I’m not sure where to start with this blog post. I can’t stress enough how important I think it is for us to do personal work/projects as regularly as we can. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day routine, worrying about the most immediate task that needs to be done and as a result putting our needs – or doing something that recharges us creatively – as a low priority.
As a result, I came up with this project I call “Two lives, One love – A retrospective”. Basically, I want to donate some personal time to helping couples celebrate the great achievement of melding their lives together (a true marriage of body and soul) – by actually going the distance. I want to give them a voice to say “ Hey, we made it!” and for us to say “Congratulations, you are legends”.
What do I get out of it? I get to take pictures, listen to stories and be reminded of how beautiful, fragile and rewarding life can be.
Enter my first amazing couple in this project, Ginger and Pearl!! These lovebirds have been living in the same house in Canberra, Australia for over 65 years. They grow their own tomatoes – they have an amazing bird aviary and more fridge magnets than I have ever seen before (souvenirs collected over the years by them, their friends and family members of the places they have travelled). Ginger and Pearl are from a working class generation. Ginger spends most his days restoring old wooden furniture (his varnish stained hands tell the story of many a happy piece of furniture that has left the shed). He also managed to score a hat trick many years ago while playing for his local cricket team (and has the trophy to show for it)! Pearl is nearly blind but spends her days working in the garden and feeding mince meat to the kookaburras and magpies that sit on her clothes line each day. Pearl also has a photo frame that contains the photographs of all their pets that have passed away over the years (including one called Angry Cat).
I cannot begin to fathom what they have built together in the way of a foundation for their family – what they have seen – what they have shared and even, at times, what they have fought for. What I do know, however, is that I spent a little piece of three separate days with them and I didn’t want to leave…
Ginger and Pearl, there aren’t enough words that I can offer you to tell you how much respect I have for the both of you. You were so kind and generous enough to allow me a glimpse of your life and for this I will be forever grateful.