Watch my rising….

My journey has at times been rather a ponderous hesitant walk.
I’ve staggered under burdens
of expectations
of abuse
of self imposed protective measures
of responsibilities.
Many parts of the road have been incredibly rough going.
Often times I’ve approached corners with hopeful expectancy only to be blind sided once again.
Treacherous valleys, difficult hills, swamps have sucked me in and nearly suffocated me.
My path this year led me over the blackest coldest mountain range…

I fought my way up those high peaks
I collapsed at the top panting with exhaustion
Completely spent
I could go no further
I was finally stopped
I let myself bleed
Let myself feel

I conquered the pain
I conquered the fears
I conquered the blackness

No longer will I run away from my dragons
I will fear them no more
I am embracing my dragons
They now work for me,
with me,
are part of me,
but no longer control me
The roles are reversed
And it feels

Pain – April 2013

I turn on the electric blanket to ensure the bed is warm.

I lie on my left side, with my back to the empty half behind me.
I read to fill the silence of the night.
But when my book hits the floor and I cannot keep my eyes open any more I turn off the light and try to go to sleep.

It is dark now.
Safe to turn over.
I can’t see the empty other half of my bed.
But my leg reaches out, searching, looking for what cannot be found.
It only feels cold sheets.
No warm body there to wrap myself around.
I toss and turn.
My stomach aches.
My limbs twitch and stretch, constantly searching.
Looking for arms to hold me.
Hands to caress me, love me.

I want to sleep, to forget.
But the ache is so bad.

The ache in my gut rises.
Up through my chest and into my throat.

Until I can contain the tears no more.
I give in and the sobs rack my whole being.
I cry, uncontrollably into my pillow.
The pain is so bad.
The loneliness is overwhelming.
The knowing that he is gone.
Eventually the tears drown me to sleep

The Last Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love
To the dark and the endless skies

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
And felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command

And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time my love
and It would last till the end of time my love

The first time ever I saw your face, your face
Your face, your face

These lyrics are hauntingly entertaining me this morning. But in my mind I am changing them to ‘The last time ever I saw your face’.

And then my mind flits back to the first time. The first time I ever saw my Timmy’s face. I remember so vividly when he walked into my life. I was only 14. He was nearly 8 years older than me and I was smitten from that very first sighting. He was this tall Adonis – such a good looking, rugged country guy, with no pretensions. He was just Tim. What you saw was what you got.
We were on a family holiday and there had been a horrendous storm. The next day Tim and his brother arrived over by boat, just checking up on the locals, as you do in times of trouble. I fell head over heels right then and there. For the next couple of years Tim would come by our house and hang out. I so loved those visits. He was so randomly casual and would turn up at all hours and make himself completely at home. It did make it easier that my parents liked him.
We would go down to Port Ligar for holidays, my poor mother must’ve been worried out of her brain when Tim would sit me on the back of his trusty old Norton bike and head up and over the hills. We courted on those hills, out of sight, but no doubt not out of my mother’s mind!
Then the my final year at high school we were an item. But then life got in the way and I left him behind and headed to the big smoke. I spent three years there trying to forget him. But I never did, and thankfully we had someone playing cupid so I returned to Port Ligar at the just after my 21st birthday and I never left.
At the end of that year I married my man, the man who for the next 34 years was the mainstay of my life. He cherished me, treasured me. Literally by the sweat of his brow, cared and provided for me.

That beautiful lopsided grin of his just got bigger and better over the years. Along the way his hair became greyer, his face developed deeper and more interesting lines. They were not all worry lines, most were lines of laughter and joy as we shared good and hard times together, more formed as each of our children were born. I watched him weep with joy at the birth of each one. He wanted no more from life than to love & care for his family. He was content with his lot in life.

And then I come back to the words twisting a knife in my heart this morning. ‘The last time ever I saw your face’.

