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‘You have such a three-year pattern! Look at yourself, for god’s sake!’

The door slams. It’s 1994, in a hot Sydney summer, when even the fat cockroaches in our slummy student house look a bit sweaty. My friend R has left the living room, but her dark mood and comment lingers. I frown back, staring down her words. Am I really a 3-year addict? Does it matter? Obviously it does to her, but I’m not feeling that distressed.

The sink pipe knocks as usual while I pour myself a glass of water; is our hopeless landlord ever going to fix that? Well, it won’t matter anyway, if I move out… I’ve lived here for a while now, and it feels like time for a change… to the beach maybe, over at Bondi.

How long has it been, this inner city dwelling? Nearly 3 years of hot pavements, squashed terrace houses with fragrant frangipanis, the endless hum of cars and their exhaust fumes. Before that, it was a scruffy flat in Coffs Harbour, with greasy carpets, and peeling paint on all the weatherboards and windows. Did I live there for long? I moved a few times, from my soon-to-be-ex boyfriend’s parents’ house when we came back completely broke from Canada, to a caravan with a wide deck under a massive fig tree, to a couple of shared flats with other single women looking for fun like me…

Hmm. Is there a pattern? Do I need to look at it? It’s 1994, I’m 28; isn’t Life about changes, transitions, new adventures?

I’m yet to go to Uni, move into a circus warehouse with 10 other people, grow dreadlocks then shave my head at 30, begin performing and creating, move to Northern NSW to study dance, start a mixed ability dance theatre company with my best friend, have a baby, leave his Dad, get a girlfriend, go back to boys, hurt my back badly for the 3rd time, turn 40 in an old barn in France, move to Adelaide to study Pilates and make adult puppetry shows, lose my Dad, suffer Depression, explore Polyamory, move back to near Byron Bay, turn 50 in Paris with an amazing and challenging woman… then fall in love online with ‘H’, the best of both worlds. My list goes on. The list of Changes, Patterns [and potential juicy blogposts : ) ]…

What about you? Have you noticed your patterns? Are they helpful, or destructive? Have you ever thought about your habits of making changes… or not changing?

5 easy steps to make beeswax cloths & banish plastic wrap over your food FOREVER

There are a million links on the web for doing this, but as part of my “Have a break from Blogging” policy, I tackled this today (has been on my To Do List for ages)

SO EASY:

  1. Cut out cotton cloths using pinking shears (various sizes/shapes to fit over your bowls/plates)
  2. Line baking tin with sheet of baking paper (oven on about 120-150 i.e. low/medium)
  3. Sprinkle cloth with grated pure beeswax & 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil (optional) gratedWax
  4. After it all melts (approx 3-5 mins), use clean paintbrush to make sure all edges are soaked in wax (the material just sucks it up)Brush
  5. Hang on line to dry (I just strung .5 metre twine between fridge & pantry), newspaper underneath to catch drips, & put tray there so the wax falls back in to be re-used. Takes 1-2 mins to harden. So Simple! OnLine
  6. Repeat
  7. Wash in cold soapy water only after use, and not good for meat products
  8. Fantastic gifts for every single person you know, so we can banish plastic wrap forever! There are tutorials online re putting buttons on so you can make sandwich bags etc etc, but I can’t/don’t want to sew.
  9. If I can do it, YOU can do it : )
    Done!

    I’ve seen packs of 3 retail for $30- these 8 cost me $5 for the block of pure beeswax, and 1.5hrs of my time. Cotton cloths from op shop, or friend’s material box. Too easy!

    How cute do they look? Are you inspired to give it a go? Please let me know : ),    love G

Moon Ate the Dark Writing Prompt Challenge: Moon/Hazel Reid

So I entered a short piece into this Writing Challenge; like so many other submissions, mine veered toward the darker side of life: https://braveandrecklessblog.com/2017/05/23/moon-ate-the-dark-challenge-findinggabrielle-griffin/
Then today, I saw this entry, so had to re-blog. I love it! Thank you to Christine at her Blog Brave and Reckless for all this creativity and activity

Brave and Reckless

“Mum Moon ate the dark chocolate!” yelled Ash. Mum panicking, yelled back asking him did Moon actually eat it all. Ash getting more panicked told her that he did and that he’s lying on the floor moaning and that his tummy looks funny. Mum frantically getting out of the bath drips large drops all over the floor making it slippy. “Ash you’ve got to get him outside quickly”. Finding clothes she tries to get them up her tacky legs and thinks ‘yet another terrible start to the day’. “Mum he’s going to be sick” a plaintive Ash calls up to her. On reaching him she grabbed Moon and dragged him outside. He did indeed start throwing up; black vomit. She was glad that she knew he’d eaten the chocolate because it looked like blood.  Stupid dog.

