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Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Gone. Finished. Over.

I'm tired of walking on eggshells, tired of being made to feel bad for making a reasonable request. 26 weeks of intense bonding thrown away in five minutes for refusing to compare something about him that I haven't even experienced, with someone I had realtime three years ago?

Why on earth would someone a) ask me what I will see in his eyes when we make love, when I haven't even seen his eyes in a picture and b) want to compare himself to someone I stopped seeing over three years ago? And c) when I refuse to even try to do that, he cites that as grounds for throwing me away?

Even if he somehow manages to redeem himself, an important part of us is broken. Irreparable.

Such a damn waste of a possible future.

You Don’t See Me

This is the place where I sit
This is the place where I sit
This is the part where
I love you too much
Is this as hard as it gets?
'Cause I'm getting tired
Of pretending I'm tough
I'm here if you want me
I'm yours, you can hold me
I'm empty and taken and
Tumbling and breakin'
'Cause you don't see me
And you don't need me
And you don't love me
The way I wish you would
The way I know you could

I dream of worlds
Where you'd understand
And I dream a
Million sleepless nights
I dream of fire when
You're touching my hand
But it twists into smoke
When I turn on the light
I'm speechless and faded
It's too complicated
Is this how the book ends,
Nothing but good friends?

'Cause you don't see me
And you don't need me
And you don't love me
The way I wish you would

This is the place in my heart
This is the place where
I'm falling apart
Isn't this just where we met?
And is this the last chance
That I'll ever get?
I wish I was lonely
Instead of just only
Crystal and see-through
And not enough to you

'Cause you don't see me
And you don't need me
And you don't love me
The way I wish you would

'Cause you don't see me
And you don't need me
And you don't love me
The way I wish you would
The way I know you could

Growing Old and Wearing Purple

An oldie but a goodie - I just love this poem!

Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
~ By Jenny Joseph ~

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Mother's Blame

My mother's mother was not a nice person. She lived with us for several years when I was a child and in that time alienated her grandchildren from each other by pitting them against each other for her 'favours'. I didn't see it then but she was a masterful manipulator. She came between my parents many times and pushed her own personal issues between them. My mother once told me that when she became pregnant with me, her second child, her mother accused my father of being a pig and that he was using my mother for sex. I suppose this is a value of the generation she belonged to, one mired in the 'sex is dirty' thinking.

My mother is dying of cancer. I love her as my mother but I don't feel the connection with her I wish I did. My sister has the hardest time with not having been loved and nurtured. My dad was away at sea for much of our childhood and when he finally did come home to be with us, I suppose we had by then found ways of coping within a family where love was never expressed, let alone acknowledged. Being the baby of the family my sister was spoiled by my brother and I and perhaps we did her a disservice by doing that, by not letting her toughen up like we have. She has continued into her 40s to have emotional problems and while we are, I believe as adults, responsible for ourselves and our lives, she is fragile.

My father told me he loved me for the first time in 2000. I'll never forget the moment he said "Fiona, I love you and I hope I've been a good father to you". My mother never has, I tell her I love her and the best she can do is "love you too". It's so different from I...LOVE...YOU. She's never taken an interest in my life or my relationships and when the man I loved died recently, her comment was "You don't have much luck with men do you" and moved on to telling me something about one of her neighbours. I understand that for her she's uncomfortable and unable to express, and I do realise that a lot of this has come from her own upbringing. But each of us can break that chain. Each of us can say I will not be like my mother/father. I've never had the joy of being a mother but I do know, I would not have been like my mother.

Nana, I wish you had given your daughter more love in her life because if you had, maybe she'd have given us more too. Maybe, just maybe, before we lose her forever, my mother will say to my sister and I


Monday, August 28, 2006

I Weep

A the drop of a hat these days. I don't know why.

I feel my eyes filling and then the salty fluid toppling over the edge of my lower lids, leaving big fat hot tears to run down my face. I'm not crying or sobbing, just weeping. No sounds, no gasps, no drawing of breath. Just the tears.

Something is spilling over from inside me and I haven't figured out what it is yet. It doesn't take long for them to start either. And it doesn't seem to matter where I am.

I wonder if they are helping. Am I releasing something that needs to be released? Or am I simply a wimp?

