I have to deal with arachnophobia on a daily basis ... spiders surround my house because I live in the middle of a goddamn national park. Do you know how hard it is for me to check the mailbox? Oh they have been known to lurk on letters in there. Bringing wood in from the woodpile is fraught with anxiety. Sitting in my car after I've left the window open a crack. Feeding the dog late at night. All big spider terror-instances.
It's because I had an unfortunate series of spider events, as a child. One rainy day, I remember watching a midday movie with my sisters and dad. I ran to go to the toilet, shut the door behind me, sat down ... and there was the hugest huntsman I'd ever seen in my life. We stared at each other for about twenty minutes. He was about two metres away from me the whole time, by the end I was a sweaty, crying nervous mess. (Technically I was a sweaty crying nervous mess my entire childhood, but anyway.) It took me so long to work up the courage to open the door and run past him, but I did - screaming. It was years before I used that downstairs toilet again.
(Ok, I just googled "how many eyes does a huntsman have" ... and now I am shivering in my beanbag. They have eight - eight! One for each stupid leg!)
It was this scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark that really sealed the deal.
I sat in that movie theatre in 1981, clutching my popcorn, terrorised and frozen with fear. To this day, I always think I have spiders on my back and jump around patting my back like crazy. Once, when Max was about three and asleep in the back of the car, a huge huntsman crawled over my windscreen, as I was driving on the freeway. I started screaming, hysterically. Woke him up, he started screaming. I rang my sister, who was with my other sister. So they got the privilege of listening to me and my son scream in terror - my sisters may have laughed, I may have shouted at them that it wasn't funny.
I pulled off the freeway, wound my window down a smidgen, put my mouth up to it like a drowning man to an air pocket. I called a random stranger to please help me ... can he see the spider? (There has been a LOT of enlisting members of the public to help me in my quest to murder spiders. I have no shame.)
He couldn't see it. And he was smiling at me - useless. I had this brainwave of going through the carwash. That spider must have crawled on to the bottom of my car and gripped the axle like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear, because a WEEK later, it popped up again. I knew it was the same one, as they all get burnt into my memory.
I've had to learn to live with spiders. It's hard, and I'm constantly on alert. I do a spider-scan as I enter every single room in my house and it drives Dave crazy. He thinks I attract them, because we create what we fear. I should start fearing a lovingly homemade meal, baked fresh every night. And free money. And a full-time maid.
To this day, the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life was the one in the woodpile one night in May 2008 when Dave was still in hospital for cancer treatment. Rocco was seven days old. Max was six years old, and I was here by myself. The spider that night was huge, and black, and just dared me to brush him off to get the wood. I didn't, the fire went out, and we all went to bed because it was too cold to stay up.
I was SO ANGRY. That, for a while, I dared myself to not be scared of them. I furiously flicked them off my mail, banged them with shoes, a broom ... I was pretty tough, for a while. Until things calmed down - Dave went into remission ... and I remembered again, that I was scared of spiders.
It's hard to get this post out. I don't particularly *want* you to know how low I feel, how the past few weeks have sucked, how afraid I am of the spiders in my mind. I just want to allude to it, poetically and softly. And say some uplifting thing at the end.
Sometimes I run out of pretty bows.
I almost went back to bed this morning, after all the guys were gone. I never do that anymore, be pathetically apathetic.
I had a shower instead, and logged on, to sniff around what's happening on the internet. In quick succession, I read three blog posts of amazing Australian women, all in a row. Raw and honest and heartwrenching posts, and they are all blonde to boot!
Eminem is a poet. You know that song with Rihanna? The opening line slays me every time:
I can't tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like.
Is that not true of every last thing? We can't say what things really are - we can only say what they feel like. PROFUNDITY.
Last week I was in the car with Dave and I played that one line over and over and over again. (I'm not annoying at all.) And he flipped, but I just said "HON. Take this one sentence and apply it to anything in life. It fits everything - it's just .. our perception of things."
