Art & Writing by Christina M. Turner


This Year I Am Thankful

In the last year I have lost a cousin, an uncle, a dear family friend, and my last surviving grandparent.

It has completely redefined my family, compounding the weight of new responsibilities that come with trading in a child's membership to your extended family for an adult one, and at times I felt that routine was all that was holding us together, like pieces of an asteroid swirling around a planet together, maintaining a shocked collective identity despite the forces that tried to drive it apart. 

I have thrown myself into new work with a zeal that reminds me of the fever dream that was college: painting, writing, creating this website and then this blog.  I've actively pursued as many opportunities as I could at work and in various arts organizations.  My personal losses have renewed my drive, my passion, my determination to find something to do that makes my soul sing, and to fight the fear that if I died tomorrow, anyone would be able to say I could've done more or that any of my time was wasted.

I know that resting is not a waste, though. Down times fuel active ones and I know that eventually the tide of my activity will ebb and I'll have to take a step back.  So when I am overcome by this urgency, this overwhelming need to DO SOMETHING, I know to make the most of it by leaning into that storm, allowing myself to get swept up into an idea, and let the panic transform into power to carry my projects through.  This year I am thankful that the unrelenting grief has pushed me at light speed further down my road than I thought I could go in one year.