Thursday, June 21, 2012

5 senses

Things I happened to…

We watched a movie last night. We hardly ever watch movies and we never watch tv. When I say never, I really mean never! The tvs all went to digital this month in Australia. We'd been thinking we needed to get a set-top box to convert our old analog images (little people walking along that high wire, all the way to our house! Where they would put up their little sets and move about inside our box, just for us. We always felt so special), into digital (all those people shrinking, turning into ones and zeros, all saying, 'But wait…wait…'), but we never did.

We never bought the box, much less a new television. Ours is over 10 years old. It's a fossil. Where's it supposed to go now? Is there a play park for defunct things, things like walkmans and the egg beaters you whirr by hand? I imagine our tv shyly entering… 'Hello?' it calls. The other tvs wave shyly back. There's a special corner for them, I imagine. Somewhere they plug themselves in…and in the crackle of nothing, there are the ghosts of the people who used to live there, moving about silently inside. 

We watched a dvd on our new computer. Why? It seemed easier, in the moment, to do it that way. And this is how you make these huge changes in your life. One moment you're in your old life, and then, just like a train being rerouted, a click shifts the tracks, and you head into the new. At some point, maybe years later, you go, "Remember when? When we used to watch tvs, when we listened to CDs, when we warmed up food on the stove, when we washed dishes by hand, when all we had were rocks to make fire and the wolves howled outside?"

It was a movie called Moon, a sci-fi film with Sam Rockwell. I'm not a sci-fi sort of person. I'm not a scary/spooky movie person either. I don't like to be shocked or overly nervous. But I'd heard this movie was great, and I'm a Sam Rockwell fan. It was worth it. It was unnerving in this delicious way, listening to the spooky music, knowing (sort of) and not knowing what's going to happen. There's a man, Sam, who is stuck alone on the dark side of the moon (or IS he? Oooh.). There's the grey of the moonscape and the trundling of the moon rover and the visions Sam starts to have… and then it gets kind of surreal. And kind of sad and kind of beautiful too. I totally went with it—I got hooked. I'm very glad I did.

We stayed up too late watching, of course.

One day, maybe we'll look back and say, "Remember? When we stayed up too late, watching Moon? And we didn't care because then we went to bed and whispered to each other as the children slept, as the night crawled into morning? And the last thing we said before sleep was, 'I love you.' Remember?"

I just found a new band. Oh, they are lovely. They make you bounce. They lift you and make you smile. It's easy to love them. Because lift, bounce, smile and love are the things you always hope to have in your day.

Someone commented on this video: "This is what happiness feels like." Don't you agree, now that you've heard and bounced and smiled?

This is just some of the vegan yumminess we've been loving recently!

Porridge with pear, apple and banana.

Home-made muesli with flaxseeds, chia seeds, pepitas, slivered almonds, psyllium husk, and oats, served with banana on rice flakes. (served with four milks—we're crazy that way. Almond, rice, soy and oat—all very yummy and all easily available)

Almond banana fritters served with real maple syrup!

Brown rice with lentil bean mix, sliced avocado on the top. 

Sweet potato and cannellini bean soup.

Quesadillas and Nachos and Tacos—all topped with crazy amounts of guacamole!

Pad Thai—my favourite. Unbelievably scrumptious, noodles and veg and tofu with a magic sauce, made by my beautiful husband. 

And a recipe for you (because I know you'll love it)

Vegan Brownies from the very cool, and very funny Vegan Zombie website:

These are insanely, divinely, yummy. They work with gluten free flour too! We dazzled everyone at my son's party with them, and then a family got the recipe and made a batch for their school fete. How cool is that? It made me very happy, to think of all the vegany love spreading outward.

Winter is truly upon us. It's cold here, lots of wind blowing, lots of rain outside. Heaters on inside, sitting in ugg boots and jackets inside, many jackets (for me) outside. 

But because we love the sea, and because it wasn't raining one day, we went to the beach to feel the wind. 

It was Glorious. 

My children's skin, as I'm cuddling them. When I'm kissing them goodnight and their skin gives off that sweet, sleepy scent. I breathe in and everything is all right with the world.

and See, again.

My children's stories from the Just Image competition!

I love them, and I know I'm biased, but I think you'll love them too.

