Tuesday, January 12, 2010

John Butler

See, it doesn't matter how old you are, some parts of your innate personality grow up and older with you. What's that got to do with John Butler? I love his music, I love his choice of living, I love his honesty and integrity and the sense of freedom I feel when I listen to his music.
So.......when I found out he was playing live, I knew I wanted to see him regardless of any obstacles. Found that his concert was sold out in Melbourne and that's where the gypsy in me surfaced and said, "Let's go to him then".....and that's how and why we ended up going to Adelaide.
John Butler encompasses a lot of what I'd like to be like, not so much the activist kinda of thing but more that he KNOWS what he's about and what he stands for. As for me, I'm a lemming in a can.....a salmon that swims with all the other salmons ......and I hate that about me. I don't have that motivation and drive to be something bigger and stronger because, quite frankly, I don't feel strongly enough about any particular issue......and I wish I did.
We're running out of water? *shrug* Okay, I won't shower so much anymore. No big deal. So we're making our ozone layer thinner? *shrugs*... Tell me what I have to do, to do my part.....whatever. Sounds apathetic, doesn't it? I'm just not moved at my inner core about this stuff.......and I wish I was.
Yet when I'm faced with someone passionate, like John Butler, my eyes sparkle and my ears twitch and my breathing changes because I get excited about their passion and enthusiasm. I latch onto their enthusiasm purely for the way it makes me feel, not for the cause.
What DOES make me feel alive is hitting the road. I've always loved being out there on a highway, driving to parts known or unknown and feeling that unique sense of freedom of leaving all responsibilities behind. I love the clean, sometimes dusty, fresh, sometimes hot air and that, for that space and time, I'm there. That feeling of discovery, new roads, new paths, new scenery, new people to meet, new and different experiences.
So heading off to Adelaide satisfied the gypsy that stirs beneath and needs to be let out. I loved having the freedom to get up and go......which is what I did. I got up and went! And I drove and drove, me, my son and my music.....my choices and my dodgy sense of direction.
They say it isn't the destination but the journey that counts. If John Butler was anything to go by then I'd have to agree. The cabbie took us to the wrong arena - THAT was still being built, the wally.....so my outwardly vocal agitation helped him with his new sense of direction taken from the ticket butt.
There was something very magical about being there, front row, looking up at JB. It wasn't just about the music or the atmosphere. It was about me feeling very smug about making real what was really a verbally flippant desire to Alison and Katherine at work. I remember saying it would be wonderful to just take off to Adelaide to see John Butler .......... and there we were, we'd made the reverie tangible and that satisfied, smug "I did it!" feeling was .....well....satisfying.
I can do anything I want to. All I have to do is put my first foot forward towards it and then keep doing that......and suddenly I'm there.
I love spontaneity and impromptu and unpredictable and implusive and impetuous......all those feelings that make you feel like you've stepped out of the box and really licked life up the side of its face.
That's what John Butler has come to mean to me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Revelations, New Beginnings

I guess there comes a time, in every parent's life, when you realise that the umbilical cord you've been protecting and nurturing since its beginnings, in full knowledge that at some stage in the future will have to be severed, has come.

My roadtrip to Adelaide was thus. Initially, it was just a roadtrip to see John Butler - just me and Adam. Adam and I bond over music, that's one of our connections and we both love John Butler. Still pandering to the youthfulness still alive and well within my slowly maturing body, I gave into the little voice - we've discussed Other Shaz prior - and said what the heck, let's go!

Now, in my reckoning and from past experience when speed limits were purely a gauge to try and follow and not really a legal requirement, Adelaide was only about 8 hours away. We'd done it in 8 hours before so....... Well........ it took us 10.5 hours to get there and that was doing 110 kms per hour and stopping 3 times, each for 20 minutes. LOOOOONG and uneventful drive it was. Loooooong and dry and dusty with nary a view to keep you awake and alert. Like a Hanna Barbera cartoon background that just keeps repeating itself, so was the scenery from Melbourne to Adelaide via the inland highway.....

