Thursday, 28 August 2014

Silly humans

I am thinking about love this week. What it gives, what it takes, how we live with it and in it and around it.

This is the best I can come up with.

In the beginning, we spin lightly under it's sunshine, arms outstretched, bare feet hardly touching the ground while our souls soar up into a blue blue sky.

And next the journey, walking hand in hand. Every day that passes, carving our thoughts and hopes and dreams into one another. 

Towards the end, we carve more destructively. Hurt and anger and pain.

When it's over, we deal with the loss as uniquely as a fingerprint. Some lucky ones walk away intact - changed forever, tattooed by the time spent learning another soul - but still okay.

Some unlucky ones splinter and fracture into a thousand glittering pieces, to be put back together the same, but never the same.




Monday, 25 August 2014

Goodbye kisses

We're back from holiday. And packing for The Big Move. The walls are bare, the rugs are rolled up, the bookshelves are empty. Our home is slowly slipping back into being just a house, impartial walls and floors, waiting silently for the transformation it's new owners will bring.

Final scenes from the past weekend.











Celebrating new beginnings, and blowing goodbye kisses to a closing chapter.

There is hope
you know,
and it grows whisper quiet
without the need
of the sunlight 
of our belief.
These are the petals
we will never pick off.

- Tyler Knott Gregson

Happy Monday.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

On Bravery

I saw something on Instagram two days ago that has had my mind spinning around in circles. Big slow ones, turning the words over, examining them, thinking them through.

Bravery suits you.

Earlier this week, I found the journal that I kept just after things exploded. I read through it with an aching heart. Pages and pages filled with fear, and despair - abject terror, and confusion. I read the words and my heart went out to that frightened girl. That desperate version of me, that thought she would never ever survive it. The shame of divorce. Being alone. Being a single parent. Facing a future that abruptly didn't include a perfect family anymore. I would have done anything, anything, to keep my life the way it was.

Tomorrow will be five months to the day. And I have made a startling discovery. I am grateful for the last five months. For how they've changed me. For the lessons I've learnt, and continue to learn. For an awakening within myself, that has shown me the beauty in the flawed, the hope amidst the carnage, the joy in a beautiful sky or a rising moon. 

I have many friends who have walked their own road through shadows before me. Or are doing so now. We stand together, soldiers in the trenches. Forever changed - marked - by our experiences. The loss of a beloved parent. Debilitating illness. The death of a sunshine child. Divorce. Chemotherapy. A husband gone too soon. I thought of every single one of them when I read those words: bravery suits you.

Being forced to examine oneself is always a gift. It just doesn't look like it at the time. But when everything I thought I knew - about who I was, where my life was going, how my future was going to play out in it's picture-perfect consecutive scenes - was torn away, I was given the chance to look at ME. Who I am. Who I had become. The role I played in the slow death of a beautiful marriage. The person I would like to be. The lessons I would like to teach my daughter.

Five months. When I went for a run tonight, the sun was setting. And I looked at the sky, and I thought of all the things that tie up to form this messy, flawed package that is me. Sunshine, and shadows. A reader, writer, blogger, photographer, runner, traveller, friend, mama, provider. A bit broken, but then who isn't? Our pieces are what make us interesting.

Bravery suits me.

It's a rich life.  The future lies before us, a bright and shining thing. All we need is the courage to reach for it.

***

Oh. And speaking of running. Tonight I used the Nike + Running app for the first time. There are so many awesome things about it. But my absolute best is how it pauses automatically - pauses the run, the distance, the time - every time I get distracted. The setting sun. A bird on a wire. A bunch of tangled yellow jasmine. Drinking from a sprinkler.

So many distractions. 



It's a beautiful world, and I am glad for my corner of it.

~ m

Monday, 4 August 2014

I run, therefore I am

It's been five long months since I did any form of exercise more strenuous than walking around the block with Immy. Exercising as a single parent takes a bit more logistical planning, and plus I got so skinny that I figured it didn't matter anyway.

Of course, it does. Because there is a difference between being skinny and being strong. Having a body that thanks you by doing things like not collapsing when you walk up two flights of stairs at the office.

Anyway. I decided today was the day. I hauled my clothes out from the back of the cupboard, laced up my running shoes and took Immy to my folks so they could watch her for 30 minutes while I went for a run. Before I left, she asked me: Mama. Do those shoes make you run faster? And I looked at her, and reminded myself that honesty is always the best policy, and I replied: No my darling. NOTHING IN THIS WORLD CAN MAKE YOUR MAMA RUN FASTER.

Except maybe being chased. By a pack of wolves. 

