Tag Archives: writeme30

Seashell Dreams #writeme30

 

The Photo Contributor:

Joey Kennedy. Actor. Artist.

And now proud mama.

I met Joey when she was co-facilitating a program run by Riverland Youth Theatre about youth entrepreneurship for young artists – Joey’s been in a couple of films you might have heard of (Shine and Red Dog) but the film featuring her you should most see is ‘Dance Me To My Song’. We’ve maintained a casual connection through facebook, as so many of us do, and I particularly love seeing Joey’s ‘Mimism’ statuses sharing the funny and adorable things her new little person says and does.

Joey sent this very special and personal photo of her little person for #writeme30 with the following (which I wanted to include here because it’s so precious):

“Sleeping Beauty, Jemimah Rose. Love this co-sleeping/family bed photo of our milk-drunk cherub. Sam took it quietly in the darkness, whilst Mim & I slept peacefully, dreaming contentedly, Mother & Child. Yep, she has this Mama Pyjamas wrapped firmly around her little finger as she holds me & I hold her. She still shares my bed, sleeping cradled in my arms & heart… Circles end where they begin, Alysha. Truly blessed. xxxx

“Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.” – John Donne “

 

The Photo:

Photo Credit: Sam Rochester

Photo supplied by Joey Kennedy

 

The #writeme30 Response – Seashell Dreams:

 

Softly now.

Into suckled hands.

Wet shoulders, warm with love.

Ear shells curled into startled waiting.

Fingers gripped accidently onto hair rocked free.

And these two arms held suspended by love made flesh and hope.

 

Stretched by hunger.

Gripped by fear laced words,

On the edges of warning labels that sing.

Cheeks upturned, towards lights that dim and twist.

Fluttered eyes that wait in dreams overfull with shape and colour.

Legs bent straight by hopes unspoken before we whisper them quietly.

 

Sighed into life.

Delivered into skin’s echo,

Love’s fragile shadow held, gently.

Rocked by woolen comforts made warm,

By skin slept in and woken again and again and again.

These nights we lean into. Stitching futures into the dark. Together.

 

 

* I will be a few weeks short of photos so if you would like to submit a photo for me to respond to, you would be very welcome to. Email it to me at: pressurelandsATmeDOTcom

** #writeme30 posts are published ‘as is’ (rough!) without any editing or curating as the project is about exploring my responses to the photographs supplied. Some posts may plant the seeds for future writing projects but they are not written with that in mind.

 

 

 

Honey-less #writeme30

Kate Reilly has supplied this week’s #writeme30 photo. Kate and I went to school together in Burra (a really cute little town in the mid north of South Australia) and like many other friends through our family’s many moves we lost touch over time. Through the power of ye olde facebook we’ve since connected again in a loose sort of way and Kate has shared this photo from a safari in her backyard last winter.

The sour sobs in the photo very much reminded me of Burra – as kids we all used to eat them!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been participating in the #futurepresent residency with Vitalstatistix and Urban Theatre Projects. During the residency which finished a few days ago, our team watched this short video from futurist Kristin Alford:

The loss of bees in the future really stood out to me and reminded me of Kate’s photo. Although I’ve heard about the risk to bee populations before, something about Kristin’s talk made it seem more real than it’s felt before. I love honey on toast. I’ll really miss honey in the future. What does that mean? I don’t know yet, but it’s something to think about.

So here’s the first #writeme30 post for June.

The Photo:

Bee Photo from Kate Reilly                              Photo supplied by Kate Reilly

The Response – Honey-less:

These days spin

Left waiting in wrappers

Soft with

Warm days

Warm thoughts

 

To reach into the future

To pluck out these weeds

 

Ease our days in walls left untended.

Eyes left un-mended, and now,

Now.

 

This winged, waiting breath. Just breathed.

With hands too small to capture

Eyelids pulling at the wind

Reigned in,

To beginnings,

Fresh with ice

Trailing longing

Weeping forgotten

 

To sit.

Gently perched,

On future dreams.

