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Category Archives: on da road – homeward bound

every so often a decision comes our way that just seems to fly in the face of sanity. and while even i am the first to admit that decisions never were nor likely never will be my storng point, even i can recognise the sheer agony of those decisions that force you to acceot that pain, hurt, heartache are in fact a necessary part of moving forward in life.

it seems unjust that sometimes, we know that to listen to our heads and make the “right” choice for the illusive end goal of a utopian tomorrow we have to slay our own heart and ride the whirlpool of drowning today.

surely when the world was first fresh and new we werent forced to create such agony in some stupid quest to make the world a better place.

where did it go wrong?

when did parents have to choose to terminate a long awanted baby because modern technology allowed them to see the window of a shattered tomorrow, when did reality determine that hearts must be broken today in order to be fulfilled tomorrow. or lovers part because governments control the free flow of day to day living. families split because a doctors decision determines a life time of labels and excuses.

when did this world turn so black that hugs are given more freely in keystrokes than with open arms…and emotion exchanged through emoticons more than the simple gesture of holding out a hand to another,

in a world of go faster and achieve more… have we gone so far that we have made it impossible to truly achieve at all.

are the girfts of this world a long forgotten fantasy laughed at only in fairytales of times gone by.

in a world of support groups and evengalism.. is there truly anyone who is not broken?? in their own way noone is whole. noone is an independent being free from the societal desires of acceptance and success. do these labels we seek to calm our mind and find excuses for our failings in turn warp us to lose sight of the simplicity of what is real and merely offer us a new goal to be the worst at this new demon?

what have our children got for tomorrow in a today that breeds such contempt and hatred that people simply no longer trust.

what hope for a future when love is a long forgotten fallacy.

open your arms to the world and give someone a true hug.

maybe its not too late?

maybe if we all just accept that perfection is the lie we can all move back to that happier place, that happier time when the world was merely measured in those moments of happiness that take your breath away…

not those moments of  “success” money and the foundations of anxiety. not a time when to belong you have to be broken. and to feel you have to be told by your support group how to do it and what you feel.

hugs to the world.

always.

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amidst the crash landing of returning home…which every traveller experiences…

my bumps are now mountains, peaked by the children of my friends…

a world away from the social life i left before…it seems that my society has grown up all around me and entered into this sacred little fantasy that continues to evade me…

and with each cherub face i behold that captures the very joy and essence of my friends new lives my curiosity soars and my hormones blast out of control…

one day it will be your turn…they all coo between festering nappies and vomit stained wash baskets… but one has to wonder…will it?

such miracles, such terror and such bewilderment seems only reserved to those in the know..

those who have found the happy place and have found the stability to uproot life as they know it…

and am i capable of such a tremendous plunge into the deep end of that very dark and very real pool??

i fear perhaps not…

you will just know when it is time to jump they say.

“just know”

how?? how can i ever just know anything!!?? i am quite possibly the worlds MOST indecisive person and have just known nothing throughout my whole existence… from even what time to wake up and what to have for breakfast to the conundrum of today as to where to live, work and play!

so will this strange new world that my friends all seem to preach ever weave its way into the life and times of this eternal wanderer???

will i ever “just know” with whom and when is the right time to jump?

i fear the answer is no…

not that it cant happen…but no to just knowing..

for me… i think perhaps it may be more of a stumble into the dark and unchartered territories of “this normal life”…

and a simple matter of wait and see what tomorrow holds…

Well…as fate would happen.  Again that sense of self, that sense of home evades me as i step out into the bitter breezes of a crisp Sydney summer’s day…

And as i leave the barking, gnarling monster of city traffic and escape to my bush oasis in Darwin, i instantly feel the peace flood over me.

Washing me clean and making me whole again.

If this is my home. My solace, it seems only natural i should move there, but life does not always make those paths easy… sometimes the lights are broken and sometimes the path just goes somewhere else…

And thus… despite my confusion and my torment and finding home in the most unlikely of places… i merely visit my sanctuary for that chance to glimpse at myself and breathe in the peace i so desperately seek…

Of course… no trip to Darwin, despite its serenity and beauty, is complete without the little quirks that make it just so…

First there was the camping trip…

Despolate, isolated, rugged wilderness… perfect.

Until at 2 in the morning in the blackest of nights as the stars pierce the inky sky brighter than the biggest floodlight one decided a wee bushwalk was advised…

A wee bushwalk through wild pig infested terrain with the worlds most geographically challenge property owner and a mere blunt stick to protect us…

Needless to say…after several stressed minutes thrashing through jagged and overgrown brush…we did emerge (about a kilometre away from where we thought we were) and stumbled our way back to the roaring camp fire and new friends… including cam’s tummy beast  (the biggest outie the world has ever seen!)

