Friday, 28 June 2013

Vandalism

Each morning I park my car 1.5km away from work, it's in an area where you can park all day for free, rather than pay ten dollars per day to park, closer to work. Money is tight, so I figured it was worth it, adding a few extra steps into my day, and saving myself ten bucks. On Wednesday I returned to my car to find it had been vandalized. My mirrors smashed, the rear light smashed and a screw driver or key had been run across 4 or 5 panels of the car. Hundreds of dollars worth of damage, done deliberately, for no apparent reason to my car. Yes, I am insured, but my excess is $600, far more money than I can spare right now. I have to admit I have overspent lately, the two trips for the half marathons were costly, although I will never regret them, pretty life changing they were. But I was upset by this act, I feel like I am working so hard, trying so hard, and taking a few unfair kicks in the guts. I suppose we all have to face life's unfairness sometimes, but this one hurt. My friend at work tried to tell me not to look for deeper meaning in the act, that it's not a higher message from the universe, but I guess I just for a moment felt that this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was teary, felt cheated, ready to throw in the towel, and even angry. Often in these situations I find compassion and can justify actions like this by imagining that the person who did this was some poor lost soul. Still, it was pretty malicious. They rammed a screw driver into both my mirrors, take this you naive, broke, exhausted, stressed, single mother. I suppose I felt like I was being kicked while I was down. And I was scrambling to get up again. I feel better now, I am on holidays for a week with my boys. Not going anywhere, just a week of relaxing at home, being unhurried. I've been overwhelmed these last few weeks by my busy schedule, struggling to get out of bed each morning, but already I feel better. We made home made pizzas and chocolate pudding last night, squeezed some fresh orange juice this morning. Slow simple enjoyable tasks. A step back from the pressure of my deadline driven job, which I enjoy, but means I'm often working in a fairly adrenaline heightened state. So I'm going to go slow for a week, remove all pressures, get my car fixed, and perhaps I should do a budget. But I guess it's a reminder that not everyone is as lucky as me, and has compassion within their hearts. It's wiser perhaps not to always expect the best from people, in fact it's better not to have any expectations at all. To see things at face value, so I'm not thrown into a spin by random acts of unkindness. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Brain storm blowing in

So I've hopped off Facebook, spent all my money, got no lover, so I may as well try start figuring out the story I want to write. I'm just going to put down a whole heap of fragmented ideas here, see what happens.

The female forensic structural engineer going to investigate a fault in a remote mining camp. Or implement a renewable energy project in a remote area of Australia.

Sent there by her lover, who is also her team leader, he's married.

She is sexually assaulted while she is out on site. Concern, stereotyping unfairly mining/ remote communities. Maybe it's a car accident instead, she is hurt. Something else, neither of these are right.

Not a fun story to write? Who would want to read something set in a Mining camp. If it were describing a new technology, or something many people aren't that familiar with, it could be okay.

It would have to be juxtaposed with another story. Her twin? Leading a different life somewhere else? She might be an athlete or dancer, something non academic. Would they be close, or divided. I think close. A healthy sisterhood.

Any Children? Or a long term relationship. One twin with, one without, exploring these decisions and implications. Which would be a mother?

Words, criticism, verbal abuse, maybe that's what the engineer experiences in the mining camp from the project manager out there.

Dementia? Maybe the story could be a retelling of their life story from one twin who has memory, and the other who has not.
I'm definitely interested in exploring sexual relationships between people that work together. And the masculine, non-emotional nature of many work places. 

Interested in exploring obesity in some way. This is such a huge issue, a shameful issue really when you consider the degree of starvation in the world. Maybe the girls have a friend who is obese in their life that plays some sort of pivotal role. Or a brother, step parent. 

But I also want to create a female hero, somewhere between Jane Tennyson as played by Helen Mirren, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. I want a story that could be filmed, that has acts of courage. Not fantasy or sci fi. Although set in the near future might be okay. 

What kind of heroic act could the engineer do? Stand up against a corporation like the Russell Crowe character in The Insider. I don't think I want to paint a corporation as the typical bad guy. Maybe it could instead be that she instead champions a new innovative approach in engineering, climate change related, renewable energies. Something a little inspired by Ian McEwans Solar. The genuis at work, a mess in the personal life, sleeping with her Director, obsessed by him, and every one knowing it. Having to defend that she is the authentic author of her intellectual property, the innovative technology. That would take a lot of research on my behalf. Whatever it is it could be juxtaposed with the physical heroism of her dancer/athlete twin. 