 

* I will be a few weeks short of photos so if you would like to submit a photo for me to respond to, you would be very welcome to. Email it to me at: pressurelandsATmeDOTcom

** #writeme30 posts are published ‘as is’ without any editing or curating as the project is about exploring my responses to the photographs supplied. Some posts may plant the seeds for future writing projects but they are not written with that in mind.

 

 

Rage of the Heart #writeme30

 

Earlier this week I attended the launch of a very special book about my little friend Kaitie.

The photo for this week’s #writeme30 post has been supplied by Kaitie’s mum Kimberlee Francis, one of my very dear friends and shows Kaitie and Kim during one of their many hospital visits.

Kaitie is only 9 but has endured more than 30 operations as a result of the rare genetic disorder she was born with. She was born with Mucopolysaccharidoses Type 1, one of a group of incurable diseases known as MPS, which can cause intellectual impairment, eye and hearing problems, bone and joint malformation and heart and breathing difficulties. You can read more about MPS on the MPS Australia website here. And more about the launch of Kaitie the Courageous here, plus listen to Kim’s moving speech as part of the launch:

This week’s #writeme30 post:

The Photo:

Kaitie and Kim                                            Photo supplied by Kim Francis

The Response – Rage of the Heart:

 

I will hold you.

With my hands shaking.

Eyes raking white walls.

Lips straining cold sheets.

Palms caught in held time.

Fingertips glimpsed and softened.

Ready.

 

I will hold you.

In these new hours. Fresh and quiet.

The edge of falling again.

Your fingers will curl in mine.

I will squeeze back.

My heart will hang itself on the back of the door.

And beg my dreams to tangle into your sleeping hair.

I will find myself there.

The echo. The possibility.

The singing sigh of a tomorrow me.

 

I will hold you.

With smiles staining my tears.

With tears biting my smiles.

 

I will hold you.

Today. Tonight. Tomorrow.

I will hold you.

*

 

And here’s Amaya modeling Kaitie the Courageous at the launch:

Amaya with Courageous book

You can purchase a copy of Kaitie the Courageous via the MPS Society by emailing info@mpssociety.org.au or head to their website here. You can also read more about Kaitie’s journey here.

PS – If you happen to be getting married anywhere in South Australia. Kim also happens to be an ace marriage celebrant (she married us earlier this year in March on the stage of the Chaffey Theatre) – go ahead and like her facebook page here.

 

 

Homecoming. #writeme30

 

So…I’m a little late getting this week’s #writeme30 post together…

 

Saturday just past (the 19th April), I brought a new human into the world. Our daughter Amaya was born beautiful and healthy a week before her due date. We are both fine, but very tired so taking it easy over the next little while.

 

Mummy with Amaya

Hence, the lateness with this post…. 🙂

This week’s #writeme30 post is inspired by a photo supplied by Mr Matt Shilling, a friend from Youth Parliament*. Matt and I met in 2010 when we were placed in the same team as participants. Matt and I have very different political and religious views and this difference (underpinned by respect) is something I really value. If I wanted to just hear people agree with me all the time, I could just talk to the mirror!

Matt didn’t give any particular insight into this photo, just that he thought of me and my request for a photo when he was taking it.

The Photo:

Matt Shilling Photo copy                               Photo supplied by Matt Shilling.

The Response – Homecoming**:

Just until this song ends. We’ll sit right here. You and I. With our hands and eyes entwined. All you have to do is lean in.

His eyes flick to the side. Around the corner of her head. Listing. Reaching for the next question. The moment beyond this discomfort. He deliberately doesn’t respond to what she’s actually asking. Instead responding only to the literal. The actual. The direct. The intention behind her eyes is discarded in favour of his safety.

This has been their pattern. Their dance. Together. Apart. Together. Apart.

Lean into me. Into this. Into love. Into home.

 

**

It hit him coming round the curve in the old mail road, his hands soft on the wheel. Sharp and deep. Unexpected. The forgotten ache of home. Too long. Too long between drinks. Lucan pulled the car into the gravel shoulder. Left the ignition running and stepped out into the gentling darkness. Sucking in the smell of it. The smell of home. Of long lost things. Buried things. Growing things. Past things. Half remembered things. It hurt to be home. It was good to be home.

