Friday, February 29, 2008
And then it just gets silly.
He: Did your friend'sß book turn up? (referring to the book I won on Ebay)
He: She's got that slightly ....
Me: Staring-eyed crazed look?
He: *ignoring* ... "I have a butterfly on my shoulder" look.
Me: Oh. That. (then defensively) Not everybody is morbidly fearful of moths and butterflies you know.
He: Seriously, what will you do if you turn up to do the front cover of your book and they say to you *mock airy-pompous stylist voice* "Ok, now we want you to stand .. in this field .. with the wind blowing your hair and .. just let the butterflies flutter around and one will land on your shoulder..." You'll freak out won't you?
Me: You mock.
He: In jest!
I like his faith that we're talking book cover photography already.
ß we have code, Steve and I. A "friend" could be anything from chocolate to Gloria to anything I am either remotely addictive about, have a current fetish for, talk about a lot or immerse myself in. I have cheese friends, wine friends, iced coffee friends... you get the picture.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
When I asked a bit more of Judy, she explained that this little girl (let's call her Molly) went up to the LGBB and was stroking her face and gently rubbing her back. Really intently staring at her and all. I asked if Lolly seemed okay with that and Judy, aware that Lol isn't really a kid who enjoys having anyone so close and "all up in her personal space", said "No, she did really well, she sat there smiling at her and let her treat her like a bit of a dolly." That's nice, I thought.
Apparently, Molly is a known eye gouger. She doesn't do it with any malice but she does hate kids and others touching her. For all intents and purposes, it sounds like she gets one in before anyone else gets a chance first. So the story goes, she endured heart surgeries as a baby and it is believed this is a by-product of being so poked and prodded. Fair enough.
I was already pretty gobsmacked by this point. Both that she was so gentle with Lolly (and apparently they've not seen her behave as caringly like this with any of the other kids) and also that she had heart surgery. Then Judy dropped the clanger.
"She looks so much like Lolly!" she said. "They could pass for sisters, you should see her." I wished I could have, but Molly had already gone home.
And I don't know, it just sent little positive shivers up my back. Not that this was any "sign" or anything from Ella as such (apart from the obvious parallels, like the similarity in age and features.... and heart defect... ok, so there were a few things), but more that they both just sort of apparently connected with each other and were 'allowing' the other to be in their personal space. I don't know Molly and whether this is usual for her - it sounds as if it's not, not yet - but I do know my girl and she ain't too keen with people getting all on top of her like that. Not at all.
I think they gave each other something positive. As if it was a way of them sort of both saying, unspoken, that not everybody (or every baby or child) is out to hurt and not everybody is necessarily going to push you around. Topping it all off, of course, is that this little girl has a congenital heart defect in common with our family, though most likely not the same one (that's not what I'm saying). And this is something I did used to wonder and still do sometimes, imagining what life would be like with our busy 4 year old here, watching her nearing the time when it was apparent she needed to get her artery replaced again because she'd outgrown it, how all of that would have affected the LGBB and how different she would be as a person now, with her sister's influence here in the flesh - had Ella lived and had to keep going back for more surgeries as she grew older (for they would be required life-long, we were warned). All this is not even to mention the alleged family likeness of this little Molly. That was just the icing on the freaky cake.
It's all very oooh! Wow-ish, to me. I feel blessed for the little reminder, almost like a pick-me-up.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Anywho, I interrupted myself.
I have waited all morning for the 'right' moment to boil the kettle and grab a coffee. After two nappy changes, organising all the assorted pills and pain-killers for the two dogs, drawing with the LGBB, attempting to ignore her drawing on the table, wrestling her 15 legs and 28 arms into some clothes, doing the dishes, throwing ball to the dogs, tidying (fat chance that'll stay like that, what was I thinking at 8 o'clock in the morning! tut tut), managing a shower and partially drying my hair, finally I siezed the moment to make the coffee.
The sound of that top sliiiiiiding its way to the bottom of the thermal plunger - a present from Steve for my 30th and quite possibly one of only about four inanimate objects I would take from this house if it were on fire - is one of the most joyous in life, to me. Alongside the LGBB cackling gleefully. Grabbing a mug and going to fridge is the next step. I put a dash of milk in and then top up with the coffee.
But *gasp!* there was no milk. I was supposed to go and get some today, I knew that last night as I was going to sleep. 'Don't make your coffee in the morning, you need to take Lol and get the milk first'. I'd forgotten. NOOOOO!!!
Not wanting to let the coffee or the moment go to waste, I frantically searched the shelves. And then, my eyes landed on the can of whipped cream. Dare I? Hell yeah!
It's delicious. It's possibly my entire intake of calories for the day. But it is delish. I think once Steve sees this post, he will have no option but arrange a meeting with my closest friends and a trained professional to take me away to Camp Decaffeinated for some cold turkey treatment.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
That is all.
As you were.
It seems the LGBB has a song stuck in her head this week. But, as often happens - most annoyingly for the person in whose head the said song is stuck - she only sings the first and last lines. Over and over, during the course of her day.
Since the weekend, we've most often heard this little sing-song voice going "Tap-tap-tapping ... ayong" and if we're doing a bit of assisted hand-held walking, we get "I'm walking in tha citee". It's a song from one of her Play School cd's (and various ep's on the show itself) and apparently, right now she's loving it. Either that, or she's hating it but just cannot get it out of her head.
I am also getting the question, "What happened?" a lot. Like... to everything slightly amiss. A noise outside: "Uh oh... what happened?" I turn the tv off: "What happened?" Or I don't turn it on fast enough: "Uh oh.... whoops.... What happened?"
Yesterday, she crawled over the section of floor where we're up to laying the floorboards (and I say "we" like I helped...) and there's an angled groove down to the subfloor. She's been over it, back and forth, obviously for weeks now. But all of a sudden, she wants to know - "What happened? Uh oh... what happened?" Perhaps it's a precursor to the inevitable "Why?" which I am bound to get someday as well.
