Rearview

Rearview Blog

Six(teen) months down

And every morning

As I drive into the sunrise –

I see You.

Rear view.

I go from house to house

And in between the cracks

Of 1950’s bath tiles

Like memory gathering mildew –

It’s a glimpse of You.

Too much of this

And too little of that

And no time

(Nothing but time).

The sadness in the voices

Of all the little old ladies

(And all the not so little, not so old);

It’s aching in my bones

And numbing all the voices in my head.

And I get it now.

As long as we stay busy

We’re okay.

(We’re not okay).

∼⁄∼

Dear beautiful readers,

I don’t know where to begin. Should I apologise for my inexcusable absence? Promise to do better on the return run? Quit before the next false start?

But who would I be convincing?

You, my beautiful readers, deserve more credit than that. So I’ll just make a list:

Things that have happened since I last blogged

  • I became Certified to Care, fell horribly sick, got a job caring for the aged in their own homes, fell horribly sick again, survived the winter and have now made it to almost a year in (not really) part-time employ.
  • I learned to channel my “inner granny” by getting up at 5am, falling asleep before 9pm, and listening to Clare Bowditch on ABC Radio.
  • True to my possum friend’s omen, I moved to a new house. With space. And light. And floor tiles that need cleaning. All. The. Time.
  • My partner and I travelled to India, a place of “no rrrules”, according to our delightfully well humoured driver (pictured above).
  • I didn’t get sick in the land of no rules.
  • Apple stopped supporting my operating system.
  • Google stopped supporting my internet browser.
  • iTunes backup stopped supporting my iPhone.
  • My parents learned how to use an iPad (what???).
  • I developed an ice chewing addiction (the cube, not the drug).
  • My doctor asked if I’m depressed.

And that about brings us up-to-date!

The most important thing I have to say is this:

I MISS YOU. And to all those precious souls who came by to visit, to check on my well-being, to gently kick my (frustrated) writer’s ass…I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

With luck, you might see me around from time to time, but I won’t be making empty promises. Let’s just say, you’re in my sights.

What’s in your rear view?

Get Real

The last domino has crash landed on the eve of 2015. It’s been such a mad rush to the finish line I’ve not had a chance to fill you in on the most important happenings this side of tomorrow.

Soon-to-be Flat Person

Soon-to-be Flat Person

It’s time for a career change.

And, by that, I’m not referring to my love affair with football. We all knew that would only be a short term fling.

Nor am I talking about writing, which will always be the end game, no matter the mirage that stretches in between the Me and It.

I’m talking about REAL WORLD stuff. And the need to live in it. To breathe and touch and listen to it. To be. 3D. Again.

Don’t you ever feel that? Like you’ve spent so long staring into a flat screen that you might any second turn into a flat person, whose beating heart has no where to go except up, and out, and bursting ’til you scream, and smash something, and run away and join a commune where the only technology is a hand held water pump and real life people for defibrillators.

Kickstart.

It’s ok. I’m not going to join a commune.

But I have completed a first aid course. And I have been studying to regain my humanity, in the form of a Certificate III in Aged Care.

In exactly four days (but whose counting?) I will be commencing a full time 120 hour placement in an Aged Care Facility, after which I will be licensed to kill claw back some of the feeling in my fingers and toes after a lifetime of sedentary labour.

Hell, what have I done?

Actually, the hardest part so far has been finding a pair of black, non-figure hugging pants with real, functional pockets. See! Even the fashions are trying to make us flat.

I don’t want to be a flat person.

I want to get my hands dirty. To know that what I am doing to survive is worth something to someone else. That it is real.

Just like these tomato plants, that burst out of my compost unannounced.

TomatoJumping

There will be a place for writing, I am sure of it. Once the Certificate is passed, a job and a routine is established.

A short term disruption for longer term gain. Survival. Stability. A sense of self worth. All necessary ingredients for a writer to write. And to mean it.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, 2015 is the year to Get Real. Who wants to join me? Go on, I dare you to 😉

Happy New Year, loyal bloggers. What’s your phrase for the year ahead?

