this past week i started to write about 10 different blog posts, only to then abandon them, either from distraction or frustration. or confusion.
but this morning after yoga i went for a big walk and suddenly things didn't seem so confusing or frustrating. and i felt present, and i let myself be distracted for a little while. and i sunk down deep into my distraction and i held onto it.
then i came home, saw this following video, and laughed my ass off.
i know i haven't written much lately.
but i've been busy.
busy living slowly.
busy thinking dreamily.
busy walking consciously.
busy staring at the sky.
busy with all the precious little things,
because they are plentiful, yet precious.
i'll get around to telling you about all this sometime.
maybe sometime soon.
or maybe not. this blog isn't about promises or obligations.
because let's face it, they stress me the heck out.
so happy friday folks.
i'm spending mine at home.
with dinner party leftovers (they are never-ending and delicious!) and an old movie.
and perhaps just a little bit of arty crafty-ness.
these long lingering nights come along every few weeks. and my mind races and my soul wanders and i think about who i've known and what i've been shown.
i dipped into some old memories tonight. forgotten memories.
well, almost forgotten i guess.
i've been feeling forgetful lately. i've been predicting a future of dementia for myself, then becoming frightened by the reality that it doesn't just affect the elderly. and i forget some more, and freak out some more. nothing too out of the ordinary, really.
i think that i'm fearing this forgetfulness because so many real things have been happening lately and i used to have such a habit - such a strong ritual, really - for recording life.
but not any more.
i've lost my words.
well, maybe they are still there inside me.
only, it's not time for them to come out yet.
i fear that the important things might be forgotten.
the shape of them will remain, but the details lost forever.
what hits me most is the weight - the heavy weight of what's left to remember.
the heavy weight that i need to carry.
i must carry it.
too much has been learnt to leave it behind.
but it's not just that.
of course, there's more.
it's that it's on me now.
there are fewer people to ask now.
to remind me.
to describe to me how small my hands used to be.
or what my favourite food was when i was 5.
or what i wanted to be.
do i need to know those things?
and don't i normally spend most of my time running from those things?
i constantly dream of something else, somewhere else.
of the blank canvas, the new start.
free from ideas of who i was or who i've been.
only carefully selecting what i love about me, and forgetting the rest.
forgetting the rest.
but then a night like tonight comes along and takes me by surprise and memories appear again.
and i feel relieved for a moment.
but this too passes, and the weight slips back.
i am trying so hard to be my own answer.
i am my only constant and that's ok.
it brings me to tears, but that's ok.
because it's also what brings me back.
and i heave a sigh and my tears stop and i find stillness again.
and i'm calm and still alone.
but i'm calm.
this only happens at night.
when it gets to 4am and i'm wide awake and these thoughts appear.
and then they pass.
"Right now I want a word that describes the feeling you get - a cold sick feeling, deep down inside - when you know something is happening that will change you, and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again quite be the same person you were."
another week of blogging, hey?!
hmm... not so much.
i've been slack on the blog-front, i know.
but! i'm back. and to keep up with this week's theme of slightly-slack-blog-behaviour, here are some fabulous links to other blogs who are slightly-less-slack-than-myself!
i love/hate these kinds of blog posts - i love reading other people's but i kinda hate myself for being so damn lazy and just linking to other sites, you know? whatevs. they're amusing. and you can pretend you discovered something new, although really, i discovered something new and passed it on to you, or someone else discovered something and i'm passing it off as my own discovery and passing it on to you. i could talk in circles like this forever, but i'll skip that and just get along to the clicky-clicky part:
- do you know katie? man she is cool. and now i want her top. because it's from such a wicked shop and because sometimes i can't help but just lust over some piece of clothing even though i know it's superficial and ridiculous and i'll probably never buy it, but oh well. (what an intense internal dilemma about a top, hey? my mind is funny like that)
- so while i'm having a moment of clothing lust, why don't we just linger a little while and drool over this top too. it's nothing crazy special, but how colourful and happy and generally great does it look in that image with the floral skirt and fruit and big wooden bench?