The last day I remember so clearly. We were preparing to go to town. He had decided to head off a day earlier so he could help Graham gather food for his family. Before he left though he had work to do. While he waited for Sebastian to come he went down to the wharf with Azzan and they worked together conditioning ropes. My last photos of him were taken then. Then Seb arrived and they took off on the boat to do some mussel work. He arrived back, quickly showered and changed, gathered up all his things, his briefcase. All the while I was hovering nearby making sure he had what he needed for his journey and confirming our meeting times etc. He loaded crates in the back of the Safari, along with some bins of mussels. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and that is the last time I ever saw his precious face until I identified him the next day at the morgue.

Sparkling living

This journey of mine has taken me on many detours.
Some have been incredibly hard.
Others frustrating.
And more, emotionally disabling.
Through it all though I have found a new me.
A stronger me.
Someone I did not know existed.
Many close to me have recently commented that they are so pleased and glad to see me smiling again.
It was said that I have my spark back.
That stopped me…
To breath…
And think…
I honestly do not ever remember having a spark.
Not like this.
Maybe as a very small child I probably had that childish spark of mischief and wonderment.
Like this gorgeous poppet I captured at the beach last week.
But that spark was cruelly extinguished at a very early age.
Yes, I was happy – to an extent.
But there was always that underlying ‘thing’
The part of my life I wasn’t able to talk about…
The secret…
The burden I carried…
that killed my spark.

I had no idea until recent years just how much those 10 years of stolen childhood had affected my entire life.
But now I am walking my healing journey
Running towards an expectancy of wonderment
Reclaiming ‘me’
I am not going to compromise myself anymore with the pain and the abuse and the heartache.
Because I Am all I have got and I Am going to live sparkling.

Farewelling the Master

What words do you use to describe the loss of one who has had so much influence in your life.
One who’s words speak into the depths of your soul.
One who moved you so powerfully through all of your decades.
One who’s words and music soothed and loved you during the hardest time of your life.

I cut my teen teeth on this album.
Who doesn’t know ‘Suzanne’ and So long, Marianne’?

In latter years Leonard came to New Zealand three times.
I so wanted to go to that first concert in Wellington, but it was on my birthday in mid January –  at a time of the year I thought I couldn’t possibly get away from the farm due to the tourist season etc.
Sadly I never even tried to make it work.
That became my biggest regret.

When he returned in November 2010 I was absolutely determined I was going.
I travelled to Christchurch and had my socks completely blown off!
He was so much more than I had ever dreamed of.
The only sad thing was that I was there on my own and had no one to share the absolute delight with.

Then, he became far far more intensely involved with my life.
I have always loved words.
As a writer words touch & feed my heart and soul, the ebb & flow of them between myself and other writers is what makes me tick.

When Tim was killed Leonard bathed my soul with all his songs.
He embraced my hurting heart with these two specifically ….
Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye‘ 
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye. 
I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time, 
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme 
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, 
it’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea, 
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye. 

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’
I loved you for a long, long time 
I know this love is real 
It don’t matter how it all went wrong 
That don’t change the way I feel 
And I can’t believe that time’s 
Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 
I’m aching for you baby 
I can’t pretend I’m not 
I need to see you naked 
In your body and your thought 
I’ve got you like a habit 
And I’ll never get enough 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

There ain’t no cure for love 
There ain’t no cure for love 
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky 
The holy books are open wide 
The doctors working day and night 
But they’ll never ever find that cure for love 
There ain’t no drink no drug 
(Ah tell them, angels) 
There’s nothing pure enough to be a cure for love 

I see you in the subway and I see you on the bus 
I see you lying down with me, I see you waking up 
I see your hand, I see your hair 
Your bracelets and your brush 
And I call to you, I call to you 
But I don’t call soft enough 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go 
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul 
I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much 
It’s written in the scriptures 
It’s written there in blood 
I even heard the angels declare it from above 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

There ain’t no cure for love 
There ain’t no cure for love 
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky 
The holy books are open wide 
The doctors working day and night 
But they’ll never ever find that cure, 
That cure for love

