Thursday, 29 December 2011

Behind the scenes of the new Edenland blog header.

There was way too much change when I was a kid, so I tend to keep using something until it breaks or dies. I've had the same blog header for over three years now .. knew it needed a revamp about two years ago. I thought about it, and decided to just do something small.

So I hired some graffiti artists to come to my house and spray my office wall. Then I organised a photographer to come over and take some shots of me IN my new blog header. Then I got Australia's best blog designers to tweak and perfect it all. I also now have a new commenting system so I can reply back to you personally.

I've sucked at most things in my life but GODDAMN I love my blog.

Too much?

The artists are Andrew and Levi. Their work is featured in the new book "Zero Tolerance: Street Artists of the Blue Mountains" which you can see HERE

The guys are available for work and commissioned pieces .. even canvases shipped to overseas.

One day last year I was standing in my local post office and told the guy behind the counter I had a blog. And felt like an IDIOT .. I don't usually tell people. Suddenly this voice pipes up behind me .. "What's your blog? I have one too." The voice belonged to Mary Canning and we exchanged heavy life histories before we got out of the shop.

By the time we walked down the street, we knew everything about each other and were friends for life. Her blog is Shines Like a Postcard and her photography website is Mary Canning. Not only is she a hugely talented photographer, Mary is a precious Soul with an inquisitive nature and giving heart. When I retreat into myself and don't return her phonecalls she knows it's because I have to shut down to keep going. Because I am a really fucked-up person. Thank God she doesn't take it personally.

                               Mary I adore you

For years I've tried to find decent designers in Sydney who know their way around a blog. Finally, there is Jarod and Liz Productions 

They are married AND awesome. They are patient and clever ... Jarod even photoshopped my stupid lipstick out. Liz blogs at Lizosaurus and loves dinosaurs and cats. Once she said the c-word on her blog. I haven't even said the c-word on my blog.

They both tried so hard to get me to move to Wordpress, but I just wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. I tell myself I'm staying on Blogger because I'm being ironic and making a statement about the nature of success, but really I'm just too terrified. Ree told me to stay on it too. "Just keep doin' what you're doin', honey." It also helps that my esteemed business associate Mrs Woog and I have the phone numbers of some pretty hot Google executives, for whenever we hit a bloggy snag.

Now what the hell did I do all of this for? All of this time and money and energy? I have absolutely no idea. But man it felt good. Fuck reasons.

I'd blog for free every day for the rest of my life. I don't do it for stats or business or money, I do it for something much more valuable than that ... something indefinable. One day I might even work out what that is.

                     Goodbye, old cartoon header. You served me well!

There were a lot of shots to choose from.

                         Pre-photoshopped lipstick

This one won. My sister said it's like I have a secret. And I do .. I have a fucking million secrets. My tagline is still the same, because I keep trying to outrun it. I don't like any photo of me anywhere, ever. I look too me-ey. But man I love my wall blog header. I walk into my office now and POW. It's Edenland, right there. I created it .. or it created me. Jury's out having a smoke and watching porn on that one.

Anyway, that's enough of my new blog header. What do YOU think about my new blog header? Or blogs in general? Or secrets? Or porn? I can totally answer you in the comments now.

Think I'm growing up. Shit just got real.



Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Big Strength

I am staying in the house of a woman whose only child died. How do you get over something like that? My guess is, you never do. Why are we so preoccupied with "getting over" things?

She has stunning artwork and sculptures ... Rocco is in love with the "T-Rex egg" in the backyard. Really hope he doesn't break it.

Love this. It's like two people are countries. At a kissing point, with their own laws and policies and customs.

Even the tree is amazing. It grew out of the earth until something big happened, which made it change course entirely. It went in a completely new direction but the knot in its trunk where it all changed and shifted is probably the strongest part of the whole tree.

I've looked at this picture the most. My heart breaks for a mother who could not save her daughter, as death looks on.

It's a beautiful house, I'm sure the owner is beautiful too. There's grief and strength in every room.


