Missing Mother

Breaking News:  Reports of a possible missing person. 

A stay-at-home mother from Sydney’s Insular Peninsula appears to have disappeared. The missing mother is known as a woman who quietly and boringly got on with her life as a housewife and children’s Uber driver.  She was not known as social, being as she was mostly stuck in the kitchen and kitchen’s do not talk.  Nor was she known as adventurous – going to Coles was a big day out – and those close to her say that she likely may, or may not have, left of her own accord.

The missing mother was released from her cage – err, household, last Thursday.   She was sighted at Sydney Airport with a woman said to be an old friend from school.  The old friend was allegedly feeding the poor unsuspecting missing mother champagne at 8.30am.  It is not known if this friend is an accomplice, as she is also usually a mother at home, or if she is a suspect.

The missing mother and her friend were then seen at Auckland Airport, with yet another friend, who is a known policewoman, leaving the airport with a bottle of Tequila.  Kiwi’s, cops and tequila – it is not looking good.

It is believed the missing mother was planning to attend a wedding.  The word “Chenery” was overheard by witnesses on numerous occasions – detectives suspect this might be secret code for ‘Brewery’, which was the possible wedding venue, or it could be the bride’s name.  Despite the alleged wedding being full of cops and lawyers, detectives are not holding out much hope that law enforcement would prevail. They know their own kind too well.

Local fisherman, next to the wedding location, believe they spotted the missing mother, although personality descriptions do not match accurately.

mohawk-sideways-copy
Facial composite of the missing mother

  The missing mother’s family in Sydney said it would be very unlikely to be the same woman if she was seen dancing all night long and up on the stage pretending to be Salt n’ Peppa to the popular 80s song “Push It”.  The family also refute claims that the mother would put a fluorescent pink mohawk on sideways for something called a “photobooth”, accidentally or not. 

Nor would she ever be seen singing into love hearts on sticks, somewhat like a microphone, which the bride had painstakingly decorated her wedding venue with. Her husband said it was always, always, a wooden spoon or kitchen implement she sang into.  

There have been suspected sightings of the missing mother back in Sydney.  But the woman singing Whitney Houston while she baked, and dancing to Salt n’ Pepper while she vacuumed, did not resemble at all the drab woman who once stood in that apron in that spot, so those claims have been dismissed.  Other reports say this same all-singing-dancing  woman did not have a nightly glass of patience – err, wine – as the missing mother used too.  Justifications along the lines of a detox of gin,  tequila and other unremembered beverages, have also been dismissed.

The search continues.

 

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In hot pursuit of passion

So ladies, we’ve now “got it all”.  Someone burned a bra and we can be CEO’s, mothers, revolutionary’s, and expert children’s party crafters.

But so many women are not happy with this.

They are trying to cut back on hobbies, friends or even family in an effort to calm a chaotic life.  They meditate on the bus to work, squeezing in the quest for inner peace between Circular Quay and Broadway whilst sitting on the roar of a 6 cylinder diesel engine. They work from home to be both mother and career woman, only to find the whole situation is actually a complete farce.

What to do?

It’s a doozie of a question.

Let me tap tap tap my ruby shoes for a little magical inspiration:

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”

Passion. And the putting of it in your life.

My kids were analysing the words to Eye of the Tiger – Rocky Balboa, not Katy Perry – as it played during dinner the other night (oh yes, we can do fine dining!).

So many times it happens too fast

You trade your passion for glory

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past

You must fight just to keep them alive

“Don’t forget your dreams…” said my academic cherub.  “ROAAAAR like a TIGER” said the wild one. And, “You’ve got to fight for your passion, keep doing what you love,” said my master sensible.

He knows, because he has experienced it this year. The other week he played in a soccer gala day all day long, then couldn’t wait to get to more training that night.  He walked in, at the end of twelve hours of sweaty soccer heaven, laughing at himself and his happiest of sore feet. “Crazy awesome passion”, my friend called it. His smile, his beaming confidence, still remain at the memory, three weeks later.  

Here is how it is working for me.

I want to be creative – and I don’t mean churning out 50 toilet roll tealight holders from Pinterest for a child’s birthday party.  I want to write creatively, and to see my novel on a bookshelf in Berkelouw Books – now that would make me beam, and scream and live in ecstatic disbelief!   

