I came across an old magazine while shifting Dad yesterday, an old New Zealand House and Garden with an eight page story about me in it. Mum had kept for 15 years. She always was proud of me.
Re-reading the article after all this time was like diving into another life, maybe someone elses.
The words the journalist wrote talk of my husband, what I wore on my wedding day, my work as an "award-winning" portrait and wedding photographer, the family of four step-children I had then, the home "perched on a hillside in Wellington's Melrose, a wild and romantic spot with views over the Cook Strait to the Orongorongos."
Of all the things I can see in these pages from the home that was mine - that I created - there are only two things I have kept: the plastic chandelier I got for two dollars at the Red Cross Shop in Newtown that reminds me of the scene in Pollyanna where Mr Pendergast is showing her how beautiful the light cast from crystal can be, and the cruet set on the dining table that I still sometimes use for flowers.
When I got up on the ladder and wrote this too will pass on that beam in our kitchen, I didn't imagine it would be our family and life together that would be one of the things to pass. I didn't expect to spend a decade bringing up our son on my own. Hell, David wasn't wasn't even born. Time teaches brutal lessons, eh.
Since those windy Wellington days, I've had lovers and a boyfriend. My family and friends and son with me always. I've experienced so much, grown deeper, grown up. Come home to my self as a woman, and an artist. But the path I've been on has been mostly solitary. I understand it's been necessary. For my life, and my work.
But I wonder if, in the powerful and necessary letting go I did of the material things that symbolized a love and life passed, I also by mistake shut the door hard on the possibility of again experincing the very things from those years in that house that really mattered: a loving partnership, a home to call my own, and a large part of my wide-open heart.
You know what? I want those precious things back.
Good news. I closed it that door. I can damn well open it again. I'm tired of protecting my heart so fiercely.
This too shall pass.