Sunday, 25 December 2011

White Wine in the Sun

4.03pm. It's a fair to middling Christmas Day, complete with prawns and sunshine and laughter. Everybody is concerned about my drinking except me .. sparkling mineral water and lime all the way. I'm completely fine .. clinked my glass and announced to the full room: "Just letting everyone know that I am completely fine, repeat, I am fine. There is no need to ask me how I am anymore."  They all cheered. 

Why would I not be ok? I'm ok as I ever was. I'm as fine as I ever was. I'm as fucked as I ever was. I'm exactly the same as everybody else.

I wrote a trivia quiz with seven different categories and fifteen different questions on each one. Funny, dreadful questions that will make my sisters shriek with laughter .. I know for a fact my stepfather will pick the Sports questions, only to find ones about the wives and gossip of famous sportsmen. He will laugh and I'll say Jim come on .. you *know* I hate sports.

Family of origin, although tricky .. remind you of who you are. It's a comforting relief. All of the women in my family have a deep, generational strength. The Taylor clan. We came to Australia as convicts. We get through anything.

My two boys are laughing and eating lollies, shrieking and jumping in the pool with all of their cousins. I've said yes to everything they have asked for today, and probably will again tomorrow. And the day after that.

Quite looking forward to Boxing Day though. Hope you out there are as ok as everybody else too.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The True Parts.

I drove straight off those mountains with one mission.


My sister Linda lives in Bondi and she made me Spanish Chorizo Chicken and wouldn't let me help or clean. She also made me laugh. Our kids played together and I lay on her couch and felt better.

It's been rough, man. And now, let us consolidate that roughness with Christmas! I just today worked out why it's a hard time for so many .. every single Christmas you've ever had in your life gets remembered. Which is equal parts awesome and terrible.


On the way down, I made a split-second decision to drive past our old childhood house in Mt Riverview .. we lived there from 1980 to 1987. Usually, we never stayed more than a year or two in a house.

So weird .. like I could just walk inside the front door, slam my school bag down, and forage for food.

We used to spread our beach towels on that driveway and lie there after a swim. The sun would beat down and mould our towels to the concrete panels and we'd laugh and stand up and do it again.

My old bedroom window is right there above the carport. Inside that room, written in black texta on the inside panel of the built-in cupboard is written "EDEN BARRIE WAS HERE."

In cursive.

For so many years I'd look out that window and wonder what would become of my life. Where would I go? Who would I meet? I always swore I'd never forget what it felt like to be a kid.

As we drove off, my son said, "So mum, that house has stayed the EXACT same for 32 years."

I told him yes, and realised that a lot of me has stayed the same as well .. the true parts. Which is not such a bad thing, not at all.


"You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last."


Monday, 19 December 2011

Awake at a Wake.

Live every day like you've just been to a funeral.

You're at the wake with the curried egg sandwiches going stale on a plate and you're sitting there in shock, seeing the world as it really is instead of how you construct it to be. Reality gets beautifully ripped away and you sit there holding the truth in your hand like some amazing thing.

The truth was there all along. You weren't.

It all slips away .. the pretense and the lies you tell yourself, all the things you think matter so much but they don't and never will. At last count, I've been to twenty-five funerals. Most of them before I hit thirty. That's a lot of dead bodies, a lot of people who can't feel the wind on their face anymore.

You're not dead, why are you waiting?

Live with compassion. Have a sense of urgency in everything you do. Admit how much of a prick you really are - mea culpa, arseholes. Own it all. Stop placing so much value on what other people think of you .. who cares? Kill a pig and skin it and cure the skin and make your own drum. Beat. March.

Wake up. Seriously, wake the fuck up. Because one day you won't and somebody else will be having an epiphany at your funeral and you'll be looking on from the afterlife thinking, dang.


Friday, 16 December 2011

I told him he could choose one.

He stood behind me, waiting patiently.

"Mate, I said one TOY. Not one whole box of toys."

The sweetest blue eyes stared at me as he half-hunched over and spoke like Robert De fucking Niro.

"I. Chose. One."

He got none.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Not a goddamn Christmas post.

I made the mistake of buying the Christmas chocolate advent calenders on the sixth of December this year .. so on the first day, Rocco got to eat six chocolates.