Meanwhile…back in “the big smoke”

Darwin revealed its treasures through a magical mystery tour… and some nude soldiers… who insisted on getting their kit off by means of inviting us to join their table at the pub…

If only they’d still been with us when we stumbled onto the back, and unmanned, entrance into the annual Darwin cup race day gala ball…

Despite it being Darwin…even i dared not enter for too long… dressed in my best things and tattered jeans

In all a calm and quiet typical Darwin trip…and one i know will just fuel my urge to return…

may home be where your heart is at, right now.

always

laurie

watching the world go by out the bus window…

the sun filtering like fingers piercing their way through the clouds…

the rain as it lands soft on the fields or pelts and explodes like a bomb on the roadsides…

the golds, the reds, the peaches of a blazing sunset as the day dips behind the horizon and the promise of tomorrow burns bright for those lingering few moments…

the colours of the world as they blur past me…

the greens of overgrown grass, jungle, fields or flowing rivers; swelling, flowing or dry from drought…

parched, scorched, barren earth…

the houses and daily lives of the people as they whizz by in a flash. a snaphot.

a mere glimpse into whatever those daily lives are…

from simply just surviving to the next day, dreaming of a brighter future for themselves, their children, their country, or perhaps that face in the crowd was screwed in thought, a cure for cancer? the future of tomorrow?

enjoying the sunshine of today and taking thanks for merely being alive in the world?

the tin shacks, the high rises, the casbahs, the castles…

everyones life rolls past me through the bus window and i merely zip by…

priveledged to see just a snapshot into someone else’s world.

someone else’s story.

do they look back?

do they see me?

do they wonder my story?

what chapter are they on?

where have they been?

what drives them now?

the world blurs past me at the windows edge in all its beauty, pain, severity, serenity…

why am i so lucky?

why am i the one on this bus?

why am i blessed to have this tele-portal into the lives of so many?

and when does the journey stop and the trip home begin?

maybe all these years have been the trip home?

the endless search for meaning in existence.

the yearning search for those blessed but fleeting moments of happiness. pure and real euphoric happiness. a happiness so real those seconds flicker in the memories of a lifetime…

perhaps the truth is that even as those countless faces stare back at my bus we’re all on our journey home.

a journey to find ourselves and to detour through another’s life, no matter how brief that road may be, is merely a necessary road to help us reach our own true and final destination… ourselves.

and with our final home in self, the confidence to live at that address. to be true. to be me. to be happy, proud and accept ourselves for who we are…

no matter where we are.

home: where is it?

home is somewhere between each sun that rises and each that sets. home is within me.

home is wherever i am when i have truly accepted myself as a whole.. only then am i home and i bring it with me.

home is a smell. a sound. a memory.

a second in time that transports you, no matter where you are, to that happy place. that place of peace within.

home truly is where all that you love are held safe and you are at peace.

home is in fact.

“where the heart is”

well,

despite my protests regarding my growing awareness of my non-city nature…and my not so favourable previous american experiences… even i would have to admit that i quite liked new york.

perhaps my friends are right… it is a deep seeded innate love we all have due to our early addiction to sesame street….

maybe it is that sense of familiarity as you walk down streets past buildings you have eerily seen a hundred times before?

maybe the east coasters really are just generally more friendly or open minded then there west coast counterparts (SORRY TO MY WEST COAST YANKEE FRIENDS WHO ARE OF COURSE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS!!)

or maybe it really really is just a funky city…

whatever it may be… you know of course, there is no laurie without melodrama….

and despite my surprise discovery that new york was in fact both pallatable, even pleasant (despite an ongoing debate care of facebook regarding its dubious pungency in particular near those steaming man holes…) new york was not of course without drama…

firstly…there’s the walking…

OH MY GOD!

you would think after a month of hiking up mud encrusted vertical live volcanoes in central america that i would be well up to the task of a city stroll… but holy crap!!! new york goes on FOREVER!!!!!!!! and what may be only a short intended walk rapidly becomes an all day all night marathon…and still only skims the surface of  just one small area….

but where new york really comes undone??

on a backpacker budget..

i blame the food..

well, frankly only because i dont know what else to blame…

therefore… i vote it was the bagel…

whatever it was..

as day 2 arose…

that tiny niggly back pain that bothered me day 1 had blown out into an all encompassing, excruciating back agony that was truly nauseating.

of course… michael refused to acknowledge such woes (admittedly i was playing them down a little…) and thus we set off again…

step after weary step…each sending a greater jolt from spine to neck then the last i bit my tongue and pressed forwards… slowly becoming aware of a nasty stomache related side effect to this nausea…

and becoming ever more painfully aware that there is an eerie lack of public amenities ANYWHERE in new york city…

and thus mid way through day 2…

when my tummy could handle it no more and i succumbed to the dankest of public washrooms for refuge… it became apparent i had somehow consumed kermit the frog.

franky i have no other explanation for it.

the greenest poop i have ever seen.

diabolical.

still we pressed on…

and as kermit continued to fight for his escape (roughly on a 2 hourly basis by evening number 2) michael at least conceeded to cut down a further 5km to our walk by catching the subway…

hence forth… a little relaxed… but now grappling with hourly kermit eruptions… and still overcome by wincing back pain, we commenced our ascent up the rockerfeller tower…

a stunning view indeed….

and a great way to truly appreciate how dense and vast the city is…

of course…also a time to appreciate how far 67 floors is up when the toilet is back on level one…

so as i clutched my amphibious belly and sat to rest my still excruciating lower back (good god i hope it is not kidneys) i held my tongue and watched for the spectacular sunset (which of course fizzled into a cloudy grey dullness as is always the way where murphy’s law is involved) that is when the hot sweats, followed by cold shivers commenced…

michael.. i’m really not well… can we go soon??

