i was taken by surprise. as the sun beat down and the lazy bumble bees awoke from their slumber i was taken by surprise.
spring has arrived. whilst i meticulously created resources and perfected my enthusiastic face the seasons changed outside my window.
i watched as ants clambered over one another and swallows swoop from the nest they had crafted in the roof of a neighbours house.
i thought about it all. all the mess and the noise and struggle of the term. i thought about the ease with which i have completed the teaching.
and of the determination i have used up to drag myself home each night.
i thought about driving away. about crickets chirping in the oppressive heat.
i thought about all the things that make up my life, of all the things that are bought to make up my world, of all the times i think, 'i want.'
i thought about how much energy it takes to be 2. about how much energy it takes to climb the rungs of forgiveness and settle down in the fort you have created for yourself.
in the sunshine. with the crickets chirping and the bumblebees softly roaming around.
it's funny how flying colours don't apply to the hollow valleys of life.
my hope for you is that you live life, that you breath deep the humid fragrance of mundane chores and wild adventures,
that you gaze at the moon each night and journal about the sound of each rain drop as it carelessly tumbles to its inevitable death.
my hope is that you care more about your land,
about your history,
about the mark you are making,
and less about the hair you are sporting or what the next girl is wearing.
my hope, my deep seated gut wrenching desire, is that you life real life,
that you love real friends,
that you work for real change.
that you do not forget the bright lights and brighter still the stars.
that feeling of being somewhere that can be all of the above, with none of the pitfalls of technology and waste.
create real life.
cultivate actual change.
Christmas is a tricky one for me.
I like presents.
I like making my house pretty.
I like taking time to think about gifts i want to get my friends and family.
I like wrapping things.
I like the spirit of generosity and kindness it breeds in people.
I like the magic of the season.
Father Christmas dropping down a chimney.
A baby being born to a virign.
I like the hope that has to come with it.
I like being allowed to watch terrible terrible Christmas movies and spending days not doing much at all.
I like my family.
But not all my family is here, and whilst this is a fact I battle with every day of the year, on Christmas day it is made all that more apparent.
As much as I love all the things that come with Christmas - all these things are always left that little bit empty because my brother is not here to share them.
I think it is important to remember us at this time of the year.
The forgotten ones. The people who find this day not full of peace and joy and love.
Who strive to find those things, but who struggle for those things on these days.
I can be glad that there was once a baby and a stable and astronomers and magic. Whether you believe it to be a true story or not, it is still one full of hope and gladness and grace.
And on holidays like this one, I am thankful for all those things.
Merry Christmas, friends. New York beckons tomorrow, so I'll be back in the New Year!
Yes I have spent the last 4 days putting 'le' in front of everything.
I loved le Paris. It's a beautiful beautiful city, and I'd go back soon as.
I did not love the hotel we checked out of after the first night. It was smelly. And dirty. And I'm pretty sure it had bed bugs. I have no idea why I booked it. NO IDEA AT ALL.
We got to the hotel at 6pm and dropped our bags then headed out to the Eiffel Tower. As all good tourists do.
We got back to the room at about 10, and from then on. I didn't sleep a wink.
Well, maybe I slept two winks.
But as we know two winks is not enough to sustain this annoying girl for a day of le Paris in the morn.
We changed hotels. Of course. Because really, it was foul. I'm not sure it could even be classed as a hostel.
I struggled. Bad.
I didn't even take my camera out that second day. Because my shoulders were in such pain, that little Alice would have killed them.
I relied on Frost's eyes and lens.
By the time our 7.30am flight came around the next morning, I had had only another half a wink sleep, and my poor little body felt like it was shutting down bit by bit.
I had the shortest flight of my life, and the worst. I spent it with my head on my knees the whole time.
I got through it by counting every five minutes.
Five sets of 60.
8 sets of five.
And whilst counting all those seconds I was feeling like I would die. And when I feel so ill I get angry.
Truth of the matter is, anger is my go to emotion when anything at all happens.
But when this happens, I know what to do. I know through my CBT how to slow my mind and process what is actually causing my anger, and not what I think I am angry at.
This is all lovely in theory. To be so centred and meditative. So logical and able to understand the patterns and processes of your own mind.
But I was sitting 26,000 feet in the air feeling like I would die with my head in my legs, and possibly freaking out my poor neighbour sitting next to me.
Tranquility and objective thinking were not on my mind.
I wanted to be a normal person who can go to le Paris for two days without killing her body.
I wanted my body to behave like a normal person, and to stop killing me all the time.
I wanted the plane to fly the eff faster. Why did they cut concorde for crying out loud? Why didn't Richard Branson buy concorde out like it was reported years ago? What is wrong with him?! That stupid, rich, bearded fool.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
And why on earth would somebody create a body that can't eat anything without it causing extreme frustration and awkwardness?
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
Why the eff would somebody think a good function in a body is dairy intolerance? AND THEN LET THAT PERSON GO TO LE PARIS.
With all the croissants, and pastries, and ice-cream that they can't eat! What is wrong with that ridiclous entity!
21.. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.
It is widely known amongst my close friends, anybody that has taken a journaling class off me, and anyone that has sent me a ridiculous text asking for prayer for sunny weather,
I do not understand, nor do I, pray.
But 21 years of training has made prayer this go-to thing, that even now, I will not be able to stop myself doing. At the most annoying and ridiculous times. I will catch myself thinking.
"Now would be nice for some help."
