Thursday, 29 December 2016

At This Point I Should Write A Country And Western Song Titled "Waiting For The Meds To Kick In."

Hey I keep writing facebook status updates about where I'm at but for those of you who don't do facebook (good on you, by the way .. I call it "the necessary evil) then you don't read what I say there so here's my Facebook status update of this morning. But before I copy and paste it I need to tell you something:

This year I had to put a PayPal button on this site, whereupon I promised to write a memoir of sorts. I started, and it was going ok, and THANK YOU for paying my rent when I couldn't pay my rent. I'm not dissing anybody, but I couldn't pay my rent and was terrified. But then my PayPal account got subpoenaed to prove my "earnings" and I shat myself because the money was paying my rent so I took the PayPal button off, thanked as many people as I could via email addresses, and then unpublished all posts about my memoir of sorts because seriously. Then I started selling random shit around my house to pay my rent, then I depended on friends to help pay my rent, and I can't get a flatmate to help pay my rent because Rocco needs his own bedroom here to know that he has his own bedroom here. I thought about setting up an Air'BnB here but I can't because I'm renting and I'd get into trouble. It's terrifying not knowing how to pay your rent fyi but somehow I've managed to and things are looking up. So to all the people I promised the memoir of sorts to ... patience is a virtue and if I die with a half-written memoir inside me then somebody else would have to finish it and just make shit up but nobody can make the shit up because the shit is so outrageous and awful and funny and dark that you just can't make that shit up.

I've not written many entries here this year sometimes because I have nothing to say but mostly because I have everything to say and had to pull out, we've hit an artery. Fascinating to go back and read some of my old entries from years ago CLEARLY WRITTEN WHILE BEING INCREDIBLY MENTALLY UNWELL but not knowing it at the time. Frankly it was some of my best work. Also cringeworthy and embarrassing. To write here like I did before would be proof of .. craziness. And I'm so very tired of being the crazy one but I always have been, even while fully-functioning.

I have more readers here than ever before, I've never gone out of my way to attract readers, I've never asked to be internet-known, and I definitely have never blogged for comments. All I've done is cut pieces of my bloodied heart out and given them away freely. Doctors will tell you hearts don't grow back but they do. I've changed, I've evolved, gotten better, gotten worse, gotten worn down lied about rumours galore blah. To many people's surprise, I am still here on planet earth breathing oxygen so maybe don't kick a person when they're down because they might get back up again and make you feel - surprised? Bad? Scared?

I got my last post to publish here tomorrow, the last entry here for the year. Next week will be 2017. Rocco told me that humans won't exist for much longer "because of what we're doing to the planet." Rocco tells me a lot of things. Listen to kids, they're extraordinary. Told him the other day that I don't want him to grow up and please let me be in his life when he's a man. His reply: "I promise I won't grow up if you play a game of Cluedo with me right now."

Life is a game of Cluedo WHO IS RESPONSIBLE AND WHAT ARE THE RULES.

Here's what I wrote on facebook today. Maybe the most fucked among us are the most intelligent because a lot of the time we see how hard life and the world truly is? Maybe I'm wrong. There's no instagram filter for reality. But Rocco if you ever read this in the future - then humans still existed for a while, sweet guy! And I need to give you more hope for the future which I can do now because I have more hope for the future.

I just opened facebook to see who was dead today. This morning I literally leapt out of bed to take my meds. My brain tells me I'm a piece of shit constantly but these days I reprogram my synapses. Brains are apparently computers that need a constant cowboy reboot. An article this morning says: "Some of Carrie Fishers friends doubted she was ever truly clean and sober because she got doctors prescriptions to treat her bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety." OH REALLY TELL ME MORE ABOUT THINGS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. My brain health bonanzas have affected every single person in my life. Negatively. So here's my face right now waiting for the Lamotrigine to kick in but you can't see the demons because they hide and trick. Undiagnosed and unknown stuff led my brother to suicide but it was the stigma that pushed him over the edge. I call for the hashtag #breakingbadstigma .. if you're inclined, post a pic below of your face or big toe using this hashtag. Carrie Fisher has left very big shoes to fill. The last bastion of all the awareness about mental health and suicidality is the nitty gritty of the grit of saying how we feel. I feel shit and messed up and misunderstood but my mum gets it now, so does my uncle, my aunt, some cousins, my good friends. Mental bonanzas are not a moral failing - but piling shit upon those who deal with them daily? That's a moral failing.




