Saturday, 26 December 2015

I Completely Forgot About The Time I Met Mick Jagger.

I was searching for an end-of year song .. an anthem, if you will. A seasonal goodbye song to this tricky 2015 of ours. What a year .. it's certainly been a year to top off quite the succession of previous years.


There's a clearing in my forest which is not a euphemism. Is there a clearing in your forest too?

The beauty is, I haven't cleared it by myself. I've been incredibly fortunate and grateful and so fucking blessed to be held up by a lot of people who care about and loved me during this year, even when I wasn't exactly quite lovable at the time. I'm never been an easy person to be friends with or get close to. Going to ten schools and always being the new kid will shut a person down on the friendship front. To look around now, I have quite a few beautiful souls right there for me and have sat with me and packed up all my stuff and listening to me lose the plot. Horrendously, necessarily messy. These people know me and still want to be friends with me anyway. I emerged from a fifteen-year relationship blinking my eyes and was all, oh shit I should have invested more time and energy and love into my relationships with other people. Siri what is human connection? (I legit just asked Siri that and she helpfully came up with an employment agency in Perth.)

The past week I've been listening to a playlist over and over again and one of the songs is a Rolling Stones song. I met Mick Jagger once - he spoke to me, looked up and grinned. "No thanks darlin'." I could just end that story there to tease everybody and you'll never know what I asked him but I'll tell you ... I was sixteen years old just back from living in London and some friends and I were sitting in an outdoor restaurant in the sun down at Darling Harbour. There was nobody around, we'd just finished our meal, and who should sit down right next to us but Mick Jagger and a bodyguard. My friends lost their SHIT. Mick was waiting for Jerry to join him for lunch, but we were a big group of people and had all the chairs. So in succession, one by one, all of my friends went up and offered up Mick Jagger's bodyguard their chair, like it was jewels to Julius Caesar himself. I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd bowed their heads in reverance and gently backed away.

I watched in a kind of amusement - I've never been a huge Rolling Stones fan because U2 but it was pretty cool seeing this guy in the flesh. So anyway, all of these empty seats ended up surrounding Mick and his bodyguard. About twelve of them - just white plastic chairs. I wanted to give Mick my chair too - but to Mick, not to his bodyguard. I picked my chair up and walked the other way around this water fountain thing and I could see the look of annoyance on the bodyguards face because I was being a sneaky fuck to get to Mick unencumbered. Walked right up to him - it was ABSURD, he didn't need another chair, I knew he didn't need another chair and Mick knew I knew he didn't need another chair. He smiled so broadly at me before I even opened my mouth. Which I did, bold as fuck. (Ten different schools and always being the new kid will do that to you.)

"Mick, would you like my chair?"

And for a moment we just looked and smiled at each other.

"No thanks darlin'."

And I put it down in front of him anyway because his bodyguard got up to intervene in the chair situation and I said to Mick, "Ok no worries. See ya!" And he waved at me, as I walked off to my laughing friends, my heart so so fucked up and sad because my dad had just killed himself a few weeks beforehand.

So anyway - here's my end of year song. Mick sings it, it's called Let It Bleed. My friend Naomi's son smashed a glass and walked in it last week and she held his foot up because it was bleeding and she said she'd take a look at it after she'd waited for the blood to congeal.

Thank you to everybody who waited with me this year for my blood to congeal. Thank you for standing with my while I had to Let It Bleed. I'm a fierce and loyal friend and I'm here for you too. Because that's what friendship and love is. 43 years old and I'm still learning this shit.

Thank god I'm still learning this shit.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Scragglehead.

Most of the rumours people hear about me are probably true.

True ... I am an angry, self-obsessed, deeply flawed, blaming, regal, vengeful and vicious villainess. I put my hand up yes. Yes I did do those things this year Your Honour.

It's been a cracker of a year. And by "cracker" I mean hideously dark, destructive, hauntingly desperate and dangerous. Good things have happened too, but not that much. This year has been Everest except I didn't rest most of the time the only person I had to comfort me was me and I'm not great at comforting myself  Your Honour but I'm trying while I'm being tried.

Regret is such a fruitless feeling. There's nothing to be done with regret because what you regret has already been done. One photo sums me up perfectly this year and I've named her Scragglehead.


Scragglehead got lost and fucked up because she wanted to be lost and fucked up. Scraggle fell down so many times she just slept right there on the streets, stuck in a different dimension, wondering who she was and if she would ever make her way back. Scragglehead had scraggly hair didn't care. She finds it easy to write about herself in the third person because who wouldn't when you've done the things that Scragglehead has done?

Scragglehead got a little sick and quite tired and then sick and tired of the blame shame game. Yeah I admit it all, Your Honour but Your Honour, aren't we all dark and light? Yin and yang and all that bullshit that isn't actually bullshit. Which is yin and which is yang? Who's wrong and who's right? What's black and what's white and are there varying degrees of a kind of shaded muted grey within all of us because man I gotta tell ya, things went SOUTH this year Siri where is North and how can I find my way back again with no map and a bent compass hell-bent on destroying everything in its path like some kind of fucked up tornado volcano that burst on the earth scene back in 72. Still Alive like Pearl Jam ... hey was Pearl Jam named after pussy juice? I always wondered.

Anyway so here I yam. Fuck you, fuck off, come here, come back to me, sorry not sorry that I did those things and if I could actually time travel I'd go back and do things differently, not hurt people the way I have. (But I been hurt too, Scragglehead says. Look at what they did!) Fingerpointing at people fingerpointing at me and fingerprints leave marks you know. Bruises even. Did you know that there's no blue ink when you get arrested anymore it's all computer generated imaging now? Fancy. I'm so Fancy - everybody knows. If I could actually time travel I'd go back in time explicitly to do some things more, harder, better, with more venom. I'm not evil or even crazy. Just a woman with a Free Spirit, sorry about all the messy truth. Sorry about not being sorry yet and I don't know if I'll ever be sorry about some things so I guess I'll just gloss over that shit and half-heartedly pray about them anyway. A half-hearted prayer is probably worse than no prayer at all. I don't know.

I am a human being and living in a world with other human beings living. Scragglehead is a walking contradiction because she's so loving and kind and fierce as fuck but sometimes the fierce in her does not bode well. Fare well, 2015. You above all years have been by far my biggest and darkest teacher and hey there's still a week and a half of you left. Who gets to be in 2016? Who remains, to be seen?

So thank you and sorry and fuck you but please love me to all of the characters in my story this year. Life is just a succession of stories we tell ourselves. I'm writing my way out of a particularly repugnant chapter last paragraph full stop return return new chapter new title let's begin again like that song my brother used to sing Michael Finnegan. The wind came up and blew his whiskers in again so he had to begin again. Again.

We're all in a state of constant shifting flux. Nothing stays, nothing remains the same and when I get to use my powers for good I would except for those times I didn't.

I felt so sad that I even told Siri I felt really, really sad. All Siri said was "Eden, I'm not sure I can help you with that."

Fuck you, Siri you don't even know what sad is you're just a ... Siri what is a Siri? You don't know everything nobody does and nobody ever will. Every cell in my entire body right now has reached a kind of collective consciousness. About. Fucking. Time. I found a gangplank and a guillotine and a gun and a battering ram all in one. Mixing my metaphors. My washing machine broke. I lost power and the lights went out. There's endings in every beginning, beginnings in every ending, and Jesus fuck I made it through this alive unless I get hit by a bus and die before next week in which case the most important thing I ever have left to say at this juncture is I love my boys with my whole heart. Simple and excruciating as that. Sorry about all the mistakes you guys. Some mistakes are bigger than others - you'll see. And when you do I'll be there. I'm not going anywhere except back to myself. I'm here in the roll call of life PRESENT.

If you read between the lines of invisible ink you can see that I'm here. I'm home. I've never been home before. I like it. Home becomes me. I became my own home and I'm going to live in myself like I should have done all along but that's ok. I learnt shit along the way. Home is where the hard is, the art is, the heart is.

