once was a carer

I wonder what she’s doing now but then, I catch myself – she’s not! How can someone just cease to exist? I do miss my mother. For several years, if I’m honest, I resented the dictation of my life. Death didn’t bring instant happiness. Nothing much is different. Except a hovering sadness which lifts in spurts – in time it will push back, drift off, fade out. It can’t have all been for nothing. I predict major change, I just don’t know when yet.

Sometimes it’s easier to just pretend she’s next door doing what she always did. I even hear the noise of her stick against the floorboards, signal that she was on the move. But of course I don’t! Does that mean, that when she was sitting in her blue and white armchair, and tapped wood on wood, that she wasn’t actually getting up at all? I was hearing things. OR. Does the house creak now in sympathy, with the bones of pain moved on?

When I was young and fed the christian story, I always wondered about this notion of heaven. Supposedly you’d be reunited with loved ones, with everyone you knew. Does everyone remain the age they died? Is she now older than her own mother, is she a small child with her parents, a young bride with my father…and what about the two babies that started to grow inside me but didn’t breathe in this lifetime, does she get to grandmother them? How is that concept reconciled…

I believe that we are all connected. Generations past live through me. I hope, somewhere down the line someone will sit on a couch and consider – I have impacted their time on this coil.

I do miss you mother.

sleepy time

 

now I lay me down

insomnia comes to call

who invited you

 

turn your thoughts around

recognise your gratitude

somethings got to give

 

Just me and the big cat on the bed. Still still night. Still humid. I think I’m a serial distractor. Three slightly read books to my right but my eyes on the screen day long, and my ears full of the 70’s. Keeps my head too cloudy to dissect the issues, too bogged to make an action plan. And so the next day will be like the last.

 

round and round we go

three times round the mulberry bush

stupa in nature

 

recite the mantra

a piece of string length prayer

bee gees lullaby

who’s counting?

Daryl is singing to me while I write to you. The kids are always joking he’s my next husband but we all know that’s not going to happen. I mean we’d have to meet first, right!?!

How the heck did I get here? In one minute it’s 55 years since I was born. There it goes. The clock ticked! Only a couple of years ago I found out the time of my birth so it was actually really cool to watch it on the screen just now.

The tests were all clear but I guess you knew that would be the outcome. It’s the waiting, the anticipation that’s the worst. Note to self – in future when you ring for an appointment take the first one, don’t give yourself weeks to wimp it up!

I keep dodging bullets! No excuses, the big girl says ‘you’re so much healthier than you think you are’…yeah.

Just one more tune. Wait, Billy Thorpe is third ahead – he can sing to me then I’ll go upstairs. We’ll see what 55 looks like in the morning ;-)

(throw your hands up in the air if you know who daryl; and billy thorpe are. geography will out you methinks)

inner city sunday

There are two families across the road with young children, daughters, of similar ages. The last two weekends have been full of play and laughter, loud happy voices. Sounds that should bring heart gladness and yet, are actually annoying. Perhaps just sound on Sunday morning gets me that way.

So there’s that.

Then there’s the cigarette smoke I go to sleep with. Late, late at night it’s like someone is sitting on the end of my bed smoking one after another. Our houses are all joined, row houses, but still… I can only guess that one of the kids next door is on their balcony, or their roof deck. Is the smell coming down the chimney?

I have times I’m so blissed out none of this worries me. I wouldn’t even notice it. When I’m raw and fragile the laughter pin pricks my skin, the nicotine clogs my airways. What to do about external things that become a part of your story unbidden?

We had lunch at the pub today. Fake lunch – three bites do not a meal make, delicious though they be. Two generations to celebrate the young one’s birthday. And rooms full of about to go to the football-ers. Sweaty, sardine standing room only, lose your voice bar. Staff bringing food slowly, breaking glasses, deer in the headlight eyes… The pub wasn’t coping – it’s seams burst.

And then they went off to see their team win. I watched from the couch.

A good end to a crazy week of work and/or a distracting beginning to the ‘procedure week’ – the looming of it hanging heavier the closer it gets. Countdown to over though!

who you gonna call?

A little day procedure coming up. You can’t leave on your own. Who do you ask to pick you up?

I like to keep these things very private but even so – I’m single, I find myself good enough friend-less, I don’t wish to share this with siblings, and the only offspring that is close geographically, is a) busy and b) I really don’t wish to share this anyway.

So where does that leave me?

I’ll just get a taxi. I guess once it’s said and done the desk staff can’t stop me?!

What about getting there though? I hope I have the strength to get there by taxi…

Have you been in this position?

continuing the conversation

It’s a suburb of the big city but this beachy side has a small town feel. Or there’s magic here…and I do want to stay. I took an extra day this trip which means the morning will be hectic. An early, long drive to the office from here.

The pace here is holiday the look super casual and reminds me of the 70’s, teen years. Thongs (flipflops!) or bare feet, board shorts, bleached unbrushed hair. Everyone just stepped off the sand, their boards leaning nearby. No hurry, no stress.

Yesterday I went to check my car tyres. Been on my mind for some time but just haven’t had the time to hunt down a petrol station with a working air pump. I found one, I committed to using it and of course it was old school. The newest, automatic ones are tricky – this was a daunting dinosaur. In keeping with locals being chatty the guy from the tank in front of me asked ‘do you want to use this? I only have two more tyres to go’…’I’m going to try’ I smiled. ‘I’ll do it for you’.

Say what?

Not I’ll show you, or I’ll do one…he checked the four tyres and brushed off my thanks before smiling and waving on his way. Infinite gratitude, seriously.

Today’s joy was an encounter with a lost dog on my way to a hair cut. A Tibetan monk told me long ago – there’s no such thing as coincidence. Tank man and lost dog? I could have missed either experience by minutes… This old dog was weaving across the narrow road. No ID tag. We walked together til he turned up the third drive, and I watched til he was out of sight.  I couldn’t find anyone to hand him over to but he walked up that steep driveway so slowly, home. Paused a few times and looked deep into my eyes – do I know you? come on, come with me? come and meet the folks? or, thanks for bringing me home.

I’m going home tomorrow too. Until I can make this my home. And when I’m back I’ll keep my eye out for both of them.

man at petrol station – black tank, great blue shoes

surfer man at supermarket

a smile per aisle

late night abortive fish run

lost dog

haircut

prawns

wind, laziness, peace

noble silence

I didn’t speak to anyone today. That wasn’t in my plan. I did go out but I just didn’t engage.

I heard people speak – at the lookout, at the beach.

lookout

I can see people on the neighbours’ balcony – first time since the old man died and his son renovated. And they’re all talking to each other, drinking tea, looking relaxed.

And I have heard so many different birds. Some singing such beautiful songs. Others squawking and screeching – no other way to describe it!  The prettiest little birds, rainbow coloured, have the shrillest voices! Just as suddenly as the symphony began, it ended. Now absolute silence outside. Inside the overhead fans are both spinning. Same make, same model, both on high – yet each with a sound of its own.

This morning’s early drizzle scared off by summer’s last fling. And because of the heat – the town area full of day trippers so, I didn’t hang around. Took some photos and stared out to sea from my spot in a line of local surfers. All gazing and deciding whether to get the board out.

surf?