Sunday, 3 May 2009

Patchwork Quilt

It was two years ago today. (well and two days)

A lot has changed since I wrote my very first post and yet in a way very little has changed.

Those opening images are now a record of what was. Now my 'room' has no window, it is tidy and organised, waiting for the first paint to be squeezed the first colour to be mixed. I thought at first this blog would be a sort of visual scrapbook. But it is and it is not, in a way it has become so much more. One rule I have is I do not monitor visitors, I have no idea how many people read this blog or by what search they arrive by. For me the blog has become a diary, all be it one that is very ephemeral. I do not own it, it could be shut down at any time. If I press delete there is no back up to save it. I quite like it like that.

So why a patchwork blanket?

Many years ago, before Leyla was born Emin found a lump in my breast. I shrugged, with the insouciance of a seasoned ostrich. He mentioned it at Christmas by Easter he started to nag.

It was at this time that on a bit of a whim I flew to Pusan in South Korea to visit my father, he taught at a University and had managed to get me a room in the hall of residence to stay at for free.

I had the trip of a lifetime, if I could ever return I would. I had time to think and time to walk and take lots of photographs.

The journey however was relentless, coming home I succumbed to the on flight entertainment and watched Step Mom. Not a film I would choose to watch but anything to pass the time. During the film Susan Sarandon discovers she only has a few months to live, she sets about making a patchwork quilt, to leave to her children, giving them memories to draw upon as they grow older.

Only then did it dawn on me how stupid and selfish I was being. This lump was not about me, it was not my lump, it was their lump. Daisy and Kitty had a right to a mother.

They day after I landed I went to the Doctor, a few weeks later after a biopsy I had the lump removed I was so very lucky that despite it’s size (walnut) it was benign.

Whilst I was in hospital I started to talk to the women opposite, she had two girls and one was called Poppy. She had found a lump despite breast feeding. That was all we had in common, she was having a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

What we both agreed on, however was that before the decision to investigate we were both equal. The decision to go to the doctor is what separates the lucky from the unlucky. Like me she waited, just not as long she was a nurse and she knew the consequences of delay.

I now have one breast a cup size smaller than the other which is a small price to pay for a life. That I could be that selfish was wrong, but fear does strange things to us.

I realise that this blog shows a very different side to me, the side my family see is different to the side Emin see’s which in tern is different to the side my colleagues see.

I think we are all very multifaceted people and if anyone was asked to describe me no two descriptions would be the same. So despite my rude good health, I see this blog as my patchwork quilt.

I realise this post comes on the tail end of some other self indulgent navel gazing, that in its self highlights the other anathema, that this blog has absolutely no directional theme at all. It is both curatorial and self promoting. It feeds of other blogs and also is still a place to put ideas of my own. It has made me edit my images and open a Flickr account and if I could choose my ideal job I now know at last it would be as a travel/flower photographer. If Gardens illustrated could just give me a call will be there. My next goal is to put together a book via Blurb. I have been very taken by some of the books other bloggers have cobbled together and I would enjoy the editorial process. I am now waiting to get my scanner connected so that can archive my negatives. I had a look through them recently and I can't wait to get them on line.


materfamilias said...

I've been back and forth lately about what keeps me blogging and whether or not to let it lapse for a while, so I appreciate your articulating something about what yours does/is for you. The patchwork quilt makes a nice analogy -- sometimes I can't see much rhyme nor reason for what goes into mine other than my own interest -- and for now, that does seem to be enough -- the ephemeral diary, as you say, recording my delights and frustrations. I'm glad you started, two years ago, and I hope you stay here for a while. Hope you get that book or exhibition someday too!

La Belette Rouge said...

Happy blogaversary!!!!!!!!!!

I wasn't here in the beginning of your blog. I think I have been here a little over a year. Like you and mater I have been thinking about the me that you see on my blog and how that has changed over time.

I think of your blog as the life of an artist and I love that you share your love of art and how you see your life from an artful eye.

Mater, your blog also has a strong theme--your passions: fashion, gardening, family, knitting and France.

My blog used to have a French them and now it is a biographical blog and when I face that sometimes it feels overly self-indulgent. But, it is all I can seem to write.

It is strange to look back over time and see how the patchwork quilt evolves. Isn't it?

When your book is ready I will be in line to buy it. Can't wait!!!

indigo16 said...

Thank you both for your encouragement. I continue to enjoy writing and feel flattered that I could be perceived as an artist. Imagine being able to write that on your passport?