Sunday, November 17, 2013

Terrible beautiful things

I know it is irretrievably boring -- and somewhat unacceptable -- to apologise for not blogging. So I am not going to. But let me say that it is a mighty strange thing. I've been unwell this past week and haven't had any energy left for writing. And yet, the more time that passes without blogging, the more unsettled I feel.

And yet, where to start? There's a lot jumbled up in here and it feels inextricable from To Do lists and a general visceral feeling of dread. There's some big stuff coming up, on line and off it, and I am feeling more out of my depth than usual.

Like anything important, it all feels terrible and beautiful at the same time.

Like walking to meet a friend and passing a bunch of birthday balloons tied to a front gate with "90" printed on them.

Like experiencing the magic and wonder that was Indie Kindred in Melbourne last week.

Like this wonderful article by Evgeny Morozov for The New Yorker on boredom.

Like a daily juice of kale, mango, blueberries, pear and coconut water.

Like discovering this innovative publishing house that focuses on translating works not originally available in English and uses a subscription business model.

Like a deep sleep after many unsettled nights.

Like the brilliant article in last weekend's The Age about John Armstrong and Alain de Botton's new book Art as Therapy, which included details of the National Gallery of Victoria's proposed developments and art programs in public hospitals. I wish this article were available online but, try as I might, I cannot find it.

Like the email arrived in my in-box at work from a colleague with the subject line "Best parents ever!" and this link. It was pretty hard not to agree.

Like sunshine, finally sunshine, in Melbourne!

Like a dear friend sharing how "lucky" she felt for the early discovery of her ovarian cancer. She has had an operation and has now commenced chemotherapy. Everything she has worked so hard to build in her life -- her friendships, her business, her life in Melbourne -- is about to change. Like, completely, though not necessarily for the worse.

Like after I reading her news, how my husband and I drove to my parents' place to collect our little 'un from a sleepover. It was a cool day but the sky was cloudless and the sun made everything look twice as vivid as usual. As we sailed through yellow fields and lazily grazing cows, I couldn't help but take it all in and marvel of the searing beauty that it is to be alive... and how short and precious it all is.

I later discovered Laurie Anderson's farewell to Lou Reed in Rolling Stone and, somehow, that summed it all up perfectly.

And I guess there is no greater place to start this business of living, and writing, today.

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