And of course the absolute ultimate song which we played at Tim’s funeral.
‘Dance me to the End of Love’
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin 
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in 
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone 
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon 
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on 
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long 
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born 
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn 
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin 
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in 
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love

Christian came down and spent his time creating a slideshow for me.
I was so busy getting the funeral organised that I never had time to see what he was doing.
Then the night before I finally caught my breath and asked him if I could watch it.
It was so beautiful, but the pain hit me so hard I crumbled and cried and cried and cried.
It was such a blessing.
If I hadn’t seen it then I would have totally lost it at the church and not have had the strength to speak.
I am forever grateful to Christian for making this video.
It is a real treasure for us.

When Leonard returned for a third time in Dec 2014 I was there with bells on!
This time I went with friends.
The best way to see a show is with friends to enjoy it with.
And this show was THE absolute best.
He was 80 years old and like a good wine he certainly aged well.

As a poet, a wordsmith, a singer, a man.
You had such presence.
Leonard, you will always have my respect and a part of my heart.

Christine’s visit

I had a delightful couple of days with Christine recently.
She flew in one Friday morning.
It was a feast of friends and food.
First port of call was to visit Roni and admire the view of the snow topped Richmond Ranges from her apartment while she smooched up large wiht Malo.
Barely home and we met Sue who had just walked Caspian.
She & Christine are old acquaintances so they walked to cafe 7010.
I joined them a tad later.
Lovely to sit in the sun and enjoy some lunch.

For dinner Mahalia and I took her off to East Street Cafe to try and convert her to vegetarian ways.
After we did justice to these amazing meals she was sold.
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We had to share two deserts cuz we were too full for three!img_9824img_9825

Afterwards we took her for a night time explore to the cathedral.
It is so beautiful at night.
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Next morning Mahalia went to rowing and then met Martin & Sylvia at the market.
We found them sitting like waifs and strays…
so took pity on them and went to Suter for coffee.img_9912 img_9915img_9917

We walked home the long way stopping to chat with Gay and admire her arty garden.
She took the Sunday morning bus back to Christchurch but due to a horrific road accident they were diverted so she had a very scenic route home.

It was a lovely time – Christine loved our new home and my friends she met all passed muster.
Total seal of approval 😉

East West Design

We were cruising up the street searching for interesting places to go when I spotted this building and called for a fast halt to the vehicle so I could zip out and take some photos of these amazing murals that spanned the whole front and round one side.
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We soon discovered that this humungous building houses 2 acres of the most wonderful treasure trove.
East West Design is the largest retail outlet in the southern hemisphere.
We disappeared into the belly of the proverbial whale and were soon drooling with desire and gasping with delight.
These photo do not do it justice.
I was scheming and dreaming as to how I could afford to fill a shipping container with all the wonderful items I was falling in love with.
I could only partially see this hunky door but was absolutely certain it would look fantabulous set into my back door 😉
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It was a veritable paradise filled with objects of desire.
Just as well the Tasman is between there and home!!

An evening at Manuka

For a Tuesday night treat I was taken to a favourite haunt of Evan & Jesika’s.
Manuka Woodfire Kitchen.

It is a delightful restaurant.
I loved the ambience and also the staff were fantastic.
Everything is cooked in this woodfire oven.
They have a cool menu which changes according to the seasons.
You order any selection that floats your boat and it comes out in a random order as it gets cooked.

This is a new Ginger Beer to me and it went down exceptionally well.
I’m not a huge olive fan but these roasted olives were wonderful, couldn’t stop eating them.
The baby heirloom peppers were SO good, and the roasted potatoes were very more-ish too.
Roasted cauli with avocado was interesting – actually this is all making me really hungry – I feel like hopping back on the plane and heading there for dinner tonight!!
Of course Evan’s meal was not complete without his portion of meat.
I let him enjoy the lamb shoulder.
I was more than happy with all the delicious vege dishes 🙂
And this really tells the story of total satisfaction.
It was lovely to spend the evening just with these two.  img_9523 img_9529
Can you tell I’m loving my new scarf – don’t think I took it off for days 🙂
Even is one of them is a total nutcase!
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We felt we needed to do justice to the menu and sample some desserts.
But actually the first course was enough.
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This was on the wall – it spoke to me.

