What two visual items remind you of your parents? BlogJune 2020/9


This thoughtlet is via snail’s list of things to write. He mentioned that a collection of books on Marx is a visual reminder of his dad, while for his mum, it is plastic forks.

I was considering the same question today, coincidentally. And came up with similar prosaic and quirky results.

What visual item reminds you of your parents?

Today I went out to a group event for the first time in over three months. All afternoon I did yoga and pastel drawing and guided meditation.

It was a fundraiser for staff in a retreat in the Balinese hills, thrown out of work by the pandemic. Right now is the time the annual art and yoga retreat would have been held, like the one I went on in 2018. But, not this year.

As part of a mandala drawing, we were meditating and visualising before each layer. One layer involved visualising your parents each giving you a gift. (Of course, to maintain safe space this could be interpreted as parental figures or one’s matrilineal or patrilineal ancestors).

For me, with my dad it was blue eyes. This was based on an experience around his hospital bed with a group of cousins and aunts. I answered a question, heads swivelled and I looked back into several sets of identically coloured eyes, all the same as my dad’s. I am sure that my brown ones widened.

For mum, it was fairy cakes in patty pans. She was a “food is love” kind of mum. I hadn’t realised how long it is since I have seen fairy cakes (also called butterfly cakes). The extra care cutting the tops, whipping the cream, sieving the icing sugar, just to make them extra special is emblematic of the type of person she was. She put in extra effort all the time into small things that may not have mattered otherwise, just to make the everyday seem even better.

What would your two items be?

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