Ever seen a human heart in the flesh? Ugly as fuck. We all got ugly hearts, beating away like drums, calling us home.

I called myself home except my name is Eden not Scragglehead and one of these things is not like the other. Somebody sent me a gold compass with a brown leather strap. Somebody kissed me and meant it. Somebody betrayed me. Somebody saw me. We are all our stories and if you don't like the one you're in just write yourself into a new one.

Write yourself home.



Monday, 14 December 2015

The Spider And The Sex Doll.

What's a spider got to do with a sex-doll? I'll tell you what. It all happened yesterday.

Yesterday was a corker of emotions. In the late afternoon my friend Kelly came over and I was feeling too many feelings to even cry so she said right. Let's go for a walk. I told her I knew she was going to say that. We went for a walk together and I just listened to my thoughts and let them go after  they came into my brain. The walk was beautiful. Keep forgetting I live in a magical part of the world.

                                            Blue.

Got home, bid Kelly farewell, made some dinner. Read for a bit. Felt a bit lost. But that's ok .. these pesky feelings come and then we let them go. Then they're back and we let them go. Again and again until I'm all FUCK OFF HEAD I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN AND IF THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR OTHER PEOPLE THEN SO BE IT.

So, be it.

At about 10pm I wasn't tired so decided to put on a DVD - the last series of Game of Thrones which my cousin Marina lent me last week. I'd already lent Kelly Vikings to watch. We're all old-school, with our DVD's.

As I was lowering the blind in the living room I saw something out of the corner of my eye so big, and so dark, my heart just fell. Oh god no. Anything but that. Please please no.

APPARENTLY YES.


Yep. It's hard for me to even insert that photo into this post and I have to glaze my eyes over like a Krispy Kreme donut and not look at it because LOOK AT IT.

LOOK AT IT.

I freaked and ran into the kitchen, hyperventilating and shaking. I can do moths, cockroaches, bugs, snakes, polar bears. I've taken a piss in the middle of a safari park in Uganda on the lookout for lions just roaming around. I say hello to warthogs. I can do all of those things but I cannot. Do. Huntsman. Spiders.

There's a succession of reasons why. It all started with Raiders of the Lost Ark remember that scene with the guy with the spiders on his back? Traumatised for life. Then one day when I was about ten years old I was sitting on the toilet at home and there was this big hairy huntsman motherfucker about a metre away from my scared, quivering little face. I sat frozen for - ten minutes? Half an hour? It was so hairy and big and looking at me with all of its eyyeeessssssss.

It's a well-documented fact that I cannot with huntsmen. Cannot. When Cam was living with me we were standing outside talking in the driveway and for some reason the subject came to spiders and I said Cam, I really can't talk about it.

You know what my fucker brother said to me with an evil glint in his eye?

"Eed ... look around you. We're in the middle of bushland. Imagine the thousands of huntsmen spiders around you right now."

I ran inside screaming I HATE YOU CAAAAMMMMM and he just laughed so hard.

So last night it was 11pm and I started texting people who lived nearby. "Are you awake? There's a massive huntsman on the wall in my lounge room." A few people replied but most were asleep. My friend Naomi was no use, laughing at me via text. I told her she was dead to me.

So I did what everybody would do in this day and age and posted a video of the Spider Situation onto Facebook.


Terrifying. I was terrified. My mum is a night owl so I text her and she made me feel better and made me laugh and said she would drive here and kill it for me but it would take her three hours and it was almost midnight. I was a little bit hysterical. She suggested that maybe it was Cam coming back as a huntsman to teach me to finally deal with my huntsman phobia? God I love my mum.

There was no way I could go to sleep with that beast in here THE SPIDER IS CALLING .. FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.

I was left with one option. One. So I did it. There was no other way, don't you see?

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                                        Yep. 

I live very close to Katoomba Police station. I ran across asking them for help, said look I know it's ridiculous but I'm terrified and I understand if you can't do this but I'd really appreciate your help this spider is HUGE.

It took a while for them to get here. You know why? Because they had a call-out to remove a blow-up sex doll from nearby bushland. I said jeez guys, I hope you wore gloves. 

People were telling me on Facebook that huntsmen came in pairs which is a MYTH YOU GUYS STOP IT. But am I ever so glad that the police come in pairs because that policeman standing behind the spider-killing policeman was much needed backup in case the spider just randomly started to fly around the room which it easily could have done. It was like a genetically modified spider. Capable of anything. The policeman said it was the biggest huntsman he had ever seen. I was hiding in the kitchen while he swatted it and one of them said it was gone and I said WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S GONE and he said no, he meant it's gone - it's dead. Then he picked it up by one leg and it was as big as a baby calf carcass I'm telling you.

I could not thank them enough. They were even so kind as to take the entire dead spider out of the building. I couldn't have had that thing in my garbage bin because spider zombie.

It was so late I gave up on watching Game of Thrones and took myself to bed. Exhilarated, god I felt so much better. You know when you feel like shit and then some disaster occurs and then the disaster gets solved and you just feel incrementally better?

I laughed so hard. Until a moth flew into my face and I kept seeing dark spider shadows everywhere and I was worried that some kind of bug was in my bed with me. I had to put my hoodie over my head.

You know who would love this story? My brother. If he was still alive I would have called him up that late because he always called me up late and I would have said Cam, I just called the police to kill a huntsman.

This is exactly what he would have said without missing a beat because nothing I told him ever shocked him:

"Of course you did, Eed."

And I imagined his twinkly eyes shining bright at his dickhead sister. And it was good.


Monday, 7 December 2015

You're Free, Baby Baby.

These four guys look at everything as a whole. They care deeply about the world and the people in it.

U2 love hard and they give, always wanting their music to be useful. Tonight at the Paris concert Bono stood for Paris but he also stood for other countries that need solidarity as well.

"We stand together with the families who lost their loved ones in Paris. We stand together with families in Beirut and Istanbul. We stand together before those with false ideologies of the God they serve."

In this clip Bono recites his pure poetry lyrics of a song recently written .. hauntingly beautiful and apt.


There's a lot of musicians out there who bring meaning to our lives and the world. Humanity is crying out for that kind of music.

Especially now.



Friday, 4 December 2015

"Hey cunt, you deserve to be gangraped by a pair of aids infested niggers. Die, fucking bitch. Yours truly, Master gender, master race, white male."

I can't believe we still have to fight this shit. Actually - sadly, I can. But on the new frontier this time - online. This new-fangled updated super-improved super-dooper information superhighway.

Our lives and society and events and opinions get played out every day and night, 24/7, all over the world. This is how we live now. I'll keep this short and snappy because I have so much to do today I'm already overloaded overwhelmed but that's ok I got good people and strong Angels on my side.

All of this abusive and disgusting stuff went down this week concerning Clementine Ford so she wrote this: "Ruiner Of Men's Lives, Evil Incarnate." Take a little look at the comments. Bring a bucket for your vomit.

Online writer and commenter Kerri Sackville has been spurred into action oh she has amassed quite the army of shield maidens. This morning she wrote this today: "End Violence Against Women."

A short excerpt from Kerri's post: "Everyone gets abused online from time to time. Men also get abused online. But men are not threatened with sexual violence. Men are not threatened with harm towards their families. Men are not degraded and intimidated into silence .. and so I gathered some friends. I asked that we each tweet the names of the offenders listed on Clem's post, or at least the names of some of the worst offenders. I asked that we use the hashtag #endviolenceagainstwomen, and link to her post so people know what we are dealing with. Please note that we do not wish to abuse or threaten or slander these men. We are simply naming them as being the authors of abusive tweets."

