Remember when you were a kid and it was fascinating to hang things out the window of a moving car? The force of the air outside fluttering and pressing against your crisp packet or feather or wrist band, or whatever it was you most treasured in that moment.
A breeze would tickle your eyelashes and kiss against your lips as the world hurtled by on the other side of the glass. Until…
You accidentally let go.
Your most prized possession ― gone, never to return.
And you were floored.
Life can hit you hard
Driving at speed one day between a hospital, a hospice and home, something let go ― forever; the title of the song I’d play as loud as I could, recalling the vision of my mother wilting in a hospice bed against the sudden force of a brain tumour.
Whatever understanding I’d been gripping hold of my whole life flew out the window and I physically felt the wrench.
“I’d like to know
Where I’m supposed to go
Wish I could fly away foreverStereophonics, Forever
I wish I could take your pain for you and release you”
At the same time, my tiny daughter lay in a huge hospital bed screaming, “All done. All done.” — the words she kept hearing from doctors and nurses meant to reassure her the pain would soon be over. She’d echo them multiple times a day with every new treatment or examination or enquiry into what the hell was wrong.
There were three tumours in my family in as many months:
- A mystery to find one and swiftly remove it.
- A fast, but miserable death.
- And a remarkable recovery.
The pain and memories and bewilderment and fear I’d been dragging around relentlessly curled up tightly into a ball; a knot. And that day, it snapped away.
Inspiration for my exhibition
I’ve waited a decade too long to start this creative outpouring.
As I watched my eldest daughter suffer her first grief and did my utmost to cradle her anguish, I recognised there are things I urgently need her to know.
This isn’t a new idea. It started to form many years before with a parental desire to protect the little people in my life.
What I have to figure out now is how I explain to a girl not yet in double figures things that have taken me forty years to realise: that life will work its way out, one way or another, and it’s your own light that serves you.
Now, I’m living with the intention of turning this idea for an exhibition into a reality, so we can experience the truth in this in our own way.
All fear and doubt and delay is gone.
Image created using Midjourney