Friday, February 14, 2014


Back from Auckland and tumbling into my week

Stumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen pour myself a cup of ambition yawning stretching trying to stay alive
Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping out on the street the music is jumping for folks like me on the job working 9-5

If I could pink up these words and add some rhinestones it would be near perfect.

You may have guessed that I made it to a Dolly Parton concert when I was there, cant believe I almost didn’t. I wasn’t sure how awkward it would be to get there, but it turned out fine. Man do I love Dolly.
This Gal knows how to maximise her assets and is not at all shy of sharing this. She is nearing 70 I am guessing and she wore diamanté stilettoes for roughly three hours singing and dancing. She was funny and clever and engaged beautifully with the Audience. Storytelling, evangelising and flirting. Her energy was awesome and so great to see someone so professional doing her thing.
Her persona and how she does it is who she is.
As a stage act she is one of the best.

I’m not doing 9-5 this year, but feel I need to borrow some of the structure, as I muddle around in the point four to six bracket with study and volunteer in between.
Came back to Dunedin trying to sort my computer out. Arrived on Tuesday and ended up with both computers out of action for two whole days. No access to course info or email either. I got to work on Thursday night very stressed and emotional. Gary always did anything to do with the computer and trying to deal with it all and him not there I felt my brain and heart popping. Had the urge to run away. Consequently I have given up trying for the time being. At least until I get some of my work written and handed in.
The work looks great and the layout of study is interesting. Great group –interesting, intelligent thinkers and feelers. Articulate.
I am calmer today, really didn’t enjoy the stress of yesterday just made me want to bawl all the time. Yuck!
It rained yesterday and overnight and my garden is singing, and now also thankfully sunny. We need a few boosts like this to speed up autumnal crops.

Had my second session with some young mums and babes down at Plunket. ( I am a volunteer) We have started making sock monkeys. They are such gorgeous young women I am learning a lot being around them. Think it went well.

Back to Dolly.
Someone texted when I was away and said ‘well Kat you would have been on your own at that one anyway as I cant imagine Tai there’
Actually a little known fact about Gazza is that he also was a dolly fan. Not necessarily of her music but of her.
He liked that I liked her. He appreciated her enthusiasm for life and how she did it. He did also download a few tunes for my playlist he made me and would play them in amongst others.

The history of Dolly and me

28 years ago I had my knee operated on and spent two (maybe three-cant quite remember…) weeks on bed rest in the hospital. Gary loved that I was stuck in hospital and couldn’t go anywhere. Before hospital I was keen on him but was still sorting out how I felt about someone else. So there I was in one place.
He visited everyday, sometimes with his text books and studied. Consequently our relationship took a different turn. About the third day I think after the op, Gary had just left and I could see him walking along the street to the Captain Cook out my window. I was feeling pretty miserable and was in pain. I asked the nurse for some paracetamol, she said I wasn’t due for any but that I could have Morphine. I wasn’t keen on that as it made me sick and so I stuck it out.
I turned on the wee tele that mum had rented for me, and Dolly and Kenny came on. Two hours passed with them singing and talking, and at that point I fell in love with Dolly. She cheered me up, took me out of the space I was in and I felt she talked just to me.
 Gary joined Google circles and added Dolly as a friend so he could update me when she emailed him. His face the first time he got an email and told me was so funny. We laughed and laughed. She represented joy.

He may not have been there as a music fan (more ACDC) but definitely as a Dolly fan.

Something about Auckland I found tough was being downtown in the business district and seeing suits everywhere. I was tired and feeling a bit overwhelmed with all I had participated in in the weekend. Burnt the candle a bit at both ends and so my feelings and emotions which I can regulate a bit easier now became harder to contain. I found myself looking at every man in a suit searching for Gary. I wanted to go up to people who looked like they might be in IT and ask if they had ever met him or heard of him. Had they seen him?
There is always two parts to self. The rational that knows and deals and the other which is predominant that says 'this doesn't make sense, its all a dream, snap out of it and things will revert and go back to what you have always known.
When I was younger-much, someone very dear to me died, my boyfriend at the time. There are things in this process now that I recognize from before. The searching for the missing person being one of them.
When I committed to Gary I made him promise to never leave me. He thought this was silly as he could not see that he ever would but I knew that it happened. I also knew asking for the promise was impossible. Still I asked. It was my biggest fear. And here I am.

My chickens are watching me through the glass in my study. It is old and runny and they wobble slightly as I look. Sun is filtering through the trees and patterning my desk.
Time for a sneaky wine I think. x


When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.
Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.
There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.
John O’Donohue 

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