Lethargy…

Did you know that lethargy is a normal response to dramatic life changes and, in particular, grief? I am finding this out.

Just when everything starts going again, just when you think “I’m back on track, building speed and gaining momentum,’ the tiredness creeps up and slaps you on the back of the head. It’s that stealthy foe that fells, the silent drain that drops you to your knees. It’s not the kind of tiredness you get after a good long run (because I know what that feels like…ha ha…ok, a good, long but fast-paced walk…ok, fast paced for someone half my height with midget-like legs. Can you just see my point please and stop being so pedantic? Darned inner critic!), but the tiredness that steals those extra hours you would have spent doing positive things, extra things, things that make you feel good about life. Instead, I find myself scraping my toes over the last few jobs before falling into bed wondering when last I picked up a book—and that’s bad for me, I usually read two a week and it’s been two books in two months.

My friend—let’s call her Magnesium—calls them her sad days. Just for no reason and out of the blue, she feels sad. I know what she means. I have them too. I find myself watching a movie and out of nowhere I start crying about it, about everything. It’s hard to explain without telling you the ins and outs of the thing that has done this to me, to my friends and the people I love, but it doesn’t matter, because you’d probably laugh and say, “Arianne, it happens every day.” And you’d be right, it does happen every day, but when it happens to someone you know and love, when it happens to someone you really thought was immunised against it, it fells you. NO, it rocks you. And you see the devastation behind the statistics. To most people, a betrayal like this is a fact of life, a statistic, a number in the great tally of human unfaithfulness, but to those involved it is an earthquake, a cataclysm, a tsunami, a landscape changing event. There  is so much to think about: how did it happen? Why? When? Where? Why didn’t I see it coming? What happens now? How does this change things? What should I do? What can I do?

It’s little wonder the tiredness creeps in! The mental energy that goes into evaluating the details of everyday life in the light of new information, of filtering everything through a new sieve and testing every word, and thought, and action, and emotion…is draining! It is all draining. And how do you find a way of carrying on, when there is no enthusiasm for what lies ahead, when the what that lies ahead is unknown, uninvited, undesired?

I’m lucky, I still have my destination intact. I still have some momentum, as long as I don’t try to carry someone else’s load. I can share their burdens without carrying the weight of it, can love them, be there for them, help them…all without carrying their load for them. The trick to living successfully is to carry what I was intended to carry—be it bigger or smaller than someone else’s load—because I was made to carry mine, my shoulders are big enough, my back strong enough, my legs empowered for the task. I need to learn to learn to pick up the friend who has stumbled, hold their load for a moment while they pick themselves up, carry it a mile or two with them if needs be, but then I let them carry their own load as I walk alongside them. and, as a wise friend once said, “Do  not worry about tomorrow;; each day has enough trouble for the day.”

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When the going gets tough, strong people keep going.

 

At the beginning of a journey, you gather your wits, your resources, your team… and you gather your strength…to climb…

This mountain…all the way…to the top!

When we set out—a band of intrepid climbers—to climb to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, we had no idea that we were a few hours from a near-disaster…of our own making.

A few hours into our climb, following the little yellow footprints that marked our path, we decided to rest…

…and enjoy the view!

We should have thought it was strange that there were a number of rock climbers passing us on their way down the mountain, ropes in hand, water bottles near-empty, but we didn’t. We just waved at the people who were passing us in the cable car that glided it’s way up and down the kilometre to the summit of the mountain where our lunch awaited…

We missed lunch! The path seemed to have taken a detour around the middle of the mountain…a detour that lasted a few hours, but afforded luxury views. We might have enjoyed them more, had we not run out of water..and had we not been lugging a good few kilograms of camera equipment.

By late afternoon, we were beginning to worry. We called the office at the top of the mountain to ask them not to shut the cable car until we reached the top. We prayed we wouldn’t need to call a rescue helicopter to get us down… we hoped we wouldn’t be in the paper the next day as the next group of people to die on the mountain…we wouldn’t have been the first.

Then the weather began rolling in…quickly!

And the sun set…more quickly….

 

But we reached the top of the mountain a few minutes before the weather, and the dark.

And then we found this sign….

Really? No wonder there were so many blinkin mountain climbers!

At least we’ve done what no one else has done before…and probably since.

Tourists!!!

 

 

 

Sometimes I ‘see’ things…

In the community in which I live, there has been an event devastating in its scope and impact. It has rocked so many things that we thought were solid and immovable. It has brought with it tremendous grief for those whom it has affected directly and grief for us who are it’s secondary victims. I cannot speak about details in this context because it is not my story to share though the grief is, though I too was betrayed.

This blog has been a place to speak about the process of grieving, to tell these people whom I love dearly, that it is normal to feel all these things when tragedy touches your life. The day after it happened, over 250 people dropped in here to see what I would say about it, how I would react. There were people who stopped by from all over the world who heard what had happened. Most of them wanted to know that we were ok. Thank you for caring.

The truth is I feel strong. My friends, do you  recall as I do,  that I stood up six months ago when we were together on our hill and said that I had seen something…an earthquake…do you remember? Do you remember that I said I saw it hit us, that I saw fires, floods, ground shaking and rupture, landslides, tsunami’s and soil liquefaction (when the soil turns to liquid)? Do you remember? It was the weekend of the Japanese Tsunami. Do you remember that I said that even though all these things could be devastating, could destroy us, that if we keep our focus right, in tune, resonating, that it would not destroy us but lead to good—to changed landscapes. Do you remember? Do you remember that horrible little diagram I drew and the clip I showed you?

Now do you remember it? The shaking will lead to patterns of increasing beauty and complexity.

So stay tuned…resonate….be full of hope….we were prepared for this! We are strong, we are together, we have each other…

We are changing, a kaleidoscope of patterns of increasing beauty and complexity. You, me, the way we are…and what we will become!

Storm the Troopers…

Some dreams just have a way of bumping into you….my boys were delighted to run into these familiar fellows at the beach in Melbourne, a few meters from Luna PArk. It was a boy’s dream come too….okay, and their dad and I were disappointed we didn’t have our photo taken!