Clouds in my coffee


A few months ago I told my psychiatrist I needed to grow up.

She asked me to explain to her what growing up looks like.

I answered that I had no idea and that I had even googled – How to grow up.

God she laughed, and I joined in at how stupid my answer sounded.

Watching your beloved father become terminally ill pushes you into the adult lane.

This weekend I drove to the country to spend the weekend with my family.

I saw my dad twice for less than 30 mins, and both times he was exhausted, swollen, worried, and working hard to ignore the fact he is in a palliative care hospital.

Parents will always be parents, protecting their kids right till the end. Well, some parents, anyway. 🙂

I then went to my sister’s property, and pulled stinging nettle, and weeded bricks, and lifted heavy stuff, and worked until I couldn’t distinguish if it were sweat or tears that made my eyes burn.

When I found out about my father’s diagnosis, I saw a friend whose mother died of the same disease.

She said to me, that when her children were with her father, she spent her nights alone, meditating and eating dhal and salad. She also said she listened to lots of Pema Chödrön.

I thought, ‘Whatever.’ (Sorry darling, I mean that in the nicest way possible.)

Now I spent my solitude meditating, eating simply and listening to Sharon Salzberg. She is the only person making sense to me in this time.

So darling, I owe you an apology. I am a child and you were right.

I have a good times jar, in which we are supposed to put the good things that happen throughout the year and read them out on New Years Eve.

Sadly, this year has been depleted of goodness, and the jar remains almost empty on the shelf above the fridge.

This morning, I was listening to Sharon Salzberg, and she mentioned a story of when she went hiking with a friend. It was three-day trip where they would walk into a campground, stay a night and a day, and then walk out the way they came.

On the trip, after walking downhill all day, she said that she and her friend both had the same realisation at the same time.

‘In a dualist universe, going downhill can only mean one thing.’

The next day, their walk was all up hill.

Newton’s Law in action.

I am sure there have been highlights in this tumultuous year, I just forgot to look.

When I look back, I can see glimpses of sun though the shitstorm clouds of 2014.

I am rewarded with a beautiful home that sings to me when I enter through the doors every day. My daughter is now in her last week of school after a bitch of a year for her where she nearly didn’t make it, my son is the kindest person I know and who, according to a teacher, has saved a life and soul this year, my husband is getting better from a horrible illness, I have work, I have beloved friends whose loyalty is enduring and siblings who understand and listen to me.

I have hollyhocks in the garden, ferns growing, tomatoes in a pot, food in the fridge and love in my heart.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore












4 thoughts on “Clouds in my coffee”

  1. ‘Food in the fridge and love in my heart’, how magnificent 🙂 I’m a newcomer to your blog Kate and it is stunning, stunningly poignant, stunningly fun and stunningly beautiful.

  2. Hi Kate. So sorry to hear about your Dad. Life’s not fair sometimes. And it can be so bloody hard. I agree with Pema’s line though that there’s no-one up there orchestrating fair and unfair…it’s all just groundless. She actually has a chapter on growing up in “When Things Fall Apart”. I adore her work…she’s wonderfully funny and endlessly sensible. Take care and take heart in all that is dear to you. Tania

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