Domino Effect – Part 1

domino1A whole month just disappeared.

The ‘Open’ sign has yellowed and the tumbleweeds are doing cartwheels in the wind.

[Enter iconic movie track – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly].

Waa wa waaaa

So much for “I’m back!”

You’d be forgiven for wondering when I’ll take the rusted shingle down. Board up all the windows. Exchange the dream for complimentary tickets to the show.

It does feel like, in the space of a few months, the whole landscape of my life has changed.

And I’m standing on my porch, wondering how to start explaining where I’ve been.

So I guess I’ll just go from the beginning. Where the first Domino fell…

You may remember me telling you, a couple of ‘New Year’s’ ago, about my need to get a job.

LSAH-PepiBut then how I was saved from the horror of job interviews by a paid video gig that I agreed to do in honour of Pepi.

As happens in this kind of work, the project scope was extended and mysteriously delayed until I gave up all hope of any kind of outcome and decided to get a job selling tickets to the footy.

In its well-timed sense of irony, the universe conspired to deliver the long awaited (and hence now URGENT) green light for the video completion in the same week that I started my indentured labour!

So commenced a month of craziness, followed by another couple of months of tying up loose ends.

Until the time has come to say goodbye for good.

  • To video as a source of income.
  • To more than six years of self employment during which I managed to feed myself (but only just).
  • To a creative occupation that, however meaningful, didn’t really leave room for the primary passion that is writing.

So what was all the fuss about?

Lort Smith Animal Hospital is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia. It was originally established to assist people of modest means in providing vet care for their animals (which included none other than hers truly and her merry menagerie).

Given its unique history in veterinary care and female philanthropy, the hospital was keen to record the stories of key people who have supported the hospital since the 1940’s.

The first stage was recording seventeen interviews, which are now part of a digital archive for the hospital.

The second was creating a short memoir on the history of Lort Smith.

At 11 minutes, the video is far from epic! But, with any luck, is enough to inspire people to want to get involved.

Now that the credits have rolled on video, the question remains whether selling footy tickets will motivate me into writing a best seller…

Of all the jobs you’ve ever had, what was the one you were happiest to leave?

Flux

When I told you I’d be Missing in Action a few weeks ago, I honestly had no idea it would be this long.

It turns out, waking up at 6.00 in the morning and actually having to eat breakfast before 9.00 am is much harder than I thought.

Not to mention the extreme challenge of learning to differentiate between the varieties of footy (ie. football) in this country.

Prior to starting in this job, my footy knowledge went like this:

  • There’s a ball.
  • They kick it.
  • It goes on for months and months and ends sometime in September.
"Dynamism of a Soccer Player" Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

“Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

Now, in case there’s any doubt, what I just said is plain and simply un-Ostralyin.

Way worse than not attending church.

If you don’t follow a footy team (go the Dogs!), then it’s pretty much social suicide. Which, when you work at home alone, is no big deal.

But when your job is taking bookings for manic footy fans?

I’ve been learning a whole new vocabulary.

“Freo” stands for Fremantle, “The Cats” are actually Geelong, the “Rabbitohs” are Souths (which, by the way, are Manly) and no, that’s not the AFL (Australian Football League), that’s NRL (National Rugby League) and never mind The Asian Cup (what the heck is soccer, anyway?).

I’ve learned what the centre line and the fence line are, but I’m still unsure about the wing. I have been winging it a lot, though. Which is what happens when you are looking at a map of a roughly square stadium with no compass or description as a guide.

It may also explain why some fans were booked seats with the opposing Cheersquad (oops!).

Until recently, I thought Home and Away was just a bad Aussie soapie. But apparently there are things called Home and Away teams, and which team is Home and which team is Away makes a difference as to where you sit.

And while we’re on the topic of vocabulary.