We are also entertained daily by a recital of One to Ten, Lolly-style. This involves her racing from one through to eight, then dragging out the niiiiiiine, before a pause for suspenseful effect (cue us stopping what we're doing and turning around to see if she's actually going to say ten and being met with an impish grin) and then a celebratory "TIN!" She then announces she's cheeky ("I cheee-keeee"), applauds herself and starts counting again.
From somewhere, she has also begun to recite the alphabet. Every fourth or fifth letter. The tune could not be easier, for it is Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa (whatever the PC colour is these days) Sheep and probably a few others. Speaking of, the LGBB loves banging out a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star "hah I won-ter wha' oo ahhhh, upp-a buh tha world so hiiiiigh, li-ttle di-mond in her skyyyy". To which Mummy and/or Daddy become puddles of mush on the floor.
At bath time, she has begun to simulate washing hands under a tap. Except she does this in a little bath bucket of water, repeating that she is washing her hands over and over, really working on getting the word "washing" right. "Wah-tsing hands? Wah-shing hants?" Did I mention she does it over and over? And ... OVER?? Then every so often she slips in a "Thass what you do." Who knows where she gets that from, because I sure as heck don't think I say "Washing hands, that's what you do." Must listen to Play School more carefully because she doesn't watch anything else (and barely watches that anymore, just too much to do and so little time for a busy little girl to be watching static telly).
High on her current agenda is also naming her "friends". Right now, these include her Nanna and Pa, her uncle ("Timmeeee!"), her cousin Mia - whom she only really knows by way of a skilfully put together dvd by my brother, of his two girls and the family on their visit out to Aust. last year - and the "kids" (nameless, apparently, except one called "Tiggy" - Teagan) at occasional care. Jazz and "Puh-pah" the dogs are also right up there, worthy of a mention.
So. There you have it. The LGBB, a sample of the good bits, aged 19 months. Which reminds me.... anyone got any sure-fire "Understanding Toddlers and Why They Sometimes Come Undone So Explosively You Think They May Have Just Combusted" books? The more humourous and encouraging one to stay sane the better. Thanks ever so.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Mr H moved after almost two days of perching in the same corner, past my shoulder as I typed pages of really nitty gritty difficult painful memory-inducing stuff about my labour and birth experience with Ellanor. I wrote like I was back there in the moment. The things I said, what I was looking at, how close I felt to her, it was all very real. I was almost too present in some respects.
Then, in the middle of the afternoon, I had called one of my teachers at Peace Space. I had teed up with one of the others to send my manuscript-so-far to Jen, just for her input, insight and overseeing to this point (something I've not asked her to do in the time, just shy of a year, I have now been slogging at this, but thought it was high time I just requested she glance an eye over from the initial whoa to go, a request to which she had adamantly said "Yes, good timing, send it my way, whatever you've done!"). And knowing that her eyesight is not all that fabbo, I wondered if my 60 pages of 8 point Helvetica was going to really rob the bank on the eyestrain front.
Jen never answers the phone. To my surprise, on Friday afternoon, she actually did. So we had an awesome chat, very affirming of everything I was doing so far - nice to get an impromptu tracking check! - and I mentioned the huntsman who had been overseeing my work since Tuesday (or was it Wed? I can't remember now). She laughed and said he'd stay there til my job for now was done. And I had to dubiously, silently wonder just how long that would be.
Turns out, he decided to move that very night. After the LGBB and I took the manuscript to the post office and sent it on its way to Peace Space (the font size confirmed to be acceptable!), Steve came home and I mentioned in passing that "the thing" was still in the corner and had been watching me again. You have to understand.... this is an arachnaphobe talking here!.... hence the 3587 posts about it.... So, suitably impressed and with the joy of a weekend ahead of him, Steve announced the challenge of addressing the spider issue and said he would usher him out. I surprised myself by saying, "No it's ok, he can stay if you want". But, I guess kind of thankfully in a way (for by this stage I sort of did want it outside where it belonged), Steve insisted on getting The Cup and Paper and doing his magic 'pidy-remover trick.
Well. The H-man defied him at every turn. Actually, he was on the move before Steve even made moves to go towards him. Honestly, it was as if he'd overheard the plan and thought "Alright, fine, I'm going, but on my terms." In the end, Steve said with a thinly-veiled impressed tone, "I can't get it. It's hanging onto the curtain rod now." We have a bare curtain rod in the living room (I took down the curtains the first day we took possession of this house) and apparently, Mr H had taken a liking to it. After about five minutes of shenanegans, Steve made moves to give up. But, turning back and not wanting to be defeated, he went to try again. But the spider had gone. Vanished.
So there you have it. He's still MIA. I don't know if we'll see a reappearance of him, he could well have gone out the window, through the air conditioner vent, into the back of the curtain rod.... behind the couch.... (I still haven't sat on it since Friday, I'm not quite that brave).
But I reckon, it's pretty damn coincidental that he decided to get out and move - after he could have moved for nigh on four days - the very afternoon that I post off my story as it stands so far to the person I am hoping to receive a bit of direction and feedback from. It's like the next step. At least, that's how it reads to me.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I was out playing ball with the dogs while Steve bathed the LGBB. There was a certain sense of friction hanging in the air between the two girls, Jazz seemed a bit more skittish than usual and Pep was narky (or, again, more than usual).
We've been noticing that our old girl sleeps more, is harder of hearing, and misses her catch (of food, a ball, anything aimed at her head in order for her to catch it) more often these days. She is almost fifteen, after all. But she just will. Not. Lay. Down. And erm ... drop off the twig.
I don't know if Pep's in more pain these days - she certainly struggles to navigate the couple of stairs to the back deck and hobbles up and down them with various groans and grunts - but she is definitely more cantankerous than ever before.
But tonight, she had a particular edge to her. And she went Jazz a couple of times. Not unusual for the alpha female to show who's boss to her underling. But then it turned nasty. She mauled poor Jazz. Right in front of me. I was frantic and screamed at her to stop. But she wouldn't. I couldn't step between them - Jazz doesn't put up a fight, she just puts her head down and takes it normally (it's usually just a nip or a nudge or nuzzle from Pepper) - but Pep got her teeth into Jazz's top lip and yanked with all the force of her 23kg frame.
Oh my god it was sickening :(
She eventually stopped and Jazz had a hole in her face that was so deep I couldn't see the bottom. I took them both up to the vet hospital - our new local - and the were exceedingly lovely and diplomatic.
I honestly thought I would only be driving home with one dog. But they have gone with my wishes and avowed to work with us on a pain management program for Pep, for starters. She's on the edible powder for arthritic pain and also some heavy duty aspirin-for-dogs stuff. Jazz goes back first thing to get stitches put in her wee face.
I feel dreadful. It's mostly behavioural, obviously driven on our part - with a new baby and a new pup and a new home, with increasing joint and old age pain to boot, our dear old girl has had a lot to contend with and we've been oblivious to the warning signs til it was too late - so there is some retraining of us, as their handlers, to do.
Mainly, first and foremost, we have to allow Pepper to go first in everything. She is the top dog, she doesn't like being knocked from her perch, but because Jazz is younger, more agile and has a good 7kg up on Jazz she can easily and accidentally knock the old dog off her feet these days. It's humiliating to Peppy and we have been led to realise that she'll take any opportunity to exact her revenge or assume her authority over Jazz.
The backyard has already been sectioned into two. New pool fencing with dog-proofing gates arrived yesterday and Steve had it on the top of his list to erect it, thereby creating another division of the backyard. We have to. We thought for Lolly's safety, mostly (and of course, this is first and foremost with our elderly and increasingly erratic former only *fluffy* child), but now it appears, also for Jazz's.
Oh this has just been awful. But a timely and welcome intrusion by fate to confirm to us that Pep needed some assistance. She just won't clock off - she's the Energizer dog, apparently (just keeps going and going) - and I refuse to have her euthanased as she still has good quality of life. She's just an ailing achy ol' lady and I'm sorry, but that's not enough reason to give her a permanent rest. We're not worried in the slightest for the LGBB's safety, before anyone gets concerned. It's more Jazz's mental and now physical safety I'm more immediately worried about. Am glad it's been brought to light so we can keep it managed now. I think we left it go about 6 months too long, if Pep's decreasing tolerance level is anything to go by.
What a night.
I quote in the title of this post from the Spider animal totem, one of many that may be found online. Because, dang, yet again there is a spider in my life! This time, for the very first time, it is a hulking ruddy great huntsman who has sidled on in next to me (yuh-huh, a REEAAL one, trust me!) and he ain't budging.
Yesterday morning, I got up with the full intention of spending the few hours that the LGBB was at occasional care, in full concentration on my book I'm writing. When I walked out into the living area to start the computer, there it was in the corner of the room. Steve confessed that high ceilings, ornate cornices and leggy pidies first thing in the morning are not his thang. And off he skipped, tra-la-la, to work. Oooooh-kay then. I supposed I would have to just hope there was some mercy and that the spider wouldn't move while I took Lolly up to visit with her friends.
I came back home and it had not moved. Earlier in the morning, I had watched it come towards me across the room and from where I was standing in the kitchen, preparing the LGBB's lunch, I could no longer see it when it went behind a beam in the middle of the ceiling (it's an old house, there's weird cornice and beam arrangements, just go with me). But settling in at my desk later, I realised that it had full view of me, and me of it, which sort of suited me fine because at least I could keep track of it up/over there.
By the end of yesterday, though, including going to collect Lolly and a trip to the shops and so forth, it remained in its corner. And there it has stayed. It's still there now.
Ummmmm..... and I'm ok with it. Errrr, I really am! How bizarre. I am the BIGGEST freak-out freakoid can't-sit-still let alone enter a room where there is one, in the past, but I don't know about this one. He's almost like a writing companion.
And then, I was talking on the phone just now with Jen from Peace Space. And blow me down with a feather, she told me that they represent our creativity. Guffaw guffaw guffaw. So I looked it up (I mean, I know I only recently gave a long quote aboutSpider wisdom on this blog, but I wanted to find out some more general stuff about them, seeing as how I'm, y'know, all cool hangin' with Mr H and all over there...) and uh, aw my gawd get a load of this:
For the two-legged beside whom Spider crawls, there will exist a depth of creativity that may manifest in any of a myriad of ways. Perhaps the talent is in writing prose that conveys depth of feeling and spirituality, or it may be the human counterpart is particularly skilled at creating beautiful and intricate jewelry that will often have an etheric quality to them, much like glimmering strands of a spider’s web.
Whatever channel this creativity flows through, it is a quality and gift that must be expressed and allowed the freedom to flow. If creativity is not acknowledged in the Spider individual, then a very necessary and integral part of their Life’s Purpose is being denied.
Such creativity is divinely inspired and a Gift that is given by the Great Mystery. The paradox in this for the Spider individual may be that they will deny an awareness of their own creativity for many years in deference to other areas of their lives which seem to call for attention. Often, the area that distracts the Spider soul most often is that of relationships as much like Grandmother Spider was forever aware of her Children, so the two-legged with this creature being as a Totem will tend to focus much of their attention on loved ones rather than nurturing and fulfilling their own needs. Yet if the Spider Soul does not give license to this creative spark, it will feel as though their life’s blood is slowly ebbing away or they are being "drained" of energy.
I just think this is totally fitting, considering I followed the advice of my mentor yesterday and today and just dove in - I have now written about Ella's birth and come out the other side. Am mightily exhausted and red-cheeked at having been transported back to that time and had to fully relive it and pretty much experience it (by putting myself back there, it just happened naturally) so that I could write with honesty and clarity.
Hmmmmm. I think my little (uh... make that biiiig) spider buddy is giving me some centredness and focus. Don't be cracking no whip and making trouble now, fella, y'hear? *wan hollow unconvincing laugh*
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Marvelling at how a bug could survive lettuce shredding, packaging in an airtight plastic bag and storage in a fridge, I felt all very virtuous as I decided not to rinse him off the collander into the tub of waiting grey water but rather set him free outside. To roam. If that is what bugs do.
I carefully navigated my way around the still-unpacked kitchen boxes, took him to the back door, slid open the screen door and flicked him off. Where he fell. To the ground. Looking for all the world to Pep like food. And heaven forbid that little turd, Jazz, should get anything before her, so over she pelted and gulped him up without even stopping as Jazz came bolting from somewhere in the backyard.
He was eaten on the spot. Such is the circle of life?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
There are so many things that are relevant or situation-specific, first off. A year to one person would be a drop in the ocean to someone else. Someone waiting three months to conceive could almost be waved off by another who might have been trying already for two years. This is a given, sure.
But at the heart of it, the way I see it and after going through the particular path we have (so far), is the fact that in the waiting itself there is a lesson. Perhaps several. In the yearning, more lessons. It is the kind of thing that reshapes a person, the longer it draws out - and this could be looked on as being fantastic or tragic. Or, if you're like me, you can oscillate between moments of great calm and clarity, and sheer blinding fury at having to go through it again and again and again.
Now, for one person their test could be as "simple" as learning the virtue of patience. One might think "yes but how can X have learned any patience when she stamped her feet and it 'only' took her six months? I've been waiting three years, how can that be fair?" But we don't really know that person, what makes them tick, how deeply it has truly changed their view of the world and how they used to see things. I believe it has been quite short-sighted of me to take the proverbial peek over the fence at my neighbours and make assumptions based only on what I am being told and what I think I am seeing - but really, I don't know about that person at all, what their tolerance level is, how close or far the breaking point in their struggle to conceive has been. The point is, we're all on different journeys because we are all individual (yes... we're all individual).
It seems to be viewed as normal to fall pregnant instantly/easily, where anything under twelve months is viewed as 'normal' (and another question for another time might be, who is the medical profession to say that twelve months is okay, for every woman everywhere?). Is that really the norm? I know I personally have come across women in these past several years who are utterly surprised and shocked by my journey and moreso, by how long it has taken. Some even recoil (I must remember not to even brush arms with those ones, this miscarriage bizzo is contagious, didn't you know). But actually, I don't think it's that unusual. The only unusual thing is that I finally came across a place where others who were having a very long road of it had found a place and come together to share their experiences in support of one another. Having these people collected in one (of obviously many) place surprised me at first, because while I was going through my own losses, the 'support' around me at the time collectively implied I should pull my head in and not speak about it, or certainly not express myself thoroughly anyway. I was the odd one out here, I would have to just deal with it (and certainly not "make more" of it than they cared to try and understand).
It's funny, people always wanted to know if I was pregnant. I would regularly be asked by various acquaintances, "So, you pregnant yet?" But they never really wanted to hear about the aftermath of a miscarriage (both physical and emotional effects) and because that happened with some frequency, they eventually stopped asking at all. I gather they were uncomfortable with my answer - but it was apparently okay for them to be asking initially and causing me to feel uncomfortable with the line of questioning. So why was it alright for them to ask but not okay for me to go into any detail once the pregnancy failed? It's akin to being told not to mention your deceased child because it "makes people feel uncomfortable" (and no, this has not been said to me but, yes, probably not surprisingly it has been requested of some people I know).
Today, I find it one of the most sensitive and probing of all questions I could be asked - and I'm still asked fairly regularly - that of "so when are you going to have another one?" As if they are talking about pulling a Kleenex from the box. As if Ella, somehow, was also as dispensable. "Another one". My long answer involves explaining to them that we both, Steve and I, need to be mentally prepared (and me physically) to endure another miscarriage, each time we conceive, and this will never change for us. That each time, we face the long wait to find out just what may be 'wrong' with our baby until it is safely born - if it makes it that far - and cord blood taken to determine its genetic makeup. That's harrowing in itself, a longer nine months than I'd like to sign up for again in a hurry.
And now, of course, it is different again. "Next time", if we are so granted, we now have a little powerhouse of a Blissbomb to contend with. I thought, until just recently, that I owed her every skerrick of time and energy I had in me. I was making up for lost time, was making it up to her big sister, was flogging myself to enjoy every moment and regret nothing. So when those sorts of thoughts crept in occasionally, I actually went through quite consisent bouts of depression, really dogging myself for being so damn "ungrateful". As if it was that clear cut. If anyone knew I was down, if I tried to describe to them just why I was feeling so down on myself for not feeling blessed, they just told me to feign it, get on with it and that I ought to be happy now because I had the LGBB. It's somehow not as easy to do as they might have liked to think.
But I digress.
I was asking what the test was. I think it's as long as a piece of string. I think part of the struggle is that one can sometimes square up their own situation against others and ask about the unfairness of why it's taken so long, or why there has been such heartache, on one's individual path. I know I started out, for the first four years, believing I was just duty-bound to trudge it. I had little to no contact with anyone else who was struggling as well, so there was scarce choice but to just keep my head down and battle on. I know I am extremely thankful to have come to an understanding of why it happened the particular way it did for us. It has ultimately changed who I am as a person, and I grieved the loss of me as I knew me from the minute Ella passed away. I'm not entirely sure who the new me is yet (am still getting to know that new person) nor whether I'm so happy about that part. I am, basically, a work in progress as are we all. But at the end of the day I do know I am a lot more useful in this lifetime with the experiences that I've had, rather than it all happening smoothly. That wasn't ever in my stars, not that I knew it before it all played out, and I do hope I have passed the test - because otherwise, it means I have to resit it.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Before I had even reached the end of my last fall from the perch of greatness, it occurred to me that I need to email her.
And moments later, I had opened a new email, written a shout-out to my writing mentor and sent it, all virtually without even really thinking about it. Afterwards, I was very sheepish and kicked myself for sending it. She was bound to not reply for days. She'd be busy, she'd roll her eyes when she opened it, she'd write it off as coming from a lame-o who doesn't know what she's doing so why is she even bothering to bother....
I got her reply this morning when I checked my mail. Let me tell you, it lifted me out of the doubt again. Coming from a published and established author and journalist, the words on the screen gave me a feeling of "Yeah... exactly! I know all this!" but somehow, because it had come from someone detached from my inner circle, friends, family, or any combination of all three, it really spoke directly to me.
Just to share it in part, I have saved the quote from Mandela (which I have also read before but, like so many great things which I wish I could remember verbatim when I need to draw strength from them, of course I had forgotten it or even to go looking for it). Here it is, for anyone else out there intending to write (or write again).... one day.... *wink*
“ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "
She was supposed to roll back to front, front to back at around, what? Four months, do "they" say? (She decided to give it a go but then thought better of it, as it suited no purpose she could see except rolling herself under things and there's no dignity in being rescued from under a couch). So, basically, she didn't roll - although there was about a week or two there, around 9 months, when I thought she'd finally started doing it regularly, but no. She stopped.
Then, she was supposed to crawl long before she did (at 15 months), according to The Books.
She was supposed to be cruising furniture according to the same "books" long before yesterday - first time.... she actually pulled herself up on her own, holding a chair, for the first time yesterday (she turns 19 months tomorrow) and how we rejoiced. The more we watch her develop her skills, the more it seems that the LGBB needs to be sure she's going to do something perfectly before she attempts it. It's a struggle to watch and it'll be something we're going to have to really encourage well, that the accomplishment is in the trying, the doing, the attempt - I can hear it now, "Don't worry if you colour outside the lines, Lolly, you do not need to ask for a new picture, please just finish ONE of these placemats so we can all eat". We've helped and watched and cajoled for weeks now, but she refused to stand because she didn't want to sit back down (the thud to the bottom seemed to make her afraid - but c'mon, it's not like her butt's that far from the ground, is it??!?!)
So please somebody tell me then, why is it, with all this lateness, that our little LGBB appears to have an unscheduled early entrance of .... *cue minor key music* .... The Terrible Two's. It's turned into day after day of the same red-faced shrieky tantrum-explosions. Funny to watch, if you can go out of the room to have a giggle - out of sight and earshot because that's just not respectful of someone blowing their top over, well, NOTHING!!!!!!
Shit, she's funny. I must remind myself of this when next she decides she does NOT want to put her pants on. For no reason. She just doesn't wanna. And she's going to make damn sure I have to use all my physical force to ram those leg holes as wide open as possible in order to make a very deft deposit of foot through hole, toes flailing (yes, even her toes get mad).
Monday, February 18, 2008
There is NOTHING quite as infuriating being in the field of creative design as the client who doesn't know what they want ... just not the first three things you come up with for them, even though you've given them exactly what they asked for each time. It's fine-tuning at its most maddening.
Warning bells sound madly in my ears now whenever I hear the words, "Just do whatever, I'm not fussy, you're the expert" because, undoubtedly, 9 times out of 10 they most certainly are fussed (or fussy) about what they want. They just cannot convey it to you, the designer. This wouldn't be so bad if they also didn't have a budget they want you to stay within.
Sometimes I'm so far in to a project that it's too hard to pull out without cutting my losses (and I can't afford to do that most of the time) that I have no option but to soldier on. It starts to grind the creative process to a halt when there is little to no direction - or so it turns out - despite sticking to the design brief (and I use "brief" in every sense of the word). Hard to keep coming up with new ways to try and please.
I swear, sometimes I do feel like good old Basil and would dearly love to cynically ask a client every so often, "Well, what did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel window, madam? The Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeast sweeping majestically..."
I know, I know, nothing new. This seems to happen to me every few months. But gah, I dunno, perhaps it's because I keep reading and rereading the first 40 or so pages and redrafting that section only, that I now even doubt anyone would find it remotely interesting. I look at it and think "Yeah, so, but .... who cares?!"
This is the difficulty in writing your own story, I suppose. I was virtually hounded by people close to me (as well as many more strangers imploring me to write a book - about what, I hadn't the foggiest - after reading snippets of things here and there) for a couple of years until, last May, I finally admitted I really ought to start drawing things together into a coherent, properly timelined piece of writing. After that, there were cheers ("well, about time, thank God she's finally doing it"). And I went hell for leather, the flow was easy, getting things down was a breeze.
And then I hit the brick wall and sort of stopped - I got to the part where I just found out I was pregnant with Ella - and since then, about two months now, I feel like I've been swirling in a
slow-spinning vortex, which is all that's left of my previous steam.
Just waiting, waiting, waiting, for a brick to plop out of that wall and let me peek behind it. I have to get my nerve back. I've lost it somewhere between not believing I'm remotely interesting or worthy of thinking I can do this and scared about writing what all came next. It's truly the bridge between my past and present life. And it's haaaaard!
Nobody said it'd be easy, huh.
But no, he thinks I'm strange because I can get up in the morning and declare the day a Northerly (wind direction) without stepping outside. Today is one of those days.
If you're prone to hayfever or heavy sinus on those days, even when there's barely a detectable wind actually blowing, you'll most likely be able to do it too.
Still, as far as super-powers goes, he thinks this is mine.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
And so it was that I was belting out Here You Come Again with the biggest cracking smile on my face (I know it's supposed to be a sad song, but dang, Dolly Parton sings it so darn sunnily - is that a word? - that it makes you feel good, even though it's a heartbreak song).
Then a song by Keane came on and I was immediately thrust back to the first time I heard it after Ellanor died. It had been a song I really loved anyway, but after everyone had gone back to work (Steve included) and I had started my new life as a childless mother, I found myself absolutely bawling singing along to it one day only a few weeks after we said goodbye. It's another of "those songs" I have written about before. Ones that are love songs but can easily be converted or fit in to losing someone, if you look past just a few lines here and there.
I can remember working in my new home office, for once blessedly distracted with concentration on something other than Ella, when this song came on:
Somewhere Only We Know
I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete
Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?
Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?
I look at the words now and don't see in them what I feel when I hear and sing the song. Nowadays, it instantly places me right back there in that room. Desperately singing and searching for her. There is something very organic and earthy about it to me. I think it is in this that I see the connection with her, for I was forced to accept quickly that she too is of and for the Earth even though she is from me. I can't even pinpoint exactly what it is in the lyrics that connect them to her (for me), but I seem to recall it occurred around the time when I was really working very hard at learning the balance of letting her go but also letting her in. It is an incredibly tough task to learn to mother in this way - without your baby here to show you what it needs from you - but you do indeed still mother that child, regardless of whether you are actively and physically doing so. I wasn't aware of that then. But it was what was sparking in me.
Not only that, but she had suddenly gone from my entire awareness. After all, this dear soul had been around me since late 2002. I had had the immense pleasure of getting to know Ella right through 2003, both before and after she was conceived, and then she didn't really "leave" me until she was two weeks old. So just two short weeks had passed for me to get used to not being able to communicate with her using my telepathy, before she slipped away from me completely. I called and I called to her, so often. But I never heard back (not for months). While it was very good proof to me that none of what I had experienced with her had been made up in my head, for why could I not continue to "make it up" now?, it was incredibly hard to accept that this is how it had to be for me to stay here and do my healing stuff. She had to back off in order for me to continue to learn lessons from her death. This was the period you may remember reading about on her website pages, where I mention instead hearing "from" her via others (some of them rather confused by it). She did maintain that contact but had to go and whisper in others' ears. I see now that it couldn't have been any other way but by gosh, how painful it was that I did not have firsthand contact with her myself anymore.
After she passed, of course I was utterly blinded by grief and she was nowhere. I now could not see nor hear her. I was incredibly distressed by this. And this song came in at one of those points of gaining more understanding of why our separation had had to occur. Indeed, I had just been learning about why she had even come to me at all.
Eeeeeeh. Too heavy for this time of the morning! Must go get that coffee.... must add this to the book. (Speaking of book - I shall give an update soon, promise, as I know some of you have been asking)
Friday, February 15, 2008
Yes. Postie. Rather *clears throat to get it right* "Poh-steeeeeeee"
She sees him in traffic, then again on a footpath in a different suburb on the same trip. There he is again, walking in to a shopping centre this time. What's this?? He's everywhere!
The little LGBB is so intrigued by this helmeted being who delivers mail (not so much letters to little boys and girls, but bills to their parents, sadly).
Keep your department and shopping centre Santa fill-ins. Postie is ever-present, year round.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I am full to brimming with recuperative efforts from the day. Finally, the tears I was damming fell amongst the most encouraging support - the best kind: that which does not allow martyrdom, victim mentality or spinning out. By the afternoon, the sadness I had come in with in the morning had given way to hearty hope and joy of the learning year to come. There are eleven more of these to do, three of which I have already done in the past five years, haphazardly and out of order (therefore with not as much meaning as I am bound to get when I redo them this year) and I am really looking forward to them all - so far.
It's hard work. But harder still would be to not do them, for this is my commitment to the Earth.
I'm totally plugged in and raring for the next one (White) next month.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Skips are biscuits. Apparently (just ask her). I want her to get the word wrong for as long as possible, it's that adorable.
It is the most uttered word on a daily basis. So much so that a "skip ban" has been placed on her until the afternoons - mind you, "skips" are actually vegetable chips (the poor poppet, I am so nasty, she's never even been introduced to a milk arrowroot yet). Still, she woofs her artsy-fartsy pansy skips like they're triple-decker chocomochafudge-a-licious gold.
There was a moment a couple of weeks back where she knew she'd pushed it too far. I laid down the letter of the Skip Law. Since then, instead of directly asking, imploring, pleading and then begging (my leg), she has decided to take the bigger-person approach; she'll sit back, look around then casually enquire with hands in the shrug position, "Skips? Where skips gone?" Pause for an answer and for effect and then you hear, "I don' know where skips' gone." See? She's not asking or nagging for it is beneath her (yeah, right). She's simply calling her skips. "Oh, skiiiips? Where you gorn?" She's good. Going to definitely have to get up earlier and earlier as she gets older, just to collect my wits about me.
And when you look at her quizzically, after you can no longer avoid that steel-blue - rather, The Blue Steel?, as mastered by her dad inadvertently and evidenced in any existing photo of him to date - glare, you can be assured that she will square you up and repeat again.
If you then try and tilt your head on the side with a puzzled expression, she'll press on. Perhaps you're not understanding her. She'll say it slowww-er. And more clearly so you can fulfil her request.
Oh! Bisskips. How silly of me. I thought you said skips.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I joined the group/mailing list late last year and spoke for some time to a really nice woman who runs our chapter of the group. She lost her toddler son in a drowning accident some years ago now. And she sent us a card. Something I wasn't aware I would fall on until I got to this morning. Thank God some people sent cards! That's all I can say. They were very appreciatively received.
We do not have to rely upon memories
to recapture the spirit
of those we have loved and lost -
They live within our souls
in some perfect sanctuary
which even death cannot destroyFrom Nanushka by Nan Whitcomb
Monday, February 11, 2008
The day the course of my life was forever altered.
When one moment I was just coming in like every other morning to gaze longingly for another long day but was greeted by a bizarre altered-reality type scene.
How I was known by others as a friend, a daughter, a sister, a cousin. An enemy.
How I knew myself as me.
How my future role as mother and wife was changed, for the better but also for the worse.
How my view of what can happen in the world was suddenly too incomprehensible to consider all at once.
The day I had to hear my father, lost for words. My brother, so consumed by shock that he threw his mobile away because he wanted to unhear my words... while I was still on the other end of the phone.
