The One In Sydney

I have changed my mind

I. I thought loving people was enough. It didn’t matter if I would prefer to have no attachments – I thought the very act of loving that was important and the heart mattered less. I have changed my mind.

I will love in the face of being hurt. I will love in the face of scorn. I will love because it is the only way to be.

II. I’ve never had fully formed thoughts about marriage. I only knew that I wanted to be married and that I wanted to be loved. It goes without saying that I didn’t understand anything about relationships either.

But, for now, I have decided that I will be mindful. A relationship of a certain sort is meant for more than walking on clouds. It’s not empty promises, because your aim isn’t security or affection or gifts – your aim won’t be for anything you can get, it’s for what you can give.

This model works because a relationship should be built on shared vision. A couple is stronger together, but only if they’re going in the same direction.

I have changed my mind about relationships. Any relationship I enter, like any good contract, must not be unequal in its terms. If we do not walk for the same purpose, we do not walk together at all. And, following the principle of love I have just decided on, I will love as a choice and I will decide it daily.

III. I have changed my mind about destiny. I have changed my mind about purpose. It’s all still brewing and it doesn’t make as much sense as I would like it to. But it has changed how I walk.

And, as ever, my last month of the year will be spent in introspection. May I always, always, always change my mind.

Lessons

Is it premature to list the lessons I have learnt this year? (Probably.)

I. My brain frustrates me. Am I thinking too fast or am I thinking too slow? I have learnt to accept the intensity. I have learnt to bridle the intensity. Not everyone needs to know. Not everyone wants to care.

II. If love is the most powerful force on earth, it is not for the reasons you think. (I think this is a good and accurate guess.) There is a militant sort of love; the sort of love that is steadfast in the face of scorn. The sort of love that wages war on perception and on my pain (even as love is forged in pain).

Accidents, willful foolishness – they are all the same in the end. The only thing to do is return to the path of militant love.

III. Capacity doesn’t actually matter. For a long time, I’ve thought of myself as a computer – being better meant expanding my CPU, my RAM, my processing speed.

Correction: It’s not that capacity doesn’t matter at all. The focus on building capacity is crippling. Sometimes I cannot do better. It does not mean I cannot be better. But I am looking for fruit under the wrong leaves, in the wrong season.

/

There is more to come, i.e., there’s more pain to come. We will see.

Three Dresses

I

Feeling unlike myself in full-face make-up, a pretty dress, and sandals my feet bemoan. But joy sparks as I run through a Sydney storm, knowing that the contradiction is me. I am laughing as I run, feet soaked and hair in disarray; what will the fancy French restaurant think when they see me?

I hope they see the mass of contradictions, even if they don’t derive nearly as much delight.

II

Plush cream carpet. Dresses more expensive than I feel I am worth. A window that overlooks the park.

And I almost step on the hem of a white dress because I’d rather stare out the window.

I wonder about the women that find themselves here. I wonder if the white dresses will bring more delight than consternation. I wonder if I’ll ever find myself in this place and be enthralled by what the dress would mean.

Or if I’d find myself by the window, muttering to a fiance about going to look at toys instead.

III

I smelled like sheep. More specifically, I smelled like a petting zoo lamb. And the dress was slightly stained because of the faecal pellets caught in its wool.

I wondered if I truly didn’t mind.

I truly didn’t.

The same night, I tucked myself into a corner of a darkened church hall, still smelling vaguely of a misplaced lamb and asked to be found anew.

Almost

I tell myself it is not 2019. It is only 2018. I tell myself that we will stay here awhile, that time will not pass.

I feel like a child crouched under sheets in make-believe.

My heart thrums in the morning, as if announcing to my dead ears that I am alive. It thrums in the night, making promises of diligence as I slip to sleep.

I stand on the precipice again. I fall.

Here’s to the new.

June

And almost July.

Time has swallowed me whole. I do not recognise it. It feels like I was in Malaysia yesterday. It feels like I’ll be back in years. Time squeezes and expands simultaneously. I have no idea where I am.

A collection of thoughts for my time capsule today. (As, apparently, I do not have time for even monthly maintenance of this blog.)

I

My love is easy. My love is cheap. I squander it on anything with a soul.

My love is frustrated. My love smashes up against rocks. I dig deep into empty pockets to give. I learn to become a miser.

And I think to myself: if these I love like children can break my heart, what more my own flesh and blood? How terrifying.

II

In dishonouring the simple, I honour knowledge above all else, thinking it crucial to the salvation of my soul. In dishonouring knowledge, I am ignorant, thinking I am enough for myself.