I guess I'm also interested in religious tolerance. Tolerance of Islam in Australia, even though there are instances of Islam being used to justify the denial of basic human rights to women. Religious tolerance vs feminism. 

Maybe she is an urban planner or master planner or architect or doctor or policy maker working on innovative ground breaking policy that relates to obesity and creating healthy environments, maybe it's active transport, and that's how my interest in health is woven into the story. That might be closer to my own interests than renewable energy or mining. 

How could a character like this have recurring story arcs. Maybe they could be a crack team of engineering/ architectural professionals. Different consulting projects representing different social issues. Pfft, I should just make a documentary at work.

That's enough for now. A crack team of infrastructure specialists working 20 years in the future. Global consultancy, so they can work in different countries, address different issues. I'll mull this over tonight. Bit excited, lots of real life experience that I can start with. 

Oh, also if her sister is a dancer I can introduce ideas of body image, perhaps she doesn't quite fit the stringent mould of a professional dancer, more muscular than lean. Perhaps also she is performing in a dance piece that tells a story that is also a metaphor for her sisters life/ story.

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Clearing

I ran away from the life I had. First there was the emotional retreat, then the physical one. I ran away from home. It felt like that too, that it was a rebellion, like I was making an escape under cover of darkness. Laid my plans in secret, plotted my path to freedom from the oppressive rule. Left behind a bitter broken man. Whose anger at me still boils beneath the surface. Don't trust him. No. Yet, still, on another level, against an ever darker force than himself, I could turn to him to fight for me. I'm feeling sad lately, not a sadness that comes from within me, it's one that pervades from the outside world, I'm a conduit for the angst that flys through the wind. If I had some direction, sense of purpose, outside of myself I would feel better, enthused, like I was ready to battle that sadness, to quench it, relieve it, somehow. I tried to write some goals last night, and most came easily, around fitness, motherhood, travel, relationships. It's the one around my life's work that fails me. I simply do not, can not see, in which direction to dedicate my time to, professionally. I can see the areas of society in which I would like to work towards improving peoples circumstances but I can't identify the best way to influence, change, rebel. Through storytelling? Through research? Working in my current capacity in a different company? Or the same one, with greater focus? 

I ran away from my last life to empower myself, to free myself, so as to not waste my life managing another's darkness. But I can't stop here. I have to go further, push through this melancholy, this plateau, this inaction. I ran away, fought my way through the treacherous branches, the oily black swamp, the icy mountain and I've reached this clearing. Many paths lead from here for me. I could step out along any one of them but I remain motionless, I'm sitting cross legged in meditation, asking for more of myself, asking what is it that I want to do now. I'm trying to drown out the demands of others, and my own addictions to dreams long dead, judgements, fears, recriminations, doubts and just find a few simple truths about my own long lost heart, my centre. How can I help, how can I shine, lead, inspire, love. Where to from here my heart? 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Dripping Boy

Moments of passion, of shared love, is this what I live for? The few highest peaks in my life, where I was overcome, yet unafraid, of how much I loved. I recall one moment clearly. I was young, some might say beautiful, wild still, and at the beach sun bathing in my delicious white bikini that had delicate green and purple flowers printed on it. The sort of bathing suit you can really only wear at fifteen. Hot the day was, as the Australian summer days can be, but soothing, life giving. My eyes were closed and I thought of the beautiful boy who I'd come to this particular beach with, in his old crappy tan car, who was out swimming in the sea, currently out of my reach, but not out of my mind. We were in love, he was my first lover, and we had progressed from the awkwardness of those first times, to sweet sexual encounters. Or so I recall, from this distant point many years later. My sun went away, so I opened my eyes and there he was standing at my feet, covered in the wetness of the sea, salty droplets covering his deeply bronzed skin, brown eyes just shining with life, awakened by his time in the ocean. I'd not seen anything more beautiful. Suddenly I was covered with his tall slim, tennis players body, this dripping boy, and he shook his wet hair on my arms and chest and upon my belly, so deliciously cold it felt to my sun warmed skin, then he kissed me with his salt laden lips, the temperatures of our skins rising and falling to meet in the middle, and I felt myself sink further into the sand as his body pressed more heavily into mine. Overwhelmed by sensation, and the spectacular beauty of the day, my innocent young girl's heart opened completely to him, and my body hummed with wanting. Beyond that I don't remember anything of the day. Just a few minutes of life, but one treasured by me, even beyond the heartbreak that eventually came my way many months later. Because you only fall in love like that just once, that very first, unabandoned, time.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Collected Quotes

I've collected some quotes over the last months, that have held some significance for me. They are in different Notes in my phone. I'm going to put them here, all together, see if there is a message in these tea leaves. 

