A time spent in Longview Texas. A place that surprised me with its balmy green beauty. I was there to visit a long-lost relative. My Aunt Lib. She had left an incredibly poor economy in Ireland as a youngster in the 1960s. She lived all over this earth becoming educated and helping put things right in the world.
I'd heard the story, that I had an aunt who was discovered by an artist, whose portrait had been painted by Vladimir Tretchikoff and hung in the Tate Britain in the 1960s. And there it was...in front of me, this masterpiece. And stood next to me, the lady in the portrait, my Aunt Lib.
She invited me to view it towards the end of my time in Longview. I could tell she felt a little bashful showing me something so beautiful about her.
We stood there together, in the loft space of the giant American garage. She told me how this event had triggered an incredible life for her. Full of tricky choices she made with dutiful consideration
I learned a great deal about life's purpose from the woman in this picture. I can understand why the artist felt compelled to use her as a model.
My Aunt's Husband took some time for me one morning. He wanted to show me some things to bring home to Ireland for my mother. He is a survival trainer and has an incredible skill set. I was really interested in learning from this man.
He taught me how to make kindling from lint, wax and egg cartons. I took this recipe back to Ireland for my mother. He showed me animal traps and what bugs sting and what's safe to be around.
He also taught me how to make the stove in this picture. It's made from an old aerosol cap, some fuel and a tin can. When I took this picture it was still going strong after 20 minutes. Set on a well-worn stool, it looked like a painting. It summed up perfectly his practical liberation.
The man who lit this fire is one to have on your side in a crisis.
What's a name for
I am an adopted person. When I was growing up with my adopted family, I was Sarah Petherbridge, as the law regards me also. My best pals growing up gave me the name Rah. I love this name and I am that to my profession. When I was in Texas I was Emma Claire and I am that to a small handful of people who lost me for 32 years.
There's a certain romance to having been bestowed so many names. Regardless of what you call me, I am the person in this image. I know her and I like her. I'm delighted to have been brought into the world and have been gifted so much extra care and love.