Thoughts on life

The sadness of a two slice toaster

Has an electrical appliance ever made you cry…?

Or even just a tad sentimental??

Ok, just me then…

I’m relaxing in the bath with a wine, as you do on a Wednesday night, flicking absent-mindedly through a discount store catalogue (“buy NOW!” why wait when you can finance??!” when I see it…

Page 7

Right hand side

Two little boys playing, and laughing, next to a bunk bed (“King single loft also available!”)

Oh my….it seems like yesterday my two grown sons were that “niddle” (My youngest never could that word properly lol)

We couldn’t afford fancy beds back then and the boys slept in clean but second hand, hand me down or cheap as chips from China “Pipeline” beds – and my heart stretched slightly north at the memory…

What we did have though was laughter and games, niddle men made out of honky nuts (you’ll need to Google that if you’re from anywhere but Australia!) silly shenanigans involving sweat pants pulled up over shoulders (try it…and then do a jig. Honestly it’s the best!!) and sleep filled eye deep and meaningful’s about Spider-Man and today’s plans over breakfast.

Trust me…even “Home brand” bread (lovingly cooked in the cheapest 4 slice toaster you could buy) tastes awesome when it’s being jammed into tiny, tooth filled mouths that are adorably laughing at their own fart jokes!

That poor toaster got used and abused! Often refilled 2 or three times to satisfy the four of us…

The best part was watching clumsy hands layer Vegemite, butter and jam so thickly and meticulously (eyebrows furrowed, little tongues stuck firmly out!) and then crying when their uncoordinated efforts to jump down off the toddler step while clutching their masterpiece, promptly launched the toast onto the ground. “Naughty toast!!”

Did I realise the beauty and magic I was witnessing at the time? Probably not…

…my eldest son moved out 2 weeks ago and my youngest son is barely home these days…

I’m proud of them and happy to see them living their own lives but you do forget that slowly and surely it is also your own life that will have to change a bit too…

It’s so gradual you don’t see it coming

It’s takes years and tears and milestones and growing pains and morning hellos becoming weekly goodbyes

It evades you and makes you believe you’re fine…

…until that one Wednesday night, when you’re aimlessly browsing through a catalogue and find yourself wondering if you should buy that shiny, expensive and brand new 2 slice toaster…

And your heart breaks

And you cry

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Thoughts on life

Surrender

Breathe in…

let it go…

Breathe in…

…and let go…

The fight is tiring

The battle hard

It is silent

…secret

and scarred

Let it go…

But what then?

Control is my fiend

And my friend…

Breathe in

Let it go…

Trust and surrender

who I know

Exposed and in view

I breathe in…

and see you

Thoughts on life

Fault lines

You can’t see me, but it’s not your fault Your eyes are closed by fear of sight

Closed to pain

Closed to grief

Closed to reason

You can’t feel me but it’s not your fault Your arms are wrapped tight around your story

Full of reasons

Full of rage

Full of blame

You can’t love me but it’s not your fault as you can’t love yourself

Can’t love

Can’t reason

Can’t apologise

I can only hold me and all my fault

As I see myself
I also see you…

I see

I rage

I apologise

I question

I reason

I grieve

I give up

I hold me tighter, I see myself more

and then, because I don’t know what else to do…

I love us both

humanism, life

#LoveNotFear

Guns. Bombs. Terror. Murder

The world we live in is now more complicated than ever.

Fear and darkness circling us, begging our attention…tempting us to succumb to the fear and become dark ourselves.

We are fearful because we are fighting and fighting because we are fearful.

The conflicts are complicated and the solution elusive…I don’t have the answers, but I do believe in peace.

So forgive me if I choose to keep it simple.
If I choose to fight the darkness by turning on a light.

To choose not to live in fear.
To choose to believe in love.
Choose to live by love.

To simply choose LOVE

#prayforourworld #lightnotdarkness #LOVENOTFEAR

humanism, life

A million tears

I am sitting in a crowded airport lounge

Crying

.     .     .

I haven’t been moved to pause my busy life long enough to write anything down in a long time…. No poems. No funny anecdotes.

Nothing.

But today I am feeling moved.
Today I am feeling
Today I am crying

The shocking surrealism of finding terror in your own back yard.
The closeness of the fear.
The tears of our usually smiling news readers…

The realisation that no one is immune to pain.

As the long held in tears took over my weary eyes I found myself – most uncharacteristically – not caring who saw. In fact….I wanted someone to see.

I wanted everyone in the airport to see.

Not for pity
Not for sympathy

Simply for humanity

This man sitting oposite me, typing an email…I have never met and probably won’t see ever again.

This group of Asian business men…I don’t understand their conversation or know where they live.

