#849 Nothing, and everything

Well, today it happened.

I was at a loss to creatively find something new to be grateful for.

Baby girl having a good day at kinder? It’s been done.

Happy to have a working heater on such a cold day? Done.

Happy we vegged on the couch tonight with takeaway? Also done.

Happy I had some wine? Done done done.

I had gotten calls concerning appointments and jobs to be done over the next week – this gave me satisfaction, but the strength to write about them in a creative manner (it’s not just stating the gratitude, it’s also finding the creative drive to make a story out of it) well that focus I needed was GONE.

Baby girl and Hubbie made me laugh countless times, and we hugged and complimented Hubbie on how much better he looked without his beard – that has also been done.

I watched Shark Tank, LOVED it – done.

Hell, I’m even feeling better regarding my cold – and that too has also been done.

And as I sat there later this evening, realising all the things I was grateful for had already been expressed before… it dawned on me that I had just made a brand new list, and this new list had never been done before.

So suddenly, I was grateful for it all 🙂

 

#829 Follow the yellow brick road…

There’s nothing better than sharing a special evening with the people you love the most.

Tonight was something magical.

I don’t go to musicals all that often, and the last one I went to was to The Lion King a few years ago.

I guess when you go, you go to something big and great and monumental, right?

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But with musicals, they are ALL like that. Night after night, with sometimes day performances too, these amazing professionals get up in front of a full theatre, and they perform – singing, dancing, creating – a fantasy and imaginative world in front of our very eyes.

And each time they do it, it is done with such enthusiasm, energy and gusto, that you would be forgiven in thinking it was the first time they were doing it, for YOU.

Well tonight, we got to witness just that. We headed on over to the Regent theatre, both sister, nephew and I, and along with witnessing some amazing performers acting out a classic movie on stage, we walked around the city streets, grabbed some fine dinner, and in doing so created some wonderful memories to cherish together forever.

That mojito in the middle there that we had during dinner was the BOMB. It was the BEST MOJITO EVER, that I have EVER tried. There was a special sugary syrup which masked any alcohol that was in the drink…. dangerous.

The Wizard of Oz was superb. Very true to the original movie with a few little differences here and there, just to keep it modern and fresh and inventive. And the contribution of the special effects ramped up the production and key components of the story in a whole other way, positively so.

I didn’t realise how much I loved the following song…

“The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,

Which was not a healthy situation, for the Wicked Witch!”

… until it was in front of me, LIVE! Oh, how that catchy tune I had heard so many times in my childhood, grew on me as the performance by Dorothy, the munchkins and Glinda the good witch was performed.

There are too many amazing parts to mention, so really, you should just go and watch it yourself if it is playing in a city near you.

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And then as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and Lion got to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, with the sheets of green background, green dancers, green sequins, green lights, and green set just emanating out to the audience, all I could think of was –

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Mint…

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Lime…

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The mojito. That bloody brilliant mojito had gone to my head. Damn.

I was a sook as is typical and teared up at the end, even though I know the ending and have seen it before… but not like this. A sign of a great show. Or just a super softie, you decide. But the Universal message and underlying thread of the story is something that is so true, so real to all of us – there is no place like home.

Sure we often think the grass is greener on the other side. We look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, with our Instagram filters on when observing outside things, but looking through the microscope when dissecting the little annoyances of our own lives.

When something upsetting happens, it is a reminder that the support and comfort of home, is all you really need.

At the end of the show Glinda is telling Dorothy how to get home. She tells her to tap her shoes three times and say

Glinda: “There is no place –

Dorothy: ” – like home.”

Dorothy finishes the statement for her. It is not a question either. She knew it in her heart all along. ♥

And at the end of the night, after the pivotal after-the-show discussion, catch-up, and coffee, I headed home too…

Because as we all know, there is no other place like it ♥♥♥

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#780 New artwork

Our walls have been plain for far too long.

A while ago we were fortunate enough to be gifted with an amazing piece of artwork, or should I say, artworks, by a very talented friend. Hubbie was there talking about his recent love of all things Aborigine-inspired, and this friend piped up “have you seen my old paintings?”