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Which Bit?

Most people appear to be naming 2016 as the worst year ever but I don't actually think so. Well I guess I do because for the past five years at least I've been calling that year the worst year ever but I don't want to do that anymore. A year's just a year .. the new year is approaching but every morning of all days is a new year really. A lot of people died this year, not just famous incredible musicians who reached the heights of their talent .. a whole bunch of other people died too. Millions? Maybe, who knows the exact number. People die - it's a thing. Death is coming to us all, eventually inevitably.

People die with lives half-lived, half-finished, not ready, it's not fair. People die with a mountain of dirty clothes that'll never be washed, cups of tea undrank, photos not put in albums, cheesy crust pizzas uneaten, chess games half-played. People die with amends to make that'll never be made, relationships soured, browser histories undeleted. People die with things they still wanted to do, places they still wanted to see, children they'll never get to watch grow into adults. Life can be unfair, death can be more unfair, then there's all the unfair stuff in-between. A LOT of people die from boats sinking while fleeing wartorn countries they never wanted to flee but had no choice.

I heard a story this year about a woman and her adult daughter walking into a cafe loudly arguing. Sat down and ordered their lunch, their lunch was served but never eaten because the mother collapsed and had a heart attack and died on the fucking floor of the cafe with the daughter laying down on the floor next to her mum screaming, "No, mum I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! Don't die!" But the mother died in spite of the paramedics efforts. That's shit. I don't want to die while I still have unresolved conflict and bitterness with people because the end is the end, no time for forgiveness or grace or stuff we needed to say while we can still say it. People are going to die all around the world today, casually picking up car keys, quick pecks on cheeks, cars ending in mangled messes.

As for the global unrest .. hasn't the globe always been unrested or are we just more aware of it now? The globe needs rest, the warmongers need to stop, people in power need to come back from the Dark Side of the Force. It's said true charismatic leaders only come round once in a hundred years (JFK, Martin Luther, Gandhi, et al.) The hell will happen to earth next, with ignorant people in control? Dunno ... but like I said to the Australian CEO of Greenpeace, we have to start taking our beliefs to the streets and risk getting arrested for the things we passionately believe in and KNOW are wrong. Wise women crones started the whole Standing Rock DAPL protest movement and a whole bunch of people are still there in freezing snow conditions, refusing to budge like the Zax. The pipeline stopped being built 48 hours after US Army veterans arrived and joined the protest because governments shit themselves when the military get involved in protests against the government why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE POWER OF PEOPLE POWER. In democratic countries, WE'RE the bosses of the government .. they are our employees meant to do the right thing. Not everybody does the right thing. Nobody does the right thing all the time it's impossible but at any time we can choose to do things differently. (Choose Life, oh George!)

So, I'm determined to think my way out of negative shit, keep going forward, and not die with things unsaid, unfelt, unwritten inside of me. Because THAT'S a big shame. This christmas two days ago was the actual worst christmas of my entire life, even worse than the christmas of 1988 in a shit holiday house with a literal shit septic tank, all of us in shock after the suicide of my stepdad two weeks beforehand. Things were heated and just yuck, and there was a broken little 8-year old boy pining for the loss of his dad. Pretty sure us four siblings went out into the water of the beach together for ages, laughing like maniacs over stupid stuff. Pretty sure that happened, can't remember. I've a habit of re-writing history according to my version of how things went down. Maybe we all do.

I yelled at my grandmother once in the middle of one night this year, she passed away years ago and I've never been angry at her in my life but I was SO ANGRY. It's been The Year of Living Angrily. It took me a few months to apologise to her and at this point I don't know if I was apologising to thin air because these days I don't know my beliefs about the afterlife anymore. Is dead dead or is dead still life? Sometimes when I'm out I count how many guys remind me of my brother, just count in my head, not crying or even sad just count. "One, two, three." One day I got up to five and I was just, REALLY, DAY? But I don't dwell or wail about him anymore. My sons deserve my energy and love and a balanced healthy mother and how will they know if I don't do that and they don't see that? Worst thing about not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season is not drinking myself to oblivion this holiday season. Because oblivion doesn't last and I'd wake up with all my problems again but magnified tenfold and I'm really over feeling ashamed of myself. I'm over my sorries now. You can say sorry till the cows come home and the birds come back but unless we change our behaviour, then it's not a proper sorry.


