Friday, September 26, 2008

Fridays Creation #2

Here is my 3rd entry for the Cyber Crop Challenges. This one for Leone's Challenge which included taking photos of things within 10 minutes from home and the title including the words "10 Minutes From Home". So here is - 10 Minutes from Home... of course....

Another CC entry.

Finally managed to take some photos of my entry for Mel's challenge at the Cyber Crop last Friday night at Scrap Pile. Challenge was to make your own flowers and do a layout with the word Spring in the title - since it was a "Spring" themed CC. I was out and about taking some photos in the area for Leone's challenge (which at this point I think I will be lucky to get done... but ahhh well....) and took photos of some gorgeous flowering trees along the way. Entitled Spring Blossoms - here is what I came up with. I made the flowers by stamping on a clear transparency and adding Kindy Glitz dots and some gold brads. Dimensionally the layout looks much nicer than the photos show.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fixing things.

Some people are natural born fixers. The need to fix things comes as naturally as breathing air. And when you love someone, the need to fix things is even more intense, more important. So when a situation arises and you find yourself in that unenviable position of having your hands tied and not being able to do a single thing to help fix it, it can be so frustrating and painful that you feel you've done nothing but let your loved one down.

Yesterday was so full of fixers. I've never quite been struck by a scenario with quite so much impact. Certainly the situation was totally foreign to me, as it has been for the past 11 months we've been dealing with this particular scenario. Watching a friend go through a court system that is designed on the One Size Fits All pattern is frustrating enough when one size in reality simply doesn't fit all. And clearly I am somewhat naive in my belief that along the path of life - common sense prevails. In some ways I hope to remain a little that way. For me, to think otherwise gives me not a lot of hope for the future.

But watching a group of people all gathered with the one purpose - the support of someone they loved, and all wanting to fix the situation but none of them able to, watching their pain and frustration, together with feeling my own pain and frustration shared for the same purpose - was an overwhelming experience. Each of us dealing with the outcome in our own way. And even though this was the first time I had met 3 of the 9 in the group, there was a powerful magnetic bond thanks no doubt to the shared purpose of the gathering. What struck me also was the need for each to support the rest, to help fix their pain and frustration with words and hugs and gestures of care. And if the one we were there to support had been able to witness that perspective of the day, I have no doubt he would have been comforted by the solid network that had formed.

And then later in the day I was once again in the presence of a fixer but this time being the subject of the attention. Same scenario, different geography and subject. But it occurred to me at that point how much easier it is to cope with the difficulties in your life when you know you are loved and supported. When you know you have the rock and the soft place to fall. It gave me a bit of perspective to placate my own frustration. I realised that even though you can't fix everything for the ones you love, just being there is enough. That they know you are there to allay their fear, hold them while they cry, and just be there so they aren't facing those dark moments alone - it truly is enough without even so much as a spoken word. And one of the most powerful realisations for me was how little of that I have had in these past years and more particularly how important and appreciated it is right here, right now.

And so now much of my thoughts are with Paul who has the most difficult months ahead but about whom we still care as deeply as before this tragic impasse. And if nothing else is learned from this period of my life, there are two things that are indelibly imprinted in my heart. One is that nothing should ever be taken for granted in life as everything can change in the blink of an eye and there is not a damn thing you can do to change what is done. The second is that Common Sense doesn't always prevail and guess what - there's not a damn thing you can do to change what is done......

In my own means of dealing with passing time, I took out Shane's camera and snapped a couple of pictures that, for me, summed up the contrasts of the day.... For it was a day of many contrasts, some truly lovely people sharing a profound moment in all their lives... a day I will remember long into the future for less than memorable reasons.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The past revisited

Another week begins and a really nice weekend to reflect on. A visit to the Royal Melbourne Show was a fun day out, although I must admit it was a tad strange visiting the dog section with no dog after all these years. It was neat to catch up with some old friends and have a chat. Funny to watch some of the people look at my face and take a moment to register - hey I know her.... It's hard to believe that apart from our local Kennel Club shows, I haven't been to a dog show since about November of 2006. It doesn't seem like that long ago, but it was. Gone but not forgotten I guess would be the general feeling I left with.

It also lead me to thinking about friendships again, and how some bonds with people seem to surpass all nature of things. How someone you cared about can do the wrong thing by you and at the time you think you will never be able to forgive them, and yet in time all the ill feeling passes and what is left is something I don't quite fully understand, but a certain willingness to forgive but not forget. The acceptance that while you know the friendship will never get back to where it was, there is an understanding that friendship of some form is possible even if it's one at arms length.

