Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last year I lost ten kilos, grew my hair and started dating. This year I've sworn off dating, gained ten kilos and cut my hair. Several times.

If hair is a woman's crowning glory, what does it mean when it's gone? Is she less a woman, not feminine, making a statement, seeking change? Is she suddenly edgier, more interesting, sexier, less soft?

Hair and grief have a long history together. I only have to look around to find it. This week I learned that my aunt's new partner shaved off his facial hair after 30 years... and a divorce. I have made an art of cutting mine off. If l look back at my many haircuts, I can find a heartbreak - small or large - to match most.

The body of a tree records everything that happens to it, lays down history in the rings of its trunk. Seasons of growth, debilitating droughts, lush summers. A wound in the trunk of a tree will leave evidence, even if it's only a ripple in one year's archive.

Our hair does the same, showing the history of our bodies, our health or unwellness. Wouldn't it include our emotions, our memories too? It might explain why so many turn to scissors after ending relationships, a death, giving up a way of life. Declaring ourselves fit for a fresh start and unburdened by the past. Revealing that we have a past worth cutting off.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slow remembering

Remember how good it feels to just stop... look away from your destination from a moment and revel in where you are... to come home and slow down... to breathe and remember who you are without the rush.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

all that sparkles

I have always thought it was possible to love your work. Maybe not all of your job, or every minute of it. But to be a person whose eyes light up when they talk about what they do.

I have been a person who becomes earnest and intense when they talk about what they do. I have even been passionate about it. I have talked at length about how important it is to get things right, railed against the things that rile me up and shared the ragged hope that has kept me going.

Feeling a pang when hearing about someone whose "eyes lit up" when talking about her work, the same work that I do, dealing with the inner stuff of people. I commented to my colleagues that I had never felt that way about doing what I do. They shrugged and said something like "you're just not that kind of person".

Knowing that I had to get out, that keeping going would eat me up, burn me out, kick the stuffing out of me and more. But what would I do instead?

I found the answer. It was pretty obvious, in hindsight. It's been dangling from my ears and twined around my fingers and trailed throughout my history. So I'm learning how to do what I love.

These are just the beginning. And now I sparkle too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

want and whimsy

Someone viewing the decor in my home could be forgiven for concluding that I have a mild obsession with trees. I have a jewellery tree, tree-print curtains and bed cover, glittery leaves in place of faux flowers, leafy photo frames and nouveau-inspired artworks.

The other day in a moment of whimsy I did an internet search for 'tree bed' and discovered this absolutely delightful lofted tree house bed @ Monpon.

And then there's the grownup version @ Shawn Lovell Metalworks.

How many ways are there to say "I want one!"?

Monday, August 30, 2010

wishes make for danger

too long to be articulated -
the resonances that aren't heard
much felt in the heart's cavity
the hunger disappointed
the rage not easily corrected by experience
a longing for clouds
wishes make for danger
for all of these
compelling, doubled,
were fated
only in memory

(found poem - Trauma and Recovery page 111)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

glimpses of home

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you" Christian Morganstern
"Home is where it feels right to walk around without shoes" Unknown

Quotes via ThinkExist

On a day when life was seeing

A few seconds captured, of reflected sunlight dancing on the hull of a ferry at Circular Quay in Sydney. (Watch with the sound off for best effect)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

a week of wordlessness

1. view from my room
2. looking up
3. icon in coffee
4. direction
5. a sky for my mood
6. into the glare

Sunday, July 25, 2010


"Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time"
Susan Cheever via ThinkExist

July changes everything and nothing

silence sits in the house by the bay
some are sleeping
some are woken
where rage has invaded our dreams

when we wake we can only speak of
uncertain rest, the morning fog in our
heads, where we have been and will
go, silent beyond the inferno

we will gather to pay tribute
to unspeakable love
and shy away from crimes
committed in its name

where the cry of a bird meets
the silence of a grave
we will stand on the edge
waiting to crumble, or to burn

Sunday, July 18, 2010


high above the city sprawl
my head is slowly dizzy
as the earth stretches
out in all directions
the distance peppered
with lights and millions
all those lives and so few
connected with mine

my eyes turn unerringly
in the direction of loss

a walk in the park pt1

Buy prints here

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Aid for the introverted dater

As a introvert in an extroverted world, I often need reminders about why I am the way I am. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed and struggling with some variation of 'why can't I just...?' it helps to go back and read some of the materials I've gathered on introversion and personality types.

A couple of months ago I discovered (through judicious web surfing) Nancy R. Fenn, the Introvert Coach. If you are willing to overlook the lack of website 'shininess', you'll find a wealth of articles, stories, tips and guides purely for introverts.

A few weeks ago I purchased one of the ebooks, Dating for Introverts. For the bargain price of US$5.95, I got 84 pages of relief from wondering why I still struggle to make connections in a city that supposedly houses over 6 million people.

I sat at my computer in the loungeroom reading avidly, periodically jumping up to call over my (also introverted) housemates to excitedly point out another nugget of truth. One of the mantras that stuck with me was "It's not against YOU. It's for ME'" from the SLAP ME SILLY IF I DON’T CORRECT MY SELF-TALK CHART for Dramatic Long Term Effects in Increased and Appropriate Self Esteem and Success in Dating. (If that title alone doesn't convince you it's worth buying, well, let me say BUY IT!).

I haven't yet had to say that to anyone, but saying it to myself helps me feel "normal" when I choose to close the door to my office or opt out of an invitation to a social event that I just don't have the energy for.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you don't know what an introvert is (and you might not, since we make up well under half the general population), or you want to know what kind of introvert you are, take a look at these websites:
Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Friday, July 9, 2010

A poet's work

A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
Salman Rushdie via Brainy Quotes

new sails

(a ten word challenge)

ah the impudicity of the young and heartless
already I can feel my unworn age creeping over me
like some witches curse, an exanthema of
gentle grief that pours in faster with
every adult night of wine and cheese
yet with the space and time I have spent here
I could barely compose a fulsome sonatina

how neatly berthed I find myself in
the overwhelming wharf of this new life
more raw and loosened and a truer self than ever
while I imagine my former friends and apologists
sipping lemonade and iced tea by the old pool
with manicured smiles and synthetic aplomb

I may sigh for their loss, and regret others
but, like any faithful diarist, I
nullipara, poet and funambulist
cannot record other than the facts
namely, that I still cannot help but quiver
with a fear and a hunger for all that awaits me
even under this intrusive zeitgeist