- bread making. ahh, so much fun. i gave this recipe another crack last night/this morning. slightly charred results, but that's entirely patty griffin's fault. she distracted me with her fine crooning. i'll forgive her, though.
two years ago today i came home from south america.
i had done a semester in chile.
i had fallen in love a couple of times, with people and places.
i had re-connected with good friends.
i had forged amazing new friendships.
i had gained a whole new confidence with my spanish.
i had the most amazing housemates - strong women - i adored them. i still do.
i rocked the chilean slang. cachai, po?
towards the end of the semester, i had found out that my dad was sick. so i thought to myself 'hey, why don't i just grab a sneaky flight home and surprise him? i can just come home for a couple of months, see how he's going, see if i can boost his spirits a bit, then head back to latin america.'
so i did just that.
i've been thinking about those intense couple of months that i spent in sydney in-between adventures in south america. it was so good to be home for a while. to see familiar faces. to feel at home, settled.
i knew i didn't have much time at home, so i packed in everything and anything i possibly could. i said 'yes' a lot. i just did.
doing was my gerund of choice.
lately i've been realising just how lucky i am to have so much time to explore my amazing home town. how lucky and great and joyful it is to say yes. to put on a good outfit, to walk out the door and explore.
two years ago today i came home for just a couple of months. here is what i did (according to my diary scribbles...):
- made pisco sours with lucy and imi to celebrate the chilean national holiday
- had dinner with mads, chris and bec. beautiful people.
- latin american film fest with lucy and imi and lucy h + vivaz x 2!
- finally had that garage sale i'd been talking about having. made a modest $35. oh well.
- witnessed an amazing dust storm.
- rock climbing with grant
- carriageworks - markets! rethreads! screening of the power of community - recorded an EP. Happy Music Radio Hour finally came together. two years later, well, i guess we're still in the planning stage.
- attempted a bit of gardening with jess
- drove to Bellingen with imi.
- Bellingen Music Festival! sunny! rainy! skinny-dipping!
- mexican feast for jess' birthday
- adventure to fairfield for chilean food with lucy and imi
- coogee to bondi walk with lucy. lovely day of talking and walking
- farewell drinks at the courthouse with lovely friends. KB!
- last night at new orleans with sonj, kimmy and laz. delight.
- spent amazing hours talking with my dad.
all in just a couple of months.
i didn't say no.
maybe these next two months can be a bit like that...
i have been blasting these tunes so much lately as i go about my days. some old favourites, some new delights. i tell you, that dale earnhardt jr jr fella, he has got a hold of me. cannot stop playing his tunes.
ah, merry interwebular world, you are full of delight!
i just found these amazing prints for sale on etsy.
i would happily cover my walls with these prints.
most happily, indeed.
they seem to me the most brilliant mix of colour, quirk and sacred geometry.
what's lovelier than that?!
...and a little update: i am feeling over-the-moon happy today. last night i had the most delicious yoga session, followed by an equally delicious dinner with good friends. this morning, i've gotten so much nitty-gritty done that i feel completely guilt-free about spending the afternoon crafting.
speaking of which...
lofty thoughts are becoming tangible solids this week as i slowly build on my idea of turning my craft into a bit of a business. i should have more news of my upcoming (i swear, it's on it's way!) etsy shop very soon! how delightful - a businesswoman i shall become!
i've been thinking a lot about this lately. where i'm at, that is.
actually, i've been thinking a lot about everything lately. why, you ask?
quite frankly, i've had the time.
i've had the time to sleep in, to waste a day watching reality tv, to walk around the house all day with no purpose, to pay bills, to make phone calls, to clean up, to throw things out, to pack life up.
i've been struggling to find the words to really explain what's going on in in my life. part of me wonders, 'do i need to explain this to people?', but then, a situation comes along where i want to explain the situation i find myself in these days, because i feel like it is important. it is true and raw and real.
maybe it's not rosy, but it's real. and part of me is so incredibly energised by that. i feel so incredibly present in each moment.
