Categories
Life

Thank You

I was in tears this morning, bouncing on my fit ball in front of the TV at my new favourite time of day (4AM).

I was watching the world news.

Small children were being handed over a fence to soldiers at the airport in Kabul, thankfully with no idea there is a better life for them out there somewhere.

And then there was me.

So small in the world, thinking of my own beautiful children tucked neatly, safely, away in their cosy beds.

I felt helpless.

I wanted to take all those beautiful people in Afghanistan under my wing and hold them there for a while.

I couldn’t.

I have no control over the mental state of the terrorists of the world, or the mental state of their fathers before them. Fathers who were taught by their fathers that love looked like fear. Fathers who passed this very fear onto their sons, and so on.

I have no control over the pain of these poor darling humans in Afghanistan, just trying to live.

But I have this blog.

I have my words and I have my heart.

And maybe I can’t make a difference for those poor people, but if you are reading this, and feeling in need of some love…I can make a difference to you.

So here I say this:

Thank you for being alive.

For being unique and wonderful you.

For being human enough to have bad days.

And for the strength I know you’ll find tomorrow.

I hope today is beautiful for you and I hope you remember the sun isn’t far away if it’s not.

Because even when the darkness of the world takes over, there is always something beautiful to find among the rubble.

This is my reminder to myself.

And this is my love letter to you.

So much love and strength to you all, my beautiful bloggy friends.

Thank you for being such a big part of my sun for so many of my days.

And so, life goes on.

xx Brooke

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
Categories
Poetry

She Would

If she could hold the world with all her heart.

If she could soften the growls of the wildest of them,

she would.

Oh, she would.

Oh, she would.

Categories
Life

Soft

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.

And so do I.

So do we.

Photo by Brianna Martinez on Pexels.com
Categories
Life

Hope and Peace

What do I see when I see two sides at war?

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.

Hope.

Hope that one day there will be peace.

Because all I’ve ever wanted was peace.

All I’ve ever wanted was peace.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Categories
Poetry

If I Must

This train.

It is a train that fights abuse

by abusing abusers,

and I do not understand it,

my heart.

It does not understand.

They tell me I must fight,

I must fight,

I must fight.

But I will not fight.

I will know myself,

I will love myself

(imperfectly)

and I will remember

I have the strength to shine

beyond it all.

And I will shine.

Above the train,

whenever I can,

alone,

if I must.

Categories
Life

Bullies and Paradox

Fragile would be an excellent word to describe me in the face of the western world’s bullying culture. I’ve been hearing the same internal whisper over and over for the past few weeks: fortify, Brooke, fortify, says the quiet voice, barely heard above the noise.

I’ve been away from facebook for a very long time, but over the past week or two I’ve gradually dipped a toe in to see how things are going. I’ve loved reconnecting with my lost people, I won’t lie. And things have been lovely and positive for the most part, which has been a nice surprise.

But. There was that one moment. The one that derailed me, the one that had me questioning: what do I do with the way I feel about this? What do I say to myself to help it feel a little better inside? Apparently the humans have come up with a term for the ache I came across. Cancel Culture, is it? Where a person is shamed for holding a view that is not generally agreed upon (and therefore, cast out of society, via pitch fork) is the general gist of it.

In this case, I came across a post which mentioned a man ( out of respect, I’ll not name him ) who has received quite a lot of back lash in the past due to his alternate views regarding health and wellness. The post was celebrating his downfall (I can’t remember the specifics) and the comment below the post was so vicious, it actually ached within me. It really had me wondering. Are we really still there? Slavery may have been abolished, but apparently we are still bullying the innocent (which is much the same thing, in my eyes.) Many a time in my life I’ve considered becoming a hermit. Tonight, I edged ever closer.

I would consider myself an extremely forgiving and compassionate person, but I have to say: I am struggling to find compassion for the bullies of the world. I try so desperately to see the higher perspective, to be there for everyone while we muddle our way through the chop, but it’s so hard. It hurts to say that, because I really do feel that every person is beautiful in their own way, even those I don’t necessarily resonate with.

I was bullied very badly early in high school. In fact, it was so bad that the whole class cheered when I was called out of the classroom on my last day at that particular school. My Mum thought I was going to kill myself. I was happy enough to snuggle up with the joys of my imagination until it all went away. Still, it’s clearly done some damage.

Perhaps this is why the current day bullies, trolls (whatever you might call them) feel so horrible to me. Perhaps this is why I find it very difficult to wait out the course of their abuse in the hopes that they might one day learn kindness and understanding via the consequences of their bullying ways.

The interesting thing is (and here’s to the absolutely mind boggling paradox of life): I am placing the same judgement on these bullying individuals as they have placed on that poor fellow who just kinda doesn’t believe what they believe. Life, hey. I’ll leave that old chestnut with you to mull over a while.

The nature of the universe is chaos. It is not black and white, and this is where us humans do seem to struggle. We seem to need the polarities and contrasts to help us to fully experience life. The differences in life create experience, and beauty, and deep, deep life.

I just wish deep, deep life was a little gentler, sometimes.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com
Categories
Life

Devastated

I’m devastated, I really can’t paint it any other way.

Melbourne, my home town, has gone into stage four COVID restrictions (the highest level: full lockdown, but for essential food/medical needs), which is very much necessary given the rising case numbers, but also very much a kick in the gut for those of us who are already struggling a little with life in general (hello to all the parents of sweet-faced three-year-old, terrorists.)

