loss with my art.
I don’t know what I would do without my art, and after really making an effort to create the time to, well, create…I don’t know any other way. So yeah, November 16h…for me represents the loss...but more so is November 17th….this is the space that I live in…the day after when I have to figure out how I can keep the memory alive.
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG