Life, blurred.

Typewriter as metaphor for Lyme by Nicole Cody

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” ~ Jack Kerouac

Sometimes, life gets smudged around the edges and my crisp lines fuzzle into fluffy lumps of something but I haven’t got the word for it.

No words is hard for a writer. Or when you forget the shape of things or what her name was. When you cry in your breakfast toast for longing. Wishing the words were perfect in your mouth and your mind was like a railway track, clicketty-clack, that knew where it was going.

Yesterday, or some other time, I wrote and I wrote. Because it all came back.

But now the drugs have bitten hard, and my Lyme is sending poison tendrils out that muddle my brain and leave me stranded.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

It’s like dementia sneaks up and steals your soul, who watches you through a clouded glass, trying to call loud enough for you to hear the magic code which will unlock the words trapped in that other part.

So I will dream awake, and hope the tide leaves me on a better shore, one where words and ideas hang from the trees sweet as fruit and just as luscious.

Here it’s all bitter and lonely-making.  Here I am someone less, and I can’t remember what more tastes like.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

Howling at the Moon

Image from Wikia

Image from Wikia

 Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.

~ Sojourner Truth

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’m wide awake; fretful and fitful and just a bit teary.

Maybe it’s the Full Moon…

Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had three days of doctors, more tests and been given my new expanded treatment regime for Chronic Lyme.

I’m introducing three new drugs to the existing two.

That’s a lot of drugs…

And there’s a super-duper new restricted diet to go with that.

I don’t know why that should bother me.  I’ve spent thirty years following various diet plans, supplement and medicine plans and assorted other ‘get-me-well’ protocols. It’s not like I’ve gone from a normal life to this strangeness. This ‘strangeness’ is my normal!

I even have a helpful letter from one of my doctors, that I must use to release myself from a program I am now unable to complete.  I had to open the letter so I could fax it off to the recipient.  My doctor’s final words caught me by surprise, “her prognosis is guarded: I do not anticipate any form of recovery in the next twelve months. This is a most regrettable situation.”

Regrettable?  Yes, I guess it is.  And he makes me sound so sick.

Oh wait. That’s right.  I am.

I’ve been mostly coping okay, and I’m sure that after a bit more sleep I’ll be fine. But tonight, as my skin itches as if I’m being bitten by a thousand angry ants, as my left eye throbs and pulses from the bacteria inflaming my optic nerve, as my joins swell and pain, my head pounding, my ears burning, my gut a tortured length of misery, I am sitting in overwhelm.

I just want to howl.

I can imagine the wild dogs tonight, back at my farm, full voiced as they scream their collective angst and passion and solidarity to the sky.

I wish that I could join them.  The howl’s just there.  A primal thing pressuring the back of my throat.

But the neighbours in this respectable Brisbane suburb might think it strange to see a pyjama clad, tear-streaked woman howling her pain and frustration to the heavens. They’d probably call the police.

If I feel into this unvoiced howl though, if I lose myself to the pain, something comforting happens. Beyond the suffering and the infinite sadness at the loss of so much of my life to this damned thing, I find a strength. If I keep feeling into the howl I find a kinship.

I belong to a kind of fellowship, its members bound through the most primal and visceral of suffering. And I know something powerful about this membership – it transforms you.

Through this journey of chronic illness and pain I have found beauty, wisdom, courage and kindness. It has opened me up to a depth in myself I would never have otherwise explored.

I lay down on the couch, looking out the leaf-framed window to the silver moon above me. I feel the voices of the wild dogs.  I feel the kinship of the suffering on whom this same moon shines.

I am comforted. I am connected.  And I know it’s already okay.  I am okay.  I will be okay.

So I’ll keep gazing at the moon, bathe in her light, and wait for sleep to claim me.

Namaste ♥ xx

Image by Jess Newman

Image by Jesse Newman

Drought, Poetry and Roses

Image by Nick Moir

Today’s post is inspired by a flower – a single rose blooming in my garden. Bless that rose, and all she means to me…

A few years ago we weathered eight years of the most horrendous drought. Our farm in the Lockyer Valley was baked brown, and it seemed surreal to be without water up there, and then to come back to Brisbane (an hour’s drive, door to door) where the pop-up sprinklers in the neighbours’ lawns spilled gallons of water into the gutters each night and everyone took twenty minute showers.

It took a few years before it affected Brisbane, but soon water restrictions became a way of life. As the drought took hold, the restrictions became harsher. At the farm, in town, gardens withered, trees died, wildlife dissapeared.

It was one of the hardest and most dispiriting times of our lives.  Friends walked off properties held by their families for generations, depression and suicides were rife in our farming community. There was no water to be had.  No feed to be had.  They were desperate times.

