Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Revolution Will Still Not Be Televised.

Flicking my way through old entries .. this one was written five years ago. A lot can happen in five years. A lot can't happen in five years. A lot can or cannot happen ain't that the shitfuckupery of it all?

                    artwork by Meek

I believe in small, symbolic revolutionary acts.

Today I was pushing my son in his stroller and saw an old guy coming towards us. I decided to smile at him, you know how the gurus say to smile at a stranger and you both feel good? Well as this dude walked past, I looked at his face, tried to catch his eye but I couldn't catch his eye. Both his eyes were too busy staring at my boobs. It happens ... I'm a female and he has a penis. It startled him when I laughed.

I'll try to lift a strangers spirits again another day. I won't lose hope.

I've stopped numbing myself and started to feel my goddamn pain again. It hurts. It's glorious. I'M ALIVE.

The only thing more important than standing up for yourself is standing up for other people who can't stand up at all. Once I even got arrested for it.

Breaking free from consumerism, attitudes, and expectations is key. Especially routines. Take your kids out for lazy fish and chips at the lake and let them get muddy and stay up late. It's so cool. So not boring.

I turned off the satellite navigation system in my car and was like Luke Skywalker using the force. Took a wrong turn into Chinatown ... it was so vivid and colourful and I vowed to go back for the Chinese New Year Parade next week.

Years ago my counsellor in group therapy listened to me harp on for twenty minutes non-stop. He didn't acknowledge anything that I told him ... just ordered me out into my backyard to plant my feet in the dirt. The whole group laughed and I hated them. It was to teach me to literally get grounded.

It worked.

You either feel the revolution burning in you, or you have a vague unease of something more. It will not be televised, not be televised, not be televised.

Do you want to know a secret? The most revolutionary act you could ever do, in this day and age?

Is tell the truth.

Pass it on.

You will not be able to stay home, brother 
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out 
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip Skip out for beer during commercials 
Because the revolution will not be televised
There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock news

and no pictures of hairy armed women
Liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a whitetornado, white lightning, or white people

You will not have to worry about a germ on your bedroom 
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl 
The revolution will not go better with Coke 
The revolution will not fight the germs that cause bad breath 
The revolution WILL put you in the driver's seat 
The revolution will not be televised WILL not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run brothers 
The revolution will be live

Sunday, 22 January 2017

I Had To Have A Sleepover At My Uncle Stevie's House Last Night Because My Soul Couldn't Make Its Way Home.

My Uncle Stevie hopped on a plane one day in the late seventies and flew to New York because he'd joined the Unification Church which appalled most people around him. He had become a moonie. When the plane landed he soon found himself standing near Madison Square Garden where Black Sabbath happened to be playing .. here's this young man from Cooma looking around at the people in black t-shirts, thinking to himself "what the fuck?" But not a "what the fuck" in a bad way - it was a good way. Because Stevie just accepts wherever he is at any given time and just rolls with it. Talk about big lives. It's safe to live safe lives but when you live a big life you have all these experiences and people and havoc and mayhem and everything. I've always loved Uncle Stevie. He's some kind of mystical creative shaman psychic, walking through life with his soul wide open.

I did a meeting last night in Springwood partly because I was terrified of drinking, mostly because I was so lonely and sad that I just needed to be around people who sit in circles and talk about their real shit. After the meeting I'm sitting in my car looking at my phone, hesitating calling Stevie even though he lived five minutes away. For over a year now he's said "Edie, come down here anytime you need to. Our house is always open." So I called and went over to his house, my bulging problems could hardly fit through the door but I got there, on his couch, talking. Drinking water, crying, laughing. Just sat and sat for hours talking with him, my cousin Ellie and my Aunt Karen. Steve and Karen got married in that huge 5,000 people strong wedding ceremony in New York, matched together by elders of the Unification Church. (MOONIES! MOONIES EVERYWHERE!) That wedding ceremony even made its way back down here to TV screens on the nightly news and when I found out that Stevie was a part of it I thought it was the coolest fucking thing ever.

The last little bit for me here in life has been extraordinarily difficult, traumatic, and to be frank .. I'm quite over continually having to get over every stupid hard thing that happens. Backtracking my steps, searching for the straw that broke the camels back. Watching my stepdad Jim die in hospital in 2012 was the catalyst of the spiral of the catastrophic events that have led me to this very place, right now, splayed on my living room floor writing to you, Computer.

I'm tired.

I'm so fucking tired even my tired is tired. I'm so fucking sad even my sad is sad. Some people don't feel enough, or feel just right .. some of us feel too much. I'm soultired - you ever been that? My fire's gone down to a small smouldering ember.

