I’m back to “normal” surreal art today as I’m feeling heaps better. I’ve had a grand time working with an earlier piece of surreal art and superimposing over it a photo of a lovely pink rose in full bloom I found in the garden of one of my neighbours in our Crystal Gardens block of apartments. Given my love of crystals, I think the name is very, very appropriate!
I got one shot of the rose, then bent it slightly to get another, better shot, and unfortunately broke it off. So I took it home, left it on the kitchen cabinet to look for a vase and – even more unfortunately – one of young dogs nicked it and the four of them had a great game playing with its tattered remnants in our front garden!
Roses remind me not only of the ones we planted in our various gardens when loved ones died – whether humans or furry friends – but they also remind me of my paternal grandfather who was a really great gardener.
I used to stay with my grandparents as a kid and I remember the lovely flower beds full of roses, antirrhinums (bunny rabbits), pansies, roses, hollyhocks, irises, alyssum, lobelia, foxgloves and other flowers whose names I’ve now forgotten. My grandfather also grew magnificent, lush veggies including potatoes, cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, runner beans, carrots and so on.
The history of both my paternal and maternal families is one of losing touch or cutting off contact. My father got a letter out of the blue from my grandfather disowning him, my mother and me and we had no idea why. Years later, when I was sitting in a small psychic circle drifting off out of sheer boredom, a clock chimed nearby, just the same chime as my grandparents’ clock and my grandfather’s voice suddenly said: “I’m sorry, cocker (his nickname for me), I didn’t mean what I did, I didn’t know what I was doing”. I wonder whether my grandfather had dementia which, in the days when he was alive, wasn’t diagnosed as much as it is now. He had been showing signs of mental confusion which the family had ignored but it explained to me the inexplicable.
Just recently I tracked down my cousin, the son of my mother’s uncle, who I grew up with. I lost touch with my mother’s family in the UK after my mother died in Australia and, when I tried to resume contact and visit them during a visit to the UK in 1994, I was pretty much given the cold shoulder. So after I tracked my cousin down, I suddenly sat down and wondered whether I really wanted to resume contact with someone I hadn’t been in contact with since 1972. We are now both very different (from what my aunt said about him it sounded as if he was moving into the realms of the nouveau riche and I’m pretty much an eccentric, arty-farty nutter) so after careful thought I decided you can’t go back. I’d like to keep good memories of my cousin and his brother, and so I’m not going to follow through and contact him.
This isn’t a pity party, by the way. For me, family is the lovely friends I’ve made throughout my life who are just simply wonderful. And I was very fortunate to be taken into the heart of my husband’s daughter, granddaughters and great-grand-kids (without all the hard yakka, as I put it!) who have given me wonderful love. Family is great if it’s full of love, and dysfunctional if the love is missing. My family of friends and Bryan’s family have given me so much love I consider myself very, very lucky. I have been blessed so much in this life.