You know those words you only ever read, and never have to say out loud until you’re talking to a customer?

Rodriguez.

Repeat after me. It’s Rod-ree-gss. Not Rod-rig-yooz. O.o

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more miserable…

Les Miserables.

The good thing about being Australian is, you only have to say Lay Miz and you’ll be right!

It certainly has been an education.

Not enough of one to excuse my lengthy absence, though.

The WindThat is down to a few not wholly unexpected, and yet confounding, life twists, which I hope to make known to you in due course.

For now, it is enough to say that life is in flux. And that I’ve missed you. And I’m back!

Maybe less predictably than I once was, but let’s face it, I never was that good at keeping pace 🙂

Looking forward to catching up with you all soon. xox

 

What’s one new thing you’ve learned these past two months?

Missing In Action

Previously on Go Wild. Quietly, you may have caught casual mention of a new part time job. As I have now officially been caught and tagged, all that wild action is momentarily reserved for learning new behaviours.

I’ve made it through my first four days of full time training and in ten hours time I’ll be killing it out on the phones!

Normal programming will resume one of these days, in the meantime, enjoy this intermission with one of Pepi’s favourite songs

What music is motivating you this week?


Don’t know who Pepi is yet?

He’s this little guy, waiting for you to take him home…

TakeMeHome

 

The (Bitter) Pill

Sometimes I wonder how the people who invented the pill imagined the future.

MastersofSex

The Master in Masters of Sex

Was there an upper class of childless retirees, sipping cocktails and smacking their still youthful lips together by the pool?

Were children brought up in laboratories and rented to the highest bidder, or grown off shore in new world economies?

Or maybe, instead of a lifetime of hedonism and debauchery, people volunteered their time and wealth to protecting panda bears?

It’s hard to know what they dreamed, but I doubt they expected to still be debating the pros and cons of paternity leave, much less reproductive rights.

It’s a peculiar little world we live in.

The other day an article was sent to my Inbox.

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 10.40.25 AM

It immediately had me contemplating a new form of glass ceiling I’ve encountered in my quest for jobs and houses.

Part-time work is hard to come by. You know immediately when you see the words “Suits mother returning to work” that you’re doomed.

Glass ceiling

Wannabe writers need not apply

A person who writes mediocre blogs in their spare time simply can’t compete with the Queen Bees of the labour force.

And yet, I ask you, who’s the safer bet?

The woman whose thankless progeny are determined to make her late to work two days out of three, or the one who’s just figured out that at her current rate of pay she’ll be working till 105 to save for her retirement?

It’s no more logical than the ads for three bedroom rentals. “Perfect family home. Close to schools and transport…”

Like the only people in need of public transport are those who procreate.

Like two childless women don’t need an extra room to house their nephews, nieces and hordes of child popping relatives.

And just before you say it. I’m not childless because I dislike the snotty nosed!

(Did you know this is an actual book?)

(Did you know this is an actual book?)

I love children. And that is why I’m childless. (I make a way better Aunt than I ever would a mum. Just ask Pepi.)

But I wonder why, fifty years on from the sexual revolution, this is still a choice we need to justify?

The whole topic makes me want to spontaneously break into a Lily Allen flash dance…

“It’s hard out here for a b****” 

(*childless wannabe writer)

Only I just got a call from an employer.

And they want to hire me. Me?!

And here’s the stunner:

My childless delusions of creative grandeur appear to have been deemed an asset!

Of course, if I tell you it’s in the entertainment industry, I know what you’ll be thinking.

And that may well have been my next port of call.

But this is legit. As of this week, I’ll be a ticketing officer (which is my fancy way of saying I’ll be working in a call centre).

Real money, for real work, with real people and stuff.

So now I’m swallowing my words. And busting out another kind of glass…

champagne

What did you think the pill would do for you?

Every Day is Stupid

Sometimes I get tired of my own BS, don’t you?

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a really crappy day. No reason. I even knew it was all in my head, and that only made things worse.