Tangent: When he and I first met, I had my own radio show at the local community radio station. I was called Miss Lady DJ, after the RuPaul song. At 10pm til 12pm every Sunday night, I'd cart all of my CDs in an old fashioned beige 60's makeup case. Even in winter. For free. Apparently, that now gives me carte blanche to chop and change every piece of music in the car, for as long as we both shall live. When we're getting on ok, he doesn't mind ... I just say "Miss Lady DJ" as the codeword - we laugh, it's cute. When things are tense - on a long car trip, or on the way back from my MILs, for example ... I'm not allowed to change the station. But my husband listens to old classics and it kiiiiiillllls meeeee - so sometimes my hand darts out as quick as a flash and I change the station or CD. He hates it - but I prefer his wrath than listening to Heart. Or Hootie and the Blowfish. Or Dionne Warwick.
This weekend has felt like .. awful. I can't tell you what it really was. Only what it feels like. Horrible, then great, bad again, full of despair ... hope, redemption, etc. And that was just the Friday night!
I had fun with my two boys, my guys, my Givers of Peace. I stole their Lifeforces and their fresh energy. I am a thief of love.
Pew pew pew!
We took a walk down to a park we rarely go to, and found this odd bunny that was seemingly constructed out of concrete or plaster. And painted a strange red, reminding me of the opening scene of Carrie. Or the last scene, can't remember.
Plug it up
I took Rocco for piggy back rides all over, he pointed and bossed me around. He is the scariest boss I've ever had.
I read him books for an hour straight, laying next to each other on the floor in the living room. Living. I would finish one and ask him to go get another one. Every time, he looked at me with mock-surprise. "Oh - anodder one?" We read piles of them. After one particularly long interval of him finding a new one, he walked back to me slowly with the look that strikes fear into my heart.
"A big pi-well, mummy."
A big pile
Eh, I've cleaned up worse.
So there's one thing that Americans do that Australians don't tend to ... put frosting on cookies. GENIUS! I can cook pretty well, if I put my mind to it. We hired out the latest Harry Potter DVD, came home and whipped up a batch of Betty Crocker choc chip cookies. Half-baked, so the middle was gooey. I even bought frosting accoutrement.
And I frosted those cookies, man. There was only four left to frost, after I'd finished eating most of the cookie dough. True.
Yes, these are the actual ones I made I KNOW
I still haven't eaten mine yet, because I feel sick from the dough. I'll probably eat it tomorrow.
As I decorated them, I remember all the times my grandmother would bake a sponge cake and just tell me to go to town on its ass. She would look at the finished cakie and just gush with praise. I wasn't used to praise. "Oh Edies .. you are so creative! This looks wonderful, you've done such a great job." I distinctly remember wondering if she really meant it.
I think she might have. Is that ok? Are you allowed to acknowledge and recognize, when you're good at something? I read recently that false modesty is worse than arrogance.
I am a good cake decorator.
I'm ending it there, my brain gets muddled when I try to get too many themes out. I hope your Easter didn't start off as Schmeastery as mine. But I hope you felt the love in your heart like I did.
It's everywhere to be found - Universe leaves it hanging around in piles.
Years ago, I would sit next to Dave in bed and talk to him about blogging. And how much I loved it. He humoured me, mostly. Next Tuesday, it will be exactly four years since I wrote myself into the internet with this cracker first sentence:
"Hello. I can't seem to work out where I belong (ha!)"
I do twitter all wrong. I still don't understand what it's for - sometimes I get it and I'm in the groove, other times I'm flailing and paranoid ... and think that everybody else is in on the party except me. I'm having huge trouble getting to sleep lately, so I go on it in a manic state and then wake up with a twitter hangover. Considering locking myself out of my own account - it's a strange beast. And the addictive nature of it makes me feel uneasy. On the other hand, twitter is one of the most valuable and real sources of news out there. People were tweeting from Libya, Iran, Egypt ... real people, just like you and me. Telling the real truth. Amazing.
