Tuesday, August 03, 2010


We join our heroine (that would be me) in Sydney, Australia, having just left her island nation and the capital city where she lived on the largest island a la Sud Pacifica ... Papua New Guinea ... Never fear. Knowing Ricebag, her ability to draw hectic all over the straight lines means it's never going to be a flat or an easy ride. But it does belong to her - all the fuck-ups; all the heartbreaks; all the beauty; all the kindnesses; all the things shared; all the bits of her given away in gladness; all the things meant that can't be unspelt ... all that stuff, all the stuff done and kicked into motion and ground into being and dreamt into film or flushed into smoke ... ricebag is doing it all because she is the engineer of her year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

bobbing for james

you know who you are. and if you have come to my blog, then please don't think me depressive. i am not. but i can be deep. sometimes i fall into my own well and forget about sunlight. and then thank god for family and friends. because they remind me that i am fun!! and funny and lovely and loving and shirty and skirty and sometimes i pinch but i always always kiss.

i'm no blank slate. i walked across the roof of the world alone illegal. i slept one amongst 40 million in open air prayer. i died on the river. i lived on a mountain. i've worked in some of the world's schmickest office's in some of the world's schmickest cities. i was born of a village without running water or electricity from a province without roads and from a country without women in parliament.

and i am a big girl now. which means sometimes i say big girls things. like i expect a man to be the man he says he is. and i know when he isn't. then i do all kinds of little girl things. like wash his dishes. and fall in love.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

our beloved : a quiet revolution

The thing is this - I never told you. I never showed you. All of you Out There. I couldn't actually say out loud WHY that for the past 10 months there has been a river of fear flowing through me ... heart palpitations ... midnight tears ... 4am sweats ... shortness of breath ... sleeplessness ... lack of desire ... lack of energy ... hair falling out ... stress lump the size of my fist at the top of my spine ... for the past 10 months my heart has been in my neck. And I have been Dealing, I have. And for the MostPart dealing well but for all the RestPart, barely. Barely functioning and sometimes poorly. Always covering it all up in slathers of Face.

And WHY? For the last 10 months I have been unable to say the words "I lost my only sister" ... because I did. Because BabySister did disappear. Because almost a year ago she went away from us and for 4 months we did not know how to find her and when we did find her it took another 4 months to TakeHerFromTokyo and bring her to our home in PNG to our family in PNG.

And it has not been easy ...

And just when my neck is about to snap from craning it permanently in BabySister's direction, a small miracle happens. A few days ago, inside of a heartbeat I learnt that I needed to stop playing sentry over BabySister's EveryMinute. Someone Above showed me GraceInAnother and I have been witness to something very very sweet. A quiet revolution. Of a beautiful soul.

While I was holding my breath, my BabySister settled back into her skin. On her own. With a little help from me, MyMama and OurFamily.

And so, her CircleOfSadness is coming full and she is getting ready to tie up the ends on that story which saw her handicapped-in-so-many-ways in Tokyo after 8 years licking kawai & kirei stamps in Someone Elses Land. So we brought her home to PNG in February and BabySister has had to learn how to LookAtTheWomanInTheMirror again and we have been praying and I have been holding my breath ...

And last week I turned around and There She Was. I heard her heart smiling on the phone. I only rang to say I would call again later and all she said was 4 words which sound like 'ok' and 'I love you' ... but inside the walls of those everyday words I heard all kinds of purposeful and wonderful things echoing, like Hope and Future and Certainty. She sounded exactly like ... HerSelf. For the first time in such a long time. And I am so grateful. So very very grateful.

For the first time in maybe years my BabySister is looking forward to every new day.

It is now clear to me that Her Spirit Has Come Home To Her and in doing that is has called to me and it is saying "I know You Know Me. It has been your job to watch over me and protect me and I will always Need You but you can Release Me from your care now. I need to pick myself up. By myself. Just for now."