I love this pic but not in a hateful angry way to the world or people. I'm giving the finger to myself and my mire pile of bullshit and self-loathing. (And oh. I. Have. Been. An. Arsehole.) What's the point of waiting for other peoples karma to hit them? What's the point of pointing fingers anymore? Not my business, circus, monkeys, or bullshit. There will never be closure about stuff unless I close my own door and white sage my own soul and make my bedroom pretty by getting some cheap bedside tables and hanging up nice paintings. Move on, let things go (LIKE, REALLY HARD THINGS TO LET GO OF) - clears out space for the good stuff. Good stuff is coming, through my grit and through the universe aligning and seeing me trying.

After their uncle died I told my boys over and over, probably a bit hysterically "NEVER GIVE UP." Rocco thinks it's "Never forgive up" and I can't correct him ever. (How beautiful is it when your kids say the wrong wording but you know what they mean anyway?) I never corrected his brother when he called his heart his "love heart." Beeping, instead of beating - seriously how much do our beating hearts withstand a beating? You can't beat something's that already beating. You can't fight fire with fire when you are the fire.

So many people have asked me how I'm going this year and my answer has always been the same. "Which bit?"

So yeah, bring on 2017 but more people will die, more governments will be shit, more atrocities will be committed but more babies will be born, more animals will be saved, and more truckers keep on truckin'. So bring it and this time I'm not going to wing it I'm going to live deliberately and keep making a difference in my small pocket of the world because there is such thing as a ripple effect, no matter how small or invisible it may seem. We think we have time but we don't, we don't know hardly anything really. Like John Darnielle says .. "When people want you to quit, stand there in bright colours and just wait there to be hit. Maybe spit some blood at the camera - just stay alive."

You know why Sia doesn't show her face? Google it - her reasons are fascinating. And she hides her face but how much does she show of herself anyway. A lot.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

"Mum, now I get it."


Jumping with his shoelaces untied - this guy has been living dangerously since he was born.

"LANDED ON A MOONROCK!!!"



We've recently discovered the lamest of lame free online two-player games. Our favourite is "Bad Ice Cream 3" and when either of us dies our ice cream just deflates and up on screen, the words flashing "You have just had a meltdown." 

I may have recently ignited in him his life-long love for Eminen, sealed when I found the t-shirt I bought at Em's concert five years ago when we took his big brother for his birthday.


The other day he turns to me in the car and said "Mum at least you weren't as bad as Eminem's mum" which I didn't really know how to take. Do I agree, or do I tell him Eminem has forgiven his mum, that she did the best she could, that mothering is all relative? I just laughed and said thank you.


Rocco is in LOVE with his second-cousin, Logan. Logie calls him Dodo, sometimes they have sleepovers together at my cousin Rini's house where when anybody farts, we all laugh.



Straight after his soccer presentation one day he asked me to teach him how to cook but only he can choose the ingredients which has made for some interesting meals. This was a sausage, egg, vegetable curry stir-fry which didn't taste half bad .. he wore his medal to bed that night, this guy could kick a soccer ball like a champ since he was 18 months old. I wrote out the recipe instructions on a piece of A4 to take to his dads house and cook it again there.


He often writes me letters and hides them before he leaves, tells me that when I find them I don't have to miss him so much. (We miss each other so much but we're getting used to it.)

When I put him to bed at night he asks me to lay down next to him and just talk. So we talk and talk and talk - about everything he wants to. He asks me so many questions and I answer them all. He tells me that he loves talking to me. He tells me his dreams, new thinks he thinks, who his girlfriend is (but DON'T tell anyone mum) ... he says he tells me things he doesn't tell anybody else. I tell him he has the most incredible imagination and heart ever and I'm so, SO proud of him.

Just then we were jumping over the pavement cracks on the way back from the post office and when I drew him in close for a hug, he hugged me back more, said "Mum, now I get it." 

I said "What do you get, mate?"

"Now I get why you always want to hug me so much. Because right then I wanted to hug you at the exact same time. Love you so much. I'm going to have a really fun christmas but I promise to call you and see you when I get back."

Told him "Sweetheart, I'll be right here. I'm not going anywhere."

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

UGHHHHHH. Fuck. I hold back, don't write this, don't write that. Used as evidence, stay balanced and cool.

