Today is the first of a precious few winter days without rain & the first time I have had to get out into my garden & explore. It is a different place in the winter – the plants either go dormant or thrive. There are hues of brown & purple that are not visible in other months.
I find the garden to be one of the only places I can go to just be where I do not have to think. My mind clears & I lose hours in a sunny afternoon pottering about. Without the garden I would be lost. Sometimes it is not enough to look out from my kitchen window; I was pleased to get out in the sunlight today & took my camera with me.
I have been experimenting with coloured & macro lens filters – it is much more difficult than I imagined. There is no ‘point & shoot’ scenario – it takes time & patience; both of which I find sparse at the moment. The first of our winter blooms came out of hiding with the unseasonable sun – I hope there will be more in the days to come.
I have known Violet for a very, very long time. Some might say, I have always known her. She will always be a part of my life, whether I ever physically meet her, or not. There are times, like now, when the house is quiet & there is nothing to do that I can almost hear her, calling me from the backyard pond, covered in mud, ankle-deep in tadpoles with a daisy chain in her hair… “Mum…!”
“I guess it’s going to have to hurt, I guess I’m going to have to cry And let go of some things I’ve loved to get to the other side. I guess it’s going to break me down Like fallin’ when you try to fly, Sad but sometimes moving on With the rest of your life, Starts with goodbye” ~~ Carrie Underwood
Family are the people who you choose to be around when there is no one else you’d rather talk to. They’re your Husband, your dog, your cat, the friend you made by happy circumstance & kept in touch with for years. They are the people you can rely on. The people you can go to when the most strife strikes. Family are those that are there to bail you out of lock up, to hand you water when you’re drunk or hung over, the people who cling to you at the worst moments and at the best. I don’t have to ask myself who my family are. They are everything to me and even if I don’t see them for extended periods of time because we all lead busy lives I know that they will be there when I need them and vice versa no matter what. We can pick up where we left off and that’s that. They bring smiles to my face like no one else can. I am not referring to that ‘family’ that you only see at weddings, funerals and Xmas. They are, of course, important in your life. They are essential to you and your humanity. ‘Family’ should not be a term only applied to those linked to you by blood. It should be a term linked with love. Linked with blood, sweat, tears, laughter. There are so many parts and petals that make up my families and I am pleased to know every one of them; from the seeds to the flowers. None of us can do this alone, none of us.
A difficult day at work today – I was called a few charming names by someone who is my senior. I did try to tell him that only my Husband has permission to call me those things & while that is at his own risk & will almost certainly get him laid it is most likely to get anyone else punched.
I awoke on possibly the most uncomfortable couch on planet Earth this morning. Collapsed there after staying up most of the night keeping an eye on Violet. She doesn’t say a lot, our Violet, but she doesn’t need to either. There will come a time when she is going to need to pull herself together & work out what it is that she really wants & why she chases a new story before she’s finished the last episode. Her whole life is like previews of new beginnings that never really come to life. I think Violet knows what it is that she wants but is too gutless to really chase it. Only, maybe she likes living in anticipation of finally making the right choices. I’ve been watching Violet for so many years trying to work out the method in her madness but I don’t think there is a clear recipe. She goes about her own demise in so many ways & I don’t know how she continually adds to it without significant destruction. The uncomfortableness of the couch is what kept me awake really, for hours. Thinking. Violet has so much potential…
Violet arrived home in the early hours of the morning, took her a good ten minutes to see through her clogged eyelashes to get the key in the lock… She stumbled onto the couch which has become her bed in these heated Autumn days. Leaves have not fallen anywhere near as heavily as it seems Violet has.
Free & frozen under the airconditioning, the shivers of a refusal to take a quilt. Sleep took her at 04:14 & I watched as the horrors of her evening whisked her mashed brain through dreams I knew she could not escape.
Her house dead weighted by the looming loneliness of the small morning hours. Those quiet dark times. I wanted to wrap warmth around her despite her burning skin.
At 05:00am I watched as he laid the quilt softly over her fragile body, the consideration & gentleness was not lost on her & appreciated though she was caught lightly in her dream state.
A lingering aroma of tobacco & night air woke her 30 seconds before her alarm & she found her eyes filled with steamy, stinging tears.
07:04am the shower runs – a heat rises in her head – headache. Neckache. Backache. Heartache. “The Couch” she whispers to the running water. The silver stream engulfs her face and for a minute I am unable to distinguish between the river of water & her tears. A deep breath almost chokes her as she lathers up her thinning hair, more of it disappears down the drain & the water turns blood red then midnight blue from her hair dye. She has not opened her eyes but I can see the tears roll down her soft, battered cheeks as she turns her back on the water to wash out the suds.
