A theme emerges

Mum’s funeral service, conducted by a local JP who had a lot to do with Mum, has made me think about what I do and don’t believe. Mum was an atheist, as was her dad. I spent some time in the church as a teenager but I suspect that was about belonging more than anything. I certainly don’t call myself a Christian. Thinking all that through seems to be a recurring theme in my journal, as does my changing relationship with my now-retired husband, and career/art time, now that Mum is gone. Here’s what I have been creating with all this in mind:

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An art day to soothe my soul

There’s nothing like a day getting messy to soothe my soul. I have cut new leaf stencils and masks, cut a Heartagram stencil, inked and layered and glued and…  I am really enjoying this larger format landscape journal. The pages stand up well to the way I work and I like having more room to ‘do stuff’. I just wish my wrist was stronger, but it’s getting there.

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Remembering Dad

It’s 22 years today since Dad died unexpectedly, a month before his 66th birthday. He retired at 60 and spent his days helping farm mates, pig and deer hunting, and going fishing. He and Mum made 3 trips to Asia once he retired. He was a busy, and seemingly fit, man.

He went fishing at Waverley Beach one Sunday morning and had a massive heart attack. The young man next to him did CPR but had to leave him to get help and, by the time he got back, Dad’s heart had stopped again. As bad as we all felt for the young man who had tried so hard, I’m pleased Dad did not survive. He’d have hated being a patient, being told what to do, being incapacitated. As Mum used to say “Mansel got it right, he just died ten years too early”.

So today, and every day, I remember him with love. He was a hard working, patient man who gave huge bear hugs. I miss him.

Dad teaching Catherine to ride motorbike

Dad teaching me to ride his motorbike.

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Mum and Dad’s wedding.

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Able Seaman D M Barker

Dad at Lions CLub

Dad receiving a Lions Club award.

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Taken after a swimming competition.

Dad and Jenny

Dad and granddaughter Jenny.

Catherine & Dad

Dad and I on holiday somewhere.

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Mum always used to say I was whispering secrets to him. Corduray overalls, knitted cardigan and bare feet! This is one of my favorite photos and probably the most like how I remember him.

Catherine & Dad feeding ducks, Wanganui

Feeding ducks with me at Virginia Lake in Wanganui.

Catherine, Mum & Dad and Marion Scott, Palmerston North 1967

Me, Mum & Dad, and Marion Scott, Palmerston North 1967

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Ailsa and Jim’s wedding. Mum, Ailsa, Jim, Dad, me in the front.

 

Getting there

The process I am using is coming together. These two are on display at the moment but may end up being worked on a bit more yet. We’ll see…but at least I am feeling more comfortable with my process.

The colours in these pics is not totally accurate – the background is more of a cream. Too big too scan, hard to photograph.

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