My glasses are shining back at me from the library window.
In hindsight, I should have eaten. Actual lunch I mean, not just the Honey and Date Loaf that quite accidentally fell into my belly at around lunchtime today. I know I should have chosen a more appropriate lunch because I’ve been wandering around the library for an hour, in a daze, and only now have I begun to write: a blog post, might I add, that will likely make little to no sense at all, whatsoever, in the slightest, or even a little bit. (See what I mean? I have no one to blame but myself.)
Apart from a total lack of regard for my perfectly innocent human body, it’s been a wonderful day. The ‘wonderful’ began with a song about a garden. I was on my way to meet my husband and little people at the pool, wrestling with the gear stick of my husband’s zippy little beetle bug (I’ve never been a multitasker) when the lady on the radio announced the next song. Inspired by a home garden, apparently.
A song about a garden: I was intrigued.
By the end of the song— a dainty classical number, whirling with piano and violin— the butterflies in my heart had moved me out of my body and into a lavender-scented cottage garden.
Beautiful. Magical. Lovely.
Really it was.
When life returned to normal, I swam with my ‘watch this Mummy!’ little girl. I ate cake and I drank coffee. I wandered the shops, and I wandered the library, and here I am now. Writing a completely random blog post like only a hungry cooky girl can.
It’s been a happy kind of day (however random) thanks for asking. ☺️I’m sorry about the ‘not really about anything’ blog post.
I’d like to tell you a story about that, actually. How my piano came to be my ultimate happy place (and healing tool, you might say.)
It’s in my soul, I think. Music. It’s the place I go to escape the world when it gets too noisy, and it’s absolutely the place I go when I need to re-make sense of the world around me.
I suppose you might say I had quite an explosive childhood— and when I say explosive, of course I’m being a bit dramatic (lol). All I mean by ‘explosive’ is that I was a highly sensitive child, and although the world was all sorts of fun and wonderful, my sensitivity sometimes got to me. When the teacher shouted at the kid in the next seat: it wasn’t the kid that felt the brunt of that rage. It was me. I felt it all.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, I needed an outlet, a way to remove the yuck of a world that somehow seemed so much bigger than me. I needed a night light. A safety blanket to catch the waves of emotion, especially the ones that didn’t belong to me.
I still remember asking Mum: ‘Please. Can I have piano lessons?’ to which the reply always came, ‘Brooke. We don’t have a piano.’ Of course, I knew that. But my heart felt like it was being called to. It felt like I just needed to play. I don’t really have the words to explain the pull of such a deep need, but it was there and it never went away until that one special day. My fourteenth birthday, I think. The day I got my first keyboard.
Well. I was beside myself. Here I was, surrounded by lashings of colourful paper, staring at the one thing I intuitively knew I needed. I quickly taught myself to play, which was really just me tinkering away until what I was playing became something that resembled a tune. Soon I was writing songs. When I wrote, I said all the things my heart needed to say, I just let it all go. Whatever wanted to come out. I let it be.
And it felt good. It felt like a wooshing tunnel of wind rushing through me, taking with it all the angry, the sad, the tension. When I played— when I wrote— a new part of me came to life. The right part of me.
The true part of me.
It’s not surprising to me, when I look back, that most of my songs were written when I was in my teenage years, a time of hormones and boys and tears. (Oh, gosh. All the tears.) Those years were a time of absolute truth. A time of boundless dreams, but also a time where the world really could have ended if I happened to be ‘spoken’ to by a teacher that really didn’t know that I was a crier.
When those things made my world explode: I escaped. Into my music, into the wave of beautiful that sang into my bones. And that’s just all sorts of magic to me. That still is all sorts of magic.
My first love. My piano.
Okay. 🙂 Well, that’s enough sop for day two, I suppose. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.
It was May when it happened. The change in me, the one that planted little wing sprouts in my shoulders and dared me to fly into the sun. It was last May, do you remember it? The darling blog of May? A blog a day, in May.
I remember it all too clearly. Burying myself and the laptop in the bedroom, writing about the moments that whispered me into the darling of it all. I found myself, in that place. In that darling little town called May.
When I found myself— when I rediscovered that deeper place within me—I stalled. And I’ve been stalling ever since, stalling among a sea of magic (and I’m not kidding about the magic; among other unexplainable things, I am somehow able to see the frequency waves that border my bathroom doorframe. No idea how or why— ALL the magical unicorn eyes, I suppose. Of course, one of my dearest friends has informed me it’s very likely a special form of epilepsy with my name on it, which, granted, could also be true.)
In the past year, I’ve both found and lost vast pieces of my life. I’ve discovered, and have been hovering over, the next steps of this very magical life of mine…but I have no idea where it’s all going to go from here.
So that’s why I’m doing it again.
A blog a day in May.
