Friday, June 23, 2017

in the darkness


I probably shouldn't be writing my blog this week. I woke up first thing this morning and declared that I wouldn't. It was icy cold, just past dark, and we were all huddled around the fire nursing hot drinks, and everyone agreed. Even though the world about me seems to be spinning around merrily, even though I can't seem to pin point a single action or happening that's made me feel like this, I feel like I've been living inside a dark cloud for the past few days. I feel grumpy and irritable and sensitive and sad. And I feel cold and tired and uninspired. And before you ask, it's not that time in my cycle, but I am suspicious of the solstice and the moon.

But regular writing becomes a habit and now here I am even though I decided not to be.

Although it just occurred to me that maybe I am here writing my blog because the alternative is house-work, and I just can't.

It's funny this feeling bad thing while everything around me is so good. Bren is building and creating, the big girls have had some great results at school and are happily social and Miss Pepper is officially on school holidays and the play she's in starts next week. We've been taking advantage of the mild winter and checking off so many more jobs than we thought we ever would, and we have a little mini break coming up to look forward to. But still I feel blue. I ache with it.

It makes me constantly question and doubt myself, it makes me feel incapable and uncreative, it makes me feel dull and boring, and it feels unending.

So I'll keep it very short and try to be sweet. I'll fill you in on the goings on here and if by chance I feel sunnier during the next week I'll write an extra post on some of the things I've been thinking about: Things like the danger of expectations, like keeping honest relationships, and the power of positivity. Nothing ground breaking, just stuff that I've observed lately and am learning about.

I said short and sweet so I'd better get on with it eh?



Back in May of 2013 I wrote a story on this blog about the building of our patch-work cubby. Many years in the dreaming, an afternoon in the planning, a few Thursdays in the building. And that was, I declared at the end of that post, The End of our cubby house story and hopefully the beginning of years of make believe, tea parties, games and secret kid stuff.

But as it happened, none of that was meant to be. Not long after it was built, the girls found a poisonous red back spider inside the cubby and forever after they needed more than a little encouragement to play inside. Which meant that fake cakes went mouldy in the fake fridge, spiders spun thick webs across the ceiling, autumn leaves collected and began to rot in the corners and it felt scary and dark in there, rather than the secret and exciting we had hoped for.

While the cubby has been so very loved for its patch-work look and so often used as a backdrop for my photos, including the cover of Slow Living magazine May 2015, it has been sadly neglected as a play space.

So the other day when my farmer boy suggested that he renovate it a bit and use it as a woodworking studio over winter, we all thought it was a great idea.

First Jobbo and Bren pulled the tin off the back wall and replaced it with old school windows.


Then I came out just in time to see farmer Bren making a big design decision regarding the door and stopped him  just in time for a discussion.


He thought the slats should go horizontally like the tin, I thought the opposite.

In the end we compromised.


I'm hoping it will age nicely and blend in with the rest of it.



Next is filling in all the gaps, putting glass in the windows and then plumbing in the pot-belly stove.


I can hardly wait for that dark, foggy, winter's day in the near future when I look out at the garden from the lounge room windows and see smoke coming from the cubby chimney and know that something beautiful is being crafted inside.

I wonder if this now, second time around, is actually The End of the cubby house story.

Other than that, I'm reading my sister Abby's advance copy of Once In Lourdes which is exquisitely written and haunting me day and night. A suicide pact between four teenagers and then their stories as they live out the two weeks between when the pact was taken and when they plan to enact it.

During the week Bren reminded me to step back from an issue with one of our girls and not to get too attached and involved in it. Instead of moving away somehow that made me travel back into the intensity of my own life and mind as a teenager. The angst, the anguish, the love and the dreams. I was flooded with memories and feelings of 30 years ago. I was overcome by thoughts of times I hadn't visited in years. And I felt overwhelmed with the fact that now I am parenting my own girls through that. What a responsibility.

Reading this book at this time is only serving to heighten these feelings. I am desperate to read more and I'm frightened to at the same time.

I'm listening to the Invisibilia podcast, which I LOVE!

I'm crocheting a ripple blanket with 12 stitches in-between zigs and zags and a chunky 6.5mm hook. After all this time crochet feels like home.

I'm spending time in the green-house planting and watering and admiring.

I'm loving my little spotty pot that my friend Tania made me and gave me (first photo) as a green-house warming present.