And all week I have been close to tears. On the busstop curb as the sun rises. At my desk while the computer whirrs on. Peeling back the yoghurt top at the work fridge. As I settle the telephone back in its cradle. After I hit send on an email. As I hand over change from my yellow purse for The Big Issue. As the elevator rises to the 38th floor. Scrolling through my blackberry. Furling my umbrella in the cab. Stirring cream into my just-got-home-tea. In the 5-minute-quiet before I rise in the morning. At a hundred pauses in a day, these past few days, I am close to tears, my heart feels so full ... I am so full of joy now. Joy!! And great great Thankfulness. And calm circumspect.

Because the one person in the world who has Every Claim on me has just asked to exercise her rights to Do Just That. To Claim. And that feels so Good. And yet somehow, DeepDown, I am melancholic - because how is it that she could ever forget that I would do everything in my power to protect her - that that is My BirthSong. How did she ever forget that my story cannot function without her presence in it. How did she ever forget that she always had somewhere to turn. How did she ever forget our family does not know how to exist without her? How did she ever forget that we none of us are ever ever ever alone? Especially her. Our Beloved.

How could she forget? Because I stopped listening properly. Because I started looking too deep into my own well. Because I wanted to believe her when she said SheIsAnIsland. Because ricebag let her guard down. BabySister was so good at marching to the beat of her own drum and letting everyone know she needed her Awayness that even I started thinking that that was true.

And all I can do now is make a promise to you, BabySister. I will do all I can to never let you forget again how to hear your TrueSelf amongst all the white noise.

You should also know that I am so incredibly proud. So so so so proud. So proud to belong to you. Because you Never Gave Up. Not for one minute. Even when you wavered on The Edge something deep within kept holding on. I hope you know that you have been resilient in the face of overwhelming fear. That somehow you kept faith in a time of lostness. And that even when you could not see through the fog, you felt your way forward. And now that you are coming out on the other side, you are taking responsibility. And you Smile. And you hold your head high. And you have Hope.

And for the first time in a long time I too am Looking Forward without a clouded heart.

And so here we are. It is Spring again.

holding my breath


sorry for being away so long. been sort of holding my breath for the last 6 weeks. just kind of all legs in motion and nothing new, not much new but lots of the good same stuff. some of the things that have happened include:

  • ricebags new flattie, GoodCam, who has slotted into our house and our lives so smoothly in the always-up-to-drink-vodka-until-dawn-if-a-sad-flattie-needs-me-to kind of way
  • woo has gone to nyc to live and breathe and bake over a central park summer
  • ricebag is working daily out of one her client's offices and this means she is away from the mothership most days
  • various dinner parties and drinking parties and movie parties and afternoon and drinks and weekend drinks and night drinks
  • a weekend of dvds and duvets at The Lake with kbbaway and ren
  • movie premieres and art exhibitions and wine tastings and salsa classes
  • fundraising for the relief effort in Burma
  • etc etc
  • and and and ... ricebag. stopped. smoking. cigarettes. (yes woo - i stopped with you ... have you stopped proper?)

blahdy blah blah

the truth is ricebag is hanging in until until until ... very soon her life, her geography, her hemishpere is going to change ... and then this EveryDayNess of Sydney will be past tense.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

a long little drive

woo and i took off for 2 weeks in early january and went driving driving down the east coast of australia in woo's trusty steed of a car, ANF, all along the victorian coast in the south, along the great ocean road, until we reached port fairy with its gorgeous 200 year old huts and churches from a time when irish people were very short and they came to australia to kill some whales ... and then we turned inland. ned kelly country. gold rush country now turned grazing land. a whole driving circuit. a. road. trip.

we drove. a lot. and tented it. and caravan parked it. and beached it. and melbourned it. and just watched it all go by really. and it was beautiful.

