sur·re·al·ism /səˈriəˌlɪzəm/ Show Spelled[suh-ree-uh-liz-uhm]
noun ( sometimes initial capital letter )
A style of art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or non-rational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions, etc. (http://www.dictionary.com/)
Life's been somewhat surreal for the last 48 hours - actually, the last week has been something of a roller coaster. I'm blaming the huge full moon in Gemini, blitzed with and eclipse. It feels like I've been in the midst of a spin cycle of a wonky washing machine. I'm sitting here now, grounded, still pondering just what has gone on in the last few days.
Edna St Vincent Millay partly sums up the last few days:
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Somewhat mournful, but somewhat true. The last few days have been a blur of occurrences that have left me gasping, wondering, tearing up, contemplating, enjoying and generally going "What the Fuck! Has that just happened?"
Maybe it's the universe performing Ho'onponopono on me. Ho'onpononpono? It's a Hawaiian healing technique. By healing yourself, you heal the world. By looking at yourself, and others, you release the old pain. By saying, and meaning, the words, you begin the healing process. I love you. I'm sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. It's a simple, but incredibly effective healing tool, yet when I see it in action - or have it used on me - I'm left rather breathless. Like now.
A lot of the last year has been spent looking at myself, my relationships with others. Working on gratitude, forgiveness, apologies and love. It appears to be all coming back now.
First there was an expression of gratitude that I never saw coming. A friend said thank you for some stuff that I'd done for him. Not that I was expecting or wanting this to be said.
It meant a lot. It meant a hell of a lot to me - not that I didn't know that he was thankful, it's just not something I though I would ever hear verbalised. At the time I was doing the stuff for him, things that I thought pretty minor and things that anybody else would do for somebody in the same predicament, especially when you had feelings for the person involved. It felt good to be acknowledged. That is all.
So this started the week on a good note.
Work has got a little better. I'll be finishing up where I am at the end of January - and this is fine as long as the ear plugs keep working and my friends keep making sure I get out for lunch a few times a week - I can cope. I've forgiven myself for ending up back where I am, able to see that I'm truly no longer who I was, or where I was when I was working in these area - a huge call.
Book Group came and went. The books have been chosen for the year. A lovely meeting was held. I was a little disappointed that the books I put up didn't make the list - Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' and Anna Funder's 'All That I Am' - but the rest of the list is wonderful, so I am not complaining in the slightest.
Dream Group, as always brought up some stuff. It's good like that. Maybe not so strangely, themes of loss and atonement came up. I really have to read that book again.
Thursday, Pinochet got his birthday workout. I stupidly promised him birthday chin ups. He got twenty of the buggers. I hate chin ups (assisted of course) almost as much as I hate burpees. But I will do chin ups. I won't do burpees. He was also presented with 3x20 100kg leg presses, 3x20 40 kg dead lifts, 3x10 22 kg clean and presses and a whole heap of other heavy weight lifts. Pinochet was delighted. I was a little sore the day after.
Friday had me motoring down to the Mornington Peninsula for the consultancy's Christmas Party. As somebody who takes a minimal participation view of Christmas, I was rather looking forward to this one. The company hires out a resort for the night, we all stay the night, get fed, drink up, party on and get breakfast, on the company. It was fantastic. Sharing a suite with Jonella was great too, as being friends, there was none of the formalities you have when sharing accommodation with those you don't know that well. Wandering around in our dressing gowns, putting on make up, borrowing cosmetics and hair goop - it's was like sharing with my sister or a very old friend. Even nicer, Jonella took the fold up couch, leaving me with the bedroom for which I am grateful. (as I was hoping to leave early in the morning and Jonella was intending to have a late one, it was very much appreciated - and I'm very glad she got a good night's sleep on the fold up).
The only downer was having to drive through a major thunderstorm - the wipers going full bore and still couldn't see where I was going for about ten minutes. Never to mind, the car is clean now.
Also, being a corporate do - I decided to get the 'dead ant' out the way. Do it in the privacy of my own room rather than three sheets to the wind in the middle of the dance floor. (Note gleeful expression on face - and nice ankles...photo courtesy of an incredulous Jonella.)
The whole evening was sensational. The company prides itself on its people and with good reason. A lovely crowd, great food, plentiful wine. A great night was had. Got to bed about one. I registered Jonella coming in sometime later before a great night's sleep.
Coming home the next morning, I had about an hour before I was due out again. This time, a large gathering of the Elks for a special ceremonial meeting. It was something I was looking forward to and dreading in equal proportions.
Problem one. Already ratty from a night away, a day of housework and gyming would have been wonderful - but I had to turn up to this event. I had a job to do. I planned to sneak away for a nanna nap before dinner after the ceremony - didn't happen.
