Monday, March 10

back when life was good


I think the grass is so lush in other places. I often think that if I was doing what I wanted to be doing, in good health, I would be living in a sunny meadow.  

A couple of weeks ago we went to Melbourne. I went with my favourite man, wore my favourite dress, and the sun shone. At the end of the day we plonked down on the grass in the Tan with chocolate cake that I’d bought along in my tote, of course. I was looking over at the red brick VCA (victorian college of the arts), with those million memories of music days rushing at me – and the sadness, and the nostalgia.

“Maybe I am well enough to try again.” I mused, and we both know this is not the reality. We have this conversation every Melbourne day, and sometimes in between. We really like this conversation.

“We could get a little tiny apartment close by, and I would work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and we could have our lunch breaks together...” Ben was saying.

And then the next part of the conversation goes like this: “Or maybe I should do an Arts degree because then I wouldn’t have the stress of practicing all the time?”

And then we revise it a little further: “If you’re doing an Arts degree, you could do it in Geelong which is less tiring.” But I always say, “But I want to do it in Melbourne, because it makes me feel alive.” {Despite being the city which made me almost dead}. But Ben knows what I mean, soul mate. The conversation always ends with, “But I would probably relapse again, and I don't think it's worth the risk.”

We know that script so well.

When we got home that evening, I had a kind of epiphany, about something I should have known. I have a full life here and now. I’m not sure I would swap it for the one I had, if it came to it. 

In the dreaming I always forget the tied-up feeling that I had. I wasn't a free bird. I've put a pretty filter on some of the harder realities.

My life is full of a freedom and variety I didn’t have. I read Wild Swans by Jung Chang last week, and I had time to look at China on the map, and research Mao. I bought my second sewing pattern, and I gave up practicing my flute to pin and sew. Wednesday bought me back to my needy kittens and all their mess and vulnerability. I spent a sweet lazy Saturday with Ben, free from the old guilt I had in our early relationship: but, I could be practicing now.

You know from my hundred other posts that there has been great pain, and great sadness. It’s not a life of ease, but I realised that I am developing and exploring {sometimes barely, sometimes a lot}, and when my health is a little better as it is now, I even feel like I am flourishing.  And all this, away from the place I thought I wanted to be most of all. Would I really have been happy if it had all gone my way? I don’t know. I think the path I am on is just so terribly right. How could something so unravellingly miserable be so freeing? God knew what he was doing I suppose. 

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