Poetry, Uncategorized

Built by thoughts controlling

I see you holding onto your fear, cradling it in trembling hands, not wanting to know it, yet unable to let it go…

I hear you making plans. Bigger, better, faster, more. Distraction from the quiet within…

I feel your relief
every
tick
of
the
clock
that
brings
no
change

No discomfort
No pain

See you still within your walls of safety, built by thoughts controlling

who and what is allowed inside

Breathing not, lest the walls collapse.

Holding tight
holding on

Shallow thoughts

Moving not
Changing not

Shallow breath

Feeling safe
Being safe
Needing safe

* * *

But control is a lie you choose to believe
For fate will one day have it’s way…

We control nothing in the end

With the next turn of the hand bad news may come

Will come

What if the walls were to crumble, under the sheer weight of it

…if one on the outside was suddenly gone, just as you find you need them there…

And the quiet within became so loud, that the whole world could hear?

the hands unable to turn back
the cries contained no more
control surrendered

No distraction great enough to ignore the unexpected gasp pulling the breath from your lips…

deep thoughts filling empty lungs

fear slipping from futile fist…

…as your pain finds it’s way home

life

Conversations with God

I suddenly felt out of place standing over him….displaying a superiority that I didn’t intend….

When he had called out to me, strutting past in my heels, asking if I could spare some change for a “sexy homeless man”, something made me stop.

Taking in his shabby clothes and young but aged face I considered dropping a 2 dollar coin into the dirty hat to make a gold
quartet, but I simply said “why are you homeless?”

And although his position hardly granted him the right to care that I asked, I felt compelled to add “if you don’t mind me asking…”

He didn’t, as it turned out

For half an hour painful tears and raucous laughter alternated as he confided stories of a painful childhood….why he couldn’t find a job…how “love” is what’s needed to save the world….how he walked all day once, just to get away from how bad his feelings were, why he didn’t belong at the halfway house (full of druggies and alcoholics)…how his heart was so full….insensitive parents who just didn’t “get him”….judgement from society….and he also told me about his psychic abilities…..

“I help strangers who stop to talk to me. I know they are sad and I ask them why. They can’t believe I know…that I feel their pain….I tell them how to fix it and they think I’m God”

I realised then, that I was still standing there, on the sidewalk…looking down on him, while others stared and I suddenly felt out of place.

So I crouched down beside him, asked him his name, and gave him mine. I don’t know whose hand came out first, but they met in the middle.

In the space between us that was neither mine nor his.

He grasped my hand and it lasted longer than I expected, longer than it should have felt comfortable…yet it felt absolutely necessary.

I told him he was destined for much more than this. That his heart was indeed full, and he needed to shine his light on the world.

He told me to stay beautiful….

* * *

I returned home at the end of the day, to a hot shower and a bowl of pasta, glass of red wine and my favourite tv shows on the big screen tv….

As I lay in bed, soft pillow under my weary head, the loving weight of my husbands arm across my body, I couldn’t help but think about all those homeless people…somewhere out there….trying to keep warm, hungry perhaps…afraid, lost, frustrated by their struggle and, most certainly, all alone.

And I wondered where God was tonight….

Uncategorized

Imperfect parenting

I consider myself to be a good parent. In fact I would go as far as to say I’m pretty fricken awesome at it…

I’ve been doing this parenting thing for 17 years now….much longer than I’ve been able to boil the perfect egg or wash a full basket of dirty laundry without missing at least one sock….and I think I’ve finally got it sussed.

I have always followed my instincts, led mostly from my children’s needs, starting from their very first cues as babies (because, seriously…how can you know when another human being is hungry unless they tell you. The clock hands do NOT know) to really listening to their pre-teen needs and allowing that understanding to form the basis of discipline and guidance.

I don’t think it’s always been “perfect parenting” and I’m sure there are parents out there who would totally disagree with some things I’ve done, but I do believe it’s worked for us.

I never bought into other people’s ideals of how, when, and why you’d raise a baby “by the book” (who wrote this “book”, anyway?). I’ve always trusted my gut feelings and, as I’ve watched my babies become children, and then young men…I feel increasingly satisfied with the parenting choices I’ve made.

And I can honestly say it is my children themselves, who have helped me become a better parent along the way.

I have immense appreciation for their own unique minds and the wisdom they come out with…as it’s taught me things I could never have learnt from a book, even if I was the book following kind.

I actually think my children should have given birth to me, so profound is their view of the world at times!

The ease at which they calmly bring my misaligned judgements back to reality and show me a different, fresh and actually quite brilliant perspective on life, means the parenting/child dynamic has slowly changed over time…

I now listen more to their perspective on things and often shift my own conditioned responses to things that I normally wouldn’t budge on.

Over the years there has been countless times I could have argued back, put my parental foot down and insisted I “win”….but the truth was there, in their little voices, plain and clear.

