wild rose

geograph-841221-by-Nigel-Mykura (1)
image: Wild Rose, Nigel Mykura

Thorned limbs catch me in a vicious embrace. One hundred thorns for each small cluster of simple blood-red blossoms.

Frustrated, I remove those thorny canes, avert my eyes from the tiny fallen flowers, and begin excavations.

But you hold fast to the earth. You hold fast.

I sit beside you, then with you.

My own thorns and flowers — one hundred thorns for each small cluster of simple blossoms — become present.

I sigh, replace the soil, and clear the remaining weeds from your base.

*CC BY-SA 2.0

the ocean inside of me

There is an ocean inside of me
Breathe in

and out
Hear the gentle waves wash over sand and shells and smooth-ed stone let the waves break long and slow from one end of the vast horizon to the other
Breathe in

and out
This ocean has existed for a million thousand billion years and reaches to eternity

Listen to the ocean

I am standing in the train with someone’s briefcase pressing into my back waiting in a phone queue to discuss a payment that bounced sitting waiting for a job interview

And I listen to the ocean inside of me
The only thing that’s real.


reminder to self: what it’s like to be stuck in a low

It’s like this. I have a stone in my shoe. I know its there. It hurts. I know it will need to come out sometime, but not just yet. I can’t stop now in the rain, in the middle of a great sea of people pushing me along, hurrying me. I can’t sit here and remove my shoe, and maybe my stocking too, and be all exposed. No way. I need to find the right space, to be safe.

There is a stone in my shoe. Sometimes I forget that it’s there and I don’t remember why, but I am looking for a safe place, a chair, or a step even, out of the rain, out of this crowd of people pushing at me where did they all come from? Noise is coming out of their mouths, but it does not make sense.

There is a stone in my shoe. I think I have been here before, but the people around me are obscuring my view and they make so much noise, I can’t hear my own thoughts. Am I walking in circles?

My foot hurts. I want to sit down and rest, but I can’t find the right place. I am so tired. I want to tell someone but everyone is pushing me on and on and I don’t know why.

My foot hurts. Is there a stone in my shoe?

I used to write lists

Yesterday, I picked up an old notebook to start a post for this blog on the morning train. Sitting on the train, I flipped through the notebook to find some clear space and came across an old ‘to do’ list.

*Sunday – PEM
*Monday – walk
*Tuesday – sprint
*Wednesday – pilates
*Thursday – X
*Friday – skate
*Saturday – walk

I cannot remember what PEM is and I have never attended a Pilates class in my life. But I know that all of my old notebooks will be chockers with these exercise lists  – most of which were probably forgotten before I put the pen down… and now I wonder – just what was the purpose of these lists – and what was I communicating to myself?

I suspect something like…

*Sunday – hey you great sloth get up and do some fantastic P-E-M!
*Monday – hello fatso – get moving
*Tuesday – do this and you won’t get oooooold and ugly
*Wednesday – OOoooOOoh…tuckshop arms are on their way
*Thursday – ok, full time work, study, and sole parenting is a bit tiring – rest
*Friday – get out on the rink and burn off some fat – and NO snack bar
*Saturday – get up lazy bones – no work today – no excuses

Sound familiar? Kinda like an episode of Biggest Loser? Today I doubt anyone could get healthy with that crap running around inside.

I also notice that my lists are all pretty old… This is not something I feel the urge to do any more. I think maybe it’s an impact of nonviolent communication – years of practising getting to the heart of feelings and needs rather than being preoccupied with what people might think, with what people might say – getting more and more gentle… some days I can still be a bit rough on myself, but my week is much more likely to sound like this…

*Sunday – Oh! gorgeous morning – how about a cuppa outside in the birdsong?
*Monday – what can I pack for lunch – something yummy and filling…
*Tuesday – oh dear – feeling shitty? Wanna try some gentle yoga?
*Wednesday – to the garden with the birds and the bees!
*Thursday – a walk across the river today…
*Friday – mmm – how about I get off the train a stop early and explore a bit?
*Saturday – hey lovely – do you want to sleep in or get up and wander round the neighbourhood for a bit …

It isn’t perfect, but my head is a much nicer place to be now C:

when I accepted it really is just over for her and there is nothing I can do about it and that I was going to be ok and probably was ok already

When my partner and I got back together after years happily apart most of my family had the shits and one of my sisters just dumped me. I kidded myself for a bit that she would get over it and then got mad and sad when she didn’t. And mad at myself for caring about it anyway. And sad with my family because they wanted us to get over it but I didn’t know how. And sometimes scared because I was going to see her at some family thing and when I did see her I always felt like I was going to be sick. This went on for years, about five years actually. And one day after practicing nonviolent communication for quite a while I actually thought to use it and I asked myself – what is it that I want from her anyway? And the answer was so clear and beautiful – love and acceptance and a little fun. And in that very same moment I knew I had all these things already – with my partner and my daughters, with my workmates and with my friends and I just felt all warm and loved up just walking to work in the morning sunshine on a daggy concrete path, with a straggly jasmine vine climbing over a crumbly wall alongside

white foxes

my friend
there is so much that you have missed

each morning the sun still rises to touch the clouds with gold
that place that sells the good kebabs is making real lemonade again
and Sara’s baby girl giggles in her sleep

they say she couldn’t see that anymore she lived in a world with no colour

but last night, in a world bleached by fog I saw
two white foxes in the headlights

how I miss you
dear friend

no ugly

one day I accidentally looked at myself in the mirror, naked.

I thought, what would I call myself if there was no such thing as ugly?
— you are fat and old

OK, no fat and no old. Ha ha!
— gross. Your breasts sag so does your tummy and your chin is hairy

well that may be but there is no gross, no hideous, no misshapen and
no unattractive either.

a searching, groping, a casting about

a small space forms, a gap into which other words now tumble…
— strong, resilient, enduring

And a feeling too:
— peace

a few things I have recently accepted…

my badass middle aged lady beard

the desire to carry tweezers everywhere

no caffeine after midday

waking up in a sweat at 2am after drinking caffeine at 3pm

the dog is incontinent

i still love the dog

the steam mop given to me by my mother-in-law really is the best present ever

Gratitude day 4

for the little brown dog who has trotted beside me for most of my life through years across the state across the country – valiantly I have pushed her away, stopped being so damn sensitive, drank the concrete, changed my thoughts, words, my mind… but every time I say I’m ok she nips at a heel to trip me up, brushes her damp body against mine causing the hell-rash, or pounces on me in my sleep to wake me terrified, screaming or weeping

for yesterday when I sat on the train with the water from yet another job ‘no’ leaking from my eyes wondering again what was wrong with me that I couldn’t just appreciate what I had and think of the starving children and be goddamn grateful for fs sake

for when I found her damp and smelly right in my lap. She poked her wet nose into my ear and whispered safely and she left me

for when I finally contemplated safety and what and where and who and when and why safety is and how I might as gently and sensitively as I please go about finding myself some more of that safety

for now – I spot my little friend sitting just outside the back door. I sit with her a bit, content, and throw her some scraps. She leaves them for the chooks, and stretches out in the sun, dry and warm basking

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