  • nothing feeling better than leaving sydney. leaving sydney. leaving. sydney.
  • crashing in bermagui where the lighthouses start and little kids with ipods for ears sing unaccompanied for their indian supper at the cafe on the corner
  • driving out of jindabyne and down and through the snowy mountains national park. woo driving hours along tedious sloooow pulverous unpaved ... red and dusty ... national park driving track ... eventually emerging from the nsw bush & into victoria and the idyllic town of suggan buggan where everywhere you look is postcard heaven
  • tentless and grumpy and sleeping in front of ANF and under stars at lakes entrance
  • hitting 90 mile beach ... one of the longest stretches of white white beach in the world ... and being bitten bitten bit by flying biting sand
  • crashing in fitzroy with pinky u and y, gorging on home-made humous, lovely laundry and lovelier sleep in a bed
  • watching the surfers go out at bells beach
  • odd ball karaoke, fun fairs and $6 pasta in warrnambool
  • koalas and ancient lighthouses in otway bay ... tales of shipping lanes and straits and shipwrecks and schoolhouses and just australia being so far away from anywhere
  • no place for our tent at the inn in lorne
  • fresh prawns and chips on the beach in apollo bay
  • circling tower hill crater ... having been sent there by eugene von geurard
  • a helicopter ride over the 20 million year old 12 apostles ...
  • baking our bodies on a victorian beach
  • sitting at the top of the rugged mountain ranges of grampians national park with its rolling rocks and purple trees and surveying the wide flat world below
  • gold rush diaries and pottery in bendigo
  • in the stoop of the tent as night falls, drinking beers cooling in a bag of ice
  • a bermuda triangle wander along along along a solitary flat road in search of mysterious aboriginal hand paintings
  • an edward hopper-esque backpackers/motel in canberra ... a hard bed in a capital of wide flat streets and wide flat faces.
  • all the while looking looking. looking at this beautiful country really

so what can i say? every road looked different. driving through ski parks in a wildflower summer. driving along absolutely spectatcular world-class coastlines - from the start of 90 mile beach to the end of the great ocean road. watching geese fly over salt lakes and the grazing land shimmer in the distance. smashing light and tangy chips and mini flake chocolate bars all over ANF. driving through south gippsland farming country and listening to a 3 hour discussion of women living in the penal colony of australia on am radio. taking the scenic road over the main every time and watching it all fly by.

i think pictures speak better so i shall share some ...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

topsy turvy


wow. this week has brought some shake-ups in the professional life of moi ... things that involve a change in geography and more.

this Monday = i made a big big decision which means by the end of The Year of Alex, maybe even by her next bondei, ricebag might be living in another country ... will be living somewhere she has lived before ... having returned to another ples ...

then today my boss came in with an amazing opportunity ... too good to pass up that will see my current role drastically change by ... Monday next

everything a bit topsy turvy right now ... oooh.

so the next few posts are going to be about my life. here. in sidonee. where stuff matters. sometimes. and for now, anyway.

Monday, April 28, 2008

it is what it is

today winter came to sydney. the flush of chilled air that swooshes in as the balcony doors unclick, as the kitchen window is pushed up, when the outside comes inside. this week shall be the putting away of open-toed shoes and saturday sandals, the folding of summer dresses and floral coats. winter is trundling in and the winter coat and the hot soup boy make their return. sniffle sniffle.

at least MyMama is back in town. on holiday. of sorts. with her cohorts ... her old old friends and their hagen woollies. at least. at least. at least.

so now even more i am dying dying to go home. back to png-way. but whilst the desire is deep, it hasn't crystallised as yet and baby has to book some tickets so people who haven't seen her in longa time can see her still. on their home turf. i can't wait to meet a newborn baby yavita and all my oldest and loveliest ... and most especially BabySister ...

BabySister. be strong baby. please be strong. always always always always always. always. me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Big up to my old college principal Quentin Bryce who Kevin Rudd has just appointed the next and first woman governor-general of Australia.

Quentin Bryce has spent the past five years as the Governor of Qeensland. But her much-lauded career has taken her from being one of the state's first female barristers, into academia and the public service as federal sex discrimination commissioner. And a mother of 5!! I can attest to her elegance and fortitude and influence and am very proud to have her as a personal referee - let alone the next GG.