Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year of Solar Slingshots

I started 2013 on the other side of the world (in the dark, in the misery, with an angry bird and cheeky lover), and after five new lands I came home. I can say that now, with certainty. Home. Then followed the joy of sinking into and being subsumed by all that we left behind and still love. Months of simply enjoying being here with these people. 

Restless heart returned. An impatience and need to know there is an adventure confirmed in the future, and that I only need make my way the ought this ordinary 9-5 day, and the next and the next and it will become the present. Financial limitations beset us. There is naught to do but be patient. 

Rather than face the continual appointments and stress of WorkCover I went parttime. It feels like a good balance has been struck in terms of pain management and time and money (but still those limitations chafe). Yet it is not an extra day off, even though I may think of it as such. Too often it is literally consumed by sleep, desperately needed and unstoppable. My limits are greater than my capabilities. 

I come to realize the limits of my vocational experience, and the limits that imposes on all my future decisions. I feel trapped. In my body. In my job. Resentment blossoms. 

My lover struggles with the job market, and it grinds us both down. The karmic balance is whiplash; the day before Christmas he is offered his dream job, with great pay, and we both stare at each other in bewildered delight. It is hard to believe. Such wonderous things don't seem our lot, perhaps because we burn up our wonder in with each other. 

He will move to Sydney.  I will follow, somehow. Time spend by the sea seems a dream. There is your adventure, Tessa. A city you don't know awaits. 

I still haven't written anything. 

My family is the happiest I've ever known it to be. My friends are beset by monsters, but they prevail. I've spent more than a year living with my lover, and despite seeing him every day I am still excited to come home to him, the sound of his voice on the phone is like a drop of gold ink in the water of my being. We are unstoppable. 

There is a lot to work on. I thought we were landing, but as it turns out, we're still in orbit. May this never change. 

Still, there is a blight creeping out from the core. There is always a war. 

The sun keeps rising, and I keep breathing, and these terrible, wonderful things keep dragging me on. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Not a Scrooge, Just Puzzled

This time last year I was unemployed in Glasgow but visiting Bristol for an Aussie Expat Christmas. It's officially Christmas today, but the family had our Christmas last weekend, so I'm doing not much at all at the moment; trying to clean out my inbox, grazing on leftovers, listening to birds squabbling on the fence.

The internet is full of Merry Christmases. They're everywhere, like an ant infestation. But without the itchiness. Disregarding my absence from the radar of late, I wonder if my lack of a similar well-wishing broadcast is noticed, is judged.

I never quite know how to position myself on Christmas. I mean, sure, it's everywhere, everywhere, and we've always acknowledged it. In a sort of, I don't know, Australian way? We're not Christian in any sense, we're not pagan, we don't adhere to any of the rituals from which Christmas stems. Santa Claus has not featured in many years. We don't put up a Christmas tree.

What we do is, get our small family together, have a fabulous meal, swap some presents, drink some beer and wine, and relax. That's all. I'd say the only real tradition we have is the salad. It's special. We all love it, and we only eat it once a year. (That said, this year may have started the tradition of the Christmas Fan, which stood in for the Christmas Tree. Assuming every Christmas is a hot day from here on in, which given the weather, isn't great odds.)

Wishing the greetings of the season feels oddly false to me. Perhaps because I'm too aware of the friends I have, who are many, for whom Christmas isn't an event participated in, and I know all to well that having to assert your autonomy when presented with so many good intentions is exhausting. Maybe I can't help but think of all the people for whom Christmas is something to dread, whether because of unrealisitic social expectations or family issues, and for whom yet another cheerful seasons greetings may possibly be the last straw. To be thankful without gloating; surely that does not require a public broadcast.

Maybe this just ties back into not wanting to add to the noise of the world. There are plenty of well-wishes out there to go around.

I like the mince pies. I really like giving presents. I like my family. I like days off. I like that salad. I probably even like you. But I don't think Christmas belongs to me.

Just wait til New Years. That's a calendar I may live by, but haven't chosen.