Week-ish in photos (266-275)

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266/365.

267/365
267/365. Looking back from the water.

268/365
268/365. Op-shopping.

269/365
269/365. Walking home from daycare.

270/365
270/365. Picnic at the dam.

271/365
271/365. Fleeing the scene of the crime with frizzante in hand.

272/365
272/365. Exploring.

273/365
273/365. At the Western Australian Museum

274/365
274/365. Found while engaged in 268's activity, bargained down to $2.

275/365
275/365. Waking.

A reminder, for when we are in pain

You know, I hope, that you do not have to justify your pain. Not to anyone else, not even to yourself.

It is not too much or too little. You are not taking "too long" to get over whatever it is.

You do not have to earn the right to feel this by "making sense."

Sea monsters

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Gum trees at dusk

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today i am suited for hibernation, little more:

today i am suited for hibernation, little more:
i am simple limbs, cotton and geology
with Venus at my back and my body
sedimented under blankets
and glass, i can lie still as a landscape, it's easy i swear —
instead of some spark of humanity or seat for the soul,
only this beautiful snow cave
where my brain used to be

Opera House

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Week in photos (259-265)

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259/365. Shannon and mulberry tree.

260/365
260/365. Joining Ava's afternoon walk.

261/365
261/365. Waiting in West Perth.

262/365
262/365. More mulberries.

263/365
263/365.

264/365
264/365.

265/365
265/365. I got this room by kicking a three-year-old out, by the way.

Hella easy couscous salad (recipe)

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Ingredients:
  • couscous
  • dried apricots
  • fresh chives
  • coconut flakes
  • ground cinnamon
  • olive oil (or butter, or another oil of your choice)
  • salt
Amounts are chill; just make a mixture that looks like it has a good ratio of ingredients and it'll almost certainly taste good. If not, tweak it. If you don't have an ingredient, try doing without or using an experimental substitute.

1. Cook some couscous according to whatever directions the box or Google gives you. Make sure to finish by fluffing it with a fork.

2. Slice some dried apricots and chop some chives.

3. Add some oil or butter to the cooked couscous, however much looks good. Add the apricots and chives, and then some coconut, lots of cinnamon, and salt to taste.

4. Eat it hot now or cold later (or both), whatever makes you happy.

Gratitudes + things that are making me happy

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• my first affogato

• finding the lid to my tea flask

• days when I don't have hay fever

• Zoe's blog, love and some words

• Sophocles and Madeleine L'Engle

• a big Australian history book to open when I don't know what to do with myself

• my first trip to a library in a month

• writing letters

• running

• excellent furniture rearrangement choices

• choosing to do nothing sometimes, rather than doing things mindlessly

• housemate Shannon when she's snarking her way through a fashion magazine

• garlic mayonnaise to put on roast potatoes

• thinking about how wonderful the people I am friends with are

Eye contact

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Ruts and fears

Running, I feel neither empty nor too heavy.

I think about when I used to take Irish dance, and about watching the championship dancers at competitions after my section was done. Reels and slips jigs and treble reels. Like having a good kind of fire in your body, like something between singing and yelling.

Now that I am finally able to run again, I could do that too, at some point.

And I think about my first winter at college, when I still hoped to continue taking dance lessons. That January I found a school that I liked and took a class, and the teacher invited me to come back to try a higher level's class, but I never went back, because it was so much work to travel by train and bicycle in the middle of winter to an unfamiliar place after a day full of classes. I just wanted to be cozy and safe, and it was dark so early, by 4:15 or 4:30.

I think now that if I had kept going to those dance classes, I would not have gotten quite so depressed that semester and had such a hard time that year / the rest of my time at that college, really. But I did the best I knew at the time, I believe.

I'm still like that. I prefer to be at home; I prefer to be in familiar places. Doing easy familiar things. Though I get bored easily, I also get anxious easily. So I walk the same routes over and over again. The library, the produce store, the thrift store, the mailbox. I watch a TV show or movie and then a few days later begin again from the beginning, and then again, until it's like white noise, white sugar, the cheap replacement for real silence. I ponder how long I could live taking the same seasonal data entry job each year. I clean my room.

Here in Australia I am meeting people I've only met once before, when I was twenty and too well prescribed to worry. I am less sparkly than I was then, but I don't mourn that self. I carry myself better now, maybe with less self-confidence but definitely with more steadiness.

I want you to know that I am not a terribly brave person. It's just that it's the mundane things that frighten me.

Week in photos (252-258)

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252/365.

253/365
253/365.

254/365
254/365.

255/365
255/365.

256/365
256/365.

257/365
257/365.

258/365
258/365.

Notes on traveling alone (Australia)

Restaurant leftovers are your new best friend. Leftovers and bloggers. Go into the church. For the price of a Starbucks drink that comes with 30 minutes of wireless access, you can buy 75 minutes at the Malaysian cafe three blocks away. When you walk alone at night, walk like you're on your way to kicking someone's ass. Trust the young woman with the big dress and big headphones and sharp eyes.

Buy cut flowers or fresh bread. The key is under a green can in the empty planter on the west side of the house. It's okay to feel like you're not okay. Write a letter. You will be.

Practice your accent to the cashier when you eat alone. You have a good sense of direction in any hemisphere. There are lots of jobs that pay cash. Put on lipstick when you are terrified. Tell everyone back home you are having a wonderful time; it's true. Keep your feet off the tram seats. A tablespoon of honey will not be missed. You are not worse off than you were at seventeen. The bartender who tries to insult you doesn't have anything you need. Carry tea bags and a thermos — ask for hot water and you shall receive.

Sydney Saturday

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236/365
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