1000 Moons #891

1000 Moons, sculpture -  artwork by Emily Miller
What does it look like to imagine a life time?

1000 Moons is a visual representation of every full moon cycle witnessed by my grandmother from her birth to her death in January 2021. The project began shortly after both my grandparents died of Covid, as I struggled to stay grounded in my own life, and my understanding of time became distorted and unreal. Cutting up big, beautiful sheets of handmade paper I had created years ago, I started building a collection of 3-inch circles, each representing a single full moon. I continued making moons from newly formed sheets of handmade paper using kelp, sheet music, and other materials linked to the story of her life, with the goal of re-creating all 1,175 moons from the 94 years of her life.

I imagine my own life time overlapping with hers in the physical space occupied by the 1000 Moons: how many of these moons we saw together, how many she shared with my grandfather, my father, my aunts. Which moons were darkest, and which shone bright? How do I measure the time passed since?

In the absence of any time-based American tradition of mourning and grief, during a moment in history when existing grief rituals have been scattered, this work has become a new tradition for me to understand, honor, and process the length of a life. Sharing this work is a way of inviting community into grief, in direct response to the isolation I felt after their deaths.

In October 2021, I will be hosting the first event of several virtual and in-person community gatherings for 1000 Moons. During each event, I invite all who have experienced loss and grief, especially during this current crisis, to share their new traditions for finding and following a healing path. I invite all participants to visualize their own life times, and those of their loved ones, within this space of 1000 Moons.

You can contribute to support the project here.

Handmade paper, natural and found materials, 2021