Before we knew it, we were going home with several of them. Not only were we blessed to be receiving them for free, but this was a friend’s creativity poured out in front of her and now passed on to us – that is some heavy and inspiring shit! I get it, I know how difficult it is to express yourself creatively and put yourself out there for all to view and critique. And though it isn’t in the same exact art form as hers, somehow, same same. Where creativity grows, there is also that other side of the coin, of fear, judgement, and helplessness at not being able to control what other’s think.

It is a very sobering and humbling interaction between creator and observer.

Which is why we appreciated the kind gift, all the more. Tonight, after looking at the paintings leaning against our walls for a good month, or so, we finally put one up:

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The series of others need tougher nails to go into actual bricks, so that will be another day’s job, possibly another day’s gratitude post. But for now, the above painting has brightened up our walls with colour and excitement, the intricate and detailed patterns bringing with it a sense of introspection and meditation.

I love it.

Thank you D.S ♥

#707 Going back in time to Shakespearean days

To write a play that endures time, is one thing.

To write a collection of plays that endures time, is a whole other thing.

To write a collection of plays and sonnets that withstands time and change and all manner of things, is unheard of.

Oh wait, it’s not. William Shakespeare has done it.

Let me reiterate: to write a collection of plays and sonnets that are still celebrated, re-told, adapted and cherished, 402 years after your death, is something to aspire to.

402 years people. Can you even begin to imagine the breadth of this genius?

Doth you protest such excellency?

Ok, so I am no Shakespeare, since he would have written that line soooo much better.

In case you are not aware, William Shakespeare is a literary genius that has transcended time and age and geography and language, with his collection of plays and sonnets, that tell stories of tragedy, drama, comedy, and of course love.

I was immediately enthralled by the news late last year, that a pop-up globe theatre showcasing a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, would be ‘popping up’ as it were, alongside the Sidney Myer music bowl in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens for a several-month run.

I had been hanging to go there since, but alas time and distance and life were not on my side. It was an effort, a struggle, and a lot of pushing on my part, but finally I got my God damn Shakespeare play day today.

I headed into the city alongside Hubbie and baby girl, and as they ventured off for lunch and park wanderings, I walked the winding path around the Botanic Gardens, until I saw an exciting sight sitting atop the hill just ahead of me.

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The play I watched today was Much Ado About Nothing. I wanted to see this one particularly, because it was re-done in recent years by famed Buffy-Angel-Marvel Universe creator/director Joss Whedon, and despite recent revelations about his ill choices in other areas of his personal life, I still have to give incredible thanks to the guy that brought Angel into my world. Creatively speaking, it is one of the best shows EVER. And if he chose two Buffy/Angel characters to star in a modern-day adaptation of a Shakespeare play, then that play must be pretty damn good.

I haven’t actually watched Whedon’s re-take… but I have read the original play in all of its hysterical glory. And crazily enough, I had even forgotten I had read it, since it was so long ago… I just went into it today, knowing I really really wanted to watch Whedon’s take on it after seeing the theatre guys today. And as I stood there, listening to the characters quick wits, hilarious remarks, and the beginnings of a very twisty-turvy tale, a part of me said “this is familiar… does Shakespeare like presenting such strong-willed females?”

I soon realised, in a similar Shakespearean humour, that I was a fool (as he would say), and I had already read the tale. Duh, Benedict.

A tale of love prevailed over 2 and a half hours, with themes of jealousy, scandal, trickery, but most dominant comedy, keeping us all thoroughly entertained and gasping for air in wonder and laughter.

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But let’s place this all in context shall we? The history of the globe is that the theatre was planned as a one-off project in Auckland, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Following from two massive seasons, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the shows, another pop-up globe was planned for our fair city of Melbourne, and is running up until February 3.

The globe itself is a reconstruction of the second Globe, the theatre that Shakespeare and the company he worked with built in 1614 following a fire that burnt the first Globe a year earlier. Although based on rough proportions of the original, it is slightly smaller than the 1614 Globe, which would have sat 3000 spectators compared to today’s reconstruction.