Walking back to the car I spotted this cool piece of mixed media in a random shop window.
It says –
Kindness Matters
the hope and kindness
we give to the world
not only nurtures us
but it becomes
a gift for someone else
to receive for their own healing.
Thanks for a lovely end to the day J&E.
Love you both muchly xxxx

The day after

Had a bit of a slowish start after the party,
Jesika was up and on the ball and wanting to go do stuff but Sam was wanting a bit more time to wake up.
I did a spot of painting while she took her timeimg_9384
Then we headed off for brunch at Gesha Coffee Co.
Food was good, beautifully presented, but the service was ‘interesting’.
Seems to be something that is lacking in a vast number of Australian cafes ;-/img_9385
I opted for the salmon while the guys chose the big breakfasts.
Blair & Evan bro-loving 🙂
Cousins keeping a safe distance from the boys
Afterwards Jesika drove Ev, Bud and myself up the coast for a sightsee.
It was very blustery and the wind surfers made a very colourful sight as they whizzed across the waves.
We got stuck in the crowds for a wee while.
I had never experienced an AFL crowd before.
They were wearing purple, team colours of the Fremantle Dockers, droves of supporters  heading to the  Subiaco Oval to support their team.

All too soon it was time to take Bud to the airport.
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And back home to collapse!img_9409

Shopping with Sam

Sam took me shopping today.
I found a swimwear shop I wanted to go to so off we went to find Luce Del Sol.
It is a lovely wee shop full of wonderful swimwear and a very helpful owner.
I walked in and said I don’t wear black, and Sam added that I don’t do Nana either!
So that said she found me everything that was colourful.
I spent ages trying on every swimsuit in the shop – well it felt like every one!
But nothing was really rocking my boat.
So I began looking at the black suits.
And guess what?
They looked great.
And I found the one I loved and felt so good in.
Once I had that nailed I then started trying on two pieces.
Then I found a bikini – yes a bikini!!
Haven’t worn one since I was in my teens.
Never ever thought I would or could again.
I love it 🙂

I was telling my girls recently that after watching a few TV shows like Botched and Beauty & the Beach I have finally decided that at my age and stage in life I am finally perfectly happy with my body.
I’ve had 11 pregnancies, birthed 10 babies – and none too small either!
I’ve breast fed them all – each of them for quite some time.
I don’t have any stretch marks, my boobs aren’t hitting my ankles.
The excess flab around the middle is being dealt to gradually, and I am not getting too hung up about the lack of abdominal muscle tone anymore because my babies made short work of destroying that!
So I am now going to totally get my Queen on this coming summer in my new beach attire 🙂
And maybe, just maybe, I might get a photo up sometime 😉

After the marathon we were both famished so wandered up the street and found Roots & Greens smoothie and juice bar.
Got some wonderfully energising smoothies full of beetroot and stuff to kick us into the afternoon.
I love the quaint old buildings around Fremantle.
These ones were just across the road.
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We found another shop which had a sale on.
It was a hellishly expensive place but I fell in love with this scarf.
Dithered muchly and then decided I would really regret not getting it.
So I did and I am happy 🙂
It is very different to any other scarf I have.img_9441img_9459

Jesika met us at Sam’s and then she and I went off for a massage.
It was so good.
The guy worked wonders on my shoulders and also my calves, especially the right one which has really knotted up since my altercation with a tow bar a few months ago.
I am going to have to get some on going treatment once I return home.
Sam arrived for her massage just as we had finished.
Then it was back to Jesika & Evan’s for dinner and bed.