About 4 years ago I made the decision to move south to be nearer my increasingly frail mother. Little did I realise what the consequences of that decision would be. While that’s true for many of the decisions we make some have more far reaching effects than others. Three moves later, with the millstone and not inconsiderable continued expense of my original home in the north hanging over me for the duration, with a housing market on the verge of collapse, it’s value ever decreasing, I found myself in a situation, which if indefinite, could break me.

There was a logic to it though, a sense of a repayment, karma, being played out regarding a deal I made with death. It’s interesting the things we’re prepared to do for those we love. Sacrificial love is not something I’m much of a fan of. Usually it seems to me that love gives to both, or all involved. But sometimes that isn’t the case, nor does one fully comprehend the cost of any sacrifice which seems called for (nor sometimes the wisdom thereof, but in this case it was a price I was happy to pay).

Finally, nearly three years after my mother died that particular journey will be over and I can move on. For months now it’s felt as if I’ve been hung over the edge of a cliff and told to just stay there but I may well be cut loose and fall at any time. It hasn’t been especially pleasant. Relaxation has not been on the cards. But when I finally saw the comparison of what I’d asked for on my mothers behalf with what was happening to me I trusted the process. And oddly, or maybe not, it was when I gave that trust that it all fell into place.

I have a lot of practical things to do in the next few weeks, but I can do that. There is so much tidying up to do, not just of physical crap, or of an ending of the hardest period of my life, but that I largely raised my children in that place. It will be a release of many years, of some interesting and fulfilling times, of a strange yet safe, welcoming and beautiful area and home. I left in such a rush I never got to say goodbye. If I get the time (quite possibly unlikely since it may even be a push to do everything needed and get sleep) I’ll take a last walk along the canal and the river and collect the bits of myself I left there, or maybe just say goodbye to those too.


Badger Mushroom

I said in my last post I was going to put the videos I made about Mark here, and so I am doing. The title is pertinent because he was known as Badger by his friends and family. He definitely had a character which could b described as Badger like. He was one of the most eccentric people I’ve known, and I’ve known a few. In many ways that’s why we related so well. All eccentrics are different. They don’t conform to social norms and they aren’t the same. He was very honestly himself with me, something really important to me. he was also loving in a way few can manage, in being caring whether or not he got what he wanted or not.  Those people who truly impact our lives are few and far between, and he was one of mine. I learnt quite a lot of unexpected things from him, and I know he did from me. One thing I’ve sometimes pondered is whether things learnt matter when we’re all going to die. But then again I know he died at peace with the world due to something we discussed the day before he died, even though he had no idea at all that was what was coming. So perhaps it does. Of course the fact we’re all going to die anyway could well call into question anything we learn for ourselves, though the legacy of what we leave behind grants us some level of immortality and the awareness that who we are, what we learn and give, does actually matter.

Life, Death and Connections

How strange life is. Some years ago I met someone at YouTube who proved to be someone quite important in my life. I won’t go into detail here. However, he died suddenly and unexpectedly last year. A member of his family who knew of me (we lived quite a distance apart and so much of our interation had to go on through the internet) knew how important we had been to one another contacted me and told me. She and I have been communicating ever since. That in itself has been really valuable for us both. She had promised to send me the things I’d given him, some of his ashes as he’d longed to move to the area where I now live, so that at least some small part of him could end up here, and photos of his paintings so I could make a video of them. I will tell the story of those in a video and probably post that here as well as at YT.

What is especially interesting however is that I hadn’t heard from her for a couple of weeks and this morning sent her an email asking if I might possibly have these things. I’m not sure why I had that sense of wanting them now, but I did. About 20 minutes later the postman arrived with a box containing what I’d asked for (a box resembling my own ‘death box’, with bits and pieces of memorable items for my children, very closely), and while I was opening it an email from her saying how strange I’d just asked as she’d sent them off yesterday, and that it was his birthday today. I’d forgotten that fact. I’ve always been somewhat hopeless at remembering birthdays other than my own offspring.

So happy birthday Mark. I will keep your ashes here for a while until it feels right to take them to where you will go. Thank you for being a part of my life, you infuriating man.

Through a glass darkly

A friend of mine did a blog post about womens tendencies to post photos of themselves in the mirror with their camera or phone included: It reminded me of how I started out many years ago. For an absolute age, from not much older than this:

I despised having my photo taken. I know exactly why but I’m not going to go into that here. I’d avoid it if at all possible and if I couldn’t I usually had a rather uncomfortable look on my face. I didn’t exactly feel my soul was being stolen but it was definitely an imposition I’d rather have done without. So upon the advent of digital technology and the opportunity to take photos of yourself it dawned on me it was an opportunity to overcome this, for myself at least, even if I didn’t share what I created.

So here is my first attempt, yup, in a smeary mirror and with camera in shot. lol It didn’t occur to me at first that there were many other options.

But very soon I realised I could do a lot more. Here are just a couple of examples of my early work. Most of it will never be seen by anyone but me, but why, girlies, do you insist on taking these photos of yourself with your phone as the centrepiece? Are you maybe more proud of the bit of pretty technology you own than you are of yourself?