most of the time.
the thing is, it doesn't really matter what it is that i'm doing at this point in my life. because at any given point, i'm either doing a lot, or nothing at all, and really those tangible/intangible things don't matter.
instead, it's how i feel about it all. that's what's important.
i hear you out there saying "well, that's incredibly obvious", but stick with me here for a minute, because it's been exciting to actually have this sink in..
i've had a hell of a year. it's only august i know, but i can't help but look back and feel everything wash over me in this incredible wave of realisation that i've experienced a lot this year. a lot of brilliance and magic and opportunity and people have come my way, and a lot of sadness and loss and reflection has also passed through my life.
but to jump to the present - i'm actually feeling pretty good about where i am and who i am. but it took a while to get here - to accepting who i am. my day to day life hasn't actually changed that much in the past few months, but my internal dialogue has, and it continues to improve and gain strength and patience and a bit of wisdom too, i hope.
and although i am on the edge of what i suspect will be an immensely busy and full and crazy spring season, i want to throw a few words out there about this past winter...
this winter has lingered and hung over me with it's grey skies. in equal parts, it has surprised me and enlivened me with it's unexpected sunshine. i sunk into feeling a bit hopeless about being unemployed, and felt that i wasn't contributing as much as i felt i could or should.
and then, i let myself explore.
i started to use this time that i was suddenly gifted with, and to take a moment to actually sort out my head a little bit, sort out my heart, and let this time be a passage of learning and reflection.
this morning, i heard my housemate rise, shower and leave for work. i had a moment of blues. i felt inadequate. i wouldn't be going to work today. i would probably not come much closer to sorting out what it is i want to be doing with my life (well, maybe a bit..). i would still be unemployed, still be stuck in this lingering winter.
then i curled my toes and pulled my blanket up higher around my cheeks and felt their warmth and softness and i said a little thank you to the universe for giving me some time to myself to explore and decide what it is i want for myself. for giving me the time to sleep in, the time to spend a morning walking through the streets, buying fresh fruit and drinking good coffee. coffee that i have the time to enjoy in the sunshine. the time to spend an afternoon baking and listening to good music. an afternoon of replying to emails of job offers (because i'm putting myself back out there and have already been gifted with out-of-the-blue opportunities where i'll be paid for being creative! who knew?! hurrah!).
i celebrated my unemployment today. because it will probably end quite soon. and because it was about time that i was present and accepted that this is where i'm at and that it's ok. it's actually pretty normal.
if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
...oh my goodness. this has been such an important realization. i think i might delve into this later this week. hope you've all been having a swell weekend. i spent the grey afternoon zooming through the royal national park with lovely friends, eating paddle pops and letting this quote sink in.
image via Fibershed, a brilliantly inspiring little blog
I was having a little flick through one of my favourite sites, Fibershed, and stumbled across these knitted shorts. That's right, knitted shorts. I think they are perhaps the most perfect mix of cute and ridiculous, so guess what I'm gonna follow up my sweater with? A pair of knitted shorts!
And here's a fantastic little tutorial via Barbro Andersen at A Personal Style Diary... (click on the image for the link)
aren't they just the bees knees?!
I'll be sure to let you know of my progress! First up, wool selection...
What's the most ridiculous/cute knitted thing you've ever made?
I can't believe it!
I knitted something!
I knitted a sweater!
A real sweater - not just a few rows with gapping holes from where I'd dropped some stitches - but a real human-sized piece of clothing!
Let me explain...
I can crochet. I love to crochet. Granny squares, flowers, gloves, beanies, even a jumper - I've been able to master all of these things with crochet. Knitting for some reason, has always been more of a labour.
I love the freedom and forgiveness that comes with crochet. Make a mistake? No worries, just pull the yarn through and do-over, no drama. Meanwhile with knitting, I've always ended up throwing a fit when I drop a stitch because it always just seems too damn hard to fix (I know, I'm completely immature, but what can you do?).
