Paint under my nails…

I’ve had an arty sort of day. I’ve worked in my art journals, but also felt inspired to grab a canvas and spread some paint around. Not sure if it’s finished yet, will leave it lying round and see what I think. As usual, there are messages in my art journal pages, which some people will recognise as relating to them…

Last night Tony, Sandra and I went out for dinner then enjoyed the Rocky Horrow Show shadowcast by Flash Mob Taranaki. I haven’t laughed so much in years. “Eddie – drawn, not sketched…”

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Opening up old wounds

Sometimes you have to open up old wounds if they’ve never really healed. It’s hard and it hurts but, ultimately, it’s the only way to heal and move on. I had a message from my best friend of 50+ years last night, Sandra, talking about my infertility and some of the stuff that happened. I won’t share our conversation, or what prompted it, but that kind of honesty is gold and I’d expect nothing less from her. She has my back, and always has had.

I’m starting to journal out my deepest thoughts about my miscarriages and all the things that went along with being infertile when everyone around me was having babies; the impact on my marriage, the people I loved and who loved me. Some of this is really shitty so I have written on the canvas in such a way that it’s unreadable – but my heart and soul know what’s written there when I look at it. As is often the case, the images might not mean a lot to other people, but each one has meaning for me. 

These wounds are deep (deeper than I have ever before acknowledged, even to myself). It’s going to take more than one or two journal pages and paintings to work through it, but I feel like I’m finally on the journey. Thank you for being part of it by listening. 

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Connecting with old photos

I am using old photos that belong to Tony’s cousin Alison in my new Dina Wakley art journal. Alison has dementia and the photos mean nothing to her, and there is no one to pass them onto. By using them, I honour the memories and build a stronger (internal to me) connection with her, which will help as I take over more of the ‘pastoral care’ as her memory fades.

In December we helped her sell her home and buy a serviced apartment at Jane Winstone Retirement Village. Sadly, she is already unable to stay there due to her deteriorating capacity. Next week she will move into a room the resthome proper so she can be better cared for. Tony and I are working through the process of selling her apartment back to Jane Winstone, and then getting rid of excess furniture etc. It’s a sad process, and one that I have done before, with my own Aunt J.

I know this – tell people you love them, label your photos, write down your stories, do stuff you enjoy when you can. Life is short, and memories are fragile.

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