It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. It has been a hectic several weeks preparing for my UK driving test (passed!), our trip to California and my workplace is uprooting to new premises, so I packed up my desk on my final day at work last week.
I hadn’t realized that this trip to California, my first planned one since I moved to the UK 18 years ago, would be so emotional. Well, I did and I didn’t, but when we were about to board the plane to Los Angeles at Schipol Airport on Wednesday, it suddenly hit home what a monumental journey this is.
I’m well prepared with maps and I made this one from a broken plate that I collaged with maps.
A map of the San Gabriel Valley, where I grew up is in the center. To the left, are maps of Conway, NC where my mother was from and Muscogee, OK where my dad was from. We three kids wound up in Moretonhampstead (me), Napa (my brother) and 29 Palms (my sister). We never really gelled as a family, and after my Mom died when I was 16, we all caromed and ricocheted away from each other. My family is like a plate which smashed into many different pieces.
Kintsugi is Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The pottery piece becomes more beautiful for having been broken. The true life of the pottery ” . . . begins the moment it is dropped . . . . . . So it is not simply any mended object that increases in its appreciation but it is the gap between the vanity of pristine appearance and the fractured manifestation of mortal fate which deepens its appeal.”
In other words, the brokeness is proof of its fragility and its resilience is what makes it beautiful.
Swallows are my favourite winged being. To me, they represent arrival home. I found a beautiful mosaic piece online made by Lizzie Tucker which was perfect. I printed this onto hand-made paper and collaged it onto the back.
I am planning to see my brother for the first time in nearly 30 years and hope to meet up with my sister on this trip. Even though Home is inside of me, and with my husband Steve, wherever we are, California is my first home. This journey to California is about coming home to where I am from and a mending of what has been broken inside of me for a very long time. I hope also, that my family will be mended in some way, as well.
It isn’t all serious, heavy inner work. We’re going to have an epic road trip around the most beautiful place on earth and are really enjoying and relaxing into the Golden State.