Sometimes I can't. Have had a recent slew of messages from people thanking me for writing about my brain/heart/spirit. Which is nothing new but UGH. All going through our lives. I was whining on the phone to someone tonight about being hardly done by and they started into shit about being grateful/thankful/appreciative. Which I am, truly. But I just said "Dude, live in my skin. Feel my feelings. Have my experiences. I've been to the furthest reaches of the actual literal world which I think about a lot but sometimes .. shit's just hard." Then this person says "Hang on a minute I gotta buy a white magnum." And left me hanging on the phone while a white magnum was bought at a service station and I thought - hilarious. Seriously. Mental breakdowns happen legit weekly for me but sometimes you need to wait for somebody to buy a white magnum before they come back and start talking to you again. Like waiting on hold for a mental health team that is useless except a white magnum buyer is better.

ANYWAY here's a song that I'm listening to. What are you listening to? Please tell me, I'll be embarrassed if you don't. My comments are back on on on. A year and a half ago I went through a horrendous psychotic breakdown when I thought Dave Grohl was God and his book This Is a Call was the bible. Don't judge. I'm better. I am not that anymore. (But seriously how good is Dave Grohl.)

Anyway here's to somebody getting the best of us. Here's to music as therapy. Here's to music keeping us afloat. Here's to #stillhere.

FUCK.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Poetry, For Sale.


Really. I've written real poems for you. On parchment, all original, each one signed by me. Messy handwriting, limited edition, with pretty ribbons. Shining true words .. no swearing but fuelled with heartfire, love. Truths. A gift for you. Maybe one of your friends. Somebody you don't know very well - anybody. Everybody.

Last week I stood in Katoomba Post Office carefully mailing some out. Very carefully .. these are my wordbabies. Actually sealed with a kiss. Some have inkstains (sorry) .. one had tearstains. Heartstains, lovestains, truthstains, bloodstains. (Have had a few requests for swearing, who am I to argue with the odd well-placed f-bomb?)

$30 each. All posted from the Blue Mountains straight to you. My words are all I have and I'd love to share them, now more than ever. You can email me at edenriley@gmail.com đź’›


"One of the most marvellous things about poetry is that it's useless. It's useless .. 'what use is poetry?' People occasionally ask in the butcher shop. They come up to me and they say 'What use is poetry?' And the answer is no use, but it doesn't mean to say it's without value. It's without use, but it has value. It has - it is valuable. It's the first thing, the first people that dictators try to get rid of are the poets, and the artists, and the novelists, and the playwrights. They burn their books. They're terrified of what poetry can do." - Michael Longley


Monday, 5 December 2016

Walk. And Walk. And Walk. (And Walk.)

Yesterday in my brain: Fucking loser from loserville. You're a loser doing nothing.
Yesterday in my heart: Will I always be this broked.
Yesterday in my Soul: Oh sweetheart what to do but keep getting through? What to do?

Decided to ignore everything but my Soul. Put my sneakers on, get the hell out of my house. Go for a long long walk. Tourists travel from all over the world to see the beautiful sights that are just down the road from me.

As soon as I got outside my front door (didn't lock it, couldn't find my key, got nothing to steal anyway) .. I came across this bunch of stuff in boxes in the landing that one of my neighbours Gary put there. LAUGHED when I saw this random pamphlet on top.


EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER YOU GUYS! Therefore everybody hates a loser? Conundrum.

Started walking. And walking .. and walking. No running, cannot commit to that right now but jeez I walked. Listened to Sia over and over again in my headphones which for some reason made me CRY. Sick of goddamn crying so I started flicking through my playlist. EVERY time a song came on it remained me of a person or a memory or a sad hard thing. Walking down near the multitude of tourists by then and did not care how I appeared as I said out loud to each rejected song .. "NUH." "NO." "FUCK THIS ONE." Every song that came on was annoying! You know how sometimes you need a whole new bunch of songs?

Hitting the Three Sisters (not literally, couldn't reach) .. I was judging the people and their selfie sticks, full backpacks equipped with practical things like mosquito repellant, bottles of water. I just had a hat, headphones and sneakers and hadn't even locked my front door. There was only one option at that point - Eminem. And I felt it all rising up, the energy of the anger and the force of the words hitting headphones like punches and I felt BETTER you know why?

It feels much, much, better to feel angry than hurt.