So I sit down and write every day when my toddler is sleeping in the middle of the day. Sometimes I get a frustrating two words out before he wakes.  Sometimes I get two chapters.  Sometimes it’s rubbish. But most of the time it’s genius – so say I, anyway.

But, each day I am a little closer to that bookshelf.

Each day, I feel self-worth.  When I’ve whipped out the genius, it’s HUGE, huge I tell you.  When I’ve only managed crap, it’s still there hovering within, because if nothing else, I have spent a little time doing something that I love.

I don’t understand it when people ask me how I fit it in. passionisenergyoprha

It’s an hour of exciting!  I am not a mother, or housecleaner, or school bus, or washerwoman for an hour; I am lost in a world of something I really love doing. When I hear my little man waking up I have to shake myself back from the nirvana I was in. What do you mean how do I fit it in – I am LUCKY to be able to do this!

And it adds to my life, my husband’s life, my children’s lives, and all those around me because I walk around happy. Simple.

I am also keenly aware that none of this is going to wait. It’s important to make this a priority, otherwise I’ll have a whole bunch of toilet roll tea lights, but no bookshelf glory.  It will still seem in the distance, and when I do eventually get there my grey, set hairdo and years of inactivity to the cause will mean it just won’t happen.

And anyway, I want to walk around happy now.  Not later.

The racing, the chaos, the infinite pile of washing, the constant cutting of 80 finger and toenails, the not-a-moment-to-breath, is placed into the Everyday and Mundane Status drawer it should be in.  It’s not important, because you have more majestic pursuits going on. 

You know; “Oh, sorry, dirty socks, I was busy becoming a famous and fabulous authoress”.

fall ro fly

Well?  Go get ’em tiger!

Main character: Glorious in leopardprint

I found myself buying all sorts of patterned clothes with the gift vouchers I received for my 41st birthday the other day. And I thought, Is a shell suit coming next?

SONY DSC

“Stand back and look at your characters.” This advice, received in a writing course in the lead up to this birthday, rang in my head.  So, what is my character now that I am well-entrenched in the fabulous forties? I asked my patterned self.

Looking down at my leopard print pants this morning, accompanied by sneakers and a different shade of leopard print top, my friend would call my character “Housos”.

Ready to go shopping
Ready to go shopping

She’s from Melbourne, and I don’t know the exact Sydney translation, but I’m guessing she’s not telling me I’m overcome with all kinds of Megan Gale style.

I think about the day to come… Housework, gym (yes that leopard print is in a shiny Lycra finish – no g-string leotard as yet), and hit the shops to find one of those headbands with a polyester printed big bow, tilted becomingly to the side. Perhaps, in leopard.  My friend says leopard print is a colour on it’s own, so it would all match.

Today, despite looking it, I am not actually feeling so much Megan Gale.  I am feeling like Life Be In It-Norm.  My two-year-old Hurricane makes me tired. My make up is… actually, well, it’s bugger the makeup. I did comb my hair though. A ponytail – I once read a scathing report on the ponytail being the lazy mummy hair do.  It was written from a non-mother I think.  I like to think the swish swoosh of the ponytail is the perfect accompaniment to all my leopard.

But what of my inner character?

I was doing really well with learning how to meditate. But that seems to have been put back on the To Do list, as opposed to the Do list, so, although it is only 6am, my mind is bubbling over with a thousand crazy things (I’m thinking my outfit does not have much of a calming effect either). But I’m avoiding doing them.  The TV is on before school and I know this will cause major M2 Motorway kind of delays in getting out the door, but it’s bringing peace to the house.  Ahh, sweet peace.

I’m feeling really proud of my kids this morning.  Yesterday was the athletics carnival and they shone.  Albeit it in shotput, but we can work on the glamour of that.  They amaze me with their ‘give it a go’ attitude.  I’ll be inspired today by it, and will have a go at…. I’ll have to work out later what it is that I’ll give a go.

