Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Breaking Buddha, Carrying God.

The Buddha on my back deck once got ripped off by the wind in a big thunderstorm. It was pretty cool. Dave picked him up, cut off the broken parts, and attached it onto the post again. Every time I look outside to the mended Buddha, I feel peaceful. He's just so fucking ... zen.

I have a Buddha statue that goes into our Jesus nativity set every Christmas. I'm pretty sure that's sacrilegious. Most meaningful things are.

A while back, before a trip away, I went into my local Catholic giftshop, to buy a Saint Christopher medallion. Christopher was this big tough guy, the Patron Saint of travel.

He helped a child across a swirling river one day, they both almost drowned. Christopher said that the whole world could not have been as heavy on his shoulders than that child; the child then told him that he was indeed carrying the whole world, because the kid was actually Jesus.

I guess that's the origin of the term, "carrying the world on your shoulders."


The past few weeks have been some of the most intense of my entire life. All seemingly played out on my blog. It's like, writing my memoir in real time ... pretty strange if I think about it too much, so I try not to think about it.

Dave has this annoying habit ... of keeping our bowl of Angel cards RIGHT next to the toilet in the bathroom. Every time I see them there, I'm reminded of a study done once on free bowls of peanuts in bars and clubs, and how laden they are with urine and E.Coli.

Dave obviously feels the most Spiritual in the middle of taking a crap. Hey, whatever works. (Last week I did something wrong, and he was SO cranky. He held on to it for a few days .. one morning I noticed he had pulled the "forgiveness" card out. It took all I had not to grab that poopoo card and stick it in front of his face.)

So today I went to the bathroom, and clipped the bowl with my arm. All of the cards scattered everywhere, all over the dusty books and the floor, cascading down the back, getting caught in crevices. As I picked them all up, I caught myself silently thanking Universe. For giving me all the cards. For giving me. Forgiving me. I have so much Light and joy in my heart these days it's kind of embarrassing. And disconcerting. My brain tells me to enjoy it while I can, that the world is just toughening me up before the next intense crisis hits.

Which I'm utterly content with. Bring it, Buddha.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sorry for Intruding

I call this photo: "So this is what the sky looks like when you relapse."

My demon is gone. Into thin air ... I didn't need the exorcism after all.

What kind of dickhead writes about her demons on the internet? Maybe I should tone it down, I have been thinking. Say things in different ways ... don't be SO out there. It's just not ... right.

And then I received this email, from a lady who came across my blog and has been reading it backwards ... the 30-day chip, the two-year lead up to the Lost Weekend, the chemo ... the cancer. Back to where it all began.

She is a complete stranger to me ... the subject in the email was "Sorry for intruding but I just had to write ..."

Terri you didn't intrude. I am deeply grateful that you wrote, and I will think about your words forever:


I have been reading your blog, working progressively further back. It is a bit like watching something explode in reverse, and it makes the "whole" that you work back to seem decidedly less whole than if you had watched/read it all unfurl in real time. The posts that might have (if read in sequence) seem more light hearted, instead take on a shadowy foreboding. I want to run back to the "earlier Eden" and warn her, but that would have saved nothing, would it? The journey, babe. The journey, no matter how painful, it's the whole point.

When things happen...things that seem tragic or life-altering, or unbearably painful...I think of my aunt.

It was Friday the 13th, November...1998. I was at work and got a call from my dad. My aunt, who worked in a prison kitchen, had been "cut." Probably nothing, he assured me. He recommended that I sit tight, and he and my mom would figure out the details.

"Oh, you know how dramatic your aunt is," he said wryly, and he recounted a story where she had closed a finger in a car door, examined it, and wondered aloud how many days off work that might be get her.

So I waited. About an hour later, maybe less, the phone rang again. "She is gone," he said simply. Gone? What? Where? To a different hospital?




I walked into my bosses office. He was on the phone. He took one look at me and mouthed, "Go! Go!" and waved me toward the door; he motioned that he would call soon to check on me.

My then-boyfriend/now-husband came to drive me the hour's drive to the small town where my aunt lived. We had to stop for gas. At first I was so anxious about having to stop for something so stupid, then I realized that there was nothing to rush for...it was over.

We drove quietly and without tears. At times, he would reach over and stoke my hand.

When we got to my uncle--her brother's--house (which was next door to her own), the whole block was filled with cars. Cars parked on the grass, all along the curb, spilling from the driveways... So much of that day, and the ones that followed, was a blur.

The funeral was several days later, and it was full of stangers. Law enforcement from all over the state, and even several states away, came to honor her. How odd to share such mourning with people whom we had never met before, never spoke with, never knew existed until that moment...and who would, for all practical purposes, no longer exist to us once they walked out the door of the church.

I ordered a copy of the autopsy. For some reason, I was gripped by the need to know exactly what happened.

The autopsy came in the mail...so many crisp white pages. A diagram of a generic female stared back at me; her every wound meticulously documented. She was stabbed sixteen times. Her aorta severed. Her death would have been swift.

Then her killer locked them both in a storage closet off the prison kitchen and barracaded them inside while he made a superficial attempt at suicide.

I read the pages over and over, but the only things that I can still remember about it was that, even though she smoked her lungs were perfectly clear and healthy, and she had been wearing purple panties.