Violet’s eyes open. She looks me dead in the eye & she shatters me with “this is tearing me apart…the only things that end never truly begin…” I rest my lips against her forehead – that’s as close as she will let me to her. I am put to the side for the remainder of the morning…
Comments from MySpace:
18 Mar 2008 Tyson Boyce: I remember that heat. Conversely, it just started snowing here!
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
I tried to explain to Violet today that her feet would be much better planted firmly ON the ground instead of IN it but she would not have a bar of it. She eats an unhealthy amount of gherkins & I think it has turned her blood into vinegar. I cannot seem to find any of the sarcastic warmth in her that she used to bounce back at me. Just pure acid. I am not entirely sure how much to be concerned…
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?
I caught Violet out today burning old letters in the backyard. This comes as no surprise to me as she is a painful, passionate little thing. With no expectation of an answer I asked; “Why are you burning them?” “Because life is peachy without me” she snapped Clearly she had been listening intently to way too much Missy Higgins – or so I thought. We stood around her little bonfire for quite some time before she spoke again. I did not need to know whose letters they were because I had made my guess & was correct. “He has no conscience. How can anyone act that way – like nothing ever passed between us, like no unspoken treasures existed between our hearts?” Violet begged at the fire for the answer but nothing came. Why she felt she needed to burn such ancient letters, quite probably from many years ago, in order to find the answer I was not going to ask – I did not want to end up on the fire myself. There was enough fire in her eyes to burn the pages without a match but there we were with an ever growing, glowing explosion spitting words back at us from the pages. I could make out words in ashes like; “Love” “Promise” “Future” “Cat” “Dream”
I tried to grab one back from the pyre but Violet quickly snapped back my arm from my elbow; “Don’t! The words need to burn. They need to disappear like the years.” I guess they don’t call her Violet Ashes for nothing….
One sad & sorry mother fucker of a security guard got more than she asked for out of Violet at the recent Marilyn Manson concert after accusing her of smoking in the toilets. What is she – 15? Security vs. Goth standing in the middle of the foyer at Thebarton Theatre. “GET FUCKED,” Violet’s screaming. Trying to tell the guard that if she was going to bother smoking she would not be hiding in the toilets. A sea of Goths parted & there they were fist to fist in the middle of the foyer – what a sight. For people who are happy to slice up any day of the week us Goths are pretty peace minded I must say. This night though, there was no fucking with Violet. She was not going to be told what to do. I sat back & watched the fight, “Use your fists & not your mouth…” “I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers…” raging through my mind…
There’s a knack to all this life suff you know. Violet has the recipe. Once you get your life in order and start to pop your head up around the world there are a few things that happen to you.
1. You find friends you thought you’d lost (great thing!)
2. The people you thought should be the most supportive start finding new ways to put you down 3. People come out of the wood work and start wanting a piece of it. People who should know better.
Bothering me are particular is points 2 and 3, though Violet insists they are essential to the recipe.
Point 1 tends to take care of itself, no souffle there, no perfect measurements. Those last 2 though there is no one to trust in those sectors and it is not even worth trying. If it is not being done their way or in a way that benefits them they will spit chips. You’ll find yourself thinking “how can I please them?” WRONG!!!! Ding Ding Ding Time Out!!! Don’t fall for this one.
The sad truth is that even those you think are most close to you will try to sway your way in a direction that best suits them. Believe me, it will not be of benefit to you. Here is the cream on top – if it is not of benefit to you and your growth and you are happy where you are then it is worth the pain of telling them to go bake themselves in an oven somewhere.
Speaking of which Violet left the buns in the oven too long, dinner will be interesting, I will have to go and sort this mess out, yet again another kitchen disaster.
Violet’s curled up in the cradle again today. There are days when she wants to die. Today is one of them. I am not sure why I keep hanging around for this train wreck, must be the feelings that draw me in and beat me into submission.
She spends most of those cradle days in bed with no intention to get out nor to stay in. She’s just wanting it all over and done and I’ve tried to tell her there ain’t no going back. I can’t wait until the sun sets on this day…
Menace has been silent since the trip & I don’t know where he is. He doesn’t respond to emails nor calls, my instinct is that he was not happy with my performance in the presentation but I cannot work out what it is I did wrong…
Violet hasn’t had a lot to say about it, she just smiles one of her many smiles. I am sure she knows what is going on but is teasing me with the answers. I just keep tell her she knows shit about it since she spends most of her time doing nothing but hanging out in the garden.
I am beginning to grow angry with the whole situation. Frustrated. Irritated. I was positive a month ago during the trip – I saw potential in myself and that was at the suggestion of Menace – he is at fault for making me feel this way then pulling it away without a word and that makes me angry and sad at the same time. I need answers. I need responses. I need to know.