I cannot explain my close attachment to the Blue Tongued Lizard that has lived in our garden for 3 years but he is important to me nonetheless. I found him today bent over in the garden, looking not-quite-right. It is only 10 degrees here today & far too cold for a lizard to be trying to sunbake. I noticed he has been coming out to bake for a few weeks now, in winter, & thought it odd. I picked him up & gave him a bit of a rub to warm him up, his belly stirred but his eyes did not open. It did not feel right to leave him lying out there to get picked off by a cat or a bird, so I picked him up & took him inside. I made him a makeshift home in my nephew’s toy box with some rocks & dirt from outside & put on a strong lamp to help warm him up a bit. He did stir some more once he warmed up a little. I added a lid of water & some cherry tomatoes which were always a treat for the lizards that Leo raised when we were growing up. He has not touched either one. I spoke to Leo who said to drip some water in his mouth, if he was thirsty he would react – which he did. He keeps doing these deep sighs from inside, curling up a little & then he flattens himself a bit to get more warmth. The sighs hit me in the chest every time, like a series of last breaths. I hold my own breath each time, I am quiet & hopeful that he will keep going. I wish there was more I could do. He has not moved for an hour now & I am too afraid to put my hands in, in case he has died. I am going to wait for Leo to get here & take a look at him. I do not think the news will be good. Corsmor & I live in a little wilderness haven here & enjoy watching all the wild creatures come & go as they please. They are remarkable & motivating. Life is inexplicably going on around us. I have watched Sparrows swarm over the bread crumbs Corsmor throws to them, Black Birds couple up, build nests & eggs hatch into the quickest growing babies I have ever seen. I have awoken to the sounds of Kookaburra’s singing in our Jacaranda tree & fallen asleep to the sound of frogs in our back yard pond. What I failed to realise is that death is going on all around us at the same time. It is taking those beautiful things away from us. A cycle I had never really thought about. & here I am sitting next to it, with a glimmer of hope & hopelessness all at once. There is nothing I can do but wait.
I walked out into the kitchen & told Corsmor we are pregnant this morning. It is very, very early but it was a certain positive. He held me tight & his happiness filled me with hope.
We took a short walk in the forest & went blackberry picking. As Corsmor ate handfuls of berries, his hands stained burgundy, he nicknamed our baby ‘Pip’.
This news we have waited for does not feel real – but I am filled with joy & it does not leave my mind for a minute.
I am tired & calm & it is the end of a very surreal day.
I feel as if we are beginning something. Something that is truly ours is happening. It is life.
So close no matter how far Couldn’t be much more from the heart Forever trusting who we are And nothing else matters Never opened myself this way Life is ours, we live it our way All these words I don’t just say And nothing else matters Trust I seek and I find in you Every day for us something new Open mind for a different view And nothing else matters Never cared for what they do Never cared for what they know But I know
This form of eucalyptus tree grows in Maui, Australia rainforests where the bark peels back to reveal a gorgeous range of colours. It’s absolutely real & so beautiful, there are truly some unusual & surprising things in nature.
Overseeing a garden is a strange business. This summer so many friends have withered, even those that seemed the strongest & the healthiest were stricken with the unrelenting heat of summer. Brought smiles to my eyes when I saw Jac standing tall & blooming her way through December though. She can always be depended upon. Tall & strong. Next year such carnage in the garden will not be tolerated. I will be prepared.
Whispers told me Violet was not well today. What I found when I got to her was not what I expected. What I found was her in the garden with one hand in a bird bath & the other holding a dead sparrow… I do not think the bird bath went as Violet had planned. I am sure the bird fought the good fight, which is exactly why Violet had to fish it out; she has busy trying to do the same. I hope it all plays out for her though & she fairs better than that soaked & silent sparrow. Some days I have my doubts. Violet spotted me slink through the gate to watch her. ‘Hey – Merry Fucking Xmas” she quipped. “Yeah – looks like it” I replied “Can you imagine having wings & ending up here?” Violet chirped at me Final result of the bird bath is an empty clay bowl on a stand & a fresh mound in the ground between the Jacaranda & the Jasmine. Not far from the compost & not much different really either. “One day” Violet mumbled, “I hope there’s someone there to find me & bury me between the trees & beneath the sun.” I figured it was sort of thrown out there for me to hear but I did not reply. What do you say to that? I am sure she knows what she is talking about, she plans ahead this girl. It seems all pretty black & white to me the whole life & death thing. You should just live until you can’t anymore. Violet assures me that is all she is trying to do. It is the fact she has to try that I struggle with. We sat by the disturbed ground between the trees & Violet mentioned she had seen Digger & Peachy a few days ago. They had walked in while she was having coffee somewhere insignificant (bad coffee, though she did mention…) How estranged. Clear she has so much unsaid that will remain that way forever. The words are always so full of double meanings that I think she loses herself in them & in the end she is never sure what was said at all. Defence mechanism? What in the world do you do when that one & only describes life as better without you? That it is easier, quieter, nicer, less of a struggle. Even though you are sure they enjoyed every small moment of that struggle for years? Those small moments where people are created & destroyed; what could there be left to say? I asked Violet & she could not answer but I know she has a head full of things she wants to get out, most of which are questions (what’s new?) Questions, always questions with Violet – it would be so much quieter around here if she just listened in the first place. She is so afraid that there is something someone is not telling her like a joke of which she has been left out. She is terrified she is the joke & they are all laughing behind her back. They are not & there is no telling her that, whether she questions it or not. Digger sure did shovel out a hole in her – enough to fit a planet of dead sparrows & water all the same. She desperately tries to fill it in each day. There is blame on both sides of course – but my feet are firmly planted here between the Jacaranda & the Jasmine – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Comment: Troyski: G’day April, love the blog, very creative in an emotionally expressive way. Maybe I read it back to front (that would be impressive lol), but I picked up on some grief & loss, some soul searching and a hint of self doubt/frustration. Or I’m just reading too deeply into your creative writing. I’m rambling, forgive me. Look after yourself. Always, Troy xxxooo
Violet is hiding in a winter snap at the moment. That is to say, I am getting the cold shoulder so I choose to assume she has just got the air-conditioning up too high & thinks it is winter….. I am not at all envious of the shit she has going on at the moment. The fake smiles were beginning to make me sick until they stopped altogether. Now I get this broken mirror image of a girl I used to know. Only a few days ago we were chit chatting about the Jacaranda’s out in bloom this November. You never even know just how many of them there are until November comes running. What a strange tree to be blooming in the summer rather than the spring. Violet’s local streets are carpeted with purple, an amazing glow that even she has to stop & appreciate despite her treacherous state of mind. “Soon it’ll just be a dry brown mess I have to sweep up” she quips. Violet has a baby Jacaranda in her back yard. Its branches are limping with the weight of the bright purple flowers. So many of them for what appears to be nothing more than a stick of a tree. That makes no sense to me but Violet is unperturbed; “How else do you have something as special & complicated as a summer flower without the comfort of a branch to hold it up?” she asks “Everyone needs a branch even if it is just a small one.” I get frustrated with her talking in circles & scowl at her. Violet shrugs & continues, “Cut it down if you’re so worried about the branches. But no one worries about them you know. The supports & the foundations, or who’s going to clean up the mess. All they worry about is how beautiful the flower is when it blooms” I wanted to smack her & I very nearly cut the flowering Jacaranda down until I realised I would only be cutting off my own limbs & then, what use would I be to Violet?