8th January 2013
Dear god, the world is certainly challenged today, as I am :)
Wars, climate change, anger, guns, frustration, bush fires, storms, melting ice, rising oceans. Angry bored local teens, acting out, attacking others physically and verbally. Is it because we have greater lines, more lines should I say, of communication. I sit here with an iPhone, iPad, LapTop and the TV on. I have no computer games, I don’t get into one on one vendettas but I do have an opinion :). Maybe it’s me that’s crazy. If I were to turn it all off, if I were to focus on one single thing, what would that be? I love Film | Photography | Writing. I can’t edit like I used to. I can work on editing and compiling my photography and, I can write. I had committed to writing some 4 hours ago and became totally distracted. And so, here I am. What to write?
What to write . . . Kiri our beautiful old dog just jumped off the sofa and stands at muy lovers door as muy lover works on her photography. Since I cannot easily take Kiri for walks that has become the domain of muy Emily and so there Kiri stands, sort of growling, wagging her tail, wanting outside and she gets her point across as muy Emily opens the front door. And out Kiri bounds, as befits her aging body. With the front door wide open in comes the early evening breeze, so welcome in the heat of a glorious summers day. My eldest daughter Emma, lives in Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory near Canberra. Emma is home, working, taking care of her property and her Golden Retrievers as the heat wave batters and subdues Australia. We use out communication devices to check on each other. Emails, Texts, Skype. Me checking on her safety and she checking on my condition.
Front doors are how we welcome the outside world to our world, I love being open to the world but the world is not always a safe place to be open to. Point in case in my small community of Featherston. An older woman sits in her garden reading her book, creeps cruise by, see her front door open to the world and take advantage. They creep in and rob her of jewelry and stuff. She cannot protect herself. I read of this far too often in New Zealand. I never experienced this in Sydney, New York or Venice Beach. In 43 years I experienced one robbery and on that occasion the creeps crept up an outside wall, across from a neighbors and into an open upstairs window. Whew! That took some doing but they certainly took a lot. I had just moved into my new Sydney cottage. Creeps prey on the unwary. Sad but true. Human nature is what it is and we all have aspects of good and evil. Since returning to my ‘Homeland’ I have had my car broken into, my shipping container robbed by people I employed. I have been accosted by teenage girls on the streets of Masterton and threatened with having my face cut off here in Featherston. Mind you, the reality of life would have any of happen across the Planet. Evil exists, Good exists, in all of us.
Setting sun but slowly, hours of daylight left. Muy Emily works in the new garden, moving soil, transplanting Strawberry plants from their old raised bed to a new raised bed. The garden is going through a transformation and I can see muy Emily loves it. Sad that I can but sit in a chair and watch. But I do love watching. A voyeur. I have always loved watching life. Passing traffic from a cafe to standing on the banks of a river and watching the rapids flow and curl. Life is what makes me tick. I love life. Simple.
Just now I looked in the mirror and for the first time I saw my father.
I got angry tonight
I shouted at muy Emily
I did not feel that I was heard
I do not feel that my condition is understood
I am frustrated
I am angry
I want some freedom
I feel far too dependent
I want to get out
Away, to travel country roads
I feel at the moment I am a prisoner
Right here and right now my energy, fueled
By my frustration and anger says to me that
I need, want, independence. I want to cook, I want to make coffee, I want to make toast, cook an egg, write, edit my film, work on my photographs. I do not wish my carer Bob to condescend me. I want to do what I can do as long as I can do it. As I feel right now I accept that I have not been tapping into my sadness, anger at the diagnosis of Motor Neuron Disease. I am spending far too much time on faceBook spinning my wheels while not working on the projects I see as my legacy. Film | Photography | Writing
I am pissed off that I cannot afford to buy the power wheel chair of my choice, the Frontier V6 with a seat that rises, tilts and can recline, a chair that will take me on country roads, a chair that will get me out of the house and into the forest I so love, Totara Grove.
So there it is. My frustration on paper. Do I apologize to muy Emily? Why am I feeling the need to apologize for speaking up? Why indeed. The next question arises, how do I pay for the chair I want. It’s not necessarily the chair I need but it is the one I want. It has been months since I first test drove the Frontier. I do have an American credit card with a limit of 36000 dollars US. That would cover the cost. I can sell my Leica gear and Video gear and that would pay for a great deal. Basically I want to get rid of what the local DHB have given me. God, there is my, there are my thoughts. What to do? What can I do? I need help and I need guidance. I also need to let go. God, you have guided my life far better than I could. Now I need to surrender to your will and let go of . . .