The chance to actively mother once again slipped from my grasp, even though it had been so close I was granted that brief month to smell, touch, see, taste it this time.
I lost my innocence. The most pure love of my life.
It was the day I gave her back to the world.
Yet still, "the world" doesn't understand why I can sometimes bite them without their expecting it. What I have seen and experienced - and lost - is forgotten in the moment. I never ask for forgiveness, I don't even ask for understanding anymore as it seems too far a bow to draw for some to consider it an effect of an event that happened "all those years ago now". It is as it is with some people, you can never hope to reach those who weren't meant to be reached.
So instead, I learn and I make note of those things that are deemed mistakes, faux pas' if you will, in some people's eyes but jewels of growth and opportunity in mine. They can kick me while I'm down and I thank them later, in my own time, for the chance to learn from my part in the scenario. But has it really served a purpose for them? And did they ever pause to consider where I was coming from? I wonder, but it's not my business to know. Another's growth will come from all sorts of things for their own personal betterment and not necessarily ever from an interaction (or altercation) with me.
I'm not too big (or small) to say I've been hurting. Am still hurting. Sometimes in tremendous amounts. It is hard to admit, when previously you have been a very capable, dependable person who went out of their way never to neither intentionally nor accidentally hurt another. I appear to have momentarily lost that knack. Honesty will do that to a person, I guess. I have lost my way a bit, especially when feeling the hurt on behalf of others. Feeling it and wishing desperately it would ease for them. It has gotten me into trouble on occasion, when speaking *for* others in the face of another's short-sightedness. But it has all helped to shape me and all the parts that make up the whole of me, where I stand today. Which is different to how I will be in the future. The experiences I have today will decide who I am tomorrow, step and repeat until the final curtain, I suppose.
Four years ago tomorrow, we said goodbye to Ellanor. But in another way, we also welcomed her forever into our hearts and memories.
Friday, February 8, 2008
What memory pops into my head? The one where my older brother picked on the younger for liking that Bros song, Drop The Boy.
That was three days ago. Ever since, I have heard my brother's rendition of that annoying line - camped up for better teasing effect - playing over and over in my head.
"Drop the boy, drop the boy, ooooh-werrrr, I'm a man, yessiam"
It was twenty years ago! I am going mad.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I reckon any mother of a toddler would do that calf tying thing pretty well too, just quietly.
Honestly. If I had to explain the actual action of my arms to someone, I'd look more like I'm pumping water at a well than changing a nappy.
*Breathe in, let it out slowwwwwwly*
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The thing is, the ongoing nature of life does slowly begin to cloud the very raw realisations you form. Forever changed by that situation, but at the same time very much moving away from the event by which your course has been altered.
We cannot remain open in that raw state. But it is at a time like that in your life when you are faced with the truth, the clarity, of what else is possible. What is unseen. What is a mystery beyond the veil. When squared up like that, particularly if it was unexpected and sudden, one can find themselves looking into a void. But it's a void where the important things are so easy to see. Stripped of the shroud of muck that society on the whole just blankets it all in. And to hold firm to that is supremely difficult, for if you stay in that state of mind you run the risk of being outcast, of being told you are not coping or moving on, or of simply feeling so unsupported (unless you are fortunate to find a solid base, something I do not take for granted and thank my lucky stars for daily, quite literally) that it is easier to shut up and deny what you've seen or experienced just to be accepted once more. Like some unruly child on the wrong side of the tracks who suddenly saw the error of their ways and rejoined the cult that is the human race.
So it's a dichotomy, of sorts. Strangely, you find yourself more aware than ever before of life's pettiness, of the seeming "ungratefulness" of someone else, perhaps of the way an outwardly apparent charmed existence is being taken for granted. And yet, as time marches on and the shockwaves disperse, you do move back in step with the people around you; to complain about those little things you swore as you held your baby for the last time in your arms that you would never ever find value in complaining about again.
Is it the way of human nature? That you can make those promises to yourself in your grief and yet, in order to box that grief and its resultant aching physical pain, your body urges you to move forward from that point. To go along with life and slip back in, at some point over the weeks, months or years. And in so doing, allowing yourself to forget all that which you promised you would not let get to you again.
Much of what I do and how I look on it is different, this is true. The framework was set in concrete on February 12th, 2004. But still, I have not been immune from getting snagged by what goes on around me. The opinions and actions of others that routinely catch me and reel me in again. For it is far easier to go along and seem agreeable (it's in my nature and that part of me remains unchanged).
The hardest lesson for me has been in growing accustomed to hearing conviction in my new voice. Being comfortable to actually have an open opinion. And I am getting very used to standing in my truth.
Time will just have to tell if sticking to this consistently is the way forward out of the mire.
Friday, February 1, 2008
The first one I did was back in 2003, a couple of months before I conceived Ellanor (ooh, must remember to add that in to the book), and it honestly rattled my cage so badly that I vowed not to do another ever again. It eventually took the death of Ella and a further 18 or so months before I felt game and strong enough to be challenged and assisted by any more of this colour work.
Magenta fell just too close to home for me personally, in the beginning, and it took a few years to integrate and accept it from that first time around. I resisted all of the teachings in the manual and from the day. I did change, albeit slowly. What also ensued was an awakening that included the conception and birth, ultimately also the death, of my first child. I'm not saying it was because of the class that any of that happened. But in hindsight, I could have been much better assisted and supported by means of my own internal methods of healing - instead of looking outward for it everywhere I went - had I started the full course from the beginning and not just picking up mid-way through the year. Shiddappens, I know. And it all went right way, anyway. After all, in reaching out for several years needing support, I also began truly supporting others (where prior to this, I was almost without fail a rock for everyone else and didn't lean on anyone for any thing). It's just interesting for me now to note, having done several more and yet only just doing the first one yesterday, after four years, that there is an order to it all (this method of healing/work). I never saw it clearly before.
