Thursday, 21 June 2012

On the water

Riding across from the island this morning on the ferry I was struck (as I often am) with the beauty of the place where I live.  The sea was glistening, the air was crisp - but not cold - and the golden light of early morning revealed the gullies and crags of the surrounding landscape.  I sat on the upper deck- alone - and viewed the world as if I were a tourist.
This brought to mind the many times I have been a tourist on boats.  The ferry to Madeline Island off the northern coast of Wisconsin in my beloved Lake Superior - the car ferry to Bainbridge Island across Puget Sound from Seattle - sightseeing on Milford Sound in New Zealand - funny old rusty ships to the Greek Islands when I was a child and car ferries across the English Channel on the same trip - canal boats in Amsterdam - a cruise ship sailing into Cape Town - for that matter the first time I rode the ferry to Magnetic Island back in the mid 1980's when I was young, fit and invincible...  What beautiful sights I have seen from the water!
It is a long love affair, this relationship with the water...  I rode a ferry across Sydney Harbour to school for 7 years and I always loved it. The relaxation of a leisurely trip across the water releases the tensions of the day and creates a separation between home and the outside world.  This afternoon on the ferry I enjoyed a lively and cheerful conversation with a woman a barely know and another I have never been introduced to, as we pulled up to the wharf on the island I saw TLOML's ex, who always makes me smile, poking his tongue out out me because I had failed to see him sooner.  There is no one who could have mistaken the genuine pleasure that showed on my face when I saw him.  He is a wonderful guy and I really like him!  TLOML was there to pick me up in Shermie, with both the dogs wagging their tails and happy to see me.  We went right to the beach and walked for a while as the last of the daylight faded from the sky.  It's not bad living on an island in paradise, especially not when the rest of Australia is suffering through a chilly winter and I am warm on a beach in shirts-sleeves at dusk.
The ex of TLOML (P) brings me to another point...  Now I have never been a man hater, a separatist, or in any way anti-men (after all I do have a son!) but as a general rule, throughout my adult life, I have not really made friends with all that many men.  I have a very close friend in Minnesota, a gay guy I used to work with, but other than him most of my friends have always been women.  Here things are different.  In all my life I have never met so many men who I REALLY REALLY like!  This place is full of beautiful, gentle, men.  Three of my favourites have the same name (P) LOL and quite frankly there is another P, who I don't know very well, but who I really like too!  Up until moving here I would really have only counted The Best Friend's hubby, The Optimist, and The Actress's hubby, The Percussionist, among my favourite people - men were very poorly represented!  This is no longer the case.  Now I know that the rest of the good guys were hiding up here!
OK gang - Day Two is done - only one to go (of my stint over at the University)... I think I can... I think I can...  I know that the ride on the ferry adds time to my long and tiring days... but there is something else that it adds which more than makes up for the deficit...  It gives me a boost to the spirit and a lift to the heart.

But I am very glad to be home.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Musings on life, Herbert, and blogging

It's some sort of a cycle.

I don't blog, then I feel guilty about not blogging, then I think I have nothing to say and why would someone want to read my drivel, so I don't blog...

I want to talk about all kinds of things but some of them are minutia and some of them might be too personal or might make me look foolish - so I don't write.

There are lots of great excuses - I am busy studying (I have received Distinctions for the first two subjects I have finished), I am busy living (TLOML and the doggers absorb my time), I'm not in great health (when I crash I crash and I just want to let my mind run free in an effort to forget my body is actually still part of me) but none of them is a good enough reason not to write.

In 10 days I will tick over into my 50's and I can't believe it.  In so many ways I'm so unchanged from the child I was.  I'm still homesick for my Mum, though she has been dead nearly four years.  I'm still socially anxious and I still never feel like I fit in.  I still feel like an awkward misfit who doesn't quite get anything right in this world.

A couple of days ago I went to a memorial service with TLOML.  It was for a woman in her early 50's who died suddenly of a brain aneurysm.  A few years back I lost a very close friend like that, she was only 44 and it was a devastating shock.  The service was on the beach at sunset and there were lots of people in attendance.  The clothing was casual and colourful.  Lots of people were barefooted.  The local a capella choir, many of whom were close friends of the woman, sung.  When darkness fell a large paper heart was set alight, big paper lanterns were released - rising towards the stars on the power of their flames, and tiny boats with candles were lit and floated into the sea, it was beautiful.  Although I had never met the woman, she and her partner having been overseas since I moved up here, I heard stories of how she had touched people and the causes she had fought for.  More than anything I heard stories of the bond she and her partner shared, it seems they were truly soul mates.  Although I was a stranger, there as a sign of support to TLOML and her friends, some of whom were very close to the woman, I was deeply touched.

There is no justice in this world.  Miserly, miserable people live long unproductive lives making others unhappy and kind, gentle souls can be snatched away without time to say goodbye.  People in horrid relationships become elderly being rude and unkind to each other and someone else loses their soul mate in early middle age.  There is no rhyme or reason, no sense, no logic, Charles Manson grows old in gaol while Princess Diana, who worked so hard for so many valuable causes, is killed at 36.

I don't understand Herbert.  It just is.

Starting tomorrow I have a three day workshop at  the university.  That will probably knock my body around a bit so the weekend will be at least partially dedicated to recovery.  I'm in recovery today too because yesterday I started washing windows.  The Actress, The Percussionist and their daughter are coming to visit to share my birthday.  I'm so pleased they are coming and I can't wait to see them.  So TLOML and I need to get the house ready and washing the windows is one of jobs I have decided to tackle.  I like doing things where it makes a big difference, where you can see the result of your labour.  But I pay.  I pay dearly every time I throw myself into a task.  Last week I did a little car maintenance including flushing the radiator and was sore for a couple of days.  Washing the dogs did me in too.  I don't care though.  I would rather keep doing things and know I need a couple of days to recover than not be doing stuff!

On the home front everything is going well.  I miss The Boy though he is doing well in Sydney and is working hard.  The dogs are terrific though Frizby's separation anxiety is a bit of an issue.  Now if I go for a swim she keeps swimming out to me.  TLOML and I had a swim the other day and Frizzle was exhausted from swimming out to us every time we took her back to the beach.  (Hence why I was bathing the dogs!)  The nights are quite cool here at the moment but the days are beautiful.  Sunny and warm and sparkling Especially through the clean windows!!!