I'm going to Kerri Sackville's book launch next Thursday, down in Sydney. Dave asked me how I knew her. "Um, I met her through twitter." He looked at me incredulously. "You met her through TWITTER? What? What is twitter anyway?" Before I explain it he pretends to write on an imaginary keyboard and talks in a stupid stilted robot voice: "I am going to have a cup of tea now."
So I wrote on my imaginary keyboard with my stupid stilted voice: "My husband is not invited and has to stay at home to mind the children. Suck-O."
I still have the word "blogspot" in my URL. Which is apparently supposed to be embarrassing. I've had my eye on purchasing edenland.com for a while now ... recently somebody else bought it, and will sell it to me. For $5000. I'm trying to take it as a compliment, but man I was annoyed. I bought edenriley.com and edenriley.com.au just in case. The guy from the domain company asked me why was I buying my own name domains? And I didn't know what to say. And he asks "Is it brand protection?"
I laughed so, so hard. SO HARD.
Am I a brand, now? You know the thing about social media - people try so hard to be brands, and brands try so hard to be people. I'm just trying to .... keep my head above water in the world, and for some reason blogging helps me do that.
The head honcho from the Blogger team at Google asked me to come and speak at their offices last month. I asked him who else was going - "Oh nobody Eden. Just you."
What? It was very flattering, and strange. I almost didn't make the meeting ... but Mrs Woog went too, thank God. After I told her some choice dark secrets in the car on the way - Woogs, we have to always be friends. You know too much.
So, sitting at Sydney's Google offices that day was very cool. But there was this one guy at the front, with a French accent. His name was Marc, and he could not BELIEVE that I don't take ads on my blog. He was so persistent .. "But .. but, what is your number? How much money would it take for you to turn adsense on? $500 a month?" I kind of half-said maybe, and Woogs next to me was all, "NO WAY." And I said, oh, oh no. No way.
He came up after the talk, badgered again. "What is your number, Eden?" I laughed, and told him I had to think about it. I emailed a few days later.
"Ok, I've been thinking hard about it. In exchange for ads on my site, I'd really like .... a pony. HA! Just kidding. What I'd really like, is a hot dog stand."
I'm still waiting, google.
I'm this > < far away from final approval to receive full sponsorship to fly to America in August to attend BlogHer. Mrs Woog and I went to Sydney last week to talk about the finer details. This will be an Australian first, and I am beyond excited about it.
Things like this can help me with things like the 11th May, where I show you what I've been working on for the monthly Year of Turning 40 posts I've been doing. Two other amazing women are involved in this one ... it's one of the most meaningful things I've ever done, both online and off.
There's a lot of awards and competitions going on down here in Australia. Companies and brands are waking up. Aussie Home Loan Finder recently ran a "Best Aussie Mummyblogger with the X-Factor" competition. They stood out by hiring a caricature artist to turn photos like this:
I've always wanted to be a brunette
The stunning Glowless eventually won the iPad2. It was very savvy of them - mum blogging has nothing to do with home loans, and yet the traffic that stampeded (and crashed) their site really helped their google ranking.
I get emailed and pitched a lot of things .. yesterday I was emailed about the Telstra Messages of Support Event for Anzac Day on Monday. I will send a message to the Aussie troops, and I'm mentioning it here because my grandfather fought in the war and Anzac Day has always been a big deal in my family.
Bec from the Childs i Foundation randomly emailed me a while ago, and we've stayed in touch ever since. She will be at Balmain Markets this Saturday to sell necklaces and bracelets like this:
A perfect gift for Mothers Day. "Every little bit helps, just $10 made from selling a necklace can buy a newborn jumpsuit for the babies who arrive sometimes only weighing 1 kilo."
People actually doing things in the world that means things ... that's where my "platform" my "blogging career" is taking me.