For some reason, the purple panties haunted me. Perhaps it was the sterotype of a nagging mother reminding her child to wear clean underwear "in case they got in an accident." Who the fuck cares what your underwear is like if you are dead?! No. That's not it... When I actually let myself acknowledge it, I know...

That morning was like any other. She got up, tugged open the top drawer of her dresser, and picked THAT pair--whether haphazzardly or by design--and she had no idea what would soon happen. She had no idea that this was to be her last day on this earth. The idea that bad, terrible, painful, life-altering days start out exactly the same as the boring, mundane days...this is what keeps me up at night.

Because when you are in the middle of it...you don't see it coming.

I read your blog backwards. I saw it coming, and I just wanted to cry out to you...for you.
But there is no hurry now. It is done.

But the fucking awesome thing is this...it is done...and you are still here. You still get to dip your hand into the top drawer and pick out a pair of underwear and start another day.

Thank God. And thank you...for your blog, your honesty, your soul.




I'm going to "dip my hand into my top drawer" like I'd dip a pen into an inkwell.

With an intent I've not had before, until I read about Terri's aunt.

I snapped this near my house the other day. See those clouds? They aligned themselves in that moment - just so. They will never look like that again. I call this photo: "Realising you have more good parts in your Soul than bad parts, so you may as well live the very best version of your life that you possibly can."


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Definitely Beautiful

Wow. I wish a scientist could clone Taylor Mali, and send his army forth around the world.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


See that chip? That's the most stupid and embarrassing chip in the world. I got it yesterday, after a round of applause and some fumbling.

Six weeks ago I was this Queen of the World with my big fat supposed recovery driving a big fat fancy car. Then I crashed ... metaphorically and physically. Right now my fancy car is in the smash repairs, and I am driving around in this shitbox, crunching the gears man because seriously ... who the fuck knows how to drive a manual car these days? Max just shakes his head next to me, when I'm crunching and revving and bunnyhopping along the road. "Ok Max, it's not fourth ... no, not second either .... oh it's third! We need to be in third!"

Max has the patience of a Saint and the heart of an Angel and he teaches me how to be a good human. Every day.

So it's fitting. I am utterly humbled. So very grateful -  that I put the brakes on. That I stopped, and asked for help. I loathe asking for help .... I'm pretty sure my real dad loathed it too.

Pride kills.

My friend said to me recently, "Eden, if your boys lost you ... their sun would go from their world."

Ahh. It makes me instantly cry, when I think of her words.

I could write volumes on addiction, and recovery, and what it all means and journeys and getting broken open. Volumes and chapters and reams of writing. I am such an expert .... an expert who knows nothing. I never want to get another chip like that ... that stupid and embarrassing chip; that One Chip, to Rule them All.

My whole existence hinges on that chip, man. I love that little tin chippy chip.


I have to turn comments off on this post. I'm so behind in .... oh, only everything in my life right now. After a big weekend, I was listed in Blogs of Note. It's all exploded and it's completely freaking me out.

Q) What happens when your blog becomes "big?"

I can't receive any praise .... it's like I was drowning and was thrown a life jacket and I put it on straight away. GOLF CLAPS! Is it not a no-brainer, to put the life jacket on? I guess a lot of people don't. And they drown.

My dorky life jacket is on, looking pretty uncool. I'm bunnyhopping around town like an idiot.

Making my boys laugh, turning their heads towards the sun.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Transcribing the World

There's mushrooms growing wild all over my front garden. I'm compelled to kick every single one I see, so that Dave won't get any tumours back. It's a superstition thing that I can't stop. I got back from a big weekend, and they were EVERYWHERE. I have to smoosh my shoe up in their stalks, to get all of them out - properly, not half-arsed. Otherwise I panic that my husband will die. It's awesome being me.

I have so much to say, it's all pounding in my heart like a drum but I can't get the rhythm out. On Saturday I was lucky enough to go to the Inaugural Australian Bloggers Conference ... twitter become more than twitter usually is. It morphed into Twitter Planet. The whole thing was a watershed moment for us Aussie bloggers.

I was freaking out, sweaty, stinky, rushed, unorganised, and guilty about leaving my boys. It was wonderful, cohesive, amazing. The people, the connections, the love, the tears ..... the whole Mabo vibe of the thing.

Blogging world, Australia has arrived.


The day before, I heard Mia Freedman from mamamia talk about the Road to Relief campaign. It was wonderful to see how social media down here is being used to raise awareness of important issues. I love this. I loved meeting Mia too ... Mrs Woog told me to give her a wedgie but I didn't. I am *way* too classy for that, and just kind of poked her bum instead.

Mia ... I instagrammed this photo because it was like we were in a competition about who looked more tired. You're welcome!


The conference was held just down from the Coke sign. Temptation was close .... so I didn't leave the building for two days. Problem solved!

..... ok I need to finish writing this post, and I haven't even STARTED writing it. Here is a link to all posts written about it so far. I wish I could link to every single other person who was there ... all 169 of you. I loved being in that room with you all. And guess what - every day since I have been thinking and thinking ... what is it, about blogging that is so magic?

I realised what it is after I "accidentally" came across this Mariel Hemingway quote yesterday:

"... if you're aware in anything you do - it changes you. Being present changes you."

Bingo, baby. That's why blogging has helped and changed me, and so many others. Blogging forces you to be present.

