Even when my father was terribly ill, I didn't think he would die. He was never that mortal. Five years later I catch a whiff of his smell, hear his voice, sometimes feel his touch.
It seems that he has not gone; what has gone is the girl who had a father.
What did it mean to him to be the father of a daughter? And who was she?
I was eleven when he built my dressing table. My brothers and I had desks but mine flanked a dressing table, red, triple mirrored.
How did he see 'daughter', a creature apart, needing three mirrors; what was the feminine that he looked for in me? He talked of it a lot, asked questions, why I prefered those shoes, why I pulled my hat like that, who taught me to use eyeshadow?
Now looking for the daughter, a dressing table seemed to be a good starting point. In the mornings I sit there with the stuff of the day. Before bed I can assess whats happened. Photographs of the life of the dressing table became part of the search for the daughter of the father. Contact with the father.
The similarities to an altar are unavoidable. Friends bring it gifts. Without thinking about it, images of goddesses have emerged. Snakes, theological references, nods to the family, things bought or found around excursions with friends... every object and its placement tells a story. Not an epic.
Just an offering.
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