Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Ode to Number One Son

Two more sleeps until K is home. Not that I'm counting or anything....It's been a huge learning curve, 4 weeks one on one parenting, no child care, no grandparent intervention, no hour here and there to wander a street and sit in a cafe or shop without a toy lane tantrum, double the amount of cuddles, a new wordless communication (I've got the 'Don't you dare' stare down to a fine art), and a deep and humbling respect for single parents everywhere, especially those without ex partners sharing care, or families close by to step in....

When K is home and all is back to 'normal' I might miss the daily rhythm that was just Beau's and mine. I will not miss 12 hours a day making sure boy and dog don't hurt each other. 4 weeks has gone quickly. Too long for family to be apart when the luxury of choice is afforded. Looking forward to having my man by my side and preparing for the Big Move West, and to seeing Beau's face when Dad comes into view.

Thanks fabulous little person for putting up with me and teaching me about surrender and the ongoing navigation of the mysterious labyrinth of love.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

an experiment

Last night I finally finished the scarf I knitted for my sister-in-law. I had the idea that I wanted to dry felt onto it as a bit of an experiment and I'm really happy with the result. Dry felting is so easy, and a bit like painting with wool. The test will be in the washing, to see if it shrinks and pulls the scarf in . I think cold water should keep it in shape. Anyone tried this? Any shrinkage?

The wool is particularly soft and perfect for a scarf. I bought it from a Steiner stall at Ceres Slow Day, and it's the same wool you can buy at Steiner stores. They always have beautiful bright colours. I'm looking forward to making myself a beret and dry felting that too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

guys and dolls

my guy is on his last night in India possibly still in a giardia (spelling?) spin. Some bad noodles. A blessing really to not have been ill until this far. But still...not nice. Poor darlin'.

I am about to make some kind of step towards making the Steiner Doll for Beau that I have long had the materials for. Even if that step be only to read the book. My intention is that at least by the time he has a sibling (should circumstances lead fortuitously to such an outcome) there will be a little effigy for him to care for himself. My friend told me that it is good to sleep with the doll (as the mother and maker) prior to giving, in order to infuse it with one's smell and energy. How lovely.

The wind is wild. We walked out into it today to have some sun and it blew us home again to dress up and make osso bucco.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

old friends and new friends

We spent the weekend with these two lovely people who I have known since I was Beau's age. They live in the country on 5 glorious acres on which Beau and the pooches romped and explored. Many memories come flooding back when I am with them. I'm so glad Beau can have this connection with them. Thank you dear ones for a great weekend. We do love you.

What do you do when it's too wet and cold to play outside? Get nude and do it anyway!

Proving that it's never too cold or wet to do anything really.

Today a play date with MsAims and Bubble and Squeak. Hours of fun and tea consumption. A tired but very satisfied boy fell asleep in record time as a result.

Last night was my last at choir as leader. What a great bunch of people and what an amazing experience it has been for me. I'd never run a choir before and felt very green and nervous when I began with them 2 years ago. Gradually, with their willingness and warmth and my determination to offer something good and fun, we found our synergy. Now that we have a new leader, I'm looking forward to being in the choir instead of in front of it, until we head west.

I realised this will be the first of many 'last....'. The time before leaving a place is can be one of the best , when appreciation is at it's height, relationships and places are savoured. We sometimes ask each other "Are we still going to WA?" and have a laugh. Because it's not worth taking life TOO seriously.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

chasing the winter sun

Beau and I did a bit of drawing today....

and chased the winter sun around the house......

hope you were out in it too...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

a damn good cry

Have been visiting the very Dear Lovelies in the bush this weekend, the rains came down, there was much puddle diving and admiring of view and heavy skies, and talking and eating good food as well as exhaustion and a fired up little guy and a bad cough and a head full of thoughts... clouds of vulnerability have been gathering over my head lately and the storm broke loose when I went to retire to our 'bootiful little cottage" to find my little guy screaming for me at the door with a puddle of wee at his feet "I didn't know where you were mama". I don't know how long he had been standing there like that because it had been a while since I'd come from the other side of the house to peek a look at him. I felt so terrible and even though he is remains unscathed, it was just enough distress to bring up a well of emotion in me, ranging from guilt to my own childhood fears to missing K, to the need the next morning to flee straight back to the warmth of the cave wherein I can gather the bearings of my psyche and have a damn good cry. A damn good cry here and there is the best tension release i can imagine.