Blogging is the BEST.


I read out a post called "How to Live." Wearing my good luck red cowboy boots, a black manicure, and a FIFTY DOLLAR blowdry. After the weekend, my hair is back to its dumb, frizzy self.

But my Heart remains changed.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

How to Blog

"The human race is the most stupid and unfair kind of race. A lot of the runners don't even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It's not surprising a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk and shout abuse. What the human race needs is a lot more streakers."

- Image and words by Banksy

10) Go to your computer, write out a big, swishy, important blog post. The marketers and advertising networks and Important People will be happy. Then delete it. Now write what's in your heart and publish it. That will make you happy.

9) It's not a race. You may sense jostling of position ... (I'm looking at YOU, Australian blogging scene) ... a changing of the guard. Bloggers competing and crapping over other bloggers. Don't do that. Don't get involved in the politica of blogging. Stand to one side and smoke your imaginary cigar, then go home and write a post about that time you were twelve and tried to test God by setting traps in your bedroom. God failed, yet you still believe. Odd.

8) Make up your own words. I meant to write "politics" in the point above but like "politica" better. Make up your own scenery, your own language, your own pace, your own creative force. Your blog is a blank canvas. An empty page. A lump of clay. If there is a God who created mankind in His own image, then that makes you a creator too. (HINT: When you create things in life, a river trickles in your heart. If you keep doing it, it gushes into your secret underground trapdoor heart spring that you never even knew was there.)

7) If you want to build up your blog to get a lot of comments, or make money, or get famous ... that's fine. Do whatever the hell you want. It's a free world. (Is it?) Just remember that all good things take time. How connected are you to other bloggers? Do you really read their words and comment on their blogs because it resonates with you, or do you just want them to comment back? If you stop hiding and start write yourself into your blog, people will "see" you and be drawn to you. What are you so afraid of?

6) You don't owe anybody anything. Don't explain yourself ... if you haven't blogged for a while because Life Itself has torn you open and you're laying weeping on the ground - don't worry about backtracking and explaining every little thing. You don't have to! Just come to the page and open up a brand new post and start talking. About anything. People will follow wherever you lead them. It's like, you're the boss.

5) YOU'RE THE BOSS. You are in control. It's your blog, nobody elses. No rules, man.

4) At the beginning of every single blog post, picture inviting ten of your closest friends into your living room. And you say, "Now that I've gathered you all here ..." and start writing. Launch into a fantastic film you saw with your friend last night and it rained or a soliloquy on how you can't believe Japan has so many nuclear reactors or how mortified you were the first time you ever got a pedicure. Make it interesting. You must have interesting thoughts and ideas all the time. Notice them more. My sister Leigh said to me just this morning, "Eden, I often see things and think ... if I had a blog, I would take a picture of that and post it." How cool is that? She doesn't even have a blog but is seeing the world through blog-coloured glasses.

3) There will always be somebody doing it Better. Bigger. Stunning photography. Beautiful children. Getting swanky invitations to things. I get jealous of other bloggers .... mostly because I wish I were more normal and stable. (Sometimes I really wish I were a prolific, stunning Mormon blogger in Utah with a delightful etsy shop and children who I homeschool. Alas.) Somebody's got to be the unmedicated Australian lunatic who stalks Bono, writing strange things on the internet and yet somehow connecting with other people's Spirit while trying so hard to connect with her own. WHEW.

3b) Be happy for another bloggers success. If a blogger is "getting somewhere" ... it means they are raising awareness about all of us other bloggers. It's win-win. It's cool. Don't sweat it.

2) One day, you'll find that you have developed a Voice that you never knew you had. This is your very own Voice. Blogging with an open heart gave it to you. You begin to suspect that this Voice came from a deeper place - because seriously, blogging? Pfft.

You now have a duty of care to use your voice in the best possible way that you can. I can't tell you what that is, you must find that out for yourself. (HINT: Ever get the feeling that living this life with all these unanswered questions is like walking around with a treasure map but no idea where to dig? Dig inside yourself. It's the last place us humans ever look.)

1) Blog like a streaker, man. Blog like a streaker.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I am the Guy from Scanners.

I wanted to watch horror films from an early age, but wasn't allowed until I was 12. As soon as I got to year 6, I hit them all like the little freakshow I was. Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Cujo, Carrie, Happy Birthday to Me .... it was the 80's, and for a horror fan, it was heaven.

Lately, I have had the exquisite experience of withdrawing from Paxil. Wow. It will be a snowday in hell before I take anything stronger than a vitamin. It felt like bugs crawling under my skin. And my heart was on fire, head was racing. I've had a few conversations with some very trusted people around whether I really DO have a demon in me, or is it just the drug angrily leaving my body. (Jury's still out on that one.)

The electric shocks have been the worst .... like, I swallowed a taser and it travels all around my body, zapping at will. A twitchy, nervous, sweaty, fucked up human.

I kept thinking to myself ... that I felt like the guy on the cover of Scanners. I don't remember much about that particular 80's horror flick - just the schlocky, crazy video cover of this guy completely freaking out.

Paxil withdrawals turned me into the Scanners guy, man.

A couple of days ago I was in my local Civic Video with the boys. They were chasing each other and knocking crap over and I was this cranky, shouty shoutster. "YOU ARE NOT IN A PARK, YOU ARE IN A VIDEO SHOP STOP RUNNING AROUND GODDAMMIT."

