after the fight,
I stormed from the
cool of the bluestone house
into the dry dirt yard
my face as hot as my temper.
the dust swirling at ground level.
the dogs followed my furious steps
down to the low paddock
where the lone horse named leo
leaned into the stand of
decades-old eucalyptus trees
that had grown into one another
over the course of several years.
the dogs with noses to the ground
were disinterested in my emotions.
they caught the scent of rabbit and wandered
a little ways off, zig-zagging past one another.
the horse shook his brown head
to fend off flies, so I took my hands
and cradled the long face
as the tickle of his soft nose hit my ear.
I was at peace here.
the land and the animals, my sanctuary.
I continued on, climbing over the wire fence to
where the dogs now had been trying to find
a fresher track. the dam was deep, cool
and the width of a river.
our golden dog jumped straight in,
and then out again,
and I watched the ripples of water flow,
echoing out from his disturbance.
O the memory of the day’s heat,
the bellbirds’ chirping ringing
high throughout the tree tops.
now my mind searches through memory for
other days there. for fascinating kookaburras,
for skinks, blue tongued lizards, cormorants,
storks, and heron and ibis.
i hold on to glimpses of draping
silvery green eucalyptus,
in both long and short leaves.
magpies caroling at dawn, and
a hillside of grey kangaroo cautiously grazing.
errant foxes skipping through the long grass,
swiftly clearing fences in the still-early mornings.
the sulfur crested cockatoo with their
dreadful screeching in flocks above.
the yellow tailed black cockatoo
cheekily squawking to each other in
the stand of tall pines as they feasted upon
bats at dusk, rats drawn to the horses feed.
spiders of all description:
huntsman are big, but lookout for the redback and whitetails!
Once, a copperhead sunbathing on a rock.
possums growling in the night, and
playing at chase once the stars emerged.
periwinkle, kangaroo paw and freesia growing
wild in the neighbour’s paddock and
the red bottle brush, ever bold.
Our yard dotted with melaleuca bushes.
the reddish sunset, and now anger, for the most part, erased.
The mournful lowing of cattle from a nearby farm.
The dogs barking. the cool of the house always waiting.
These scenes, played over in my mind,
bring both longing and peace.
O my peace,
my piece of Australia!
Archive for the 'The Pups' Category
after the fight,
Thanks so so so much, everyone, for all your beautiful emails, comments, calls and visits. I was so touched by many of them that I cried, in a good way! I will write to everyone, individually, someday when I get back on my feet. Until then, I’ll post updates and email them to you. If you are not on my email list, please let me know if you want me to add you!
I’ve had success in feeling better! Today has been my best day yet, as far as mood and feeling stable. I don’t feel panicky, jittery, nor angry or moody. I am enjoying arranging flowers, gardening, taking pictures of this house and neighborhood that we are staying in, to eventually put up on flickr.
I have done a load of laundry and organized my things a little, so I can find stuff at a moment’s notice! That really feels good.
Been listening to my favorite music and radio stations, and burning candles and some perfumed oil, in a potpourri-type burner that I got from the in-laws for Christmas. I walked the dogs in the park, and because it was slightly drizzly when I did, I had the swing-set to myself. It’s a nice sturdy one, so that’s good. He he. I sometimes see the mums of the children who play there swinging there too. I think more adults should be able to swing on the swingset without feeling silly. I certainly don’t. It’s one of my favorite pastimes!
The dogs sat patiently in the grass, watching me swing (it’s got a large expanse of grass and trees) and after listening and singing along to a few songs on my ipod, I sat down with them for cuddles. Then we trotted happily home and Mum fixed us a nice dinner of pasties & chips (meat pastry pockets and french fries).
I am taking off work for another week and a half at least, and have made some tentative plan for a visit to the city art gallery with a friend or two in a couple of weeks. There are also plans to visit the beach when the weather is good. YAY!
I won’t say when I am coming home yet, but I know when I plan to, and will contact my family to tell them, before announcing anything online. (It’s exciting though!)
But yes, the recovery is going really well.
I had my blood tests done, saw my psychiatrist, will make appts for some talk therapy and a regular physical w/ my GP in the coming weeks. I see the psychiatrist in abt. 3 weeks again too, to keep tabs on how I’m going with everything.
The Critical Assessment Team says that I am doing so well, that they may only need to see me 2 days over the next week. When they stop coming around, is when I know that I am stable enough to handle things as usual.
So, I hope this ‘lil bit of news will reassure everyone.
I am happy, sleeping much better, far less stressed. Went to dinner at a Lebanese restaurant, and to see the movies to see Cloverfield with “the boys”, Dave, Daniel, and Cameron, and our also our friend Anne. After we got home, and Dave and Cameron were talking outside, I came over and they said to me. “Oh yeah.. we’re thinking of going to the movies next week, do you want to go?”
I told them “YES. I but I get to pick the movie next time. I’ll give you several choices, so you’re not locked into a “chick-flick” though”. They said “DEAL.”
