How are you all? (We’re good, Brooke. How are you?) Oh, I’m fine, thanks for asking. Ha ha ha. I’m being an idiot— I’ll shut up now. 😛
I’m popping in with the ‘me’ version of me to let you guys know I’m doing another ‘video thing’ on IGTV (Instagram) tonight, giving a writers perspective on The Catcher In the Rye. All the nerdy goodness, my gosh. 🙂 I’ve filmed the video already and will be uploading it tonight at about 8pm Aus. time, so feel free to check it out, if you’d like. _brookecutler_ is my tag name.)
And guys…I was serious about the ‘how are you all?’ I hope everyone is staying safe, and feeling mentally fresh in the face of all of this muddy tar that’s been heaped onto us from virus land. I’ve been remarkably unaffected by the whole thing— basically because I choose not to watch the news (that and because I’m still in a bit of a spiral of my own mud that there’s not a lot of leftover space for me to indulge in collective aches and pains.)
I know and respect the realities of the situation, however, and I take precautions in order to keep myself and everyone else safe, but ultimately I feel like it’s my job to help lift people out of this thing. And If I’m taken down by other people’s fears, I’m no good to anyone, I don’t suppose.
Especially not my beautiful bubs, who so completely need their Mum on the tracks and chugging along. Speaking of my beautiful bubs, my little miss three-year-old split her forehead open on a door frame the other day. The gash was deep, you guys. Oh my goodness. My baby. Eight stitches and she smiled through the whole ordeal, the beautiful muffin. I’d so appreciate you sending her some super healing love hearts. x
Do I have any more nonsense to waffle? I don’t think so, but I’ve so loved this little waffle session— maybe I’ll come and do more waffling at you over the coming weeks. I really have felt an intense need to ‘be there’ for everyone, because I understand that people will be reacting differently to this whole thing. If I can entertain, or hold space, or just ‘be here’ for anyone who needs any or all the above needs met…I’m so ridiculously happy to do that.
I always miss you guys when I go floating off into Brooke- land.
And I’ll always, always cherish coming back to our special, quiet place.
I’ve had thousands of best friends and hundreds of mortal enemies.
I’ve been married a hundred times and divorced a hundred times more than that, probably. I’ve had lovers aplenty, built homes, mucked stables…and all this time, I’ve insisted I am an alone person. Oh no. I have never been alone, not for a day of my whole life long.
Books are sneaky like that, aren’t they? They introduce us to friends as real as the ones that stand before us, and they break our hearts just as deeply as a lost real-life love might. Books are a powerful force, and they are as real as reality itself: because, actually, what is reality? Our mind’s perception of a scene laid out before us.
That description of reality sounds an awful lot like our experience of a book, don’t you think? The difference being: a book gives us longer to sit within the scene and hold it up against our real life for review. True reality, in contrast, usually comes and goes in a flash.
I invite you to open your mind and your heart to the idea of a book and its characters being as real as any other aspect of reality. Think of how beautifully full life would be if we all embraced that idea. No one would ever be lonely— our books would see to it that we’d have a friend for every day of the week, or at least for whenever we really wanted one.
Think of a book as another room in your house, a room filled with the most beautiful, quirky, joyful friends you could ever wish to find. That’s what I’m going to be doing from now on. And that’s how I know that I’ll never truly be the alone person I always thought that I was.
Yes, I do believe you are perfectly capable of anything you choose to do in this life. It’s okay it took you a while to figure that out. You were meant to take a while to figure that out.
Yes, I do love you. So, so, so dearly. And yes: this absolutely is the greatest love of all, because I love you even when you think you don’t deserve to be loved. Oh. You’re totally welcome, girlfriend.
Yes, I forgive you for forgetting how wonderful you are from time to time. Humans do this odd thing, at times (what silly duffers, you are.) Rest assured, the universe won’t allow you to linger in the cranky pit for too long. Your smile has too many other smiles to welcome into the world.
Yes, I’m glad you’re worrying less and saying ‘bugger it’ more. If they can do it, you can do it. So…bugger it, off you go then. It’s well and truly your turn.
