5:42am

I seem to keep coming back to writing about … the lack of noise, or rather, the inadvertent joys that can be found in stillness and a lack of noise.

Right now, in my immediate surroundings, the only thing I can hear is the cyclic whirl of the washing machine, the springy sound of typing on my new keyboard and my very own thoughts.  Birds can be heard singing an upbeat background track in the distance. I am really falling in love with the early mornings.

It’s like this:

When you wake up to darkness, but a darkness with a soft, subtle glow almost to suggest the beginnings of Hope, and you realise Dawn must be approaching.  The sunrise is just around the corner, and will likely arrive within the hour.  You’re chuffed with yourself that you – once a crusader of nightowlmanship, have managed to wake up well ahead of time, seemingly ahead of ‘everyone else in the world’ because everything is just that still, to greet the day with hope and mental preparation of whatever little or big surprises the universe has to offer for the day.

You flick on the lamp on your bedside table to bathe your bedroom- your prized chambers that comfortably without judgement houses all your secret fantasies, debilitating fears and hopeful dreams – with a gentle yellow glow, before swinging your bare legs off the side of the bed.  You’ve taken to sleeping naked over the past two weeks, knowing full well there is absolutely zero chance of unsolicited come-ons, of hurting someone, or the consistent build up of anxieties of what is being said or unsaid between the two of you.  Your tower is protected, your body fully your own and getting to know her properly at your very own pace, without hurry, shame or fear of judgement, is something that has been long overdue.  It is of no reflection of past company, only a reflection of the boundaries that were never identified in oneself and thus never communicated from the get-go.  My bedroom is my safe haven, my place to recuperate, and should be absolutely void for fear, hurt or anxiety.  There are many other spaces for those emotions and conversations.

With your feet now firmly planted on the hardwood floor, you stand up and stroll over to your full-length mirror by your wardrobe.

“Good morning,” you say to the woman looking back at you.

“Good morning,” she mirrors.

You watch her lift up her hand to touch your stomach, pausing there to trace the outlines of your muscles, before slowly moving her hand across to your side, to your waist and down to your hip. You can feel each crease of muscle of hers – of yours, along with her warm skin, her lovely imperfections, her small yet distinctive hips.

“Pretty,” she whispers, smiling back at you.  “We shan’t indulge too much this morning; there is much to explore tomorrow as well, and the following day, and the one after.  I’ll be here with you, to love you the way I do today, don’t you worry.”

Content and reassured, you take leave of the bedroom, and begin the preparations of the day. You wash your face, brush your teeth, make coffee and put in a couple of slices of bread into the toaster, all the while still basking in your newfound sense of nakedity.

You find that you are open to possibilities, you’re inspired to take risks, you’re ready to take on challenges.

You feel so much stronger.

What better way to start the day?

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I’ve just discovered the ‘Choir’ setting on my CL36 piano and now am going fucking NUTS on my classical pieces (Fur Elise sung by a choir, anyone?  It’s DIVINE).

There’s something about watching

There’s something about watching

the world go by.

Even a small world,

of one street that curves,

broken by a pedestrian strip

Streetlamps littered along the way

Casting anti-shadows

Taxis waiting earnestly for their

first passengers of the night

Pink and purple shades have dimmed

Fairy lights seemingly floating on the top of the building adjacent

Fireflies of the urban playground.

Waves of tourists march by

Curious, anticipating, filled with wonder

Individuals

Waiting on the street corner

Waiting by the red telephone booth

Waiting alone at the table

Looking hopeful, somewhat anxiously at their phones

A date maybe, they’ve yet to arrive

Anxious to be seen alone, by themselves

Everyone’s looking at their goddamn phones actually

So who cares?

– dudette with a fraying hat

Friday night

City lights, smiles bright, everyone’s out for a good Friday night.

Sandstone walls, tiled halls, all in the name of l’amour.

Strolling through, weekend’s due, time to paint this town

Red

-anonymous with a fraying hat

What brings you joy?

Took a walk today by the harbour. Sun shining, people smiling, music blaring. We’ve had gorgeous wintery sunny days before but nothing like this.

It was the first time in a very long time I felt each step I took was being firmly planted on solid ground. For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t feel the concrete pavement was about to give way underneath me. For the first time I didn’t feel the fear of dropping into the endless abyss beneath me.

I was surprised by the newfound sense of security actually, because nothing ‘concrete’ has really changed and yet it feels like everything has.

I could feel the sun’s warmth. I could hear people’s laughter. I could hear the the waves lapping against the dock.

I could feel the slight breeze as half-marathon trainers brushed past me. I could feel the sense of closeness of people around me going about their day; I could see their faces! And somehow, unusually, the physical proximity was fine by me.

