Monday, 23 February 2015

A life in progress

I recently read the following sentence, which served as the inspiration for this post:

'The soap in the bathroom, the flowers in the garden, the book on the bedside table are all strong symbols of a life in progress. You look at those details, and a world unfolds.'

It got me thinking about all the photos lying on my camera, unused and unlooked at. Nothing exciting, just ordinary snippets of ordinary days. But when I look at them, they ARE details - the details of our life, our loves, our daily routines. The things so easily forgotten, and taken for granted. I have nice-smelling soap in all the bathrooms. My flowerbox hydrangeas? They're thriving, in spite of my uneducated and overenthusiastic pruning. And as for my bedside table? A jar of pens, a plain lined notebook, a scented candle and a stack of books - at this moment, my pile includes Slow Drive magazine, The Paris Wife (re-read), The Future of Your Only Child, The Catcher in the Rye and I Wrote this For You. The details of my life. I like it.

My unearthed, re-discovered pictures.

Summer evenings on the verandah after Immy is in bed...

Kitchen details. This sleepy, sweet cup. And my tiny retro VW bug, a gift from a friend...

Tortoise toe hugs.

Immy and Rob made sugar crystals. Pegs colour-coded to crystals...

Afternoon reflections, and shadows.

A ripe summer peach.

Origami frogs.

Book piles. Candles. Solitaire.

Cat whispering...

A somewhat reluctant Jeremy forming part of a live art installation.

Weekend morning twirling.

This. We went to a party, and this sweet bracelet was in the party pack. Immy didn't have a hairband there, but when I looked again, she had improvised.

It ended up, grubby and sticky, on her ankle.

Sunny mornings. Jeremy's splayed legs are my absolute best.

Rain dances. No rain, but a girl can hope.

Strawberry picking. #tbt

Moments like these that give me a glimpse into the future, and a sense of urgency about living in the present.

Enjoying our details while we plan and dream of grand adventures. Rotating piles on the bedside table, and fresh green hydrangeas in the flower box.

Happy Monday.

Friday, 13 February 2015

One year later

It's been a year, give or take a few weeks. I've found myself looking back a lot these past few days, as if I want to reach back one year, and shake me and say WAKE UP! IT'S ALL ABOUT TO FALL APART. DO SOMETHING. I knew, of course. I tried to deny it, but the fear was there. An icy fist around my heart, clenching and squeezing every time something happened that I knew in my soul shouted THIS IS THE END. Small, seemingly insignificant things that hit me with a huge hollow thud of dread, eventually leading up to the conversation when my tidy world collapsed in on itself and I was left choking in the dark and the dust and wondering how to find my way out of a broken marriage, and a broken life.

A year later. It feels like I have lived a thousand lifetimes in the past 350-odd days. We've moved house. I had an accident and bought a new car. We went on holidays, just Immy and I, and had our first Christmas and Immy's first birthday as not-a-family. I fell down over and over, and got up again over and over. I made a million mistakes, did things, and said things that make me cringe to think of them now. But I try not to be too hard on myself, because all I can really say today is this: I've learned. I've learned how to let go of any notion of control over my life, and its outcomes. I've learned how to be present, no matter how sweet or how bitter a moment. I've learned that my soul finds peace, and healing, in stillness. I've learned that a friend willing to come over at a moment's notice to be with me on a hopeless, endless night, is an unimaginable gift. I've learned that I am so so lucky to have this beautiful girl, and that no matter what I will always be her mama.  I've learned that my story is mine, as imperfect as it may be. I've learned that this doesn't make me a failure, or a bad person. Just that sometimes things don't work out the way we planned, and that our choices lie only in how to move forward. I'm sadder, yes. But wiser too, I think. Different. And now I think I've finally learned that it's okay to be different, to be changed and shaped and curled around something that pushed me to the limits of what I thought I could endure.

We are not divorced. We are trying to figure out a way forward. I'm proud of us both for not giving up.To say it's been hard is an understatement. It may not work. Everything is tentative, uncertain. We don't know how or where it will end, but it's not the end yet. What I do know is this: having stared down this monster means I'm no longer afraid. Not of endings, and not of beginnings.

Besides. I like to think that the empty places in me are just waiting for something beautiful to grow.