IN the late afternoon sun I knelt in the muddy chewed up grass in front of the fence and gazed unseeingly at your charred blackened bones and grieved. My beautiful house. My beautiful beautiful house. All gone.
All your beautiful green and gold spiderwebbed window glasses, lovingly hung in the double sash windows in 1917. All your beautiful deep cedar architraves and skirting boards. All your glorious baltic timbers and meticulously crafted details. Your beautiful old doors and door handles, the special things that made you beautiful, to me. All gone.
Those stunning, wondrous, beautiful timber art nouveau fireplace surrounds and mantels. The well built and fabulously pointed brick work in the main fireplace. The triple triangle feature fireplaces that added charm and character to my beautiful Federation home.
Shattered glass lies on green grass. Blackened, twisted and charred timbers reach to the open sky amongst the buckled and scorched tin sheets from the roof. When they bought the roof and chimneys down it fell into the holes that used to be my gorgeous and beautiful home.
I can't cry. I can't let it out. I am blocked and locked and hiding in my head. I know that when I am eventually allowed back into my yard, back to what was my life, the grief will knock over this fragile dam I have erected and flood me. It will overwhelm me. But it won't, this time, destroy me.
The worst thing will be sorting through the torched remains, the black things that once brought me joy and happiness. There are moments when I can't breathe, when I think of what I have lost. What was ashes in mere moments were the memories and achievements of my life.
The Triple Goddess Mandala, my signature painting. Gone.
All my artwork destroyed. A lifetime of work. Huge thanks to all of you who have bought my originals over the years - at least some of it survives...
My books. Black with soot, ragged with water, reeking of the acrid and bitter smoke that rolled through the air like a juggernaut with the flames.
My beautiful bed. My stunningly gorgeous linen. My collectibles. My life...
Yes, they were only things. But they were MY things. My life, my treasures, my beautiful bits and pieces. Mine.
And so I sat out the front of the shell of what remained of my gorgeous home and I howled inside.
I have no idea what to do. No way to feel except bereft. Broken. Exhausted. Battered. Bruised. When I think of Christmas and the loss of my grandmother, my father (of the heart) and my two best friends all within a few weeks and now this, it's no wonder I can't feel. It's no wonder I don't feel safe any more. I'm lost, hopelessly lost.
All I can do is write. And take pictures. And hold myself together for a little bit longer.
I am so grateful for the loving, supportive and wonderful people who surround me every day with messages of support and love. Who send me little trinkets and flowers and fill my life with meaning. I'm so blessed.
A week ago, my house burned down. A week ago, my life changed forever.