Final

I’ve been brewing and percolating this blog for a few weeks. I’ve been trying to think of most important things, things I’ve learned, things that I can take with me from this Island. So I think I’ll write a letter, a letter to a teacher, a letter to an acquaintance, a letter…to New Zealand.

Dear  Hi,

So it has been six years. Yes, can you believe it? Six.

When I came to you, I was 18 and bubbly faced. I was nervous of your smallness, your newness. I wondered what it would be like. I didn’t have much of an idea, of who you were. But I needed a break, I needed to expand my One Billion People box.

So I touched down, with some bags, and a dad. I put foot on your soil. I was tired, and quiet. My new house was full of family that I didn’t really know, but they opened their home to me. My view was spectacular…a parking space. But oh, the trees! It was amusing to others how pretty I found it. I was so simple. And naive. And Innocent. And quite nice, I must admit. I knew it all back then, as every 18-year-old does.  I thought I had everyone  fooled for a little while, but not you.

I came here with tight little fists. I held on to all I was, with everything in me. I held on to my thoughts, my opinions, my self-righteousness, my upbringing, the ideas in my head that were formed by what I thought was vast experience. Vast experience of a very small world.

You are patient, I’ll give you that.

You. Even as I think of your name, I can barely say it in my head without the tears. My heart begins to race. You. At first I liked you, maybe even loved, but I have never really called you a friend have I.? No. And I never will. You and I are not friends. We know not to flatter. You are an oilstone, you are iron. I am iron. I don’t know who has sharpened who. But I do honour you, I honour you as a teacher. When I first came to you, with eyes full of everything hopeful, I didn’t know:

How to use an Eftpos machine
How to catch a bus
That when given an empty cup at Denny’s you must fill it with your own Coke
How to trust my intuition
How to write a pop song
Boundaries
Who to let in, and who not to
How to drive
Independence
That everyone finds the world as confusing as I do
That you don’t have to get it right all the time
That I am capable of anything, even the worst of things
And that makes anyone
friend or unknown person
capable of the worst too
and so I will love them
like I have learned to love myself

You and God taught me those things and many more. Credit where credit is due.

You have provided me with excruciating pain and with many many mistakes. You have provided me with memories, some to take with me and some that I want to forget, forever. Sometimes I hate you, for exposing me to the worst of myself, there are some things I can never forgive myself for. You have provided me with large amounts of trust in God. You have provided me with people, the most beautiful people, in the loneliest of times. You have provided me with madness, and with the sanity that came just in time to counter it. You have provided me with a backbone. You have provided me a safe place, a padded room, to bash about in, to thrash my words at, to kick and scream and swear at. Your walls hurt, but not as much as other walls could have. Thank you for that.

You provided me with a husband. That has been your greatest gift.

We have sort of settled into each other, and friends and family and I have settled into long distance. We are pro’s now. Regrettably. We have cried, we have flown across the world to see each other, we have Skyped more times than we ever wanted to have to. And now we can be together, and that is my happiest thought.

Sometimes, our relationship is misunderstood, but I don’t really care, why should I? We are what we are.

So now I’m leaving you, and I’m taking what you have given me. I hope it is for a long time, and I know you understand. There was that one time, when I was 18, that I held your hand tightly, and I let you teach me, and I hope you can cherish that memory. I know it’s easy to get sentimental in final hours, but we won’t will we? We will call it what it is, thank each other, and move on.

I shake the dust and I shake your hand, and it’s final.

 

 

(Find me now on http://www.stillpilgrim.com)

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Stuff

photo

It’s everywhere. Staring at me from the corners of our little house. Stuff.

I am a little frantic in my insides, all the things that need to get done are flying around like butterflies with helicopter wings in my stomach. I think one has escaped and made a short circuit in my brain, because I’m doing silly things. My sentences aren’t straight, my words are tumbling over each other to come out, and when they do, they don’t make any sense.

If I think of the person I want to be, she is free from all of this, this clutter, this mess, this worry about the mess – will it sell, will we have enough? – She’d just go, with the wind, with the breeze, she’d take what she had, a little brown suitcase of memories, and she’d just go.

But not the actual me. The actual me worries, and fights with her ideals, her expectations, of people, of places, of reality.