Try telling a 3yr old why he can't have six advent chocolates every day. He will not understand .. tantrums will ensue and the calenders will lay on top of the fridge gathering dust until Christmas morning when they can eat all the goddamn chocolate they want to.

Max did craft all by himself and came up with these:

I'M SERIOUS. And very proud. They are double Ninja Stars.

I paid him $1 for each one and then made them into Christmas decorations.

I had to put the christmas tree up by myself this year. I put it up by myself every year, but this year it stung hard. I'm the only adult in this house now. But I swear to god, nothing ... and I mean NOTHING, says Christmas more than an oversized santa tie from Hot Dollar.

                   He has more Christmas spirit than everybody put together.

Every year I say, I'm going to make a gingerbread house from scratch! And never, ever do it.

This year I decided to do it despite myself anyway. Tried to force myself to get all festive and shit. This is what happened.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Why this two minutes and fifty-three seconds symbolises everything that's right in the world.

Michael Buble Heckled By Mom - Watch MoreFunny Videos

I love how the mum has clearly had a few wines before she walks up to the stage and asks one of the best singers in the world to please let her son sing. Why? Because she *knows* her son can sing.

I love how Michael Buble humours her at first, and listens. You can see his mind ticking over, flitting between annoyance and then resignation .. and he generously asks the 15-year old boy name Sam to get up onstage and sing with him. He didn't have to do that. He makes Sam feel at ease as the opening part of "Feeling Good" plays.

One of the best parts is just after Michael Buble sings the opening lines, and he relinquishes the mike over to this complete stranger. He's almost cringing, has no idea what this guy will sound like. But he gave him a chance anyway. That's called having blind faith .. in something you're not sure is going to work, but you do it anyway.

Have you watched the video yet? Did you see the few seconds it took for Michael to realise that Sam does indeed have an amazing voice? When Michael pulls away and jumps up and is so excited in his utter glee. That's called "Mudita."

Mudita in Buddhism is vicarious joy .. "the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being rather than begrudging it." World needs a lot more of that going on, don't you think?

I love how this video was completely unstaged and unscripted. It really happened, like a really real thing. That seems to be getting more rare in this homogenised, careful constructed world nowadays. Sam ended up on talk shows over in England, saying how mortified he was when his mother first went up. But he concedes that she could totally be his manager one day.

It was filmed more than a year ago. I've watched it so many times, and can't contain my heart at Michael Buble not being able to contain his heart. What a beautiful guy.

And that young Sam would be 16 now. He's just a good haircut and a decent shirt away from getting a whole lotta tail.



Sunday, 11 December 2011


I found out a few days ago that Nathan's mum had put the call out to his old cronies at rehab.
"She is searching for people who knew Nathan. She wants to know a little about his life, from people he knew ... Eden, I find you to be an inspiration in life itself and was wondering if you could fit him into a blog or write something I could give his mother. She called me today and told me she had asked many people to write something about him and she had no replies. I think it would make her Christmas to hear just a little of your story about him .. to please write a few words to her, reminding her of what her son was like."

I've never met Nathan's mum. We could cross each other in the street and just keep walking, unaware. The thought of her getting no replies utterly kills me. Imagine asking the strangers who were in rehab with your child .. for some memories of them. Anything. Seriously, imagine how hard that would be.

Nathan's mum, Nathan was beautiful.

He wasn't a tall guy, but he had the friendliest and most gorgeous eyes. And a wicked smile. He was funny .. genuine, friendly, and very cheeky. He and I were just mates ... which was rare for me back then. I had a habit of cracking onto every cute boy I saw, and took extra care in the mirror before the meetings at night.

There was such a camaraderie in that place on Waratah Street. Nathan was very popular, because his heart and laughter were infectious. We'd cruise out in groups for coffee, go to the movies, watch videos late into the night on the weekends.

I miss that place, and the people. It's easy to glamourise and romanticise it ... and holy shit the group therapy. The group therapy. We were pummelled and pulled apart. Some of us got it. Some of us were cracked open just enough to let some clarity in like Jules says in Pulp Fiction.