Luckily we were in the company of seasoned criers with enormous hearts. I'm glad I followed the urge to come home. Beau and I made muffins (another part of my own personal therapy) and went for a really nice walk with Flash the Dog, picking flowers, laughing, running, observing the minimal activity of an overcast Sunday in the Suburbs, and with Beau cooing every 5 minutes "I LOVE Flash".

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Later that night....

self portrait in bathroom mirror .......

didn't hurt a bit........

A Mother's Work

One of my favourite artists is Del Kathryn Barton from Sydney. Her work blows me away for so many reasons, for which, if you Google her and have a look at her work, you will understand. She just won the 2008 Archibald Prize and I love it that her self portrait "You are What is Most Beautiful About Me".....

is an acknowledgment of motherhood, her children and their importance to her life and her art. Some of her work is quite erotic and reminds me a little of Egon Schiele's paintings and drawings, another of my favourites. I'm really drawn to lines that are organic and 'imperfect' that appear to have not been corrected or premeditated. At art school we had a drawing tutor who had us do contour drawings for a year which were a revelation to me. Contour drawing if you haven't seen or tried, is just a technique where you look at the subject and not at your surface and draw what you see with one continuous line, so that the end result is bizarre and disproportioned yet often has uncanny likeness. It forces you to draw what you see rather than what you think you are seeing. I always struggled to get away from drawings that were too tight, to try to go back to the effortless, expressive images that children make. After doing hundreds of contour drawings without looking, I found I could render something very quickly whilst looking at the page now and then but without editing or thinking the drawing. I used to take my visual diary to cafes; hide it under the table and draw as many people as I could in the time I sat there. It was such a good time, passion and discovery. I didn't even do anything further with them it just felt good in the doing.

I'm not very good at giving myself time do things that are important to me, other than the love and commitment I put into motherhood which is almost enough on its own though I'm aware that when we feed ourselves creatively it feeds everyone around us too. I forget and I make motherhood a distraction from a huge part of my creative self, as my own mother did . I can so easily tell myself that it doesn't matter, that there will be time one day, whilst the voice inside me yells FORGET THE F*****G DISHES!!!

So thanks Del Kathryn Barton for reminding me and you too Esti and Fi and Bridge and all you other amazing artist mamas and papas out there. I'm going to get off the computer and draw something....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here's some of what we did today.
This is Herbie, the new guy in the garden, completely legless......but still able to stand.

And some photos from our walk today......some bark

some more bark.

and the source of bark, a dignified tree in the burbs, holding up its arms as if to say 'I'M standing here..'

and small boy attempting to walk small dog and ride bike simultaneously.

Slow walk home! But good for the soul. I need to walk more. And do yoga, and swim, and meditate, and finish that where was that DVD I was about to.........

Monday, June 9, 2008

Up the Mountain

Beau in bed early, house is kind of tidy, my head is full of snot, Laura Viers CD playing, bed beckons. The days are moving fast, punctuated by meals and visits and shopping and sleep time routine. In between there are songs and drawing and cubbies and dress ups and cake baking and baths and park visits and many many cuddles. He misses his Dad very much as do I but we are having a great time. The other night we went out to dinner the two of us, something we haven't done before.