Even though I fail at twitter and I can't remember my password to get into LinkedIn. I'm completely inappropriate on facebook. Sometimes I don't post for days because - I just need to stay off the internet for the love of God. I forget to tweet my posts, have no idea how to take a screenshot of something, and never really learnt SEO. Stats scare me, so I only look at them about once a month. I need to add a PR tab here somewhere, but I keep forgetting. I need to import Disqus so that I can reply to comments properly .... the comments you leave, here. My God. I just want to set up a camping bed and sleep in there, most nights. Thank you so much. You people have big hearts and wise minds. I like you a lot.
So. In conclusion, blogging is heating up down here in Australia. About bloody time.
... and four years on, I still can't seem to work out where I belong. (ha!)
Sculpture in lobby of the Hilton Hotel, NYC. Is she welcoming them in a loving embrace, or trying to dust them off?
Last Thursday I sat with my therapist for the first time in a month. She broke her foot and hasn't been at work. I was relieved I didn't have to see her for a whole month because ... who likes therapy? Not me.
She put her foot up on the table and asked me a few questions and I start talking and things came spilling out. I had this terrible sense that, if I stop talking .. she was going to add to the conversation in some way. Maybe even tell me things I hadn't thought of yet.
MAYBE EVEN THERAPISE ME.
She did. When I stopped blabbering, she said a few words that ran across the floor and gave me some swift, sharp uppercuts. I sat there, digging, reaming my fingernail into my leg so that I wouldn't cry. It didn't work. She watched my face change, reached over and handed me the box of tissues.
I've had the biggest, untreated case of post-natal depression you ever did see. As Rocco himself would say ... GUCK. I also find myself talking a lot to my therapist about the role of women in the family. Themes include unpaid work, low self-esteem, and the ensuing resentment that occurs if you take care of every person except yourself.
I go from tangent to tangent - about everything, and my therapist nods knowingly and always lets me know a way I hadn't thought of before. It's groundbreaking for me, to think that my brain does not contain all the answers. I told her that I don't know if I can handle living the rest of my life unmedicated. She asked me how was I handling it? I told her that when I'm walking down the street, freaking out that something Terrible is going to happen, something imminent and horrific, then I just think well, there's nothing I can do about the Terrible and imminent thing. I continue walking down the street anyway. So far it seems to be working.
She gave me a CD of Buddhist zen meditation to listen to for homework, because she's completely awesome and I wished she lived with me forever.
Rocco. My guy. He's asleep right next to me, right now. Giving little snorey snores.
I have not had a decent night sleep in almost three years, so fierce is his desire to snuggle. To come running into our bedroom at night, every night, and work his way in between us.
After some spectacular mummy meltdowns, he's too scared to poo on the floor, ever again.
The guilt I feel over my parenting of this child is so big, and so guck, that no amount of leg-gouging can stop.
Rocco is the reason I started blogging to begin with. This boy, this much-wanted baby. I wrote about him before he even existed. I wrote about him when he was my biggest yearning, back before I even started any treatments for IVF. I saw him on screen before the embryo transfer when he was just four cells. I saw him get transferred to my uterus like a shooting star, and life has not been the same since.
Yet, when he came to me, when I was able to see him and feel him, finally hold this much-desired for bebe .... it was not as I thought it would be. (Is it ever?) Instead of rejoicing and the oohs and ahhs, we had to draft up daddy's Last Will and Testament. Daddy is very sick, tiny baby. Shush! SHUSH.
He did not shush. He grew louder at every turn. The more I became distracted and paralysed by Dave's cancer .. the more this little guys needs became magnified. He had huge needs that I did not meet. I have been a shocker of a mother ... before you tell me otherwise, let us sit with the Truth for a while.
I have been. A shocker. Of a mother. End sentence. New paragraph.
Is there an actual real book out there on the dark side of motherhood? Surely, somebody has gone before me? And written of how awful and black it can actually be.
