All posts tagged: loss

“We need kilometres of fencing”- repairs after an Australian bushfire Part 2

The texts had reassured us all, anxiously listening for news of our friends’ latest bushfire threat. They dealt with one in February (the height of Summer fire season here in Australia), but this danger so early in Spring was scary… As I began to tell in Part One, I’m just back from helping with a tiny part of the massive clean-up: they battled all night to save their home, while thousands of acres burnt around them. Like, literally up to the verandah. I took this photo standing on their front deck: As you saw in Part One, destroyed sheds and landscape made for eerie surroundings. Plus the silence. Until the loud revving of a loaded truck, as an unknown farmer, his wife, and three kids from half an hour away arrived with a load of donated hay. His wife had even baked a chocolate cake. Just writing that down makes me cry; we were all fighting back tears as the team gathered to unload the hay and roll it into the [miraculously-saved] shed. This tough …

Surviving a bushfire in Australia takes courage & preparation #resilience

“Don’t send clothes”- The aftermath of an Australian bushfire Part 1

Can you imagine seeing a wall of flames heading towards you as you stand on your front porch or driveway, or perhaps the entryway to your apartment block? What if it was coming from the left hand side? Or the rear? What would you do? This exact scenario has happened to my dear friends TWICE this year already, on their 300-acre beef cattle property, about 2.5 hours from where I live [comfortably] on the coast. I don’t know how they do it. In the 2002 bushfires, a fireball landed on the place, and they lost everything. Everything. Animals, sheds, machinery, trucks and tractors, fencing, and their home. Completely vanished in an inferno they could do nothing to stop, as they weren’t there. 17 years later, they were at home, and fought the blaze. ‘Fought’ is the correct term too. All night long, they doused with water, directed hoses, ran pumps (only solar and generator electricity available), and finished up emptying buckets by hand as the power failed. They’re living legends as far as I’m concerned. …

The 2 most amazing things my 82-yr old Mum said, despite her dementia

I recently heard this analogy about memory: imagine your brain is a bookcase, filled with books of wisdom and learning from the lowest shelves upwards… but as you age- or get dementia- the topmost books fall off, one by one, or sometimes two by two, until the shelves slowly empty down to the ground… Yet Mum still said great things during our three weeks together, and I’m grateful I wrote them down; there will be more to come. Scenario 1: We’re in her living room, surrounded by plump bookcases- she used to be the Head Librarian of our town. Suddenly she picks up a hardcover book, opens it to a few pages from the front and reads aloud this Rumi quote: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Tears rolled down my cheeks as I remembered one of my recent posts- “Nostalgia looks like a hedge, sounds like a seagull, & tastes like crumpets” -about the release of painful memories actually being a blessing for us both. …

I conquered a big post-break up challenge, and am kinda proud of myself

As most of you know, my beloved ex ‘H’ lived in Melbourne, while I’m up near Byron Bay, so regular flights up and down were a strong pattern in our relationship. Since our break up end of Feb, I’ve been slowly but steadily mourning then recovering… and I just survived a huge test: I spent a long weekend in Melbourne with my best friend R, who lives there now. I will admit, it wasn’t easy. I was almost in tears at the airport before I left, knowing ‘H’ wasn’t going to pick me up. I felt really sad and flat, but of course could express that to R, who understood and reassured me. Thank goodness for wise friends hey? I had to battle myself almost every hour not to text ‘H’ (we’ve had pretty much no contact since agreeing we were through), and being left alone in my Airbnb was the most dangerous time… but luckily it was a quirky place, so there were a few items to distract me. R and I kept ourselves …

Happy Birthday Dad, & I still miss you

It’s my Dad Lawrence’s birthday today– he would have been 83. We lost him suddenly 10 years ago this year. I miss him so much, & yet he’s still around somehow, which is awesome. I’m deeply grateful for the life I’m living now, which is his legacy to me & his gorgeous grandson, who’s soon to turn 18, OMG! I’m going to stay home quietly on retreat today, & oil his antique French furniture, the yearly ritual. Tonight, all across the world, his loved ones will be eating Indian food, his fav cuisine. With love & thanks for all the ongoing support you give me on my journey through this life, in good times & bad, or sad, like today, G xO  (Photo is of his last live birthday in 2008)

Who’s carrying that light at the end of this tunnel? Seems like it’s Me

‘How are you going after the break up, G?’ I’ve had that question asked many times, both in real life, and in my beloved WordPress World, so here’s the answer. After spending over a month mourning in a hard nest lined with blankets of sadness, crying, not really eating, cancelling outside plans, and wearing a mask for the times I had to go to work, I’m now coming out again into the sunshine. I can see a fun future, a deep future, a new future. This is good, and welcome. While this romance was in no way a long one- we shared only 18 months, and no children, homes, or other family binds- it still hurt like Hell; I’m so glad I could reach out for support and care. My Top Three tips for surviving a break up are now these: Feel your feelings– cry, wail, grind your teeth with the unfairness of it, scrawl your loss in a journal, bawl at the missing of your beloved, and just surrender to the pain. Seek comfort– …

The 2nd heavy rock in my heart: no more long distance relationship

Yesterday, after exactly 15 months of loving romance, and 18 months since we first met online, I posted a parcel back to ‘H’. It held a few things, but most importantly our ‘connection ring’. I had to get it out of the house. Because a month ago, after ‘H’s last visit for Valentine’s Day (which was wonderful), things went pear-shaped, and despite our love and care for each other, we simply couldn’t get ourselves back to a place of unity. I’m so sad. We both are of course.  But I have to keep writing here as part of my process, thus ‘H’ has unfollowed the blog. I’ve been dreading articulating this, as it makes it all the more real. I’ve definitely just had the most wonderfully unique relationship of my life; being met on a creative level was profoundly satisfying, and ‘H’ was the sweetest, kindest person to spend intimate time with. I regret not one second. Despite the painful disagreements, and the challenges of distance, I am utterly grateful for every lesson, every joy, …

Fiction Friday: Full long version of short story “Roadside”

  Hello All- I’m posting this Australian fiction short story in its entirety, so feel free to skip this post if that’s not yer thing obviously. Make a cuppa and spend five minutes with Lucy and Eris, as several readers commented that they’d prefer a longer read, to sink into it, so I decided to post the full story. This piece won tiny accolades in several small writing competitions here, although it’s a few years old now. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much for reading. In gratitude for words, G xO    “Roadside”- (c) bone&silver 2018 Lucy’s silver waterfall hair tilts when she moves. The tiny peace badge on her jumper glints. She leans like a rusty hinge to stroke the cat, book forgotten. Elegant fingers smooth the purring animal. She always wears gloves when gardening, and marinates in moisturiser every night. Like Cleopatra, she wishes she could bathe in milk. She knows she looks good for her age, but still bristles against seeming ‘invisible’ to anyone under thirty. She can remember …

Me Mondays: Blood Into Ink #MeToo Writing Contest Honorable Mention: bone&silver/#MeToo

Originally posted on Whisper and the Roar:
Why had my cousin rung me 5 times in thirty minutes? I returned my phone to airplane mode, and pushed open the classroom door. But during the lesson, my attention kept being pulled back to the call record, even while I taught; why was my stomach knotting? The one hour dragged like mud, then I pressed redial. ‘It’s your Dad. He had a heart attack in Hawaii and…’ And is in hospital. Is fine. Will be fine. Or confined to a wheelchair at worst. ‘… and he died. I’m so sorry.’ Who took my knees away and punched me in the gut? Can I just curl up here and die on the street too? A passing cyclist wobbles and stops. ‘Are you OK?’ No. Yes. No. I can’t share this pain with you, leave me alone! Lying in bed that night, alone at home, with a silent waterfall streaming out of my eyes, drowning all those childhood snaps of kids on bikes, throwing snowballs, cuddling dogs. A black…