Tensions exist between points. The easy thing to say is: we need balance. The hard thing to say is: I am wrong; you are wrong.

We are wrong.

III

I sometimes wish I did not exist because existence is painful.

Yet, I am happy. Almost joyful.

And I remember I exist for more than myself.

Caught

I

Is it really June?

Is it really almost the end of June?

Is 2017 almost over?

II

I teeter on this fine line and peer over the edge.

Here I am and there I am going.

Here I am…and there I am going.

III

The hem of this jacket is trapped in the door. This shoe is caught under yours. I’m fumbling with zips that won’t budge. Feel my arms bound in cloth.

But it’s not me. I shed what cannot move and cannot change and I disappear.

April

I

I thought today of how my perception of fact is limited to what I understand.

I think of how in consults, the facts I deliver are hyper-filtered; I cut away what cannot be understood, so that some semblance of fact can be remembered. I wonder if people do that to me – if that means I actually understand less than I do.

II

Do lungs ever cease to be lungs? I suppose they do when they do not draw breath. But, then again, lungs on the table are still lungs, if only because they look like lungs.

There is a rumbling beneath my feet and my toes – poor anchors – press against the floor, willing stillness into my being.

And my heart aches, just a little, because the small scratches have all begun to bleed.

III

I love permanence and I hate it. Tell me where I should be in five years and I will go there now, so I may live there before my time and stay past my time. I am repulsed by yesterday, eager to get away from today.

But, also, so eager for time to stand still, so I may sit guiltless in the quiet.

I haven’t been in this space for a while.

(and i’m sort of used to tumblr where i type like this)

But it’s midnight in March and I am overdue for a post.

I have a job. This fact sometimes startles me. I work as a vet. Despite having spent 5 years heading in this direction, I am shocked anyway.

But having a job doesn’t mean I have direction. It doesn’t mean I have purpose either. I occasionally do important things. The importance, however, is relative. And there are people out there who question the importance of what I do. “Your client spent how much on his cat???”

The (sometimes) unsaid sentence is: “They could have spent it on me instead.”

I wonder where I’m going next. I wonder quite frequently. And I am caught off guard by my brain reminding me of potential mistakes. Mistakes that I’ll have to wait out because time either heals my patients or kills them. I can nudge time, occasionally, in a way that favours my patients. I try. I don’t know how successful I’ll be.

My heart is restless. Not in the same way it used to be. I can’t write very well anymore. I’m not nearly melodramatic enough.

(This post reflects my state of mind, doesn’t it? I am just all over the place.)

I wish I could be looking back at this period of time – this midnight in March – with five years of hindsight. Couldn’t I stand in the future for the moment and contemplate this moment as my past? What would it look like?

I would probably laugh. “Silly girl. She will stumble blind either way.”

 

A Love

calbelle

You don’t know how grateful I am, little one, that you’ve found a home.

You’re a spunky little darling who tried very hard to be near me.

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Very, very hard.

Yet, you found enough time in your day to be away from me. Napping wherever you fancied. Exploring the nooks and corners of the house.

Making me panic because you were so very small and so very curious.

I hope you’ll grow up to be a little queen. You were the kitten too weak to roll over. You were the kitten too weak to suckle properly. You were the first to show signs of cat flu (you made my heart spasm because they said they might euthanise you; you were only a week-and-a-half).

But you’re also the kitten who insistently grabbed for her bottle by the time she was three weeks old. You decided who you liked before your eyes opened and followed him around when you could see him. You skipped around the apartment and chased the toys I bought (even if you were more fascinated by the clear cover – you sat on it a lot). You liked climbing (I was so happy you were getting so strong).

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Grow up well. Stay out of trouble. I love you.

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So very, very much.

I am unmoored.

And I feel a little bad for the people who read this blog. Surely you aren’t here for me. Surely you’re here for some sort of insight – the sort that perspective gives – or, maybe, some sort of release.

You know, the sort of release that comes from feeling like you can read someone’s mind.

I wish someone would read my mind and pick through it. Tell me why I feel the way I feel.

I’ve replayed the same memories hundreds of times now. I think of future conversations and replay those, too.

Sometimes they make me feel sick to my stomach (stupid, stupid butterflies). Sometimes they make me happily giddy (stupid, stupid butterflies).

But I don’t know where I’m going. I know the map of my life so poorly that I can’t even promise a kitten I’ll be in one place for more than a year.

(Can’t promise a kitten or a puppy or a guinea pig. Sigh.)

I’ll be back in Sydney in 3 weeks, though. Couch-surfing, probably.

I wonder.