I have a two-year old who fights me at every turn (NO JUMPER! I POO IN POTTY NOT TOILET! YOU GO WAY MUM! I WAAAANT BUZZZZZ. NO! GIMME! WAHHHH! NO!!!)
I have a 9-year old pre-teen who has been constantly pushing boundaries, especially in the unrestricted internet access department.
And I have had a really angry, sullen stepson who comes and goes at all hours of the day and night. Giving me nothing but dark energy and a mental F*CK YOU.
No son .... f*ck YOU.
When I vaguely mentioned that "I was Away" back in February, it meant Away Away. Like, cuckoo. Deciding when to come back, kind of Away. Deciding whether I even WOULD come back, or, you know. Stay alive. Minor things such as these.
The other night, Dave got home from work at 7pm. I had waited so we could all eat together. Isn't that what all good families do goddamit? Isn't it where the thread of society gets woven? Can't we just pretend to be bloody normal? I served everyone, dimmed the lights, sat down. Daves mobile phone rang and he answered it, sitting there picking at the dinner with his hands, yammering away.
Yammering. Obviously, if he didn't answer that phonecall right then, somebody would die.
I mouthed to him to hurry up. He scowls, walks over to the pantry. Rocco starts crying for a drink before he's even had a bite of food. I sit there and a light bulb goes off. I don't care about stupid family dinner.
I walked off, to my bedroom. Shut the door, put on my headphones, rocked out. Dave came in later, sheepishly. I was a grinning fool. "It's cool hon - I'm fine! I don't give a crap. Just so you know - I don't care about family dinners anymore!"
And I don't. Maybe I will again one day, but from now on, we eat when the food is ready. Regardless of which ungrateful person is around at the time. So liberating.
I rejoiced in my freedom. Being a mother and wife and the family-nurturer steals my freedom. I have to steal it back, just like U2 stole Helter Skelter back from Charles Manson after he stole it from the Beatles.
My sister Linda came to stay with me last week. I was was bit nervous, because she has been on a complete health kick for a while now. It's safe to say that she is skinner than me. SPEWING!
Not really, she deserves it. She's worked hard, and actually did a marathon in Sydney a few weeks ago. She looks and feels fantastic:
Blurry but HOT
After writing about my fat suit last year, I pissed a few people off. And I thought, why is that? I didn't mean to offend. Then I realised why. I've been a skinny bitch my entire life. I may have a truckload of dark and twisted issues that I need to deal with on a regular basis, but being overweight has never been one of them. Which has meant I can eat a truckload of garbage and never gain weight.
Until now ... so annoying that I can't drop the weight with utterly no effort. I actually have to WORK for it now, and it's so insulting. Stupid work.
When Linda was here last week, she kept complimenting my boobs, and I was all, yeah they look great when I'M FAT. And she laughed and I didn't care, really. She wanted to come along with me to Pump. I said of course. And I took photos of her while she wasn't looking. Part of my job as an annoying little sister:
Then we got home and I raided the pantry and she ate - some cardboard or something. And we laughed at my boobs again and she asked can she take a photo of my fat - I said of COURSE! And I looked at it, mournfully, and told her I would never, ever post it on my blog.
Last night I found myself in K-Mart with Dave and both boys. This is not a usual occurrence ... but neither is Rocco doing all of his poos in the toilet for a whole week.
We let Rocco choose a prize in the toy section. Of course he chooses the biggest, most expensive Buzz Lightyear known to mankind. He already has about four Buzz's, in various shapes and sizes. Dave and I discussed the price ($59) ... and both decided that it was worth it. I would happily take out a personal loan and buy Rocco the entire contents of this years Royal Easter Show, if it means he continues his poo etiquette.
It was too late to cook dinner (what a shame!) so the guys headed down to the local Chinese while I took all the bags to the car. I promised Rocco I would get his new Buzz out of the box, and bring it to him.