It just was – not so much the Sunday blues as a Dark and Stormy gloom fest.

Nothing could snap me out of it – not even the final season of Weeds!

The upturn in mood began a few days later, with the arrival of my first ever eBay purchase, followed by several other sources of undue momentary glee…

1. Vintage bean slicer

Ever since I left home, I’ve moaned over the loss of Mum’s mouli shredder.

I’m not a fan of electric appliances. They’re heavy and expensive and annoying to assemble. And they take the tactile fun out of handling food.

Or so I tell myself.

I bought this Italian ‘Moplen’ instead of the French ‘Mouli’.

MoplenShredder

I’m not sure why – it looked less used and the blades were all shiny. Which probably should have told me something.

In fact, it’s quite clumsy and difficult to use. BUT…

Pasties

I managed to make a week’s supply of vegetable pasties, AND…

MoplenBeanSlicer

It has a bean slicer! Oh, the joy of not having to slice beans one at a time anymore.

2. Cocktails in Berlin

Well, Berlin Bar, to be exact – two rooms divided into East and West, with charming French waiters and confusing paintings of austere looking nuns on the wall.

But the cocktails and, I’m told, even the mocktails are to die for…

Untitled

There was a certain glow to Melbourne-town after that, the kind that makes you glad you’re alive not the designated driver.

Untitled

3. Reliving Pepi’s youth

You know how when you dread a task, and put it off hoping it will go away, it turns into Godzilla??

That’s what the next books in the series had become, as I dreaded the seemingly immense task of getting Pepi’s pictures ready for publication.

In fact, once I sat down to do it, it only took me a day and the up side of that was reliving periods in Pepi’s life, like this one:

Pepi meets Maxi.

Pepi meets Maxi.

Pepi learns to escape and terrorise the neighbourhood.

Pepi learns to escape and terrorise the neighbourhood.

Pepi moves house.

Pepi moves house.

A story told in three pictures or less 🙂

4. Crywank

What?

Maybe you’re not like me.

Maybe you don’t spend your life whining about everything from the bugs that ate your sage plants…

Freakin' little blighters!

(Freakin’ little blighters!)

…to the fact we’re all going to die hungry and penniless.

But if you are, then we all need to get a grip. Or have a good cry. Or both.

I stumbled onto this ‘anti-folk, sadcore’ band because an American twitter buddy asked me to tell them what I know of the future (believe it or not, in Australia, we are ahead of almost all of you – in time, at least!).

This is what Crywank had to say:

Tomorrow is nearly Yesterday and Everyday is Stupid. Waaa…

 

The music is not so much sad, as making a joke of our sadness. And that makes me immeasurably happy.

What little absurd things make you happy? Give me a glimpse into your day, week. Hell, give me anything!

 

Open Sesame

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of someone who left their past behind like the words High School Reunion.

Honestly, it’s probably the reason why I stayed off Facebook for so long.

And why my Profile still looks like this:

Screen shot 2014-05-14 at 12.09.01 PM

Don’t get me wrong. My classmates were good people. It was boarding school, and they were just like family. Only better, because NOT family.

It’s hard to describe how much you miss friends like that – such an intimate part of your daily life one day, gone the next.

Even harder when you know a big part of the reason they were ‘gone’ is that you slammed the door.

tumblr_li7gniLKjm1qfy2kdo1_500

Let me put this in perspective.

It was a Christian school, and most of my friends were believers in some sense. But normal, you know?

It was just a part of their lives, along with boy crushes and manicures and torturing the Dean’s pet cat.

Me?

There was Before Graduation. Do gooder preacher girl. On track for sainthood with a scholarship for Theology school firmly in hand.

Then there was After Graduation.

tumblr_inline_multnfdsjZ1rbtlz3

The about face probably made no sense to anyone but me.

I disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving a trail of burned bridges and lots of rumours in my wake.