Frederic Bates, Late lights, 
1963, watercolour, brush and blue ink on paper, 32.4 x 29.1cm

Down Down Down
by my boy

Down down down—it seemed strange that he should fall that fast through water.
Great unfamiliar shapes shot past as he tumbled, head-over-heels, towards the bottom of the sea. The underwater inhabitants watched with curiosity as the alien trespasser fell through their midst.
A stream of bubbles blew out like a cape behind him as he fell. It was like some great monster was hiding in the depths, and with each mighty breath the sailor was sucked further downwards. Like a missile, he sped through the twilight zone into midnight. In the blink of an eye, all sunlight was shut out. Eerie glowing colours swam in and out of his vision.
At that moment, his need for air hit him. It started like a bed of hot coals sitting in his lungs, and grew into a raging inferno. He tried to swim up, up towards the surface, but he knew it was futile.
And then, the light flickered back on again, first as a soft blue-ish glow, then becoming a harsher, colder shade. And with the light came a new sensation, like he was below the monster now, and it was weeping for something lost. Its great silvery tears flowed over his body.
Finally, the need for oxygen became too much. The sailor blacked out. 
Slowly, the young man’s eyes swam back into focus. He was lying on a hard, cracked grey surface as great rivers of rain poured down on him from a turbulent sky. Fog swirled and twisted around towering structures, concealing shadowy forms amid its misty folds.
Suddenly, something swooshed past his fallen body, sending a great wave of dirty water crashing down on him. He cleared his eyes just in time to see a sleek black monster shooting through the darkness. Its great red eyes glared back at him before it was swallowed by the night. The sailor shuddered. Then he heard a voice.
“Oh my god! John, come over here!”
The voice was high and female, and had a foreign tinge.
“What is it? Oh my god!”
This new voice was deeper, but had the same foreign sound.
Someone bent over him.
“What’s your name? Where do you live? What happened?”
The sailor groaned.
“Prithee, good sir, I beseech you; where am I?”
He shook, hacked up a great gob of seaweed, and collapsed again into darkness. 


The Dance Of The Brolgas
by my girl

The sky glowed red above the mountain tops. Underneath the setting sun the pool lay, soft and silent in the twilight.  It was still, reflecting the sky and the bunches of stars that poked their heads out into the world, dimly shining as they waited for the last streaks of sunlight to fade.
Then they came.
Dancing and calling came the brolgas. Waving their wings high, they sang. They shook their beaks and lifted their feet, scattering the water that leapt like tiny fish. The brolgas seemed to sing the moon into existence. Their song was powerful in a simple, beautiful way. The stars glimmered, smiling down at the dancing birds.
The brolgas, five of them, beat their wings and took great leaps in a circle, as the shining sphere of the moon rose into the sky, first low, over the mountains, then higher and higher.
One of the birds stretched its long neck, uncurling it to touch the moon, just gently, with its beak. It lifted its wings and brought them down again, letting out a burst of song.
And the other brolgas raised their heads and watched as the bird rose and circled above them.
Then they too beat their wings, once, twice, three times, and followed the brolga into the sky. The birds flew, giving swoops of song that were filled with the delicate power of the stars and the moon they had sung into life.

and that's it…

(for now!)

here's to finding the joy in every moment you can,

with love from me to you.


  1. Well, clearly your kids inherited your gift for words. And clearly, they have worked hard to hone their abilities. :) Such a joy to read their work. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Steve and I watched Moon about a year or so ago and really loved it, too! It's one of those movies that still have you thinking about it weeks later.

    We're not vegan or vegetarian, but I have been moving towards having more and more of those types of foods for our dinners in the past few months. I'll have to check out those brownies.

    Funny to see your pictures of the chilly weather since it's been in the mid 90's near Chicago this past week!

    What gorgeous writing your kids have produced! When did they seem to love writing? My twins are only six and are not interested in writing that much at all, but they love dictating their stories to me as I type them out. One time Jared dictated a five paged typed story in one sitting. I love, love, love to write, so I secretly hope that at least one of my kids will too.

  3. I love all the "senses". Every last one of them. But honestly my favorite is "Smell". I know exactly what you mean. Now I want to see Moon! Just added it to Netflix!

    Loved Jinja Mermaids! I am adding them to my Pandora! I'm with Chris, can't believe it is so cold there and we are BURNING UP here!

    Oh Helena, love the kids' stories. Your boys is full of tension and imagery and I want to know 'the rest of the story'.

    Your girls is just beautiful. I so want to see the Brolgas dancing in the moonlight!

  4. The three of you are amazing writers. Really. I am astounded.

    And I want to hear the rest of your son's story. What happens next???


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.