There is a part of me inside that aches and yearns and needs. But I don't know what I'm aching for, or yearning after, or needing so much.

Perhaps a life not yet lived. A love not yet shared. A meaning not yet found.

Friday, August 25, 2006

50 Things

From Sunny's blog *S*

1. My roommate and I once: This is strange, I know, but I've never had a roommate - I moved from living with my parents into my own place.

2. Never in my life have I: Learned to drive.

3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: My online luhvuh.

4. High school was: A waste of my time. I should have taken it more seriously. When I finally did I had to work my ass off.

5. When I'm nervous: I pick at my fingernails and cuticles.

6. The last time I cried was: About a week ago.

7. If I were to get married right now, my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: Non-existant. I'd not want anything that formal.

8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone e-mail your deepest secret to all your friends? Me naked. Oh no. What secrets do you want to hear?

9. My hair: Used to be so pretty. Now there's not enough of it to matter too much one way or the other.

10. When I was 5 : My baby sister was born.

11. Last Christmas: I don't 'do' Christmas.

12. When I turn my head left: I am looking out of my office window and it's raining....again!

13. I should be: Working on the budget for 2007 but I can't seem to get into the right mood for it.

14. When I look down I see: My black stocking-clad feet out of my heels. Shhhhh don't tell anyone.

15. The craziest recent event was: Being with my family just after my dad passed away (see 20).

16. If I were a character on "Friends" I'd be: Who's that dude in the coffee place? I don't know why but I just so relate to him!

17. By this time next year: Please let me be having sex again!

18. My favorite aunt is: In Edinburgh - actually she's the only aunt that I know.

19. I have a hard time understanding: Vanity and narcissism based on lucky genes.

20. One time at a family gathering: My family doesn't gather. We've been spread too far and wide for too long.

21. You know I like you if: I tell you that I do. And trust me if I don't like you I'll either make it pretty clear or just not hang around you.

22. If I won an award, the first person (people) I'd thank: An award? Me? Good grief what on earth for?

23. Take my advice: What goes round comes round. Don't ever think it doesn't.

24. My ideal breakfast is: Poached eggs on toast or hotcakes with honey.

25. If you visit my home town: You will be amazed at the pace and 'busyness' of it all.

26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: Hawaii, with my sister. Aloha!

27. If you spend the night at my house: We'll order in pizza and watch DVDs.

28. I'd stop my wedding if: Hell I wish I had stopped my wedding! <--- ditto Sunny!!

29. The world could do without: Warmongering, hatred, intolerance, evil people who harm children.

30. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: I would NEVER lick the belly of a cockroach....those things seriously freak me out.

31. The most recent thing I've bought myself is: A whole bunch of TV series on DVD

32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: Ice Breakers Sours and they are GOOD - thank you Chele!

33. My favorite blonde is: My sister is sort of blonde - she's in the sun all the time and is sunbleached. Strawberry blonde - Sunny.

34. My favorite brunette is: My bestest friend in the whole wide world. My chosen sister.

35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: If I had a car it wouldn't matter, it would be parked and never move (see 2) .

36. The last time I was drunk: An awfully long time ago - almost six years ago.

37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: Horses - there's just something about Pegasus that is so beautiful.

38. I shouldn't have been: So generous to those who didn't deserve it.

39. Have you ever shaved your pubic hair? I have yes.

40. Last night I: Had a really good chat with my online luhvuh.

41. There's this girl I know who: Deserves to have that next baby and I hope with every fibre of my being that it happens for her.

42. I don't know: Why he won't let me hear his voice. One day though, one day....

43. A better name for me would be: I can't imagine me as anything but Fiona.

44. If I ever go back to school I'll: Study psychology.

45. How many days until my birthday?: 87

46. One dead celebrity I wish I'd met is: Sylvia Plath

47. I've lived at my current address since: 2001

48. I've been told I look like: My maternal grandmother but I never saw her.

49. If I could have any car, it would be: I saw this wonderful Lexus convertible once and it was just the sexiest thing!

50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name it: I couldn't get a new cat, I have two who would never forgive me because they don't get to live with me. It would feel wrong.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Loving, Losing and Letting Go

But as she has grown, her smile has widened with a touch of fear and her glance has taken on depth. Now she is aware of some of the losses you incur by being here - the extraordinary rent you have to pay as long as you stay.