My angry anger all these years has masked all the things I do not want to feel. Anger is easy. Feeling your pain sad loneliness lies regret - THAT shit is hard. Over six months on the straight and narrow and boyo boy am I feeling and I do not like it. So thanks Slim, for helping me stomp my sneakers to the goddamn lookout and admire the wonderful breathtaking view right near my house. Obviously I took a photo (angrily) because these days how do we know where we've been or what we've done without taking a photo? Prefer it back in the olden days when we just experienced our experiences and committed them to memory.


Yeah so that's pretty I mean I've even got some tree in the pic to frame it nicely and how cool are cloud shadows. As I snapped this Whatever I Am was blasting my ears so loud the two French guys next to me visibly startled and my head was so mean - go spray your mozzie spray and leave me be you guys. Walked back on the trail past two young Asian girls - one of them was wearing silver sandals with high heels I mean come on. Really? Who does that.

And then .. then, back at Echo Point to start my incline home I happened to swat a fly just as the cutest little boy walked past and he mistook my swat for wave. And he waved back, his face broke in a huge beautiful smile. So I waved back to his wave back because my first wave wasn't a real wave it was a swat but this time, after seeing his shining face, I meant my wave.

Wave at kids, Eden. Stop being an arsehole. My whole mindset changed. We judge other people to make ourselves feel better, probably because we're judging ourselves the most.


Walked less stompy up the big hill thinking about things. Not being able to make other people change, act differently, or even love us - no matter how hard we try! No matter even that. Acceptance why you so painful. (It's painful because it's so hard to do.)


Ok so THEN I saw a Wanked Campervan looming in garish hues before me up the hill and I just thought oh no no no please do not be an awful one. People know how I feel about these vans, how I've vandalised them, how revolting the slogans usually are: "Blowjobs - the only way to shut a woman up." "I can already imagine the gaffer tape around your mouth." "Inside every little princess is a slut wanting to try it just once." "Make the world a better place, shoot a gay."

Yeah. Oh dear lord if this van was a truly horribly offensive van I knew I'd most likely grab a stick and hammer it until dents appeared because I just wasn't in the mood. And I can't do that I'll get in trouble, big trouble. It was just this slogan. Stupid, lame slogan. But one day .. one day these vans will begone. I've chosen this particular battle to keep fighting, even though others say "What's the point? Stop putting energy into it, they're harmless." No they're not.

We don't choose our wars we choose to keep fighting, whatever the fight might be. And we can't win them all hey maybe losing is winning anyway. Or maybe sometimes there's no winners.

Anyway so here's a sweaty unfiltered face .. people these days take sweaty selfies to prove they've done exercise?


By the time I got home after a two-hour stomp feelings walk I FELT BETTER. Hey I don't want to alarm anybody but there's a LOT to be said for walking, yoga, pilates, all that shit. Moving our bodies and getting out there in the world to change our mindsets and achy hips and belittling brains, broken hearts, and sad Souls.

I'm going to keep this shit up because I told myself I'm going to keep this shit up. Apparently the human body should be made to sweat at least twice a day so I need discipline, chutzpah, determination and just not think, not listen to head, get out there do whatever work needs to be done.

Nobody can do that for us. It's not their job.


It's hard, to stop dwelling and living in the past. Our past is just a story. So the end of this particular story is that I had a shower and stretched out on my living room floor where I live, nobody had broken into my house there's nothing to steal when I'm not there. When I am there? There's a host, a plethora of things to steal from inside us, thing is, nobody gets to do that without our consent. Therefore I rescind the invitation to all vampires from my house.


Zipped up my backbone, put myself back together again, chucked a few pretty flowers and even prettier weeds in there for good measure. DECIDED to just live hope and love and gentleness. I've done it before. I can do it again and so can goddamn you. Yesterday? Yesterday is gone.

It's gone. Feet forward. Move forward. Write forward - craft forward cook forward forgive forward work forward hell even fuck forward - ANYTHING. Because it's time to forget yesterday. Yesterday has already forgotten us.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Fifteen.

This was never written to be a song but it turned into one - a timeless one, the kind of song you want your sons to hear. Written by Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune in the 90's.

"Accept certain, inalienable truths. Enjoy the power, and beauty .. of your youth. Sometimes you're ahead .. sometimes you're behind. The race is long. But in the end .. it's only but yourself. Don't worry about the future."

Sunscreen.





(Comments off. But how beautiful are Sagittarians.)

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