The struggle is a little more real for Melbournians, today. Yesterday, it felt like I’d been stuck in a mud-brick home with two small children climbing the same walls they have been climbing for months. Today all the windows have been boarded up. Considering I’m human, and not yet floating in Buddhist Monkville…I’m not living my brightest day. I’m aching at the prospect of the dark tunnel lengthening, and although I know It’s possible to change my thoughts in favour of more joyous ones, I don’t really want to do that, today.

I want to say: I know I will be okay.

I want to say: I know we will be okay, together, and a big part of me believes it— in fact the shining depth of me believes it. Still, it’s hard. And today I feel like I need to be the person that voices my pain, in order to act as a mirror for anyone else who is struggling with this. We’ll struggle together.

Empathy and compassion are my two favourite words on a good day, and these shit-storms of life are usually where those two traits are birthed and polished, within even the hardest of human hearts. So there’s one good thing. And interestingly, even with my natural inclination towards empathy, I’ve also been triggered to dive deeper into that aspect of myself in order to keep the peace at this tough time.

We all experience the world through our own focused lens, and my goodness it can be hard to understand the views and behaviours of others, sometimes, especially when they differ so radically from our own. But the last thing we need is to separate at this time.

So I’m here to say to those of you who are struggling: I see you. It’s so bloody hard to be human at times like this—really, so very hard to push through the dark curtains of life unknown, but we will. And when we do, we will be so proud of the growth and change we’ve produced as a society, I’m so sure. When looking back at the mountains we’ve each climbed on this COVID journey, we’ll very likely value our freedom and peace far more. We’ve got to see that as a win.

Lastly, I’ve been a bit tardy with my thanks to those of you who have pushed past your comfort zones in order to meet the needs of the more vulnerable in society, whether it be health care workers or those offering compassionate care to those in need. How beautiful you are.

No really. You’re beautiful. And you make me proud to human alongside you.

All the best, everyone.

We’ve still got this.

xx Brooke

woman in yellow tshirt and beige jacket holding a fruit stand
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

 

 

Categories
The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 31: Kindness

Most would consider it an embarrassment, I suppose, the darling life lesson that found me at the supermarket yesterday. But to me, it was a beautifully mysterious lesson, one I will never forget.

We’ve all had that moment, I’d imagine. The moment we see a person with a small handful of things lined up behind our massive trolley full, and the done thing is that we would usually let them sneak in before us. (No judgment if you don’t, we all have our reasons: shyness and social anxiety happen. And are absolutely worthy of understanding and empathy.)

Anyway, I’m waffling already, sorry.

Back to the supermarket line.

I had a full basket of things, not just a couple of items, and the lady in front of me had a trolley that was about three-quarters full, so according to my calculations…she really would have only taken a few extra minutes to check out than I. Still, she offered to have me pass, and would see it no other way.

I’m always so touched by genuine kindness, and this time was no exception. How could I return the kindness, and have her know just how much it meant to me? Could I pay for a small amount of her shopping as a nice surprise? No. I was paying by card. Could I buy her one of the mint packets sitting on the counter? Umm…no.

And that’s when I saw the bag. A beautiful country style shopping bag: I would buy that for her, and as I was leaving I would turn around and hand it to her, knowing we had both done our bit to brighten each other’s day.

The cashier announced the amount I owed, I opened my purse and…my card wasn’t there. My only way of paying for two bags worth of groceries and the special surprise bag…was-not-there. I was gutted. I walked away, without my bags, knowing that when I returned the kind lady would be gone, and I would have a random bag that I really didn’t need.

But as I drove home to pick up the very pesky card that had left itself in my jacket pocket, the universe flashed me a feeling here and there and suddenly I was face to face with the truth.

It was all meant to happen.

And it was meant to happen exactly as it happened in order for me to learn a lesson. What was the lesson? The lesson was kindness—my most fluent, and cherished language. And why did I have to forget my purse in order to remember that I value kindness above most things?

Because if I’d not forgotten my purse…I’d have given that bag to the lady.

And If I’d given it to the lady… I wouldn’t still have it, always to remind me how beautiful it feels to both give and receive kindness.

***

Well. 🙂 We made it my beautiful bloggy friends. 🙂 All the way through these darling days of May, and as always I’ve been so ridiculously grateful for your company. I really didn’t do an awful lot differently, did I, apart from add the word darling in here and there. Ha ha ha. Thank goodness I’m such a love hearty girl, in general, hey. 😛

Until we meet again, Brooke. xx

assortment of fresh vegetables with lemon in food net
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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Categories
The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 30. War

Dear sweet love,

give me a word.

Whisper me back when I drift

into the clouds above the sorrow.

For the days are long,

and the world is at war

without seeing or knowing it.

But I see.

I know.

So I am flying,

always toward the darling sun

of us.

Darling sun.

Give me the strength to see the war

and know my heart

will make it to a brighter tomorrow.

Categories
The Darling Blog Of May

Darling Day 7. Empathy

There is not a single person.

In this whole wide world.

Who will not respond favourably.

To empathy.

To ‘I know what you think you’ve done.

But that story is not you.’

There is not a single person.

Who will not respond.

To unconditional love.

That in itself is darling.

But the true darling of it all is this:

Love

can fix

it all.