And then I will realise how annoying and selfish that is. So instead I will think of others.
So 26,000 feet in the air I was ranting incoherantly at Richard Branson, and thinking of how tired and brave and strong my mother is for living with a dead son and PTSD. How intelligent and amusing my father manages to be through everything.
How my brother has survived testicular cancer and can always be counted on to make a joke about balls.
How people in Pakistan are dying and fighting for their lives and homes in floods.
How children in the Philipines go to work at such young ages to help finance their families.
How the worlds poor live on less than £2 a week.
And I remembered how small I am.
How big the world is.
How terrible things are.
How this God is still supposed to exist amongst all this. Amongst all these prayers, and crys for help, and sadness.
And how ridiculous I am for being angry at poor (although not literally) Richard Branson.
Because really I was/am angry at myself.
I know I can not do short trips away where I will feel obigated to spend hours of the day walking.
I know I can not do mornings, afternoons, evenings, and night times without napping.
I know my body needs kindness, yet I am very rarely kind to her.
I am much more often derogatory, and abusive, and downright mean.
8 sets of five in the journey, the wheels of the aeroplane touched down, and I have never been happier to be back in Birmingham.
I do believe my body was being as mean to me, as I have been to her.
But I am not angry at her anymore. She had to be mean to get my attention.
I have to be kind to her, for her to be kind to me. This is what she tells me.
At 26 one would think I would know this. And I do for the most part. But still not well enough.
My CBT kicked in, and I was able to determine I was angry at no one other than myself.
And once again I was convinvced for myself, we must all spend less time contemplating ourselves, and more time thinking about others.
More time doing the things we already know how to do.
And give God, where ever he/she may be, a break from all the ridiculous and pointless 'help me' notes.
Yet it was also a year of secret things. Of getting back to the basics; crochet, and fabric, and the written word. And of sharing very little of it. Of keeping it all for myself, just like I used to, just like I started with.
Because it is mine, just for me, and I needed to learn that all over again.
But I know some wonderful artists, people who are free and caring and organic in their creations, and it's reminding me that there must surely be a community out there for me to be a part of. A community of sharing and not competing, a community making thoughtful creations not commercialised ideas.
There are big plans coming, these next two years are going to be the foundation of it all. Starting with a trip to Austin, where said plans may just come into fruition.
But, Rhian, you must start small. You must learn your voice again, you must remember to create with abandon, you must not be fearful to share some of those creations, and you must do it all for the therapy.
The Three Story House by the River,
I write to you with the sincerest of apologies. I am aware of my neglect over the last month or so, and all I can do is but to ask for your kindness and understanding. You see, I find it difficult to blog when I am overwhelmed with life, I know I know, I hear you crying out for me to blog exactly when that is an issue, but that is just not me. I like to hibernate and seclude myself from this often brash and heartless world.
You have my word that I will try my best to better with correspondence. I know you will want updates on everything that is going on, like impromptu trips to London, beautiful new hair, wedding invitation commissions, and forthcoming etsy updates. I will do my best, that is all the words I can give to you.
Please see attached video, I know you will love and adore it as much as me. This young woman they call Beyonce really is kicking it, as they say. From the glorious low-fi esq cinematography of the filming, to the all out overt 50's housewife imagery, the only thing I could have possibly loved more would have been a twist at the end, wherein she threw off this loathsome concept of housekeeper still having to meet extreme standards of beauty. But still, it is a work of magic, sure to be loved by all and understood by few.
I leave you with love and more platitudes of forgiveness, dearest bloggy. I recently acquired a fun new toy in the form of a webcam. I can now have divine internet based video calls with long distance friends, and take ridiculous images like that of below.
You are always in my mind, if not always on my fingertips.
Some days and weeks all mix and merge together, where you can feel like life is okay.
Where you will look back on things and have a rememberance of the experience, but not be able to feel it anymore.
Then you will have these weeks.
Where it becomes overwhelming. Where the point and meaning to you being here is entirely lost, buried and forgotten with the dreams and hopes and eyelashes of his life.
These weeks the failure of my job is greater than the air I breathe. My instinct to protect has no where to go.
The tears that shine bright beneath my eyes spill over and form pools of disbelief and hopelessness.
My little brother is gone. And I do not know what to do with myself.
My pain is too great for my body.
Too great for this pen and page.
Too great for my house and my streets, it flows faster than the river and grows
higher than the trees.
Love remains but all is lost.
Saturday afternoon Sarah said to me, "have you see gaga's new video?"
"No!" I replied, as I searched Youtube and found the thing, then at over 6 million hits in two days alone.
As I sat back and watched this 9 and a half minute mini-film there was just one over-riding thought running through my head?
Am I just not clever enough?
I have since watched this video/short film 5+ times, and still my question remains. Am I just not clever enough? Here is where I unpack why in fact I don't think it has anything to do with intelligence, and everything to do with confusion.
If you don't know, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for best actress in her film, The Blind Side. However, she also won a Razzie for worst actress in All About Steve, and the one that fuels to-days daily rant, a Razzie for worst screen couple, also for All About Steve.
It is this Razzie that sums up exactly what people seem to have missed about this film.
Sandra Bullock and Bradley Coopers characters were not a couple.
Not only that, All About Steve is not a Rom-Com! It has gained hundreds of reviews slating it as the worst Rom-Com ever to have been created, nay, perhaps one of the worst films ever, and it shocks me just how much the audience seem to have missed the point.