Thursday, January 4, 2018

e.e cummings

silently if, out of not knowable
night’s utmost nothing, wanders a little guess
(only which is this world) more of my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if (spiraling as luminous
they climb oblivion) voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself;i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:
yours is the darkness of my soul’s return
–you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The joys of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia

I'm scared. Scared of how my body is restricting me - of how little I can do before there is fatigue and pain. Scared of how easy it is to withdraw and further isolate myself. Scared that I'm not going to get better and of the slow deterioration (feel my heart racing after something like hanging out the laundry). Scared of how I want to be able to go out and socialise, but also how much I know it would not be worth it (drive across town and manage maybe 20 minutes and then crash because the noise is too much, there are too many people?  Yeah, not really worth it, and such a downer for everyone involved).

Scared that I can't see the good in me which others do. Scared of the depression which is pulling me down. Scared that words are coming out wrong. Scared that a lot of the time, talking or writing is too hard. Scared that this will become too much. Scared that I'm too needy.

Frustrated that I can't do what I used to, either physically or mentally, not by a very long stretch. Frustrated that I'm constantly cycling through stages of grief. Frustrated that my world has shrunk so much. Frustrated that I feel I'm letting friends and family down.

Tired of being tired. Tired of medical articles which maybe have new clues on what's happening in these illnesses, but no treatment. Tired of having to plan and pace everything. Tired of inexplicable aches and pains, and the feeling of having deep bruises all over. Tired of the near constant headaches. Tired of suddenly having foods become inimical to my digestive system. Tired of rarely being able to hold a conversation, a sentence, a thought, of having to struggle to be able to focus.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Why yes, I'm still alive and kicking!

Digital silence to the contrary.  Just... feeling overwhelmed, so pulled back.  Sad stuff, like the death of our beloved bullmastiff, Molly. Tiring stuff, like Rosie the Great Dane (oh my gods, why do I take on puppies?).  And just not enough spoons for creative activity after taking into account daily chores and paid work.  Right now, I can't wait for retirement (4 years, 1 month and counting).  Mind you, I've also fallen down the rabbit-hole of Harry Potter fan fiction, to a somewhat obsessive degree.

It was ME/CFS awareness day recently (in case you were curious about why structures were lit up with blue, there's your answer). I managed to put up a MillionsMissing infographic to my Facebook page, but that was it.  A more nuanced, personal post of what is missing from my life is just too depressing to do. Clothes that have gone because I no longer need office-appropriate attire, and fibromyalgia means that comfort is paramount. Frequent bouts of dizzyness (orthostatic intolerance) and swelling feet/legs (because my heart, like all my other muscles, is affected by CFS and operates sub-optimally) mean no more high heels. Activities with the dogs - gone. Gardening for pleasure - gone. Reading anything of substance - yeah, mostly gone. Embroidery - mostly gone. Socialising - very small doses, very carefully planned.  Spontaneity - gone. Working in an office - gone (technology allows me to work from home, for which I am grateful). Sleeping well - gone. Being able to visit art galleries - gone. Being able to play with cars - gone.  And so it goes....

On the plus side, I have gained food intolerances and weight.  Never let it be said that ME/CFS takes without giving😀

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why write?

Well, that's a million dollar question.

I have an odd habit of using "you" when writing, when I mean "me". I think it's about distancing myself. Correcting it means I become conscious of what I'm writing and lose the thread, so please bear with this quirk of changing first/second person! If I was proofreading, I'd fix it, so think of it as a challenge in flexibility...

Why write? Because you want to. It matters less what you write, than that you write. And you write for your own pleasure. This is very distinctly different to writing for work. I work in IT, and there are remarkably few techs who will, without compulsion, write documents (even basic troubleshooting for an application) which is infuriating. I can and do write those documents, but that's not the sort of writing I'm talking about. No, the sort of writing that's the reason I have this blog, and hopefully that someone is reading it - although that is really an added bonus.

The teasing out of ideas, a full-on brain dump, topics of interest, be they of narrow or wide ranges. Writing for entertainment, for intellectual enjoyment.

Now this, as Virginia Woolf wrote, does indeed necessitate a room of one's own and financial independence. It means having the space to think, to write and not be interrupted by others needs and desires, or by the necessities of life, such as the making of your livelihood.

It does require energy. I've had a sod of a winter, one bad cold followed by a nasty bout of influenza, so my poor brain has basically given up on anything outside of the necessaries. I did have about two weeks of feeling okay, and blessedly, that's when Queen and Adam Lambert did their Sydney concert (life is all downhill from there). This definitely stuffed up my plans on reviewing old perfumes, because my nose was otherwise engaged. Soon my pretties, soon....