The house was dark. The key under the mat where it had always been and he let himself into the back door. The familiar kitchen opening under his feet. Nothing had changed. Except that everything had. The floor was cold. The air still and empty. The walls waiting. Every surface pregnant with loss.

Every surface trailed beneath his fingers felt too close, too real, too cold. Too close to knowing. And finally, that last empty room, with its large empty bed.

Sunlight smacked him into life the following morning. The edges of the old couch digging into his ribs and hips. His eyes stiff with the night before. The night’s darkness left behind for the day’s. Lucan didn’t bother with a suit. This wasn’t a town that needed suits. He pulled on jeans and a button shirt. Didn’t notice the soft wrinkles left behind by lack of care. He pulled a comb through his hair. Made himself ready in every other way he could.

The office was cool and smelt of cleaning products. Too similar to a hospital for Lucan’s liking. The woman behind the desk smiled at him with that soft I’m sorry kind of smile. He didn’t smile back. The smile held too long. Became awkward.

“Is there anything else?”

She blinked, startled.

“No. Just. You just need to sign here,” she said, sliding a sheaf of papers across the cheap wooden desk. He flicked through them all, slowly. Knowing it made her nervous. Not caring. Finally, pulling a pen from the cup on the desk and signing beside each marked x.

“Done.”

“Done.” She agreed, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The awkwardly held smile again.

“I know.” And he left the way he’d come. Back out into the fresh clean air.

 

 

*Youth Parliament is a fantastic youth leadership/development program for under 25’s building public speaking and debating skills alongside an understanding of the parliamentary process. Youth Parliament programs run in most states. I spent three years with the SA program, the first year as a participant and then two years as part of the organizing taskforce. It wasn’t something I thought would really be my thing and I only really went the first year because I had the opportunity to go for free, but discovered that I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, More info about the SA program here.

 

**I’m keen to spend more time experimenting with prose fiction. This post is obviously the beginning of an idea rather than a fully realised narrative.

 

Read the other #writeme30 posts here. Or subscribe to get them delivered straight to your inbox.

 

 

 

 

Writing Myself to 30 – A very personal project #writeme30

So tomorrow (or today really by the time I publish this or you happen to be reading it) is my birthday. I’m turning 29. And I’ve been thinking lately about how very far I’ve come and all the beautiful, inspiring, frustrating and wonderful people who’ve touched my life in a variety of ways.

keep-calm-sing-happy-birthday-to-me

2014 also happens to be a really big year of personal transition for our family – Nic and I have both taken on new jobs, Mr Z is at a new school, we’ve moved from my regional heartland to the smelly city (Adelaide actually is quite a beautiful city but I’m still struggling with this transition) and in approximately six weeks we’ll have a new baby in our lives. There’s also a lot going on in our professional worlds – including my participation with the Foundation for Young Australian’s ‘Young Social Pioneers‘ Program and all the learning, dreaming and strategising this program is further inspiring.

Life is both terrifying and exciting right now and the tension between the two is making me ask myself all sorts of glorious questions about my creative practice. What it has been, what is is and what it could be. And most importantly what I want it to be.

And so.

I’m embarking on a year long project to explore and deepen my writing practice through the relationships that have shaped me – I’m writing myself towards my 30th Birthday, 18th March 2015.

Over the last week and a bit I’ve asked selected people in my world – some constants, some visitors, some past moments, some new additions – to provide me with a photograph.  I said the photographs could be anything, a streetscape, their smiling face, a rubbish bin in an alley. They might have special meaning. Or they might not.

With each of those photographs I’ll be writing a creative response. It might be a poem, a short story, a piece of personal memoir, a scene in a play or a general blog post. I’ll be publishing a photograph and it’s personal response every week starting tomorrow (18th March 2014) until I turn 30 (18th March 2015).

I expect that the way I engage with and respond to the photos will change a LOT over the year and it might start out pretty rough. But you know, I’m all about the being vulnerable thing and sharing my process as I go. So welcome to this journey with me. Wish me luck!

*If you want to follow along with this project #writeme30, subscribing to this blog (from the sidebar) will send you an email update every time I publish a new post so you don’t need to remember to keep checking back. 🙂