Come join us if you feel inclined. Check out the hashtag #endviolenceagainstwomen ... it's time to start actioning. This is why I hate Wicked Camper Vans. This is why I hate porno mags on display at the newsagents so my boys can freely see them. This is why I hate so many things wrong with our highly-sexualised bullshit fucked up society that we live in. My incredible friend Paula Orbea always says: "The standard we all past is the standard we accept." I'm not accepting this shit. I believe this is important, vital, necessary, hand me my thesaurus for all the other words.

Come join us if you feel inclined. Start with checking out the hashtag #endviolenceagainstwomen Join us on your facebook pages, on your twitter, your Instagram, your websites. In the early nineties I read "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women" by Susan Faludi and the "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf. Both books shaped what I stand for today.

I stand today, start today. Like Kerri says, "You have to start somewhere. We are starting here. Today."

So let us start. Again, and again.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Elephant and the Peg.


Ever wondered why circus elephants don't run away? I've never really questioned it. I don't go to circuses anymore because they're cruel, have always felt sad for the animals performing all these stupid tricks which always kind of made me feel uncomfortable. Can a kid sense sadness in animals?

In 1977 I was five years old on a catamaran in Fiji and caught my first fish. The excitement! The joy! And then .. that fish I caught? Quickly and unceremoniously unhooked, descaled, head chopped off, red blood spilling everywhere, oh. I was a fish murderer. I got so distraught my mum had to take me downstairs to lie down. There's a photo of me clutching my pink ted and a comic book, eyes still red. Every time I've fished since then I've always thrown it back. Sorry Jesus I highly disagree. (Even though I make a mean tuna casserole because I'm a complete hypocrite. And hoover down bacon and eggs, pushing the thoughts of piggeries and chicken prisons out of my head. I'm thinking the vegans are onto something.)

So circus elephants have this chain around their leg which is attached to a puny wooden peg in the ground. They can snap these pegs like toothpicks, these majestic 10-foot tall 5,00kg animals. They can escape to freedom anytime they want to but they don't. They don't even try. The world’s most powerful animal stays tied down by a small peg and a flimsy chain. Why in hell would it not realise its power to just walk off into the wilderness? Or at least the circus carpark?

When the elephants are babies, the "trainers" tie a chain around its leg which is tied to a metal stake hammered into the ground. The chain and peg are strong enough for the baby elephant so each time it tried to break away and yes it tried, all the time .. the metal chain would pull it back causing deep cuts into the skin of the elephant’s leg, making it bleed the same colour red of a small fish on a catamaran with its head cut off.  This wound would hurt the baby elephant even more. It would longingly watch the world pass it by in the distance. Yet every time it pulled harder it hurt and cut more and eventually, that baby elephant realised it could not escape. So it stopped trying.

A big circus elephant is tied by a chain around its leg and you know how an elephant never forgets? It clearly remembers the pain it felt as a baby so it doesn't try to break away. It stands still. Its knows its limitations and moves only as much as the chain allows. Doesn't matter that the metal stake has been replaced by a wooden peg. That gorgeous 100 kilo baby elephant is now a magnificent fully-grown powerhouse and because it believes it's trapped it stays trapped. For its entire life.

Anyway so we're humans beings yet we too may never forget the things that trap us, make it so easy to stay in places and situations encumbered, fearful. Prisoners only of our minds.

What if we can snap our pegs anytime we want to without looking back and sashay across the plains into the forest where the wild things go. We can do that. We can do that right now.

I did. It was terrifying - still is. Which is why I've called all my Power back, all the power I've given away to people during the course of my life. Why would I just give away my life-force? THAT is bonafide legit crazy.

So if you think you're trapped and stuck, you're not. Come join me. Even though I'm a human being I'm also a free elephant doing things only a free elephant does. Cruising round, trumpeting with my huge trunk, doing huge dumps in the forest wherever I please.

It's extraordinary ... who knew?

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Evidence of Life.

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, then poetry is just the ash." - Leonard Cohen

You know sometimes you see or read something so incredibly extraordinary you feel an almost jealousy of the person who created it? Then quickly you let go of such ego because beyond that "thing" whatever it is, a book, a design, a play, film, painting. Anything that makes you feel SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY well, you're a part of it now. You're IN it. A human has expressed something so inordinately powerful and true you stand there reeling from the magnificence.

All good art should make you feel like you belong exactly inside that piece of art all along. Like a homecoming.

This completely fucking extraordinary piece of work was sent to me in the early hours the other night and my heart needed to hear every word of it and rejoiced in the recognition. Not only did I actually used to have a therapist called Sharon (who remains one of the most powerful influences on my life) but I felt every bit of the pain and ache and yaw and blessedness and truth that Desiree is painfully and gloriously showing us.

Desiree's life must be on fire for such words to come. My life is on fire! Huge huge flames, all the time. Everybody's life is on fire, just different degrees.

Desiree did all the speaking here yet I was the one feeling heard.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Secret Answer.


There are ninety-two blog entries I have written and never published. I just counted them all. I wrote this one in August 2012 and called it "The Secret Answer." It was hard to write about my brother back then when he was still alive without "outing" him as struggling so hard with life, his darkness, his suicidal thoughts, his emptiness.

My brother Cambo killed himself in his flat in Newtown on a Tuesday morning in October 2013 - fifteen months after I wrote this blog entry see I can do maths. Last night when I finally got to sleep at 3am after my friend Zoe and me text words and voice messages to each other I dreamt I took a raw piece of corned beef sitting in my car in the hot sun out of its plastic and put it into my my slow-cooker that my mum gave me. I've used that slow cooker many times over the years to cook big family dinners back before I left the family unit and broke out on my own.

I was broke - not financially that's easy to fix. I had finally broken spiritually and that's hard fucken hard as shit man we do everything we can to avoid being broke spiritually but it always catches up to us we cannot outrun our broke or our dark or our fear or pain for very long you gotta stop and catch a breath. If you stop too long it all catches up with you and you face it and own it or you lay down in your flat in Newtown too broke and too tired and you close your eyes because you've run so very hard your whole life until that very moment and now you've decided to outrun your own breath.

::

The Secret Answer. 12th August, 2012.

I saw my brother last week. I never know how much time will pass before I see him again. When it came time to leave I followed him outside, hugged him, and didn't want to let go. My mind raced with inspirational shit to tell him. How do you give the world to somebody, hand it all on a platter with a nice bow, fix everything? You can't.

I cut all of my advice, my teachings, my truth ... into a few sentences for him.

Like, EXTREME ADVICE.

"You can do any goddamn thing you want, in this world. It's all the unseen things that drag us down. Live your life with an open heart ... tell your brain to shut up. Your brain is not your friend. Pretend for a second that you don't know everything ... and listen to things you can't see. The answer to everything in this life is Spirit. Give more attention to your Spirit - it's the secret answer that not many people know. 

It makes heroin addicts not use heroin anymore. It gives suicidal people other options. The depressed among us ... something to hope for. It's all in your Spirit, man. I swear to God Cam. It's hard - it's why most people don't do it. But fuck me, it's worth it."

He smiled. Wryly goddamn it. He hugged his earnest sister, hard, and walked off. "See ya Eed."

I threatened all of my Angels. "You better bloody well look after him."

They will. They owe me.

::

In my dream last night I looked at the use-by date of the cut of corned beef I'd bought from Norm's butchery in Wentworth Falls and it said "Use-by Jan '16" because everything has a use-by date especially people. In episode one of Vikings season three Lagertha dared to ask The Ancient One "When will I die?" and I fucking fist pumped for her as only few among us would ask when we're going to die. Would you want to know? Lagertha wanted to know. Fuck yeah I'd want to know my use-by date. It would make life more bearable.

Anyway the point of my dream was the fact that corned beef was one of my brother's all-time favourite meals and when he lived with us years ago I'd purposely cook it to entice him over from his flat above our garage next door because I wanted to see him sitting at the table with my boys and husband eating a meal he loved. All the men I loved sitting at the one table. Cam would always, always help clean up after dinner. Always until I said "I got this, bro. You want dessert?" But he wasn't a dessert guy so he would thank me for dinner and creep out into the night but he wasn't a creep, oh no. He was a beautiful magnificent broken-spirited man until in the end both life and death got to him. In that order.

