Sunday, 17 November 2013

surprises and support

Here we are Izzy and I in Melbourne and I am logging in to blog at 11.24pm. I have done my SkaDaMo sketches each day and my PiBoIdMo idea and although my word count is not high, I have written some more to my historical back story and I read it out to an appreciative audience who all yelled at me because there wasn't enough story and saying things like "Rude word to you" or "But what happens to such and such a character?" which is all very positive.

The trip to Melbourne is exhausting. I think a 3 1/2 hour trip is too long because I am not fit enough. If I am intending to travel in the not too distant future I need to put the same determination into getting fit as I am now putting into writing daily. My nephew bought one of my sons all the way to Warrnambool then drove me back to Melbourne so he had driven for 7 hours.

Yesterday, my nephew had been built up to believe we were coming to his sister's welcome home party being held on his birthday. He was disappointed that all his friends were busy on his birthday so he could not go to any alternate venue to celebrate. As the day progressed, more and more people turned up for the welcome home and said such things as 'oh is it your birthday too?' and then finally all his friends turned up en masse and everyone yelled 'surprise'. It was such fun. two parties in one and lots of people celebrating and sharing food and love. The noises swirled around me as I sat on my sister's rocking chair just to the edge of the festivities and I fell asleep. In the middle of the day, in the middle of a party amongst strangers and not so strangers, I fell asleep.

Later in the evening I went to a lovely lady's home with her L plate driving son scaring 47 years off my life. Luckily I intend living to 121 so the extra 47 years would have taken me to 168. We had delicious food and lots of company talking about all sorts of interesting things. One of the things I found in the conversation was the assumption that the things done in the small town they were all from were things exclusive to that small town. Everyone there was from the same area of a country not Australia and they were reminiscing about the past and their various connections and I began to remember conversations I had listened to with other groups of people from different countries and they all say the same things. The sentimental view of a place seen through the filters of time and distance give it a glamour it probably doesn't have in reality or didn't have even when they were there. When a group from the same place gets together they gloss over the reasons they left there in the first place and forget to discuss why they 'got out' so eagerly and what attracted them to another place. What was it that they needed from the new place? I have a new friend who is lonely here in Australia because she hasn't yet formed the friendship networks like those she left behind. It is hard to break into new groups and sometimes easier to seek out people who have the past in common but not always a beneficial choice. Being in a new place can make life very difficult and lonely. Having moved so many times in my life I attached sentimental values to the place I spent most of my childhood. Recently I have questioned that sentiment since there were more negative memories associated with the place than positive ones and I wondered why I would consider it 'home'. I have come to understand it is the environment more than the relationships that I most appreciate in that place. The trees, mountains and river and the scent of those is what I miss most.
Everywhere I have lived I have met wonderful and interesting people from all the lands on earth and all walks of life and the stories I hear from them are both individual and the same. We are all simply people trying to live our lives the best way we can and hopefully along the way we can find a few like minded individuals we can add to our chosen family.

Today I went with my sister and niece up into the Dandenong ranges to a community activity to support a young man who wishes to attend an overseas trip with his school next year. Clothing and bric a brac, art and food were for sale by donation. Everyone was sharing a huge pot of chai and talking about life and peace and the world and stopping corporate giants stomping on their lives. They spoke of giving young people an opportunity to experience community and to let them know they are not alone struggling with this fast paced crazy world of ours. I purchased a fedora and a clown suit and a red cardigan for my daughter. The people were like a living rainbow. There was a weathered man who painted and had lived in Arnem land for a while, a lady in her late sixties dressed in polka dots and orange who busks in the city with her friend the clown, a woman trying on clothes and giving a bit of a fashion parade, a young artistic girl making lovely notebooks, teenage boys and a lady with vivid red hair, another with layers of clothing in greens and browns, a woman with snow white hair and a peace filled face, older, younger, and children all smiling and talking and laughing and trying on clothes and donating their time and goods and energy to help. It was simply nourishing on every level. I had tea and waffles made for me and came back to my sister's house feeling peaceful and content.

It is almost midnight now and I need to go to bed shortly. I will upload my weekend pictures once I get home tomorrow. A new week and another 25k to write and more wonderful opportunities to pursue all start in the morning but right now it is time to sleep.