They stopped. And I thought, hey - I'm in a video shop, why not see if they have Scanners?

Guess what - they did.

Behold ..... this is why I have not been able to think/write/blog/breathe/function lately.


THIS is what I feel like when I go to pick Max up from school. Me + normal school mums in their natural habitat = panic stations.

I made a little video confession on it, for the website http://www.andnobodytoldme.com/

Check it out here. Oh and the horrible freezeframe face I have on before you hit play? TOTALLY PAXIL'S FAULT.

Monday, 14 March 2011

All About Fadra: Dropping it Like it's Hot*

Vegemite soldiers, real tea in a favourite teacup, and Fadra's latest post. No better way to spend a morning.

Fadra is currently kicking my arse in Qrank. Every time I log on I think ... can I beat Fadra today? I usually can't .. and that's seriously ok. I’m not that competitive. If I was competitive I would be *much* more ... better at things.

I met Fadra online - we both submitted videos for a reality TV casting show. She was a breath of fresh air in a sea of forced chirpiness. We met in the flesh at BlogHer10 ... we sat next to each other on the couch and Alice Bradley was RIGHT next to us and I was all "Fadra that is Finslippy! Look, Catherine is dancing in her tutu! Ahhh!" And Fadra didn't know who they were. Like I said, refreshing.

We talked and talked and talked, for over an hour. Her husband kept calling and texting her, as we sat lazily sprawled out on the big cheeseburger-shaped couches at CheeseburgHer.

Fadra, you're one of my best mates. Thank you for sharing your American bloggy conference knowledge with those of us going to the Aussie Bloggers Conference in Sydney next week.

I hope you weren't joking about that passport.


I'm never at a loss for words or topics so I was all ready to step forward and blather on about something on Eden’s blog. And then she gave me an assignment. I’m totally cool with that. In fact, when someone gives me something specific to write about, I can usually rock it out in about half my normal time.

Since there’s apparently a really big Aussie blogging conference coming up, Eden thought it might be nice if I gave you my perspective on what to expect and how to survive.

Why did she ask me to write about it? Probably because I’m a SUPER big deal back in the States. I’m, like, one of the biggest bloggers out there. In fact, I invented blogging.

(I figure I can say all this because you all being down under and such, you can’t really verify it, can you? Oh, you can? I see.)

I’ve been blogging since September 2009 but didn’t really “get” it until March 2010. That was when I attended my first blogging conference, a lovely little intimate one day session called Bloggy Boot Camp. I went because a friend was going and asked me to come along.

It really was my “a-ha” moment. It was the moment that I realized, “Oh, okay. This is a community. These people are like me. And these people are making some money.” I opened my eyes, bought my domain, switched to WordPress, and never looked back.

There were a lot of novices at that conference. We started following each other on Twitter and reading each other’s blogs. Now, a year later, I’m good friends with a lot of these people online and didn’t even realize I had met them in person.

My second conference was in August 2010. In NYC. For BlogHer. BlogHer is definitely the grand poobah of blogging conferences. I suppose I should have been intimidated but I didn’t know enough to be intimidated. I approached the conference with the same naïveté that I generally use when approaching life.

· Find a crowd that you know. They might be online friends or real life friends. (Usually after a conference, the lines are blurred anyway.) Use them as your anchor so that you feel comfortable at a session, party, event. But don’t latch onto them. This is your chance to branch out.

· Talk to everyone. This can be really hard at blogging conferences because a lot of times you don’t know many people. And, um, hello, we spend a lot of time behind our computers. We don’t all have the best social skills. But try anyway.

· Bring business cards. You may not feel like you are business card worthy or that it’s even necessary. Trust me. It is. You don’t have to spend a fortune but make them memorable and consistent with your brand/blog. And for God’s sakes, don’t forget to put your NAME and email address. I know we like our anonymity but this is how business gets done.

· Get to know other people. I found the most amazing connections in the most unexpected places. I sat at a table for a quick sec to grab lunch while the staff was cleaning up and struck up a conversation with an amazingly experienced writer from Chicago. I created a friendship with the wife of a semi-celebrity because we hit it off outside of a party when we started talking about publishing. And did I mention Eden? Yeah, I wrote a whole post about how we fell in bloggy love.

· Leave the high school mentality at home. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, more popular than you. There will always be the painfully shy, nerdy, socially awkward kids. But we’re grown-ups now and we go to these things because we all have a common love affair with blogging. Embrace your differences and you might learn something.

· Bask in the blogginess. For just a few days, you will be surrounded by people that totally get you. They understand that you like to tweet. A LOT. It’s okay to bury yourself in your laptop or pull out your iPad and iPhone in the middle of a session. You can talk about widgets and plug-ins and reviews and giveaways and all speak the same language. These are your people and nothing feels more motivating than to know you are not alone.

All in all, my naïveté didn’t work against me. It actually made me relax and talk to people I might never have thought to talk to. I even hung out with some “big” bloggers. But again, I really didn’t know they were big bloggers and I’d kind of like to keep it that way.

Best of luck to you at your first ever blogging conference focusing on the mum, parenting and personal blogging communities of Australia. If any of you ever need a guest speaker, I have my passport ready.


Thanks, Fadra!