Last night Stevie gave me a foot massage and meant it. He made me laugh SO HARD .. once he found himself suddenly in charge of captaining a huge fishing boat out of channels near Long Island. So here's standing there last night, re-enacting out his driving motions. "Edie it was like driving a tractor. And I had no fucking idea how to drive a tractor." He reversed that huge boat for about ten or a hundred kilometres down the channel  I forget exactly how many kilometres because numbers - but he just reversed the fucker! It was the only way out. Steve and I know that sometimes the only way out is backwards. Steve doesn't care that he's dyslexic and couldn't read the sea maps and I don't care that I thought the world had two equators. Just the other day Rocco told me that the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. Whut? That means technically the sun doesn't come up in the morning, we tilt ourselves back around to the warmth of the sun.

When he was little my brother used to come into my bedroom and sniff, always said "Your bedroom smells like warm." When he was eight my brothers dad killed himself. When I was eight my brother was born. When my eldest son was eight things got really tough around home. Rocco is now eight. You turn eight on its side and you get infinity suns. I'm so exhausted and I couldn't see any future whatsoever and it's scary but Stevie ended up captaining that boat for two days. By the end of it he drove it like a BOSS and when he finally reached his destination all the people on the dock were waiting for him and all the other fishermen were there too and he just does this huge burnout 3-point turn and parked that huge boat with pizazz like a glove into the mooring. He parked that boat as if he built that boat which he probably could have. EVERYBODY on the piers and in the other boats gave him a huge round of applause.

It's one of the coolest stories I've ever heard and I imagine in that moment Stevie probably felt like Ozzy Osbourne walking out onstage at Madison Square Garden in 1978.

What I'm saying here is that people need people. One night one of my sons crept into our bedroom at night to hop into bed with us. "I just need people."  I'll never forget it, how he said it, his beautiful brown hair. You know how when you're a parent you hope the love you give your kids is enough and will tide them through? We all just need people.

Last night after hours of conversation about astral travelling, UFO's, Trump, driving forty on the freeway, how Catholicism and the Unification Church are both cults, black sheep, secrets and lies, ants eating cockroaches - we all went to bed. My other cousin Morgan is in hospital again so I slept in her bedroom in her single white bed and when I got up took this photo of the sticker on her mirror and text it to her with the caption: "IT'S SCIENCE, BITCHEZ."

Breaking Bad: "To challenge conventions, to defy authority, and to skirt the edges of the law."

Some of us break bread and some of us break bad hey do you think all of us have the capacity to be Walter White? I do. So would Jung.

We're all there at the hospital today sitting on the bed while Karen did Morgie a tarot reading because Morgie really doesn't want to have to go through another surgery and sometimes we just really need help getting answers. I hugged Morgie's purple unicorn pillow cushion for comfort because I'm tired. Morgie had her first surgery at the age of - yes, eight - to remove half of her jaw to get to the cancerous tumour and then they put her jaw back. Now she's fighting Crohns and it just sucks and it's not fair. Hey Morgie reading this right now from hospital I made your bed so it's ready when you get home. I love you, Bone Broth.

Rocco's here this week. Rocco doesn't give a fuck that his mum sometimes has greasy hair. She teaches him how to cut strawberries and cook stirfry with spinach and lays down with him on the floor to play the Marvel game on our phones simultaneously. One of the biggest things a kid needs is undivided attention and proper conversation. Nine years ago at that same hospital I was doing IVF treatment for six months for Rocco to be born into and wasn't the earth tilting towards the sun that day. Rocco doesn't give a fuck his mum doesn't iron. He just wants to kick a soccer ball at the park and swing off his favourite branch and he wants me to watch him.

I'm tired but this morning my Uncle Stevie made french toast with real maple syrup for breakfast and we all ate it al fresco in the front garden. He made coffee the exact way he used to make it for his mum in the kitchen in Cooma when he was a kid.

It was delicious.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

How The Murderous Downstairs Neighbour Made Me Re-evauate My Life.

We're all recovering from something .. you even need to recover from a hangnail. A death. A relationship, a bad meal, abuse, poor bedsheet linen thread counts, loss, zigging when we should have zagged.

Recently the incredibly unbalanced and scary downstairs tenant finally got evicted. He yelled at the real estate people that he was "GOING TO MURDER EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU." Real charmer of a guy - a woman hater, though he didn't mind me because I was very cordial and pleasant to him. He left behind the stench of a thousand hobos, his grubby couch, and a tattered Donald Trump newspaper article stuck to his wall with the headline "Grab them in the pussy." Unfortunately, he also left behind a whole extended family of mice. Who had nothing to gnaw and eat anymore so they scattered and migrated throughout the entire apartment block. One night I'm sitting in my living room and see this tiny face with beady eyes peering out at me from underneath my bookcases full of books that I haven't read.

