Monday, February 3, 2014

Desire lines

Excerpt from Wiki

'A desire path (also known as a desire linesocial trailgoat track or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of foot or bicycle traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. The width of the path and its erosion are indicators of the amount of use the path receives. Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed ways take a circuitous route, or have gaps, or are lacking entirely.'

I have become acutely aware of my chronic desire lines in the past four years. Situations or circumstances I feel like cutting a shorter track through.
There is no short track through grief and I think if you try it will eventually catch you up. There is also the  sense that  doing so would be very disrespectful. This space is sacred for a reason.

I think (and I say  'think'  as I am going with my feelings of the last week) that the reason I can say that is that I am feeling stronger. I am having longer times of feeling ok. Before I went to Australia ( 9th Jan) I was still weeping and weeping. I felt exhausted with Grief and its scouring process. I accept that christmas and holidays and everybody coupling up and going away contributed to this but still every day echoed the same. A relentless missing ache. I prayed and wondered when I would feel better. I have spent time researching grief and reading about complicated grief. I decided this was the case and it made sense.
There are no clear guide lines.

The best thing to do is just be, sit with it, look at it in the eye and do the best you can.
I havnt been able to cover my words or guard my actions this year. Odd words associated with what I mean spill out and somewhat randomly at times. All I can do is truly be me in all that it is. I have noticed that it is uncomfortable for some people and actually at times I surprise myself, but I as yet don't have have the resources to be someone else when required.

Aussie. I was terrified to go and scared and sad alot of the time I was there. But I managed.
There was a lot that was good and there was so much more I found hard. 
First time in 28 years that I didn't have Gaz at my side directing traffic. I had to problem solve by myself, navigate roads and maps and relationship with my sister. Decide what to spend and how to spend it, all by myself. And fly.

We went to Jervis Bay to do an Art Journaling workshop with Orly Avineri. Seeing the good and enjoying the wine but not feeling it or relaxing. I was restless.
I am not beating myself up for this as I know its a process and eventually it will come.
I became aware of  how much rest our partners give us from ourselves. Gary and I loved holidays and being together away. It was where we connected and planned and dreamed. 
Imaginary houses and bridges were built between places. 
It was good and hard and tricky and scary. At the end of it all I realized how capable I was and that I could do stuff by myself. I like my own company. 

Every single thing and action you do from the moment they are gone is new. Before there was a way I did things thought acted and all in relation to Gary and my family. Now I second think, I over think and and I am aware all the time that this a first. The first time I cook a meal for myself. Make a coffee for myself. Dig spuds. Drive the car. Go out. 

The missing of Gary never goes away. It is right in the centre left of my body where my heart is.  
I can feel it.
It is an actual space.

What I am doing now and practicing every day is learning to live with the grief. Leaning into the pain and stitching my life around it.  I am forming heartwood inside the space that loss has created. Every time I do something brave another tree ring forms. I don't know how long this will will take but I do know that loving Gary and having been loved back fully helps. I feel immensely grateful.
What I practice daily.
I look at what I have got and whats in my life, not what I don't have. Training my mind to what is front of me and around me. At this stage in the process, it is really helping. I couldn't hold those thoughts before. When I tried this I could see what was good but not feel it. The feeling has caught up now mostly. It sits there along with the sad.

I am practicing feeling grateful for small things and big things. Cups of coffee, a roof over my head, People that care, work at Wakari, a cheap Rose I have found that is delicious, my Dog, people that look after my dog that my dog adores, Church, music, a playlist Gary made, the years we have had -  more would be better - much better. Garys voice in my head encouraging me saying Good job Kat and Go for it- you can do it and when I feel I talk too much, him telling me I should talk more. Cabbages growing. 

I have to confess all this sounds like I might have it together but alot of the time I just muddle through. I feel quite bewildered parts of the day and then remember that Gaz isn't coming home, its not an extended business trip. It is surreal.

I went out to dinner on Friday with people I didn't know a random invite that I accepted it was fun. It was restful being with people with no emotional associations. Easier
I start my Arts Therapy Masters next week and am looking forward it. This I am pleased about as I didn't know when the time came where my head would be at. Every day I pray for peace and Joy and it is sneaking in sitting with the other..

This is what Gary wrote on Andy's window in ChCh when we stayed.

 Kia Kaha Devlins Be strong move forward. Change is good. TAI

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was all over, it became a butterfly


  1. I loved reading this, Kat - you have such a voice of grace and hope and reason. Excited to hear about your Masters work, it sounds awesome! Sending you mega-Aroha ♡

    1. Helen so nice to hear your voice! You are kind. Thank you for that.x

  2. You have a brilliant way of expressing yourself . The words just seem right somehow . I feel proud to know that My daughter has such perception Love Mum

  3. Such a wonderful blog post to read,you leave me in awe at your perception of others and yourself. And then your ability to articulate these insights - compelling. xx

  4. Wow this is so beautiful Kat what a journey you are on through parts of life many of us are afraid to look at. Thank you for taking us with you into the forgetting and not knowing and emerging and everything else that jumbles up into your consciousness. Xxxx

  5. Thank you for kind words. Writing helps me to make sense of things and comments are a bonus


Hi I love to receive comments and will endevour to reply either on this page or your blog.Kat