A Love Contained | 2012

It was the summer of 1985 and I was eight years old. I remember my mother’s youngest brother, Uncle Hassan driving me to LAX airport and putting me on the plane to London. I was told that I was going on a short visit to see my father but unbeknown to me, it had been arranged that I would not be returning. My mother, Fereshteh would remain in Mission Viejo, California, living with her mother and younger brothers and I was to be brought up in London by my father Afshin and his younger sister Afsaneh.

For over three decades and since our parting, Fereshteh has been sending me parcels consisting of dried foods, grown in California but typical of Iran. I receive four or five of these packages a year and all our telephone conversations revolve around these parcels. They are often stuck in customs, which gives her a reason to ring everyday to see of their arrival.

The repetitive nature of this ritual is symbolic of how our relationship and our behaviour towards one another has remained fixed in the summer of 1985 and has never been allowed to flourish. It's her way of keeping hold of that little boy and for me, a constant reminder of losing her.