In my dream I opened the plastic wrap and put the cut of corned beef in my car and looked in my glovebox for a carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns ... all the ingredients I needed to make the meal I have refused to make since my brothers suicide because how dare I cook his favourite meal if he's not there to eat it? My car was overflowing with boxes full of objects from my entire life and I did NOT want to cook corned beef without my brother I mean I was standing on the side of the road out of breath and there was no power for my slow cooker anyway. Should I just sell my car? There's an answer. Most times there's many answers to one problem, right? Right?

Often there are no answers to things we need to know the most and for the rest of my life until my use-by date I'll be wrestling my brothers death like a crocodile because I have so many unanswered questions it doesn't make sense why he lived, why he left, why I'm still here, what I'm supposed to "do" because life is essentially meaningless we all know that and that's the source of all of our pain but those among us look to create meaning in our lives to make it more bearable. A year ago today I was in Uganda for World Vision. A year later I'm sitting in a half-furnished flat with an overflowing car and no meaning. I mean, I'm not mean. I'm just fucking inherently, filthily sad.

See that photo up the top there? That was the very moment Bono caught my eye in the sea of faces in the crowd of a U2 concert back in Sydney in 2006. I'd waited all day since 6am to claim my place at the very front right up touching the stage. Bono was walking around looking at the people and when he came to me he knelt down and held my hand and sang into my eyes for about twenty seconds. The song was "Love and Peace or Else." The exact words he sang as he and I looked at each other were:

We need love and peace 
Love and peace 
Baby don't fight 
We can talk this thing through 
It's not a big problem 
It's just me and you 
You can call or I'll phone 
The TV is still on 
But the sound is turned down 
And the troops on the ground 
Are about to dig in 
And I wonder where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Love and peace 

At that point he let go of my hand and a stage guy handed him a white blindfold with the words "COEXIST" written on it and he sat at a crudely bare drum blindly banged on it. Blindfolded, he couldn't see, just feel. (My youngest son is learning African drumming with his dad. He drums on everything, He's a drummer now - you just do something and claim it, own it like Eminem says.)

I didn't sing along with Bono even though I knew the words I just let him serenade me and the look on my face I imagine was one of pure bliss, thanks, love .. for this man who means so much to me. The songs of U2 are the soundtrack to my life and Bono is one of the best poets this world will ever know. For twenty seconds he and I looked at each other and he recognised something in me as I stood there on my tippy-toes wearing red patent pointy shoes. Magic happens when you wear red shoes. One hundred thousand people roared behind me but that moment with Bono was one of the most intimate moments of my life. More intimate than any sex I've ever had. Spiritually intimate.

That moment? Was one of the moments I was trying to explain to my brother if you just stay and persevere and live this life.

These moments of pure joy in the Spirit do not happen often but when they do, Cam ... oh my sweetheart when they do they are worth everything. They are worth living for.


Thursday, 19 November 2015

I'm Stupid At Stuff But Clever At Other Stuff.

Remember that time I was in Uganda at the dodgy cafe asking World Vision workers how many equators the world has? And when we were on a boat on this incredible river and somebody said it was the River Nile and I was all WE ARE ON THE RIVER NILE RIGHT NOW ARE YOU SERIOUSLY KIDDING ME and the German tourists looked at me like I was the dumbest idiot in town because when it comes to geography ... well, I am the dumbest idiot in town. (But they continued to look at me so strangely after that I kind of hoped a hippo would eat them them or at least scare them because there were HIPPOS RIGHT THERE IN THE WATER.) In the River Nile. Because we were on the River Nile. Which apparently originated in Africa? I thought it was Egypt. And my friend Lou from World Vision said "Eden, Egypt is part of Africa." EGYPT IS PART OF AFRICA? No way. Mind-blowing.

But see, then we visited a farmers field of crops, beautifully tall crops which I obviously have forgotten the name of but they were as tall as me, all planted and grown and taken care of by local villagers under the care and guidance of World Vision workers who implement all sorts of incredible and sustainable projects that save millions of lives all over the world. On a whim I decided to write and perform a slam poem right there in the hot sun so I did. Scribbled it out, got it filmed on an iPhone, and said it straight off the bat in one take. At the time my close personal friend Joe Hockey was cutting the hell out of foreign aid for his stupid budget and these politicians don't seem to understand that behind every dollar they are "saving" there are real live people depending on projects like the ones World Vision provide.

So I performed this piece. It actually isn't that great, it was rushed and I could have made it a whole lot better if I tried but that's the story of my life. I leave things till the last minute like I'm in year seven and Mr Patrick is so annoyed I haven't handed in my Boer War assignment and Rachel Campbell was sick of me copying all of her work by that point and wouldn't tell me where the Boer War was. I still don't know. Siri is Boer a country?

But I know my words. I've always been good at words. Crap at every single thing in school, getting twenty-six percent on stupid maths tests but I'm good with words. We're all good at something. And when I finished my piece my World Vision homies just said - you wrote that five minutes ago, how did you do that? And I said I didn't know. Jeez it feels good to not only know your talents but to use them.



In all the panic and strife everywhere in the world right now, there's World Vision, a beacon of light, saving lives - every single day.

PS I just had to google "Is Egypt a part of Africa" - it is, but some people say it's a part of Asia, other people say it's part of the Middle East. Ugh. No wonder I'm confused.

You can buy Christmas gifts from World Vision - a goat or a cute little piglet or some school pencils. It helps .. every little bit helps. I've seen it with my own eyes how much it helps .. click here for more deets

PPS Boer is not a country. Just so you know.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Do Shit That Calms Your Soul.

So this morning I'm on my second cheap mocha coffee sachet sitting on my front verandah of the cute cottage I'm about to move out of thinking how tired my body is because I'm sick and also moving house and also all the other things in the world to worry about because it feels like the world's gone to shit. I always think the world's gone to shit but the world's gone to EXTRA shit this week Siri what will become of humanity?

And I'm scrolling listlessly through the news and then Instagram and then Facebook and then my emails and I answered a particular email from a woman who I don't know but she's going through a rough trot and reached out to me because I may not have gone to university but I have a PhD in Rough Trots. With honours. And I answered her and then I wrote this status update on my Facebook page:

"I get contacted by a lot of people who are going through hard times, who are depressed, who are at the point of giving up. I guess because they see me keep going through my hard stuff, keep getting back up again, keep moving forward. It's hard as shit, like, I woke up this morning and thought "ANOTHER day? Didn't we just have one of those yesterday?" Anyway so I emailed back this beautiful women to tell her she's doing really well, that hard times don't last forever, and to do little things that bring joy in the middle of each day. I said "Do shit that calms your soul." So that's what I want to say to anybody who's struggling right now - of which there are many of us, quietly out there. Do shit that calms your soul. You're going to be ok. You will get through this. x"

And then gorgeous comments came through from gorgeous people and I love Facebook for that, I love saying "MY LIFE SUCKS BALLS OMG HOW HARD IS IT WHUT" because it resonates with so many people because a lot of the time, life well and truly sucks balls.

Quick as a flash, a cool chick called Laura made up this pic in like, five seconds after I posted my update:



How fucking cool are people? How true is it to do shit that calms your soul?

Shit that I do that calms my soul includes but are not limited to things like:

1) Blasting the hell out of Foo Fighters on the way to school pickup while mentally preparing for the anxiety-ridden hell that is school pick-up.

2) Arriving unannounced at my friend Naomi's house and sitting on her couch talking non-stop while her beautiful children swirl around us singing, being noisy, breaking things, and fighting. And we just laugh because having children is bullshit. They break everything.

3) Having running races with my seven-year old son in the frozen aisle of the supermarket. I don't know why it's the frozen aisle all the time but it just is.

