Breathing, suffocating, flying and dying

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I have found a use for the 5 or 6 bottles of champagne in my wine rack. Indeed, that is all that is in my wine rack so I guess really it is a champagne rack. I don't even like the taste of champagne all that much. But eating it is another story. I chucked some in a risotto a few months ago in a recipe that called for wine, and it was primo. Just before I sat down here, I made and ate two bowls of French onion soup. And I sloshed some in that and yea, I am such a good cook :) Heh.

Cooking helps to calm me down, the way that playing with clay does. I need a lot of calming lately. Soothing myself the way a mother soothes a baby. It's gonna be alright. It's okay. It hurts to learn to do that. Isn't it funny? But it feels so lovely to do.

I don't feel energetic enough to go playing with clay tonight. You've got to pick your levels and tonight is a playing music and cooking kind of night. Which is fine. Eating my creativity is something I never get tired of.

I took Lester and my brother's dog, Elly, down to the river the day before yesterday. The crazy part up near Avondale Heights where there is a new housing estate being built. And which now, considering finances, maybe will take a bit longer than first thought to be built. Which is more than fine with me. The less construction that goes on there the better as far as I'm concerned. On the estate the ground has been levelled, trees brought down, a few roads been put in. It's all safe and nice. And damn boring.

When I get down to the river, it is so quiet and treed that, unless I lift my gaze up high and see the houses further along on the other side of the river, I could be in the middle of the bush. I come here when I am struggling to breathe and feeling constricted, as I am quite often the last couple of weeks. I cannot explain what is going on in me, but I recognise this space. The last time I was here I came out the other side with a few more pockets of breathing space. I imagine it will be the same situation here but first, I have to learn to breathe with less air than usual. Everything ends and everything belongs. It is just a matter of hanging onto perspective, and remembering the good things, or else I go too deep into the dark and I start to scare even myself.

On top of these spaces, I have my brother here too, which has difficulties all its own. Not that he is difficult to be around. He's actually quite fun and interesting, enjoying pondering and philosophising about things as much as I. It's me who is the one struggling without my own 300 miles of private space all to myself. But my struggles with boundary issues are not just for the hell of it. There are definite reasons why I struggle. Still, it is good to learn to stick to my boundaries with another person around. And a family member to boot, to make it a bit more challenging. Funny how our family dynamics often teach us to deny our own boundaries. "That is selfish," we say when we want to go and play with clay. But I did it anyway, because I know it is nothing near selfish. And anyway, apart from all that, I'm much nicer to be around when I have been allowed to do what I am screaming to do :)

My brother is in a better headspace himself these days than when he was here last. Last time we were both pretty messed up. I still am, but have come along a bit all in all. He is still on the lookout for a new life for himself - indeed, is on his way through Melbourne. Doesn't want to stay here. Can't handle the pace of a city that rushes insanely and whose bosses inanely expect him to work 14 hour days because it's what you do. Is hanging around Melbourne for a few weeks, lining up a bit of work here and there painting houses and pubs with a friend, on his way over to South Australia and my auntie's place. It's really nice to see him walking out of dark places, walking towards who knows what but still walking. Indeed, he is more positive and much less cynical than me at the moment. I'm the God lover and yet I am the whingeing whining one, finding it very difficult to see anything much beyond my own nose and losing sight of the God of the everyday in things, the gentle small graces that we all share in and that touch everybody. This is a humility teacher to me. Indeed, the other day, while I was criticising our old cat who I despised, a half Persian who was as snooty as they come, he said to me, "Didn't that book say that all creatures are God's creatures? You should be loving all animals." He was talking about The Shack, which both he and my mum have read, which spins me out beyond belief :) It is difficult to be the grouchy, cynical, busted up one, but it is what it is, and I am what I am, and pride is a pointless enterprise anyway :)

There is a method in all of this madness going on in me. I know that much. There was some kind of willing assent at the beginning of this latest weirdness, a nodding of the head to God to do whatever he is wanting to do. I wouldn't have a bloody clue, but he does. And oh, I love him. And I trust him to walk me into places that I would balk at like a horse otherwise.

It feels weird to me to consider how long ago last week feels to me. It feels like time has slowed right down in some ways. I yearn for release from this latest bubble, but there is just no rushing it, and there are opportunities to toughen up within here.

Having someone staying with me is interesting in another way, is breaking me out a bit of some more of my hermitical sealing. Oh, my deepest prayer these days is that, whatever economic ramifications go on, that I won't have to move from my house anytime soon. My solace and my comfort. I am not ready to leave here. Not ready, not ready, not ready. Nor am I ready to share my space with anybody else. I hope I don't have to anytime soon.

The day before yesterday we walked into the crazy undergrowth. It's so boring up there on the flat levelled treeless estate. Much better the spaces covered in trees and ditches. Elly didn't care. She was chasing rabbits. Bounded exuberantly through underbrush, over logs. Running flat stick despite the uneven ground. Careless for her own safety. Paying the price yesterday, lying around apathetically all day, a red mark on her groin where she had caught herself and bled. Her already sore back leg limping more than before. We are off to visit George Schofield the dog whisperer on the weekend. There are two dogs here who need his soothing fingers.

I have had the same dream two or three times. Well, not the same dream as such ~ different dream occurrences but with the same powers. Life in these dreams is pretty much as it is here. There are no weird monsters, or people walking around who in real life have been dead for years, nothing out of the ordinary except for the amazing ability of my feet. I was being chased in the last dream. But I was pretty cool and calm and collected about it all. I knew my feet would save me. They were as powerful and superhero as Jennifer's amazing singing feet are. I was being chased, got to a high, high chainlink fence. Just pushed up, as easy as anything, and effortlessly flew over the chain fence. As easily as you step off a step onto the ground, I pushed off the ground and into the air. And flew. Hovered above my pursuers. In other dreams I have flown over green fields, high, high above the trees.

I will never ever forget what it felt to fly, and I will never ever lose the desire to do it in real life :) I haven't had that dream for ages. But what it looks like right now is reaching out and touching the flame, and walking into the suffocating dark. It'll all end up at the same place in the end.


  1. You have a wine rack?

    Having walked through the darkness a bit meself, let me suggest that the ugly scar tissue from that experience ( some call it the dark night of the soul:) (when you can see it on the good days) is actually a real gift:)It can give you a sensitivity and perspective you wouldnt otherwize have. Which in a world groaning under the forces of sin and death, is sorely needed.

    Nice post.

  2. Thanks, Monk. You are so right.


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