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Annnnddddd back to today’s play. With the pop-up globe having done its run first in New Zealand, there were native themes dabbled in throughout Much Ado, such as ceremonial mourning and nuptial dances and songs, New Zealand actors, and an amazing Maori routine at the end of the performance that had me, and the rest of the audience, in absolute awe. Such passion and love and dedication was so apparent in the Globe today, however I am sure it was not only reserved for my eyes on this January Sunday.

I had tears of laughter during comedic moments, tears of sadness in truly mournful ones, and tears of pure elevation and extreme gratitude, at the end when watching the performers do their final act and perform for the people in the Globe. They bowed for the audience 3 times, and I could swear the room was going to explode from sheer love at the happy drama that had unfolded over the past couple of hours.

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It was the best thing I had done in a long time, and I was soooo happy I had managed to get over there for the Melbourne season. The first Melbourne season hopefully, as I am keen to watch more of his plays in a replica of the original Globe as many times as I can, as it just added so much to the feel and vibe of the story.

I was a ‘Groundling’ today, a true commoner as would have been the case in 1614, and stood close to the stage seeing everything unfold in utmost clarity. Having said that, the space of the Globe is small, and all seats within provide wonderful vantage points.

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A sole Groundling ticket is approximately $28 including online processing fees, with seated areas going up substantially, however I ended up paying double quite accidentally, since there was an error as I ordered the tickets online, and I ended up with two.

But to have paid $56, for what I saw today? Priceless.

I went home with a little souvenir… a Shakespeare Pop Up Globe tote bag. And you just know what my reading material will be as I walk about town with it…

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Only the best.

 

 

#697 Mindful colouring at Mechanic’s

As a busy Mum/Wife/Woman/PERSON, finding time in your day for things that you want to explore, things outside of your ‘box,’ and for things that you just want to indulge in, well they are minute, if actually, NON EXISTENT.

So when I see that I will have a future moment to myself, I try to prolong and make the most of it the best I can.

If I am at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser’s, I bring a book.

And when I am at the mechanic… I bring a colouring book.

I honestly haven’t coloured in for fun, for ME, probably since sometime in high school. I do it on occasion now with baby girl, as she asks me to draw something for her and then we go on colouring Beauty and the Beast, or something like that, together… but nothing just for ME.

Back when it was my birthday, I received a mindfulness colouring book with good ol’ fashioned Derwents – that I was sooo excited about – but that nonetheless remained untouched for months.

Until today.

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Sitting in the mechanics kitchen, I got to work. Leaning on the old European 80s-styled tablecloth, as my car got its much-needed service in the huge garage outside of the room I was in, I found a drawing in the ‘good health’ section, and started small. What started off as just colouring, became something more. The TV was on in the background, ‘ABC news’ so it was pretty serious going with heavy issues and all, but I found myself getting deep in my thoughts as stroke by stroke I filled in the patterns and shapes and lines, still completely aware of my surroundings, but in a deeper, calmer, more meditative place.

The mechanic came to me too soon, as I was nowhere near completing my page. But for now, it was enough. You’ve got to take what you can as a busy individual. It had provided comfort and a different avenue of expression that I am not normally used to, and in turn that gave me creative insight of a different kind.

I’m looking forward to more stolen moments with my Derwents 😉

 

#548 Returning to Island time

I wrote a post very early this year about a photo I took while on holiday with Hubbie at Phillip Island, many many many years ago.

Not only did this photo stay with me due to it being taken at a highly creative and deeply personal awakening time for me, but its strong and subtle message of taking it easy while being on an island, sang an especially sweet song. It spoke of not just relaxing into the moment, but allowing all worries and stresses to melt away as you succumbed to the slow-down pace of a more mindful part of the world.

Well today after about 5 years, we were back at Phillip Island.

Then it had been a still and sunny, though cloudy January day.

Today it had been a grey, incessantly rainy, and hair-flailing windy August day.

Then there had been an abundance of tourists everywhere lapping up the scenery.

Today there had been few overseas people about, the streets mostly empty and quiet.

Then the shops and cafes had been bursting with livelihood and excitement amongst the best time of the year.

Today there were more shops blackened and closed, than were open.

Then I had taken my sweet time to take the best shot possible of my favourite pic, angling the camera just the right way to get the best light, while using the poster’s message to take it slow and take it in, in my task.