~ Annie Dillard ~

Sometimes it's easy to love someone. And sometimes it's difficult to love them too. Losing them is always so terribly hard and letting go can be the hardest of all. I wonder if we ever do let go of someone we've loved. I know that for each person I've ever loved, no matter the final stages of 'us', their memory is so often stirred up and brought back to my present. And I know I haven't let them go, nor will I ever let them go.

I believe each one will stay with me. As Zibi so aptly put it "they just get buried into the dark corners of the heart". So true. The dark, hidden, private corners where we can keep the memories safe and hold them there until we search for them and pull them out to become part of them again, much like digging deep into the back of a drawer and finding something precious that makes you smile. And at times makes you cry, just a little. Those warm tears that just flow from the eyes as you recall a special, precious unforgettable moment. Not tears of grief or loss, not tears of bitterness or anger. Neither of sadness or melancholy. But tears of remembrance and reflection.

I'm maybe a little selfish like that, in what I keep forever. When the time is right to let go we should, shouldn't we? Not me, I tend to hold on longer than is sometimes healthy for me or the other person. I hold on until I'm more than sure this won't work. And when I let go I do it with so much regret and pain that I just have to keep a little part of him for myself. A small piece of the person I've loved to keep my heart a little full, so that I may remember I was once loved too. Something to warm me on the cold nights alone, keeping company with my memories and wishes, those dreams of mine cut short and sometimes remembering the dreams I should never have had.

I love easily.

I lose only after I put up a fight.

I keep a little when I finally let go.

And like so many, I do pay that extraordinary rent.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Outing Myself

I figured it was time to put my name on here as I have used it when commenting elsewhere...so hello, I'm Fiona.

Though I do love that name 'Acushla', from the Irish oh+cuisle, pulse of the heart, or shortened form of 'cushlamochree' and used to also convey the word darling.

Monday, August 21, 2006


On the 13th of September 2001, I flew to Tenerife via London. That required me to spend a few hours on the ground at Gatwick airport. Yes, I flew just two days after 9/11.

The plane itself out of Hong Kong was almost empty and the security procedures were extremely rigorous. Even with a plane at best only one-quarter full, it took over an hour for the secondary check right before boarding (subsequent to the first security check to get into the departures area). Computers had to be turned on and booted up, containers of liquids had to be opened and tasted in front of the security team, every little thing was examined, all sharp objects removed, including eyebrow tweezers.

The whole trip was, I'll admit, an eerie experience to say the least. As I sat there listening to the drone of the engines, my mind kept playing back the images I'd seen only two days before on my tv, images of such death and destruction and incomprehensible carnage that it was difficult to believe it wasn't a dream. A very, very bad dream. I had watched for hours as the story streamed across my screen and, being 12 hours ahead, I stayed up into the early hours of the next morning watching that day in New York unfold. Then the following day at work it was the subject of all discussion. The disbelief, the struggling to try to make sense of the senseless.

So many people told me not to fly but I had to. I had to go on with my life and my plans. I was not going to be pushed into a corner fearing the 'what ifs'. The US was still shut down. People were stranded everywhere. And when I got to Gatwick airport to wait for my connection to Tenerife, I found it crowded with people just trying to get home.

Squeezing myself into a solitary empty seat between an elderly gentleman and the feet of a sleeping child, I developed a morbid fascination as I watched people, wondering which of them was facing a personal tragedy. That's where I met Bill. He was seated on my left in jeans and a plaid shirt, with a NY Yankees cap on his head. I'd asked him if the seat next to him was taken and he smiled and said no. I couldn't escape the look in his eyes though, even through his smile. An emptiness, a fear, his sky blue eyes red-rimmed I thought from lack of sleep.

We started up a conversation and it turned out that his son worked in the WTC and he hadn't been able to contact him. Bill was a widower and William (Bill Junior, he told me with a small smile) his only son. A single man, so no wife to try to contact. I felt helpless and any words I could come up with seemed such platitudes. He told me that his cell phone's battery had long since drained and there were huge queues at all the payphones. I offered him my phone to use and he made some calls. I tried not to listen, to intrude any further than I felt I already had, into his personal tragedy. He seemed to be talking to people a long way away from New York, asking if they had news. He handed me my phone back with thanks and an offer to pay for the calls. I said no, absolutely not. Then as we sat talking they announced they would be holding a three-minute silence and a request that everyone observe it.

