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Expand and contract

A friend of mine tells me she thinks this church in Bruntsfield looks like a rocket. I’m likely to agree with her. 

On my Sunday afternoons, I am given two hours to myself. These are gifted to me by way of Little One’s dad taking her to his for some necessary Daddy Daughter time. Always, always, I’m at a loss as to what to do with these two hours. So, as it was a tremendously beautiful day today, and as I was feeling my four walls pressing in on me, I went out for a walk and let my mind roam with me.

Over the past week, life has put me in contact with people at the edge of things. One girl at the edge of dropping off into the scary Unknown. A couple other ladies at the edge of something dark they’ve had to crawl out of, fingers, nails, clawing at the dirt to try to get some air. 

The first one is facing imminent separation and there are kids involved. From where she stands, I’m sure the loneliness, emptiness, uncertainty and their other friends Worry, Anxiety, and How Am I Going To Survive This are looming large in her life. The thing is, as the months pass, all of these things will cease to block her vision. They will contract and allow some light in. Then slowly Contentment and Peace will appear at the door and hopefully within a few years new routines will help to form a life that is less complicated and more her. New friendships will form, old ones solidify. But now, at the edge, it’s a frightening place for her to be. Last year I’m sure I looked and felt as broken as she was a few days ago.

The other night was a rare thing for me as I went out with friends. A couple of our number have been dealing with some pretty extreme grief. I’m giving nothing away here and will only speak briefly, as it’s their story to tell, not mine. As they talked of their experience, you could sense that the all encompassing sadness had started make room for something lighter. Some joy in different forms had found its way in. And I possibly drank too much that night and thought too much on my way home.

And on my walk today I thought of how my daughter, that one small life, has expanded into something quite large in my own life. At this age she needs all of me: my attention, my love, my guidance, my patience. But when she gets older, that need will contract and then what? I guess I will find new ways to fill the space. More me? Less me but something else? Who knows. Life is a crazy thing.


I am an artist living and working in a rather gorgeous city. My art can be purchased in various shops throughout the city as well as from my online shop. Most of my work is for commission, private and corporate. I am the founder of Crash Course in Art History Limited.

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