The Making Of….

November 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve been quiet on this blog of late. Not intentionally: things have been busy.

I’ve been putting together the latest issue of Birthings magazine, of which I am Editor. At the same time I have been applying for jobs and endeavoring to turn my passion for handmade crafty items into something more professional.

Juggling all of this has prompted some soul searching and clarifying of priorities.

As much as I love crafting, I am not sure that it can bring in the regular income I desire (and need). But, in the short term, I can at least spread some of my crafty joy through selling what I can at the upcoming Lorien Novalis Market Day. And I will be running some craft workshops for children in the week before Christmas, a chance to spend a whole morning sewing and hanging out with some great kids. I always get so nervous about running workshops, but they give me such a high!

As much as I love editing, weaving elements together that create a magazine which covers the spectrum of the (home)birth experience, I am not sure that I can continue in this volunteer role for the long term. As this year begins to wind down, I am refining my goals and priorities, knowing it is what I do every day, every hour, that is sowing the seeds for my future.

Then there is writing, and this blog. I am still finding my voice here, but blogging has become something I can’t not do anymore. Writing remains, or has been reinstated, to the most important activity of all.

In this past week, a few creative items have been my work:

water colour painted thank you cards for Lily's teachers.

water colour painted thank you cards for Lily’s teachers.

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The bare bones of a hobby horse: one for the market, and one for my little nephew for Christmas.

The bare bones of a hobby horse: one for the market, and one for my little nephew for Christmas.

A Tree of Life felt picture, bound for the market and hopefully someone's wall.

A Tree of Life felt picture, bound for the market and hopefully someone’s wall.

And this little sweetheart, needing a full head of hair before making her way to Lily on Christmas morning.

And this little sweetheart, needing a full head of hair before making her way to Lily on Christmas morning.

I really should begin my crafty Christmas gifts earlier…. however I am still optimistic that I will get everything done in time!

 

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Rainy Saturday

November 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

It has been so long since there was rain. The kind of rain that continues all day, quieting the birds and making it just a bit too cold and uncomfortable to go outside.

Today was such a day and I relished the chance to remain at home. While the boys lay in bed and slept, I let myself sink into some serious sewing.

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Handmade presents for Christmas, and for my newborn nephew.

I love the way that children reflect our energy and focus. The girls played a very complicated game involving nearly all of their dolls and toys and most of the lounge room floor. Lily became inspired by me and began sewing some clothes for her little rabbit.

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IMG_1738Zara got busy with the remnants and the glue, and Lily cannot go through a day without drawing. Robin slept, and slept, and slept some more.

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By the time Sol came home from his gig, and William returned from his photography course, the rain had stopped and blue sky was visible! We all rushed out for a walk and some fresh air, a sure remedy for the cabin fever some of us were feeling. The boys rode ahead on their skateboards while the girls went together on their scooters, with Robin in the pram at the rear.

We planned to head to the park to kick the football, but once there the rain began again, hard. The boys raced off with a shouted ‘see you at home’ while Sol and I encouraged the girls along.

But… I didn’t find the rain uncomfortable or a nuisance. I revelled in it, feeling alive, feeling the fresh water wash me clean on the inside as well as out. Sure enough, half way home I ran into the boys who were happily skating in the rain, bad moods forgotten in the adventure.

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The rain-play continued long after we reached home. And then….the bliss of warm showers! And to end the day….warming lentil soup and raw cacao bliss balls.

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November 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m getting used to having my teenager around.

One of the positives of homeschooling has been the closeness that has evolved between William and his parents. He is (mostly) pleasant company, and loves to crack a joke at our expense.

I was surprised when he asked to accompany me and the younger two children on a drive to the city to pick up a huge dry-goods order. Once that job was finished, I felt badly about just driving home again, so we made a detour to Darling Harbour.

I’d heard of a new playground installed there, and so let the children roam there for an hour before heading home again.

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Robin was both fascinated and scared by the jets of water. It is delight watching him devour new experiences that tickle all his senses. You can almost see his brain sparkling with the electricity of new connections and awareness.

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Some Japanese tourists asked me to take their photo with him in his pink singlet, exhorting about the fact he was a boy in a pink singlet! William looked on with a wry grin.

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Zara attracted lots of admiring glances too. She just got in and played, immersed in her own imaginary world instantly. But I think it was the hand made undies.

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Or maybe it was the presence of a teenager on a school day. I love the bond these two have going on. Hard to imagine that William will be 20 one day and Robin just 7.

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And of course a gelato was called for before we left, as well as promises to return, for longer next time. It is good to get out and about more.

 

School Reunion

November 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

For most of my life, I have felt like an outsider. Different.

My years of high school stand out in my memory as awkward and anxiety filled. I attached myself to the ‘cool’ group of girls in my first year, doggedly persevering over the years to make friends with people who delighted in bullying and teasing everyone except their closest allies.

In my second last year of school I finally moved to sit with the group of girls with whom I had easily and gradually formed true attachments. I had one particular friend with whom I quickly became extremely close, our friendship being the absolute light of my life for a few intense years.

But still I felt ‘different’ – I came from a single parent family, something not so common in those days. As I moved towards the end of school I also found myself processing the death of my father (he died when I was four) and trying to identify my place in the world. I had a definite rebellious streak, sneaking out to party and drink and explore the town with friends – but these were friends who had pretty much given up on school – I had not. Most of my new ‘group’ were pretty hard working, responsibly preparing for study and careers beyond school. I straddled the two groups of friends, fitting in as a sometime ‘good girl’, and sometimes not.

Year 12, 1988

Year 12, 1993

Recently I attended a 20 year reunion for this class.

I was very nervous to attend. Scared to revisit those feelings of difference now that I am a well adjusted adult who has found her ‘tribe’. I don’t feel any long lasting scars from my high school time, but all the same I had no wish to see again those women who ignored, put down and sneered at me.

But, I went anyway, interested to see those with whom I had lost touch over the years, when we were once so close. Only 30 or 40 people out of a 200+ class attended. It was confusing and interesting to see faces, so familiar, yet also changed. I suppose we are all older.

What struck me though, was the fact that most of the attendees admitted they were nervous about coming too, for the same reason as I. Suddenly I realised I wasn’t so different. I wasn’t the only one who felt those girls’ presence at school like a heavy shadow.

How many times have I lain awake at night, wishing I could go back to that time for just one day, but with all the wisdom and confidence I possess NOW? I’ve held these imaginary conversations with certain other students, and a small number of cranky, overbearing teachers.

Going to the reunion brought me some peace, as well as some renewed friendships. Everyone there rejoiced in the different paths everyone’s lives had taken. I felt accepted, but ironically I also realised I didn’t need their acceptance or approval any more. I’m pretty happy with the adventures I’ve had in my life since then, and with the person I am.

Feeling different turned out to be a gift. As I moved into my university years I found a way to embrace it, and used it to take risks, explore my identity and have some great adventures.

I’m so thankful for those years of my life.

Where Am I?

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