Tuesday 12 July 2016

What we leave behind

This is written, remembering the events of the last evening in the house I lived in for nearly 11 years. The last couple of months have been filled with planning, organisation, downsizing and endless trips to charity shops and the recycling centres. How much can one person accumulate in just a few years? Too much of course!

Letting go of stuff is freeing though, and its something I have really begun to enjoy. The emotional attachment to some of the objects are surprisingly resilient though. And the countless tasks of arrangement, re-organisation, notification, switching off, diverting...they keep you distracted to what really is happening.

A building sense of loss.

Home no longer, and always home

Tonight, with a wee, and rare toast with whisky, I said goodbye to both the house, and to a few treasured objects of quite intense sentimental value. Each with a tight hold over me, and drenched in the affection and love I had for the people who had given them to me.

I put them in a box, and stared at them for some time. Sat down, took them out again, then replaced them, and then walked away again, with heightened agitation. And then, with little ceremony, and with a slightly distracted, and unconscious and autopilot style of action, I took a trowel out of the shed, and quickly, buried them in the garden.

The wave of emotion that swept across me then was a bit unexpected. Grief for the loss of people in my life who were attached to these objects, as well as a feeling of loss for others around me, who I was leaving. And no, it wasn't the whisky! Though that action did make me stop. It made me set down all the tasks, the things in my mind, filling up all my spare memory, thoughts and feelings, and I sat in the armchair in the shed and wept. It made me set these things down more permanently, though however impermanently.

A place for just being

I toasted my late father then, who had died the same year I bought the house. It all became mixed together at once, with the knot pulled tight. I looked at the hedges that my mother and I had cut after visiting Ireland that first year after dad died, that had strangely made us both feel much better after a difficult journey. And to enjoy the cup of tea all the more afterwards. I looked at the kitchen window at the improvements I had orchestrated. I thought about the different parties held there with friends and family, and a particular sweetheart who had spent many a day there with me. I thought about the laughs and the arguments. I looked at the wall that had forever worried me until I got it repaired (I can think about doing a task for so long without actually doing it...I sometimes just stop looking at it).

Before it got too much of course, the feelings thankfully dissipated. A deep breath, and a sigh, and then, ever practical, a thought that I should really have my dinner. My last in this house. My home. No longer. Now it's on to new things, with new stuff, and new boxes to put things in. Just smaller boxes.

Small precious treasures and memories in the box from my friend Anita, and special necessities from Mhairi and Megan, the two lovely girls down the road, and both of whom I will miss.

Capturing memories and the box of necessities

With help and kindness from Anita and Graham, I have a place to lay my head whilst I wait for Maude to get herself ready (Maude really does take time to make her appearance - her perogative I suppose, but really)!

Anita Sauvage, my art coach, has over the years helped this artist to grow and take risks with her superb coaching skills, and I am always in her debt. We are who we are because of the people we know, and many people have helped me over the years. I truly believe that I would not be where I am now, and making this journey at all if it wasn't for the coaching skills of Anita.

My friend and coach, Anita Sauvage

In the journey of discovering new horizons, meeting new people, and expanding my opportunities, I also sense that home is not just a physical place, but is always with us, no matter where we go. That continued returning home.

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