Due to expire in a couple of days, due to expire. And I’m not going to renew it.
I’m attached to this, my sweet little bloggy home. Truly, I am.
I’m attached to all of you, whose faces I see, whose hearts I feel I know, somehow.
But I think this time, it really is time.
Time to reinvent myself, maybe.
Time to be brave and…do something else (you all know I’ve been wobbling about for quite sometime.)
I’ve got my new creativity website which may need some attention at some point. (The link for that one is brookecutlercreative.com. Please head over and subscribe if you’re not already, I’d hate to entirely lose you all. xx)
And, of course I’m intending to continue my novel, and to keep writing at medium and see where that road drifts to.
But I think I’ll let my plan expire, here, and…just see what happens.
I can’t pay for two websites: that’s one thing I do know, and that leads me to thinking this may just be the perfect time to let the wind blow. And sit here. And let it all be.
I’m so very unsure.
But I can be brave enough to let the wind take me.
I can be brave enough to allow uncertain life to meet me here.
Perhaps I am here to write. But at the core of that, at the core of my words, at the core of my message…I’m here to love. I always have been, and it’s more clear to me now that I’m allowing my love to be seen.
I can’t help but feel great waves of empathy, particularly for those who are struggling in life. Those who are scared. Those who are being unfairly treated, by those who don’t even recognise the wrongs they perpetuate (as a result of their own messy humanity.)
It’s all a bit of a mess.
It’s all a bit of a mess.
So maybe I shouldn’t waffle at you about love.
Maybe I should be writing something of substance: something about the politics of what’s going on with the floods in eastern Australia, maybe, and how they’d want me to say it’s got nothing to do with the way we treat the planet (when, actually, I believe that Mother Nature was the very first woman who learned to powerfully speak her truth.)
But I’m not going to talk about natural disasters, or about who believes what.
I’m going to talk about love, and how I feel it, and how I feel for everything and everyone, and wish that more humans did.
Because underneath every natural disaster, lives love. The rescuer rowing a family to safety while their own home—a home they have loved and cared for with everything they have—drowns behind them.
That’s not politics.
It’s not who made the wrong choice about dam management and should be fired because of it.
It’s not who is right and who is wrong about the effects of climate change on a struggling earth.
It’s funny. To think of the damage caused by cultural norms and stereotypes.
Of course, there are the absolutely beautiful cultural narratives out there. Those that cherish and honour human life by holding it, by respecting it so beautifully that even the hardest of hearts must surely be touched by the story of it all.
I heard a story as beautiful, just the other day. My counsellor told it to me: how, in her culture, when a woman becomes pregnant, she becomes the queen. The whole tribe lavish her with love, care, and most importantly, perhaps…food.
This discussion came about after a lovely tender moment where she looked over at me, my bulging belly sweetly growing a perfect little gift, and offered to bake me something lovely to celebrate the occasion (that’s right, surprise, I’m fourteen weeks pregnant. And how lovely it is, to me. How lovely it is. xx)
But, I digress. Because although there are some absolutely beautiful cultural stories passed on by certain cultures in the world, other cultures do not even realise their own toxicity. (And when I say toxicity, what I mean is…truly, their cultural ideas are heartbreaking and damaging to individuals who do not fit into the selected story being told.)
There are some absolutely wonderful things to be said about the culture I was born into. But one arm of the narrative, an arm that destroyed any hope of me developing healthy self-esteem in my early years, was the idea that vulnerability and softness were somehow character flaws. I was mostly soft.
As it turns out, this soft part of me, this sensitivity, is my super power; a power that helps me soothe, and bring safety to those who need it. A power that helps me tap into the world of everything and nothing, and pull down the words and creativity needed for my writing to touch people in the way that it seems to.
But my culture called me ‘soft’. It told me to ‘harden up’, and it assumed that If I didn’t…then surely I must be broken, at worst. Naive at best. Never have I been these labels.
And if you are a deep and tender heart resonating with these words…never have you been these labels, either.
Always we’ve been perfect.
Just the way we are.
Think of the trillions of flowers, plants and trees out there. Some are soft. Some are hard, shrubs built to last in the wind and rain and hail. None of them judge each other for being ‘wrong’ in anyway. They simply exist.
I lay in bed last night, at 4am, thinking of the tortured artist, thing.
We feel so deeply, us creative folk, and therefore, we capture the world in its fullest expression.
Which is beautiful. Really, ice-shatteringly beautiful.
But we are often not understood, at best. And at worst…we are grossly misunderstood, usually by the logically minded folk of the world, who do not (perhaps cannot) see the world the way we do.
Sometimes we are judged as weak, overly sensitive; irresponsible, messy. A lonely human, this does make, at times.
A lonely human this does make, at times.
