Blonde, cherubic children smile directly at the camera with uninhibited smiles that only accompany youth. A mother’s arms are clasped protectively around their shoulders their umbilical cord yet to be truly cut. Her smile is strained; merely a turned-up mouth, no twinkle in her eyes or joyful expression. Hers is tense and stifled. She is a great actress.
Their father’s smile is non-existent. Actually he is non-existent. She has taken to the photograph with scissors and removed any trace of him from the family album.
William S. Burroughs famously quoted “When you cut into the present, the future leaks out.” When she took the scissors to her families’ photographs did she know that her husband, their father would disappear from their lives?
Divorce was uncommon at that time, it was the early Seventies and couples took their vow “Till death do us part” literally. I was the only child with divorced parents at my primary school: a Catholic one.
As the years progressed and divorce became endemic more children joined me in my club, yet none of us actually wanted to be a member. My membership was automatic; my father met someone else, he left and I was their latest recruit.
Presently, a few couples in my circle (both close and others on the periphery) are flirting dangerously with divorce. To them I would like to propose a simple question: If they cut into their present are they sure that they are prepared for the future that may leak out?