When I made this drawing 25 years ago, I was teaching English at the Americanos College in Nicosia, and this was the view from my second floor classroom. The large window framed the main square, and the Nicosia Town Hall. It was an image I loved, and on my days off I drew from the flat roof above my classroom. It was a magical time, and I'll never forget drawing above the piercing sound of traffic, as the flickering sunlight cast green fire into the foliage below. As the heat burned my back, I delighted in the sense of being in my own secret world. Possibilities fanned out all around me, and on my paper.
I never imagined that one day, many years later, and after a life tapestry heavily textured with grief and light, I would be married in that same Town Hall. I often wonder if there's a time-line that with some insight I could have looked down, and seen that future self stepping into that muted pink building, with its lovely columns, on a day when I was truly, incredibly happy.
I married on August 5th, at 11.30am, to a wonderful man I have known for 9 years, and had a long distance relationship with for five years. Everything just fell into place, in a way that's rare in life. We booked our marriage 48 hours before the event. My pace slowed as we walked along the cool corridor to the Registrar's office, because I recognised paintings by Cypriot artists I knew well. Suddenly I stopped in front of a huge oil painting of Nicosia. 'It's my painting!' I shouted so loudly that a woman came running out of a nearby room. But she began smiling when I explained that this was the painting I'd donated to the Mayor of Nicosia in 1988! I hadn't seen it since 1990, when it was hanging in the conference room, and I'd assumed it was in a dusty cupboard somewhere! I felt as if the past had reached into the future, and seeped into the committment I was about to make.
They allowed us to take photos in front of the painting, a few minutes before the marriage. For a split second I remembered Tom, who died 13 years earlier, and who had embodied Nicosia for me back then. As I took my vows, I felt that a huge circle had closed.
(Photos: Me in front of the Town Hall: Me with my Marriage Certificate: In front of my Nicosia painting, just before we married: my charcoal drawing of the Town Hall.)