When the sound of a bell rang out to mark the start of the silence, Bill bowed his head and his shoulders started to shake. I saw tears roll down his cheeks and fall to the carpet between his feet. I did the only thing I could do, I reached out and took his hand in mine. And he held on so tight as he let his grief take over, for just a moment. From what little I'd come to know of him, he was a strong man who wanted nothing more than to hold onto hope. That day, as I sat holding this man's hand, this father's hand, in the still of an airport that had stopped in its tracks, I felt more than at any other time, the depth of this horrific tragedy that has beset so many.

I still wonder if Bill's son made it. If Bill got home to find him safe. And if Bill still remembers the hand of a stranger in his, when all he needed was another human being to hold onto.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Limitation of Could

"So much COULD happen...how many let those coulds stop them?"

I found this comment by Sunny on lePhare's blog and it has has had me thinking all afternoon.

I'm not one to let could stop me. In a way, the risk of could is often what makes me want to do it even more. Am I tempting fate by always running head on at my coulds?

Some of my coulds have come true, that's for certain. I could have lost my shirt investing in a business with an ureliable partner. Yes, I could and I did.

And sometimes coulds are good things. I could get hurt by letting myself love him. Yes I could, and maybe I did a little. But I'm so very glad I got to share what I did with him.

Don't ever let the coulds limit the possibilities of your cans and wills and shalls.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Just Love The Nautilus

"The history of life can be great theater. . . . The development of the gas-and liquid-filled chamber in the shell liberated the nautiloids from the sea bottom and set in motion an evolutionary history that is still unfolding today."
~ Peter Ward, Paleontologist ~


A native of the tropical Pacific, this cousin of the octopus is a living link with the past—little changed for more than 500 million years. Its simple eyes may see no more than the difference between dark and light, but the nautilus uses its more than 90 tentacles to touch and taste the world. A nautilus’s tentacles—unlike those of other cephlapods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish)—have grooves and ridges that grip food and pass it into the nautilus’s mouth. A parrotlike beak rips the food apart, and a radula (found in most molluscs) further shreds the food.

To avoid predators by day, a nautilus lingers along deep reef slopes, some as deep as 2,000 feet (610 m). At night, a nautilus migrates to shallower waters and cruises the reefs, trailing its tentacles in search of food.

A nautilus swims using jet propulsion—it expels water from its mantle cavity through a siphon located near its head. By adjusting the direction of the siphon, a nautilus can swim forward, backward or sideways.

Nautilus populations tend to be 75% males and 25% females. Reasons for this are not yet clear.

Fossils of the nautilus, a cephalopod mollusc, dating back 400 million years have been discovered in Xinglong County, in north China's Hebei province. According to experts, the nautilus fossils discovered in the Yanshan mountain range in north China were small molluscs which inhabited the ocean floor about 400 million years ago. The mollusc had gills and was covered with a spiral shell. The nautilus fossils were found in a limestone surface near a limestone cave in the highest peak of Yanshan Mountain. Experts noted that the discovery is extremely valuable to the study of the evolution of geology, topography and biology and has aroused the attention of archaeologists from Britain, the United States and Japan.

I've always loved this little creature. When I first saw one, I saw only the shell, on display, and it truly is a remarkable example of nature. I thought it must contain a slug-like thing or a hermit crab. And when I found out that there is so much more to it, I fell in love. Look at that eye - how looks deceive, it's little more than a pinhole with no lens. And to think that it "touches and tastes the world" with all those tentacles. Gaze at the beauty of the shell - a true gift of nature. Perhaps that's why it keeps such a hold on that shell, when other branches of the species dropped theirs so long ago?

I do seem to be stuck on the subject of shells right now.

My Hometown

I love this place. While somewhat crowded with over 7 million people crammed into 426 square miles, there are still lots of beautiful unspoilt places - after all three-quarters of that 426 square miles is actually parkland!

