Fri, 13 Oct 2006
Late Rainy Afternoon
Copper bronze reflections on Courtenay Place.
Wondering on a Friday Afternoon
It's a Friday afternoon and I'm home from work. I've been home all week, sick with bronchitis.
I was supposed to be with Richard right now, being relieved of my various pains under the magic of his hands. I probably would've cancelled anyway because I wasn't feeling well enough. But as it turns out his mum is dying and so he had to go to be with her. And I'm feeling shit about that because... well, it's just an awful thing to have to do - watch your mother die.
So rather than being gently massaged into a beautiful little happy space, I instead have the afternoon to sit here and contemplate death and life.
In the words of the dear and wonderful Denver Doug, I've been wondering. Wondering what it means to be happy and why some people have so little and still seem to be happy and others of us have so much and but have such little happiness.
I was also wondering what it means to be successful and how one might define success in life... when I die will my life have been worthwhile? And why? Is it enough to bring two boys into the world and raise them up to be decent men?
Why do I feel at the moment that I am too stretched in all directions and doing no single thing very well. If I am one of the lucky ones in society - good salary, good job, house - then why do I not feel lucky? Why do I feel trapped by a mortgage and a relentless grind? I would so love to give up work... I ache with sheer tiredness and exhaustion some days... a weariness that just seeps into my bones. Never time to stop. Never time to take a break. Never time... I can't even take a real holiday because almost all my leave gets used as sick leave, for myself and the kids. This has been going on for years... endless work, sickness, kids. On the weekends, so great is the number of things I have to think about sometimes, and so huge my exhaustion, that I end up paralyzed, doing nothing...
And yet I have to feel that something that I do is worthwhile, else why would I stay alive? I don't know what that is, yet. Raising my boys, yes, of course. I could never let them down. I will always be there for them.
But what else? Photography? I'm smart enough to know that I will never be good enough to matter. And I'm not saying that to try and elicit compliments on my photography. I'm saying it because - in truth - so few photograhers actually do really matter. So surely there must be something else that I can contribute to the world besides a few shallow photographs.
Ech... enough brooding and navel-gazing. Time to think about picking up kids. :)
Wed, 23 Aug 2006
Day 7, post chin-job.
It's simply amazing how quickly the body heals. My chin has gone from being a painful, bleeding, swollen, oozing, crusty, scabby mess to new red-pink skin in just a week! I can't believe it.
Okay, it still has a tiny bit of scab left, and my entire chin looks bright red... but it's healed!
I still don't think it was worth it, though.
I had an appointment with the Doctor this morning, who confirmed that it is healing very nicely indeed.
Me: "But it looked so very awful the day after!"
Dr: "I know."
Me: "I guess you steer well clear of clients in the first couple days post-op, huh?"
Dr (looking rather sheepish): "Well, sometimes they do ring in."
Me: "I damn well bet they do! Given their face suddenly looks like a grenade has gone off just in front of it."
Dr: Stunned silence.
We then discussed my going back to work on Monday. My chin will still be quite red... it takes 3-6 weeks for the red/pinkness to completely go away. The doctor told me that they have a special make-up kit for sale if I was interested... the cost is $200.
I snorted. "Nah. The poor suckers at work will just have to put up with looking at me!"
Doctor: Stunned silence.
For some reason, I don't think I'm his typical clientele.
Thu, 17 Aug 2006
In the Name of Beauty
Okay, so I went under the knife today. Well, not exactly a knife, but a laser...
I had some scarring on my chin which I've had smoothed out with laser surgery, as well as having some moles and other sundry bits and pieces excised from my body.
All I have to say about the whole experience is.... OUUUUCCCCHHHHHH.
It hurts like hell! I mean, really really hurts.
I had over twenty injections of local anaesthetic, twelve of which were in my face. Who knew faces had so many nerve endings! It was excrutiating.
And now, approximately twelve hours laters, my chin looks like some horrible disfigured Incredible Melting Man with blood and swelling and oozing and, well... it's just freaking gross. It can't even be covered with a dressing, because of the awkward location, so all I can do is put vaseline on it to protect it and leave it open for all the world to see.
My four year old is scared of me.
And it aches, throbs, burns and just plain hurts.
And this is just my chin. How do women have this done to their whole face?!
Anyway, this has taught me a valuable lesson: I am NEVER having cosmetic surgery done ever again. I don't care how grotesque I am. I will live with my imperfections.
I don't know how women repeatedly subject themselves to laser surgery, chemical peels, botox, implants, nips and tucks, major reconstructions.
What kind of crazy world do we live in that we do this to ourselves, of our own free will, all in the name of "beauty"?
I'm pretty sure if I knew what I was feeling and looking like right now, I would not have gone ahead with this.
But maybe it's like childbirth... you forget the pain, and a year later you start thinking... hmmm... another one wouldn't be so bad... would it?
Well let me answer that question straight away: Yes. Yes, it would be so bad.
Don't do it.
Mon, 24 Jul 2006
A Daily Joy to be Alive
by Jimmy Santiago Baca
No matter how serene things
may be in my life,
how well things are going,
my body and soul
are two cliff peaks
from which a dream of who I can be
falls, and I must learn
to fly again each day,
Death draws respect
and fear from the living.
no false starts. It is not
a referee with a pop-gun
at the startling
of a hundred yard dash.
I do not live to retrieve
or multiply what my father lost
I continually find myself in the ruins
of new beginnings,
uncoiling the rope of my life
to descend ever deeper into unknown abysses,
tying my heart into a knot
round a tree or boulder,
to insure I have something that will hold me,
that will not let me fall.