I stood in this dodgy laneway, trying to get Buzz out of the box. But he was tied in so hard .... what IS it with new toys strapped to their boxes? I thought to myself, imagine if I got dragged into a car right now. I would drop Buzz, so that when Dave came back to look for me, the new Buzz on the ground would be a total abduction clue.
AT THAT MOMENT .... this distressed chick walked up to me, asking if I could help "push-start her car while she uses the clutch" - yeah right.
And yet, I wanted to help her. This other random shifty guy walks past right then, and she asks him to help as well. I shut the boot of my car, and I remember thinking that I will bring Buzz. To, you know .... club them over the head before they club ME.
This is a true story and this is really how my brain works.
So I walk over, sizing them up, thinking of that scene in Silence of the Lambs where the murderer pretends to be a cripple to entice the chicks in his car. I imagine myself being all beat up and broken in the hospital bed, and Dave asking me WHY did I willingly go with strangers to "help." And how my answer would be that it wasn't polite to be distrustful.
I thought about running away, a middle-aged woman in red boots sprinting off without a word, clutching a Buzz still attached to his cardboard backing.
We got to her little hatchback, and to my relief, the back seat was filled overflowing with boxes and junk. There was no room to be pulled in to it and accosted! I happily helped push, she got her car started, me and the random guy walk off in different directions and I managed to free Buzz. Winners, all of us.
This new big Buzz is AWESOME. I pressed his buttons all the way to the Canton, not caring that other people were looking. I held him up and admired his fluorescence against the cold night sky.
We did it, Buzz!
Inside the Chinese I could tell straight away that Dave was hungry and annoyed - a very, very dangerous combination. I told him I helped pushstart a car, and to quickly order whatever he wanted. I didn't care. I was content. I was sitting next to all these other families, with my own family. Very present in the moment, and it was such a gift that I kept tearing up.
We walked outside into the freezing air, and Rocco wanted me to carry him, not dadda. Dave was up ahead trying to keep Max warm. I have two boys and a beautiful husband. I push start cars with Buzz Lightyear. I picked Rocco up and did about two sobs into his jacket. He didn't hear me.
There is nothing wrong. I feel Love and I feel Loved. Did you know you can actually weep from gratitude?
I have something pretty radical to share with you today.
It's the 11th, and to celebrate my Year of Turning Forty I'm posting something on Edenland on the 11th of each month. Last month, on my 39th birthday, was this. Each thing will be ... "Bucket list-y things .... like getting my hair cut short, or climbing the Harbour Bridge. Or something incredibly meaningful. Or incredibly ridiculous."
So. Here goes. Ready?
For almost four years, I've shared my laughter and pain and the full spectrum in between ... but I've never properly shared something else. Something big. I've alluded to it and once I linked to it, but I've never actually written the words out loud.
I live in the Blue Mountains.
I first moved up here as a child in late 1979, then moved away in 1987. I only expected to stay a short time when I came back in '98, but Fate and the Wind and God had other ideas. SO annoying ... and yet not. The mountains are very soothing for a troubled soul. I can't think of anywhere else to go, anyway.
We live in the house that Dave built, overlooking trees and valleys. On a clear night, you can see the lights of Sydney from the upstairs bedroom. The air is so nice to breathe, and the sky is like a map of constellations. I can cross "Panic about tsunamis!" off my anxiety list.
Autumn has began its annual mockery ... I do not enjoy cold weather. Yet this autumn, this particular one .. is making me realise to not start wailing in my thermals just yet. Leaves are turning blood red, yellow, starting to fall. Yesterday I used my x-ray vision eyes and saw beneath the branches to the buds of spring inside, already waiting patiently.
You can't get to summer without winter.
Sometimes, when we go away ... we come down the highway and hit Nepean and I swear we breathe a sigh of relief. It can get confining and crazy up here. I hated living here for so many years; it's only now I'm realising how much these mountains continue to shape me. I got married here. I had my boys here. After those trips away, when we drive back up again, twisting and turning ... we walk inside and I feel the closest to home I've ever felt.
