Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Burn it down. Burn it all down.

A good friend of mine is going through a divorce right now. Talking to her brings up Stuff. Yes, that's with a capital S. The fighting leading up. The decision to get out. This family over, over, over. This is not the woman I want to be.

This photo, Untitled #6 by Jessica Bruah, is not necessarily about divorce. It might be less abstract than I'm interpreting it to be. Her husband could be in that house. Her cats could be in that house. God only knows what she's about to ignite.

Still, it reminded me of my divorce. Of that time in my life. You have to burn it down, in a sense, to create something new. There is nothing really left of that person that you were in your old marriage as the divorce is happening -- because your life is no longer as you imagined it. I became a new woman. A different mother. A different daughter. I reinvented myself, and I mean this in subtle ways. I was still Hayley.

But first, you extract. You burn it down. Scorch it.

She doesn't even have her shoes on, the lady in that picture. But she keeps her dignity. A beautiful skirt. One bag of the essentials. A blouse neatly showing under the cashmere sweater.


  1. It was really great to read this...I haven't been divorced (and don't come from divorced parents) so I don't fully understand that trauma. It makes me feel a little less confounded at the behavior of my husband's ex. Thanks!

  2. Love that picture. And your words complimented it perfectly.

  3. thanks so much... it's amazing when an image brings up such emotion. i still find myself looking at it. i bought it for my girlfriend actually.


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