I first shared this self portrait on the blog back in 2006; I’d been blogging for all of six months and was still grieving. I’d started learning how to use Photoshop, as evidenced by the heavy-handed editing, but beyond that, this photo reminds of how I felt back then, of how i’d only just begun my own unravelling journey. I was thinner back then too — i hadn’t grown myself back yet.
It was a surprise to stumble across this photo this morning — the poem that accompanied it speaks volumes to me:
When I’m dead and buried, or
thrown to the wind,
someone will read these words –
a daughter perhaps, or a son maybe –
but these words will live on
further, harder, than me.
I could leave messages today
for the prying eyes of tomorrow,
word-gifts to comfort them,
their mother an enigma who tested
and tried, who fought her battles and
surrendered in the end.
Will anyone care that these words exist?
That today I caught the coach back
from London and ate two fried eggs
on toast sat in front of the TV;
what will this tell the family I do not yet have,
my darling future children?
What will it tell them about their mother?
That once she was thirty-three and
tired and hungry for a better life,
a different life, uncertainty clouding
her view of the future, as it
does for us all; my children
will know this by then, I’m sure,
by the time they read these words –
these words I wrote today
thinking of them.