That is all I can say tonight, it’s time to go to bed, time to love muy Emily, time to say “I’m sorry muy Love” Amen XO
And did :)
Ps, an addendum . . . As I sat writing I felt empowered, I felt energized, I felt . . . Free! This is an interesting aspect of my life, I have a tendency, mostly in the past, to bury my emotions which leads to passive aggressive behavior. But today, with the help of my Al-Anon fellowship I have become more willing to tap into that anger. However, I need to hold that anger as my own and work out a protocol to be able to access it in my creative journey. More will be revealed. Last night I even felt as though my Motor Neuron condition evaporated, to a degree. Or at least at that moment. It was interesting. Very Interesting :)
11 January 2013
A glorious day of crystal clear blue sky and a gentle cooling breeze, magical indeed. And what a difference a day makes. Yesterday was challenging from driving to Wellington, Hospital appointments to check my breathing, check my blood and to talk to a Doctor. Breathing good. Blood awesome :) a 39 pulse, much like it was when I was a teenager. My oxygen level is at 98%. Awesome. A grabbed sandwich, a quick drive to Island Bay to drop off at muy Emily’s children. A drive around the coast to Oriental Parade. Wind howling out of the north west or east or somewhere. Kicking whitecaps on the harbor, cyclists struggling to keep a straight line, runners soaked by a sudden downpour. And there we sat in the car, finishing a sandwich, gulping at orange juice. I love Wellington. I was born on the south side of Mt Victoria which rises high above the harbor. My first seven years. I have heard they are the defining years. What we experience in those years repeat over and over throughout our lives. I can attest to that. The sense of being buried alive. My love of large cities. Nature. The ocean. Head injuries! Yep, what visits me today I experienced all those years ago.
And so sandwich finished juice downed, wind and rain entering the window as we sat. What next? What would my energy permit? Visit Belle Italia in Petone for a snack? “Lets drive past and see how I feel” this appeared to trigger resentment that I could not commit. Is it the psychology of my situation playing games? I think not but did agree to drive by and see how I felt. We did and I was fine. It can be a challenge. The sense of overwhelm. I love spontaneity. It is in the moment or not. Too much pre-planning exhausts me. Possibly is psychological, who knows? I don’t! So on hiking poles, never leave home without them. In the door, sat down, ordered a cappuccino and tiramasu, much like I used to at Cafe Dante in the West Village of New York. I sort of sat, using the table as a prop as I inhaled the Italian flavor of belle Italia. What agreat space and concept. Opera playing, shelving full of Italian goods, the flavor of Italy. A very large screen TV plays images of Italy, food, people, places, ferraris and more. Pure escapism from the grinding english nature of New Zealand. Thank god I spent my life in foreign lands, in large cities and exploring the outback regions of Australia, Europe and America, much like I have done in New Zealand. Gratitude for a life well lived.
And so there we were. Then we left. Out to the car on my Leki hiking poles. Drove North through the Hutt valley, alongside the curving, flowing Hutt River. Overcast. And yet, were confronted by one of the most beautiful skies I have ever witnessed. A series of grey, silver, blue tinted clouds. Sculpture. Waves of clouds that defy description. Again, what comes to mind was Mythology. Nature has provided images that trigger stories and art and . . . Mythology. Some nice, some not so. We managed to pull over, out we stumbled, me with my iPhone, muy Emily with her Leica, we managed to capture a couple of images but nothing I would consider noteworthy. Mind you, in a variety of places, in my travels I have managed to capture spontaneous images as the appeared before me. Another interesting collection of images for me to collate. Then home and onto my machine to breath and chill and waste good time on FaceBook! That appeared to trigger a reaction in muy Emily as I previously wrote.
A day later, a day wiser? I hope so. I retracted my words as we held each other close. Love is a many splendored thing. I need to practice mindfulness. I need to practice compassion. I need to let go and let god guide me. As I have been guided for close on 70 years. Yep, 70 years is close. Come June this year. Bloody hell, who would have thought it :) Seventy Years Young! I gotta laugh! 70!
Muy Lover has just walked into town, as I sit and write after sitting observing nature outside. What a damned fine life we live. And I say we as We are a couple, partners, lovers, soul mates even. Whew!