Many women today feel that their sexuality is something distinct from the rest of the character and is cut off in some ways from their other, more admirable roles as mothers, wives, or workers (Naomi Wolfe)

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you will ever own. 
(Mary Schmich)

Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.
(Anonymous)

The highest love a person can have for you is to wish for you to evolve into the best person you can be. No one owns you, no matter what your relationship.
(David Viscott)

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.
(Dr. Joyce Brothers)

Your task is not to seek love, but to merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 

Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind. 

Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires. 
(Francois de La Rochefoucauld)

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. 
(Thomas Carlyle)

Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path. 

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely.
(Pam Brown)

Friendship is the wine of life.
(Edward Young)

She's always thinks about preposterous things. She's got a preposterous inner life. 

Because she felt for him. But what Tatiana felt for Alexander was true. What Tatiana felt for Alexander was impervious to the drumbeat if conscience. 

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were.
(Khalil Gibran)

…words have been all my life, all my life--this need is like the Spider's need who carries before her a huge Burden of Silk which she must spin out--the silk is her life, her home, her safety--her food and drink too--and if it is attacked or pulled down, why, what can she do but make more, spin afresh, design anew
(A.S. Byatt, Possession)

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
(Henry David Thoreau)

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Into the Woods

I decided to jump off the Facebook wagon today. I'm not sure for how long. I've enjoyed using it, reconnecting with old friends, the daily chatter. But it's an easy distraction too, a procrastinator's dream, and I want to work on other things, some projects, my writing, my self. It's not that I'm not interested in other people, and their lives, as I love people and their stories but I guess the volume of information is getting too much, I'm becoming immune, to the things I read. It's a mess too, advertising, recycled quotes, thoughtless posts. I've always tried to be considered in what I write, my updates, to bring a smile, reach outward, to share, but I think I still often write there with a particular viewer in mind, a desire to reach him, into his heart, which is ridiculous, because logically I know he no longer visits my page. All this communication just flying out the door in vain, when I could keep it with me, work on it, polish it, and produce something a little more valuable, in a universal sense. 

Nonetheless I will miss the chatter of some of my besties so I will probably rejoin the circle, the crowd at some stage but I'll do some work first. See if removing this distraction assists my concentration, my focus. Fall of the radar for a bit, I've learned some things through the online networks, but I've reached that plateau, the point of saturation, it's time to stop checking the news for meaning that is currently getting lost on me. Into the woods is where I want to go. Just me and my sword and my dreams of making the world a better place through knowledge, knowing, insight, and love.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Zigzag

Its incredible to me how much in love with the world I am right now. While I still have complex daily issues to address, my heart is light, childlike, rippled with joy. I went on a trip to the southern coast of our big island a few weeks back and ran in another half marathon with many other dedicated runners. I'd trained hard for the event, covering many kilometres over the preceding months and on the day I ran a good race. My legs held. The scenery was majestic, other worldly at times,  and my heart swelled with the sheer beauty of it, and I was proud too, having set myself a goal, a substantial one, and I'd dug deep and fulfilled my little dream of running that great ocean road. 

My boys came with me and shared the experience and I was grateful for their support. Grateful for their existence, at giving those two souls a chance at experiencing life. They are truly kind hearted beings, we have our grievances with each other, but they are few and far between. I think there is peace amongst us, I don't detect a resentment, or any deep regret from them that their mother and father live apart. I hope I'm not turning a blind eye, missing something because I don't wish to see it.

I feel a little bereft of a goal right now. For so long I had the half marathon on the horizon, propelling me forward, getting me out of bed on a cold morning. But I suppose a little meandering at times is perfectly acceptable. A little zig, a little zag for me right now.