The city by day

The city by night

The nightly lightshow (for Steve) *Apart from the lasers, the buildings actually change colours and display moving light patterns

The old and the new

oh and the old and the new from my office window

Unspoiled beauty that few visitors get to see

*Not for swimming though, it has a treacherous undertow and people die there almost every year. I almost did!!

oh and we even have PINK dolphins!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Although I'm More of a Small 'g' Person

Dear God

I asked for a million dollars
a career, a reputation
a marriage
a fine house by the sea

And you gave me restless feet
a life of wandering
the infinite path of myself

I asked to see the rest of the road
and you said watch your feet

I asked for a guru
you gave me a blood-red rose

I asked for freedom
you took away everything I had

I asked for a savior
you said listen to the drumming
in your heart

I asked for a sign
you said here’s a cliff
step off it

I asked for the answer to the mystery
you said sorry, start again

I asked to stop asking
you gave me another question

I asked to be a great spiritual leader
revered by the masses
and you pushed me down in the street
on my face
in front of everybody

I asked for enlightenment
and you rubbed my face in the dark
until I could see nothing
but light

I ask for a new coat
and you give me the wind

I ask to be wise
and you show me
my empty heart

I ask to be loving
and you show me the wall
around my soul
I ask to put an end to suffering
you show me the demon in the mirror

I tell you
I’m in a hurry
and ask where the hell do I
catch the next train
you give me a lizard
sunning its back

I ask for an ordinary life
and you give me the universe

~ Lisa Garrigues ~

Monday, August 14, 2006

Our Shells

Well this isn't the post I intended to write today, that was on disappointing and being disappointed. It will keep for another day.

Today I wanted to refer to an awesome post by Julia on Jul of the Day - I have her link there on my list. If you don't stop by regularly, please do, she is an absolutely incredible writer and wonderful woman, and her photographs are brilliance itself in how she ties them to her posts. True jewels every day.

Emergence. The easy part is coming out of our shell. The hard part is letting it go.

So.....emergence and letting go of our shells. I know I, for one, hang on for dear life to my shell. And it's not even a pretty one. But it's mine and I'm awfully familiar with how it feels. I have peeked out of it a few times and been both energised and scared to death, usually separately but sometimes concurrently. So back into my shell I've gone. Sometimes slowly and sometimes like a snail whose horns have been poked.

There are times I feel like another person when I come out of it, quite literally. I almost act out, roleplay, pretend I'm this other person, not me. And you know she sometimes has a whale of a time. But then, I remember I'm me and back in I slide.

I recently wrote about the world being my oyster and shucking it and swallowing it whole. Another reference to a shell there. I haven't moved forward with my plans yet, I'm still trying to decide where and when. And truth be told I'm secretly hoping that someone I'd like to meet finally agrees to it. But so far he has avoided my very direct questions about it. Why can't I just say, well screw you then, I'm off? Well because a part of me is afraid by doing so he'll say fine, go, don't bother looking for me when you get back, that's the sort of psychological game he plays with me. I know he doesn't mean it, in reality he means the opposite of that, but I'm not ready to risk losing him. And he, it seems, isn't ready to take our five-month relationship to another level even though he professes missing me so terribly if we don't speak (or rather type to each other) for a mere 24 hours.

Why oh why am I so stuck on holding onto my shell? And to the damn limpet* that has attached itself to my oyster?

*Limpet fits best as one of the definitions for it is: "one that clings tenaciously to someone or something". Or maybe in reality, I'm the limpet on his oyster and I'm the one who needs to let go?


And just for Sunny Delight.....*clearing my throat and bursting into song*

Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain
Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain
Oh, the dark days are done
The bright days are here
My sunny one shines so sincere
Sunny one so true
I love you

Sunny, thank you for that sunshine bouquet
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all
Now I feel ten feet tall
Sunny one so true
I love you

Sunny, thank you for the truth you let me see
Sunny, thank you for the facts from a to z
My life was torn like windblown sand
And then a rock was formed when we held hands
Sunny one so true
I love you

Sunny, thank for that smile upon your face
Sunny, thank you for that gleam that flows with grace
You're my spark of natures fire
You're my sweet complete desire
Sunny one so true
I love you

Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain
Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain
The dark days are done
The bright days are here
My sunny one shines so sincere
Sunny one so true
Sunny one so true
Sunny one so true
I love you


Yes I am. Totally!

