14 August 2009

Beyond This

Where am I going?
How did I get here?

I am afraid to die.
What is beyond this?

I know it must sound strange to you.
And I never want this blog to bring you down.
But I believe with all my heart that part of my passion for making what I do
is anchored in my hope that whatever I create will be here long after I am gone.
That a part of me can stay forever.
In silver and stone if not flesh and blood.
In pieces I pray your granddaughters and their granddaughters will hold.
Or simply keep.
Keep me.
Keep part of me here.

I don't know when it was that I realized I was mortal.
I don't know why, despite my faith, I'm afraid of the end of this.
Perhaps this is the reason that some of my more recent work
has taken a slightly spiritual turn.
I'm finding my way.
Though I'm weary of the destination.

I don't want to waste the now worrying about what I cannot change or control.
It frustrates me that I think so frequently about what will eventually happen.
Wondering when, yet not wanting to know.
Wondering how, and angry that I'm wondering.

You must think I'm not grateful.
How can a woman of only 26, with a loving husband and sweet son,
amazing family and friends,
a wonderful life . . .
be so selfish as to worry about her own death
when she has all of these other aspects of living to enjoy and be present for now?

I don't know.
I don't know.

But time flies doesn't it?
I just learned to walk.
I just learned how to hold on.
And I just learned to spell my name.
Only a few minutes ago, I mastered the art of tying my shoes.
And then I learned to dribble a ball.
I just lost a tooth, and I only recently had my braces removed.
A moment ago I heard him playing the piano,
a moment before I heard him say goodbye.
And I just learned how to ignore rude people,
and say no when I mean no.
And I just learned to drive.
I just had my first kiss, and sipped my first glass of wine.
Just a moment ago, it seems.

I just fell in love.
I blinked and there was a child.
In the time it took my tear of joy to fall, he learned to walk.
And I learned to start letting go.

And so I sit with eyes wide open, trying to take it all in.
This little life.
This little wonderful life that I'm terrified of losing.

Because I know that if I'm blessed enough to be here in fifty years,
I'll be thinking . . .
It was just a moment ago I wrote those words.

And so I make.
For love of making.
For love of life.
And in the hopes that somehow, I will have created something that mattered.
I hope my work is the birth of an heirloom.
And I can see how in some ways this might be selfish.
But we all want to matter.
To feel that we did something worth loving.

Beyond my son,
this is my contribution to the world.
Little as it is.
And I hope it goes beyond me.
Even when I am beyond this.


  1. Beautiful, poignant thoughts. You are one of the lucky few. Your passion, your soul, your love go into every creation you produce and will be passed on for generations to come. My beautiful necklace lovingly made with your hands will be treasured by my future granddaughter and perhaps hers. What a lovely thought! xo

  2. I, too, am afraid. Things slip so easily through our fingers...out of our control, so much that we can only trust that it's part of our journey. We grow with the wind. Random & wild, but we do our best to hold on to what we can & hope the wind takes us to the places we most want to be.


  3. Ah... but don't forget.. our human bodies are not forever, it's true, but our spirit is eternal.

  4. Absolutely beautiful. This brought a tear to my eye, as I have all the same thoughts.. you are not alone.

  5. We live on in the LOVE we leave behind, and each one of us leaves our LOVE in different media, and many of us leave it in multiple forms, as you do: loving your family in your very presence and actions, loving strangers over the internet, making works of art with love that hold your spirit within them, etc. We are all creatures of flesh and Spirit longing for earth and heaven at once but not wanting to give up one for the other and gravitating toward the familiar rather than the unfamiliar and unknown. Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts with us in words, photographs, and art. We love you very much. You are precious in my heart, JJ!

  6. Jj my sweet,

    this is beautiful. To comfort yourself please read some stories of near death experiences: people speak of feeling a love so great they don't ever want to come back... Can you imagine? I have had similar thoughts about leaving a 'mark' and seeing you feel that way too makes me smile.
    With love,

  7. So beautifully written ...it is not a surprise that your craft is so beautifully executed. That beauty is in all that you do, say and are. Life IS a most amazing journey. Did you happen to get a chance to check out my "rain" post? you may also enjoy "rising up like eagles"....blessings to you

  8. ...i'm being selfish i know...but...i"ll be wearing my Smokehouse Earrings when i go...

    yes indeedy...they're definitely coming with me...selfish i know...
    when i go...

  9. it was only moments ago that i knew of your existence.

    it was only moments ago that i heard the beat of your heart for the first time.

    mine has never beat the same since.

  10. lovely lovely post. hold onto each & every moment & bury it deep into your heart. the depth of your love & passion shines bright in your beautiful works!

  11. Beautiful scenery...and I know what you are saying...time slips away, our moms used to be us, and before we know it, we are them...I think it all works out. : ) Smile JJ!