I'm looking forward to next Friday when the big girls finish school for the term - sososososososo tired and Miss Pepper has her opening night.

And I'm hoping and wishing that you sweet friend, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, are feeling as calm and as happy and as inspired and driven as I hope to be when I open my eyes tomorrow.

Thank you for sticking with me through the dark as well as the light.

Big love,

Kate  xx




54 comments:

  1. I'm sending light & love Kate. I'm also recommending you read something light or frivolous or funny for a change. I see you reading so many heavy & haunting books that maybe a change of pace might do you good. Or maybe you can tell me to shut up :D
    Crochet is gorgeous as ever & that cubby is dream worthy. I love how you guys always just get shit done.
    Smoothly hugs my friend x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Reannon... Some chick lit would do you good... Or some travel lit... Something lighter. You can always come back to your other book when you're feeling a bit stronger.
      And perhaps a winter solstice celebration would help lift your spirits, and remind you that the light always returns. Feel better soon xx

      Delete
    2. Oh Reannon, you and Bren have both been telling me the same thing for ages. I know it's the truth. I know how deeply the boys I read affect me. But I just can't seem to get into the light hearted stuff. A few nights ago I started a book about the Columbian drug wars. I read 60 pages and then thought to myself Reannon would not like me to be reading this right now, so I put it down and picked up another, lovelier book which I have been reading ever since. It's sweet and nice but it doesn't grab me by the heart and make me want to steal pages every chance I get. I do feel happier in the daytime though which I'm not sure is connected. Hmmmmm we'll see. Love to you honey bunch I hope you're traveling well. xxx

      Delete
    3. Oh thanks Sam, I've tried this week I really have. And the other night when I came in with the big girls from school Bren and Pepper had filled the whole lounger with candles and we had the most gorgeous solstice celebration and it was magical. The girls got right into it. I love how much they believe and need the magic too. I hope you'r having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
    4. I know you see what I read but I'm going to recommend some books that I thought were great & really hooked me in but aren't draining on the soul or psyche ( although many of these made me cry or hung with me long after I read the last page )
      Deeper Water
      Gone with the Wind
      The Light Between Oceans
      Skylarking
      The Strays
      Past the Shallows
      The Signature of All Things
      Promise Seed
      And yes, I am travelling along well. Life is all the things & I am happy xx

      Delete
    5. Thanks Reannon, you are a star!! This is the best.
      I have a pile of books next to my bed to get through (my author sister gets lots of new releases sent to her from her publisher) and then I'm going to order all of these from the library. I've only read one of them so it'll keep me going for quite some time.
      I loved that other book you recommended on goodreads I'm not sure my comments ever got through to you though. I love seeing what you read and how much you read over there as now there's no social media it feels like my only connection with you.
      Knowing you are happy makes me happy. So good. xx

      Delete
  2. sorry that you're feeling blue...hope it passes quickly. sometimes we all feel that way at times I'm sure (I know I do, so you're not alone there).
    love love love that cubby! wish it were in my garden...it would be my cubby house!
    love your crochet, wish it was something that inspired me but sadly I'm not very good at it.
    love your garden, so peaceful and productive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much honey. Thankfully I'm feeling so much better this week. I love the way blogging reminds me that we're all in this together and that makes it all so much easier. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
  3. I am like this too x it descends and then lifts often with no rhyme or reason it helps that you write about it thank you makes me realise we're not alone �� love the cubby and rest being a parent is wonderful but often so overwhelming x thanks Kate x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone, it really helps me when I'm struggling to see the light. And thank you for visiting, your comments always make me smile. x

      Delete
  4. My daughter was feeling down and her dietician said to take 4 vitamin D tablets a day. My daughter laughed at this but a visit to her endocrinologist (she has diabetes) showed she was low in VitaminD and her said take 4 tablets a day for a while. They both said it was the sunshine vitamin - not because our bodies are meant to make it from our exposure to sun but because it makes you feel happier. I don't know - maybe give it a try. Or ignore all this and just love yourself extra hard. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A sunshine vitamin sounds wonderful! I might have to look into that one. Thanks so much Sally. x