I can barely tolerate rodents even though when I was a kid I had a pure white mouse as a pet who I named "Whiskers." Naturally Rocco subsequently named our new mouse "Kevin" and we all know that once you name an animal it makes it harder to kill it. 6am one morning Kevin woke me up by crinkling the half-eaten packet of corn chips I'd left next to my bed and when I looked over he's just there, munching away until I said "DUDE!' He scurried off. So I bought mouse traps for 99c. Baited them with peanut butter like the people of Facebook told me to. No dice. I baited them with BBQ Chazoos from Aldi but he just ate the Chazoos. Rocco kept telling me that Kevin *knew* we were trying to kill him, that Kevin was smart. I didn't want to kill Kevin! I wanted to catch him and let him go at Echo Point after declaring him the Winner of the 2017 First Annual Mouse Hunger Games. But Kevin grew bold. And bigger, from all the food.

So we go to the hardware store - the humane catch-and release traps were $59 - no. I'm not even shitting you when I say that the mousetraps on the market are unbelievable. There's electric shock traps, guillotine traps, traps that catch 30 mice at a time ugh. Finally we decided on this one:

                                          The Starship Enterprise of Mousetraps

In the end, Kevin outsmarted us at every turn and I'm sorry to say I've resorted to Ratsak. I KNOW it's a horrible way to die and I felt horrible leaving those pellets in a ceramic green dish underneath my bookcase. The pellets have all been eaten and I imagine Kevin inviting all of his friends up to my flat to share in all of the delicious poisonous Hor D'oeuvres. Or as we like to say in our family "Hoovers Doovers."

No sighting of Kevin since but I had to clean out my entire bookcase, office, paperwork, photos, diaries, ALL OF THE OBJECTS that have been following me around for many years. Going through photos taken over the past fifteen years was as painful and excruciating as it sounds. All the happy days, baby photos, pics of our houses being built, holidays. It took all day, I cried (a lot) .. you know at the end of a big cleanup you just go into a mode where you start chucking everything out? I threw out things I've been holding onto for my whole life. Entire diaries written throughout my twenties, my 80's jewellery boxes. Tore up a lot of photos because fuck some of those memories ... I even threw out my sons first teeth because would they want their first teeth one day? I don't really think so. You ever gone through your stuff and wondered if you got hit by a bus tomorrow and people had to go through your stuff they'd just chuck most of it out anyway because they wouldn't know the significant sentimental value of your things? I am a sentimental person but I need to move on from "the wreckage of our past" as they say. Filled up two huge otto bins of my stuff, all because of Kevin because he'd been crawling over everything and it revolted me.

One thing I found was a letter I wrote to my brother Cam dated June 1999. He was leaving home to go work in my cousins ski-shop in Cooma. Since Cam's death I've often thought about this letter (sentimental ugh) and never knew I kept a copy. Here's some excerpts:

Yeah. The letter went in the bin. It was an interesting read but I didn't even cry over it, for a lot of reasons. Although I am angry at him, this isn't the "anger" stage of grief (I believe there are no clear stages to grief.) There's a sense of clarity about a lot of things that happened before and after Cam took his own life. Hindsight, perspective, blame. Bad judgement calls. Carnage.

ANYWAY. I cleaned out most of the haunting remnants of my past and when we clear shit out like that it makes way for new things to enter and begin. Which is what's happening. And it's good, positive, rich stuff. So thank you to the murderous downstairs neighbour and a huge sorry to Kevin but also a thank you to that mouse for helping me really see that the past is in the past and there's no changing it unless we invent a time machine. I chucked out vases that reminded me of bunches of flowers long decomposed, love letters that will never be written again, shoes that reminded me of where I've walked, SO MANY irrelevant photos. I threw out an entire box of my stuff that I didn't even sort through. Living dangerously but I haven't touched that box in years. Obviously I didn't need what was in that last box.

Or did I? Because finally when bin night came around I pictured all of my things waiting there out on the kerb. Considered creeping outside in the dark and rummaging through the boxes to make sure I really didn't want whatever was in the boxes. But I didn't, and the next day when I heard the creaky garbage truck I thought well, there goes that. It felt good, and like that guy with the awful mis-spelt neck tattoo that regularly makes the rounds on the internet I have "No Ragrets."

New year, new day, new possibilities, new perspectives of looking at things, new parenting, new writing, new friends, new boundaries, new me, new everything. Everything. Except Aldi BBQ Chazoos. I love that shit.

The lyrics from this song have been stuck in my head since the clean-up. Women like Madonna also have no ragrets.

Monday, 9 January 2017

There Is No Failure Here Sweetheart ... Just When You Quit.

