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Love of One's Fate
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Love of One's Fate

Hey! This is a heavy one-I’m talking about death, grief, and mourning. The TLDR: I’m trying to live my values and not hate the month of March. If you’re not up for it, I don’t blame you. Skip to the next one! I also want to say- I can only speak from my limited perspective. I honor everyone for the space they are in with their grief and acceptance and in no way belittle each person’s journey with tragedy.

So…I have this problem with March. Anyone else? Maybe February is the pits for you? Maybe you don’t like August for the heat? My not-so-fun month is March. March brings about a couple anniversaries that are pretty rough for me-a car accident about ten years before I was born, resulting in my sister having a disability; and another car accident that killed my friend and 3rd cousin when we were 20. Growing up, I had a hard time understanding the accident that caused my sister’s disability. The accident happened on St. Patrick’s Day and in protest, I refused to wear green or participate in any Irish-y things. I would cry in bed, wailing to my parents, though I can’t remember exactly what I said. But I just hated that day so much. I remember my dad in all his amazing wisdom and life experience explaining the nature of the world and how if this all hadn’t happened, maybe I wouldn’t be here. It took several more years before I would accept the twisted nature of this event, that it had caused a chain of events that led to my mom and dad meeting and bringing me into the world.

Several decades later, I came across this concept called amor fati- love of one’s fate. It describes an idea that everything in one’s life, whether good or bad, is good and necessary. Here’s a video by The School of Life going deeper into the concept.

This can be a tough pill to swallow. Let me back up a bit.

Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display
Close up image of free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display Chain linked sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display
Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display

I was 20 when my cousin Sara died. It was an awful car accident, with more than one death, on Easter weekend. She was my closest cousin, a bright smart beautiful funny person. Everyone loved her. Her death shook me. I grieved for years, constantly dreaming of her death, and then her absence. After a few years, I began to make art about her absence. I abandoned function as I couldn’t see any purpose for it in my life-instead I needed sculpture to communicate this complex big thing that I was struggling so hard to understand. I made sculptural installations that compared her short life to my lengthening one, processing and mourning with each sculpture. These cathartic acts led me to see the accident as part of that twisted chain of things that led to making these very meaningful sculptures. It isn’t at all how I wanted life to go, but I had started accepting it and moving through the mud of grief.

Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display
Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display Free standing grid sculpture created by Lauren HB Studio available for commission and display

Eventually, I started working with plain rectangular slabs, symbolizing paper, and stacking them in a way I had very little control over. I saw this as practicing acceptance of things that are out of my control. And now I see it as working within the framework of amor fati. I took this concept further by removing the reference to book and instead began working with cubes, grids, and nets. These seemingly perfect forms seemed perfect to practice my belief in amor fati- by making these shapes with my very flawed, very human hands, I would have to accept the fate, even love the fate that they would inevitably be imperfect. This body of work eventually led to my drawings that adorn the surfaces of the Stria Series. These dots, lines, nets, and grids are drawn by hand, emphasizing the beauty of imperfection often found in handmade work. Again, that complicated twist of a beautiful outcome brought about by some really awful stuff.

So back to March. It’s filled with memories of misunderstood childhood moments, my cousin’s death, and for years I have trudged through it. But I will try something new: this year, I will accept it. I will try to love it, as strange as that sounds.

In yoga teacher training, we talked a lot about weather-how weather is weather, it’s not good or bad, it just is. We just need to adjust-layer up or down, wear the right shoes, bring an umbrella, carry the right bag, but more importantly, observe the weather. Try not to react. Find where and how the weather is affecting our bodies and moods and look at it. Visualize its affect on our minds, our insides. And just watch and look. And see if it passes.

I think this is what I began to do with the deaths and mourning. I still live with them, I carry them with me, they still affect me. But I accept them as part of my life. There’s a poignant poem by W.S. Merwin that always comes up for me at this time of the year:

“Separation
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

To me, to live is to grow and learn and take meaning from and share life events in the most beautiful way possible. This is what feeds my work and makes these objects so deeply meaningful. I hope you feel the energy from each LHB Studio pot or sculpture that finds its way into your life.

xo,

Laur

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