And we both won.

Age 6 (leaving for school wearing one bright orange and one green sock pulled up to his skinny knees) “Honey, do you want to change your socks? I think they look great but….ummm…the other kids might laugh….”

(With a shrug) “I don’t care….if they laugh, that’s their problem, not mine”

Age 9 “but WHY do I have to make my bed? I’m going to be back in it soon anyway and I’d much rather continue drawing this picture…”

Age 11 “…does it really matter if I don’t wear fancy clothes to the restaurant? Who cares what I wear anyway?”

Age 15 “Mum, please…..just calm down….if you keep getting in the middle of our fights, we’ll never learn to be brothers”

Aren’t they awesome! I’m tempted to take all the credit myself…but I think actually they were just born brilliant.

I’m sure though, that all the imperfect things I did as a parent may just have been partially responsible for the way they’ve turned out. In fact, I think it was the perfect way to do it. It gave them permission to make their own rules and replace limitations imposed by society on how life should be, with their own firm beliefs on how life could be.

So what if we walked home from parties with our still wide awake toddlers at 2 am, singing songs and talking about the stars….at least they learnt that having fun is sometimes more important than following rules.

So what if dirty jokes and swear words were allowed in our home….(we call it “home humour”)….I love it that, although we still while taught them about social appropriateness, within the four walls of our little home, they were always able to share a laugh with us.

So what if I let my 6 year old make the decision to wear the odd socks, perhaps he may have been bullied for it…I’ll never know….but at such a young age he already knew that deciding for himself what he did or didn’t like was far more important than changing, just to keep someone else happy.

I simply gave him permission to follow his instincts. Even if the rest of the world said “no, that’s not how it should be done”

I’ve always tried to do that for my boys….

So it shouldn’t really surprise me now, that at age 15 and 17, they are so self reliant and strong willed.

They simply won’t do something they don’t feel is truly important to them, and the life they are designing for themselves, and really….why should they?

And they know who they are.

After years of being a high achieving perfectionist, I’m starting to live my life the same way, and it’s quite possibly the best thing they’ve taught me.

….Might even wear odd coloured shoes to work tomorrow and see what happens!

Until next time, keep it real 🙂

crap I say, entertainment, life

The relief of plastic chaos (or why it’s okay to lose your lid)

Living life in perfect order

Glasses neatly in a row
Deliberately placed in order of size

Colourful cups and bowls, the plastic Ikea kind (I’m certain it’s important to clarify this) stacked into the most logical of towers, biggest to smallest, a teetering rainbow of absolutely intentional order.

Perfectly organised cutlery drawers…..
dividers firmly keeping the wooden stirring utensils from liaising with the garlic press
or getting entangled with the chopsticks.

Forks on the left. Knives on the right. Spoons in between.

Oh the joy of emptying the dishwasher with military precision!

Small glasses – front and centre, left side of the right hand cupboard

(Upside down to avoid dust collection)

Large pot – under the medium, below the small, beneath the very smallest. But next to the colander (It has holes, it’s different and requires its own system of organisation…)

Painstakingly folding the washing, matching up the socks as though they are married and the law expects it or indeed their very happiness depends upon it!

Towels. Foot mats. Hand towels. Face washers. Know your place in the cupboard please and stay there. Thank you

Have you ever wiped up spills from around the gas flame?

….even as the soup is still simmering above it?

As if the need for tidiness is so urgent that it couldn’t possibly wait for the meal to be done first.

Photo frames symmetrically and deliberately arranged. Always.

Minimalism
Cleanliness
Order
Control
Tidiness

And then……

…..there’s the plastics drawer

Nearly a metre deep, wide and long and filled to the brim with absolutely joyous clutter.

Tupperware containers, mismatched lids, drink bottles, banana scented lunch boxes, jugs, square containers with long lost lids waiting for left overs so that they may fulfil their life-purpose, red inside green, big stuck in small, all the unmatched lids ….and the smallest of containers scattered at the bottom of the pile because (all sense of order long since neglected) they simply fell through the cracks…..

To be able to retrieve an item from the dishwasher and, based purely upon the fact that it is constructed out of plastic (and not metal or ceramic) ignore the overwhelming urge to maintain order and simply throw it – quite literally, haphazardly and effortlessly (still wet and upside down) into that drawer!

It’s almost as if permission has been granted by some magical power, that this drawer will remain the one and only exception to the “rule”

The rules that never go silent….never ease up

I daren’t allow my life to become unruly
I daren’t ponder the possibility that my house could actually become disorderly
I daren’t consider, not even for the briefest of scattered moments, ever becoming a mess myself

But, the plastics drawer?

Yes.

That’s perfectly fine for it to be the one and only total lost cause to tidiness and order.

Indeed…..it is necessary!