Sunday, December 7, 2014

I moved countries again. This time, I landed in Melbourne.

I still get a flicker of relief--pride?--when I see how little I have, how I can just get up and go. But then I start to panic about how easy it might be to just disappear.

Melbourne is this color, all of the time:

At the end of the day, the lorikeets play tag in the trees, and then when it becomes dark the bats start to pour out across the sky.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anna Kamieńska

Don’t worry there’ll still be a lot of suffering
For now you have the right to cling to the sleeve
of someone’s blunt friendship
To be happy is a duty which you neglect
A careless user of time
you send days like geese to the meadow
Don’t worry you’ll die many times
until you learn at the very end to love life
~Anna Kamienska

— Don’t Worry by Anna Kamieńska, in Astonishments (translated by G. Drabik and D. Curzon)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mazen Maarouf, again.

One day, soon, there will be a volume translated in English of Mazen Maarouf's writing. But meanwhile I will stay happy with the small snippets that emerge in various publications, from time-to-time. Like this one, DNA, recently featured in Guernica. A good one.

(I used to think one day I might be able to read it in arabic or french: but, reality)

Monday, August 18, 2014

And she made it out of the kale forest just in time for tea

One of the things I have found about being unemployed is a sense of guilt whenever I'm doing something that is mildly enjoyable. So I can't describe the relief I felt when I woke up today and didn't immediately cringe at my own company. 

I lingered over morning coffee, and election politics made me satisfactorily irate. It was a long run day, and I found little niches of industrial Dunedin while exploring the wharf (which I never usually reach). And then an afternoon spent pulling weeds from the silverbeet and kale, dodging cobwebs and listening to the silvereyes chatter from the kowhai.

I just felt like I breathed today in, in the most gentle and kind of ways.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Home is.

The air is thinner and crisper here, and you notice the land because it reaches up to the sky. Everything tastes real, and the smell of seaweed at low tide is pleasantly offensive. The last couple of weeks I've found myself thinking maybe this is ok. But I still can't get used to the fact that this place I grew up feels like a novelty.

I'm probably the only person who watches Fargo and gets homesick in the opening scene, as the main character drives through grey snow. I've started watching British sitcoms so I don't feel nostalgic. I miss (falsely) feeling like I am in the timezone where everything happens. I miss eating out, how everyone says hello, the yellow school buses, Nordstrom Rack, indecently large family cars, and the humidity that robs your sleep. I wish people everywhere drove on the right. I miss how easy it is to just exist there, to collect possessions and belongings, even if they seduce you into thinking you're moving forward and doing the right thing when really you're just existing. 

In honor of the land of 24-hour drive thru pharmacies, infinite condiments, concrete roads, and $5 pitchers (Here the difference between logic and emotion is obvious). But also to recognizing that I'll never get back to the exact place I miss and realizing (with the benefit of distance) that not everything is as perfect as you let (or make) yourself think.

(Note: I know logically everything is ok, but there is a difference between knowing and feelingAlso I know this blog is becoming a bit of a drag but I thought about it for a bit and did not really mind).

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"How they Left"

"Look at them leaving in droves, the children of the land, just look at them leaving in droves. Those with nothing are crossing borders. Those with strength are crossing borders. Those with ambitions are crossing borders. Those with hopes are crossing borders. Those with loss are crossing borders. Those in pain are crossing borders. Moving, running, emigrating, going, deserting, walking, quitting, flying, fleeing--to all over, to countries near and far, to countries unheard of, to countries whose names they cannot pronounce. They are leaving in droves."
If you are looking for a book, read We Need New Names, a novel by NoViolet Bulawayo. Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, her writing is the richest I have had the pleasure of reading in some time. I have needed it this week, to close my mind to what feels like a world gone mad and let someone else spin another world for me. 

The Guardian shared a series of photos shot by Rebecca Litchfield that made me fall even further for that fatalistic romanticized notion of the USSR. (That I knowingly, foolishly, subscribe to while hardly remembering the fall of the Wall). 

I listened to a BBC podcast, where separatist rebels seized a Cold War era army tank from an exhibition at a War Museum. They drove it away on the bed of a truck, and plan to re-commission it for combat. That is a world gone mad. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Listen, Read, Run

I have Jenny Lewis on a lot (a lot). The Voyager. On the way back to New Zealand, when my eyes were too tired to watch any more movies, I played First Aid Kit's album on repeat. This one, especially:

I just started Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex and I'm so wrapped up in it already. 

My run today, looking towards St Kilda. I'm the slow person with the red face. Running can get you through anything. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Missing someone is when you stream the World Cup just to listen to the commentators' voices, because it reminds you of another place. It reminds me of mornings on the sofa, salty breakfasts and the endless possibilities of a Sunday spent with you.

After emphatically nodding while a guy at a party opined to me that folk was dead, I have deliberately been seeking out all the glorious folksy country nostalgia I can. Folk isn't dead, fool. You don't have to like it, but you can't kill it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dunedin, Midwinter

Taken when I stopped for a rest halfway through my run. Today I tried a lot harder not to be miserable and it worked, in a fashion. Hiccups included another job rejection and saying goodbye on Skype. Highlights were this run.