I saw Nathan "get it" for a while. He and I were actually quite similar. We flitted around, in and out. Had a few false starts and spells around the track. We'd see each other in the street, and always stop and say hi. It's like we were Ralph and Sam, taking it in turns. I'd boost him if he was down and out, then a few months later he's boost me. One day I walked into the fruit and veg shop and there he was, proudly carting the palletes around. He'd got his shit together, and for the first time in a long time, so had I. We were just so fucking proud of ourselves.

I walked past that church that time and I don't know why I went in but I did. And there's Nathan and Paul C, playing the guitar and piano together, just jammin' out. Laughing, and having fun. Straight as the Ace of Spades, both of them. How incredible was Nathan's guitar playing! You must have paid for lessons? People often talked about it.

I'll never forget the time in group when Nathan had just been to the dentist. The therapist was questioning him about the painkillers - what did they give him and how much was he taking?

He had a whole pack of Panadeine Forte, and admits that he wasn't in any pain right then. But he'll hold on to the pack because he *might* be in pain later.

She laughed so hard she had tears, told him what classic addict thinking that was and got him to surrender his pack over. (Begrudgingly.) I didn't know why she was laughing. I completely understood why he'd hold onto it. Pre-empting his pain, I guess.

Nathan's mum, there was more pain to come. He struggled with it. I witnessed it. I heard him share at meetings and then he'd go back out and come back in. It's a real unique hell, that kind of struggle. I am so sorry.

I cried hard when Paul C came running into my room to tell me that Nathan had died in his bathroom. Paul C came to visit me in 2001 when my son was born. He bought him his first ever stuffed toy .. a blue and white puppy called Bones. He still has it. Paul died not long after - heart attack from too much coke.

For so many years I kept thinking that I saw Nathan in the street. It was uncanny. Then I'd realise that he was gone, and wouldn't be pushing the fruit palletes or playing that guitar or lifting weights. Or stroking his new baby girls hair. All of those undone things.

I am so, so sorry.

I wish I had more memories for you. I wish I could blow you away with insight and funny things and reasons why. I passed a photo I had of him onto his daughter, he was at his grad and had a white t-shirt on with jeans and he was happy and proud. You can see it in his eyes.

I don't know why some of us make it and some of us don't. My thoughts are with you as you spend another Christmas without him. I can tell you that I'll never stop thinking about him. Or the others who have gone now too.

I'll try my hardest to honour them by staying on the right path myself and living life to its fullest. For all of us.


Friday, 9 December 2011

The People in Line at the Eminem Concert.

In the middle of the Eminem concert the other night, the camera caught some blonde riding her boyfriends shoulders and lifting her top up. Eminem's eyebrows shot up. I was jealous of that chick .. her freedom and fun. But mostly, her boobs. They were magnificent - brown nipples, even.

Some chicks get all the luck.

Seeing him live in concert was unreal. Even though the sound was shit .. it was a pleasure just to be breathing the same air as him for awhile. His opener was Won't Back Down. Which set the tone for the whole concert, and I suspect will set the tone for him for quite a few years yet.

"I feel like I'm morphin, into something that's so incredible that I'm dwarfin, all competitors."

Before he came onstage, we read the screens about how he entered rehab in 2005 and then spent the next almost five years as a recluse, not touring.

Finally, after all these years, he's admitted he's a drug addict. OD'd in late 2006 and spent Christmas in hospital then spent the next few years in a depressive slump. Completely fucked up, wishing he was dead, and questioning everything.

He spoke of this, between his songs. His current album is called Recovery - the one before it was Relapse. Rappers are literal, yo.

"Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse."

Fascinating to see the change. Instead of an angry peroxided guy in a hockey mask, there was this incredibly mature, talented performer. He twitched his hand, like a freaky genius does. I don't think he has much experience in performing straight, yet. He was shy.

"Ok. I'm guessing all of you out there, you people who come to an Eminem concert ... you're pretty fucked up."

The whole crowd goes nuts. He said that he always used to be fucked up too, but this time he's gonna remember the Australian shows because he's completely sober.

"Ok, let's take a lil trip down memory lane."

Launches into My Name Is, Real Slim Shady, Kill You. He sang snippets of each, the most awesomely fucked-up medley in town. I smelt beer and pot. The whole entire crowd was indeed, entirely fucked up.