Another chance to set the wheel in motion and follow the breadcrumbs of life to someplace new, and guess what? You’re coming with me. You. My friends. My fellow joyfully broken humans. We’re all in this together, so I say let’s huddle and see what we can find in this little bloggy land of ours.
As always, with these funny little months of mine, I’ll do my best to come up with new ways to share my heart and make you all smile. But this time I’ll be doing things a little differently. I’ll be removing the pressure from myself entirely and saying: whatever will be, will be. Some days— as has quite often happened in the past— the tank very well may be running on empty. On those days, I’ll ask you to be patient and smile, and look forward to the next round of possibilities, if you’ll be so kind.
There’ll be no rules, this May.
No set ideas.
Just me. You. And our humanity. The path of life and all the wishy-washy wonder that arises to share. I might share the day. I might share a deep insight. I might share a photo, a joke, a tear.
I might share just about anything. And It’ll all start on the first day of May.
It’s Saturday morning and I’m lazing in the sun chair.
I always make my way back to this place, this little corner of my world that feeds me so beautifully to the sun. It’s a place for just ‘being’, this sun chair of mine, and these days— more than ever before—I need a place to just ‘be’.
For a great deal of yesterday, the sun chair and I sat and listened to the sounds of life as they broke through the window beside us. The calming wind, the gum trees with their squawking cockatoos and paper leaves; there was also the beautiful music that flowed in through my ears and out through my soul. The sun chair and I listened to those sounds, and they became us for a while.
It was awfully nice.
I don’t know why I’ve chosen the sun chair as my new ‘happy place’, and I don’t think I really have to know. It just feels nice to be here, so I keep coming back.
When I write my words, when I set them free in this little bloggy land of mine— the one where you’ve come to meet me, now—I become a better version of me. I can feel it. I can feel the happy moving within me, making my outer edges soft, making my inner edges kind.
It’s what I want my words and my life to be.
And absolutely overflowing with fluffy and mushy and sweet.
That’s why I adore this very bloggy world we share.
It fills my life with chances. Chances to share what it is to be human. Chances to share joy, chances to share pain, chances to share as little or as much as I want, on any given day, about any given thing.
Gosh I’m grateful to have shared so many chances with you.
You might be wondering where all this gooey stuff has come from, and that’s okay, because I’m ready to tell you. It’s come from freedom, the freedom I’ve allowed myself within the walls of this life-filled place.
This heart of mine doesn’t need to do quiet, in this place.
It doesn’t need to do scared of being different, scared of being judged.
It just needs to do me in all of my mushy, fluffy everything.
It’s been one whole year of words from me—
a whole year of this little blog of everything.
And I can’t thank you enough for joining me on the ride.
Let’s talk about magic. The type that swirls around us human folk without us even knowing, without us even trying. The kind of magic I’m talking about is the kind that arises from our natural human energies and the way those energies interact with those around us.
Many years ago— before I became someone’s wife and someone’s Mummy—my thing was acting. There were so many aspects to treading the boards that I loved. Embodying a character essentially gave me permission to do a whole bunch of fun things the real me would never get away with in real life. I mean. How’s that for awesome?
Those years were some of the most wonderful of my life, where I got to unleash my creative essence on the world and have a whole lot of fun along the way. Every show was different. Every character I played: different, each with their own unique personality trying to make its way into the world, through me.
One thing was always the same, though. The backstage buzz. The energy. Every night before the curtains parted, the cast and crew would stand in the wings with wide eyes and vibrating hair—visible signs of the excited, nervous energy that lived within and around us.
This energy was always there, and it was unmistakable. And though none of us could put our finger on how it was made, or where it came from within our bodies, there would not be an actor out there who could deny its magic. To this day I’m in awe of its power, and the potential it always poured into the performance to come.
But even though the energy of stage actors themselves is otherworldly and brilliant, perhaps the most baffling and awe-inspiring energy transfer is that between the audience and the actors. More specifically, how the energy of the audience, as a collective, influences the energy of the performance.
A ‘good’ or ‘bad’ audience can change a show entirely. A ‘good’ audience has the ability to lift a performance. A ‘bad’ audience has the ability to kill it. Human energy, cause and effect. Life transferred from one group to another, each affecting the other in ways the rational mind can’t even come close to understanding.
So. For those actors, musicians, live performers out there who might be wondering…you’re not alone if you’ve felt it. I’ve felt it, and many performers I know have felt it, too.
As for those of us who are, at one time or another, members of an audience—look around. Are people smiling as the show goes on? Or are they just a bit ho-hum about the whole shebang? Because If they’re a bit ho-hum…chances are the actors are backstage, wondering where all the laughs have gone and disappointed not to have the chance to feed off the positive energy of a ‘good’ audience.
My advice to any theatre, dance, or live music lovers out there would be this: if you’re unlucky enough to see a show on a ‘bad’ audience night…go see it again. I can guarantee you, it will be a different show next time around. A better one. And all thanks to that mysterious universal thing: human energy. Magic. Don’t you think?