Fathers and Daughters





I took this photograph in Oxfordshire a year ago. I was roaming the grounds of a beautiful hotel the morning after seeing Max Richter perform at Blenheim Palace and was struck by this gazebo and the weeping willows all around it. It was like something out of, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

This picture popped up on my memories yesterday, rather fittingly on Fathers' Day. I've spoken before about chasing the memory of my father, and how I find him for, often, fleeting moments through music. Our love of classical music is something I've never quite allowed myself to share with anyone else in my life because it was, and always will be, sacrosanct to me. By preserving it in this way, I've unwittingly created these pockets and spaces to grieve his loss and to celebrate him and our life together. When I find him, I am transported and for a moment it's as though my life was never fractured and I am remade.

It has been ten years since his passing but, I have never felt closer to him than that balmy summer night as the sun set on the palace grounds and the swell and throng of that orchestra burrowed it's way into my chest. I was leaned forward, on the edge of my seat taking in every last morsel like it were oxygen. Each note, each movement brought me closer to him and everyone and everything else fell away. It was him and I and the entire performance was just for us.

Music is magic. For me, it has become the language of my grief and the ribbon that binds me to the people I love. Music can move and heal and wrap itself around the broken parts of you and reforge the tatters of your heart, even when all you have left is ash and bone.

For everyone who was missing their fathers this weekend, I see you, I hear you; you are ever so lovely, and you are not alone.


-N


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