At the end of last week there was a blogger system upgrade or something. After it was done, it had thrown my formatting out so that everything previously in the sidebar ended up at the bottom of the sidebar instead of being parallel to the first post.

So I dutifully (and bravely let me assure you) tried to fix it but couldn't find the problem. So I figured OK reload again. I did and it's the same. So I changed the template. And again there it is at the bottom.

I tried some other templates and they seemed ok...but I just didn't like any of them so I'm going to leave this one in the hope that someone can advise me. I realise it's probably some small but significant bit of coding in there somewhere (trust me I only cut and paste my links and sitemeter).

Anyone out there able to help a very techie-challenged blogger?

Thankee in advance.

NOTE: Thank you Sunny! The damn thing was annoying me so much I've used another template that looks OK on my browser. It's a little on the GREEN GREEN side but I felt unbalanced as it was!

ANOTHER NOTE: I've added a link to get Daily OM Inspirational Thoughts - try it please, they are lovely!

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

This is the 'Tamarind', built 20 years ago in Hong Kong, a traditional Bruce Roberts' replica of the famous Joshua Slocum 'Spray' design. Length overall is 44 feet and maximum cruising speed is 8 knots. She is all-wood, with teak decks and hull, and a yakal keel.

My dad decided one day he wanted to sail around the world when he retired, and once he decided that, he had his heart set on building a traditional wooden yacht. He did that from full-scale plans and she was built on a plot of land next to where we lived. She has an incredible attention to detail, from brass portholes recovered from scrapped vessels, to carved dolphins on the bulwarks.

I'm both proud and humbled to say that I helped to build her, devoting every weekend to the project. It took us about three years to build her, and we had the help of a couple of other guys who could devote more time than only our weekends. What an awesome thing it was to be part of creating something so beautiful. Sadly, due to my mother's health problems at the time, my dad had to shelf his plans and then he seemed to lose his interest in his dream. They did actually live on her for five years though, while in Hong Kong.

And we spent many a happy weekend out in the waters of Hong Kong, sails up and bombing along at a fair clip. A relatively heavy, low-draught boat, she took a lot of wind to get going and when she did, she was beautiful in her trim. Despite being a 'big black duck' (her original hull colour was black) she was incredibly responsive and such a joy to behold on the water.

She now calls the waters around Borocay in The Philippines, home, where she is a charter yacht. I hope those who sail on her feel as much joy as I did, no experience has ever matched laying on the bowsprit with her under full sail. That was my place, in charge of the genoa.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

By Reason Of Insanity

A friend and I were talking about rage and sanity and if one can over-ride the other. He said you're not insane if you can logically plan and execute something as awful as what Andrea Yates did, for example. I, however, believe there are things that make your mind stop functioning, so that you can no longer determine right from wrong. Temporary insanity. White uncontrolled rage. Something.

I felt in a position to talk authoritatively on the subject, having been the victim of such rage. There was a night, some years ago when my then partner, not liking the fact I challenged him about being out with another woman until the wee hours of the morning, instead of discussing it with me, formed fists with his hands and beat me. Over me asking where he'd been. Over me expecting him to tell me. Over me just wanting honesty. And yes, this was the man I had only three months before, uprooted my entire life for, to give him his dream.

I have looked into the eyes of insanity. The person who looked back at me was not the person I knew. It was like looking into the eyes of evil. I almost did not live to talk about it. At one point his fingers closed around my throat and he growled animal-like sounds at me through clenched teeth. A crazed look I will never forget.

Though I still am not sure how, I managed to wrest myself from his grip and get away from him. But he caught me and his fists beat repeatedly into my face and over my head, onto my arms when I held them up to cushion the blows. Then along my exposed sides as I sought to protect my head. I got away finally, to behind a locked door.

I discovered that night, that for all the force of his white rage, my will to survive outmatched him and I won. Good won over evil. The next day, all he talked of was the deep scratch on the back of his hand where one punch had missed my face and his fist had caught the edge of my earring. He sat there and complained about what I'd done TO HIM. Me with the bruises on my face and neck and arms and hands and head and sides.