I understand the arms length thing. It's like life's safety net, the deliberate act of allowing someone enough proximity to communicate, while keeping enough distance to be able to walk away at the sign of things turning sour again. Sort of damage control I suppose. I experienced that twice yesterday in two sort of bittersweet moments from two very different people I once cared deeply for as friends but who both in the end took another side to a relationship breakdown - it cut very deep wounds that have taken a long time to heal, if wounds like that ever really heal. And it was strange to have both of them greet me with such enthusiasm. But then perhaps the "fall out zone" hadn't affected them quite as much as it had me... who knows.

The other thing from the weekend which has brought about moments of thought is the various reactions to Shane and I being together. It's been a roller coaster of emotions this past month and although I am so proud of the man for his strength and integrity throughout this difficult time, I have seen the strain and felt the pain every step of the way. I think the sad part is there are so few people who really know exactly what he means to me and vice versa. Knowing what the two of us have been through this past year and a half, to have any suggestion this is anything other than what we both know it to be - if nothing else - makes us laugh. But at the same time there is a sadness that so many underestimated the love two people have for each other. The story is far from over. But for those who cared to open their eyes and see the reality, all that is left in view are two people who are very happy and looking forward to forging a future together. Communication, consideration, respect, support, passion and love rate high on the agenda. It will be an interesting life from here on........

Friday night would be a key example of how supported, respected and loved I feel right now. With the last Scrap Pile Cyber Crop being held, I was plonked in front of the computer, with a steady flow of wine, marshmallows, chocolate, dinner cooked and served, regular visits to check if I was enjoying myself/needed anything/shoulder massage, and just generally say I love you certainly achieved the desired result of making sure I had a special night. This is indeed a very special man of the like I have never known. I still pinch myself in disbelief at times but you can be sure I am very aware of the incredible partnership I now have and the desire to ensure it remains healthy always.

And so from the Cyber Crop challenges comes my next scrapping project. Jewls challenge was a card including a butterfly and some stitching. Here is my entry below.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well I'll be scrapped!

I know there were a few of my friends who thought I had given up scrapbooking. But hey, it was just a little holiday. Today I had the urge to do something. So here is "The Smallest Things.."

Life's like that...

Well life has been a little hectic of late. Not stressful hectic, but hectic none the less. Dividing your time between two homes and two very different lives makes a week seem a wee bit shorter than usual. The good news however is that despite anticipated outside aggravation, life is blissfully sensational which makes it so much easier to face almost anything.

It's been interesting to contemplate various things these past weeks. Friendships for one. I've often wondered what it is that draws people together into those deep bonding friendships that seem to transcend odd barriers - including age. Friendships that perhaps appear strange to people on the outside but infinitely clear and comfortable to those within. I have been fortunate to have some very special people in my life about whom I care intensely. People whose company generates harmony and enjoyment from merely being in their presence. And yet from the outside we sometimes must look like the odd couple to people who know us individually for we come from very different life paths. For some reason though, we were destined to meet and become friends and what we bring to one another's lives cannot be recreated by another human being.

Friendship has always been an important thing to me. Not that I've ever been the social butterfly who has squillions of friends, for my choice is to have much deeper relationships with people that will not allow for more than a few at a time. One of the things I like most about these special friendships is you can do everything or nothing together, and it all feels perfect at the time. And those people who have touched my heart will always remain there, often even after the friendship has moved on, I will always remember the reason they came into my life. It is true what they say - People do come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Those special ones really do come in all 3 packages, and I will always remember each and every one of them.

At the very core of friendship is a deep trust, love and understanding. I am instinctively protective of those I love. And so at times where things need fixing and I am unable to help fix - it creates a great deal of frustration. Thanks to one such deep friendship I am learning to accept some things cannot be repaired or helped. It's helping me to deal with some of the harsher realities of life, but ultimately it will never change my deep desire to see those I love, happy.

Even the concept of happiness means so many different things to different people. For me, I've decided happiness is a state of contentment and fulfillment, with a sense of excitement and a passion for life. The knowledge that I am supported, encouraged and above all else that it's OK to be ME. It's not about what I do with my life - its about doing what I want with my life. Following my heart. Being true to myself. And living each day acknowledging all the wonderful people and things I have to be thankful for.

We had some rather nasty weather last night. Lying in bed just before midnight we heard a large thud but it was too dark and miserable to go outside to check what it was. Thankfully nothing serious but we did lose a considerable piece of tree out the front. The wind at its worst is always forbidding as it roars up from the valley below us, and last night's storm was probably one of the most intimidating I can recall here. Although considering that, it was a little surprising there wasn't more damage to be seen this morning.

And so to finish off I'll leave you with one or three images from my current life.....