Sunday, 22 April 2012
I read somewhere that Adam Young of Owl City wrote the song "Vanilla Twilight" while mourning for his girlfriend that was killed in a car crash. Making art to work through ones grief is an effective way to mourn and try and make sense of the tragedy. After my girlfriend was killed in a car crash I also turned to art. The first thing I made was a blue leafed tulip that I constructed out of wire. Tulips were her favourite flower, and she once mentioned the idea of blue tulips to me. I placed the flower on her coffin. Afterwards I wrote numerous poems about her and about her death, all in Afrikaans, because she had such a great love of the language. In fact, I think it is her love of Afrikaans that inspired me to write more in Afrikaans and now Afrikaans has become the language I prefer to write poetry in. She passed away at such a young age, only 21, and I had only known her for about four years, yet the influences she had on my life are long lasting. My appreciation of music is forever altered, my appreciation of the poetic quality of Afrikaans forever set, my sense of aesthetics forever enhanced. It is sad when we lose someone, but the ways in which they touched us need not be lost. We can remember them by taking the things we received from them, and living them out in beautiful, personal ways.