Good! Yep.. things at the moment are in the status of “Very very GOOD”!
Steak or chicken on the grill and salad for dinner tonight.
Now I’m off for a short walk down the street, to rent my musicals! I’ll have to do a handful at a time. Too many favourites, but I’ve got them written down.
Will be in touch.
P.S. HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY TO MY GODDAUGHTER, SHEILA! I can not believe you are graduating and going to University! That means I’m incredibly old! Wasn’t it yesterday that I was buying you Barbies and Philadelphia Flyers t-shirts that were 3 sizes too big?! Love you so much. Give my love to your family too!
Sooo… what have we been up to over the past couple of weeks?
Well, Daniel and Adrian came over to visit with us, and we went out to split servings of fish, veggies, chips (french fries), pizza, steak and oysters… topped off with champagne, tiramisu and hot chocolate! YUM!
Then we headed back to the house for more hot drinks by the fireside. What a lovely evening!
We stopped by Worco again, where I wrote letters to my family and drew Alastair at work on a harpsichord keyboard, as he is teaching Cameron a bit about the trade. Went out for lunch and dinner with the guys. Dinner was at my favourite Melbourne restaurant, Cafe Umut in Preston! Not a fancy place, but the food is amazing. It puts the Turkish food at South Street in Philly to shame!
I sold an illustration to someone who saw my work online and loved it. She’s going to send me a copy of the publication (a business brochure) and will add my name to it too. YAY! I sold artwork without even trying to! Great motivation at a time when I’m making preparations to set up an online shop -probably on Etsy- where I will sell some of my paintings!
I’ve been working on some website themes for friends, but they’ve been slow-going so that’s a bit frustrating. Lots of things are competing for my attention.
I haven’t let myself re-design my own website yet, either, so that is another thing I want to change!
Cameron and I caught a daytime movie and had the theatre to ourselves. Watched “The Simpsons” and loved it! “Spider pig, spider pig. Does whatever a Spiderpig does…”
Watched the lunar eclipse and took photos which were quite good, considering our camera wasn’t meant for such long distance shots.
After fully recovering from the tonsillitis and stress of dealing with health problems, I’m back to job searching and attended a job interview today. *Fingers crossed*
And every day the dogs and I are enjoying our walks in the fields. Sometimes they take a dip in the water, and sometimes we take apple and pear cores from my lunch to Leo, the horse. He’s rather anti-social. He comes up for pats rights away, but leaves after a minute or two (whether or not there is food) but sometimes he unexpectedly comes up and tries to eat my scarf or ear and it makes me laugh and squirm because it’s very “tickly”.
Have been seeing the return of the large water birds such as heron and ibis, and watching kookaburras sitting high in a bare-branched tree, laughing loudly, and seeing the little fairy wrens hop around as they create their nests and it’s all breathtaking! The weather is gorgeous, warm, sunny, slight breezes, there are colorful blossoms on the trees, red bottle brush appearing, and new green all over. Drinking it in….
And, I’ll continue the update another time…
Wrote this entry a couple of days ago, but have been too busy to post it.
Hope everyone is well. We are on the mend. I still have a bit of a sore throat tonight, but have more energy and am thankful for the gorgeous weather we’ve been having. More walks in the fields with the dogs. Cam has been feeling much better. Visits with friends and family, and plans for more this week. I can feel Spring in the air too. Thank goodness!
I’ll be in touch. This site seems to be behaving itself once again, (knock on wood!)
Here’s what I wrote on Thursday:
A few days ago I started feeling good enough to walk the dogs in the paddocks (fields) adjoining our yard. Saw droppings that I didn’t recognize -being the talented bush tracker that I am now (Well, I DO know what wombat scat looks like)- and told Cam about them. He said it sounded like Kangaroo, which is what I’d suspected. Yesterday, while taking laundry down from the line in the early evening, I happened to look up past the pond when Goldie started barking. Lo and behold, a kangaroo was sitting right past the pond (known here as a dam), staring over at us. WOW! So I scurried the dogs inside, and told Cam to come out with the camera. We didn’t get any new pictures, because the ‘Roos were quite fast as they bounded to the larger pond/dam down the hill. But what a sight to see them along the horizon! I’m glad we watched it rather than waste time trying to get a good shot!
Here is where I first saw them:
The weather has been warming up enough to make things more bearable. I’m still on antibiotics, still have a sore throat, still lethargic, but feeling wonderful in spirit, nonetheless. Although last night I went to bed very early, and very grumpy because I’m tired of being sick!!!
Today, this poem resonated deeply with me:
This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who says, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?
Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.
And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.
Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.
So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.
- Eleanor Lerman
Some more recent pictures. I’ve been snap-happy again:
My self portrait, taken in reflection of outside of the studio window. (A bit hard to tell, but the smaller pond is in the background. Because of the drought, water levels are quite low. Last summer there was no water in it at all, but it’s recovered a little this winter.):
Here I am painting, in the cheery yellow knit hat that Christine gave to me the other week: