"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hello again

A kindly postgrad student with a three wheeler trolley helped us take the boxes up to my new office and piled them up. A few hours later, once I'd met a few people, got lost on the way to the bathroom, and started doing some work, I could feel the boxes behind me waiting, so I took a key to the packing tape.

I think of pith-helmeted archaeologists cracking open Egyptian sarcophagi. When these boxes were sealed, it was a very different world. There's a small shock when I lift back the cardboard flaps. I inhale, as if breathing in the air I exhaled four and a half months ago could take me back. I remember packing this, but it was a different me - with a round living belly between me and the cardboard.

These are the things from my half of the laundry back at our old house in Sydney - my little make-shift office which always smelt of laundry powder and had its own toilet. I was in a hurry packing - I'd thrown in personal things with work files and books - a small stuffed lion that El Prima gave me years ago, pictures by Snazzy, hotwater bottles that really belonged to the laundry side of the room. Each object I lift out needs an explanation. Oh Lion. Something awful happened. It isn't what we expected. Not at all.

* * *

El Prima's been unpacking at home while I've been at work. Suddenly there are new spaces in our bedroom, more room to move. In the living room is something that wasn't there before. It is a small whiteboard - an IT freebie. I remember when El Prima brought it home - to that other living room in Sydney, in that other life.

It was July. I was newly pregnant and a friend of ours asked us to contribute a photo for an anti-homophobia project she was running. I tried out different messages until I came up with this one: El Prima did the text, and I added a picture.

I had my photo taken for my staff card today, and my face didn't look like that. No glow. And too much knowledge and weariness.

That same whiteboard in in my hands again, but it's got a different message on it now. I wrote this message about a month after the other one. One of El Prima's daughters was dealing with something unspeakably hard. I wished I knew a way to make things better. I came across this quote and wrote it on the whiteboard for her.

Everyone is broken by life but some of us are stronger in the broken places. (Ernest Hemmingway)

I read once that the Hagia Sophia dome in Instanbul is completely broken into hundreds of pieces, but is held together by its mosaic tiles, like a cracked eggshell. Apparently the brokenness is the only reason that it has survived various earthquakes over 1500 years.

Please let me be like that - stronger for my brokenness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is okay

Thank you so much for your love and concern.

Sorry to be so morose! Getting out of town and seeing a beloved old friend get married helped.

I really don't want to go onto antidepressants to get through this. I don't think there is really any dodging this sadness, I just hope that if I can look it in the eye and stare it down, it might gradually retreat to a safer distance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


This is my refrain: Again?

Just when I've worked up the energy to get up / cook dinner / go to physio / answer emails / pay bills, I wake up the next morning and it all has to be done again.

This qualifies as possibly the most whingey / obvious observation ever made, and I know I should be grateful that I have another day, and another before me, but right now it is all too hard. Now, even the art work I make, the words I write seem pointless and withering in my hands.

I know there is a tiny silver thread that leads me out of this dark place, but I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The time has come

it seems, for nonsensical poetry (at our house at least).

I found an old book of children's poetry at my dad's house, and these were the poems which made the most sense to me, each in a different way.


Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes,
To keep one from going nude.

Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash 'tis gone,
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.

Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but in bed,
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.

Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we've got,
Thus thro' life we are cursed.

Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

I think that is quite hopeful, in a bleak way. Kind of sums up the pragmatic compromise of living with this sadness, but also gently teasing yourself for your bleakness and self-pity.

The second is more beautiful, a reminder that this world still holds things which sparkle.


Children, if you dare to think
Of the greatness, rareness, muchness
Fewness of this precious only
Endless world in which you say
You live, you think of things like this:
Blocks of slate enclosing dappled
Red and green, enclosing tawny
Yellow nets, enclosing white
And black acres of dominoes,
Where a neat brown paper parcel
Tempts you to untie the string.
In the parcel a small island,
On the island a large tree,
On the tree a husky fruit.
Strip the husk and cut the rind off;
In the centre you will see
Blocks of slate enclosed by dappled
Red and green, enclosed by tawny
Yellow nets, enclosed by white
And black acres of dominoes,
Where the same brown paper parcel -
Children, leave the string untied!
For who dares undo the parcel
Finds himself at once inside it,
On the island, in the fruit,
Blocks of slate about his head,
Finds himself enclosed by dappled
Green and red, enclosed by yellow
Tawny nets enclosed by black
And white acres of dominoes,
But the same brown paper parcel
Still untied upon his knee,
And, if he then should dare to think
Of the fewness, muchness, rareness,
Greatness of this endless only
Precious world in which he says
He lives - he then unties the string.

This is the aim, I guess. To be able let curiosity win out enough to untie the string, knowing that you will immediately find yourself within the uncontrolled greatness, rareness, muchness that spills out.

Everything seems quite nonsensical right now, so that nonsensical verse makes perfect sense.

[we saw the new alice film. Some parts were pretty, but otherwise, an awful rendering. Why Tim Burton felt it had to be jammed into a 'quest' format, I have no idea.]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On being a terrible blogger & new things

When I returned to blogging to start this blog (a long long time ago on the other side of the abyss), I promised myself that it would be guilt-free blogging. With my previous blog, that was what had killed it - the guilt and shame of not having posted for x days, which made it all too hard to actually post again. So this time, I promised it would be just about writing when I needed / wanted to, and not out of any sense of guilt or shame.

I'm not kidding myself that I have lots of readers out there waiting for me to post something - if anyone is reading this, then you are exceedingly patient and persistent - thank you xx But guilt-free blogging doesn't mean I don't feel sorry for the few of you reading - so my apologies for being a terrible blogger.

Walking the dogs, we were wind-blown and on our grumpy way home. And there in front of us on Murray Road was a café that wasn’t there before – all new pot plants and fresh paint smell. But also a toasty cheesy smell – maybe we were hungry after all. We are greeted warmly into the place by – we’re guessing – one of its new owners. He’s excited to see us, he’s read us already – two women, two dogs, and concludes rightly that we’re “family”. Just like we’ve read him, his earring, his manner of speaking and his glances towards the man in the kitchen. He fusses over us, explains that there is only a limited menu at the moment as their in the process of converting the stove. “When did you open?” I ask.
“Saturday last”, he shines with all the enthusiasm of someone starting their own dream project. He’s not tired yet.

When we go, his partner comes out of the kitchen, they introduce themselves. I explain that we’re new to the area, and so happy to find a good little café so close by. “Come by whenever you want – sit and read, or write”, he says.

I’m excited, but also sad for what I’ll eventually have to tell them, if we become friends. We will watch their faces fall, shock unrolling from them – both at the awfulness of it and also that we are here, ordering coffee, as though life goes on as normal after a child dies.