Posted in Writing

Watching them walk away

WATCHING THEM WALK AWAY-A story for all the mums and dads

I remember as a young girl, the beginning of a new school year was like Christmas. Living in a rural area meant I didn’t see a lot of my friends over the school holidays and the thought of catching up with everyone was a source of positive energy, a feeling of rejuvenation.

The journey to school just prior to the commencement of first term was a memory I’ll never forget. New books, new pencil case, new uniforms, and a chance to sneak a peak of anyone I knew. Who were the new teachers and what were they going to be like? Were there any new kids in my class? Where was my best friend hiding? Had my feet grown?

When I returned home I’d busily arrange my books, writing my name neatly everywhere I could. I’d set up my Student Diary with all of my personal information writing a new year level inside the front cover, and I’d scribble a few of my best friends names and addresses exactly where they were supposed to go in the allocated addresses section. I’d then cover my text books with clear contact, trying desperately not to make bubbles, and place them all together in a nice even line inside my cupboard in my bedroom. I was so ready.

Looking back, it was truly great. It is an excitement that perhaps I haven’t been able to match as an adult. The complexities of life stifling my ability to live in awe and wonder-as a child does.

And as I observe my own boys heading off to commence a new schooling year, I am reminded of this feeling once again, and I ponder-

I ponder the magic of witnessing their innocent souls bursting to participate in all things new and exciting-as I did.

And my mind drifts… and I ponder how they will handle the rejection.

I ponder how they will deal with failure.

I ponder whether I am doing a good enough job to ensure they prosper.

I ponder whether they will still love me in 10 years and whether they will work hard enough to realise their potential.

I hope an amazing career spontaneously chooses them and not the other way around.

I hope they draw on sound judgement in times of trouble.

I dig into the deepest depths of me with my hand on the steering wheel still watching them skedaddle away, and pray they are happy.

And I find myself concerned- because I know. I know what it’s like to pass from innocence and fun to aware and responsible.

But then it suddenly occurs to me that I am simply balancing on the opposite side of my circle-My circle of life. The wheel has turned, and I am staring back at myself- and not my sons.

They are kind of smiling, they are barely excited, and they couldn’t give two hoots about their books, their uniforms or their lack of haircuts. They’re not fussed about the English teacher, they are wondering why they couldn’t have six months a year off, and not a single item of food will be consumed in their lunch box. The diary is a diary in name only and they’ve been playing on-line computer games with their friends for the entire duration of the holiday. They are messy, disorganised and they prefer grunt to English- But they are as happy that way as pigs in mud.

The miracle and truth that I so often forget, is that they are living in their own circle-and not mine.

Sure, we can worry about anything and everything that may happen to them, but their experiences will always be unique.

They will go their own way, they will do what they do and they will be who they are regardless of their mother sitting in the car pondering their existence and happiness. Regardless of our desire to steer them toward or away from our own experiences. Regardless of our warnings, our teachings, our back lashings or our perceived failures as parents.

So what do we do?

We keep doing what we are doing because it’s ok;

…and we watch them walk away with their school bags on, and ponder their growth and their happiness and their futures, and we sit back and have a cup of tea with a smile, when one day, they find themselves balancing on the other side of their circle of life, and they ponder how they got there.

Posted in Writing

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

Perhaps one of our failings as a human race is our perception of beauty.

 
Our perception that character, and the insuppressible beauty of uniqueness is imperfection.

 
To me, the most alluring quality in a face is its natural form.

 

It’s honesty

It’s invisible reflection of the soul

It’s unquantifiable energy

It’s stunning uniqueness

It’s story.

 

I see the character in a face as the epitome of human perfection.

Beauty beyond definition, for it cannot be measured.

Each line represents not one, but many stories. Don’t for one second be frightened of their presence. They are simply our reward for all of those times we’ve put one foot in front of the other, and  made it to the other side.

Age is a blessing. Some of the most beautiful people in the world, are those older than us, who have lived, and are no longer afraid to show themselves. They find no comfort in being in any other skin other than the one they’re in.
Faces blooming with emotion, life and character have endless depth and come with infinite interpretations and possibilities, unlike the finite form of perceived physical beauty.

 
In the words of Amy Bloom-

 
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed.
And you are beautiful.”

Posted in Writing

Windows

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Through my Window

My life is rather like driving a car. I’m flying down the highway in an auto when I should be taking the back road with my window open, sniffin’ the fresh air, coasting in third.

In my formative years, I always had a tendency to sit and stare out the window-my mind drifted very easily into rest mode.

