This year, so far, is one of unease for me.
I’m working hard to overcome my health issues which began last year.
I feel mentally drained as I question, doubt and worry about my future wellbeing as my immune system waxes and wanes.
Sometimes, it feels like one step forward and two steps back.
The cha-cha of life.
Jack is declining.
His fifteenth year is fraught with ailments and subsequent treatments. His sight is completely gone now, and his hearing with it.
His world is a dark, silent one.
The reassurance of my presence is more important than ever.
My little blue shadow has been attached to my side for so long, always in my sight, and my heart. It's as if he has always been there, a part of me.
I sleep little, for he lies at the side of my bed, and every snuffle and turn wakes my shallow slumber as I listen for any signs of his discomfort.
And his nightly wanderings of the house, has me ever behind him, guiding him back to bed, or outside should he need to go.
I'm on "Jack time" now, as his routine is of utmost importance.
He is a trooper, and after one of his bad days, he’ll come round with a renewed appetite and an old gentlemanly spring in his step.
But I know the day will come when he’ll let me know that he’s had enough. And, I’ve promised him, when that day comes, I’ll not let him linger just for my sake.
The hunt is on for a new home, as we renovate and prepare this house for sale.
How much does one do? Over capitalise and not recoup in sale? Do just enough, and risk losing potential buyers?
One real estate agent tells us to, “blow the budget on renovations - people here want a certain type of house”, another says, “don’t, as you won’t get the return”.
Or, “sell now, quickly, as the bubble will burst soon and you won’t get what you want”.
What we want.
That’s nebulous in this market.
Pressure builds and stress simmers.
Real estate prices continue to rise and rise, but our finances don’t rise to meet them.
Outrageous prices being asked for less than so-so properties.
My little dream of an acre or so, with a small humble cottage on a sunny plot with perhaps an old tree or two for shade in summer - just enough to grow a healthy garden of medicinal herbs and vegetables to sustain us and keep us well - is now fast becoming just that, a dream. Nothing more.
My happiest days are spent in a garden, tending the earth… just like I once did.
Now, I battle depression, and fight to keep upright some days.
I spend too long looking back.
To the times when the earth and I seemed to work as a team… me - nurturing, nourishing, sowing and giving back to her, and she - bursting with health and vitality, showering her rewards.
I continue to dream of somewhere to create once more, a sanctuary.
But my hopes dwindle.
I’m a simple soul.
I don’t ask for material riches - expensive cars, jewellery (of which I own none), designer apparel (I have but few op-shop sourced clothes) or exotic overseas holidays.
I don’t go out often. When I do, evidence of the dash for cash and gathering of wealth and material gains seem to shout in my face, and I am repelled.
I rarely watch TV anymore. Preferring to seek the programs or movies I want, rather than have the endlessly superficial jammed down my throat via my eyes.
It all seems so offensive.
Or, perhaps my tolerance level has been dialled way down to just above zero.
A month of mixed emotion.
It is the month where autumn glows in tones of red, golds and burnished browns.
The coming cold fills me with a quiet joy.
I was born on May 24th 1963.
My mother died in May - on Mothers Day 1986.
Thirteen days before my birthday.
For all the childhood trauma and abuse I endured, the loss of a mother is still huge.
I eternally yearn for a mother that never was – kind, gentle, loving, supportive.
Every year, on Mothers Day, I am reminded of what I lost, yet never had.
It is not a joyous day for me. Try as I may to lay my thoughts aside.
So, as my birthday approaches each year - even more now as I age - I feel a deep melancholy.
I ache for a connection with a tribe I’ll never know.
I feel a need to belong to the ancestors of my mother’s European homeland.
To know their stories, so that I may weave a rich and varied life tapestry from fibres dipped in their - my - history.
But they're all gone.
Torn by war. Archives destroyed.
Tenuous threads that lead nowhere, only to sorrow and impasse, it is a futile pursuit.
Sections left un-stitched.
Happy Mothers Day. Happy Birthday. Blah.
Life feels scattered, sometimes shattered and disconnected.
There are times when I feel terribly alone and disconsolate as I withdraw further from society. It’s an odd feeling. And unsettling.
I crave the need for solace and healing in the earth.
But for now, I must wait.
Forgive my errant ramblings. I didn’t set out to say so much. But there it is.
To finish on a more positive note, I share what I have been creating in my studio.
Some wee folk you have seen, some not.
According to professional bear artists, “your first ten bears are your ugliest”.
That seems a little harsh and critical. But, who am I to argue with professionals.
So, here are
They are beautiful to me.
I’ll let you be the judge.