Solstice reflections

Emotional management, Floristry, Grief

I wish I knew how to live well. By well, I mean with enthusiasm. I am always tired and lacking energy, and I don’t know if that’s a symptom or a cause.
I wish I could see what other people see when they appear so enthusiastic about life, about their families, and their jobs and their every dayness. I know that’s not a word because it comes up with a spell checker line under it but I like it as a word. It conveys what I mean. Dayness meaning waking up and thinking ‘how am I going to get through this one?’
Objectively there is no difference in my day and anyone else’s day. It’s the 21st of December and its going to be the longest day of the year, and some people will be celebrating it in lieu of Christmas which is now only four days away. Temperatures will start to climb again. Holiday catch ups, taking kids swimming, walking the dog.
I wake and think of how I am going to fill the emptiness.
Following my recent flirtation with suicide, this is mostly how I feel. I can, and do, fill the emptiness with a lot of shopping which is why I am busting out the seams of this house. Just this week I have probably spent a thousand dollars on books. This is, even for me, excessive.
They are mostly gardening and art books, although I did buy two much more academic books. They felt like duty purchases. Not quite. I was excited about the one called The Language of Plants but then I started to read it and the academic language made my heart sink.
I keep thinking of ways to represent my emotions around the PhD and academia in paper. That last sentence gave me an idea. A heart chained to an anchor. I really want to do the PhD acronym, permanent head destruction. A model of my head and shoulders in paper mache but with the top not filled in and out of that comes tendrils of shredded paper. I want to do my wrist and the knife.
God my body hurts today. Physio and massage yesterday to help my hip. But I feel like I have been mashed up. I spent most of the last few days on the verge of crying because I was in pain physically and in pain from the pain. I realized that if I feel like this so frequently then the idea of a rural farm based life is a bit ridiculous. I can’t bend well, I can’t really dig. It’s ridiculous to assume that I can farm flowers with these two basic problems. Plus I can’t expose myself to that much sun. So unless there’s a miracle partner out there, business or otherwise, I am sunk.
Oh yeah, that’s right. His name was John.
So this chronic back pain which has been going on now since 2008 kills a long held dream. I can’t have the big country garden and farm that I have wanted all my adult life and I can’t do my fall back position, floristry, either because I can’t stand for great lengths of time. Thank you PhD.
I have been trying to tell people that I have lost a cherished dream and everyone just brushes over it, even those who are usually quite aware and sensitive. I do not seem able to convey to them in a way that they understand just how devastating this is emotionally. How much I feel as if I have been struck by a natural disaster, a cyclone perhaps, or a wildfire. No one perceives this about me though. In an actual cyclone it’s easy to see the trees uprooted and the roofs torn away exposing the delicacy of people’s lives, and as a community we respond. But I look well and healthy and my words do not get through to the few I trust.

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Re-bitten by the gardening bug

Canberra, Cancer, Floristry

Here in Canberra we are in the depth of winter.  I’m not sure if winter is the worst season to garden.  There’s the killing frosts (goodbye to my Crassula ovata) and the winds off the Brindabellas that feels like its straight off the Southern Ocean.  On the other hand, there’s rain to soften our baked clay and the UV index is low enough that I can spend time outside without fear of growing more skin cancer.

If you’d gotten organised earlier this year and planted seeds, winter doesn’t have to be dreary.  Organisation, however is not my strong suit. So here Iam, planting ranunculus and chincherees in pots, hoping for a late spring wealth of blooms for the vase.i have a north facing patio where they soak up stored heat, and hopefully getting over their delayed planting.

This horticultural rashness reflects the impact of the short course I recently completed in floristry.  I really miss it.It’s opened a whole new aspect of gardening to me, as well as news ways of being creative in three dimensional space.  My house is now festooned in flowers and it feels wonderful, even if the bank balance is suffering.  But, money so well spent.  It gives me hope.

so, ranunculus.  Chincherees.  I’ve planted thryptomeme, flax, and eyrngium for foliage.  I’ve rescued hydrangeas from the discard bin to be planted in the spring.  Teucrium for its delightful silvery foliage.  Wondering if I have the space for a snowball tree and an escallonia.  Is it possible to find Euphorbia oblongata, as Sarah Raven recommends?  So much delightful dithering.

The only thing that isn’t dithering is my lower back.  It is very decidedly  against this gardening lark.  Realistically, a woman with a squished disc and nearly seventy skin cancers removed is not a person who should be outside, let alone gardening.  Stuff reality.  I can’t live without flowers.