Many years ago I had an important decision to make, and I visited Milton Locks and sat and absorbed the view of Langstone Harbour and the South Downs. At that time I also needed a location, something, I could carry in my memory to provide a calming reference point to help me through tough times in the years to come.
Today, nearly twenty-four years later, even with the distraction of setting up the camera, this place still has a calming effect, it is a memory I can carry away again.
This time I didn’t expect it to help provide inspiration to make a decision. All I wanted was to take away some of its calming energy.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve used the memory of this place as a mental refuge when things got desperate.
What I didn’t mention, or more precisely wasn’t prepared to mention when I originally made this post on May 21, 2007, was when or why I had originally sat here.
It was the morning of my wedding on Saturday, September 10, 1983 — nearly 24 years earlier. It was then that I came here to escape and make my mind up as to what to do. The hard truth is that I didn’t want to get married, but I couldn’t see a way out of it. I ended up taking the easy and cowardly path of absorbing the calm and serenity of this spot and going on with the day. Who knows what might have happened, who I would be now if I’d done the courageous thing and called it all off. Instead, I let my fear of a lonely future overrule my desire not to go through with the wedding.
Fast forward to 2007, when I took this picture, by then I had already made my life-changing decision to get divorced. It was just a matter of getting up the courage to follow through. That and I was concerned about being ‘organized’. I wanted to arrange time off from work so I could sort all the details out with a minimum of fuss. Ha! I’m not sure how I’d convinced myself that that would be possible. However, four weeks later on June 16, I took the next step.
Looking back on this day in 2007 with the benefit of many years of hindsight, I am still absolutely sure that I made the right decision to get divorced. I’m not proud of being weak and giving in to pressure and getting married in the first place. But, that brought me my two sons and made me who I am. I’m certainly not proud of all the angst and trouble my decision at this time to get divorced caused, nor for the very naive assumptions I made.
What is, is.
Updated: July 2015, May 2017.
Copyright © 2007 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.