      Delete
  5. When we moved to our home there was a cubby at the top of the garden, up on stilts under the canopy of trees, secluded and hidden and so waiting for imaginative play. I thought it was awesome and wished I had had something similar when I was young, guess what? I think my kids played in it once, too dark, too many cobwebs, too many rotting leaves and too far away from mum. We moved it to a spot opposite the driveway and outside the kitchen window, but it was too late. Now it stores unused or little used garden tools. It looks fabulous but just wasn't a hit with the kids.
    I agree with Reannon, maybe something lighter to read for now, parenting teen girls is sooooo much harder than boys, you don't need to burden yourself more.
    I hope to wake up feeling brighter too, I know just where you are, you are not alone. It's really not fun.
    Your crochet looks lovely too, I remember when you posted lots of crochet, in fact I think that is how I found you.
    It's going to be a cold wet weekend here, so I think I will rug up and walk my cloud away then craft by the fire with coffee.
    I look forward to reading about your thoughts if you decide to share.
    Have a kind weekend
    cheers kate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that interesting. I also think I would have loved having a cubby as a kid.
      But maybe they just aren't for all kids no matter how cute they look.
      The book thing is really interesting to me. I know that I get really emotionally involved in what I'm reading and that going to sleep straight afterwards might not be the healthiest thing when I'm reading about teenage suicide pacts and other heavy topics. But other lighter, fluffier books just don't interest me or engage me as much. I've read 120 pages of one and while I am enjoying it I could easily put it down and never pick it up again. I'm not at all involved in it. But still I have had a much happier week so you never know.
      I hope you're having a lovely week Miss Kate xx

      Delete
    2. She Sheds. That is what we need to satisfy or childhood cubby longing.
      I understand about the books as I too love to read heavy and truly engaging books. It's a tricky balance between what grips us and is so engaging with what is best for our mental health. Sometimes selfcare looks like saying no to something we really want and those books will still be there later when we are in a different head space.
      Take care

      Delete
  6. So sorry to hear that you are feeling down Kate and hope the blues pass quickly. You say that you weren't feeling crafty but surely writing your blog is not only crafting but also therapeutic so that's a win, win for us as well as you. I have also heard that Vitamin D is good for lifting spirits as Sally King mentioned in her post. Love the cubby house and pleased that you are repurposing it. You all sound as if you have been really busy. Fab photos it's so lovely to see all your work and gardening. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jackie, I always feel good after I've finished and posted my blog so I think you are definitely right about that. And I'm going to look into the vitamin d thing, because a sunshine vitamin sounds too good not to follow up. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
  7. Northeast Victoria is covered in fog in the mornings, very depressing. Can't wait for the sunshine or rain to remove all the cobwebs. It's hard to shake the blues when the mornings are cold and foggy and the sun sets early. Happy Crotcheting Kate, that always helps to lift my mood. I'm sure it won't be long before your creative self emerges from the tangle of cobwebs and fog. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dark and foggy and miserable mornings are so hard on the soul. As is wearing so many clothes that you can hardly move your arms and legs. But you're totally right, crochet is awesome and something about the feel of the wool and the hook and the pattern makes everything feel okay for a bit. I hope you're week has lots of crafting opportunities. xx

      Delete
  8. Did you try a light box? One of my kids is very affected by the short days, and so she bought one of these things. Sits in front of it every day for about 1/2 hour, and her mood has really lifted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of such a thing. I'm off to google it now. Thanks so much Ruth xx

      Delete
  9. I've fallen in love with your blog and indeed world Kate . I think we all see little bits of our selves in you and your words ~ they breath life into dark and happy into sad . Many hugs lovely lady . I wish your tomorrow to be a ' kind ' one . ��❤️ Maria ( rosey tinted of course )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks you so much Maria, your comment has made my day. I think as a blogger that's the best thing you can be told. I hope you're having a gorgeous week. xx

      Delete
  10. I hope the gloom doesn't last long for you. I find that when everything is going well, that is the time I get anxious and sad that something bad will happen. Hope the crocheting helps soothe you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! There is something so soothing about crochet. It's funny, I haven't picked up a hook for years now but as soon as I did I remembered how meditative and healing it is. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
  11. Well dang, now I want a cubby.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh...my...Now where did I find you? Always blog when dark..the healing is in the writing/talking/sharing...even if no one listens. MY blog was a happy quilting blog...then oh, then grief visited...ALS took my man..then my mother fell out of her wheelchair and broke her neck..and my son and his wife were arrested for Heroin giving old grandma here 3 young kids to raise...and so it goes...My joints fell apart with arthritis and I keep getting them replaced...all this gloom entered my very sunny life and ended up on my blog..my quilting blog became my therapy blog..new friends joined me.The sun peeped through the clouds. I had a lovely tree house built in the backyard for Christmas to celebrate Granddaddy's life. They found some carpenter bees in it. Even though the exterminator came out..that was the end of the lovely tree house.. So carry on with the sharing of the human condition...Sending hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending hugs to YOU!!! What a ride you've been on. I love that your blog has been your therapy. Such a great reminder to me. Thank you. I hope your world is being kind to you this week and giving you lots of time to make quilts. x

      Delete
  13. Sending much love to you Kate. I hope the gloom subsides and you feel brighter soon my love. Your blog is very special - your words, your honesty and all the pictures that you share. Big love, Lucy xxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much lovely Lucy. Your kindness makes me feel better already. x

      Delete
  14. I can't believe it took me this long to discover your blog! I am going to get back to writing mine as there is something much more inspiring about taking time to breathe while words are written as opposed to rush writing on Instagram! I admit I was feeling the same as you the past week. I wonder have you hear of S.A.D? Seasonal affective disorder/depression? It took me years to realise this happens to me in winter and not over spring summer or even autumn. It's a thing- usually caused by lack of vitamin D. To get a doctor to recognise it basically you have to suffer for three winters and they will recognise it and treat it. Anyways maybe some sunshine or supplements might help? Im finding sunshine a wonderful cure all alrhough I wish I was in your glorious garden now while enjoying it! Nice work on everything as usual!
    Belle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to mention S.A.D. too Belle. Hugs and sunshine for you both x

      Delete
    2. Thank you lovely Belle, I have heard of SAD but I haven't ever looked into it properly.Although I do find winter tough the dark days don't seem to linger so I haven't needed to do anything but ride them out. And you're right, the garden helps a lot. As does hearing from people like you. I hope you do get back to writing your blog. I love mine. xx

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much Rachel xx

      Delete
  15. Oh Kate, I know that feeling. That cubby studio is gorgeous, I adore it. I hope you make many happy memories in there x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane, now I've decided I need my own cubby studio too. Better start gathering windows and tin. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
  16. I'm glad that you wrote your post even though you are so down and blue. ..please try to get some help for your self.

    The cubby/woodworking house is divine and out of this world...so in keeping with your country property...and photographed with an artists eye..

    Many thanks and all the very best x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alexa. I'm so excited about the renovated cubby. As I type this I can see smoke coming out of the little chimney and can only imagine the beautiful thing he's creating. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

      Delete
  17. I love that photo on tne front of Slow Living. I've still got tne magazine. I'm so glad you're re purposing it.
    Wish I could send you some Queensland sunshine. Love your blog xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhh I wish you could send me some Queensland sunshine too. It's practically arctic here. xx

      Delete
  18. So funny the similarities of the playhouse turned workshop, the same is happening here. lol(Also the same as to why our girls barely played in theirs, black widow spider.)Wishing for you brighter days and feelings.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So interesting. That's three stories here of cubbies that kids won't go into. I wonder if cubby houses are actually a myth. Anyway, now that Bren has his I've decided that I want my own. I would definitely play in a cubby. xx

      Delete
  19. i hate it when i'm feeling blue and i just cant shake it off! Hope you get through it soon! The new cubby house/ studio is looking great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leah, I hate it too. But then I find that afterwards the world looks so much more beautiful that it's almost worth going through the crap times. Almost. xx

      Delete
  20. I sometimes get into similar state - do you think that maybe because you are so intensely re-living your teenage years and pains and thinking about all the responsibility and your girls and it is darker out as the winter is coming to your part of the world all of these things combined and made you feel sad? This often happens to me when I listen to music that I used to listen to at uni when I felt low. Emotional memory... I hope you'll feel better soon.Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely do wonder about this things. And you're right, music takes me back there too. So interesting. And intense. x

      Delete
  21. Sending you big hugs and hope the blues have been banished xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Are you aware of this Hygge concept? It helped with the British winter! Kate B xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of hygge and know that it's a book but I haven't actually looked into what it means. Thanks Kate I'll definitely do a bit of googling. I hope your week is filled with summer sunshine. xx

      Delete

  23. Very helpful suggestions that help in the optimizing website. thank for sharing the link.
    หนังไทยใหม่

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

Visit my other blog.