In October 2021 my husband Manfred surprised me with an early Christmas present. Three sparkly pipe cleaners all twisted together to form a 'tinsel twist'. It was a sweet gesture but a bit early for Christmas, I thought. I thanked Manfred and placed it on the sideboard.
Just two weeks later Manfred died. In the shock and aftermath of his sudden death, my early Christmas present became the holiest of relics, a sacred object holding the imprint of his touch.
I imagined his hands and fingers twisting the red blue and silver strands round and round. I wanted to replicate that process with my own hands. I rolled out three lengths of clay then, following Manfred's lead, I twisted them together.
On Christmas morning I carried the clay through Smugglers Tunnel and on to Ness Beach. This beach holds treasured memories for Manfred and I. We were
engaged there at Christmas in 2014 and spent our last wedding anniversary together there in July 2021.
I placed the clay down and watched as the waves rushed forward to meet it. I enjoyed this 'inter-tidal display'. Watching the clay be flipped and turned by the waves was mesmerising - it connected me to Manfred in a spontaneous playful way. As the foamy water retreated, the clay re-emerged
brighter than before. Its vibrancy echoed
the glimmer and sparkle of Manfred's own
loving gift to me.
Top: Tinsel Twist displayed with photograph of Manfred and I at Ness Cove (Christmas 2014)
Lower Image: Clay Twist on the beach at Ness Cove (Christmas 2023)
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