Saturday, March 24, 2012


I've been told I don't know my own strength but this was a shock.

Bye, hole punch. You were one of my first purchases when I arrived four years ago. All those reams of notes, archived assignments, logs and bills and statements and letters you helped me organise. I wonder what my Master's journey would have been without you.

Looks like the seasons really are shifting over here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I had every intention of going to church that Sunday morning.

I had every resource I needed for going to church.

I had every reason for going to church.

What I did not have was the foreknowledge that the usual route to church would be blocked, necessitating a detour so big that I'd miss half the service by the time I got there.

So I swerved away from the road to church* and spent the morning letting leafy shadows shift over me as I sat and read. Waterfowl squawked, sputtered, splashed nearby. Children raced past on foot, on scooters, on shoulders, urging fathers faster.

(I can't say that last sentence fast out loud. Can you?)

Diversions happen. They can frustrate, confound, delay... or they can lead us to conclude that if we're going to end up somewhere else anyway, we might as well make it somewhere nice.

*A decision rendered much easier by the existence of a fledgling evening service; I am so, so thankful for the women and men who put much of their lives into the health of this congregation

Sunday, March 18, 2012

While away

A few notes about getting away:

If your destination is not too far from your place of ordinary residence, making travel time negligible and maintenance of food freshness not impossible, you can pack a light meal or two in anticipation of wanting to do nothing that evening but stay in and watch DVDs in bed. Of course, if you're at all like me, it might mean you pack a varied and detailed salad but forget all cutlery, resulting in your having to rip a tomato apart with your bare hands and eat dinner with a teaspoon.

This didn't diminish my experience in any way but if you think it might do yours, then by all means: don't forget the cutlery.

Being away, you might also find yourself spending more time on handwritten text than you would back in your Ordinary World: curlicues make a return, and the signature lavender sprig that was on your plate at breakfast enjoys a short-lived modelling career before returning whence it came.

Away is where there's time aplenty, and space to enjoy that time unhindered.

Friday, March 02, 2012


"Self-care is essential," I have heard from every one of my lecturers and supervisors in this my latest (and, I'm hoping, lifelong) career. "Get away as often as you can," many also said. Enjoy the change in surroundings. Catch a break from containing other people's anxieties. Immerse yourself in beauty.

I ignored them. The excuses fell thick and fast. "I don't need to get away because I love where I live and it's pretty peaceful." "I can't spare a few days away from home." "I have too much to do." "Even if I am stressed, I let it out through baking and craft." "I'm fine. I really am."

I'm glad this time around it didn't take too long for me to realise that the above isn't always enough, that I needed to believe that people with decades of experience know what they're talking about -- and more than that, I needed to go away. Indecisive though I still am, the need to go was far greater than the fear of committing to the one choice. So it is that I ended up in that magical spot not too far from home, yet far indeed.

Where welcome was expressed not only in words and a lift up the stairs for my overnight bag, but in a pair of lavender biscuits and the offer of the programme for the local outdoor cinema.

Where a sandwich, mundane no-time lunch back in my ordinary world -- the very same sandwich! -- turned into a magical meal to the music of galahs and cockatoos conversing as they swooped down to the pool. Eaten here, eaten thus, it was fuel enough for the next few hours' wander through the lavender and through my raggedy, neglected soul.

Where discarded old things aren't made to feel worthless, or at least that's the impression I got. You can't feel worthless, can you, if you're given a place like this to continue your existence?

Where en route to the bridge I could press close to a tree, tracing the story of its years through its resin-coated bark.

Where indoors, too, had many wonders to be appreciated: a thimble-sized couple shyly courting on the windowsill (I gave them their space when taking this picture),

the stage set for that old, old battle between light and dark,

and a former inhabitant of this house reclaiming his favourite spot on the spiral staircase, lying in wait for the odd unsuspecting foot.

And so it was, my first day away.

I'm quite pleased with myself, writing this post only two weeks after the fact. My blog posts are usually so delayed that seasons change and cobwebs form in between.
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