Writing 101 – Day 13: Finding Acceptance (Part 2)

Today we are to expand on the post of day four which was started as a three part serial.  Luckily, todays prompt “Found” fits in quite nicely with where I left off last time – acceptance.

In my last post I wrote about Loss, in relation to time, age, youth.  It’s time to talk about finding acceptance.

I wouldn’t say that I have found acceptance, it’s something I struggle with often, but there are increasing moments, windows of clarity, when I can feel the peace that saying “this is how it is” provides. I know there is nothing that can be done about most of the things that I have lost, especially those things associated with getting older, so being able to find that calm moment is a release, a time to let go of all the unrealistic “wishes” about fabulous ways to turn back time, which only happens in the movies and the science fiction books anyway (oh how I do love science fiction, where you can be young for all your life).

Finding acceptance is not a static thing for me, it can be found, it can be lost, then found again.  Always it moves me a little bit closer to a better understanding of how I want to be, how to let go of control over something that is, essentially, uncontrollable, and just float along that river called “De Nile”.  Which is a little bit weird, but works for me – “if I don’t focus on it, I can accept that there is nothing I can do about”.

Whatever path you find to acceptance, may it bring peace to you.

Writing 101 – Opposites attract

“Don’t look at me like that, really, please don’t”
silence
“You know I shouldn’t”
silence
“Why do you have to do this to me?”
Silence
“You never answer, never give advice, just sit there and leave it all up to me. You know I make the wrong decisions, take the easy option, the path of least resistance. It’s what you want isn’t it? You want me to fail.”
silence
“Oh, to hell with it.”
crunch, crack, snap, gulp
“Hah, serves you right, you were asking for it. You shouldn’t sit there looking all innocent, Biscuit.”

Writing 101 – Day 4: Loss (Part 1)

Day Four, Writing 101 – Loss:  Write about a loss (something or someone).

When I look in the mirror I see it, something missing.  The spark from my eye, the smile from my lips, the colour from my hair.  Where did it go?  The years have taken something, and left a slightly lesser me, an older, shrunken, washed out version of who I used to be.  It surprises me!  Why? because my inner me, my core self-perception image, is still sparkly, spry, sleek and springy.  I don’t match my outside anymore, and my reflection catches me off guard in that moment and makes me look twice to see who this person is.

It’s a loss that starts slowly, years before you truly notice it, a single grey hair, a crinkle around the eyes, a few dark spots on your skin.  But, one day, you look, and there she is, this person who you don’t recognise, changed from the inner to the outer vision.  There is no going back, you can’t arrest time and press the rewind button.  You can’t regain what is lost, as time marches steadily on. 

All that is left to learn from this loss is acceptance.

….to be continued

 

Writing 101 – Day 3: Meaningful Music

The assignment for today from Writing 101, write about the 3 most meaningful songs in your life.

Hmmm, of all the music, in all the world, you want me to choose just 3 to represent my life?   I’ve been thinking about this all day, running songs through my mind, loving them all for one reason or another, but still not able to choose just 3.  Sitting here typing I’m going to have to stop procrastinating and just pick.

Song 1 –

“Bring Me Some Water” by Melissa Etheridge.  I can still remember the precise time I heard this song, the first music of hers I had ever heard.  Sitting in my car at the lights, a hot summers day, and this blasted out of the radio, straight into my brain, bouncing right into my soul with its angst and guitars and desire and a tinge of aggression and despair.  It fitted right into what was happening to me at that time.  I fell in love with this musician, I bought her album, and every damn song on there was written just for me!  How did she know, this woman wrote the words that were in the very centre of me struggling to get out.  She sang them in her strong, gutsy voice and played those steel strings with every ounce of pain and love and perseverance that she had.

Since then I have bought all her albums, with only 1 exception, and they consistently reach out to me in a way that no other singer/songwriter has, clawing their way down to those feelings that I can’t express myself, and going “see, I understand”.  It was only many years later that I was made aware that she was gay, and she was singing about females, didn’t change one tiny bit the power of her words, the depth of her feelings, which should prove to every thinking person that gender orientation is nothing to get worked up about, that love and pain are the same for every human.

My 15 minutes is gone and I haven’t even started on the other 2 songs (which is lucky, cause I’m still not sure what they are).

Song 2 –

“My House” by Randy Travis – simply because it is true, and a great song to belt out with conviction.

“My house is filled with the things that I love, from her smile in the morning, to her soft, good night hugs, her whisper, her laughter, everything that she does, my house is filled with the things that I love.”

Song 3 –

“Never Gonna Love Again” – Anastacia.  Soul destroying truth to me.

Honourable mention to “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd – gotta have some Floyd in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing 101 – The view I love

I know when I reach this point, my heart says “Home”. That first glimpse of the valley fading away into the distance. The mountains surrounding the edges, the smaller hills nestling at their feet. I only see it for a moment, a glimpse from the car, if I stop and pull over the view is lost, but I feel it working it’s magic. That inevitable pull towards a place that I love, encapsulating all that the word home can mean. There is still 35 minutes to travel to reach my small slice of home, but this is the beginning.