Yes, I am real. I am real, I am real, I am real, I am real. I have given you more than enough proof. Please. Believe me already. (It’s okay that you don’t believe me, btw. That’s just another one of those wacky human problems. Never mind. You’ll get there.)
Yes, I am always available when you need my advice. Haven’t you noticed? I tend to offer it anyway. Even when you think you don’t need it. Especiallywhen you think you don’t need it.
Yes, I write most of your blog posts. Yes, it’s okay that you take the credit. I am you, and you are me, after all. Confusing, I know. We’ll get to know each other more comfortably before too long.
Yes, your truth will shine now that you have given it permission to do so. Just know, however: your shine will look different to all humans. You must never expect others to see you as you do. For instance, your ‘shine’ will look grey to those who only see the world in black and white. That’s okay. Black and white eyes do not see incorrectly. They just see differently. Yes, you still have a thing or two to learn about this part.
Yes, I am responsible for half the books in your bookshelf. No. I’m not sorry. We needed them. Eeek. Sorry, trees.
Yes, this is the final point, until the next time you need me.
So much love, darling human girl. You’ve so totally got this.
Scratch that: we’ve totally got this. xx
The Soft Girl
(aka: your soul. Aka: your intuition. Aka: the actual you.)
I can’t imagine not reading and writing, just as I can’t imagine what it might be like never to breathe again.
Sometimes the words I write make no sense to me, or to anyone else that reads them. I don’t think that matters, now that I really think about it—no one understands the meaning of each individual breath they take. Well, at least, I don’t think they do…but I’m a big believer that anything is possible, and so I’m happy to keep an open mind on that one.
Words are the mirror that helps me see my life, and as I send my words into the world I offer that mirror to you so that you might see your life in relation to my own. I think that’s one of the gifts of books and reading the words of others: the opportunity to understand aspects of our lives, through the lives of others.
Through my own words, I see and feel my world.
Through the words of others…I see and feel my world from a different angle.
As simple as it is, I believe that humans and our words are the real magic of life.
I choose never to take that shared loveliness for granted.
I’m reading again. I’m reading a lot, actually. My goodness, it’s all the lovely things.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to read for all the years books went missing from my life. I blamed it on the quick and easy of social media. How convenient it was to click onto an article offered by Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever platform I was virtually chillin’ my life away on.
I first discovered Facebook in my early twenties, and WHAT wonder IS this! My goodness. The possibilities of that place seemed endless. In fact, were it not for Facebook…I’d not have re-met the man who eventually became my husband (and super fun guy Dad to my two beautiful kiddlywinks.)
I became so ‘into’ Facebook at one point, I considered it a problem. I was desperate to get rid of it because it seemed to be sucking so much life out of me, but how to take the giant leap away? It just would not let me go. It was my curiosity for what was going on in the comment section that found me in the deepest water. I was becoming deeply affected by ALL the opinions, and consequently, I was very slowly disappearing beneath them.
Looking back, I see what the problem likely was. All thatsocial media drama must have been doing quite the number on my brain. No wonder the calm and quiet energy of reading seemed to have fallen by the wayside. My brain was addicted to noise. Not only was it addicted to the action…it was also addicted to being seen, to being heard, to being loved.
I don’t know when all that changed, but I know it was by happy accident. I think it was after the birth of my second child, maybe, when I was just too busy to even think about the delightful terrors gifted to me by the comment section. I was also in the thick of things with my Masters at the time—completely immersed in my little collection of short stories. It was such a swift and sneaky cut off, I don’t even recall the day I stopped and said, Facebook what, now?
And so, just like that, the addiction was gone. I will admit that I have really come to enjoy Instagram for the creative platform it provides (and the odd chance to share some of my bright and shiny pom poms with the world.) But I don’t see myself returning to that addictive social media space anytime soon. I lost far too much of myself there once upon a time—too many hours, too much of my calm and happy—to risk going back.
Not to mention my precious books. Sigh. Thank goodness I have them back again.
If you’re a reader, you are about to read a blog post which will echo through the pits of your soul. It’s not a problem, we all know this. But whenever us readers are faced with this sort of conundrum, there is definite…friction would be the best way to put it, in my mind.
Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while will already know that I am blowing this issue (the one I’m about to tell you about) up to be something it absolutely is not, creating drama where none is needed, creating blockage when there probably is a clear path that I just can’t see yet.
But the thing is: this feels big. Like a pickle. And when something feels like a pickle to me, I will set my brain to work until it has come up with a logical solution that will bring me peace and clarity and a bin (you know, a bin to throw the pickle into.)
What is the pickle, you ask? Books, that’s what. I’ve started reading three books that are wonderful…and I’ve started them all at the same time. The pickle is this, and the pickle is also the fact that I’ll not finish any of them at this rate.
I won’t go into the details about each book but I will say that each is illuminating, genuine, inspiring, and each has a very clear reason to be read by a bookish dreamer named Brooke at this point in her life.
How do I choose which one to plow on with? Surely it’s an essential question, like asking myself: should I brush my teeth, have a shower, sleep, eat? You’re laughing aren’t you. You’re laughing because you’ve been here before, but currently you’re not so it’s kind of like you’re looking back upon a distant nightmare set in a far-off land.
But for me, it’s here. It’s now. And I’ve got to DO something, I’ve got to get TOUGH.
I’ve got to put two of the books away. When it comes down to it, that’s just what I’ve got to do, isn’t it? One at a time. I will not find un-friction until I make a choice, and the time has come for me to make it—to choose the apple, the orange or the pear.
What a bookishly frantic conundrum. What a pickle of the totally me kind.
My glasses are shining back at me from the library window.
In hindsight, I should have eaten. Actual lunch I mean, not just the Honey and Date Loaf that quite accidentally fell into my belly at around lunchtime today. I know I should have chosen a more appropriate lunch because I’ve been wandering around the library for an hour, in a daze, and only now have I begun to write: a blog post, might I add, that will likely make little to no sense at all, whatsoever, in the slightest, or even a little bit. (See what I mean? I have no one to blame but myself.)
Apart from a total lack of regard for my perfectly innocent human body, it’s been a wonderful day. The ‘wonderful’ began with a song about a garden. I was on my way to meet my husband and little people at the pool, wrestling with the gear stick of my husband’s zippy little beetle bug (I’ve never been a multitasker) when the lady on the radio announced the next song. Inspired by a home garden, apparently.
A song about a garden: I was intrigued.
By the end of the song— a dainty classical number, whirling with piano and violin— the butterflies in my heart had moved me out of my body and into a lavender-scented cottage garden.
Beautiful. Magical. Lovely.
Really it was.
When life returned to normal, I swam with my ‘watch this Mummy!’ little girl. I ate cake and I drank coffee. I wandered the shops, and I wandered the library, and here I am now. Writing a completely random blog post like only a hungry cooky girl can.
It’s been a happy kind of day (however random) thanks for asking. ☺️I’m sorry about the ‘not really about anything’ blog post.
And, for the first time in a good little while, I am at a cafe, sinking into a booth seat, quietly reflecting on the peace of it all.
I’m the soft girl today. She’s the part of me that I choose—quite fiercely so—because the soft girl is anything but soft. She’s gentle and kind, and yet she’s capable and strong. And she’s safe, the part of me that feels most like ‘home’.
She made me buy a book, today, the soft girl did. It’s beautiful. A paperback, with a silvery-white cover and the title: Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of The Wild Woman, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. A quote from Maya Angelou decorates the bottom. It says: ‘Everyone who can read should read this book.’
The book had whispered to me from the shelf—or, perhaps the soft girl had whispered me to it, I can’t be entirely certain. And even though it was only visible via the spine, I plucked it quickly from its little cave and read the blurb.
I wasn’t going to buy a book. It wasn’t on my radar, not at all. But as soon as I read what this beautiful, silvery book was about…the soft girl touched me and began whispering me her careful words: ‘This book will change your life.’
I bought it. It sits beside me, in my laptop bag, waiting for me to breathe it in— which I will do tonight, as soon as I have found a cup of steaming tea and a nice big blanket.
I suppose it might be a wonderful book.
And, if it is, if the whispers of the soft girl were true in all their wistfully tender encouragement…my life is about to change.