For the first time in a long time I felt I was a part of this world, not just drifting along, floating, half-extended from somewhere above; not just a lonely soul in limbo, scrambling to find its way back to where home once was, not trying to hang on for dear life not knowing exactly why and what I’m hanging on for.

I must say it was incredibly comforting this new experience, even hopeful, that things can change and dark times can pass.

I have a lot of people to thank, a lot of things to be thankful for and a lot of giving back to do.

Thank you all for saving me from myself.

I promise I will learn to love myself as you love me.

Yellow Ladybug

It was a hot, humid and stifling day.

I was looking forward to getting off at the next station to escape the crowded, suffocating train carriage.  Rush hour in Sydney is not often pleasant, but we try.

A yellow ladybug had been keeping me entertained for the ride, casually strolling up and down the handle of my black umbrella, completely oblivious to the fact that the rest of us are struggling to breathe due to the heat and lack of personal space.  A whole umbrella handle to herself; I’m jealous.

The train pulls into the station; I gather my things carefully as to not to disturb my new friend or elbow my neighbourly human in the gut.

‘This station is Town Hall.  Please mind the gap when stepping onto the platform’.

The train doors open – waves of passengers alight. I let them take me with them in their flow.

I glance down, looking to catch a glimpse of my pretty little new friend to see how she’s coping with the rush hour crowd.  I gasp, she’s gone.  Probably couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there and fluttered off.  Or I had just inadvertently murdered a ladybug when stepping off the train.

Wondering what happened to her still keeps me up at night.

Slipping into the rabbit hole

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/rear-window

Lately I’ve been falling in love with writers left, right and centre.  I’ve been reading like I’ve never before – so hungry, so restless, so insatiable for the strings of words that would make my heart flutter.  I’d liken this experience to maybe casually but inconspiciously slipping through the dubious rabbit hole after hearing the townsfolk talk about the elusive few who have already made the leap.

This world is huge.  The sheer size of the skies, earth and the mysterious watery wonderland around us. Our societies, our cultures, our unspoken rules and customs.  Our morals, our ethics, our accepted social graces. Our ecosystems, our relationships and the ubiquity of politics.  We try our best to make sense of it all.  It’s still all unfathomable chaos and so much is swept under one rug or another.  Yet at the entrance of the rabbit hole I stand, now gazing inwardly at the unknown, guarded, defensive and yet yearnfully curious about this hidden world where its inhabitants are often described as (and I quote from David Gilbert’s piece above) ‘gloomy, depressive’ and ‘too egotistically sensitive for the world’.

Ha, such truth!  Here I stand, inspecting the network of tunnels the rabbit hole has presented me – each with a sign above to mark its destination – and notably, other destinations, crossed-out and scribbled over only to have the same words rewritten over the top again – I guess to illustrate the path chosen is never straightforward. News articles, biographies, ghostwriting, copywriting, screenwriting, young adult novels, erotic fiction, poetry, advice columns, comedy… a newly discovered labyrinth of creative, written adventures of my choice.

For my particular chosen track, possibilities are endless, rules are made up and animals can talk. Heck, even the notion of gravity can be overridden by the mighty pen.  I would love to create a world where people can fly. Just because I fucking can.  And assholes will get a spectacularly brutal ending they all deserve.  Insert evil cackle here.

“It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth.”

– Gao Xingjian, novelist

Finding the right boots

I’m finding this whole new world of writing and the reading about writing (i.e. the writer’s journey) rather exhilarating.  I feel like I’m finally finding my own feet – the feet with actual flesh and bones and nerves – not the heavy, titanium knee-high boots I convinced myself to put on every day because, well, they were just oh so shiny. So very red and shiny and presumably magical, if the Wizard of Oz was anything to go by.

I put those boots on every day since I stepped into uni, with the hope that they would one day make me fly.

Surprisingly, I did fly.  Not that I would have forgiven myself for anything less back then.  In hindsight, I flew higher than I ever thought I could in the time it took me to get there.

But the boots were heavy.  Stupidly heavy.  It was taking every ounce of my being to get them off the ground each morning, when it ‘should’ have been like breathing.  It took much more energy than I thought I even had in me to sustain my flight day after day. I began dreading putting on those shiny red titanium boots each morning.  I would look at them and start crying, then look at them again to see if I was merely allergic to something in the room (Life, perhaps, har), nope, and start crying again.  All before I’ve even had my morning coffee.  All before I even got dressed for the day.  Yep, very red.  Red flags everywhere.