I remember sitting at my piano as a nineteen year old, feeling the world in all its depth; the beauty of the autumn leaves outside the window, a huge comfort as I sat and wondered about my place in the world.
These creative eyes.
They make everything a little more beautiful. A little more horrible. A little more alive.
I’m grateful, for them, I am.
I’d imagine all the tortured artists out there were grateful, even the ones who battled to a sometimes tragic end.
Misunderstood, they were, and a little bit lonely, maybe.
A little bit scared of the depths that dragged them beneath the surface, on occasion, maybe.
Hello sweet bloggy friends. How are you all? I’m good, thanks for asking. ☺️
I’m sitting at my little white desk, on a grey sky day, wondering about the aching quiet of life. Thinking about how it so often comes across like the most beautiful magic, in everything creative, but especially in the arts. Music. Dance. Writing.
The aching quiet is what makes the art of the world shine. Our joint humanity: it’s what brings us together as humans, and it’s what inspires us to make the most of every beautiful moment we share with others.
I’d imagine I’m here on this earth for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons is to remind people of the beautiful ache that lives within them, and to use it to shine.
To love, and to live, all the way through.
Some of you may remember I created a new website a while back that really didn’t resonate with what I wanted to do with my life. I kept that website, wondering if I might return to that space, one day, to use it for something new.
Here I will be sharing everything I know about creativity, and after living a lifetime as a creative person, and spending way too much money on a bachelor and masters degree (in drama and writing, respectively) I really do feel it’s my duty to pass on what I know.
Because my knowledge and passion is so much bigger than me, or my own dreams to write, to create, to shine. If I can help even just one human catch their own creative sun and shine it on the world…what greater privilege could there be?
My new website will be a place of learning (for me and for others) but it will also be a place to celebrate the depth and beauty of the works humanity has already produced. One of the things I’m really looking forward to on this new journey is the return of my book club (which I briefly ran on instagram during Covid lockdown.) It was so nice to take a closer look at what other writers were doing with the beauty of the aching quiet, and I so look forward to learning more from that space again.
Anyway, that’s happening, so that’s nice. ☺️
Also, I’ll still be here.
Your Brooke. xx
(ps. Just click on the site address above to visit my new site. Enjoy! xx)
No one would have seen it coming, least of all me. His death was inevitable: that part we all knew was coming.
But no one would have foreseen my reaction to it. Not the way it happened, not the way the emotional slideshow of me slowly played out like a blocked garden-hose building in pressure, waiting for the almighty explosion that eventually would come.
My Dad told me: ‘Aaron’s died.’ We were on our way home from our shared workplace, an hour and ten minute drive from the city to the country, where we lived. He did a good job, my Dad. Quiet. Calm. Matter of fact, but caring. My Aunty was the one that received the news. He’d been ill, which on top of the cystic fibrosis had finally proven too much for his already fragile body to handle. Someone should tell Brooke.
I’m not sure why Dad chose an hour long car ride to do it. Perhaps he and Mum felt it would allow me time to let it wash over me, I’m really not sure what they had expected. But one thing I do imagine they expected were tears.
There were none.
Not a single one.
When he’d broken up with me, I’d constructed a wall about a million miles high, and equally as wide to protect me from both the feeling of being rejected without proper means, and the feeling of loss I’d surely feel in the face of losing him. We both still cared for each other very much. Very much. Though, for family reasons that are a little too personal to share, here, he felt it best he protect his final years as best he could. By saying goodbye to me. I understood. Still, it hurt.
On New Years Eve (his very last one, as it would turn out) he called me at my Aunties house, where I’d escaped the boring walls of home for a much needed holiday. ‘Is Chookie there?’ he asked, to my Aunties amusement. I took the phone, smiled at my Aunty, and fell into our world, again. He’d missed me. I’d missed him, too. We laughed and chatted for a bit. Finally, we said goodbye.
A few months later, Aaron was gone. He was about twenty, from memory: I was eighteen. And I didn’t care at all that he was gone, and I absolutely would not be attending his funeral, so they could all just go on and forget about that, ridiculous nonsense.
The day of the funeral came. I got up, as usual, and made the long trip in with my Dad where I began my daily routine. Pick, pack, tape up the box. Pick, pack, tape up the box. I’m not sure what part of the work induced the explosion. Perhaps it was the ripping sound the tape makes when it whirls off the tape gun, or perhaps it was simply the fact that I was at work, in the first place. All anybody knew was that one moment I was fine. The next, I was wailing. Sobbing in the most out of control fashion I could muster.
My Dad took me to the train station. If I caught the early train, I should make it to the funeral on time, and so I boarded the V-Line back to the country and off I went to say my last goodbye to Aaron. Technically, not my Aaron, anymore. But, according to my heart…still very much, my Aaron, apparently.
