I take a small risk for the sake of our community, our nation, our world. So excuse me if I was befuddled. You caught me unawares. I looked up to your generation like a child. Through your words I see we are not on the same page.
Everyone has their own opinion but I can’t help looking at what is happening in the world. It brings tears to my eyes. Getting the jab? That’s a small contribution. I guess I was surprised when a stranger in their 70’s advised they are waiting for a different vaccine to come along. Their choice but I definitely see things through a different lens. This Delta variant…well it spreads like wildfire. We went into lockdown again a few weeks ago.
Stay safe everyone. Thinking of you all.
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Reading into things can get things way out of context. Each time we converse we bring assumptions and stories to the interaction. Like this one. The same memory, a different takeaway. All those years feeling guilty for moving away and for no reason.
Daughter – I am so sorry I hurt your heart. I was young and stupid. Reminding you of my bad attitude and teenage angst those many years ago was a bit insensitive. For you it cuts deep. I can hear it in your voice. You catch your breath and stay quiet on the phone. I didn’t realise. I want to give a warm hug but guilt sits on my chest. I’m so sorry. You had so much going on in your life. I didn’t realise or recognise how I was ‘adding fuel to the fire’ until now.
Mother -When you decided to move on – I was so concerned how you would manage. So young and yet so brave to secure employment, find accommodation, and move from the family home. But you achieved it all successfully. Not bad for a teenager!
I become weepy for nothing important these days so don’t be concerned my dear sweet. It’s nothing important nor a reflection on the past.
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Your art has travelled the globe yet you wouldn’t know. You are long gone in history yet your voice lives on.
I hum a tune and imagine you there with your paints and easel. I imagine you contemplating with your hand on your chin. Then your skilled hand caresses the canvas. With a laden brush you apply paint and a masterpiece is born.
If only you knew how your work has traversed through time. Your painted voice signals through millenia.
Today I become lost in the chambers of the art gallery as art blends and my heart soars. Thank you for creating a masterpiece that continues on.
I was looking ‘rough as guts’ after my morning session at the gym. It’s bad enough when you aren’t strong enough to put your ‘head in a pony’ but one glance in the mirror and I balked at the idea of heading back out. I ‘didn’t look like anything to write home about’ so wasn’t keen for a catch up over a coffee. The ladies are always so well groomed! Did I go? Betcha life I did. ‘Life’s too short’ and the weather was awesome. ‘Not too hot, not too cold, just right’! Better than hanging round at home.
So I’m headed down to the harbour with ‘a skip in my step’ and ‘happy as Larry’. I was about 20 minutes late but ‘better late than never’ as they say. When I ‘rocked up’ I was greeted with a sea of smiles. Now that really ‘blew me away’. I’m usually the first one there. It ‘never crossed my mind’ about what it looked like from the other side.
A cuppa coffee and a bit of a ‘chin wag’ and I soon forgot about my ‘manky’ hairdo. Instead I ‘squirmed in my seat’ ‘with my skin crawling’ as we spoke of escaped phythons, red belly black snakes, and funnel web spiders. All of these can be deadly and are Australian natives. I may be an Australian but spiders and snakes ‘really do my head in’.
Well that’s my everyday adventure with a few sayings ‘thrown in just to mix it up a bit’.
- Rough as guts – (Australian) Not well groomed. A bit rough looking
- Head in a pony – Wear your hair in a ponytail
- Didn’t look like anything to write home about – Nothing flash or noteworthy
- Life’s too short – Life doesn’t last forever so enjoy it while you can
- Not too hot, not too cold, just right – From Goldilocks and the 3 Bears fairy tale from 19th century England
- Skip in your step – happy as I walk
- Happy as Larry – (Australian) Happy – “Larry Foley, an undefeated Australian middleweight boxer in the 1890s” https://metro.co.uk
- Better late than never – You eventually got there
- Rocked up – Arrived
- Blew me away – Surprised / Impressed / Did not expect
- Never crossed my mind – Didn’t think of it
- Chin wag – friendly talk in a relaxed way
- Manky – not great, rotten, dirty (in this sentence I mean it was not great)
- Squirming in my seat – Feeling uncomfortable
- With my skin crawling – Feeling frightened in an uncomfortable
- Really do my head in – Can’t cope with the thought of it
- Betcha life I did – Bet your life I did – I certainly did
- Thrown in just to mix it up a bit – Added for some variety
We may be strangers that meet on a dusty road but together we share stories for passage to a brighter day.
Fragile yet strong. Battered by weather and by life’s storms. You stand resolute. Taken to the brink of despair. You share of the unexpected inquisition that threw your creative soul into a state of flux.