It doesn't have to be Good Writing, or Serious Writing. I do think though, that the more you read and the more widely you read, the more easily you write. The words just fall together with little to no effort because your mental ear has grown attuned to their easy cadence.

There is definitely some writing that doesn't make it out into the world, and not necessarily because it's bad. Some of it may be very, very good - but it is too close and too painful to let go. Confessional writings,  the vivid nightmares that happened in your dreams and in your life. The grey depths of depression that you struggle to map and understand so that maybe, just maybe, you can deal with it and come through the other side.

Conversely, there is the writing that may one day be worth properly publishing, so why the heck would you let it out when it could be taken from you?  Although I am of at least two minds about that. After all, they are just words, and if they sing to someone else, why not share them? And poetry is certainly not a way to make money, so why not? But they matter too much, those darlings of your mind, could you bear it if someone abducted them or worse, if they told you they were crap?

Alec Hope told me some of my work reminded him of the Norse sagas, of Goethe, and to keep writing. No one can take that away from me. AD Hope was one of the last classic poets of Australia, and one of the greats. After he died, his collection of poetry was sold off by a very good second hand book dealer in Canberra (no longer extant, but a lovely place to browse and, inevitably, spend money). Of course I bought an armful of books, including Christopher Smart and Anna Akhmatova. But how terribly sad. One of the great poets of twentieth century Australia, and the collection that he shaped/shaped him, dispersed.

Why write? Because you want to.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lentheric - Red Lilac

Totally unrelated, but has there ever been a uni student who hasn't survived on instant noodles/rice/potatoes?

More on the recent perfume bonanza.  Lentheric - like Coty, another old house and almost forgotten about.  French, over 130 years old.  Tweed and Just Musk are probably the two that spring to mind for my generation (oh lord, if ever there was a phrase to show aging, that's it!).

Red Lilac was released in 1958, so it's comparatively recent, given that many of my loves are pre-1930.

At first whiff, there are definitely lilacs - and how I love the syringa when it's in flower! Even more so because it can be neglected, copes with drought and really does herald spring for me.  I cut swathes of it and stuff it in vases around the house.  They never last very long and the flowers dry and drop off, but the beauty and freshness is unmatched (and this from someone who is besotted by roses, November lilies and sweet peas).

15 minutes in, and I'm getting a hint of musk (and oddly, a sense of sea water - there must be associative memories there somewhere).

And almost an hour later - just a soft dry, slightly salt/honey sweetness, and a slight hint of cedar.  Not sickly by any means - on someone else, it would be quite intriguing, but I don't think it's my style - or that it works particularly well on my skin.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blanchard's Conflict

I have confessed my not-quite-obsession with scent before.  All sorts of scent, books, dogs, food, vegetation, fabric, wood and, inevitably, perfume.

I will start this post by stating that my mother is an enabler. We'd gone onto eBay to get her some classic white shirts, and somehow the topic came up of old luggage that she'd bought as a QANTAS flight hostess in the late 1950s. I've already got some of it, but there was a Samsonite make up case that she'd bought in New York and which my father had thrown out. So we looked and found. And I found one that had vintage perfume bottles, with varying levels of scent still in them.  Yeah, like I could resist. The parcel arrived today from the US.


All bottles can be opened, so there is a certain amount of excitement. And, while this blog is nowhere near the realm of The Non-Blonde or Perfume Shrine, nor my nose as acute or well-trained, I thought it would be interesting to document how I feel they work on my skin.

First up: Blanchard's Conflict, which, according to Google searches, was released in 1946.  I can't find any description of it. So.

One drop on the left wrist... and my initial reaction was that it's overwhelming and unbearable. At this point, I couldn't decide if it was carnation or violet that was dominant - it was just sickly sweet. But after half an hour, my opinion has totally changed. It's soft and lovely. I can smell carnation, slightly musky, a hint of woodiness and a powdery finish. Love it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fly like an Eagle....

When I was young, I wanted to be a falconer (amongst other things). A large part of this was the romantic image of holding my gloved hand out, and a raptor sitting gently on it. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that and it is definitely not a mainstream occupation in Australia, but I remain fascinated by raptors, and read up on hawking during a semester when we were studying domestication of animals.

I was thrilled to see one of the smaller falcons (Brown Falcon, I think) swooped briefly into my fig tree one year.

And then Maman sends me a link....