The waitress cleaning up after our mass unrelenting consumption of wine and meals…I don’t know her story either.

But if I saw them crying

…even if I didn’t  know the reason….

I would care

And if someone unknown to all of us walked in with a gun

and stole their stories…

I would care.

If we all suddenly found ourselves clinging to each other as we hung on to our hope, our stories… our lives

we would care

Maybe we should start now…

family, life

Love….of a different kind

An amazing thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to write it down ever since but wasn’t sure if I should…

Let me start by saying I don’t believe in ghosts. At least…I don’t think I do.

I think I believe in spirits…well…let’s just say I’m getting more used to the idea as I get older

But I DO believe in love

* * *
A text msg to my sister was not answered as fast as usual.
Knowing she was working through some differences with other family members I wondered if I’d said or done something wrong…

Doubt rising, worry filling in the blanks, I feared the worst

The whole day passed and the reply finally came back.
Colder than normal and in a strangers “voice” it confirmed my suspicions.

All night and the next morning I grappled with the most natural of human instincts…fight or run (in other words, hide and avoid dealing with the conflict my brain was inventing)

I knew I needed to call. I knew I’d done nothing wrong.

But I also didn’t know what was going on…all I knew that there was a massive disconnect in my family that I hadn’t been able to fix…and I feared it was about to get worse.

Fear. Worry. Doubt. Pain. Repressed “stuff” (we all have it…)

I felt numb

Then, for some strange reason, driving to work, I saw my Nans face in my mind. The brevity of time spent with her before she passed, did nothing to minimise the love I still felt for her.

Love. Family. Connection. Life

I found myself clinging to this feeling.
I felt my heart grow with a fullness of warmth and light.
I realised then, that all my efforts to stay distant and avoid possible conflict wasn’t actually the answer, but I just couldn’t get past all the negativity that had settled into my bones…

So I sent all that love outwards into the universe and said

“I need your help Nan. Our family needs your help. You’ve done it once before…(I know it was you and Grandad who did it last time!) please help fix our family….”

I arrived at work, went about my day, called my sister, had a really good talk, reconnected, cried a bit, laughed a lot and then went to my dance lesson….filled with a newfound optimism that my family would, in fact, be okay!

* * *

Driving home two hours later I did what I always did while driving…singing along to very loud music I had my very own little in-car party.

Somewhere in between “Livin La Vida Loca” and a Coldplay song I can’t quite remember….

…I saw her

I stopped singing.
Stopped breathing.
I wondered briefly whether I’d been thinking about her without realising it?
(It was like she was there)

Then it hit me.

A smile that came from somewhere surreal, filled my face without effort.

Goosebumps ran up and down my arms, though I was feeling anything but cold…

“Oh…thanks, Nan…” I whispered

crap I say, entertainment, family, humour, life

37 years

…for someone who grew up with teeth that never quite got along with the reluctant smile, feeling inconveniently born into the wrong era, and an absolute love of dancing that persisted beyond (and perhaps in total retaliation to) my circumstances…it’s not surprising really…

…that I absolutely love this song.

The first time I heard it, I fell in love. It simply spoke to me.

“Spinning, laughing, dancing to
her favourite song….
A little girl with nothing wrong
Is all alone…

…crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That’s all her own…

…and she’s all alone…”

Norah Jones – “Seven Years”

* * *

I don’t remember the verandah incident

But my Mum does.

She’s told me the story many times and, although I don’t remember it – except as an anecdote of someone else’s memory – for me, it will always remain a moment in time that is purely and simply…

ME

…she searched high and low for her 4 year old daughter….

Given that this quiet, amiable child was almost never out of sight, that the house sat atop a hill on one of the busiest main roads in Perth (….at the time…you’d skateboard blindfolded down there now) and that she was (oh, Mum, please forgive me…) prone to just a teensy bit of over-protectiveness…it was, to say the least, a frantic search!

When she finally found me, after peering into countless toy boxes, cupboards, lolly jars and other child favoured haunts….she was surprised at what she found.

The front window jimmied open (of course the front door was locked! Did you not just read the paragraph above?!) fly screen pushed out….

Her daughter, tiny, free…totally alone….

…..and perfectly happy!

twirling…
….on
the…

…..front……

verandah…

“What are you doing???” (Only a “scared out of her wits” mother can get away with this tone and still sound completely loving)

“….nothing….”

“Then why on a Gods earth are you outside??!!” (Cars screaming by, brakes screeching, all possible dangers known to man lurking just beyond the verandah…….)

I just wanted to dance”

* * *

The smile’s being straightened
I still like being alone occasionally
My mother doesn’t worry about me (as much) these days…

But I still just want to dance.

(And I’m 37)

So I do