The train ride was interesting. The poor lady across from me did her very best to pretend my dark sunglasses hid my tears (and quietened the accidental sob that sometimes escaped me. Meep.) The dusty town I arrived in was quiet, too. No one would notice as I wandered along the streets, searching for a church I’d never been to before, in a town I’d never been to before.
I wouldn’t ask for directions, either. More accurately, I couldn’t ask for directions, on account of me being that odd girl: too shy to talk to any human outside of her comfort zone. So I asked the universe for directions. My plan was (and this is no joke) to follow whichever direction my hair blew in the wind, because certainly whatever higher forces I was connected to would get me to the funeral. Bonus points if they got me there on time.
I walked. And walked. And walked.
Finally, and with no thanks at all to my hair, I found the church. A little late, but early enough. The funeral had just begun.
‘Chookie,’ Aaron’s beautiful Mum said, after the service, as she wrapped me in her arms, and thanked me for coming to say goodbye to her baby boy. She seemed happy to see me (really, really happy) and in that moment…I knew the explosion of me was meant to happen, that I was meant to be there. For Aaron, but for his beautiful family, too.
They may not have noticed my absence if I’d not gone: the church was overflowing with hundreds, all of whom, apparently, Aaron had touched with his cheekiness, joy and boundless wisdom, too.
But I was there. And his family did notice.
I was grateful.
Grateful the morning had brought about the most unexpected emotional explosion, ever to have rocked my world.
I think about her, sometimes, when my heart turns to sun. Nan. Her heart used to shine like that, too, which is why I can’t help but think of her when I feel intense love radiating from my own chest. As an off shoot of the kind of love she gave to me (and, let’s face it, probably genetics) I am who I am. And I love, as deeply as I love.
We fluff our ways through life, bothering about the silliest of things: when really we should hold the beauty, longer. Feel the love of our loved ones, longer. Express our love to others, without fear: give them the beautiful gift of sun that Nan gave to me.
I often think of Nan, and when I do I wonder why I loved her so deeply, why I still feel her today just as beautifully as I did when she was here. I loved her because she loved me. I loved her because there was never a question when I felt her energy how much it meant to her that I was alive. What a gift to be given by someone. What a gift: to know that you have touched their life, that you have meant something to their moments.
I shine when I look at my children with the same kind of love my Nan did when she looked at me, and I can only hope the depth of that love sinks into them as deeply as it has me.
I’m waffling a bit today, and that’s okay. I’m in my love place. I’m in my world of grateful and I intend to make the most of it and spread Nan’s sunshine, while I’m here.
She would have loved that.
She would have loved that I’ve given her sweet sunshine to you.
I see the middle of it all. I see the hurt of both parties, and though I tend to take the side of whoever seems to have the most rational argument (according to my perspective) I can’t help but feel just…sadness. Absolute frustration, powerlessness and sadness.
I’m thinking specifically of this war that’s been raging in the U.S of late, both in terms of the political polarities tearing a hole in America, and in terms of the vastly differing socio-economic backgrounds and belief systems shaken up by the divided states of covid.
I’ve just come away from watching a video of the storming of the Capitol building. The video was clearly put together to support an agenda: a ‘Trump is horrible, and we are going to prove it by carefully constructing a highlight reel of the most shocking, heart-breaking scenes from the day.’ It worked. The video was shocking in its portrayal of Trump and his many loyal followers.
And yet, regardless of how well the video was crafted to sway public opinion to one particular side, there is no denying what happened that day was truly real. No denying the violence. No denying that this sort of primal aggression no longer belongs on the human stage: we’re not cavemen, anymore. Still, our primal instincts remain. How to healthily and peacefully honour them is a mystery yet to be solved by humanity, it seems.
As I watched the riot exploding all about the place, I took a side. I knew that I was taking a side, because I was thinking, ‘ How could they do this? This is so horrible. These people must be (insert judgment here.)’
But then it happened again. That thing that happens to me when I see an absolute wrong, and I ask myself more questions. But why are so many people screaming the same story, and how can so many people be wrong about what they believe? And how bad must their oppression have become for them to be behaving in such a dramatically inappropriate way?
It saddens me. All of it.
How on earth does a species overcome such drastically wide gaps in views and belief systems? How does a species become one harmonised species, rather than fifty billion tiny fragments of confusion, hatred and blame?
I don’t know.
So, I’m a little…I’m not sure what I am. I’m not sure frightened is the right word, and yet frightened really does seem to be the only word I can come up with in the face of all of this fight.
I do not condone the horrible horribleness (excuse my delightful eloquence, here) that occurred at the Capitol building that day, nor do I condone the hatred and inequality perpetuated by humanity, still. Oh my goodness, still. But what is there to do?
I don’t know what to do but surrender into the bleakness and just…hope. Hope that we can sort our stuff out before things get ever so much worse. Hope that humanity can find love and compassion, even in the face of absolute horror and ridiculousness.