Fast forward twenty years and my real and imaginary worlds suddenly collide with a mysterious Friend Request.

Crap, this name sounds familiar, I’m thinking. Who is this? What do they want with me?

My finger hovers over that button like the key rattling Pandora’s box. Open Sesame, a world of hurt to follow…

Sure enough, Class of 1994 has tracked me down. I feel old. Really, really old.

lisakudrow.highschoolreunion.jpg

Flash forward – Michele from ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’

But there’s something else.

Amidst the fear and regret, anticipation. A longing so deep it bleeds.

I attend the reunion. Despite the fact it’s a breakfast. And I’m not a morning person. And there’s not a drop of alcohol in sight.

What I don’t expect is this – no one really cares!

They’ve moved on. We all have. Important jobs. Partners. Kids. Lives. We’ve all matured. Found our own ways of dealing with the world.

I thought I was going for closure. Instead, what I found was a circle of beautiful people who still want to know me, despite the fact I was an idiot in school our wildly divergent paths.

Will we be best friends again? It’s unlikely. We live on opposite sides of the river, for a start.

Still. There’s a bridge on which to travel now. An open door at the end of it.

And love. Lots and lots of love.

tumblr_mrk7pyKumc1s1clzao1_400

(Okay. Maybe not that much… 🙂 )

Who were you in high school? Would you go to a reunion?

Astral Projection

In the years since my road map took me on the scenic route through life, I have developed a passing interest in Astrology.

This is based in certain unscientific observations.

Like the illuminating discovery that my sister and I have not one astrological compatibility in our chart.

No one needed to tell me that our planets were at logger heads when I was born!

When I found that out it was a relief – I could finally file us under ‘Irreconcilable Difference’ and move on.

Likewise, it came as no surprise, watching my nephew and his mother interact, that his top three planets share the same positioning as mine. Poor fella.

(It’s part of the reason I contend that Karma is just another word for Genes.)

There are other patterns too.

13942170604_4bd5ba8de8_b

Library of Congress planisphere from c1708, courtesy Stuart Rankin

My partner and I are situated in opposite positions on the zodiac, being Taurus and Scorpio.

She also shares my father’s birthday, which in itself is not all that remarkable (yeah, I know, *Daddy issues* – it’s not the same year, okay? 🙂 ).

Delve a little, though, and we find that every member of her family shares a birthday with someone close in mine, only in each case, it is gender reversed!

Is this freak coincidence, or is there something to it?

Some contend that Astrology is just another form of quackery. A kind of mystical, hocus pocus fortune telling. Maybe. Maybe not.

The planetary line up at the time of our birth is never the same twice. It is branded to us, like a fingerprint, or DNA.

A site of endless mystery for curious minds to unravel.

A blueprint, if you like, of possibility.

What fascinates me is the way that scientific discoveries sometimes mirror ‘mystical’ explanations for the way things are.

For instance, did you know scientists have found a gene that predisposes us to religious belief?

This leads me to wonder – is it possible that the sensory memories encoded in our genes are just a more sophisticated way of explaining reincarnation?

Or that the historical trajectory of planets is a more precise means of mapping the course taken by one giant breath of life?

On the one side we have belief in the wisdom of an all knowing being where the limits of our knowledge fail.

On the other, a precise methodology that turns flat surface theory into solid 3D fact.

Both reaching for a mystery neither dogma can explain. Pointing in the same direction, but unable to shake hands.

For my part, I find the magnetic push-me-pull-you of planetary entanglement far more compelling than a nudge from a big hand in the sky.

Beyond metaphor, it connects me with elemental force to the wider universe, a small part of a much grander mystery.

Mystery is good. It is reaching for the unknown that propels us forward, and what is life, if not an inexplicable need to create meaning from nothingness?

So, until science can disprove the notion that our personality is written in the stars, I will go on reading my forecasts, and contemplating possibility.

Do you read your stars? Any freaky patterns there you can’t explain, or is it all just hocus?