Problem two. It was tropically hot in Melbourne last week. 32 degrees with 90% humidity. It felt like Bangkok. Being stuck in an airless room with 70 others with only the humming of ineffective fans for relief wasn't that great- okay - uncomfortable and exhausting are better words for it. The ceremony, however, was lovely. To top it off, there was one of the members who gave a small recital on her harp.
This is where the really surreal stuff happened. She played a couple of songs, the last being the "Skye Boat Song". During the song - some of the group started humming along. It was ethereal.
I lost my body!
I'm not kidding. For a few moments, my physical self disappeared. All I was aware of was my inner self, and the music.
Losing myself to music is something I'm prone to. I can't feel my body any more. It's a rare and rather special feeling. The last time I remember feeling it was at a Jeff Beck concert. "Brush with the Blues", a favourite song of mine came on, and I was gone.
My friend who was with me at the time has always commented on how easily I lose myself to music - allowing my body to disolve - well that's what it feels like.
It left me a little shaken. It's never happened in such a public arena before. Or so completely. It took a bit to get myself back again.
I spent the rest of the afternoon staving off panic attacks by standing outside with the smokers - trying to hide my panic. Little old lady induced claustrophobia isn't fun. Eight hours after arriving, I walked the short distance home -arriving to the really surreal stuff.
A few months ago I told of how I "found" an old boyfriend on facebook. That was a bit trippy.
To have three more significant people who I've heard nothing from in years contact me in 24 hours. It's just a bit too surreal for words.
All of these men have had a lot to do with shaping my life in one way or another.
First up, after a virtual absence of a year, Lachlan sends an email. Like the proverbial bad penny, he comes back for a chat every so often. This one is under control. The heart is clear - it's just funny that he chose yesterday to get back in contact.
The second person sent my life off in completely different direction - for which I am indebted to him, even though he has to be kept at arms length and little attention given to him.
Terry got me to Greece. Terry was the one who organised for me to go work on a Greek Island for a few months. Okay, so the visa situation was stuffed up. So I dismantled my life because of this 'opportunity' - one, which, in hindsight, was one of the formative of my life. It let me learn how to take risks. It got me out of my rut - and even though I was back in Australia in four months, it got my life moving again in a much better direction.
Terry will be kept at a distance. He can be more trouble than he's worth - but I do hope he knows that I'll always be grateful for the three months I spent in the Greek Islands in 2003.
The third person to contact me is another "Never, ever, ever going to have contact with this person again" people. Another very significant person who I pretty much never talk about, to nobody.
Of the men in my life, Lucas has a significant place. Like one other before him, he's somebody that I've occasionally thought about how things could have been if things were different. There's no point regretting what happened. There's no point even asking, "What if?" But I look back on my time with him, know he was put there for a reason and let it go.
Looking back, he's somebody I would fight for now if he was to come into my life at this stage of proceedings. I wasn't capable of fighting for myself back then. I was capable of existing and that was about it - nobody wants a serious relationship with a shell.
Lucas was around for a while, on and off. Geography wasn't going for us - as he lived in Cardiff for most of the time I knew him - I lived in London. Me pondering being chucked out of the country at any point never helped the formation of serious relationships. Not a great base for anything.
Lucas - whip smart, an engineer, played concert violin, with a silly, geeky laugh, lank hair and a gentle nature that was hidden by walls of shyness which came across as arrogance. Appeared to fall for my gormless "Fancy a shag?" line when I came back from the pub pissed one night - first and only time a chat up line worked.
Neither of us were up for anything serious. I treated him poorly at times, but then again, he wasn't that great to me at times either. He fascinated me. Soon after things went pear-shaped, I moved back to Australia. I'm in loose contact with a good mate of his - but I've never asked about him. Water under the bridge and all that.
We've had a brief chat online. He's still in Cardiff. One of his first questions to me was 'Are you still writing?"
Thing is - I thought he'd have forgotton me. Like the other one before him, I though they'd have just moved on, met somebody, got on with their lives, married, kids and the like - and I'd be forgotton. Just one of those fleeting people you meet. In my case, I was that pernickety woman who shared a flat with a mate of his.
It's just been a strange weekend for people getting in touch. I'm not sure what the universe wants me to look at. It's all just a bit surreal. Three getting back in contact in 24 hours! I'm blaming the full moon.
This afternoon I grounded myself with a lovely, brutal Thai massage, a cup of tea with Blarney, a cuddle with Maow Maow and the throwing around of Blarney's boys - it appears I give good airplane to toddlers.
For this week - hmm - tarot client tomorrow, Opera Tuesday (Don Giovanni - yay), dream group Wednesday, Pinochet Thursday and some friends are coming round for pizza and a viewing of Donnie Darko on Friday.
Yeah, it's a bit busy. It will help stop me pondering just what the hell the universe wants from me.
I'm sorry. I forgive you. I love you. Thank you. Repeat.
Maybe it's to find Summer singing in me once again. Unlike Millay's poem, I'm not sure that part of me is as dead as I like to think it is.