* No idea why I wrote "dropping it like it's hot" in this post title. It just sounded cool. Almost as cool as FAY-DRAHHHHHH.

Fadra on facebook and twitter
Plus her awesome site "And Nobody Told Me."

Saturday, 12 March 2011

It's a Moth, Motherfuckers.

Dave is making me a birthday coffee. Rocco is telling everybody to 'Get those candles off. Now.' .... so we could eat the cake.

The best thing about birthdays is the presents. Always has been, always will be. Except this year when my family asked what I wanted, I hung my head. "Nothing. I deserve NOTHING."

My Nothings, let me show u them. Mum bought me a pair of ugg boots. Too much?

I call it, "making winter fun." Oh and America, I have a bone to pick with you ..... Australia invented ugg boots. You can't patent the word "ugg." It's a generic word down here. You may be the boss of most things, but hands off the uggs, dudes.

Next, my sister Linda gave me a bracelet.

ONLY A BRACELET OF MULTI-COLOURED SKULLS. I just accidentally typed "multi-cultural skulls" ... perhaps they are.

Dave had asked me to "please just go pick something from somewhere hon, so I don't have to worry about it." Bless. So I did ... a light pink studded handbag from a very boutique giftshop that I never go in to because it's ... very boutique. Drunk on the power of choosing my own present, I thought I would choose something else; and looked down to find a brooch in the shape of a moth. I couldn't believe that somebody had made a moth brooch.

"Excuse me, is this a moth?"

The lady came over, so well-groomed and straight and normal and sweet-smelling. She smiled. "Yes - I think it is a moth."

"Man. That's so cool. Butterflies get all the glory."

Everybody turned and laughed at me, and I didn't really know why. I don't like being laughed at, unless I make fun of myself. I told the lady I would take the moth. And I did. I love that motherfucking moth. My sisters think it is awful, which makes me love him more.

When I got home, I opened the present from my other sister Leigh ... a huge crucifix. Like, massive. I laughed, calling her to say thank you, and how did she know I needed it for my demons? She's like, "Eden, I call a MAN-cifix." (A running joke in my family is that I need everything man-size. I would sleep straight through the night during both of my pregnancies, then do the biggest morning wee that by the time I'd finished it would be lunch. Thank you, manbladder!)

I put all of my new shiny things on, walked outside, and asked Tim to take a photo. His shoulders slumped when he saw me. He didn't ask why.

I chopped my head off .... I looked incredibly ugly. My head and I are not on speaking terms at the moment, because, you know .... it wants to kill me.)

In conclusion, I deserved nothing and got everything.


Writers for the Red Cross - how cool is that? Conjures up images of marching nerds with glasses on, carrying laptops. Check out how you can help with the Japanese earthquake appeal. I had the luxury of turning the news off today, because it was "too much" for me. I am a privileged spoilt white woman with no real problems except for the ones I create myself. Whilst wearing a moth brooch.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Recovery 2.0

Today I turn 39. Is that not a dumb age? To celebrate my Year of Turning Forty, I will be doing something on Edenland on the 11th of each month. Bucket list-y things .... like getting my hair cut short, or climbing the Harbour Bridge. Or something incredibly meaningful. Or incredibly ridiculous.

Or, posting a video regarding the herd of elephants that have been stampeding and shitting in my living room for a while now.


I'm back here, now. If I don't start writing here again soon I'll lose my voice.

And it took me so long to get it. (39 years.)


Meet Henry ... a beautiful, strong, dark-haired boy. He died from a drug overdose last year, and his mother is in the exhausting process of writing out information and the events leading up to his tagic death. Something isn't quite right about the investigation. Please tweet #justiceforhenry

The following is an excerpt from Mama Pundit:

"That evening, I fixed my son the last meal I would ever prepare for him – a stir fry with curry. He and his girlfriend and his 12 year old brother E and I ate together on our front porch. Everyone was in good spirits, and after they ate, E and Henry got out their ripsticks and played on them on our front walkway. Henry’s girlfriend and I watched on the porch. It was a beautiful early spring evening."

Ripsticks. It's such a trivial piece of information but I have been thinking of Henry on his ripstick all week.

Such a waste and a shame and a tragedy. I deeply feel for his mother right now, trying to drum up some media interest in gaping holes in the story. Bless you, Henry. I hope you can feel how free you are.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

It Takes a Cyber Village

This is Alex - a really cool L.A. photographer/writer/artist. Goddamn cutiepie.

Alex and I collaborated on an art piece together ... and we didn't even know it.

She is an extraordinary woman. I'm going to meet her in San Diego in August ... she's an official BlogHer photographer. When I hug her, I'm not sure that I can ever let her go.

Alex - mate, thank you so much for this post. (I needed it today. Today has been hard) .


It Takes a Cyber Village
I don’t blog. Not on a blog of my very own. Yet. But I guest blog and I contribute at BlogHer, and I end up being asked the question that I assume real bloggers, like Eden, must get all the time: why blog?

And I think of Howard’s End and the opening line “Only connect…”


A year ago, I’d never visited this site. Last summer (that’s summer in Los Angeles/winter in Edenland) BlogHer was teaming artists and bloggers in a benefit for the Gulf oil spill. As a writer/photographer, I signed up on the artist’s end. I was sent an excerpt from a blog to work with. The words were Eden’s. Maybe you know the story. If not, Eden wrote a couple wonderful posts about it here. (Go and read it so that the rest makes sense. I’ll wait.)