Even if Andrea wasn't insane when she drowned her five children, one after the other, I am sure knowing what she did has made her insane with grief ever since. Or maybe her insanity keeps her from truly understanding it all.

Unfortunately good did not win over evil that time.

P.S. Oh, and in case you're wondering, no I didn't leave him after that beating. But that's another post for another day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

All That Is Left Of Me

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes and I am left the same. The more things change the more I am the same. I am what I started with, and when it is all over I will be all that is left of me.

~ Hugh Prather ~

Points Over At My Links Bar -->

Sunny Delight gave me the nudge I needed and I cracked the sucker!! I now have email and some links.

If I've put you there and you don't want to be there, please let me know. If I've emailed you with a 'please may I', please say yes. If I haven't because I don't have your email address, and you're a regular visitor here as I am at your place, please let me know if I may add you, I don't really want to post a comment somewhere on your board under a non-related topic.

Come one, come all, you know who you are.

And thank you Sunny, I was avoiding it and you gave me the gentle push I needed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The World Is My Oyster

I have five weeks of annual leave (vacation) stored up and only four and a half months left in which to take it.

I was saving it on a 'just in case' basis as my mum is not well and there has been the possibility of her worsening quickly and me having to take the trip over to Scotland to be with her at short notice. Fortunately, the illness is progressing more slowly than once anticipated and a trip in September with my sister is planned. But that still leaves me with a lot of paid time off to take.

So here I am now with too many days off accumulated (and there's no pushing it forward after 31 December) and having to plan some time away.

Where oh where shall I go. What oh what shall I do. It has been long, long time since I had a holiday just for me, without family or partner obligations.

I need to shuck that oyster and swallow it whole.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Eyes Have It

I was organising my picture folders the other day and something struck me as I came across the folder with my own pictures in it. That my eyes hide nothing.

There are pictures of me as a child and pre-teen that show haunted eyes. Pictures of me growing into my early twenties with an incredible softness, maybe even submission, in those eyes. Then into my thirties I see a whole range of things shining through, running the gamut from good to bad and back again.

In my forties I seem to have been avoiding the camera, but there are a few from these times. I have one picture taken just over three years ago, when I was involved for the first time with a man who seemed to love me. My eyes did sparkle then. My heart and soul sparkled with what I was feeling. It later turned out to be another of life's disappointments though.

And now, looking at a recent photo, I see the strangest thing - that I seem to be expressing divergent emotions through each eye. They are a matching pair, unlike my mother who has one brown eye and one blue eye. But still, they seem to be saying different things.

Do you see it?

To me MY right eye (to your left) looks guarded and hardened - my past? While MY left eye (to your right) seems softer and more inviting - my future?

Perhaps eyes are like palms and should be read separately. Though together they reflect everything I am and everything I feel. And everything I see ahead of me as well as behind me. I wonder if, in the coming years, there will be more changes to them. If I have my way, my right eye will match my left eye in time.

Update from comments : Sad young eyes

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Tree

From Miranda's blog:

You Are A Chestnut Tree
You are a born diplomat with a well developed sense of justice.
And even though you're impressive and intimidating, you're also fun to be around.
You can be irritated easily, and you sometimes act superior.
Nevertheless, you are sensitive of others feelings and very loyal.
Sometimes you feel misunderstood and are fiercely close to those who know you best.

Hmmmmm. Yes I think this touches the surface of who I am.

And apart from anything else, I am of pure Celtic blood. Och aye!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different

Wow. I hadn't realised how draining the last two posts would be to me. But along with that has come a sense of unburdening. Not that I haven't spoken of my eating issues before, but that was the first time I had typed it out and read it from a distance.

These past few days, my mind keeps going back to books I discovered in the 80's, when there was a profusion of 'thought' books. Leo Buscaglia, Hugh Prather, Robert Fulghum (and my perrenial favourite from before then, Kahlil Gibran), to name but a few. I could fill reams quoting their wisdom, but this one has always stuck out for me:

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge-
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts-
That hope always triumphs over experience-
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death."

~ Robert Fulghum ~

and this has come, in recent years, to mean a lot to me:

“One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.”

~ Robert Fulghum ~

"Life is lumpy." - aint THAT the truth!

But oh such a wonderful ride it is, even with the lumpiest of lumps.

