Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Home Is Where The Hard Is.

What happened was just this.

As our plane started the descent into Sydney airport from Africa the other night, there was turbulence so bad everybody screamed. Except me - and I am ALWAYS thinking I'm going to die in a plane crash but frankly I was too tired and cranky to be scared. The young French girl next to me was so freaked out she grabbed my hand tightly and I held it hard and looked her in the eyes and told her:

"This plane is not going to crash. We are not going to die. I have kids and I've been through too much shit to die right now. I promise you it'll be ok."

And it was. Did you know they have screens now where you can WATCH the plane cam? ("Watch the plane, Cam." "Can't Eed. Dead, remember?" "Oh that's right I keep forgetting.")

You can watch everything - takeoff, flying, landing. It's quite comforting. The French girl next to me couldn't use her phone so I gave her four dollars and when I finally made it through the airport the vending machine didn't take notes so I walked up to another vending machine but this woman SCREAMED at me to get back, that area was closed. "GET BACK THERE IS NO WATER HERE."


Then I got to my car and somebody has put a ding in it that I have to get fixed through insurance. I stayed in a hotel for two nights and man I think I'm getting too old to be globetrotting the world like some crusader. The whole time I was in Uganda I was looking forward to attending a workshop with acclaimed poet and performer Anthony Anaxagorou on the Saturday after I got back. SO EXCITED. But I got an email and the dates got mixed up so I came home on Saturday, saw all my boys - SO WHITE!

So, so weird to be home. Siri what is "dirty dishes?"

On Sunday I force myself out of bed, tread on and break my glasses that are now held together by sticky tape and drive all the way back down to Sydney for this workshop I've been HANGING for. Because I really gave so much of myself lately I had to fill myself up, you know? And this guy Anthony, he is extraordinary. But I got the dates wrong and it was the day before and man. So gutted I sat in the gutter outside the space he held his workshop in the day before and I just cried so hard. It was the one thing I knew would spark me up. So I'm sitting in my cowboy boots crying in the street but nobody was around because it was an industrial area.

So I just cried more - I cried all the cries about my brother that I didn't cry in Uganda because man it felt nice to not be in the country he killed himself in. BANG - Die Hard IV with a vengeance. I rarely ever say this - but it's not fair. It's not fair he died and left my heart shattered for as long as I live. It's not fair that I missed meeting and having a workshop with one of the most extraordinary poets I've ever heard of. It's not fair that all those kids are still back in the slums and young boys and girls are being forced into prostitution and slavery and marriage and World Vision have all these incredibly amazing hopeful projects in place but those hard things I saw? I cannot unsee. Stupid heart that cares too much. (I'll be receiving post-trip counselling and debrief from WV soon.) And I get back to Australia where there's an ad on the television for a supreme cheese-crust pizza with nachos around the outside? What the actual fuck?

I tell all my kids constantly that the news we are fed is only somebodies version of the news and it always usually comes with an agenda, that things are going on around the world every second and all we see are stupid bite-sized pieces to dumb our brains down.

It's not fair. The world's not fair. And when I drove the two hours back home I was a bit slow in a lane and really pissed a truck driver off so every time I went to switch lanes he swerved in front of me and it was just, really? And when I FINALLY had the chance to drive past him I sucked on my middle finger before I stuck it up at him just to confuse his pants. Ahhhh, Straya.

And so I got home again except, deflated, defeated, tired, not knowing what to do with myself. And my glasses are broken and I'm too tired or probably scared to get them fixed. Fly across the world to visit HIV tents and rehabilitated young sex workers? Sure thing. Drive to Katoomba Specsavers and get my glasses fixed? No fucking way. What is UP with that?

I can't get to sleep until 5am I'm so jetlagged - Max called me a zombie before school this morning and I was, so I'm really going to try hard to not nap at all today and crash early. I keep thinking I'm in a hotel and I think about all the sewerage puddles the babies were playing in and then I see stupid Christmas ads on TV for crap that we can't afford for people we don't even like. I used to love Christmas. Not so much these days. It really is hard to keep going when you're so defeated but these guys, I swear.

Top left - sticky tape. STYLIN! I feel as crap as I look.

I have to be ok for them. And I am. When they're near me my heart light is on, especially when this one wraps a purple slinky around his waist and gives birth to a soccer ball out of it and starts cradling it and singing lullabies saying he has a baby now.

And just a few days ago I was taking photos of hippos on the River Nile.

And I brought back a rock from the Nile to prove that I was there - the tour guide said it was fine to take a rock, no bad luck.

Oh, the places you go!

The first night back home I wept so hard for my brother in the middle of the night that I woke Dave up, so I moved to the couch. And I spoke to Cam, whispering in the darkness.

"Sweet guy if I was with you when you died I would have stroked your cheek and kissed you and told you how much you were loved. Nobody deserves to die alone and I miss you and I love and please be my ghost please."

Last night we had dinner alfresco and Rocco sat in the exact same spot Cam sat when I last talked to him, the last time I ever saw him. The memory of that day is fading around the edges now, and as we ate Rocco asked why my eyes were wet and I said it was because my spaghetti was too hot.

Dave has taken Phoebe Rose to SPAIN. I am so excited for her, begged her for a selfie before she left and she was straight out of the shower and would like people to know that she DID have a towel on. My relationship with her has shifted and grown. I love her. She has all this creativity and ideas and wonderfulness inside of her and I want her to grab life by the reigns and soar. I can't wait to hear what she experiences. God I hope she stays safe ... you just never stop worrying.

So I'm doing solo parenting for a while which I quite like. I'm chill, the boys get away with more with just me. I watched an interview with Steve Irwin one day about how if Bindi wants ice cream for breakfast he just gives it to her because who cares? And two weeks later he died from that stingray and I felt so, so sad that he wouldn't be able to give her ice cream for breakfast anymore.

This guy is with me all the time so don't even think of breaking into my house because he will rip your face off and I sleep with a machete.

I used to have a cowlick but then I learned how to kiss like everybody else.

So that's me. I just asked Siri "what will I do with the rest of my life" and she told me to search the web and I'm like Siri, I'm asking YOU.

As I was sobbing in that gutter on Sunday after driving to Sydney for no reason at all I messaged Anthony and asked if he was still in Sydney and he messaged me straight back, apologising and it wasn't even his fault it was a stupid email that gave me the wrong info. He said he was on his way to Canberra but Melbourne people - do yourself a favour and go see him this Thursday at Club Voltaire. You will be witnessing something incredible and if you go I'll be so jealous so you'll have to tell me all about it.

There is something about him that gives me something - hope, something other than the usual stuff we consume. Anthony, I am so sorry to have missed you and I am going to meet you one day.

Watch this - it's worth it I promise. Talk about being a prophet.

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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