My heart has many thorn-studded slits of flame
springing from the red candle jars.
My dreams flicker and twist
on the altar of this earth,
light wrestling with darkness,
light radiating into darkness,
to widen my day blue,
and all that is wax melts
in the flame-
I can see treetops!
Fri, 21 Jul 2006
I don't normally do these quizzes but I found this one over at Deb's and really liked the resulting obituary for myself:
I love the idea of dying hilariously in a modern art museum. And Paris Hilton and I, we're tight.
Thu, 20 Jul 2006
Man, it's so nice to write here. It feels safe and warm. I like writing here. It's mine. It's me just being me. Well, mostly.
I'm getting some laser surgery done next month. I have scarring on my chin and the very nice plastic surgeon man is going to "resurface" it. That's a euphemism for burning off the top layers of skin until it's a great weeping raw wound. Sounds like fun, eh?
I thought it would be so straightforward, but nooooo... I almost decided not to do after he explained the procedure.
The first three days afterwards, it will be raw and weeping. It can't be bandaged because there's no bandage that will actually stay on the chin - too awkward a spot. So guess what, it gets covered in vaseline and stays exposed to the world.
Then it starts to scab over. I guess scabby is better than open and weeping... but not much!
After another week or two, the scab starts to fall off, and the fresh new healing skin is revealed.... except it's bright pink. Sort of glow-in-the-dark pink for about 6-12 weeks.
After which time, it either goes back to normal... or it's permanently white for the rest of my life.
And I PAY him for the privilege of doing this!
So why bother? I've been asking myself that... but I know this is something I want to do. I've had a scarred chin for 20 years now, and I've always hated it, always been conscious of it.
The doctor is good and very honest. He told me my chin will never look normal, but that he thinks that a 50% improvement is possible.
That's worth it to me.
Tue, 11 Jul 2006
Hey, it's been a while... but it's nice to be back. I've been writing in another blog, a joint one with Michael. We haven't really told anyone about it, just thought we'd see how it goes. If you want to have a look, go to my Flickr account and look at my profile.
The blog is a bit different than this one - it's public for a start. But I'm not sure about it. It feels a lot more comfortable here at Slipstream. I like writing here. It just feels right.
I thought I'd do a little catch up entry, seeing as I haven't been here for two months.
Let's see... Michael had The Big Web Conference that shall not be named here, and it was extremely successful. More about that in another entry. The lead-up to that was full-on, as Michael was the chair of the organising committee. The conference week itself was so much fun... I was there as a proper paid-up attendee - my employer sent me and four others of us - but I got to sit with the big names, and even talk to a few of them. It was all very inspiring and I walked away feeling wonderful about it all. That didn't last. Again, more about that in another entry.
The photography exhibition was low-key but nice... a few people came up and complimented me. I didn't sell anything, but didn't expect to. It was just nice to be involved.
I haven't had a chance to get out shooting much. Work has been kicking my ass - so busy juggling several projects. I did get to spend a Saturday in June with a friend and her daughter who was attending her senior ball. I photographed her getting her hair done, her nails, her makeup, formal photos in her dress. It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed it very much.
I'm starting the second level of the photography course soon. The course will involve putting together a portfolio of work. I think it will be good because it will get me to focus on what I want to achieve with my photography.
It's been a cold winter here so far - I think the coldest in a long while. So we've been spending a lot of time inside, trying to keep warm. There was a big article in the Sunday paper about New Zealand houses and how they are all uninsulated and have no central heating, and how New Zealanders are completely nutcase ascetics who believe it's wimpy to have heating, and how you should just throw on another sweater if you're cold. These people are crazy.
Joshua has had an ongoing cold all winter, but the rest of us seem to have avoided coming down ill (knock on wood).
Matthew turned 8 in June!! Eight going on 18. He's taking guitar lessons, and doing really well. He wants to get an electric guitar and be in a band, but I told him he needs to learn acoustic first. His teacher is great - he actually lectures in music at Victoria University, but also teaches guitar as well.
Well, this tired brain can't think of anything more to say at the moment. Hope you've all been well.
Mon, 15 May 2006
Joshua came to where I was sitting at the computer.
"Mum" he says.
"Look at me!"
I look at him.
He points to one eye... "Mum, I like Dora the Explorer with this eye..."
"...but I don't like Dora the Explorer with the other eye" he says, pointing to the other one.
And then he turns around on one heel and walks out, leaving me no wiser than when he had walked in.
What could that possibly possibly mean?
Mon, 08 May 2006
Tonight I'm in the living room with the family. Joshua holds up his latest B-Daman (a kind of robot/transformer-like thingee that shoots marbles out)
Josh: Mum, do you know what this B-Daman is called? (Well, I did happen to know, because I'd bought it)
Mum: Yes. It's Chrome Zephyr. (Who makes up these names?!)
Josh: Wrooonnnggg... it's Winged Zephyr. See? He's got Winged Zephyr's mask on... so he's Winged Zephyr... DUH!!
Have you ever had a four year old say DUH to you with such obvious glee? Matthew and Michael cracked up laughing...
Michael: You've just been dissed by a four year old!
On a High
Okay, so I've been asked to contribute to a photographic exhibition that's being held in Wellington. It's a small exhibition of Wellington photographers that will be held as part of a conference.
I showed the organiser about 15 of my photos today, and he emailed back saying he'd like to put four in!
Not just one, or two, or three... but four! I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought maybe he might choose one.... if I was lucky.
I am so excited. I can't believe that I'm going to have some photos in an exhibition....
I am on such a high.
More Josh Art
Joshua loves to play with Microsoft Paint. He creates the most amazing things.