I knew I needed my first real knitting adventure to result in something amazing and brilliant. Otherwise, I would try and convince myself (yet, again) that knitting just isn't worth the hassle and I'd retreat to my merry crocheting ways. So I sniffed around for something modern to make, and stumbled across this site.
They have such a brilliant range of knitting kits (that include wool/cotton, needles and a pattern) that you can buy online, or you can just take a squiz at their how-to video tutorials and learn to knit that way. Pretty darn good. (You can also buy their knitwear online, but that sort of defeats the purpose of learning how to knit, so we'll just skip straight past that, ok?)
To top it off, their name is just awesome. Wool and the Gang? Anyone that references R&B disco funk is fine by me.
So I got my little kit and was on my way. I felt so proud of myself that I was going to once and for all become a fabulous knitter (because I think a lot of my friends thought I could already knit brilliantly, when really I had just fallen into that category from all my crocheting endeavours - they're two different crafts, people!*), and yesterday, I finally finished the sweater. I was surprised at how quickly it came together, but then again, I did get into a bit of a frenzy there, and ended up spending Saturday and Sunday night at home knitting furiously and drinking many, many cups of peppermint tea.
I followed the pattern to a T. Well, right up until the end.
See, one of the features of this sweater top is the slits where the arm pieces meet.
In theory, this is kind of cool. In reality, these holes are like little windows to the armpits. Not so sexy, really.
So I stitched them up :)
Which I'm rather happy about. Now I don't feel like I'm unnecessarily flashing my armpits to strangers in my fancy new homemade sweater.
Know how to knit? What was the first thing you made? Crochet vs knitting - where do you stand?
*actually, my friends aren't so silly. I remember now, I did actually knit a few scarves back in high school. But I think I'd blocked those neon acrylic-wool creations out of my mind until just now...
"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it...but by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill...If one just keeps on walking everything will be all right."
sharing is funny.
actually, sharing is fantastic and brilliant!
you know, sometimes.
i mean, don't get me wrong, i love being a bit selfish every now and then, i love doing things on my own and being a lone observer sometimes, but sharing is brilliant. maybe better.
a smile. a laugh. a moment. a beer. an experience. a movie.
i have a few sacred movies. movies that i will adore forever.
i quote them, i swoon and pine over some of their characters.
i envy their (fictional) lives.
i laugh and learn from their mistakes.
annie hall is so freakin' brilliant to me.
it's romantic, without all the misleading 'everyone-living-happily-ever-after' crap.
it's charming, without being cheesy.
it's full of cute one-liners. i love a good one-liner.
my lovely sister popped around the other night and i suggested we watch a movie and order in a pizza.
because, let's face it, movies are ten times better with pizza.
they just are.
i said have you seen annie hall?
she said no.
i said you know woody allen?
she said of course.
i said well then, let's watch annie hall - it's one of his most well-known films, and one of my favourites.
we watched it. we ate delicious pizza.
my sister, she didn't like the movie so much.
my heart sank a little.
'damn it' i thought, 'i wish we could enjoy similar things.'
'i wish she loved it like i do.'
then i realised. i had gotten far too expectant, cynical and negative.
i do this a lot. but i'm trying, dammnit, i'm trying!
then i realised - i just spent a really great night with my sister.
why can't i let that be enough?
it's more than enough.
we had had a great night.
and the pizza was awesome (with extra tabasco sauce, of course)
it's easy to focus on the differences.
easy, but hardly helpful.
that's what this whole blog thing is about, right?
i put it out there. to share.
some of you will like it, some of you won't.
i guess i'll get used to it.
not everyone has to luff annie hall as much as i do.