So for now, at least, I’ve put them boots away.  Life is too short to be suffering long term when you have a choice not to.  Even if that means having to confront another type of risk head on.

I may not be a published author, or even have a published article or a well-received blog.  Heck I don’t even have a story line nutted out in my head to say, “I’m working on a novel”.  Also, apparently writing for a living really isn’t the most lucrative business out there.  But something in me stirs every time I read, something in me ignites every time I write.

I don’t care if I don’t write the next novel-turned-shitty-but-profitable-hollywood-blockbuster.  I just want to be able to make someone else’s heart tremble – with joy, with sorrow, with bittersweetness or even fear.  All but with a set of carefully chosen words.

I want to make someone fall in love.

And I’ve a long way to go.

Why writers write about writing, by Brianna Wiest

It’s been a couple of inspiring days.  I’m feeling closer to finding my element.

The apex of the inspiration came from this beautifully written piece, by Brianna Wiest.

Fellow writers, I hope you find the same inspiration in this piece as I did.

We write because we have to.  We write because there is no better way that we know to calm the storm and chaos within us.  We write to preserve the magic we saw in the world as children, the magic that is gradually corroded as we get older, as we become entrenched in ‘the real world’ out of necessity to survive as adults.  We write because at least someone needs to highlight the less obvious things in Life, things that would generally be missed due to the pace of which our world operates at, and instill wonder, perspective and inspiration into people’s lives.

I’m feeling a change in gear within me.  Let’s do this.

Let’s talk about the weather; it’ll be riveting.

I’m loving these random storms we are having this week. Probably not ‘random’ per se, given we have a whole national bureau dedicated to forecasting the weather, but I stopped looking at the forecast a while ago.  The weather in this country has a mind of its own – also with a multiple personality disorder potentially, so I’ve given up trying to understand it even with the help of professionals.  Plus, I’m liking these nice surprises.  Only when I’m not caught in them, that is.

Today was bright and sunny – rather warm, as we have officially stepped into summer, but pleasant with a cool breeze that comes and goes as it wishes.  The neighbours’ washing is on the line, baking and drifting in the sun over the kempt green lawn.  A day not quite hot enough for a swim, but would be perfect for a nice stroll down a sandy beach.

I’ve had the luxury of having time to look up at the sky and just watch the clouds. I notice the different whites, the shades of greys, the perceived texture or ‘fluffiness’ if you will, and lastly the speed of which the clouds are moving. It sounds bizarre that I call something so simple – and maybe even dull for some – a luxury, but the world is going at such an unsustainable pace, I often think the world is forgetting what it is like to breathe.  But more on that in another post.

Back to looking at my neighbours’ lawn.  A rumble in the distance.  Is someone unloading a removalist van, perhaps, and rolling the wheels of its carts quickly over the dotted metal ramp extended from the vehicle?  Hmmm….  Another rumble.  Look up.  It’s still nice and bright, the blue sky is still visible and the clouds are still fairly white. Can’t be a storm, then… What is that sound?  A third rumble – one that makes the ground beneath me buzz with vibration, and then, out of nowhere, a zap of lightning zips across the sky.  Holy shit, it’s a storm?

Surprise!

And just as you expect the Heavens to break its seal after what would seem like at least 8 rounds of drinks (charming, I know), and just bucket down to drench all that is within its reach –

Nope. Nada.

The ground is still as dry as stale toast and the breeze still gentle.  Keep rumbling away then, Mr. Storm.  I’m guessing Mrs. Storm is running a little late to the surprise party.  I won’t be the rude one and point out that surprises don’t generally work that way… I won’t be one to digress.

I like watching storms break.  I like watching the weather change and us measly humans freak the shit out when we’re caught out without waterproof attire.  Don’t worry, I do it too.  Here, have a smiley face. 🙂

I’ve digressed.

So I am waiting for Mrs. Storm to arrive, and Mr. Storm seems happy rumbling away.  I figure I have time to make a tea to watch the big ‘surprise’ show from my balcony.  The breeze has dropped a few degrees in temperature, and the ‘coming and going’ is now rather gusty. The water’s boiling, my mug is ready, and I am sadly rather excited by the prospects of a Storm Spectacular.  I have so much hope.

Then, SPLASH, Mrs. Storm greets me – personally, too – with a huge, wet slap on my arm. Through the half-opened window as I stand there making my tea, and right down my arm.  I didn’t even know she could reach that far.  I look up through my water-streaked window and my view now has an additional filter on it, grey and spotty.  The sound of rain crashing onto all surfaces the eye can see grows into a crescendo.  The rumbling thunder is now articulated by a loud, neck-tingling clap at the start of each verse.

Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. The Storm Spectacular has officially begun.