4) Telling funny stories to my brother out loud because there's nobody else who would appreciate my revoltingly hilarious and obscene funny stories like my brother would. I can still hear his voice in my head. I always will. Sometimes I ask him questions "Hey Cam what's being dead like? Can you believe I have to live another day of this shit? You don't, you bloody turd."

5) Buying banana lollies and strawberries and cream lollies and putting them both in my mouth at the same time. An outrageous taste sensation don't knock it till you've tried it.

6) Forcing myself to go to the library even on bad days where leaving the house is terrifying but when I get to the library it's so soothing because I'm there with Library People. And Library People have this certain element of safety to them.

7) When I've stopped at a traffic light I wait anxiously for the light to turn green and the car next to me doesn't even know we're in a race but we are and I always win because once that light turns green I'm OFF.

8) Calling my close friends and asking them what their vagina's look like, to see if mine is normal. And they describe to me what their vaginas look like because I have awesome friends.

9) Telling my kids to not worry so much about school, that some teachers go on power trips and those teachers aren't the boss of them. I told my son once, "Mate, sometimes you just gotta think - fuck school." Because sometimes kids need to not take school so seriously because fuck school.

10) Do the running man in completely inappropriate situations, mostly in public. I used to care so very much about fitting in and worrying about what people think of me. But really, who cares about doing the running man in public? It's fucking hilarious. And quite frankly, completely necessary.

So there's ten things but there's many, many more. What shit do you do that calms your soul? I believe it's imperative for our survival, we need to show other people and our kids and the hoity toity among us not to be so goddamn serious.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The State of Moving.

I'm moving house. Again! I've moved so many times in my life. Mostly in my twenties, where I'd always find myself in some kind of pickle that I needed to get out of quickly. (Usually very quickly, like, immediately.)

For the past four months I've been staying in my friend Louise's beautiful little cottage secreted near the lake in Wentworth Falls. It's been quiet and healing and beautiful. And so, so sad. I've cried so many tears in this house. I've looked in the mirror and raged. I've cried out to my brother, to God, to something or someone to help me through. I've wondered what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life ... what's to become of me? It's been insidiously painful to separate from my husband, to not be part of the family unit anymore, to witness the pain and confusion in my children eyes. But I had to leave. For a myriad of reasons, I knew I had to leave. Usually it's the man who leaves the family home. In this case, I did. I left the safety and security and jeez Eden wouldn't it have been better if you'd just stayed and not rocked the boat? Being stripped of my role as homemaker and mother and wife .. I've had to face myself and who I am. Who AM I?

I've been alone, which I like. But I've also been the most lonely I've ever felt ever. Being lonely is not always a bad thing, and I finally got used to my aloneness. It's been horrendously necessary.

So this cottage has always been temporary - it's beautiful, I've lit the fire all through winter and bought my own wood in and stacked it and been terrified of the huntsmen spiders who are out to kill me. I made that fire my bitch and I made myself warm - nobody else made me warm. I'm not hiding behind any one or any thing. I have beautiful friends who've listened to me cry down the phone line, so patient and loving and caring. I have beautiful friends. I let them in and they've witnessed my pain and growth and despair and strength.

So, now it's time to move on. I inspected a place and put my application in and was told I had it all in a matter of days - boom. Here's your gorgeous art deco apartment with high ceilings and a beautiful sunroom and renovated kitchen and bathroom and storage space. I have fallen entirely in love. I want to live there forever. It reminds me of a bohemian apartment tucked away in a laneway in the south of France. I have a lot of stuff to do in my new apartment. Big stuff.


It's so new and bright and shiny and waiting just for me. I picked the keys up yesterday and today I'm going to start to move my stuff in. I need some kind of truck situation but I'll bumble my way through like I always do. I'm a great bumbler. I have my entire belongings in a storage facility which I haven't checked once in the past four months. Part of me is scared of looking at all my stuff - I hate stuff. Want to light a match and watch it burn, baby. But my Chesterfield lounge is going to look PERFECT in the living room and I need all my special plates I bought from New York and my spoon collection and the rest of my cowboy boots and framed photos of my kids and all of the clothes I've completely forgotten about. My dresses! I want to wear my dresses again and be surrounded by my special objects like that hand-painted cow skull with the huge horns and my Pulp Fiction poster and the twenty notepads I've been writing in for decades.

All these pieces of me will be all reunited, like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together. I know I won't be lonely in my new place and even if I am I've made friends with my loneliness anyway. I've made friends with a lot of the yucky parts of myself this year. Shone a torch on the dark and murky stuff inside of me. Kept digging into myself like an archaeologist and I've clung on like a barnacle. I think I'm starting to accept and love myself. Do I not deserve to feel ok? I don't want spectacular or incredible or wondrous. Contrary to popular opinion, happiness is not a right. We have to feel all the other things too ... which makes happiness and joy feel so good when they come visit.

I'm even going to hold dinner parties. And force people to play Trivial Pursuit during dessert because I've always loved the hell out of a board game.

I'm still standing. My boys will come for the week on/week off thing that separated parents do. And I'll dig my slow cooker out and make delicious meals again because I forgot I'm a good cook. I forgot a lot of things. It's going to be so nice to introduce myself to myself - hey Eden, this is Eden. And guess what - you ain't that bad after all.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Tonight, You Bel-ong ... To Me.



I keep getting drawn to this clip, over and over again.

The fathers patience as his daughter keeps interrupting .. he's ROCKING the pink ukulele. The little girl's impeccable singing and harmonies. Her voice! It's so gorgeous, and sweet. And innocent. 

Friday, 6 November 2015

No Good Bye.

Today marks two years and twenty-two days since my brother Cameron took his own life. Where he took his life I have no idea. He's gone somewhere I couldn't follow, couldn't drag his hand and heart back from the void.

I was talking to my mother on the phone last night .. we often go through the what-ifs and should-have-dones. Which is entirely fruitless because what's done is done, we can't change what happened. Hindsight is the perfect science. But the people left behind after a loved one suicides .. well we're just scrambling and aching and charred, trying to make sense of the insensible. Understand the inexplicable.

My brother was such a thoughtful, sharp, deliciously quick-witted, capable, beautiful man. Oh he was beautiful! He was alone when he died which breaks my heart into a trillion million tiny pieces. Pieces that keep getting broken again and again until the shards turn to crumbling dust but the dust keeps breaking too because everything broke when he died. I broke. His death broke me .. as it should have. I'd expect nothing less from a love like that.

Death can shake us all up like a snow globe. Cracks and crevices become caverns, too wide to jump over. Too big to ignore. There are layers we're left to unwrap and unravel as we navigate grief in relentless stormy weather on a creaky old boat. With no map - christ not even a rudder. There's no set guide or rulebook. We let the days happen to us. It's shit. It's the absolute shittest of shit of shit. SHIT. #shit

C.S. Lewis once wrote: "Nobody ever told me that grief felt so much like fear." Oh it's true. I witnessed the birth, life and death of a person I love with my whole soul. How can that be? It's all so wrong. And frightening.

Thirteen days ago 24-year old Rhys McNaughton took his own life. His death has shocked and shattered his family and loved ones to the core. It was unexpected, nobody saw it coming. A bolt from beyond the blue. Right now this second there's a whole other family and set of friends and loved ones hurting, keening, in complete shock at the death of their beautiful guy. Rhys was smart, strong, incredibly good-looking. A magnetic personality ... he shone. People clamoured to be near him. He went to uni, was a talented footy player. I never met him - I never will. A close family friend of his reached out to me. We talked on the phone, laughed and cried together. And swore a lot. I listened to the immense pain in her words and heart. How could this happen? What? Why? Where are the answers? Where's the rulebook? WHAT?

It's difficult to talk about suicide, especially navigating the minefield of it on a public forum like this. But our boys are leaving us. Our girls too - but the statistics of young men taking their own lives are huge. What's going on? Why were there no warning signs? How could this happen to a beautiful Soul like Rhys? Did he not have everything society and the world has to offer? What's going on in people's minds and hearts that they see suicide as their only option?