The moisture, the very life of the land, was sucked away, and all we were left with was dust.

This poem describes one hot, miserable summer morning at our farm:

DROUGHT BIRDS

Dawn breaks grave quiet

There is no chorus,

no cicada buzz or insect hum.

The sky is empty but for sun.

The dying here is silent,

swaddled in summer’s thick blanket

of heat and dust.

Drought birds perch in spindly-limbed trees

their white coats stained rust

chests puffed to give a futile impression

of longevity.

They gasp shallow rents

of earth-baked air,

song long forgotten in their misery.

Hard to gulp down,

this breath which desiccates the living

from the inside out.

Slowly bodies become hollow fragile things,

skin a ragged quilt of lice

and dirty feathers.

Drought birds.

They cling to the memory of wing.

If you reached out and touched one

it would crumble to nothing in your fingers

and blow away on the wind.

Drought birds litter empty waterholes

carcasses light as a dream.

Everything changes. Eventually the rains came. And with them, one small miracle.

Our Brisbane house was built in 1937. Down each side of the house they planted roses. Some of the original plants had survived all those years.  But the drought killed them off, one by one, these old darlings.

Or so I thought.  After a summer of soaking rain, one gnarled old stump shot up a single strong water shoot.  Within a fortnight it bloomed – one magnificent red rose.

Now, whenever this old rose blooms, I am back there in the hardest of times, and simultaeneously I am reminded of hope.  Everything changes, and life has a bitter-sweet beauty I would not trade for all the ease in the world.

Of course since then, we’ve had floods.  And once again the Lockyer Valley took a beating. I wrote about it here – Musings on Melancholy – my own little ‘Lost In Translation’ Moment. In the end we sold our farm and moved away. It was the right thing to do. I’m sure you’ll understand. Now we are nestled in gentle coastal country that is always green, always lush. It has rejuvenated us in a way that only nature can.

Seasons come and go, inspire poetry, life moves on, roses bloom, hope springs eternal. ♥

Everything changes…

Image from jefmenguin.com

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Take heart, because everything changes. No matter how stuck you feel right now, how burdened or exhausted or unhappy, know that it will not last.  Nothing lasts forever.  Everything changes.

While that is also true of our fondest moments and happiest times, it is usually when we are stuck deep down some hole, helpless and hopeless, that we most need to be reminded of this eternal truth.

This baby elephant fell down a drainage well in Thailand, but don't worry - he was later rescued, unharmed.

If there is no glimmer of light where you are, then look inside yourself.  Use the light of your own heart to guide you.  Use the heat of your own love to warm you.  Hang on. Take courage.  Get through things the best way you can.

And as the earth revolves, and the sun goes up and down, eventually there will be a ray of light again to illuminate your world, a helping hand to lift you up, or an idea in your mind that will elevate you from where you are right now.

First Light, Byron Bay, by paul (dex) from vagabondish.com

Everything changes.  There is a season for all things.  If your time to shine is not yet, then know that it WILL come. And if your time to shine is here, then see how many other lives you can illuminate.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

♥ Wishing you Love, Light and Rainbows xx ♥

What to do when you don’t know where you’re going…

Lonely - image from scottysplace.blogspot.com

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
~ Dr. Seuss

Feeling lost is a very normal human emotion. And it is especially common when we are going through change.

When we find ourselves in that in-between space: in between jobs, relationships, projects… when we’ve given something up, or lost that something which has helped define us…

image from bestprofilepicture.blogspot.com

it’s normal to feel hollowed out, lonely, directionless, lost.

And in that space it’s okay to not know where you’re going.

image from designzzz.com

There is a wisdom in this Universe. It is greater than anything that you will muster as an individual. It carries you along in its flow, whether you are aware of it or not.

This wisdom contrives for us wonders and synchronicities far beyond anything we may ever imagine or dream for ourselves.

The Bello Nebula - image from wallpaperstock.net

So our job is not to have all the answers.  Our job isn’t even about asking the right questions.

When life is difficult,

when we don’t know where we are going…

image from freebigpictures.com

our job is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Learn to fill yourself up on your own. Do the things you can do. Take care of yourself and do the best you can. Honour your own values and principles.  Live from integrity.

Trust.

If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually the way will find you – the path will become clearer – new doors will open, new companions will show up along the way.

So for now, keep walking.

image from livromans.com

We kid ourselves into thinking we ever know where we are going – life is so much stranger and more wonderful than that.

It’s okay to be scared –  know that this is all part of the journey.

Keep going and don’t think about it or plan into the future so much or you’ll miss all the glorious stuff going on right now, right in front of you.

image from ineffabletwaddle.com

The fact is, it’s usually when we don’t know where we’re going that we find ourselves.

Bless ♥ xx