P.S. Robert Fulghum's blog - http://www.robertfulghum.com

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit - 2

The day I discovered I'd forgotten how to eat.

One afternoon about six months into this terrible eating (or rather non-eating) regime, I sat down with my parents in the garden at the end of their lunch, when I judged it safe to sit at a table where food was being consumed. My father slid a section of the orange he had peeled in front of me and watched me. I didn't touch it for the longest time and he eventually asked me why I wasn't eating it. I felt backed into a corner, my heartrate shot up, I could hear my pulse beating in my ears. I was experiencing fear and I didn't know a way out. I was cornered with nowhere to turn. So I put it into my mouth.

And I didn't know what to do next. I'll never forget that moment of having something solid in my mouth for the first time in so many months and I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to chew and it felt so ghastly sitting there on my tongue. But at that moment I realised how far down I had gone, how dangerous the whole situation was, how I was holding my life in my own hands. After several moments I moved it around in my mouth, not chewing, more sucking on it while my father's eyes stayed on me. I think I understood then that he knew something was terribly wrong with me and he wasn't going to move until he saw me eat this one piece of orange. Something clicked in my mind and I honestly felt it was a matter of life and death. Mine.

Eventually, after the longest time, I moved it in my mouth until it was positioned for my teeth to bear down on. The intensity of the flavour of the juice which spurted from it was so overpowering, I almost threw up. But I also knew that I was at a breaking point and if I didn't go forward I would be back further than I had slipped even then. That day, when I ate one piece of orange sitting in the garden with my father's eyes upon my face, I broke the spell. Or maybe he broke the spell for me. I know I'm one of the incredibly lucky ones who managed to out-think this horrible condition, who managed to find the strength I needed to see it for what it is, a killer.

But my journey wasn't over, for not long after I re-learned how to eat, I then went in the opposite direction and became bulimic, consuming vast amounts of food as some sort of punishment for perhaps what one part of me was saying was a weakness, eating. I hated eating with anyone and at family meals I managed to consume a normal portion. But behind my bedroom door I was cramming food into my mouth and swallowing. And this time there was a deliberate refusal to chew, I was merely swallowing. Swallowing until my throat hurt, swallowing until my stomach was so full my gullet remained packed with food and there was physically no room left for anything else. And I'd hold in my hand the next chocolate, or biscuit or cake or slice of bread I was going to consume as soon as there was space for it.

The laxatives continued. In larger doses than before and the pain of them working on all this stuff I was cramming into my stomach was like a drug to me. I was emotionally, physically, spiritually sated by the pain. I needed it and I sought it out while continuing to force feed myself. To the point that if I was out shopping I'd buy something to eat and go straight to a public toilet and sit there eating. Yes, I was that desperate for my fix. I had moved out from my parents by then and I'd go to a fast food restaurant for a take-away meal and order three or four of them so it looked like I was buying for a family and not just me (I had packed on the pounds again despite the laxatives) and I'd go home and eat it all, sitting in an almost hypnotic state just cramming food into my mouth and swallowing it, swallowing it until my throat hurt from the size of the pieces I was swallowing without chewing. Not even stopping to breathe and finding myself gasping for breath, my eyes, so often filled with tears, fixed upon an object to stop my mind from wandering and realising what I was doing. I was back there in my earlier years, desperately trying to fill that deep dark hole inside me.

I'm not sure which was worse, the ultimate control of anorexia or the desperate loss of control of bulimia. It took me years of struggling with my bulimia to find my way out the other side and in the process I think I have destroyed my appestat. I don't know when I'm hungry and I certainly don't know when I'm full. I'm happy to say, though, that I can manage these conditions better now than at any other time of my life. But I also know that there are days, albeit rare ones now, when I find it hard to stop eating. Like an alcoholic for whom one drink is too many and a thousand drinks aren't enough. But unlike an alcoholic, I have to have that one drink, a second drink, a third drink and more. I have to keep feeding my addiction while I teach myself to overcome it.

All this is a part of who I have become and while I do acknowledge I have sometimes been an enemy to myself, I also know that each step of this, my journey to me, has been necessary and important to who I have become. I am a strong woman with many scars, few of which are visible to the naked eye.


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