As he introduced Not Afraid, he dedicated it to anybody still struggling. Watching him perform this song live after I'd done this with it back in March .. was kind of magic.

I've been thinking about him all week .. aside from being incredibly sad that he's not in Australia anymore. He's in the process of huge metamorphosis. The most interesting and talented people transcend themselves, again and again. He'll be back, for sure. Probably doing something completely unexpected, like touring with a symphony orchestra or something. Now that he's clean .. brilliantly clean, he's going to harness up all of his energy in a completely different way. His entire career so far has been while he's on drugs. Imagine what he's actually capable of!

When he talked to me during the concert, Eminem kept calling me "Sydney." That guy is so romantic! My friend Mrs Woog got a whole heap of people on board and they had #edenandeminem trending on twitter. It was magnificent, because here I am standing there, a straighty-one-eighty feeling all different kinds of emotions in this sea of fucked-up people ... and my friends in the computer made me and Marshall be together. On twitter, at least.

(Eminem has 7.6 million followers on twitter. And he follows NOBODY. Goddamn that beautiful arrogance.)

The people were a mixed bag. Young, old, try-hard, jaded, drunk. It's such a spectacle, to  see a big stadium show like that. We're all the little people, there to see this big star. When I stood to exchange my T-shirt because I am never as skinny as what I actually think I am, I looked around at my homies in the merch line. And realised ... we're all just as important as the star we're there to see. We all have a piece of Slim inside. We see in him what's in us. This is why great artists resonate with so many people .. we relate to their truth, their words and their pain.

One of the best parts was right at the end, during the encore chant. I filmed as Em came back on stage and when the strains of Lose Yourself were recognised, 30,000+ people all ejaculated together.

My usually shy, newly ten-year old son fist-pumped the air. Even punctuated it with a few WHOOAAA's. I watched him out of the corner of my eye. The music, the moment .. you better never let it go. My heart swelled out it's familiar decade-long swell.

 Some chicks get all the luck.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Edenland Cocktail.

I just received an email asking me .. in this busy Christmas season, how do I create my favourite cocktail?

Ok. Let's do this.



Firstly, the most important thing is *plenty* of alcohol on hand, to drink before during and after you create your perfect cocktail. I would choose two bottles of Stoli vodka, a case of Corona, a case of Grolsch, and three bottles of Wolfblass Black label. No I will not share.

For the actual cocktail, mix some crushed ice, lime slices, Schweppes Lemon Lime and Bitters, and a healthy, healthy serve of that Stoli vodka. Swizzle it round with a fancy straw. Get some cool garnish on that, pour into a really fancy glass so that you feel all important and completely ok.

Scull. It does not even touch the sides. Realise you've been born three drinks short and if only you could walk the earth feeling the way you feel with three drinks in you, everything would be fine.

Crack open your Coronas and your Wolfblass. Nothing in this world could stop you from drinking more at this point. You've awoken the insatiable beast that lives within .. only somebody else like you can understand. Put some cool music on and dance. Call your friends on the phone and tell them you love them. Think nostalgically of your shattered childhood. Drink drink and drink.

It's now time to go out ... you have no say in this. You are the girl in the red shoes. In my twenties I lived in a terrace house with some friends and they would all laugh as I slid my sunglasses in my pocket on Friday night. We all knew I would not be home for days.

You're off. Talk to everybody - feel alive, feel free. Feel AMAZING. Drink as much as you possibly can. Bat your eyes at guys and drinks will arrive. Go to the toilet and vomit ... makes room for more drinking.

The world swirls you around. Come-to, out of blackouts and you're talking to complete strangers who know your whole life history because you've just spent five hours telling them but you freak out and run away. Stuff that unwelcome feeling down with more drinking - or at this point, any substance that can get you as far away from yourself as possible. You're not fussy!

(That unwelcome feeling is called "conscience" ... trust me, you'll need it later.)

Mix the grape with the grain and back again. Do not care. You know you are somehow different to the people around you because they can stop and you can't. Go find different friends. My suggested tip is the more hardcore new friends, the better. They will make you feel normal.

