I stress, on a day all about the paterfamilias, I’m not trying to hold onto some unreal hypothetical father. A dad who didn’t exist in reality. Some kind of miracle worker who could fix Foxtel in a single bound; Saint Kennebec of the Holy Tasmanian Potato who suddenly, after death, becomes a fast-tracked candidate for canonisation, and consists of a fondly and vastly inaccurately remembered combination of Don Bradman, Glenn Miller, Douglas Bader, Terry Pratchett, Fantastic Mr Fox and the Duke of Wellington.
The amazing thing to me is not that people write, and write so beautifully. No. That is just the best of the human spirit at work. What is truly astonishing is that it's done within the limitations of our written alphabets. How extraordinary it is to be able to express so many feelings, thoughts, emotions, opinions, fears, hopes, joys, sadnesses, expectations, desires, hates - all bound by the insignificant characters we call our tools.
Now, as a matter of circumstance and space, my books are mostly contained – or is that constrained? – within the digital layers of a device. But what I find more and more, as I learn how much I don’t yet know as a writer, is how much that library of childhood lives on within my memories. It is a mental repository of what I cannot leave behind me; things I desperately hold onto, which shoot up out of the old manual card carousel when least expected, at random moments of thought and time.
I have massive overdue fines to pay on the tomes of lost loves I cannot let go of. They have backed up over the years; each with their own set of particular conditions and dates identifying them, a Dewey Decimal system of loss. E.1996.DS: Death in the Garden.
And those scratched, half-waxed wooden flaws? They retain a beauty hidden deep inside the grain, which is far more precious than any cold perfect marble, slumbering for a thousand eternities, locked in an infinite sleep of incomprehension and carelessness. Once, they lived, and understood pain, and mud, sweat, blood, tears, and noise – and they accept us, boots and all.
It’s the equivalent of grabbing a shopping cart and being let loose in a Target of the Soul while we’re emotionally starving. Aisle One: the damaging ‘friendships’ we drift out of once our usefulness to the emotional vampire has ended. Aisle Two: baaaaad dates, that we end up regaling the few non-drifty friends with, over far too many martinis on a Tuesday night. Aisle Three: non-dates, who simply don’t show up, and end up filed in one of the many cardboard boxes of cautionary tales we keep carefully hidden in our psyches, under a sticker with ‘meh’ written on it. Sadly, not returnable. Usually marked down.
I need to know some things, Satan Claws. I do not understand what Christmouse Carols are. The one first, why do you sing Christmouse songs about ladies named Carol, when you could sing about cats. The one second, you sing SCARY songs at Christmouse! Why would you go away with a stranger, when they do not even have a crib (which is very comfy) for a bed??? That is just dumb. Also. This is a tip, because I like you, and your reindears are funny – do not give away to anyone presents. NO PRESENTS TO ANYONE EXCEPT OSKIES, AND MAYBE KATO. You do not need to give kings things like gold and my purr, that is just wrong! It is not frank good sense, it is frank bad sense. They have enough stuffs.
Being human, being a member of Team Homo Sapiens; well, it’s just too much like hard work. In fact, it isn’t just like hard work – it is work. To run as primates of the family Hominidae, the aforementioned homo sapiens (although the sapiens is a misnomer, if you ask me) – is the equivalent of getting up, showering, throwing down an Egg McMuffin, and clocking into the most inane, drivel-driven workplace in the history of drivel-driven workplaces –
– and never clocking out.
It’s hard to imagine being at home in 1916, one hundred years ago, waiting for news of fathers, sons, husbands, fiancés, brothers, away at ‘the War’. If I were here, where I am now, in Perth, chances are my husband would have been serving in the 25th Light Horse Regiment somewhere in Palestine or the Sinai, a proud Sandgroper representing state, country and Crown. And me – well, in theory, I would have been at home, keeping the campfires burning, writing long letters to the Front, and dreaming of the day he came home to me, safe and sound.
...admitting intellect is part and parcel of finding someone attractive seems to be akin to saying you love someone because they secretly wish Stalin or Kruschev was still running the USSR, and had Red Dawn-ed the world into submission.
If you find someone attractive for their butt or their boobs, why is it so wrong to find them attractive for their grey matter?
Perhaps you, my dear readers, simply by my saying the words 'marketing guru', are wiser than I, and would have known to run for the hills, screaming. Yes. Well. I didn't, and I suffered the consequences. Venetia suffered also, listening to the hideousness of my hysterical laughter, interspersed with "oh dear GOD" and brief spurts of dry retching.
It was a little like my first meeting with that extremely difficult gentleman of Ephesus, the ‘dark’ philosopher himself, Heraclitus. Now, short of travelling back in time to c.500BCE, this was obviously a meeting of the minds, rather than a chat over a coffee and a scone or two. (I’m fairly certain sitting down for a quick macchiato wouldn’t have been high on Heraclitus’ to-do list at any stage in the proceedings anyway, unless he was attempting to be clever or prove a point, but that’s just my opinion.)
Depression likes solitude, and peace, and quiet. This is the second reason it beckons to you, like a siren song. Because it's easy. It's so easy. All you see, hear, feel is a lack of glaring light, noise, touch; a big, blank hole, with a pouring darkness in it, sucking you in. Far less trouble than making conversation, than ensuring others are feeling okay, than going out, than cooking, than showering, than turning lights on in a room.