Yet I can’t see clearly. I hear your voice but I perceive through the heat haze of my own story. Wrinkles on the fabric of my life send off refracted and reflected light to your truth. With open ears I seek to listen, to understand, through the noise of beams and shadows.
For what I see is parchment. Parchment known for strength and stability. I seek to see your story written there. A masterpiece, a serenade, a lament. Your memoir; a collection of broken shards brought together inviolate for change.
BY DEE GRANT 2021
I find hearing peoples stories fascinating. This reflective piece is the sharing of two narratives as strangers meet. Heartfelt stories where something unexpected changes their lifes journey. This is a true story based on meeting with a stranger earlier this week. Our backgrounds couldn’t be more different.
I studied the Narrative Construction of Reality by Jerome Bruner many years ago and have appreciated the power of narrative ever since.
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Teenage angst I hear your cry. You tempted me with your fresh knowledge untested by life’s setbacks. I knew better but I was miserable. I walked away from a parent’s love so as not to disappoint them further.
Roll the years forward a generation…
Now I hear of you my darling niece. I feel your anger as if it were a forgotten love song. In a world where hormones explode like balloons freshly stomped by teenage partygoers you storm off. Do you know how much you are loved my darling?
Today I wanted to be here ‘in case the sh*t hits the fan’. Mum had a fall today and was taken away in an ambulance. She should be in a nursing home they’ll say. Well ‘don’t come the raw prawn with me’ cause we all know she just ‘won’t cop that’!
That old chestnut
People hint to mum that she should think about going to a nursing home. I’m sure ‘that old chestnut’ will be ‘back on the cards again’. I know she ‘wouldn’t have a bar of it’. Thing is oldies sometimes have no say in it. That really ‘makes mum’s blood boil’. See mum is such a private person. She loves her garden and her own space. The whole idea of being in hospital just ‘does her head in’ let alone a nursing home. She’d be ‘out of there in a flash’ if she could.
Stick to your guns
I was hanging by the computer ‘playing the waiting game’. My ‘heart was in my mouth’ when a call ‘came out of nowhere’. It was a real ‘blessing in disguise’. A stranger calls. She shares of how her nan broke her hip in her 90’s and was sent home after she recovered from a hip replacement. Her nan was ‘happy as Larry’. This stranger says “make sure you tell your mum to ‘stick to her guns'”.
It’s been a while since I wrote a piece on phrases and idioms. I hope these ones help you in understanding this uncertain space. A space where the very thing that draws family together can also pull them apart. We all want what’s best for mum but we all have different opinions.
- Be here in case the sh*t hits the fan – be close by in case something bad happens
- Playing the waiting game – Not sure what to do so watch and wait
- Heart in your mouth – Anxious
- Came out of nowhere – Unexpected
- Blessing in disguise – Something unexpected or unfortunate that results in something good happening
- Does your head in – Makes you angry or frustrated
- Out of there in a flash – Leave in a hurry
- That old chestnut – Repeating the same old story so it becomes boring
- Back on the cards – Discuss something that had been spoken of previously
- Wouldn’t have a bar of it – (Australian saying) Won’t tolerate or put up with it
- Make your blood boil – Make you very angry
- Don’t come the raw prawn with me – (Australian saying) Don’t pretend you don’t know
- Won’t cop that – Won’t take that. Not happy about that
- Happy as Larry – (Australian saying) Very happy
- Stick to your guns – Don’t give in
The MRI sends blasts of sound, a magnetic force spinning round. With headphones on I greet it’s song. It’s weird loud sounds to soldier on. A veteran now I know it’s way, and settle in for my stay. Bleep bleep bleep and a…boom boom boom, still another 40 minutes ’til I leave this room.
8 things to know are below.
Here I am again. I’m an MRI veteran so thought I’d share how I go about things in this space.
Life is precious and unexpected tragedy quashes thoughts of joy.
It reaffirms that you need to put blissful times in your life. Don’t avoid doing your will. You just don’t know when your time is up. That is this man’s legacy.
He went to the garage and to get something off the shelf.
“He’s been out there a while” you think to yourself. “I’ll just see what he’s up to”
‘Famous last words’. If you had known what was ahead would you have walked through that garage door so nonchalantly?
He was there on the garage floor.
He died suddenly, not fading away in some manky nursing home. You know those homes. They smell of pee and people walk around with dolls that they think are babies.
There is no note. There is no misadventure. There is just the memory of you nagging him to stop relying on that shelf to reach further up from the step ladder. “It’s dangerous”, you said.