K is st his mountain feeling very fortunate and happy to be where Ramana spent most of his life. He has met a couple of other like minded Westerners with whom he can share his experience and also receive advice as to where to stay and what's happening around the town. Tonight a friend was taking him to see Om Amma, a woman who spends a great deal of time in Shamanic Trance and gives individual healings. I'm hoping he will take some photos that I can post. Whenever we speak on the phone I can hear peacocks yelping and not much else. It must be one of the few quiet places in India, especially at this time of year.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Technical difficulties

Any fellow Blogspotters out there experiencing difficulty in uploading pictures to their Header or anywhere else???? I just can't get it to happen at the moment. Do they have some sort of limit as to how many pictures are posted and therefore block you from uploading in other places???? It's just driving me batty that I can't put an attractive image up there.......Such are the challenges of a woman with too much time on her own.

Je suis un (F)rock Star

This is our boy's interpretation of an eighties rock star......It's the fluffy 'glass' slippers that really do it for me. We've never encouraged Beau to wear dresses or not. We believe he should feel free to dress as he pleases and to have the least amount of conditioning possible so that hopefully he will grow up with a strong sense of self based on his own decisions. It's been really fun seeing how he loves to dress up and how his energy changes depending on what he's wearing/being. He started asking me for my dresses when he was about two, and one day in an op shop he asked if he could buy a particular skirt which he still wears. Some of his female friends have given or loaned him dresses on his request. It so happens that we are staying in the house of a woman and her daughter, and they have so generously left us toys and dress ups (as well as everything else in the house the angels), so that Beau has access to fairy frocks rather than Spiderman costumes at this point in time. I'm always on the look out for dress up material of any kind so that our kids will have a variety of identities to explore. Some of our parent acquaintances actually have difficulty with boys wearing dresses, telling their kids that boys don't wear pink and boys don't wear dresses. Once a male friend was really taken aback and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from saying a whole bunch of things. My first response was to ask what he thought would 'happen' to Beau if he wore dresses. And if the answer to that had been anything to do with encouraging or creating homosexual behaviour or confused identity, I was ready with 'I don't know what's worse, that you believe by wearing a dress a child will come confused about his sexuality, or that you believe there is something wrong with homosexuality'. I didn't enter into it on the assumption that he like all of us are a product of our own parental conditioning and some takes longer to shake off, some of it stays for the duration. Still, sometimes I think I live in a bubble and I still get a surprise when it's burst!?

I suppose the purpose of all this talk is to generate awareness in myself and others as to what we say and do to, and expect of our kids, and how much of that is unconscious. Every day it seems that parenthood challenges me to examine my opinions and my idea of reality and meaning and I'm so grateful because it helps me to be easier on myself. I long for the freedom that comes from awareness and real presence and I want that for Beau.

So there's my Frock on Friday post with Manifesto! Have a splendid weekend dear ether friends!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

on missing

Verily enjoying the super close-up function on my camera. It sees details that my eye can't see.

As Hanna commented last post, missing can be nice. I completely agree. It's easy to take the one you see the most often for granted. And take for granted that they will always be there. I experienced all kinds of emotions as we were planning K's departure. There has been a huge letting go, and I found myself mourning our relationship in some way as if we were saying good bye for ever. Which on one hand sounds ridiculous given that we will only be a month apart, but makes sense in light of the unpredictable nature of life. We never know what will happen at any moment and so every moment is a letting go. And so we miss each other and the moment of return is all the more precious.

Beau of course doesn't have any concept of the time; that K is away for four weeks means little, and he expects him to be home at the end of each day even though he knows K is in India. He has been incredibly loving and helpful during our long days together. Beau seems to understand that we will be moving (back) to WA. He has begun asking on a daily basis "Can I bring ...... to Western Australia". Three moves in three years is probably a little confusing for him, and that we are 'at home' here but it's M's house...... I think at the least he will be able to withstand change without too much trauma in his life. We hope. We also hope there won't BE too many moves until we find our Home.

And to pass on a wonderful initiative that Esti posted on her blog...You Are Beautiful

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Beau, Flash and I finding our rhythm together, walking, gardening, visiting friends, planning a little journey of our own, chatting with K via Skype a little each day....

K in Pondicherry now and can finally sleep. Has had ear pain from flight and drugs to alleviate have kept him awake for 72 hours. Now your adventure can truly begin my lovely!