For my Dad

I’m thinking of my Dad today because he’s had the most horrible week. Last week his twin sister died after a slow and terrible illness, and then on the weekend an errant house guest stole his camera and his lenses and his penknife, his most prized possessions. Which is just not fair.

Actually, it’s been a pretty shattering year so far.

I have often grimaced uncomfortably when he whips out his giant camera at family gatherings, but I’ve always loved seeing the portraits he’s taken afterwards. That’s mostly what he photographs, people’s faces. And then prints them out to show us all.

I am glad I visited my aunt Irene with my Nanna and Michael last time I was home. It was Nanna’s idea. I am so grateful. We talked about Christmas, and her children and her grandchildren. We looked at photos.

My aunt did not have an easy life. But my Mum said what seems most clear at the moment, as the family comes together, that underlying everything, and despite everything, is love. She loved her family and her family loved her.

Love is difficult. But sometimes, suddenly, effortless.

And my Dad is brilliant. It was so nice hanging out with him last time I was in Australia. He took such good care of me. He cooked us dinner, took us out for dinner, brought pasties home for me during his lunch break, kept the pantry liberally stocked with chocolate, cried over my poems. And took some great photographs. Especially one night when we went out for pizza on King William Road, Mum and Dad, my brother and Michael and I. We sat out on the pavement in the evening warmth. It was a good night.

So I’m thinking of you today, Dad. I can’t wait to see you in July. And I hope you get a new camera soon. I love the way you wonder at the world, and at people, and the worlds within them.

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