I borrowed a book from North Sydney library when I was in my early twenties. It was called "Suicide: The Forever Decision." I never returned it, and often wonder if the librarians wonder what happened to the person that borrowed that book. I'm still here - scrambling, surviving, fighting. Cam is not here. Rhys is not here.

This is an epidemic. Tragedies are being playing out again and again, every day. Different stories but the same narrative.

Rhys has an incredibly large network of friends who are shocked and bereft and grieving hard, real hard. Often people want to to something meaningful after one of our own has died, to try make some sense of it. I became a spoken-word artist after my brother left, to honour him. I even bought a new set of brown and aqua cowboy boots to perform in - to help keep me going. It worked. We need to keep going.

Every single one of us goes through hard things. Life pulverises us all .. at times I have felt such pain. Surely nobody on the whole planet could ever have felt such pain? But they have. I am not alone in my humanness. Feelings subside, things change, time moves on. We're not stuck in a moment forever. Everything ebbs and flows with the moon. It's going to be ok sweet ones. I promise you! Hold tight, bunker down. Let the waves crash over you. Storms eventually stop and I know this for a FACT. I have lived it. I've felt the darkest black feelings anybody could possibly feel and I'm still here, completely battered but tapping away at my keyboard regardless, shining a bit of light on Rhys.

This is Rhys.

Photo: John Bortolin

His heartbroken friends have rallied and banded together to raise awareness of suicide and depression. To REALLY raise true awareness. Conversations, dialogue, The loss of Rhys has shaken and devastated so many people, right to the core. Young people are looking at each other in bewilderment and shock .. how could this happen? If it happened to Rhys .. it can happen to ANY of us.

His mates, his people, his tribe, they're hurting. And crying and questioning. They've banded together, using all of their social media platforms and voices to speak up, to say: "Look what happened to our friend. How could it be true? What can we do?"

Barely two weeks on they've started a wave of change, conversation, bravery among their pain. We can learn from them. They've taken up the baton and doing things their way, fuelled by the intense pure love they have for Rhys. They want to get the word out. They NEED to. Rhys had such striking features so similar to young celebrity Zac Ephron that his mates affectionately nicknamed him "Zeffa." A letter has been written to Zac. It's beautiful. ".. I'm pretty sure Rhys could make friends with a tree." 



They've set up a fundraising page on the Movember Foundation website.  The Movember campaign happens every year in November, drawing critical attention to the mental health of young men. Rhys's friends "Hotter Than Zac Ephron" page is now the highest fundraising group for Movember in Australia. I'm so proud and in awe of these young people. Please spare some thoughts and possibly a few coins for the family and friends of Rhys. Please share what his mates are doing to honour him, they are so numb and heartbroken from shock and immense loss.

Hotter Than Zac Ephron Movember Fundraising Page. 

We never "get over" the death of people we love .. but we get through. Together. We have to live our lives together.

https://au.movember.com/team/2061121

Monday, 2 November 2015

We Are The Poets.


We're the poets.
the chosen, the fire and the light.
The shadows, the skeletons, day dusk and night.

We're the poets.

                                        With Luka Lesson


The givers, the healers, the seekers of truth.
The gargoyles perched right upon the church roof
We're the poets.




We're the lighthouses,
beacons, grim reapers of love.

We speak sonnets and half verses sent from above.

We're the poets.


                                           With Omar Musa. 



Hail the poet!

Hail the storm.
Hail the stone.
Hail the chief.
Hail the Mary's.
And everything dark underneath.

We're the poets.


                                     With Phil Wilcox




We were sent here to deepen your gaze
To sharpen your senses
Survive insurmountable days
We're the poets.






The 2015 Poetry Slam Olympics presented by Bankstown Poetry Slam


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Ladies, You Don't Have To Smile.

I've been catching trains a lot lately. I like it. My local train station has a makeshift library and you just borrow a book with no card or anything. A few weeks ago I was on the train headed to Sydney airport and a young woman was sitting behind me - really pretty, brunette. Polite. Too polite - WAY too polite. The guy across from me kept looking at her, scoping her out, trying to catch her gaze. Finally he started speaking to her. Saying hi. What's her name. Where does she live. Where was she going. Where does she work.

AND SHE WAS ANSWERING. Because she was polite, and you answer people when they ask you questions, right? Especially when you're a young woman alone on public transport and you're being basically interrogated by an older charming guy.

I grew more uncomfortable in my seat because I used to be the woman sitting behind me. I'd answer all the questions demurely, not wanting to be rude or cause trouble. The one thing a young woman gets told in public more than any other thing is to "smile." I grew up being told to smile. I smiled on demand. I knew the drill. To this day I can produce the biggest most beautiful fake forced smile in a matter of seconds ... blinding in its fabulousness. The dickhead on the train pressed this female on her whereabouts and who she was and I just wanted to stand up and punch him in the head. I could tell she was clearly uncomfortable. JUST as I'd had enough and turned my whole body around to tell her she didn't have to answer this guy's questions, she stood up and walked off.

I noticed it was a long time before the next train station. She'd gotten up and left simply to get away from this fuckwit. He starts sizing me up and I'm thinking please dude, try talking to me. Try it. But he didn't. He started talking to this other guy behind him and soon they were having a really loud conversation about the woman who'd just left, the chicks at work, and how big his dick was.

Seriously this guy started talking about the size of his penis and how every chick he met just wanted a piece of it. His new friend started laughing. I sat there like a stone. There was only the three of us on the whole carriage. I wasn't scared or intimidated just really fucking pissed off.

Because we were sitting on the quiet carriage. You're not supposed to have loud conversations or talk on your phone on the quiet carriage. I just wanted to listen to Sia through my headphones. I always get on the quiet carriage. Because it's quiet. You're not supposed to brag about the size of your dick on the quiet carriage but this guy missed the memo and it was my duty to inform him. Because I'm not a shy quiet polite timid young woman anymore. I'm older, wiser, crankier.

Perched my sunnies on top of my head and looked him straight in the eye.

"Hey dude, we're sitting on the quiet carriage. You're supposed to be quiet on the quiet carriage. Your conversation is really loud and actually it's offensive. And inappropriate."

Both guys were shocked. I wasn't scared but put my cowboyboot feet into a position where I could balance my weight on my back foot if he got up and did something unpredictable. He didn't, he was full of apologies and bluster. Then there was silence. You could hear a pin drop. I have officially entered cranky old woman territory and I do not care. Nobody cares about your big dick, shut the fuck up, stop harassing women who are too young and polite to stand up for themselves. I was so outraged I took a photo of myself outraged.

#outraged

I used to be way too polite. In my early twenties I worked as a barmaid in a succession of dubious establishments, each more shadier then the last. During my tenure as beerwench at one of Penrith's busiest drinking holes, I "made friends with" the entire clientele very quickly. They all loved me. I'd go from one to the other to the other some days and every time I'd take their order they'd ask me if my lips were naturally this red and I'd laugh and say yes. And they'd all laugh too but I wasn't in on the joke? Something felt a bit yucky? During my break I'd get Gus from the bistro to make me a burger and I'd duck upstairs with my schooner and ciggies to play Sonic the Hedgehog for an hour in the manager's bedroom. Kicking life goals right there. After my lunch break the guys would be more drunk and more outrageous. They'd stand there smoking, watching the races on TV, pissing in the trough, pissing their lives away. They'd outdo each other in repulsive witty banter. They asked me if I had a cat. They asked me how old I was when I lost my virginity. They asked me about my red lips again ... one day I realised they weren't talking about the lips on my face. I just smiled.