I'm not sure I chose the Blue Mountains. I think they chose me.
There was a state election recently ... there's a lot of Greenies and alternative-type people up here. I stood in Katoomba and snapped this pic:
And without moving I turned to my left and snapped this one. And I loved that I share the same space with people who care about culture jamming:
Do you think where you live shapes who you are? (And if a really, REALLY big tsunami hits Sydney, could it reach up here?)
Do you ever see things in things? Like, this Angophora tree next to my house - I look at it every single day, and every time I see a nymph, standing on one leg, arms outstretched to the sky, lifting her back leg up.
I woke up yesterday.
As in, I woke UP. I'm really here. It's a very good thing, and I choose to continue this way. For a long time.
Reconnecting has been really bittersweet. It hit home just how detached I have been, for quite some time. I'm the realest version of myself ever. I'm a real boy! Thank you to the strangers with no names who have told me stories of pain and grief and strength. Sharing our stories is a powerful thing ... it dates back to sitting together in caves. I'll sit in your cave if you'll sit in mine. Please tell me your fears; it helps me with mine.
I turned the radio on in the car today, to the first strains of the first song of the album "All that you can't leave behind." You know how your favourite songs and artists mean things at certain points in your life? This particular U2 album means Hope to me. And Redemption. It got released the day I went into (yet another) rehab back in the year 2000.
"The heart is a bloom ... shoots up through the stony ground .."
I used to blast it through my walkman late at night, crying. I shared a room with a woman who was incredibly fucked up (wow, I guess she could have said that about me) ... she was 48 years old and had severe childhood issues to do with her mother and family of origin. I remember thinking how sad it was, she'd just wasted her life trapped in her head and her feelings.
One day, I saw myself in her and it scared me.
Not long after that, I fell pregnant with Max. During my hab "graduation" my therapist got up to say a few words about me. He knew how much that bands lyrics resonate. "Eden ... what you don't have, you don't need it now."
I do not need what I do not have. I suspect this is true for you, too.
It's too tiring to keep stuffing my crazy back in. It's out and I'm not pretending anymore. If I want to say something or be something or heaven forbid - just be myself in the world - then I just will.
Yesterday during my parent/teacher interview at my sons school, I noticed in his book that he had spelt the word "beautiful" wrong. I bit my lip to stop the strange sudden tears.
I've always been a good speller, but struggled with this word too. I can't believe that back in 1981 I was in Year 4 spelling 'beautiful' wrong and then I blinked. Now it's 2011 and my son is in Year 4 spelling 'beautiful' wrong. (If Taylor Mali was his teacher, he'd be right on that.)
I took Max out for High Tea to celebrate.
We call it High Tea because after we eat it .... we're high.
I asked him, if he could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? He chose Fiji. We talked about how he "accidentally" left his maths textbook in his tote tray at school for the entire term, and how we will be doing ten minutes every day on it together, until he catches up. He pulled a face but I said it's cool, I'd help him .. that I don't want him going through school getting left behind and feeling dumb and stupid, because that's exactly how I felt. He told me I wasn't dumb and stupid. And then he asked for some more High Tea.
I demolished my marshmallow chocolate skewer in record time. Max looked over at my empty plate and said MUM! WHY DO YOU EAT SO QUICKLY? I told him that I can't help it .... that I really looooved it so much, see?
We both felt like more and debated it together .. I had a pot of chilli in the slowcooker and didn't want us to ruin our appetites. We compromised with take-away hot chocolates before we went in to the bookshop.
I can't remember the last time I'd had time just with him. I'm obscenely distracted and busy, most days. Last night I lay in bed, thinking about how important it is to mosey, daydream, and dawdle.
I thought about how, when I went back to our table because I forgot my phone, I glanced at Max's empty plate.
