Thursday, December 30, 2010

riot of colour (and a riot of noise)

the king parrots are in fine form at the moment...i suspect punch-drunk on the abundant flowering blossoms they gorge on all day. obviously not full enough to stop them from turning up at the verandah asking for more food though. yesterday they were at the back steps screaming for attention - what they got instead (and they shouldn't really be surprised by now) was a camera lens in their faces...didn't seem to perturb them at all with one just hopping up closer and closer.

i'm surprised by how much joy the birds have given me this year...yet another of those things that i really didn't pay much attention to until my life was forced to slow down so drastically. they have such personalities when you stop to watch - one of the big males in particular is plain nasty. he hogs all the food and attacks anyone who wants a piece of the action; last night i watched him chasing another male from tree to tree away from his female friend, eventually resorting to attacking his feet when he wouldn't give up and leave...ah,men!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

wise words

'without the bitterest cold that penetrates to the very bone, how can plum blossoms send forth their fragrance all over the universe?'

- zen master dogen (quoted in 'how to be sick' by toni bernhard)

Monday, December 27, 2010


anyone by any chance remember a long-ago post about the fingerpainting one of my godsons did for my christmas wrapping last year? when i wrote earlier about free spoonflower swatches i promised to show what i ended up doing with it (if you don't know about spoonflower, it's a world of creative possibility you might really want to can choose designs others have uploaded, or you can make something really personal by uploading and using tools to play with your own, which are then printed onto a selection of fabrics).

so, here you go, the visual transformation of the painting i was given...from this:

to this...

to this.

(apologies for the last photo, taken on a really overcast day on some really grotty pavers)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

love is all around you

with the year drawing to a close, presents sent off in all directions - and the mad rush before christmas finally over - it seems like a good time to catch up on recording some recent projects...

this is quilt/floor mat no 2 - a 'welcome to the world' present for the new little sister of my australian godson...made with love of a couple of different kinds, including amy butler's love collection of fabric (seem to be becoming a bit of a devotee...and especially drawn to her sunspots line from that collection).

(wasn't going to forget the closeup of some of the 4 metres plus of hand slipstitching this time!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

a christmas blessing

whatever this day means to you...however it has played out for you...whatever it has given you (and perhaps taken from you)...i wish you peace - always.

(ornament from kylie johnson of paperboatpress)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

wise words

'a true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.'

-arnold glasow

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

when you don't feel like celebrating...

there are particular days that are harder to bear than others - special occasions and anniversaries of any kind can bring up a range of emotions with this illness...they seem to be like markers somehow - signs on the road telling you how little distance you have come in a year. with those days can come grief for what you did not have, what is lost to time...the clock ticking and feeling that your life is going nowhere. these are the days where it is so easy to drown in a pit of despair and longing. and this is how i was feeling today, on my birthday. lost to a sea of churning and overwhelming emotions that were threatening to pull me under...

and then i found myself somewhere, somehow, in a place of peace. even through the unbearable physical pain, and isolation and loneliness i feel connected and supported by my friends and family. by people who i know are caring and thinking of me and wishing, just like i am, that this day (and so many others) could be different. maybe it happened in the moment, born of pure exhaustion, when i finally let go of trying to shape things to my desires for how this day would be - or what i felt i 'should' be doing - and accepted it as it is?

and from that place my gratitude and blessings seemed to multiply. suddenly i became aware of how grateful i was to have a quiet house to rest in, to have the sound of rain on the roof at times or an overcast sky to soothe my eyes. to be able to take these hours in the way that my body needs to right now. to have friends and family who understand that while i really want to take their calls (or to see them) i am quite likely not going to be able to - and give me the power to make the right decisions for my body about those things. feeling so blessed to have people in my life showing me in different ways that they are sensitive to how i am feeling about this day.

i was able to focus on the progress i have made in this year; the new expressions of creativity, new connections and friends, new possibilities for treatment. the ways i can, and do, continue to grow and learn in spite of all that is happening physically. there are so many different things that have happened in this year that i treasure and hold so close to my heart. it's a journey...not an easy one, and certainly one noone would chose of their own volition, but one that has its own rewards. and they are plentiful and priceless.

and then a bonus - the best kind of news i could possibly hope for: i discover an article explaining that there are really promising stage 1 trials going on with an antiviral drug for XMRV. that this drug seems far less toxic than many others and much more potent against the retrovirus that may well be responsible for all this suffering. couldn't have asked for a better birthday present than another good dose of hope! that, and the people in my life who love me, they get me through these days and show me the silver lining peeking through.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

wise words

'when your sense of self is no longer tied to thought, is no longer conceptual, there is a depth of feeling, of sensing, of compassion, of loving, that was not there when you were trapped in mental concepts. you are that depth."

- eckhart tolle

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

wise words

in loneliness, in sickness, in confusion - the mere knowledge of friendship makes it possible to endure, even if the friend is powerless to help.

it is enough that they exist.

friendship is not diminished by distance or time, by imprisonment or war, by suffering or silence.

it is in these things that it roots most deeply.

it is from these things that it flowers.

- pam brown