… to the loft but not without pain …
When my daughter left home to live in Brazil; I ‘safely’ assumed her departure would be brief. Although there was ‘love’ involved, her move had a practical and political edge; since the new government here in UK had made gainful employment for graduates difficult. She, with a good degree in Latin American studies and fluent Portuguese, returned to Rio where had studied. As the love has grown, albeit complicated the difficulties for her to return with a partner, again with the government’s policies for immigrant control has become almost impossible
So my coping strategies have been tested to the full. Her’s, too. Although homesickness and empty nest syndrome are proven different beasts they remain untamed and unpredictable.
So how have I coped? My Blog post’s and creative output are a testimonies to the success, but my mental and physical health at times belies the story.
However, there has been progress along the road, not always upward, with some growth, laughter and joy in the pain.
However, this week has been a difficult time, it seems. For my daughter and I, since this year’s trip approaches the emotional boat has been rocky. Hers, is a difficult story best told by her but those joys and fears serve as a backdrop to my already shaky deck.
My daughter’s bedroom and study have become my haven. While I have print room and studio downstairs I have used her room as vital extension; a place to paint, draw and write; somehow, in the confines of her previous study. There is a bed and the previous requirements of a teenage girl, also a desk and bookcases containing in excess of 600 books. Collected in ten years while she studied to become a human rights activist along with novels in relation to social injustice in the world. A beautiful and rich library that could not be replaced or destroyed, snapshot of a teenager’s grasp of life in the beginning of the new millenia.
However, it took up my valuable space, gradually over the 5 years I have struggled with increased lack of space and her infringement; yet as I crept into her vacant bed and wept for her return I could not bear to destroy this evidence of her beautiful being that had lead her so far far away.
So here I was, books in array on the walls while my tomes and equipment in piles on the floor. Between a brick and hard place I had to make some harsh decisions.
While I didn’t want to secret the book to the loft it was the only alternative as storage out of their rightful place was expensive and not convenient it access was required. So each book was carried to a new home according to size and subject to the loft in my librarian hat. Not ideal as access is not perfect but a good solution that could be approached in a measured and tender way.
So with the room cleared of her books, I was able to repopulated the shelves with mine, added to my library over the last 5 years; a meagre 500 books and journals; still a little higgledy piggledy in subject and size, but this is happily rectified in my newfound space.
Nonetheless, on the metaphoric boat with the rudder and sails in harmony, the tide, moon and currents that conduct the creativity and results in the filled shelves has the ability to rock the boat. So while I am happy with the space; closing the loft hatch on what has been a rich and creative time hurts … a little too much.