So Green Ray. Hmmmm. It was lovely, if not posing a challenge for the coming year (and then some). Basically, this is the Ray of the "true healer who works from hands and heart to heal hurt and to give hope". In the deficient state of the psyche, Green can actually manifest as something I have been feeling for quite a while - "I don't get enough" (enough from whom? For I have come to understand through some fairly harsh life lessons that you can't expect more from others than they are prepared to give, whether or not they are/should be able. So the "not enough", to me, means that I am constantly attempting to fill myself up via others - and that's just not on anymore, it's a redundant method of suriving that I can no longer attempt to use). In the fear state, it has the feeling of "fear of taking responsibility/fear of not being responsible" .. which, uh, many of my close friends would avow is me to a tee most often. Funny, I'm just realising that most if not all of my dearest friends have come about since the death of Ella. And so it's not lost on me that they don't know the "old" me. I'm getting to know me and all those changes at virtually the same pace as them, which is a bizarre yet beautiful aspect and what makes the connection I have with each and every one of them so very special and important (to me and who I am shaping into now).
I've been in a cycle of having a permitted experience with it all, though, which is my take on it, for a number of months (perhaps even a year or two). And I think it's come full circle now and in being available yesterday - as well as being able to sort out care arrangements for the LGBB - for the first time to do this particular Ray (the same 13 colour ray classes are done each year in roughly the same month of the year and I have never made myself available for this one at the beginning of each new year), indicates to me that 2008 is going to be a big one for me. For my healing. And dang.... I have to heal myself. Doesn't that just let everyone else drop off the hook? I'm so relieved. I'll bet "they" are too.
It's time to hone and discipline my gifts and abilities. I am vowing to make this year the year it starts to really pull together too. The new house has such a great energy flow, the property itself is extremely powerful - possibly due to its positioning as much as to do with the earth itself in this pretty part of the world - so I have a wonderful nurturing space to start unfolding it all. The visual I get is an artist rolling back his cotton sack to reveal all the brushes and tools for a fresh canvas. It's very exciting.
When I went and meditated this morning - outside here for the first time and it felt awesome, so safe and protected - Spider came to me. A big floating spider, very joyous and free-feeling. When I say "came to me", I don't mean some hulking great spider plonked on my head (although the passing thought occurred to me at the time that, had it not been in my mind's eye but rather .. er, on my shoulder or somewhere else on my person .. I wondered if I'd have been so open to the message!).
After I'd had that time to myself, I came in and looked up Spider. Here's its deal:
Many cultures consider that it was the Spider who wove the primordial alphabet and that the angles formed by the weave of the web are what gave rise to the letters. Spider was thus considered the first great language teacher. When the Spider weaves its orb web, it weaves safe radial tracks, or scaffolding threads, of non-sticky silk from the centre tio the edge of the web, thus forming a wheel which relates to the Wheel of Life. These radial threads are the supports for the circular sticky silk threads of the web. The Spider travels back to the centre again and replaces the non-sticky silk with sticky silk which it ties to each radial thread, moving the weaving ever outwards in a circular spiralling pattern. The Spider "twangs" the spiral threads to form the "gum" into sticky beads. The sticky spiral threads snare the insects on which the Spider feeds. Spiders are able to travel around the web via the non-sticky radial threads and, with the use of claw-like bristles on the end of its legs, it can hold onto the sticky threads without becoming caught. Should the Spider come in contact with the sticky part of its web, the oil from its body will prevent it from getting stuck. Spiders have a great abilits to repair and rebuild any damage to their webs. If a web is broken or knocked about one day, then in the light of the morning dew the following day, you will be able to see it rebuilt in its full beauty and integrity.
When Spider appears, it asks you to look at the web you have woven. Look at the language you have used to weave to get your way through life. Is there a need to mend broken lines of communication with those close to you? You may need to revise the language you once used and find more compassionate threads of interacting. Spider suggests that, if you are feeling stuck or unable to move forward, you may have become caught in someone else's web or may be snagged by your own negative thoghts or words. Re-evaluate what you have created for yourself and those around you. Spiders feed on insects which can represent negative thought forms so it is prudent to check what energy you have been projecting via your thoughts. Are you getting more attention than you want or need? Is it perhaps time to untangle what you have been weaving? Have you been running around in circles instead of taking a more direct path to where you need to go? Have you been beating around the bush instead of getting to the point? Now that Spider has approached you it may be a good time to review any damage or weak areas in your network. Discard the old that no longer serves you, pick up the threads of value and re-weave your web in a renewed direction. Spider wisdom reminds you that it is human to get caught from time to time, for that is what the Wheel of Life is all about. However, Spider's appearance will encourage you to look for what you meed to clear out or change. There may be new opportunities waiting on the edge of your old web. It is time to clear the way for a new expression of yourself to grow, weave new integrity into your old patterns and so let the beauty of a new and truer you sparkle in the light of a new day.
I just love the beauty in the animal wisdom I've so far come across. It's always so very meaningful, as long as you are aware of how and when they are coming to you. And that it is always there for anyone, so long as they are willing or prepared to look.
- ► 2011 (182)
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- It starts out like a sane conversation
- Deirdre Chambers.... what a coincidence
- I think an intervention is required
- Steam-blow #359
- We're tap-tap-tap-tap-tapping ... along
- I don't care if it sounds nutty
- What a great way to end the week....
- The web we weave is the reality we experience
- When trying to be nice goes bad
- What's the test?
- And now, a word from my Mentor...
- Practice makes perfect
- Can I move your website a little more westerly-fac...
- Erm... about that book I'm supposed to be writing
- Uncle Henry! Aunty Em! It's a northerly, it's a no...
- A Dastardly Moustache-Twirl... 'Ghetti Style
- From Dolly to tears in three songs
- Forget Santa
- Just brilliant
- Icksnay on the ipskay
- It makes a difference
- Drop the boy
- Would. You. Lie. STILL! (sweet cherub, light of my...
- C'mon, give it a go!
- Snags ahoy!
- Green day
- ▼ February (28)