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Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

all the love in the world

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My friend Louise commented on yesterday’s post: “One of the reasons for all the love in the world is the deep affection and connection we feel with those new beings born of our relationships.” I couldn’t have said it better.

agatha

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I want to stay. Yet I want to go.

keeping quiet

#alone #fmsphotoaday #fmsphotoaday_hashimaree

Keeping Quiet, by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

choose happiness

I was invited to spend the evening with girlfriends, but I knew I needed to spend it alone.

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I have given away some personal power this week, waiting for phone calls. Tonight was my night to get back into my own self-sufficiency, to remind myself that everything is totally OK, just as it is. That I am more than fine. Me. Alone. Fine.

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I was nearly back home from my hill climb, when my next door neighbour’s labrador pup wriggled under the fence to love on me. Which led to a shared bottle of wine with MB, and then an invitation to contribute to the community art project in his back room. Sharpies and paints were offered.

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Of course I partook, enthusiastically.

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Choose happiness? Yes.

Me too.

soccer + beer + rattlesnakes

Since meeting Keifer, I’ve been sallying forth most evenings in a desire to connect with more of my neighbours.

The other night I met Charles Accardi, who let his icecream melt while we chatted by his car. He wants to see my art. Um, OK.

I’ve also been picking up hitchhikers in the canyon. That’s how I met Kai and Nathan.

Tonight I followed sounds of youthful joy to a game of “double football”, played on a side street by three generations. A round ball was being kicked, while an ovoid ball was simultaneously thrown. I joined in for a few minutes (not sure of the rules) until the patriarch ushered me up the adjacent stairs to meet his wife and give me a beer.

Sylvia and John

Meet Sylvia (from Guatemala) and John (from Malta), Topanga residents for 35 years. We talked about geography and bridges and World War II and rattlesnakes.

The snakes seem to be a recurring theme.

The view from John and Sylvia's

But then, so is the happiness for living in this awesome place. Have I mentioned lately how much I love it here?

on meeting the locals

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I spent all day — nearly nine hours — making the dress you see above. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get some good photos and do a post about it. But tonight, I really needed to stretch my legs.

So at dusk, barefoot, I headed up the hill. I wasn’t looking for a workout, as much as for some interaction. I thought that maybe I was meant to connect with one of my neighbours.

I took a previously unexplored side street, and noted the vehicles, the dogs, the outdoor settings. But no humans. I kept climbing as dark descended. I reached the end of the cul-de-sac, and finally a voice.

“Hello there!”

“Hi,” I replied in the dark. “I’m your neighbour”.

“Are you into motorsports?” came the unexpected response from the shirtless elderly man.

Um … no … but let’s talk about it anyway.

So Keifer showed me his motorcycles, and his house, and we sat in his living room and chatted for a half hour. He was incredulous that an Australian was not into motorsports, because apparently we have won all sorts of records. (Who knew? not me!)

He was impressed that I could take a photo with my phone. He warned me to watch out for rattlesnakes on the road on the way home (did I mention I was barefoot?) and was then even more amazed to see that my phone was also a flashlight.

Big smiles, from both of us.

I freakin’ LOVE living in Topanga. I don’t think I can ever live in the city or suburbs again.

something wonderful this way comes

Malibu Creek State Park

What a fun/thrilling/tiring weekend, full of connections and surprises and learning.

I learned that even though J doesn’t find me sexy, it doesn’t mean that nobody does.

I learned that interest in the study of Latin has steadily increased over the past decade in this country.

I learned to identify dozens of native plants, while on a 5-hr docent-led hike in Malibu Creek State Park.

I’m really quite tired, from all the physical and emotional activity. Tired, in a very very good way.

Yay to being open to connections. I’ve opened all my doors, and good things and people are coming in.

Happy. Yep.

such. wild. love.

Every morning I come down to my car and find a #secretmessage left on the ground, and on the car's roof. Jacaranda, rose and nectarine blossoms are collaborating in an attempt to tell me something. That life is perfect just as it is? That beauty is all ar
I have felt such wild love since my forgiving.

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For L, who is hurting so badly, having had her world turned upside down yet again, and whose acting out is completely understandable.

Joshua
For J, who is confused and guilty but who never acted from cruelty.

View from my bed
For Topanga Canyon, and my treehouse, my new home. I really love it here.

my children.
For my kids, who I long ago abandoned in their time of need, an act I can never make up for. It’s so obvious to me now, going through a second divorce. But at the time (1995) I was more concerned with my own well-being than theirs. I’m older and wiser now.

For my friends and loved ones (you know who you are) who reach out to me, and support me with your calls and visits and texts and instagram comments.

me
For myself, wrinkles and sagging bits and faults and all. Love feels way better than hurt/hate/fear. Way, way better. I recommend it.

elizabeth

The lovely Elizabeth of Sewn fame stayed with me the other night. We’d never met before, but had talked on the phone, and knew we liked each other a lot. But it’s a bit spooky how much we have in common (from atheism to a love of thin pillows). She helped me fit my Pastille dress, and we talked about breakups and patterns and our dream fabric store and we played Draw Something (laughing at how dorky it was to be doing it while we were in the same room) and shared a bottle of wine. It was good good good.

Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you, internet.

Yay for connections. Yay for friendship.

P.S. I stole this photo from your blog without asking permission because technically it’s my picture. I pressed the button. Admittedly on your phone. But still. :-)

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