I spent a lot of time think­ing about how I want­ed to depict this poem. It’s a short, but incred­i­bly com­plex piece of writ­ing. While I dis­cov­ered many of its dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions through­out the process, such as a bro­ken rela­tion­ship or ter­mi­nal ill­ness, I ulti­mate­ly decid­ed that Sun­flower is about imper­ma­nence. For me, the most impor­tant moment of the poem is the line: “bet­ter not lis­ten to a thing with a stem”. It sug­gests that noth­ing lasts forever—a very Bud­dhist les­son that says we should be aware of, and appre­ci­ate, things while they are around, but that we shouldn’t dwell on them when they are gone. I thought that the growth and death of a sin­gle sun­flower would be a sim­ple, yet effec­tive, way to com­mu­ni­cate this mes­sage. My hope is that this ani­ma­tion will help view­ers not only rec­og­nize, but embrace, the beau­ty of imper­ma­nence in life.

Learn more about this project on the Motion­po­ems web­site.