Days later you arrive home to a kitchen littered with empty bottles and mouldy lime. Angry flatmates and a horrible heart. You are the worst person in the world, and the only thing that can make you stop feeling this way ... is another drink.

Welcome to hell.


This post has been sponsored by a heady mix of anger and rage. I am not dissing Schweppes .. I'd love to win this competition of flights and accommodation to Melbourne. I hear Melbourne has *great* recovery meetings, and my true cocktail is this one from a post I wrote last year called How to Fix a Drink for the Alcoholic This Christmas. Using Schweppes Natural Mineral Water of course.

I'm no prude, but I'm worried about the young kids I see on the news, bloody from bar fights and so drunk they're getting hit by cars and doing STUPID things. I worry .. alcohol is such a socially-acceptable drug. A lot of people can have fun and maintain it and know their limits, but a lot of people can't. People die from stupidity and loss of hope. You gotta go low to know.

I live near a town in the Blue Mountains called Katoomba, and the finishing touches are being made to the third huge bottle shop within a 1-km radius. That is one of the most dumbest things I've ever seen, but it's too late for people to do something about it, right? Every time I drive past it I want to start a picket line. I worry for my boys growing up in this world.

If you'd like to do a quick quiz on whether you think you're an alcoholic, try these 20 questions HERE. They're from the Minnesota Recovery Page ... Minnesota has drunks too, you know. There's drunks everywhere, all across the world. Beautiful, amazing ones.

Is it just me, or is Christmas all about the drinking? For those of us who struggle or have problems, it's like Run D.M.C. said - tricky. I'll be spending time with my sisters at my aunties houses - hopefully I won't be too much of a killjoy. I'll be going to meetings and hearing people talk about things like strength and courage and how to live in this crazy world with no edge-taker-offers. And at the end of the meeting I will feel how I always feel ... incredibly blessed that I have a place to go to where I can be honest and free and myself. And laugh ... my goodness, the black humour. It sustains me and keeps me going. Recovery meetings give me awareness I did not have before. They help me evolve and teach me things. I need to remain teachable.

You feel sorry for me that I can't drink? I feel sorry for you that you feel you have to.

So, I won't technically be mixing any cocktails this Christmas. I'd like to keep custody of my children. I like walking the earth with my head high, nothing to be ashamed of. I like being real ... crazy and all. It's hard and it hurts, especially going through really tough times with no buffer. But my feelings will not kill me. I keep hearing my angel wings unfurling ... you can too, if you want. I'm like an athlete. An endurance runner. A goddamn torch-carrying lunatic of Hope.



Saturday, 3 December 2011

Winning your own giveaway is like winning the pass-the-parcel at your birthday party. You get excited but you just *know* you can't keep it.

I'm very fussy and protective when it comes to this blog, so it's rare that I do a giveaway. When I was asked to do the Nikki Gemmell/Sony Reader one, I jumped at the chance. The main reason was the subject matter - difficulties in marriage and motherhood. I'm having difficulties in my marriage and motherhood, so it was a *great* fit. Shit's tricky, even for the together normal people.

The comments on that post were incredible .. one hundred and eleven. And they weren't just quick ones, they were well-thought out slices of your lives. That's kind of amazing to me. I remember when I first started blogging, I'd get three comments. Sometimes even nine. Anything over ten and I had MADE IT as a blogger.

I wish I had one hundred and eleven Sony Readers to give away but I don't. Tonight I sat here with a cup of tea, and punched "Between 1 and 111" in ... up came 72. It's the year I was born - it's a sign! So I counted up to 72, to find that I had won my own giveaway. Suck it Sony. I'd commented twice, once to say thank you for your comments and then next to say, "Now I'm gonna win my own giveaway." And I did. I'm a goddamn oracle.

Graciously, I decided to release my Reader back into the mix and drew again. Comment number 74 is Kate from Kate Says Stuff  "That which looks perfect and enviable from the outside never ever is. You only see what people choose to show you and you can only ever find peace in your own soul, not by virtue of anyone else's."

WORD. Kate, email me your home address and I will post you the Sony Reader. (I won it first, but I didn't open it.)