5 more minutes…

i just want to stay till the sun sets…

longest freaking sunset in history!!!!!!

45 mins later…

michael… can we go soon??

(note…by this stage i am hunched over in agony…whilst precariously not hunching so far as to allow any unsuspecting escape attempts by the still ever present presence of kermit) shivering so uncontollably that all my fellow sitters have slowly starting edging away….

5 more minutes… i just want to take a ‘few more photos’

25 more minutes…

i now feel as if someone has actually inserted rusty barbed wire inside my stomache and is deftly tieing it around my inner organs one at a time and is gently squeezing…all the while… still painfully aware that kermit is VERY anxious to make another long overdue debut…

michael…really…can we go now??

“no, the sky might be getting darker”

um.. no.. it is night time..

“i am taking photos – when will i ever be here again?”

um.. you already took that shot.

“no, it is different.. see the sky changed”

by now i am so pale EVERY freckle on my face is standing out and all of the people who had been previously sitting near me have now moved to the other side of the building…

really michael… i need to go… NOW!

5 more minutes….

so, one and a half hours after our initial embarkment ( – in michael time… 2 hours if you ask me!!) we are finally down the bottom of the tower… 117 photos the better for it and in a very desperate search for the toilet…which is of course locked….

hobbling on my last strength just to walk the final weary yards home…where i of course bid kermit another fond hello and crashed into bed in uncontrollable shivers with a fever of about 1008!!!!

i didnt know you felt sick says michael…

uuuugh i say…

as i rush once more to the toilet…

a dodgy night follows…

followed by a slow and sluggish day with more guest appearances by my favourite frog at regular, uninvited inopporune intervals (thank you sooo much to emily for putting up with us!! the frog and i that is, michael was exceptionally well behaved on day 3!!)

followed by an amazing night on broadway seeing phantom (with very happily timed intermission)

further unneccessary photo stops en route home by my resident photographer and another sleepless, bathroom punctuated evening…

of course…

all of this excitement would not be complete without the michael space time continuum making its final appearance en route to the airport the next morning..

when despite his alarm being set with over half an hours notice…and my very insistent (ok, nagging) pleas for him to awake…

later developing into downright sitting on him urging him to get up…

he of course arose a mere FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER our agreed departure time…

and then proceeds to conclude the same conclusion i had already proposed a mere half hour ago that in fact we did just need to lug all our gear to the street and flag a cab… (as calling them is apparently none the done thing in new york)

(but boys will be boys and thus it emerges…that no matter what the woman suggests or on what ground she declares it… it is not true until the man himself researches and re-declares it…and then somehow expects due credit for his sheer brilliant discovery!! ugh men!)

none the less…

airport reached.

flight caught

kermit also chose to accompany

although thankfully..back pain is reducing…

cleveland transit relatively uneventful

l.a flight actually managed sleep and consumed SOME solid food.

kermit came back

bye bye solids

arrived l.a

now,

during laurie tantrum previous night / morning

i had managed a quick internet scan in search of suitable abodes..

due to sleepiness of cohabitating partner… none were booked but were duefully noted…

l.a has therefore so far consisted of…

being herded like cattle through lack lustre disorganised airport

several more muppet show comebacks

searching for internet

and allowing my resident techno nerd the chance to review my previous nights suggestions..

but oh no..

it doesnt stop there.

why stop there when there is a whole world to explore??!!!!

thus…after reviewing i think possibly EVERY hotel in the californian state (within our budget..)

a decision was reached (that we would go to the hotel i had originally earmarked last night) and some FOUR HOURS!!! (ok… michael would say 3 and a half) after we actually landed we finally booked and commenced our journey into the slums (oops i mean city) of downtown l.a…

and here we are

the final fronteir.

safe and sound in a hotel room currently being invaded by an ant colony who have taken great interest in my legs.. (perhaps i need to shave?) mapping out our final few days of adventure….

and after all this mayhem and sheer frustration of travelling with one who operates in a different time zone to me…am i mad, furious???

nah.. he’s just too cute…as he’s passed out on the bed beside me happily snoring away…

who knows what tomorrow may bring…

all i know is there is no point wasting my time researching it! 😉

to the final countdown…

look out world!!! we’re coming hoooome!!!!

hugs to all.

from laurie..

and kermit.

oooh…

and by the way…

those bloody pan pipe people found me..

just when i thought i had tricked them and escaped their evil hyponotic melodies..

there they were….

in new york!!!

further cementing my theory they are in fact responsible for all the evil in the world!!

they’re after me i tell you…

after me….

the evil pan pipe people

the evil pan pipe people