Colour and life…

There are flowers everywhere for those who want to see them…

We’ve been in Canberra earlier this week for our friend’s funeral – I spoke about that in my wrap-up of last week.

My husband has known R since about 1973. She was about 4 years old when hubby (who was then 12) and his family moved in across the road. Hubby’s best mate is her big brother. It became one of those connections where the kids grow up together and virtually adopted each other. Hubby is part of the family.

When hubby and I began dating back in 1989, it was R (then 20) and her elder siblings who I needed to get the seal of approval from. Luckily I passed the intense scrutiny and we’ve all been friends ever since.

So yes, this has been a tough and deeply sad time – as these things are. There’s no point pretending otherwise – we honour her with our grief.

The thing is though, Robbie was an artist – using both paints and textiles. She loved colour and she loved nature. When she was married she had the ceremony in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery. It was therefore fitting that when we said farewell to her, it would also be in a garden with a view of the mountains, the sound of birds and the tinkling of water from the fountain in the background. It was as beautiful and as respectful a goodbye as was possible at a time of such sadness – and truly celebrated her life and all she had achieved in her art, her advocacy, and her family.

Her husband said something like how today a little bit of fabulousness has gone from the world so we all need to be a little bit more fabulous and look for the fabulous to make up for it.

That’s why I’ve used the quote above. It’s attributed to the French artist Henry Matisse who at the time had undergone surgery that had left him frequently bedridden. Rather than complaining about his lot he instead experimented with new techniques and colours to produce something completely new and fresh.

Il y a des fleurs partout pour qui veut bien les voir / There are flowers everywhere for those who want to see them.

It feels very fitting. It was also a reminder to look for the colour, light and joy in the everyday. Although our trip to my husband’s hometown wasn’t a happy one this time, there were still things to love in a city that we both still enjoy visiting.

1.Catch-ups with friends and family. We moved away from Canberra back in 1992, yet it’s incredible and gratifying how some relationships can be picked up in an instant – despite an absence of many years.

2. Blue days and cool mornings. Summer has well and truly arrived in South-East Queensland, yet the overnight temperatures in Canberra were still single figures and very refreshing – with none of the humidity we already have. We stayed at Olims Mercure Canberra – where I spent the night before our wedding nearly 25 years ago.

3. The street art in Civic. This one laneway had a superhero theme and the colour was quite spectacular.

4. This painted sidewalk in Petrie Plaza.

5. Dickson Asian Noodle House. Dickson has so many great Asian restaurants – when we were living in Sydney and visiting for the weekend, this was always our Sunday lunch stop on the way out of town. Thankfully nothing has changed.

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishWrite of the Middle, and, of course, me.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

16 thoughts

  1. A very fitting quote from H. Matisse, and an important reminder to look for light, colours, and joy in every day. Thank you, Jo, and sending you warm hugs. #teamlovinlife

  2. Thank you, Jo for being able to share some beauty and joy in the midst of this sad time on the death of your good friend. I think this is what keeps us going when faced with great sadness, there is often a simple joy close at hand to experience despite your own sadness.

    SSG xxx

  3. Sorry for your loss. I do think a lot of us are now at an age where we need to work out how to manage with these losses. How best to honour and hold onto the memories. I love the quote.

  4. I loved her husband’s comment about finding the fabulous – it’s something we can all do isn’t it? Also nice that you could balance some of the sadness with a little bit of happiness too.

  5. HI, Jo – I love the Henry Matisse quote that you opened with. It is a fantastic motto to live by. I am sorry to hear about your friend. It is wonderful that her farewell was in such a beautiful, fitting place. I’m glad that you all decided to celebrate her “fabulousness” — which shines brightly in the street art!

    1. It’s always sad – and it’s okay to feel sad – but I think it’s also about celebrating life too. Have a fabulous weekend.

  6. I love that quote… it’s an important reminder for those of us who are left. I’m very guilty of focussing on the negative but then I read posts like this (and Denyse’s and Leanne’s) this week and am reminded of how bloody fortunate I actually am. (And I need to act like it!)

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