Oct. 15th, 2011 10:29 am
rhyll: (Default)
I feel like I'm finding parts of myself I didn't even realise were gone.

Last night people came over and although I felt a little overwhelmed and anxious I was mostly just full of delight at the many lovely people in my life. There was ukulele! and dancing! and a gleeful singalong:

I spent a lot of the time bouncing around being silly (hopefully without offending anyone too much). I saw a few people I haven't seen in ages, and a few people who I never see enough of (including the lovely ones I see often and can't possibly tire of).

And after everyone left or went to sleep I did the dishes and swept the floor and picked up the last of the bottles (our lovely guests had already helped with the tidying).

This morning I pottered around in the kitchen and made everyone breakfast while our houseguest played ukulele, taking little breaks in between cooking to dance with J around the kitchen.

I'm lucky. And proud, a little, because I've helped to make this.

rhyll: (Default)
There are many things from the last few weeks that I want to write about, but can't write about here. They're too important or private for the Internet, or not mine to write about in public.

I can write about the small things which have consoled me.

It has been so lovely to be welcome, to be able to be there, without a fuss made about it. I have felt grateful that there has been space for me to cook, do dishes, make tea, do all the small domestic acts that allow me to show love and care for the people around me.

I have felt quiet and steady and useful, because others have nurtured that tiny sprout of a feeling, after weeks and weeks of feeling helpless and overwhelmed. I like to be quiet and steady and useful, now and then, because it carries me through and makes me strong.

I woke up this morning and the first worries that sprang to my mind were about work, everything that needs to be done today, tomorrow, before Monday. That is a consolation in itself. I know I'll get it done, one part after another.

It is tremendously consoling to have a sense of myself as someone who can do what is needed, and provide comfort and care, even under difficult circumstances.

And I have been buoyed by the love and care of others. J, who has helped me to be strong and given me hugs when I wasn't, and all of Pink Hair Claire's wonderful words that I can carry with me whenever I need to, and House Claire who has made it easier to cook for people that I love, and my wonderful family, and all of the people who have sent messages of love and support.

The last couple of months have been hard, for a whole heap of reasons. But I think it's going to be okay. Now is the time for putting my house (literal and metaphorical) in order, finding a safe space for future adventures.
rhyll: (Default)
I need a tag for entries that say: "hey, I know That Other Thing that was stopping me from being social is over, but now This New Thing is happening, so I won't see much of you, still."

This is another one of those entries.

I am back in Australia, and am now working full time (officially, rather than merely unofficially) in an actual office with my name on the door. Far more importantly, J's family is going through a very difficult situation, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.

So I will probably be dividing my time up between work and family and home. I would still like to see people, but I think I will not have a lot of time and will mostly want to be at home, when I'm not doing other things. I want to nest and tidy, and make people tea, and cook for people that I love.

I'm going to try to make sure that work is something I can corral into my actual office time, and spend as much of the rest of my life as I can making small beautiful spaces and small beautiful things for the people around me, and for myself.

So, um, I guess what I'm saying is that once again: it's not that I don't like you. I do like you, very much! But there are some other things I need to do, for a while.
rhyll: (Default)
Today has been busier than I initially intended. We thought we might perhaps go to Seahorse World and Platypus House, just for the morning. Except that we accidentally stopped off at the Beaconsfield mining museum on the way, and it turned out to be awesome. The new mine has been built right next to the old one, so there are lots of odd juxtapositions of old crankshafts and waterwheels with the new shaft in the background.

This bit is mostly about the museum, and seahorses, and nature and stuff. )

This evening I have mostly been marking, but I took some ukulele breaks. And I played some ukulele-piano with my mother! We went through her songbooks, and played some songs she knew that had guitar chords written on them. And then we played some of the songs from my songbook. Her piano is much, much, better than my ukulele, but she's never just sat down and played from chords before, so I had to (very inexpertly) explain how it worked.

My little ukulele sounds so plinketyplinky next to the piano, but neither of us minded. It was so much fun playing around and working some songs out together! We totally jammed!
rhyll: (Default)
I am in Tasmania!

The first thing I have learnt about Tasmania, in my careful observations, is that there seem to be more interesting beetles here than in WA.

The second thing that I have learnt is that almost every street we drive down seems to have at least three houses on it that I desperately want to live in. There are lots of old, rambling houses that come in an odd jumble of styles. They seem to be built larger than many houses in WA, but that might just be because I've mostly been in more rural areas.

Today we dropped my brother off at his friends' house. It was raining outside, and we went through the back garden, overgrown grass and sculptures and bathtubs full of herbs and bicycles leaning against walls. The rain dripping through the veranda, and then into the kitchen, and people start coming down the stairs and in from the rain. And the kitchen is so warm and cosy, wood everywhere and a low ceiling and old sofas and a long kitchen table, music playing and bustle.

I really like my brother's friends. One is his very-good-friend-who-he-hasn't-seen-for-months, and I love seeing how happy they are to meet again, all hugs and smiles. I am so proud of my brother for so many reasons, and one of them is that he's good at showing his affection for his man-friends.

Oh! I want to live in a lovely old house with a warm kitchen full of friends-who-live-there and friend-who-drop-in and a shambling garden and the smell of spices!

I love our current house, and our current household, and I am being a bit greedy in wishing for what we have only more so. But there are moments when I do: floating in the lovely space of a cosy kitchen, the rain outside cocooning us, colour and affection everywhere.
rhyll: (Default)
So, anyway, there are some sad and difficult things happening in my life, and a lot of things that I am pondering in a not-necessarily-happy way. But instead I am going to tell you about Ysabeau Wilce, and why you must read every story she writes, large and small.

I first came across her writing in a fantasy compilation; The Lineaments of Gratified Desire promptly became my new favourite thing in the whole world. I finally got my sticky paws on a copy of her first novel, Flora Segunda of Crackpot Hall, a few months later.

The way she uses language is utterly delicious to me. And her treatment of gender is wonderful (Flora Segunda made the James Tiptree Award honours list, which is for books which explore or expand concepts of gender), and doesn't make me angry at all (not even once!)

I am most terribly excited about Flora's Dare, which is the next Flora Segunda book, and will be coming out "soon". I can only hope that I don't explode from Wanting before Soon happens.


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