Anyway. I am always fascinated to read articles written by runners. The way they describe the experience. The feeling of their feet pounding the asphalt, the rhythm of their breathing, the way the air moves in and out of their lungs. So lovely. For them

I do like running you know. Although there are clearly so many things wrong with it. Like - why would you do it UNLESS you were being chased and your very life was in danger? And why does time seem to stand completely still when I run? Today I ran and ran, my heart soaring and my feet literally chewing up the kilometers. Only to look at my running watch and see that only THREE MINUTES AND NINE SECONDS had passed. Seriously. 

When I run, my chest feels like it's igniting from the inside. My legs feel like lead, and it's a constant battle of wills between my brain and the lower half of my body. One wanting to keep going, and the other begging to stop. Oh. And today, I ran past a father and son walking their dog. I exchanged a quick joke with them, and noticed that they were both staring at me as I continued on my way. I was a bit smug about it, actually. But in hindsight, I think they were just so relieved that I didn't drop dead next to them. Because honestly, a dead body at 6pm on a suburban Monday night is just so awkward.

But then. There are other reasons I run. Really good reasons that completely outweigh the minor inconvenience of not being able to breathe, or walk properly for three days.

Like that feeling that I get when I'm pushing my body. When I'm in a rhythm, and all I can hear is my heartbeat in my ears and the way my breathing and my steps are perfectly synchronized and I feel like I can run and run forever. The way my thoughts go quiet and my wrists are loose and my body just feels like it works.

And how much closer I am to the world. I noticed so many spectacular things during my run this evening. The way the trees are shrugging off their last tired, dry leaves. Stark branches reaching towards an indigo sky, ready for the new season. Anticipating growth, and new life. The jasmine that's already blooming, because it's always one month ahead of everything else. The highlight of tonight's run? I rounded a corner, and came to a dead stop. In front of me, perfectly framed by the street - the setting sun. A flaming orange orb, suspended. I swear, it was waiting for me. It winked at me, and with a final salute slid down past the horizon, and the street fell into shadow. I kept going, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the universe itself had smiled and nodded it's approval.

So yes. Running? It's SO hard for me. I don't always enjoy it. But it's always worth it. Things that take a bit more time and A LOT more effort usually are.

(photo credit: http://bridgerun.com/uploads/2013/12/running.jpg)

Happy Monday y'all. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Small things

It's August. Again. How does this happen every year? I thought my August reaction would be completely eclipsed this year by well - everything - but apparently not.

Everything is so brown. Dry. Drab. The world limps along in a washed-out, dusty version of itself. I long for spring rain, and bright new leaves on trees and sprinklers and small swimming costumes and flip flops. For new flowers and longer days and most of all, moving on. It's around the corner. Spring. Only a few more windswept weeks.

It's been an up and down week. I had a session with the world's most amazing therapist. I knew it already when I was sitting in her waiting room, and I lost myself in a book called Meetings with Remarkable Trees. Because I get that not everyone would be excited about a book about trees. But oh! When Immy is older, I am taking her to see the California Redwoods. And now that I've seen this book, well. The tree world is ours for the taking.

We spent the morning catching up with friends from Australia over breakfast. Enjoying the blue winter sky and exploring.











Gwyn and I have been friends since high school, and ours is one of those easy friendships that comes with no pressure, no strings and picking up straight where we left off. As if we saw each other yesterday, rather than four years ago.



I've been thinking about endings, and beginnings. The way we meet people - a chance conversation, or a chance encounter. How unexpected it all is. And how we never know at that moment what impact that person will have on our lives. Their part in our story. It may be short, or it may be the beginning of a long and winding road. It may run deep - a merging of souls - or it may be a completely different thing, light and fun and filled with sunshine. It may be both. Sometimes it hurts, and we wonder if it was worth it. I think it always is. I am grateful that every person contributes in some way, significant or small, to who I am - and more importantly, to who I am becoming every day.

***

Small things we're enjoying this week.

Winter log fires that sizzle and crackle, and fill our home with light, and warmth and movement.

Music, and music and more music. In my car, Ultraviolence on repeat. At home, Immy's playlist. Although I am allergic to pop/hip hop/rap music, I've added Macklemore Can't Hold Us onto the list and it's a hit. And as a throwback to the 80's rock scene, 'Don't Stop Believin' by The Journey. If you haven't sung out loud to this song, you haven't lived.

We're reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Every night. Every night.

I've started packing for the Big Move. Well, not really. But I HAVE assembled three cardboard boxes ready to be packed with stuff. Because you know what they say about a journey of a thousand steps.

Finding stars in unexpected places.



And the best for last. A living, breathing poet.



If souls have kindred spirits, then I think I may have found mine.

sometimes i sit
alone beneath 
the stars and think
of the galaxies
inside of my 
heart and truly
wonder if anyone
will ever want
to make sense of
all that i am

To a good week filled with small adventures.

Cheers.