And here I am. Three weeks away from a dream, and I’m sitting, crouching on this couch, trying to get the words out right. I’m sitting in the middle of all the things we’ve accumulated over the last few years. Things. And I wonder if we should just take it, bunch it into bags, and distribute it through this city. I wonder that. I wonder if we will just do that in the end. Auckland still takes nothing of us by choice, we have to make her take it. – Take our STUFF Auckland, accept it, love it, name it –

We have sent off our little forms, with pieces of information about us, to the High Commission, with 2″ X 2″ size photos. Square photos. Why square? So it’s gone now, and now we wait. We wait for a stamp of approval from a country that we love. Love us back, India.

So I said I’d write one more post before we go. And I will, but I’m sneaking this one in, just because today, I need to write. I need the stuff around me to become insignificant with the words that I’m typing.  I need the worry in my mind to be pulled out by the tapping of these keys. I need to be listened to, by you.

It’s just

Stuff.

Silent me

Hi there followers, readers, browsers, stumblers.

I have reasons for being quiet. It’s not for lack of thoughts or things to say, or stories to tell. It’s for lack of a computer to type my thoughts into. I (once again) broke our Mac, and I have tried a few times to blog from my little touch screen phone but…I can’t.  So I’m taking a little break at work to write something, anything.

My last post (before the today) was somewhere in April I think. That’s shocking. So many many things have happened in that space of time. We booked tickets to move to India, we are selling all our worldly possessions, and leaving, just like that.

Well, for a lot of people it’s ‘just like that’l; for us, it has been a long time coming, planning, praying, letting it go, picking it up, letting it go again. And on it goes. So here we are, at the edge of something, at the start of something new. We are so excited. So very excited.

So. I will be starting a new blog for a new time in my life. I will let you know what it is. It will be full of life, and newness. It will be full of Africa, of friends, of new life, of India, of crafty things that I try to make. It will be filled with stories of people I meet along the way, it’ll be filled with poetry and prose and thoughts on things I feel strongly about.

I will be writing one last goodbye post, like a small summary of the last 6 years. Then I’ll let you in to my new world.

So I trust we can stay friends, that we can share life in whatever form.  You are all a part of something from this chapter that I can pull into the next, a constant.  I need you guys, I really do.

 

Oilstones

I like you
When facing you straight on
It is just when you turn
Your sharpened edges
Cut into me
and it is very uncomfortable
So face me please
So I see your softness
And so I do not judge you
For the little people hanging on
to your sides
With hands full of oilstones
To make your corners sharper

Need

Spent.

Strength gone

Body failing me

I’m no longer in control

Building my wall

are these things that are outside

of my fist

my clever decision making

I’m banging my head against them

frustrated that they won’t comply

to my determination

MY strategic plan

I have no words

and my eyes flutter from yours

not one finding room

in my worried head

My world is only a hand span

looming

it is all I can see

the rest is entirely out of my reach

I’m starting to get the picture

that I can’t do this without you

I need your good eye

your hand

your arm.

Hold me.

photo-1

In two days

Died a bee
on the bathroom floor in front of me

Died a man I knew
who wrote good songs
and helped me believe in mine
arms distance
acquaintance

Died 3 people in a place far away
through mindless violence
I saw only the pictures, one eye shut
through a small screen

Died thousands of babies
who never got to live

Died thousands of women
in an attempt to be free

Died soldiers

Died saints

You saw them. All of them. The details of them. The stray hairs, the odd habits. You knew them. You
loved
them.

I only saw the bee.

Friend

I sometimes wonder if the choice I made

was wise

To give up my life

for something

or someone

I can not see

Some may call it madness

and they may be close to the truth

But sometimes when you know

something

you just know something

as if it were a part of you

So I don’t get the verses sometimes

and I don’t understand the rhymes

that people speak

I don’t get the jargon

that is thrown around

like something cheap

I don’t get the lack of creativity

in coming up with words to speak

from the heart

I never did like to stand when I was told

I didn’t get that some people

should be better than me

or that I should work my way

to the top of some…

thing

I know that’s not them

just what they were made to believe

to replicate

to be

But one thing I have always understood

a no brainer

an unquestionable part of life

even in a childish mind

is that Jesus is a person

and I don’t have to capitalize the “H” in he

because he is a friend

that still lives

and he loves me

and he teaches me to love

and I couldn’t care

less for anything else