So I am at once feeling crazy mindedness and slothful. I’m not sure where this combination will get me.  Hopefully at least up to school to drop the kids off. Perhaps then after that I will truly step into all my Lycra leopard glory and whizz around Warriewood Square to find my jaunty hair bow. Whilst there perhaps I will make a difference to people’s lives – questioning Kmart’s manufacturing ethics, helping the old lady cleaner with her mop and bucket, volunteer at the World Vision pop up shop.  Then I will be completely organised with the grocery shopping, not forgetting one thing, and buying everything organic, gluten free, superfooded-up, and ethically packed. Little Hurricane will be quiet, sit nicely in the trolley without dropping the bacon bits from the Bakers Delight cheese and bacon roll all over the shopping centre, or throwing it like his brother’s shotput at the poor old cleaning lady.  I will feel like I am truly a yummy mummy, gliding through the place, stylish to an L (for Leopard), with a perfect child in tow, due to my perfect mummying. I will buy more fashionable leopard print (Warriewood Square is full of it) that I can wear to my first book signing – it will be still trendy by this stage, because, as we said, leopard print is a colour. I’ll also probably be 102 and you can wear whatever you like at that age. At some point I will bust it out at the gym, and everyone will tell me how fabulous I look for 41 years old.

Sounds… tiring.  Maybe I’ll just come home, slop on the lounge (trying not to slide off – slippery stuff that shiny Lycra) and demolish a coffee and Danish pastry.

I Stand For Mercy

I stand for mercy.  We knew what that meant up til the early hours of this morning:  Forgive them. 

Is that the most heartbreaking thing about this, today?  That forgiveness is not something humankind does?  That we do not look beyond the crime, to see the redemption? 

Or is it the sense of injustice?  That the real perpetrator here, the big boss who employed two boys to bring him his drugs, is currently living his life of luxury on Sydney’s beautiful, safe, foreshores?  

For me, it is the families.  Who have loved them unconditionally and likely forgiven long before redemption was apparent. Whose sense of injustice might lay in the fact that their child has been killed, legally, by leaders of a country.

All I know is that I feel like I should do something.  Take this strong feeling of sadness and make it worth the effort of their lives.  Make sure I don’t forget these feelings and the strength of them.  Make some small part of all this not fade away, but use it to enact good.  To honour the good life these men lived in the end.

But what can I do? 

There is someone I can show mercy for.  Someone who has been difficult to forgive.  I will remember the faces of those men, and it will remind me, that I need to show mercy, because the consequences can be so dire.  I can practice my mercy, feed it, til it grows strong, til it is ingrained and I have no choice but to show it all the time.  We have a higher power of reasoning, which no other animal on this earth has been given: We should try and use it to it’s fullest potential. I will start small.  But I can see now, that showing mercy all the time, brings peace.

I stand…. What do I stand for?  Many things.  Perhaps the point here is that sometimes I need to come out from behind my shelter and stick my neck out. This, I am definitely not good at.  To do this, I need to not worry what people think of me, and this is my greatest downfall.  But I will try. I will remember their faces and know that it is important.  I will try and stand tall and be loud, about things that need justice and kindness. And mercy.

These are my tiny dedications to your lives, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. May you rest in God’s presence now.

Mindlessness

Mindfulness and meditation.  It helps a world wide web worth of things, especially, I am told, with writing. Writer’s block? Meditate. Creative juices goneski? Meditate. mindful tree

So I have decided I need to learn it.

Especially at the moment because I have four little ones who are behaving like someone else’s children. You know, that naughty toddler throwing himself on the floor screeching in the middle of the school tour?  Or, the child with the I’d-never-let-my-child-speak-to-me-like-that mouth on her? You see what I mean – not my children, clearly, imposters.

Emergency meditation needed, toot sweet.

So, this week I’ve have given my new mission a start. I set my intention (Guru Google told me this would be a good idea):  To learn and practice and feel the benefits of meditation, mindfulness or, let’s face it, just plain old numbness will do.

And here is how we have progressed.

Strategy number 1.

Meditate first thing in the morning. I set my alarm – because that’s peaceful? – and am awake before the kids.  So I lay there, as still as I can, in the darkness, in my nice, warm bed: Clear mind, clear mind, clear mind, blank space, I see nothing, I need to vacuum the floor, oops, I see nothing, I feel nothing, except a little bit of panic because writers group are coming here and I know there is a years-worth of pasta under the high chair. Oh, clear mind, clear the mind, blank space, feeling nothing, clear the mind, clear the floor, running out of time, what time is it?

Look at phone. All over.

 

Strategy number 2.

You can find moments to meditate whilst going about everyday life, I read. So I decide to cook dinner mindfully.