Ask the nearest woman next to you right now about the times they've been harassed in public. They'd have at least ten examples straight off the bat without thinking. I have hundreds. In year six at grammar school one morning getting off the train (popular harassment place) ..  this old guy looked me up and down in front of everybody and yelled out "I'LL GIVE YA FIVE BUCKS FOR A GOOD ONE." The laughter. Boys in my class would say it to me over and over, in the exact intonation of the old guy. I felt ... flattered? Seen? Embarrassed?

In my time as a female walking the earth I've been shouted at, whistled at, grabbed, fondled, violated. Over the years I've slowly learned how to deal with it and now I do not put up with any of it. And the next time I ever witness a young female get harassed like that I will say something straight away instead of holding my tongue. If I ever see my sons displaying any kind of this behaviour towards women I will grab them by the ear in front of all of their friends and teach them a thing or two about respect. I've already said to my eldest that I want him to be the kind of guy at parties who, when he sees a passed out drunk girl ... and he will ... to be the guy who calls a taxi and makes sure she gets home safe. My brother was that kind of guy. So many guys are that kind of guy. Guys are great. I love guys. I have nothing against them. Just the douchebags among us.

Teenage boys look at my tattoos and get confused because I look old enough to be their mother. (Because I am old enough to be their mother.) I tell all of my friend's daughters that they do not have to smile. They do not have to do a goddamn thing. To stand up for themselves and other people. To take no shit.

The older women get, the more invisible we are in society. Isn't that wonderful?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Cool Story, Bro.



Occasionally I scroll back my Instagram feed to search for this photo.

I'm on fire when I find it, always with the number of weeks shown since I took that snap.

One hundred and ninety weeks ago my bro came up to visit me and we happened to both be happy at the same time. A rare occurrence - look at our smiles! The caption is a reference to one of our favourite movies we watched as kids, Stripes. Hey maybe that's why I love Bill Murray so much. My god Cam had the sparkliest smile in all of Sparkland. He stayed five hours and we talked non-stop like we always did. We talked until I said "Shit I have to pick the boys up from school!" And he laughed. I was never supposed to be together enough to have children but there they are, my two shining lights.

The intense pain that always burns inside of me since Cam's suicide can vary from a hot ember to a blazing furnace. My life took a sharp and jagged turn after he left. Life is ABSURD. I talk to him a lot because I love saying his name out loud. I love it when other people are brave enough to say or write his name to me. Cam was so smart, so fucking funny ... a wit that rivalled no other. He had a huge beautiful sensitive heart. He was kind, respectful, beautiful. He was a sensitive Soul.

Once on holiday in Hawaii Cam was about four years old and caught his reflection in the mirrors in the Royal Hawaiian's fancy hotel room and was fascinated by a long line of himself. "Look." He said in wonder. "Thirty Cameron's!" 

I didn't just lose Cam. I lost all thirty of him. I loved them all equally. He was one of my best friends. I don't write about him much anymore because I can't. Some things just can't be described with just words. Sometimes I feel like I lose him again and again every day and sometimes I realise he was never "mine" to lose and sometimes I'm jealous because he left and I stayed and sometimes My Higher Self is all, "What can you learn from your brother's death, Eden? From his life? How can you turn this around? How can you make it meaningful, worthwhile?"

Because every life has worth and meaning. Surely. (They do, and stop calling me Shirley.)

We are so many people in one. There's a wealth of incarnations of ourselves we can be in this life. I'm so sad he got stuck in a broken one. I'm doing everything I possibly can to honour him and my children by living the very best incarnation of myself I can be.

Because there's thirty Eden's. There's thirty of you, too .. reading this right now. How are all of you?

I'm doing ok. Listening to Sia on repeat, writing articles for money to pay my rent and keep me out of trouble. Going to the library, going to meetings to talk about Spiritual shit that doesn't ordinarily get talked about in society by the "normal people."

When Cam was a baby his bedroom was up from mine and sometimes in the middle of the night his cries would wake me up before they woke our mum up so I would run to him, to put his dummy back in, soothe him and make sure he was ok. I didn't like him being upset or sad or troubled. Maybe if there is an afterlife he keeps running to me. Maybe it's his turn to help .. maybe he doesn't like seeing me or all the other people he loved and left upset or sad or troubled.

That'd be cool, bro. Way cool.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Street Talk: Eden.


What's your earliest memory?

Running around a tree.

Who inspires you?

Dave Grohl, Bono, Maya Angelou, Bukowski, Vonnegut, my mother, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Russell Brand, my friend Megan's dad Geoff, a person I ate salmon risotto with last week, the train guard at Wentworth Falls station who blasts R.E.M. songs through the loudspeaker, my enemies, Jenny Lawson, Heather Spohr, Rumi, Eminem, my brother Cam, people who tell me the truth no matter how hard it is, my friend Kelly, the readers of this website, invisible members of society who nobody notices, huntsmen spiders, my own self.

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

Nineteen.

How old were you when you had your first orgasm?

Fourteen. I discovered orgasms accidentally one weekend while reading a stolen Harold Robbins book. That was a day.

How many dead fathers do you have?

Three but none of them were really a dad. Owie. 

Why do you write?

To connect with other people's Souls.

Why did you purposely run your website into the ground after it gained such notoriety and attention?

Because I wanted to.

Do you collect anything?

Souvenir spoons and cowboy boots. I have about six pairs of cowboy boots all worn according to how I want to feel, for example the red ones I bought in New York make me feel powerful. The Mexican mustard-coloured ones I bought off eBay make me tough and grounded. My brown and aqua pair I've been wearing for the majority of this year .. they're my poetry slamming and also "stay alive" boots. My black boots with white stitching I got from San Diego - I took those ones to Africa with me. They remind me I can do big things. 

Who broke your heart?

So many people. I'm getting to a point where I'm grateful for all of them. The best thing you can do after a broken heart is to open it back up again.

Do you like being 43?

No I fucking hate it, I knew I would hate it as soon as I turned it, it's been a shitty fucked up year and I can't wait to turn 44. When I turn 44, I'm going to have the biggest celebration with spoken-word artists and different bands throughout the night and invite all of the people I love and respect the most and get them to write one anonymous secret about them down and put it in a huge glass jar to be read out intermittently throughout the night. 44 is a master number. My son Max's name adds up to 44 .. I did that on purpose. He's a strong young man. 

Why do you find life so difficult?

Because life is difficult. We all instinctively know this, and we all deal with it in our different ways. Sometimes the mere existing is excruciating and I can only find real relief from a few words from the pages of a special book, or at the edge of the Edge's incredible guitar strings in that one long note opening With or Without You, or realising I had the Tree of Life in my backyard this whole time which is a metaphor like the ruby slippers. Finding healthy and non-destructive ways of dealing with life and my relationships with other people? My biggest goal right now.

What do you do?

A really drunk guy asked me that at a party once when he was trying to crack on to me and I was so pissed off I answered: "Exist. Piss. Shit. Eat. Breathe. What do you do?" He walked away. I prefer to be asked who I am.

What do you have to say to people who heap shame and stigma and blame onto people suffering from mental health issues?

I say, suck a massive dick. Yes I have accepted the label of Bipolar II. I also have huge anxiety, PTSD, compounded grief, incredibly horrific depressive episodes, cumulative trauma, agoraphobia ... and more that I can't remember right now. And when you wrap all of those things up into a big burrito tied with a red bow you can diagnose me with a huge case of AWESOME because I also have enormous spiritual depth, a beautiful and delicate heart, hardcore motherfuckerness, a Soul that no man has ever truly seen, empathy, love, a sadness almost too much to bear, and deep bitterness that I keep trying to shoo out. I'm quite fucking amazing and if you want to use my own shit against myself grab a ticket at the deli counter and sit the fuck down with the other people. It'll be a long wait. Lucky I have a whole host of other beautiful people with rich hearts and souls who got my back.

What's the first joke you ever knew and understood and laughed at?

Why did the orange stop in the middle of the road? Because it ran out of juice.

Why did you cut your own hair off in the middle of the night a few months ago?