Second winner was for an overseas commenter ... it's Kirsty from 4 Kids, 20 Suitcases and a Beagle

Kristy once wrote a blog post called The Head Prefect .. and mentioned me. I have never forgotten what she said .. "Eden has had enough drama for a bad reality TV series."

Not just a reality TV show. A BAD ONE.

Her comment was number 33. And it was gold. "I was sitting in the school cafeteria with a child by my side, we were waiting for 3 other children to finish their "activities" so we could then drive them home for an evening filled with afternoon snacks, homework and dinner preparation. I was bored and sitting in a freaking high school cafeteria. Without thinking the words ... "lucky I feel good about myself otherwise this soul destroying existence could really get the better of me." .. came out of my mouth.

That was me earlier this week.

There's a different me today - later in the week. I'm happy that I had the choice of motherhood. I'm happy that I gave up working full-time, I'm happy that I'm writing.

I float constantly between the ups and the downs. I'm either loving it or hating it or just getting on with it. I don't think there is eternal contentment.

At this very moment, on my street there is a Filipino woman outside washing her employers car, she will walk their dog, wash their clothes and take their child to the park. Her own children are back in the Filipines, she see's them maybe every 2 years, she sends money every month. She watches me drop my children to school nearly every morning and waves and smiles as I drive past.

Today, I'm happy. Tomorrow I may stab my husband in the eye with a fork over breakfast."

Kirsty send me your address in Qatar and I will post you the actual copy of the book, like, from the olden days.

Thank you to everybody who entered. It's softening this tricky time for me, knowing you are all out there. With your own stuff. Especially in this lead-up to Christmas and my husband and I navigate our way through living in separate houses. (Bad reality TV series.)

(See what I did there? You just got a bombshell, if you read all the way through this post. JUICY HUH?)

Bring on Eminem tomorrow night, is all I can say.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

"If one woman were to tell the truth about her life ... the world would split open."

I nearly died a few times this year.

Every morning I get up and light myself on fire. My flesh burns as I stumble in to take a piss. At the coffee machine I start to melt down to the bones. My boys play and fight on the floor and I tell them to get dressed as I burn and burn my motherfucking self to the ground before I hope in the car and take them to school. I meant to write "hop" just then but I'll leave it as hope. I hope in the car and hope at the shops and hope at home. Sometimes it's all I have. I look in the mirror and see ashes and a broken spirit and smoking flesh. This is a good thing.

Every morning I must do this. So every morning I do this. I'm not who I was yesterday and neither are you. Tomorrow I will be different again. As soon as these words are written I'm different. I'm never who I was.

I'm always fucking running. That shadow ... some days it's as big as the world I'm trying to change in me.

My stakes are higher than ever now. I get asked what it feels like. Snakes in my veins. Rats in my belly, restless and hungry. Insatiable. Yet I know I can have nothing - not a sip, a bit, a taste, a line. Nothing. My edges cannot be taken off. I'm very edgy and it's very, very hard.  Some days I dream of running far away and doing dreadful things. Absolving myself of all responsibility of any goddamn thing. I think of my dad and the genes he shared and how easy it would be to fall over and give up.

I give up in different ways, to survive. My head is a roaming beast that's hard to sit with. Surrender to win, they say.

Not too long ago I lay down in my bed and sleep would not come. I had poisoned myself. God set up screens for me, my own show. All weekend I watched the worst parts of humanity played out. Dead people and babies and killers and demons and bloody bloody hate. People jumping from towers. I went classically insane. This is not a metaphor. I begged and bargained as this went on for four nights straight and just when I thought I was trapped forever it all left and my eyes looked like mine again.

I'm a soldier.

When I was a kid we lived in Fiji and had this catamaran. I remember the sound of the sail unfurling, the sharp noise as the wind suddenly caught it. I kept hearing that sound in my psychosis, over and over. It was a set of Angels wings, unfurling and unfolding and protecting.

How cool it would be if those wings were mine. Metaphorically. If I had finally earned them. Maybe they are .. maybe I have triumphed and won.

Until the next day, when I must get up and set fire to myself again. Kill myself over and over again, in order to live.

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