Chop, chop, chopping carrots, very orange, carrots. Chop, chip chop. With a blunt knife. Chopping beautiful carrots.

“MINE!” Hefty, two year-old limpet, pulling my skirt off. “LEASE. LEEEEASE!”

Now potatoes, peeling potatoes. Stroke, stroke, peel, peel, goodbye old skin, hello fresh flesh.

“MUM!  HE HIT ME. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”

Peel, peel, peel.

“PUT MY SHOW ON – MUUUUUUUUUUM!”

Plop, plop, place lovely potatoes in boiling water. Or maybe throw vigorously. And maybe burn thyself.

Stop mindfulness to administer first aid.

 

Strategy number 3.

Meditate using a yoga DVD, at night, after the kidlets are in bed.

Sun salutations, up down, breathe. Up, down, breathe. Now this is a bit easier.

Twist, floaty music, twinkly voice lulling me off, twist the other way, breathe. Ahhh.

“Stupid computer, this Windows 8…” breathe, blocking out. Twist and breathe.

“Do you know where the internet security disk is? Those kids taking things… Stupid Windows 8…”

BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE. 

Triangle pose with hands over ears. Breathing into the tight areas – TAP TAP TAP, “Do you know where the-“

Give up, drink wine.

 

Results.

In this week of meditation, I sent my daughter to school dressed for Whacky Wednesday on Tuesday, left my pram in a carpark, forgot an appointment, and wrote a chapter of my book that makes no sense at all – wouldn’t even be able to use it for Whacky Wednesday. Mindfulness = Forgetfulness.

So, perhaps not an entirely successful start. But I think I will continue to try. 

Any tips for this mindless novice?

 

 

 

 

 

An uncomfortable silence?

 My new job was not a comfortable one.

I learnt that every minute a human was being sold into unspeakable brutality.  Every minute that I sat at my clean, new desk, drinking my murky but hot coffee, with my body, completely intact. Every minute I slept in my enormous bed.  Every minute I complained about a cold shower, a crumbling footpath or a rough taxi ride.  Every single minute – Now, Now and Now – a child would enter hell whilst still alive.

It was hard, this job. I often found myself crying through a lot of it. But how was my pain, compared to a wrung out, 10 year old girl or boy, sold by their mother, to a man with a knife, a bludgeon and a sick, sick mind? 

So I kept going.

This is an excerpt from the book I am toiling away on.  It’s an uncomfortable topic.

Human trafficking came into my consciousness when I lived with my husband in Romania, many years ago.

Chugging along in the Bucharest traffic I noticed out the window very young females, with adult bra’s hanging off skinny frames, tiny skirts, and garish makeup – as if they’d been getting into their mother’s wardrobes.  But I doubt there was a mother anywhere near those girls.  I’d heard about this street.

I felt sick.

This small experience put the injustice of it all inside me – I remain shocked that a human being could force another human being into being a commodity.  Prostitution is the biggest reason for trafficking humans.

I felt really upset.

Romania is not the worst place for it by a long shot. Anyone go on holiday in Thailand?  That tops the list. Australia is not without blame:  We are a ‘destination’ country for trafficked victims. That means there is a market for it, here, right on our doorstep.

How many children do we hear have ‘gone missing’ in our news?

I felt compelled to do something.

So my very tiny contribution, at this time, is to write about it in a novel.  I’m trying my hardest to make that novel something people might want to read and come away informed that it is very real in this life.  I would be amazed if they felt compelled to look into the issue more.

I feel like I want to do more in the future.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

http://www.vevo.com/watch/michael-jackson/Man-In-The-Mirror/USSM20301092

I see, I think, I wonder

pillowheads

I see four frilled-neck lizards,

Sitting on the lounge.

Or wait – are they neck ruffles

On silly billy clowns?

Or maybe they are brothers

And sister, wild at heart,

And the baby, trying to escape

Did someone do a fart?

I think they’re playing together

Perhaps with a new toy

Or maybe it’s some fancy clothing

That looks like a banana on baby boy

I think they’re pretending to relax

But I sense it’s just a trick

Because any minute now,

They’ll bounce about and skip

I wonder if their mum

Is trying to put them down to bed

But they won’t get those silly

Big fat pillows off their head?

I wonder if she’s laughing,

Or if she’s getting snappy

I think she loves them just the same

But… maybe her own pillow would make her happy?