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Watching her cry from across the world

In bed, snuggled with cat, computer, and early morning cuppa. Click link on generic Facebook newsfeed. Suddenly watching a grief-stricken Mum, mourning her lost daughter after the bomb blast in Manchester. See her blotched red face, and the grey roots of her dull brown hair. Notice her own mother sitting beside her, and perhaps that’s her son, sitting on the floor at her feet, holding her hand with his head bowed? See her swollen eyes and running nose, thickening her voice, wailing for her lost baby. And as my own tears fall softly, think:

‘This is the true good of social media; we can share our vulnerabilities and losses. Her life has just been fucking ruined, and she’s sharing a miniscule amount of her pain on this day with us. She’s held in this nightmare by her family who love her, and she’s not alone. Thank god she’s not alone.’

We are all in mourning, all across the world, all the time: for our lost family members or friends, our beloved dead pets, our forgotten dreams. For the departing freshness of the ocean, or chopped cool of the forest. For Peace, for Hope, for Equality, for Love.

We are not alone. We are never alone. And to reveal, share, touch, and unite is the only way through this, to the End.

candle

 

Moon Ate the Dark Challenge: Finding/Gabrielle Griffin

“Whaddya blog about?”
“Life really I guess: dating/love/teenage son/Mindfulness & thoughts… plus sometimes creative stuff, like this. Here’s my entry of between 100-750 words in response to sentence ‘Moon Ate the Dark’…’

Brave and Reckless

What leans a woman into her Life? Lean close to the Ache of pain or grief instead of away? Not Away into drink, sex, TV or buying. But instead Breathe hot and brave into heart ruptures, pressing pearl bones against trial and Mistakes, angled up close enough to see the Splinters as they happen.

Moon was such a Woman. Tall, strong, soft, wrapped in amber and citrus oil, Kindness like a long scarf trailing from her hair.

When Moon first kissed her with mint fire lips, did all the stars Stop to watch? It seemed so. She sank her black bags of Loss to Moon’s bare feet, who simply leant in, stepped over them, and Kissed her again.

When they first made Love, after 2 months of crawling round her Ugly walls, Moon whispered her name over and over, calming urges to Flee outside her frozen body, with the thin…

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Down the long lane

I was invited and encouraged to re-blog this old post of mine for the recent Mother’s Day, and #ForgivingFridays over at Debbie’s blog ForgivingConnects:
https://forgivingconnects.com/
So here it is

bone&silver

My mother, who lives in England, turned 80 on July 4. From Australia, I had organised a 3-day weekend get together in an old farmhouse on Dartmoor for our closest relatives, meaning 13 of us met up to celebrate. I hauled myself over to the UK, begrudging all those people who sleep easily on planes. Still, four good films in a row aren’t bad going.

A couple of weeks before I left, I treated myself to a massage. As usual, I wondered why I don’t do it more often? It was such a lush experience, with hot white towels softly lowered over me, and warm wheat-bags resting along each limb, feeding the air with that fresh bread scent. No tinny dolphin music, just silence. It was in a private home, so no exterior noise, or impatient clients waiting outside the door for us to finish. The masseur created a wonderful…

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Gift from teenage son…

I heard ‘Almost17’ in the shower at 6am (we had to leave for the airport at 7); he soon came into my room fully dressed, with still-damp hair, where I lay in bed reading before getting up.

Him: Move over Mum.

Me: [Really??] OK Sweetie. [Sliding over, slightly stunned, but pretending I’m cool…]

Him: Happy Mother’s Day.

Me: Thanks. You know I think it’s a load of Hallmark crap don’t you, but that’s still lovely, thank you. Are you bringing me peppermint tea in bed?

Him: No, I’m too tired. I didn’t get home from the party till 1am. *Rolls on his side away from me*. Spoon me Mum.

Me: [REALLY??] OK Sweetie. [Spooning behind him, completely stunned, gingerly resting my arm on top of him and the quilt because, you know, I’m Cool…]

Him: No, properly Mum, under the covers. Please let me sleep for another 15 minutes.

Me: Sure honey…

spoon

*Lie there holding my baby boy as he begins to twitch and dream, breathing deeply. For how many nights did I hold him until teenage-hood? How many times did I soothe him when he was sick or fretting? How rarely does it happen any more…?

I know none of these answers right now. All I know now is the utter peace of lying here, being ‘Mum’, and providing a safe haven for my child, however briefly, just like in the old days:

gg&A2001

2001

I want to stop Time.

Wishing every Mama out there a meaningful connection with her child or children, even if just for a moment. Also honouring each woman who chooses not to birth or parent, or who can’t, or won’t. Also acknowledging those of us who suffered postnatal depression or other challenges, and women who have survived terrible mother experiences or childhoods. There are endless complex stories, held by multitudes, and the simplistic myth of ‘maternal instinct’ can be deceptive.

But let’s remember and agree that we are ALL mothered and nurtured by our planet Earth, who deserves as much love, respect, and care as we can give her, today and every day.

earth

Image from NASA