Ah the rhythm of life, is a powerful beat,

Spring blooms.I could call it hibernation. Or I could call it lying fallow.  But I won’t come at sterile. Sterile suggests permanence and that is unacceptable.  Maybe hibernation? Lying fallow? Perhaps dormant would be better? It is after all just passed the Spring Equinox here down South and Spring is all about new life, regrowth, renewal and waking up. Not that we have much Spring bursting forth, our winter doesn’t get cold enough. (Wish it did!)  However, having said that, today and yesterday it’s been cold and rainy. Very cold and rainy, sometimes windy.

Spring?

Spring?

Two years ago, this time, we had heatwaves and a raging out-of-control bushfire down the road. People were evacuated onto the local beach. A friend’s adored dog was staying in a dog resort (kennel, but he doesn’t much like the term!) near the fires. The owner refused to evacuate because of his responsibility to the animals in his care. All were safe, but Ollie came home with kennel cough and security issues.  I’d  been told always how gentle Ollie was, a gentle giant, the family baby. Imagine when I visited having not yet met Ollie, and a huge Doberman leapt across the room, barking (VERY loudly),  stopping about one centimetre (mouth open HUGE teeth) from my hand. I kept remarkably still considering the circumstances, although, considering the circumstances stillness was perhaps the only option. Didn’t step any further for several minutes, lunch postponed.  Kennel cough? Security issues?  Or simply a dog with a mean streak?

Back to the lying dormant/ in hibernation/ Springtime and the rhythm of life… Sometimes,  it just doesn’t happen. No matter how much I remind myself of my values and my priorities. No matter how much re-focussing and positive visualisation I practise. No matter how much I beat myself up or promise myself treats or try sensory deprivation or… just no chocolate, it doesn’t happen.

10850249_868432186523021_613794867650258050_n[1]Creativity, or let’s say my creativity disappeared for a while here. There are reasons. And there are many excuses. And sometimes/often life gets in the way. And maybe I’m not committed enough or…  I don’t know. If I knew, then it wouldn’t happen, would it?

I’ll give you an example of my life here in this quiet little town. I’ve just returned from walking out to the kitchen to pour the cup of tea I’d made a few sentences back. Sitting on the back of the chair , gazing into the kitchen, singing his little heart out, was one of the butcher birds.  Feathers all wet, rain coming down, how could I not take the time to feed him? The resident magpie, currently feeding babies, zoomed in. More feeding. By now the tea’s cold and the writing? well, who knows!  I could go out and check the mail but the neighbourhood cats who are constantly hungry will mill about. Do you know how difficult it is not to feed begging animals? Or am I easily distracted?

A begging and hungry cat.

A begging and hungry cat.

Back to the rhythm of life which at heart is my excuse for a long silence. I don’t understand it. The more I try to control it the more unsuccessful I am. It’s all a mystery.

However, the new roses sprout more leaves every day. I picked the first sugar snap peas yesterday. The rocket is seeding in the lawn as well as the gardens.  The kitchen table has vases of poppies and sweet peas.

I’ve been asking myself what I would want to do most if I knew I had a limited time left for living.

Making gardens, being with the people I love… Simple things, sitting at the beach, floating on the water, watching for whales…  what really matters? What haven’t I done?

What really matters for you?

,aslow

 

Image? What image?

My essence?

My essence?

“Kathryn, you need to be careful. You don’t want to present the wrong image,”

so advised one of my friends. I couldn’t disagree. He went on to say, “Be careful you’re not coming across as untidy or disorganized or chaotic or…” Umm, where was he going with this?

Then “The image you want,” he continued “is of the well groomed woman, sitting with a drink in her hand, beautifully dressed…” I could understand what he was getting at. That I needed  a certain look, a look that conveyed the successful, affluent career woman. At least, I think that’s what he meant.

Yes, but I’m not like that! I’m not arguing against the successful and confident. I’m questioning how that’s presented. And I’m questioning that whole idea of  choosing a deliberate “image”. I want authenticity. I want whatever I write or present to come from my heart, to be as authentically me as I can. I want you to see me as I truly am, not some manufactured version.

That's more like it!

That’s more like it!

And I’m not always well-groomed. I’m seldom dressed in leisurewear, lounging somewhere picturesque, sipping a drink. I’m more often grubby, dirt under my nails because I’ve been working in the garden; or it’s mid-afternoon and I’m in my pyjamas- or what passes for my sleepwear; or I’m wearing my oldest, daggiest and favourite clothes (often hand-me-downs from this friend).

A Blogging 101 prompt is to write a post to my ideal reader. I’ve been thinking about that. My ideal image of myself? My ideal reader? The introduction to blogging workshop I went to, advised us to have a narrow focus. This makes sense. It’s easy then to imagine my ideal reader- someone who shares that narrow focus. I would know who to aim at.

You know, I’m not sure I want agreement always. I want to encourage discussion, I want to swap ideas and experiences. I want to encounter mentors, people who will challenge me and I want to connect with people who may have shared similar experiences. I find it difficult to narrow my focus. When I think about doing that I can’t choose what to focus on. Country living? Sustainable lifestyle? Co-housing? Illness? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Insomnia and continual exhaustion? Life with a stoma? Joy? Gratitude? the issues facing older, single women? Fun? Books? Whatever  it is I’m thinking about at the time?

I want to share my life, my thoughts, the insights I’ve gained along the way. I want to connect with others who live with a stoma or with insomnia so we can support each other, whinge to people who will understand and share any wisdoms we may have. I want to talk with older women who worry about facing a future alone or fear homelessness because I understand and share these anxieties.

And I want to share my co-housing adventure with you, the gardening challenges and attempts to live a simple lifestyle. I might learn something from you and I hope that sometimes you might learn something from me.

This is how I want to be- happy and full of life.

Ideal image? I know some of the qualities I want to have. I want to be compassionate and kind. I’d like to be a wise elder, but I also want to be funny and silly and passionate and intemperate. I want to live every moment of my life with gratitude and be fully present, no matter what that moment may be. I want to be me.

Image? Who cares? Let’s just get on and live.