Just quickly wanted to say I tried to set my intentions for this year and failed. And I got all this other bunch of stuff going on but if I wrote about it I'd scare the shit out of people because it's literally terrifying and I've done enough damage. Pinpointing the exact moment in your life where you completely and irretrievably fucked things up is as awesome as it sounds! No claret here, just clarity. The biggest fucking christmas miracle since Jesus was me getting through this holiday period, period.

In other news that was a lie up there, I did set my intentions, very calmly out loud but I don't think people are supposed to set intentions the way I intended mine? The fuck am I to say - everything is horrendous and nothing is good? Boring. The other night I walked outside really late and sat down on the stoop, listlessly scanning instagram. The beautiful swirly soul Lou who works for World Vision tagged me in a photo and I was innerested. She and I were in Uganda together and saw some stuff. Then we went on a safari together to help decompress from the stuff we saw. So right at the eleventh hour - literally, five seconds to midnight when all real miracles occur, Lou made me look at this:

It hit me all at once. Haven't spoken or emailed Lou for so long, she hasn't much idea about where I'm at but there it was right at the right time. Just when you give up on the Universe, it displays itself back again tenfold. It's possible the Universe isn't ever allowed to give up on us and this year so far I've been much crying, gold for Australia for the salt water tears. I AM SO SICK OF CRYING. And feeling. Also eating is difficult at this point too but my youngest son has been here with me for a long time now which makes me cook and clean and be motherly and keep giving love, keep giving and reassuring and answering his questions and frank statements. Like my mum would say, no flies on him. The other night I told him he was psychic and straight away he sat up and said "NO I'M THE BIG GUY" because he thought I said "sidekick." He calls his Adams apple his "applesauce." I'll never correct him until one day he'll find out of his own accord and come to me asking why I didn't tell him the proper name. I can't - too cute.

So I guess I'm just fucking owning it. All of it.

The other night AGAIN I was sitting in the same spot outside and realised, nuh. Can't even. Which is putting it mildly. Instagram saved me for the *second* time hey how odd is it that the most simple little things can save you one increment at a time. Pink roses and peonies .. camellias. Pasta bake. A text in time saves nine. One - just the one kind word. One sentence from one person in one meeting.

Not to put anybody off or anything but it was a U2 song that played through my telephonic communication device which wafted through the air at midnight while my son slept soundly telling me the next day all about his dreams. I've always asked my children what they dream about - it's important.

I'd completely forgotten about Miracle Drug. The lyrics don't mention once what the miracle drug actually is but obviously they have to be talking about love - the most powerful drug of all.

And the exact moment of the exact bit that came on right then was "There is no failure here sweetheart - just when you quit."

Wonder how many lives music and lyrics and words have saved? Probably millions. Or as Rocco would say .... QUADRILLIONS. I watched the clip in full where Bono bangs on about falling in love with Chicago back when he was a young Irish lad of 24 years sitting in a hotel room, discovering the music of Miles Davis for the first time. I keep forgetting that we all need to draw our strength from somewhere - anywhere, especially just when we quit. The extraordinary thing apart from me remembering and singing every single lyric of this song was when Bono paused and spoke. "We don't really look back that much in our music. We don't look at the past. The best bits of the past .. we try to bring with us. And they're our songs - our best songs. The best bits of the past and we'll take them with us. Because we're interested, and we're excited and we have faith .. in the future. Because that's where we're headed."

Currently trapped in my past - it's a dangerous place to be trapped in because it's not the past anymore and replaying all the bad shit will not get me anywhere. Hard to look forward to the future when it feels like I don't have one but as my current least-favourite inspirational quote goes: "It is what it is" I mean obviously it is what it is because if it wasn't it wouldn't be what it was?

I think too much.

Shout-out to music for saving quadrillions.

"I want to trip inside your head 
Spend the day there 
To hear the things you haven't said 
And see what you might see  
I want to hear you when you call 
Do you feel anything at all? 

I want to see your thoughts take shape 
and walk right out 
Freedom has a scent 
Like the top of a newborn baby's head 
The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile I've seen enough, 
I'm not giving up 
on a miracle drug 

Of science and the human heart 
There is no limit 
There is no failure here, sweetheart 
Just when you quit 
I am you and you are mine 
Love makes nonsense of space and time, 
will disappear 
Love and logic keep us clear 
Reason is on our side, love 

The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile 
I've had enough of romantic love 
I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up 
For a miracle, a miracle drug, a miracle drug 

God, I need your help tonight 
Beneath the noise, 
below the din I hear your voice, 
it's whispering 
In science and in medicine 
"I was a stranger, you took me in" 
The songs are in your eyes 
I see them when you smile 
I've had enough of romantic love 
Yeah, I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up 
For a miracle, miracle drug 
Miracle, miracle drug."

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