The view from the car window changes as I drive the familiar road, winding around a few corners, but always gently heading lower, before hitting the long strait at the bottom of the valley The paddocks on either side stretching out like blankets to touch the foot of the hills surrounding them. Poplar trees line a short section of this road, their leaves fallen at their feet, standing like shameless ladies shedding their clothes for the shower.

Further along, driving through the little town, gently expanding it’s borders, to become a larger town. I remember as a child getting our groceries here with my mother, in a tiny 5 aisle supermarket, and wondering at all the food stacked on the shelves. The owner packing it all in boxes for us to take home. Now there is a much larger supermarket, many more shops and people bustling about the streets, but still those early memories remain of this place, like a ghost underlying the reality of the now.

Over the bridge and follow the river. Changeless and changing. The shape of it’s course remains the same, the reflections vary, the tide rises and falls exposing or hiding as the day goes through its hours. There is still another 20 minutes of travel along the bank of this wide, brown river. Boats float at anchor, swans glide serenely upon it’s surface, trees shade it’s banks in parts.

Widening out as we travel further down, it opens up to reed filled edges, deadwood poking through the surface where pelicans nest. There was a fire through here last year, and all the scrub between the road and the river was burnt. Blackened stubby trees stand out against the sky make me think of Mordor, desolation and despair. One morning last winter I drove through and all the dead limbs were strung with spider webs, thousands and thousands, sparkling in the frosty morning

Road the corner and the first bay comes into view, the river opens even wider, healthy trees shade the edges and greenery returns. Along the very edge of the river I drive, glimpses of reflected boats and trees sparkle in the water, on surface sometimes shattered, sometimes perfectly still like a mirror. Closer to home now, I pass between the huge upright logs each side of the road, the gateway to the town where I live, with its history of forestry and orchards, but sadly both are now mostly gone.

I turn off onto the side road, and off again, across the tiny 1 lane wooden bridge, and swing a hard left into my drive, bumping up my potholed driveway. I am home. I love the view from my car window.

Garden 2011 (4)

 

Writing 101 – From my brain to the Page

To write, Words streaming through a brain, fingers tapping at the keys.  Ideas not leaking through.  Why is it that when the time is there, the words are not?  Why do we want to capture some ephemeral, nebulous idea, percolating in our brain, or chain our emotions by surrounding then with letters?

For me, it sometimes is cathartic.  To try and express what my grief feels like.  Dreams where I search for Andrew, but can never connect, the endless attempts to call him on the phone, never knowing his number, never him answering the phone, over and over again.  To try and write to define the feelings that this engenders in me on waking.  A malaise of sadness and frustration.  An aching need to find this man, my man, to feel again that connection, the completeness that is now missing.

Don’t get me wrong, writing isn’t just about that, I write about silly things that amuse me, my attempts to understand computers, my fight with food, my children.  There is plenty of happy mixed with my morose.  As the years past the balance changes and the happy begins to outshine the sad, mostly.  Happy is always harder than misery, at least for me.  There is a little element of lazy, ok, maybe a medium size element, in my construction.  Reasoning goes thus, if I have to push yourself to be happy, am I REALLY happy.  The answer of course is yes, but sometimes my stubborn streak thinks NO.  I can fight myself better than anyone else!

I’m not, by nature, a bubbly type personality.  What shows on the outside often isn’t a good reflection of what is happening inside.  Sometimes I’m not even sure what is happening on the inside.  I try to live day by day, but I feel the clock ticking, and as I get older, I notice that tick get louder and louder.  I can feel a panic set in, the knowledge that time isn’t infinite, the my time is halfway gone, that I cannot control this process.  I understand mortality, I just don’t like it happening to me.  I don’t want to lose anymore people I love, I don’t want to miss their days, the little things that happen.  I don’t like change, but accept that this is what life is about, but it’s a constant struggle for me to accept.

Just realised that I only wrote for 11 minutes, trying to fit it in before leaving for work, and miscalculated the time, so here goes my other nine minutes.

Age, getting old, sagging skin, “scrawny chicken neck” as my Mum used to call it, I’m noticing all these things now, and I’m loathing them.  If I let myself think about it is is smothering, like a physical weight that presses down on me.  What weight is attributed to age?  How much does each passing day, week, month, year, add to that load?  I’m getting good at sweeping it all under the carpet, only trouble is my carpet is now starting to display a suspiciously large lump of accumulated denial poking through it’s ragged threads.  Denial works mostly, “don’t think about, don’t think about it, don’t THINK about it”  and I can survive the crushing.

Sometimes I’d like to take myself by the heels and shake all these thoughts right out.  Grab the scruff of my own neck and look in my face and growl, to let my thoughts know I am the dominant animal, “you can’t control me”.  Silly, as who controls me, if not myself?  Control is something that is hard for me to let go of, and yet I know that I need to do this sometimes, that in fact I must unless I want to self-combust.  Learning lessons through life trials, seems to be what my life has been about, and now I am gradually accepting that, and letting myself be, accepting I can feel denial, but that it doesn’t rule my life.  I can be 2 in 1, acceptance and denial.  Works for me.  Just watch out for that large mountain under the rug!

20 minutes of mind-streaming to fingers – Interesting way the brain works, girl!