24th August 2010
Domesday Oak, Ashton Court Estate, Bristol, UK.
Lucy follow up interview to follow.
So I feel I ought to update you. Today was domesday tree day. Tree 100. Doom is generally negative. Oh dear. But … this is a day of turning. Change. I’m moving out of the home I’ve lived in tomorrow. I’ve been packing all day. Packing up your life is always a strange thing. I’ve been doing this for many reasons but one is all this. Am I obsessed or am I driven by something truly positive only time will tell. I’m going out into the world to see what happens. By tomorrow my things will be in storage and I will be at the mercy of my wits and good fortune of God /the universe etc …
It seemed like the right thing to do. There are lose plans to meet people around Europe and climb with them. But nothing is fixed. I’ve also been dealing with my ex having found a new boyfriend and wrestling with the family tree idea. Whether to include non blood relatives – for the climax to this whole project on the 17th May 2011. I’ve finally decided to do it.
What is family is the question. – There’s a new category. The modern family. It’s become so spread out … so many of us have ended relationships and begun new ones. The unit, the family unit is fractured into so many pieces and like the 44 people tree branches become grafted onto the main trunk. So much so that if you don’t look carefully they are indistinguishable from it. We stood under the 44 tree and it took an old guy to point it out. 2 trees in one. My close friends – people I hope to see, who I imagine seeing it through with – life that is are in the ‘family’.
People I struggle to imagine living without. People who’s funerals and weddings I will go to. Who I will follow to the end. These are the people close to my ‘heart’. People I’ve shared stories with. People who resonate with my personality – who understand me. Who look out for me and I them. As with cousins I rarely see – some of them are far away and our meetings are few and far between but they have a special place in my life that I hope will never be gone. Blood is thicker than water (?) but water is a beautiful and restorative and sustaining substance that is everywhere.
Blood family is an amazing thing. These people – we are connected by survival. We have survived this for thanks to individuals bothering to reach for life. To strive on for us. That life is made possible also thanks to these special friends. So that’s why the window is opened and I acknowledge and honour that love, and sustenance. In a way it feels slightly selfish to include my close friends. Where do you draw the line? In a true family tree – everyone would bring their relatives and close friends grafted into their lives but … it is ‘my’ project.
6 degrees of separation – we’d all be there if I opened up to everyone. The whole world – would be sat in Magnus’s fantasy tree if I didn’t draw the line? I feel like I’m organising a wedding suddenly. Who gets to be invited to Norway – to the event? And who doesn’t. Feels unfair and edgey. If I invite so and so then so and so will feel left out or rejected. Sticking to blood only would be simple. If your DNA doesn’t match or you‘re not married in – then you’re not coming in. But why do things the easy way for the sake of it? So. One chapter ends and another begins. Tomorrow I store my ‘materials’ away and head into the sunset. I’ve felt a spectrum of emotions today, and they finally led me to want to end well. To appreciate those people I’ve lived with. Why does it take an end to bring that into focus? Imagine the deathbed. The things you wish you’d said all pouring out. Why don’t I live like that every day? So. We are family is launched. The party has been announced. What dreams may come between now and then?