Part One - No Kittens
Part Two - Dave Cries

When I read Eden’s blog for the first time, I was speechless. Me, Little Miss Chatterbox, at a loss for words after I saw these ones: B-Cell Follicular Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. No one should be able to say that string of words so easily. And no one should have to know what they mean.

I have no idea why I put that red balloon photo in the collage. A photo never meant for any purpose but to remind me of the magnificent cousin I lost to that stupid jumble of words above.

This last autumn (spring on Eden’s side of the globe) I was able to take a photo of a different balloon. It was the most hopeful, joyful, proud balloon I’ve ever seen. One sporting a Yves Saint Laurent tag and proudly paraded for miles in celebration of Dave and Eden and their boys at the Light the Night walk. It’s the balloon that kicked cancer’s ass.

In a world that keeps getting larger and growing faster, the blogosphere seems to be reigning things in a bit. Reminding us all that this world really isn’t so big. From around the globe, friendships are forged, lives shared - a village gathers with the click of a mouse.

It takes a village to navigate through life.

Check out the incredible dialogue about mental health that began with this post over at the818. Or the Christmas miracle that came via The Bloggess .

Look at the village Eden has created - amazing guest posters who are here because Edenland brought them together.

If you ever begin to lose faith in humanity, just take a look at what the blogosphere has created. Something’s happening here.

Only connect. Forster had no idea.


Alex Asher Sears Photography
Alex on twitter

Monday, 7 March 2011

"And last week I realized that there will be a last time that I will ever see his penis."

One of my besties, A. from I Am Vulnerable is the next person to step forward for guest-posting duties. You are all wonderful, People of the Computer who email me. One gorgeous person said to me last week they would love to post, if it "fits" in my blog.

Mate. MATE. Everything fits in my blog. Everything. Everyone. All is welcome, I am non-exclusive. My number one golden rule of blogging I stole from Kenickie: "Rules are, there aint no rules."

A. is a deep soul. She is funny, quirky, thoughtful, and fucking SMART. I'm friends with her on facebook. A few weeks ago, when I felt lower than lowdown, she posted this on her wall:

(I watched it so many times. LOVED. Knock it off!)

This clip is like A. - sassy, speaking the Truth. Real. She's not even an alcoholic, yet looks inside herself all the time, for particular answers and reasons and feelings.

I love her. I have been privileged to watch her journey unfold, from the deepest pain to exquisite joy, culminating in the birth of her son. Her son is so lucky. One day we will make it to the others Sacred Women's Circle and laugh about life and cry about death, all in the same breath.


I've had this post rattling around my head for a while and when Eden asked for guest posts, it was the push I needed to get it written. Because Eden is a mother of boys and that is what this post is all about.

One of the surprises of motherhood for me has been the depth of physical intimacy I feel with my son. I love him like an animal - my adoration for him is primal and rooted so deeply in my body. I am still breastfeeding him at 16 months and he shows no sign of wanting to stop anytime soon and I am fine with that - truthfully, I love it. But beyond that part of our relationship is the part in which I want to eat him up. I want to smell his milky breath. I want to kiss him all over. I want to cuddle him when he's naked and squish his delectable little baby squishiness. I want to whisper secrets in his ear and play with his hair and tickle his feet and hold his delightful chubby little fingers while he sleeps.

In the midst of this loveapalooza, though, there is a tinge of sadness and loss. Because he is a boy. Because he will leave me, eventually, and grow up, up, and away.

Even though he is still so little, and needs me so much, I am starting to see the seeds of his independence beginning to sprout. And last week I realized that there will be a last time that I will ever see his penis

Admittedly, that day is a long way off. Still. With any child, the intimacy is bound to change as they grow and we mothers are no longer wiping bums and bathing with them. But you know that with a daughter, you can still go through the locker room at the pool together. You will still get to peek into the change room when she is trying on clothes. She will need you to explain the womanly mysteries of periods, boobs, the minefield that is adolescent girl friendship.

Boys, well - don't they eventually retreat into silence and recoil at the merest hint of a cuddle?

I know that much of this is uncertain, that every child is different, that my sweet snuggly boy might well stay that way for a long time to come, and that of course girls have their own tactics to withdraw and create distance - I sure as hell did. And of course I am happy (mostly, though it does go just so damn fast) to see him changing, and I would never wish for him to stop learning and growing. But I am already feeling a bit sad when I think about how I will one day no longer be able to gaze upon his adorable wang.


PS Hey A. - Max asks me to sleep next to him all the time. I plan on patting his head in his sleep every fucking chance I get, as long as I'm alive. There is a bond that no age can erase. XO

Friday, 4 March 2011

Playing Chicken

I don't have computer access right now, and can't seem to upload any Seljuks guestposts I have baking. I have so much to tell you, but don't want to run the risk of getting all Charlie Sheen on your arse. (He is clean and sober, during those rambling interviews.)

I can't upload any pics from my iPhone straight onto my blog - YET, hey Google? *cough* New App* cough

So I thought, I know. The chicken post! I'll just link up to it, easy. So I delved into my old blog to find that I'd written the chicken post almost three years ago. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Rocco. (Monkey). And in the chicken post, is a big spiel on being concerned about holding him after the birth. Thats all I was worried about .... Dave would have just started growing babies of his own, his adorable little tumours awwwwwww look, the tumours have my nose!

