18 June 2014

Things of value


I am doing exactly what one is supposed to do in one's mid-40s: have a midlife crisis. So far, it's going very well.

Despite the relative freedom of being permitted to work from home most days, I found the constraints of a full time job awful, and the irritations and stupidity of a large organisation's bureaucracy increasingly unbearable. I am more and more aware of just how fleeting life is. And how hostile a normal modern professional life is to movement, health, and the time and calm for reflection and appreciation for beauty.

So I recently left my relatively well paid provincial government job for the scary world of freelancing, and uncertain, patchy income. Financially scary especially because I want to work on some more creative projects, and play in the garden and garage more.

In this time of navel-gazing I have never lost sight that I have so much to be thankful for. One of the most important is Rosie who makes every day happier. How many men are so lucky that they can devote their midlife turmoil entirely to pursuing vintage motorcycles and gardening, without any desire to wander? The last few months have been challenging for both of us, and not just because of me. But in that time Rosie has always been a refuge and support. She's also very easy on the eye, and far more career driven than I am. I'd be crazy not to try and keep her near for ever, and miraculously, she feels the same way.

This is an engagement ring. Appropriately, it is worth very little money, but it is from my mother's mother. The green stone is a simple synthetic spinel, with facet edges worn soft by the passage of many years. I photographed it on a hand-embroidered handkerchief made by a great aunt I never knew, in the late afternoon light streaming into our home.

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