Today I had forgotten about the poster on the passing building until we were nearly past it, and I made Hubbie slow down in the middle of the round-a-bout while I made a mad scramble for my phone and took a hasty shot of it again.

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I didn’t even get ALL the words in.

And yet I didn’t care. The people, conditions and comparison didn’t matter to me: all that was important was that the poster, the message was still there. And as long as that poster was in that same spot, that meant it was always going to be island time.

And it forever will be, rain, hail or shine.

(The background tree photo on my SmikG blog is of the Phillip Island iconic trees on the main strip, an ode to the time when an especially important story and group of characters came to life in my head…

#377 She performs ‘Magic’

Keep them young and carefree as long as you can. That is my underlying theme in raising kids.

They will have plenty of time to ‘adult’ later in life.

I don’t see any harm in letting them believe in an over-sized bunny that hops around leaving Chocolate eggs for Easter.

I don’t see any harm in letting them believe there is a fat man with a long white beard and white hair, who squeezes through your chimney/climbs through an open window, and after indulging in some carrots/cookies/milk, leaves you some much-desired gifts.

Let them even believe your little white lies “We have to go home NOW because the park is closing for lunch.”

“The beach is closing! See? It’s getting too cold so it’s closing.”

“If you splash in the bath too hard the spiders will come.”

But don’t even suggest the fantastical idea of boogeymen or scary things lurking under the bed. They definitely don’t exist, but if Santa and the Easter bunny are, this seems just as likely. Anything that leads to an interrupted nights sleep for your littlies, don’t EVEN. Don’t even go there.

Keep them naïve. Innocent. Unknowing. Fresh. Keep them untainted.

Let them even believe, in MAGIC.

I started this a while back, when baby girl fell and hurt herself. She is fascinated with band-aids, but don’t try to put one on her! That is a worse-r hell than the injury she has sustained herself. Don’t even.

So I had to get creative. My forte. I love to imagine, and create, and send wild thoughts into the atmosphere.

“Mummy do Magic,” I had said to her. “Doo doo doo doo doo” like the sound of an old-school phone connecting, as I brought my lips close to her wound. I patted it with alternating hands in quick succession, letting out a “ch!” sound with a big blow, a big kiss and a dramatic pull-back of “Magic!”

She LOVED it.

Every time she was hurt or sore, Mummy had to do Magic. I’ve studied psychology. I know all about the placebo effect. I was fascinated to see the Magic actually working, like Magic I guess (!), on baby girl. Of course, anything serious and I wouldn’t even suggest something like that, I am a Mother, I DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. A scrape requires Magic. Something more serious, a doctor.

Even if so, some ‘light Magic’ would help ease the woes on the drive over I’m sure.

Since all we are dealing with is little scrapes and bumps, Magic has been a saviour.

And then, when one day I was sore, she performed Magic, on ME.

Awwwww:)

She does it regularly and often now. She will perform Magic on herself. It’s like a self-help tool to assist her in moving on. And it actually helps: she does MOVE ON.

Tonight as I sat on the couch talking about how I wasn’t feeling the best, and how my lower back had been sore yesterday, she promptly finished up drinking her nightly milk, pushed me forward, and tinkled her fingers against my back.

“Doo doo doo doo doo” she went, kissed my back, and then went “Dash!”

Dash, is Magic.

Funnily enough, she has also extended this to when I am mad, and have road rage. I am a much calmer person on the road with baby girl in my car, but still, I will say “what are you doing? Seriously? What a silly, silly person!”

“Can you drive? Come on, move it!”

“Mummy is very angry right now, there is a very cheeky driver on the road.”

And she’ll go “doo doo doo doo doo” a kiss, and “Dash!”

Problem fixed!

I find it hilarious that she does this on me, and in varying situations. She now actually believes that Magic will solve almost anything. Sometimes I will be unwell and I know I am incapable of moving on from it immediately, and when she does Magic, I think ‘how do I get out of this one? How do I fake being healthy again? For the sake of believing in Magic?’

But, it makes me smile… and for a moment I forget I am sick/sore… and I guess that’s kind of Magic in itself, isn’t it? 😉