However as a grown up person, with grown up stuff to accomplish, I am void of this free time as a direct result of the poor recognition that I actually need it.

It’s a repetitive behaviour I knowingly engage in because I am convinced I can handle life without ‘space’-a terrible fallacy.

My husband always says I only have two speeds. Fast and stop-and when I stop, I stop. But there does exist in me a third speed-I know it. If I close my eyes, I can almost touch it. A speed I’d call my

‘staring out of the window speed’

It’s not stop, it’s not fast, it’s my kind of ‘catch my breath’ and chill kind of gear. I used to cruise in this ‘fun’ gear all the time, but then someone traded me in for an auto model, and I’m now stuck with two speeds.

My plan for next week is to sell the automatic car in my head, buy a manual, chug along a wonky dirt road for a few hours IN THIRD GEAR, open the windows, let my dog slobber all over them with his ridiculous toothy smile, play a few tunes, sip some juice, have some home made ham, cheese and tomato sambos-with a little salt, suck the perfect blue sky into my starving lungs, laugh at all the funnies cracked on the cheesy radio breakfast shows, and find my lost smile.

 Windows

Maintain your focus

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Chalk board by Nicole Bragg Real Estate-Forest Gardens Cairns

 

 

Focused

I reckon I’m about as focused AND as ‘Out Of Focus’ as a person can be.

I spend much of my spare time these days attempting to perfect and refine my images.

As a budding amateur photographer, the learning curve has been steep yet exhilarating,  and my drive to improve and understand the discipline continues to intensify.

-It has however been coupled with disappointment.

My ‘focus’ you could say, is absolute. That’s not unusual for me of course. To pour all my attentions into something new and challenging with an all or nothing type attitude.

The mental energy I invest into something I enjoy can be enormous, and often I head down the despondency road-to my detriment- or is it?

We all know what happens when we try and pile too many rocks on top of each other. The masterpiece of a rock tower gets taller, and taller, and taller and it reaches for the stars in a beautiful newly created formation of ART…and then it falls with an almighty earth shattering bang-BOOM-all is now dust.

-This is the story of my life.

I have recognised in me, that in times of intense focus, I have a tendency to pile up the rocks like there’s no tomorrow, creating not a masterpiece, but a vulnerable, unbalanced structure, which could topple over with the tiny little push of a pinky finger.

This somewhat ‘out of focus’ short-sighted behavioural pattern has ironically been my greatest teacher.

“Those stupid rocks” I would say as I stared at them strewn on the ground resenting my efforts. Or I would run away and hide never wanting to face them again.  Or I would swear to myself that not a single rock would ever again be piled. And then what? Nothing, that’s what. It’s the end. The end of something I loved. Because of why? Because of my own inability to accept one thing-that they WILL fall down.

-My focus became very much out-of-focus when I failed to achieve success in an instant.

Decades of trips and falls has blessed me with a bit of an I don’t really care what happens now attitude, and as a result I have started to throw myself in with no regrets, and accidentally stumbled upon the answer-of course this doesn’t always happen!

If you love something, but your efforts seem to be futile- maintain your focus.

Do it with NO less enthusiasm. Do it with equal intent to extend your limits, do it with your whole self, do it blindly with no ears for the knockers, and do it with the knowledge that the rocks are going to fall down. They WILL. They will and they always have. But what is consistent-what I always forget, is that in order to achieve something, we need to accept a bit of imbalance, a fair bit of disappointment, a bit of pain, many, many, steps backward, and we need to take comfort in the re-building.

Maintain the focus, re-build the rocks one at a time, and you will gain knowledge, and power, and strength, and the ability to learn how to balance, and eventually success. Be patient-and Do Not be Afraid to fail.

Posted in Writing

To My Boy

I wrote this some years ago, yet it is still relevant to me today…

All Of Me

Author

Nicole Martin

There are so many things that mums and dads should say

But sometimes, we fail to say them in the way you need us to.

When your little heart broke today, I felt it too-like breaking glass, I shattered, helpless, as the pieces fell.

It hit me in spectacular fashion, that sometimes, I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes, I can’t fix it.

So I did the only thing I could do.

I lay with you.

I lay down with you on your little bed, and welcomed silence as I stroked your tear sodden cheek.

So soft it was, I didn’t realise how so,  you, my little man, are but a babe in arms, your virgin soul, newly challenged by the devastation of disappointment.

There were no words- they felt weightless and empty in comparison to the energy that transpired in this moment.

The clock…

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