She places her palms over her ears and breathes into her belly. ‘Don’t wish it away. Such a precious age,’ she’s heard it a million times. She smiles politely. Tells them, silently, they’ve forgotten. Blocked out the bad times, remembered only the good.
She wants to say to them that every coin has two sides; every story, multiple themes running at once. And love. Even the love of a parent has two sides, always. When it’s easy, and when it’s hard.
Bathroom days are hard.
She counts the hairs stuck to the bathroom tiles. She won’t have time to pick them up, piece by scraggily piece. Too busy being an excellent mother, not wishing too loud for peace and quiet to find her once again.
She belongs in the bathroom.
They belong in fresh-white homes, lovingly tending to their overgrown toenails.
Australian summer and there I was, sipping a glass of wine beneath the gumtrees, wrapped in my best winter scarf and topped with a little woolen hat. The wind: shocking.
It’s not unusual for the country town we’re holidaying in to reach these frosty temperatures at night. I’m certain we’ll look back in years to come with fond memories of swaying gums and whirls around the caravan park on bikes, but I also think we’ll marvel at Mother Nature and her wacky sense of humour. During the day, it is not unusual for the temperature to reach forty degrees celsius and beyond, some years, and yet the blankets come out when the sun falls. It’s quite funny, really.
It reminds me of Melbourne (my hometown) and her ability to display every single aspect of all four seasons in one day. The rest of Australia laughs at our expense, but the truth is: Melbournians gladly identify with this peculiar trick of the weather. We happily declare it one of our most impressive party tricks.
I’m breezy and happy, today. After a solo journey back to Melbourne, earlier, to celebrate my beautiful Grandma’s 90th birthday (and a nice big heart-opening drive back, listening to music) I’m so grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here. To this place in my life, I mean. Not just to this dodgy little caravan park in the middle of nowhere.
I am reminded of the worth of life experience each time I feel the beautiful glow of wholeness beneath my skin. Each time I feel the spirit rise within me; the times I’m ready, and quite able, to speak the truths my heart knows to be absolute. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect, and never will be. But I am here, and I am grateful for these exhausting family days (and even you lot fall upon the grateful-o-metre of me…aww, sigh. Like, really, you guys. x) so a girl couldn’t ask for much more to help drift me through my days.
Right. Off to drink my tea and snuggle up with, what is turning out to be, one lovely heart-filling book.
Two years ago, before the universe exploded everything around me, I began two very writerly things. One thing was this blog (and what an absolute gift this place has been to me. Writing and a beautiful little band of friends to share my life with? I mean, what life experience could be more wonderful. )
The other writerly thing I began was my very first novel, which became just about my whole entire heart when it began to spin its delicate web within me. I fell in love with the people, the places, the thoughts, the ideas. Everything. My novel felt like a safe and lovely home, and I felt like I was the lucky owner.
Apparently it wasn’t time for the novel, though, because the universe decided to blow my life up and make me a whole new person (thanks very much universe. Oh, you’re really quite welcome, Brooke.)
Anyway, I’m getting silly ( 🙂 )but according to the universe, there were a few more breadcrumbs of life for me to pick up before this novel could take flight…and without ruining the story for you, I can tell you: the universe was right. My goodness, how right the universe was to blow up my world and my novel.
I can’t quite articulate how I feel about the novel now that I’ve returned to it, but I can say that the clarity of thought and expression I now experience in my creative life— due to the meditation and healing I’ve done since then, I’d imagine — has given me a new set of eyes. And a new piece of my heart to write with. My goodness, you guys. It is the most magical, wonderful thing.
A great deal more of my novel makes sense to me now. I couldn’t possibly have written the novel that was asking to be written back then because I didn’t have the right ingredients within the writerly/ humanly cook book of me, then.
But lately I’ve started hearing whispers from the universe and this is what they’ve said:
I write a lot about real life events. Sometimes I connect to fantasy and spin a beautiful story from worlds that don’t exist, but often I write from a place deep within. A place of memory, but more than that. It’s a place of alchemy, the unconscious breathing life into the conscious.
Friends and lovers gone by — how they’ve changed me. Hopes and dreams lost to the wind of time, moments of what if merging with moments of what is. It is a beautiful gift for a writer: to explore the world within, to honour the people, places, life paths that have madeus who we are.
I hope my inner world will become a gift for you, also. A mirror to help you discover your own story, and the parts of your soul you’ve yet to explore.
Every person who has grown me into who I am lives within the worlds I write.
And every person that lives within me, through my writing, now lives within you.
I will never take for granted the profound beauty of that.