You can plan away in life all you like, but Forrest is right. You never know watcha gonna get.


I'm at my MILs house right now, annoying her with questions on why she never lets "any of her boys" clean up in the kitchen. Sometimes I say things just to piss her off. She's welcome. Forrest Gump is actually on, I called Max as I've always wanted him to see it. The scene where Forrest is running and running, getting chased by bullies. And then his metal leg braces just fall clean off.

I cried. My leg braces fell off this week too. I am getting stronger and better and faster every single day. Fact: I've had some kind of spiritual open heart surgery; they found I had more Light inside me than darkness.

Who knew.

Here it is. The true tale of the chicken that was too tasty for its own good.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Guestpost: The Hole of Saw.

If my life were a Charlie and Lola cartoon, this would be the introduction - I had this little nanna called Freda, she was small and very vicious.

Some people who have nannas who bake and sew. My Nanna only made orange juice with Metamucil and the only arts she practised were infidelity and bitchiness.

Although she did give us week-old cakes from Rando's bakery - does that count?

Harsh? But very, very true. You see, of all my relatives she is the most notable and controversial.

Nanna Freda was a woman ahead of her times. There was not an ounce of Betty Draper in her.

She ran her own hairdressing salon in Lithgow in the 1950s and 1960s and now for the good bit, she also had many boyfriends, much to the dismay of my grandfather, who was a generous and humble man.

Why did they not get divorced? One can only assume the divorce laws and his misplaced devotion stopped that happening.

My Mum once told me that Nanna's affair with the local optometrist made the New Idea, when his wife spilled the beans under an assumed name.

According to Mum, Freda also shagged her driving instructor and a man called Basil, who was the MC at my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary.

Strange but true.

I also hold her responsible for the eating disorder I had at 16, which was the result of her taunts about my weight and the offer of a pair of control pants.

Like Yin and Yang, black and white, there were some good things about Nanna Freda:

She taught me the importance of being overdressed for most social occasions. As a result, I spent my early 30s decked out in Alannah Hill Even though I now live in Newcastle and am just meeting a journalist for coffee, I will wear tomato-red peep toes. This week, I will be wearing this to work. With a black pencil skirt and the red peep toes. I fucking love clothes and she is the reason why.

I learnt how to disguise clothing purchases from your husband. Well my husband does not care, but my ex was very funny about spending so things had to be smuggled into the house ala Freda.

And finally, rat cunning was more important than beauty.

I suppose underneath all that Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden Schoolyard Red and Ponds creme there was a heart.

She did take my Dad and aunt in when their Mum (her sister) died in 1951 and their father did the bolt, never to see the kids again. Although I suspect the adoption had more to do my my Grandfather and her mother, who was living with them at the time because Nanna said she never wanted children.

Eden, I want to pass on some Freda wisdom to your blog readers as a thank you for inviting me to post on your blog:

1. Control underware is important (please only tell people over 18 this).

2. Do your own PR. Hassle, harass and stalk those who threaten to reveal your secrets.

3. Get your Mum and husband to look after the kids. That way you will have more time for your boyfriends!

Over and Out.


Unprofessional Agony Aunt
Sidekick of Mrs Woog

Veronica from Someday We Will Sleep: The Spaces Between

Veronica has been blogging for quite a few years now. She's young, tough, ... and is one of the most prolific blogger in Van Diemen's Land. (Oh man if you click that link it'll take you to The Edge and Bono singing. I miss Bono. Bad. Would sell my Soul for a ticket to Glastonbury this year.)


The Spaces Between.
The spaces between the silence seem to get larger every day. The things I can say and the things I can't, the level is tipping further and further and I'm left with writers block, wondering what is left.

What is left when I take away writing about my children, in all their glory? When I remain silent until after things have happened, for fear of jinxing them? I'm not sure anymore.

Silences bother me - no, I'm not talking about the comfortable silences left when you know a person well and you can sit, feet on laps and just be. I'm talking about the silences of things unsaid and issues not raised. When silence is used like a weapon, passively wielded, leaving no one knowing where they stand.

It bothers me when I feel like I can't speak, because when I can't speak, I can't write and I'm left, twitchy fingered, floating in the spaces between.
When life happens, my blogging takes a dive. Lack of energy and time mean that my spaces get neglected and when my spaces get neglected, everything starts to fall apart. I need this place for my sanity and sanity, while highly overrated, makes existence much easier.

I keep telling myself that the words will flow easily again and that I will get time to write again, but my fingers don't believe me and I've got that addict twitch going on. I just want to sink myself into daydreams and stay there for a while.

Silence is golden they say ... obviously they had children and nothing else, because the silence isn't always golden. Or maybe it's just that the grass is always greener somewhere else.

Veronica blogs at Someday We Will Sleep and Veronica Foale

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Today's Edenland Guest Blogger is .... Edenland.

I'm guest-posting on my own blog. I just looked at the clock - I have one hour. Do I have time to try to make some sense of the past week?

Do ya? DO YA, PUNK?

I'll give it a go.