*how great is that Lurve, Loave, Luff poster?! find it for sale here on etsy.
i saw you yesterday.
and i fell in love.
i hope to steal you away soon.
we can run through the streets and the sand and the hills together.
wherever you want to go.
i'll take you.
i'll wear your soul down.*
love bel. x
*it's a pity that you're now made in china, though.
i had started the day feeling a bit blue. and i didn't particularly feel like wallowing in it for too long, so i didn't.
instead, i made myself juice, i listened to fleet foxes all morning.
i sang along.
i sat down with my jog grey cotton and wool and the gang knitting pattern and i felt the calm and contentment that comes with repetitious hand movements. sometimes it feels as though i can craft my perfect world. pull the yarn over, drag it through, move on to the next stitch. breathe in, breathe out, move on to the next stitch.
i ventured outdoors.
i met a friend. she is such a good friend.
she hears me and i don't feel so silly saying the things i say to her.
most of the time, i feel silly saying the things i say to most people.
with this friend, i feel understood.
we were both born with an ability to feel incredible happiness.
happiness and blues.
but we somehow both manage to see the silver lining.
they're just colours, right?
it was a beautiful day.
we walked through the streets.
had a bit of a laugh.
and we went looking for something...
..that turned out to be closed.
but that's ok.
there'll be another time.
i met some other friends.
i saw and heard and felt some beautiful music and i realised it had been a while since i last felt the beauty in music. in that way.
i can't help but grin a little bit about this photo.
just to the right of the frame is the harbour bridge.
i could have chosen that as the background but i chose the sharp building instead.
i chose the sharp builing instead.
i guess life is all about choices. and i have them.
blogging is a funny thing.
i follow a lot of blogs.
some are happy-go-lucky pretty blogs. and i like them for that.
some are informative and descriptive. of craft or farming or love.
cherish your solitude. take trains by yourself
to places you have never been. sleep out alone
under the stars. learn how to drive a stick shift.
go so far away that you stop being afraid of not
coming back. say no when you don't want to do
something. say yes if your instincts are strong, even
if everyone around you disagrees. decide whether
you want to be liked or admired. decide if fitting in
is more important than finding out what you're doing here.
believe in kissing.
I'd like to be like this lady. She makes the most killer knitwear. Her pieces look like a whole bunch of sheep ate an entire field of licorice allsorts and somehow the candy colours ended up in their wool (?) and then she knitted that wool into a frenzy of pattern and geometric delight. Incredible, I know.
Anyhow, I guess I'm on my way. I've been crafting diligently and I've almost finished my epic winter blanket (you'll see it soon) and I'm about to open an etsy shop (the moment I pick a name..and make some more goods, the shop is up).
So much of my life right now is characterised by this central decision: what should I leave behind, and what should I take with me? A lot of this is emotional/mental fluff that I'm trying to sort my way through. For the most part though, I'm dealing with physical stuff. And the question I'm asking myself is: what, which and how many things do I really need and which things are really useful - for practical or soul nourishing reasons.
After 24 years of growing up on the same block of land, it's suddenly fallen on me to sort things out and get my house ready to sell later in the year. It's daunting, it's painful, it's suprising, it's joyful, it's a lot of work.
It's a relief.
It's keeping me busy.
The best moments come in re-discovering memories. Sometimes, it's hard to know what to keep and what to just hold for a moment then give away. And then, sometimes it's not so hard at all to make that decision. I'v now decided that anything that I get even the slightest bit gooey and gushy about stays. So there, stuff.
I've always been a collector of notebooks and scraps of notes and photos and general paper-y remembrances.
They find their homes in old shoe boxes or photo files.
Flipping through I feel that I know what I'll find...
drawings from the time when I used to draw a tree each day..
a tab I learnt from a friend (with my own special codes: Am7 w pinky, funny G)..
photos from the time I found a black and white roll of film..
blossoms in my neighbourhood
a rainy day suprise photo souvenir in front of La Moneda with my oldest Chilean pal..
the loveliest housemate that ever lived, quietly working her magic with an Otomi backdrop.
my old apartment in Chile..
sacred geometry dreams
an organic agriculture pop quiz
a great farm
the loveliest garden sancutary in buenos aires
another drawing from the time when I used to draw a tree a day
another sacred geometry squiggle
This gift! All the rest, I had known those photos and those bits of papers were in here, but I didn't know where this was!