Because I was doing a Britney, bitch. I hadn't had my hair cut since my brother died because he would have seen that hair, you know? But hair holds memories and it was time to move along and stand back up again. And again. And again. (And again, etc.)

Do you have anything against flamingoes?

No.

Should you have become a mother?

Look I'm doing my best but I fuck it up. Being a mother has all these expectations of being an all-giving, nurturing, self-sacrificing, gentle, unconditionally-loving, understanding patient generous and pure saint. No-one can do all that, not nobody not no how. But my god I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. 

Are you a feminist?

Yes however I prefer the term "humanist." After my brother's suicide I have realised the patriarchy damages us all. 

What's one of your favourite ever pieces of advice?

Bono says that often the best place to be is right in the middle of a contradiction. 

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully alive. At peace inside my own skin. Writing writing writing, words pouring so thick out of my veins I got ink for blood and a thirst for life marrow that will never be entirely quenched. Wouldn't that be glorious?

Who is your best friend?

Megan Daley. And Mary Canning. These two women did not give up on me this year - they nearly had to. I nearly stepped over the edge. The richness of friendship has finally made its way to me after all these years and I'm so grateful and humbled I also very much like my school-mum friend Naomi C and fellow spoken-word artist Zoe Beaumont. And my sponsor. She found a funnel web spider in her kitchen yesterday and her first instinct was to karate-chop it I mean come on. 

Do you believe in soulmates?

I believe in soul people. I believe that when you align yourself with the Universe, you expand and attract all of the right situations and people at the exact moment you need to. When you're not doing the right shit in life, it just doesn't happen and you get lost. When you walk through the fire and face yourself, magic and joy appear. My brother was my first soul person. Still is ... death cannot take that away from us. I don't know that I believe in the traditional institution of marriage anymore. Not sure exactly what I believe in but it's going to be nice to find out. I want to always remain teachable.

Why don't you go on TV anymore?

Because I don't want to. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Do people hate you?

Fuck yeah. You're not living properly if you're not pissing people off.

Why are people attracted to you?

I got something. Some kind of spark or some shit .. still figuring it out. At this point in my life I'm sitting back and waiting for some people to come forth and illuminate me. I'm tired of doing all the illumination.

Will you win the Australian Poetry Slam Nationals one day?

Fuck yes. I'll keep going back and entering, year after year after year, carving my words out of stone, thinking and feeling and realising and making other people do the same. 26 letters, man. The alphabet only has 26 letters in it. So much to say and read and learn and grow from just twenty-six letters.

Were you born a writer?

Yes. Write on, right on, ride on, right through. Step into this. Keep fucking going motherfuckers stop killing yourselves you're ending your chapters too early and it's making me sad and pissing me off. 

When you go quiet on your blog does it mean you're going through a hard time and you're all fucked up?

God no. Sometimes my most treasured and special moments happen entirely off social media. That's how things should be. 

How can this be a proper Street Talk when clearly you're interviewing yourself?

Don't get saucy with me, BĂ©arnaise.

Anything else you'd like to add?

No. I abhor adding. And subtracting. Fuck maths. I dream in colour and galaxies and worlds of words. Always with the words.

Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago
34. Dog The Dog
35. Julia Gillard The Person
36. Nancy The Badass
37. Bruce From The Psych Ward
38. Jeremy The Costumeless
39. The Women in the Morgue
40. The Lady Whose Name I Didn't Quite Catch.




Tuesday, 13 October 2015

You Took It All, But I'm Still Breathing.

This is my anthem of 2015. God it's been a year .. and it's still going.

Do you have an anthem, to blast in your car over and over so loud your ears hurt so you turn the volume up more? Have you ever had your heart cracked open on jagged rocks in a sea so black and stormy you thought the crashing waves would never, ever stop? Ever been ignored and betrayed to the point of almost losing all faith in human nature? Ever had all of your sins hung out on the washing line for the entire world to see but you can't complain because you're the one who hung them out to begin with?

I read recently that the human heart is the only thing whose worth increases the more it is broken. That's a stupid fucked up quote, why does life have to be so difficult for some of us and not for others, and who wants to buy my heart it's worth a billion dollars?

Ever walked outside at night to take the garbage out and looked up at the night sky to realise there is so much more to this world than you will ever know and you wish you could find out but you don't know how and if we're all so connected why are so many of us so lonely in crowded rooms?

Ever give a stranger money just because they asked for it and you didn't even care what they used the money for you just wanted to give anyway? Ever laid in a fetal position on one side of a king side bed breathless from crying and thinking you could never, ever get up again and convinced yourself that nobody in the whole world could ever feel the intense pain you were feeling right at that moment ... that your pain is unique, that there must be something wrong with you, that you may actually die from the pain?

Ever sent somebody you love so deeply a text because you were so worried about them and they never read your text because they were already in the morgue and their phone would have beeped at the police station?

Ever had a newborn baby placed into your arms and had a full Spiritual transformation in 0.03 of a second and promised to yourself you would love this baby forever and ever and never ever let this baby down and always be there for this baby then suddenly this baby is a teenager and you wonder if they will ever know how much you truly love them?

Ever laughed so hard you wet your pants, just a little bit? Because sometimes people are SO FUNNY and generous and warm and loving and in that moment you laugh so much a little bit of wee escapes as a testament to the pure joy of being in the moment with other people and feeling thoroughly free?

Ever hated someone so much you wanted to kill their dog and burn their house down? Ever roller skated down a hill over and over again with red and white boots lace-up roller-skates and never not once wore a helmet and fell over so many times and always nearly got hit by cars but you loved it because it was so dangerous?

Ever really lived? Ever really lost? Ever moved on? Ever stayed stagnant and wasted your entire existence? Ever got so pissed off at your neighbours green green grass that you spray-painted yours bright pink and threw glitter all over it just for good measure because there are no real rules in life and you can do whatever the hell you want?

Ever been so shy and beat down you could hardly talk but then grew up and stood up and carried more power in your voice and you just wonder shit am I even *allowed* to have this much power in my voice?

Ever wanted to die? Ever looked at freight trains going the opposite way and cried for no reason? Ever read a little boy a book about trying, trying, trying again? Ever looked up at your Angels and said "You better protect him. You owe me." And the Angels let you down so you're all fuck you Angels and the wings you rode in on.

Ever thought nobody in the world could think the things you do, feel the things you do, want the things you want? Did you ever realise we are more alike and wounded and hurt and beautiful than we could ever admit to each other? Ever know what it's like to be a warrior?

This is my anthem of 2015. God, it's been a year. It's still going.





I was born in a thunderstorm 
I grew up overnight 
I played alone .. I'm playing on my own 
I survived 

Hey I wanted everything I never had 
Like the love that comes with light 
I wore envy and I hated that 
But I survived 

I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go 
Where the wind don't change 
And nothing in the ground can ever grow 
No hope, just lies 
And you're taught to cry in your pillow 
But I'll survive 

I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing

I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive

I found solace in the strangest place 
Way in the back of my mind I saw my life in a stranger's face 
And it was mine 

I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go 
Where the wind don't change 
And nothing in the ground can ever grow 
No hope, just lies 
And you're taught to cry in your pillow 
But I survived 

I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing
I'm still breathing

You took it all, but I'm still breathing  
You took it all, but I'm still breathing
You took it all, but I'm still breathing
You took it all, but I'm still breathing

I had made every single mistake 
That you could ever possibly make 
I took and I took and I took what you gave 
But you never noticed that I was in pain 
I knew what I wanted; I went in and got it 

Did all the things that you said that I wouldn't 
I told you that I would never be forgotten 
I know that's part of you 
And I'm still breathing 
I'm still breathing 
I'm still breathing 
I'm still breathing 
I'm alive 

(You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 
(You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 
I'm alive (You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 
(You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 
I'm alive (You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 
(You took it out, but I'm still breathing) 

I'm alive 
I'm alive 
I'm alive
I'm alive

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