Skimming over the absolute wonderment and awe-inspiring performance of John Butler, which I will regale you with in another post, the trip opened my eyes to so many things serendipitously.
One, my son hates long trips and becomes quite restless and grumpy. Restless I can deal with but grumpy jarred me. Given we were both unwitting hostages in the little red metal container hurtling down the freeways and highways of a dry and barren country, it was difficult to adjust to this grizzly person next to me.

Second, I think I've stretched the umbilical cord to capacity and now it's time to let my children free by bungy jumping them out of the post-uteral safety of childhood using said cord to help break the fall.

Alex and my relationship had already come to the destination a few months ago when we both realised that, as much as we really love each other and care for each other, we cannot express this love and caring under the same roof. However, I thought Adam still had a ways to go......but this roadtrip put a different canvas in front of me and the painting that was created was not the one I thought I was looking at.

It's time for both my children to embrace the adult world for all it's benefits and consequences. I had hoped for a more gentle metamorphosis but like all butterflies experience, morphing involves a little bit of discomfort and pain prior to the emerging beauty of another being.

This heralds a new beginning in my life. I am still their mother - I always will be. However, my role is now changing and I can now feel that shift - sometimes it comes like a sledgehammer, sometimes it flutters near my cheek like a soft butterfly kiss.

It's a double-edged sword really. With this new change comes a welcome sense of newfound freedom. This marks a new phase where I get to have some, if not all, of me back. I get to have the freedom to go and do whatever I want, whenever I want.

They say be careful what you pray for, you just might get it.
That is the other side of the sword because along with this sense of freedom accompanies a void inside where a vivacious, bubbly little girl with black luscious curls and a quiet, reserved little boy used to be. They needed and wanted Mummy and this room was born, deep within my heart, to house all the lovely little things that we experienced. That room's still there, only now it feels a little empty. The curtains fly with the soft warm breezes that memories create and the furniture still has the dents of where they used to sit. The door's ajar......I'm not sure if they're coming back or not. Something tells me they may return just for a visit. Something also tells me it's time to renovate this room for them when they do.

I look at new parents who long for rest and a little bit of their old freedom. I say hold onto these days. As tiring and frustrating as it appears to be, there will be a day when your child won't come and snuggle on your lap for comfort. There'll come a day when they won't turn to you to rescue them (nor should they). There will come a day when you will see them as entirely separate beings to you, not a part of you and their father........

It's like watching a ship that you have been building for years and years and years, lovingly and carefully, using the best materials you could afford and using the best skills you have learnt, peacefully sail away. You've done your best and you hope the ship sails well but a part of you feels like it was safer on dry dock. But that's not where life is and that's not what the ship was built for.

I'm standing on a cliff, watching my ships negotiate their way through rocks and storms and every fibre in my being wants to jump on board and steer for them. However, I can only watch, arms folded across my chest, and hope and pray.........

In the quietude that remains, I remember with a moaning little pain in my heart, all those lovely little times when bubbles were splashed up the wall in the bathroom accompanied with squeals and peals of laughter........of Grandad chasing you around our house and you running right up onto my lap and over on top of my shoulders for protection......of the times I bit you because I loved you, loved you, loved you so so much (still do).

All those and many million more memories flutter around that empty little room, deep inside me and I'm filled with gratitude for ever having experienced them in the first place......and the longing that goes with wanting to have that day back again, to feel your soft, warm little bodies back in my arms again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New year, New Something

Well, last year? Tick.....done. Achieved most of my goals so I'm quite happy really.

This year/ kinda run out of goals........or imagination, one of the two. I want so desperately to improve my photography and do new things. I want to get out and about. I want to renovate my house as it really needs it now. I want, I want, I want.....

Lots to be grateful for, lots of stuff still in the 'yearning and longing' box.

This week, I'm going to Adelaide with my son. The drive there is long and there will be plenty of time to draw a skeleton of what I want this year to look like. I don't to repear last year only older, you with me?

I need new ledges to climb, new branches to crawl out to.....keeps me alert and alive.

get back you once I have these down pat and we'll take it from there, okay?

Love Shaz