If I put as much energy into cleaning my house as I do thinking up blog posts, I'd have a semi-clean house. I don't get *paid* for this idiocy ... it's like, my free public service to the world. That's completely cool.
If I was to get paid, I would donate all proceeds from my Edenland Interpretive Dance to help this beautiful baby girl. Her name is Getty, you can read more about her on her very own blog Getty Owl.
The most beautiful Getty image EVER
She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at the age of four months old, and just turned one. Some heartbreaking words that made me just crumble at my computer ..."Getty turning one was a huge milestone for an SMA baby."
I am going to buy these songs when they are available on iTunes on Tuesday 5th April. With my fingers poised on the PURCHASE NOW button. Without even listening to any snippets. I would love it if you did too.
Thank you to my friend Alex for the heads up about this. Alex told me: "The goal is to get as many people to post/tweet on April 5th, the day it goes on iTunes, so that everyone heads over and brings enough traffic to get it on the iTunes front page (and, hence, more attention for SMA research) ... I've been streaming it off the lullabiesforgetty.com site and keep thinking about how people say, "I don't care of it's a boy or girl, just as long as it's healthy." I hope this CD helps to bring a lot more healthy children into the world."
This is not the blog post I thought I was going to write. It never is. I am a blogpost medium ... blog posts are all swirling around."Pick me! Pick me!"
I usually always pick the loneliest and ugliest ones, for fricks sake.
Dave is coming back today after being away for over a week. I miss his presence in the house. It's hard, running into the laundry in the middle of the night holding a huge carving knife ... screaming I CALLED THE COPS to all of the imaginary murderers. Real hard. I'm so tired.
Yesterday I walked into a large shopping centre that sells clothes like this:
After I took that photo, the salesgirl came up to me and said, "It's beautiful, isn't it?" I looked her right in the eyes, to detect any trace of humour ... no. She was serious. I said yes, it really was beautiful. (Fo' yo MAMA.)
Nothing was good. Uncomfortable in my own skin. A raw nerve ending. I wandered around. I sat having a chicken burger in the food hall at 11am, like a lost and lonely loser .... because I was a lost and lonely loser. Hey that's ok - it was the truth in that minute, Know Thyself and all that. I rang my sister Linda and she made me laugh so hard that people were giving me dirty looks. I am a loud laugher, people. At least I'm not sitting there feeding my kids nuggets and coke at 11am. (Just sitting in my glass house made of chicken burgers.)
I got a Chinese massage for 1.5 hours. It was the best. The woman treated my body with such tenderness she brought me to tears. She seemed to care more about me than I cared about me.
There's only curtains partitioning people in the massage place ... the chick next to me had a mobile phone that just kept ringing. Her ringtone blared, all four times it rang ... "Wake up in the mornin' feelin' like P. Diddy ..."
I was all Zen until Ke$ha kept interrupting. After an inordinate amount of time spent on my buttocks, I started to wonder if my massage therapist was coming on to me. What would I do if she did? It must have happened, somewhere in the world. If I googled "massage therapist made a pass at me .." I would probably read of someone's account of that, somewhere.
Do you ever get the feeling that google spoils finding shit out now? Back in the olden days, we had a stack of encyclopedias. My second dead dad used to just pull a random one out most nights and start reading it. Mostly because he was a wanker.
I wanted to get all Banksy-ified and write in a simple "E" to this next sign. Can you guess where?
This post isn't going anywhere. Is it supposed to? My Spirit is a sad sack this week. That's ok. All I want to do is write poems. Every day in April for Taylor Mali and every Friday for Amy Turn Sharp. The whole world is a poem. I haven't written one in years. Well, only if you don't count my blog posts. Or the way I fold the laundry ... the way I love my babies ... the way I think about my first ever suicide note at the ripe old age of seven. All poetry.
The gap in my husbands bottom teeth is a poem. The letter from his oncologist. The cobwebs in the Buddha. The lines on my face; the marks etched into my chopping board and my heart.