linger

and so the ash falls from the memories that burn, peacefully and silently. but it becomes the ground becomes the plants and trees and all the world around me.

it becomes my feelings about life and
love and
you and
him and
them and
us
and strangers on park benches, and fathers pushing babies in prams through shopping centres. baristas who know your name, know the kind of milk you take. and then there are all those travellers you meet and love along the way.

in kindness and goodness and altogether loveliness, i’ll make more memories, everyday. as if it always mattered, it always does, it always will. i’ll make beautiful memories. take photos with my heart. capture conversations with my mind. flood my soul with feelings and saturate my entire being with love.

memories to ashes. so peaceful and so silent. 

filling the void

sirens and whistles and cheering. sounds like football, sounds like winter. there’s a certain comfort you get from the familiar. and football is familiar.

growing up with an absolute loathing for what was expected of me to watch and enjoy. growing up and growing to love. at seven, i preferred eating red lollies and playing with equally disinterested little girls to watching my brother play. at seventeen, i didn’t care much for the game, rather i watched the players in their short little shorts and tight sleeveless tops. grabbing and groping and grunting.

i’m glad i outgrew that. the allure of “talent”, “infamy”, “glamour”. now, i don’t care much for the game or at all for the players. but the sounds…oh, they remind me of all the winter days of my life.

as the weather moves through autumn to winter, i am comforted by the familiar.

cold

i am starting to remember things by feel. remembering smells, emotions, the time, and not just events, what happened, words.

lying in bed this morning, i thought about summer. i closed my eyes and imagined i was waking up with the smell of grass mixed with the heat of the morning relieved by the coolness inside. the tick of the fan, spinning all night. the lawn mower rumbles to life. the smell of summer. i felt so relaxed and happy. that smell filled my head with thoughts of saturdays doing chores, watching tv, drinking juice, eating ice blocks.

i hate winter. i decided that today. i hate being cold. i hate the smell of damp air. i hate staying inside with artificial heat making a vain attempt to comfort me. i’m sorry heater, you just don’t cut it. i loathe winter. looking outside this morning, i was excited. the sun was out. i stepped outside and was greeted by stiff, still, numbing air threatening to take away my breath. somewhat of a juxtaposition. 

i don’t know where i’m going to be in five years, two years, next year. but, i do know i can’t stand the cold. i think i’ll chase summer around the world.

adelaide, i miss your warm days.

houghton

we used to move houses a lot.

the first time i remember moving i was four. i didn’t want to leave that house. “mummy, can i take my clown curtains?” i loved those curtains. i thought that house was a palace. i thought i had a massive room with a huge yard. i drove past it the other week…it wasn’t a palace at all, just a modest house on a small block of land with neighbouring houses too close.

the next house we moved into properly was bigger. i was bigger too. it was on a little bit of land with a driveway i thought was so long. i had the big bedroom with the mirrored wardrobe. my brothers and i used to build forts at the bottom of the driveway, out of pine needles. we’d hide behind it and throw pine cones across the road and into the park. we had a tennis court there, too. i always thought it was the real size. but, it was a half court. it just seemed so big.

after i turned ten, we moved again. to the last home i really ever had. i remember it was after i was ten because i didn’t get to have my birthday party there. we moved to a farm. a small farm, 60 acres. we started with six cows. that grew to sixty. a few chickens turned into 100 geese that my brother bought for a dollar each. we had two emus at one stage. a few turkeys, too. some sheep, peacocks and an old horse named star who thought he was a cow. i bought a cow, a hereford, i called her daisy. she had a calf who i named mask who was black all over except for her beautiful white face. mask.

i loved that house.

i used to walk to the dam, sit on the jetty and write. or sometimes just sit and listen. 

i miss that house.

the serenity, peace, stillness, the fresh sting of the air. it was half an hour from the city. but, at night you could see all the stars. the city didn’t blind us from them.

i started thinking about that house today. when i left, i left from that house. when i came back two and a half years later, it was sold. i became a nomad. i felt homeless and lost somehow. i felt i didn’t have a place. so, when i thought about that house today, i thought about it with a longing for it. for that feeling. the safety, comfort, familiarity, that only a true home can give. i took it for granted. i didn’t appreciate the place for what it was. and now i’m left longing.

they say home is where the heart is. in some ways, that is true. but i left my heart in houghton. i left my heart with that home.

so, as i start to travel the world, i’ll look for somewhere that drags that feeling from me. like a magnet. somewhere with a pull so strong, i can’t resist. that longing is a space in me i need to fill. something’s missing.

we used to move houses a lot. i became used to it. saying goodbye to houses wasn’t like saying goodbye to family or friends. but this one was different. this one still grabs me. i never had the chance to say a proper goodbye. i never had the chance to create another home for myself. with all those feelings that would fill me up.

i miss that home.

pedro

the icecream man drove down my street today. with the medieval, sombre yet joy-instilling song echoing into suburban houses, enticing and exciting little ones. and me. 

i stood on the balcony and watched as pedro drove slowly past. the song evoked pleasant memories of a childhood sweetened by icecream men, just like pedro. his door was open as he drove by.

but, no children were on the streets today. no one ran out. no soft serve was served, no sprinkles sprinkled. pedro drove by, his song becoming another childhood memory. fading. distant. gone.

six sleeps

back to the place i started to get to know. the place i left behind. but, not the memories. there are things, pulling me back, things i don’t really know what to do with. they hang in the air and weigh me down. a fog. thick. i can’t see through it.

there are some things in life i don’t quite understand. why we meet the people we do. what do we do with the relationship formed once they’re gone. my mum tells me people come into your life for a reason, to guide you down a particular path in your life. and sometimes that’s all they’re needed for. they serve their purpose and then it’s time to move on. no hate, no disappointment. everyone has their own life to live.

so in six sleeps when i return to that place i only just started to get to know, i’ll feel happy. no hate, no disappointment. a gratitude for the people i found. for the moments that changed me, times that moved me. i appreciate the person it allowed me to become. i don’t know how to thank that place. i only just started to get to know you. i don’t know how to thank those people. those who became my family.