“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Monday, December 31, 2012

At My Writing Table

Late afternoon. The hot day cools. I come outside to my back yard writing table, and the cats follow me out and settle themselves in their favourite spots. Levi goes and eats grass and throws up, with much body contortion. I'm glad this happens outside on the concrete, which I can hose down later. He positions himself on the doormat to have another go, but I whisk it out from under him and he chooses the dirt of the yard instead, where it soaks in and disappears. All organic, I tell myself, and biodegradable. Never mind the hose; I fetch a jug from inside and wash the mess on the concrete into the dirt as well. Freya decides to depart, wandering off around the side of the house. I expect she'll end up on the front doorstep, from where she likes to survey the street. (Later I find that she has gone through the cat-door instead, back inside.) I settle to my journalling finally, my water bottle beside me on the table, with my cordless landline phone as well as my mobile. I applied Rid before I came out, to keep me safe from mozzies and midges and other little bitey things. There should be no need to go back inside until I finish my writing. Levi is curled up peacefully now in a patch of late afternoon sunlight.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nap Time

The 'children' sleep, foetally curled, too deep for purring now; but their little ears are still pointed forwards, part of the cat-brain forever alert.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


When I come back after a few days away, she comes to bed with me just as she always used to do, and we have big cuddles. But on subsequent nights she's out through the cat-door again: her new habit. 

I try to be glad she needed so little reassurance.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I hear myself as I talk to the cats. I hear my dead husband's voice — his tone, his inflection, his phraseology. So perhaps for them he is not quite gone.

I hadn't realised what an echo I had become.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the Guest Bedroom

Hebe has put me in a bower of green and purple, the colours of feminism — in gentle tonings, leavened with white and accented with wood. There are plain, thin frames of dark wood around the windows and the built-in wardrobe. The bedside tables and the small semi-circular shelf in the corner are of blonder wood. The ceiling, the ceiling fan, and the wardrobe doors are white. So is the background material of doona cover and curtain. But the predominant hues are the soft green walls; the green leafy pot plants, their leaves ranging from dark to almost transparent; the pretty purple flowers on curtain and doona; the blown-up colour photo on the wall, of a spreading bush of mauve bougainevillea. The whole effect is of light and softness. I feel sheltered and expanded at once. I begin to imagine I can smell lavender.

This bed I have never shared with Andrew. Nor this bedroom. It is a place where I can just be me without the memories, just for a few days. I would not want it to be like that all the time — I would not wish to be cut off from the memories — but it's good to have a short space in which they do not HAVE to be there. In my bed at home they are unavoidably ever-present. It's good to get away these few days. I do remember things while I'm here, too, of course, but only as they arise; they are not inevitable. Here I am predominantly myself, not first and foremost Andrew's widow. I am the self I have always been, underneath all the vagaries and vicissitudes of life. I like the experience. It's like a renewal. And I like this me.