*clears throat; scratches balls; tries to find bloggy zen; fails; continues anyway*

There's a scene in Pulp Fiction, where Marcello Wallace gets a good ass-whippin'. Literally, ass whipped with a penis. Bruce Willis's character comes back to save him, and asks if he's ok.

"I'm pretty fuckin' far from ok."

It's one of the best lines in modern cinema.

Some Things have occurred the past little bit, leaving me pretty fuckin' far from ok. I waver being completely open about it, and then holding my yucky truth tight to my chest. Did y'all know I was on my way down? A lot of you did - a lot of people in real life and online have said to me this past week ... "Eden, I have felt something wasn't right with you for a while."

And it wasn't. I Fell Down. It can be known as the lost weekend of '11. I gave the people closest to me the biggest shock, a terrible scare.

A lot of people now read my blog - I can always tell, in the grocery store or when I'm masquerading as a school mum - I can always tell when somebody I know reads my blog. Because there is a certain look at the back of their eyes, a look that says .... this chick is craaazzzy.

(And I am. And so are you. If you don't think you are, you're a fool.)

The one and only reason I will not go into graphic detail right now, is to protect my children from certain things they don't need to know about their mother. But I will say this:

If you have substance abuse issues, be careful if you get prescribed medication. "Legit" medication, that helps you through - helps take the edge off your panic attacks. Because it's a slippery slope. You might start juggling certain things, taking certain things, not believing in recovery anymore .... and wham. You end up getting ass-reamed by your addiction for the first time in many years. And you stand up, and realise that you're pretty fuckin' far from ok.

I've woken up. There is a certain me-ness to my me that I haven't felt in a long time ... probably since I was pregnant with Rocco. Probably since before Dave got cancer. Just because you're living clean and sober, does not mean that Life Itself will not fuck you around, every now and then.

Right now, I'm picking out the shards of mirror that exploded when I looked at it for the first time in a long time. There's pieces of mirror and glass stuck all over me. I am ragged and bleeding and broken.

I am beautiful, because I am being real again.

Email or DM or send smoke signals to me if you want to talk. Be vigilant. Be careful. And for goodness sake, if you have known substance abuse issues, DO NOT GO ON PAXIL. Because you'll take your first tablet and it will feel like an ecstasy pill is half coming on, and you'll silently fist-pump because it's all "legit" and it feeeeeels soooooo gooooood.

(At this point, I don't care that I am giving medical advice when I'm probably not supposed to. I just don't care.)


I'm on day 9 of paxil withdrawals. I crashed my car because I shouldn't have been driving. Dave has had the biggest shock of his life. I think there's a demon in me - slowly dying. It woke me up the other night, we were wrestling with each other, both so angry, and I was fucking terrified. I woke Dave up.

"Hon! It feels like there's a demon in me, trying to get out!"

You know what Dave said to me, there, in the middle of the night, our sheets stinky and wet from my sweat? He said to me - that I probably do have a demon. And it's ok, because I'm shining the light on it, making it go away. Then he went back to sleep, leaving me grateful for his honesty. I wondered if the demon could skip out of me and go into Dave. Or one of the kids. What have I done? I am the demon bringer-homerer. I am awful.

I am so many things right now that I can hardly keep my head on.


The next morning (which is only yesterday, but feels like a million miles away already) .... I was due to go to a meeting at the Google offices down in Sydney. The Blogger team from all over the world were gathered there, for some top-secret development shiz, and I was invited a while ago to be the token blogger they can ask questions to.

I almost didn't go. I possibly shouldn't have gone, but if I cancelled I would feel like a pathetic loser. I am in love with blogging, and all it can achieve. So I went. I picked up Mrs Woog on the way. We both assumed the other had the directions on how to get there - no. Scribbled it out in texta before we went, she had nervous poo guts and I was worried I would pass out from detoxing off paxil.

We got there, and it was amazing. Anil was a gracious host, the office was spectacular ... and I got to talk about blogging for an hour. I am particularly passionate about blogging. By default, I have learnt a lot over the past few years. I've watched the rise and rise of mommyblogging in America ... Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce, is in the NYT again this week. To be a part of it, down here in Australia right now - just as it is unfolding, is wonderful.

Blogging has given me a voice. I now look at the world through bloggy eyes, all the time. It's the strangest medium, when you think about it. That's why I don't think about it .... otherwise I would stop, or censor.

Yesterday I got to tell my blogging story to the very people who developed the platform on which I TELL my story, and that was pretty bloody cool. Twitches and all. (Mrs Woog tells the story with a fresh gusto I can't muster right now ... and yes, I really actually DID say what she said I did. Verbatim.)

So how can I link this jumbled post up? My hour expired five minutes ago, I have to pick up boys and make dinner and try not to crash my car again. I have to go home and take notes on the fantastic D&A counselling session I had today, with a fucking outstanding therapist who I cried in front of, had to ask for help from.

I hate asking for help. But pride kills, so suck it up sweetheart. This week I have received emails from people all over the world - asking me am I ok, telling me things I didn't know, showing me love and compassion. Humbling me so bad ... telling ME that I inspire THEM which makes them live THEIR lives better. What?

Blogging goes deeper than you think. Instead of deleting my blog .... I'm going to blog more passionately, and with more energy and love than ever before. Now if you excuse me, I have the last vestiges of a demon to kill; but until that fucker is dead - whose turn is it to guestpost?


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