Thoughts on Thursday

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“It is a serious thing
just to be alive on this fresh morning
in this broken world. Mary Oliver

Just wasting time on Facebook this morning.  The sun is shining and I should go for my walk before I Skype with Chris at Bridges Burning  But I found a post on FB from Suzicate wherein she quoted a favourite poem  of mine from Dawna Markova.

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

 

I used this quote in a post when I was still new to blogging – I Will Not Die.  Re-reading that post and the poem, I realise that the poem applies even more to me today than it did in December 2011.

Following my adventure in April, I have had to:

  • overcome the fear of falling again
  • choose to inhabit my days
  • allow my living to open me
  • learn to ask for and accept help
  • learn to take each day as it comes
  • know that I’m loved and supported by many and
  • to be grateful for the help and support offered.

So now this day is starting.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and my walk is calling.

“Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
‘Ride,’ Pleasure said;
‘Walk,’ Joy replied.”
― W.H. Davies poet 1871-1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pianist

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That morning she had been to the library to pick up a book she really wanted to read, so now with the book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, she opened the patio door intending to spend a quiet afternoon reading in the summer sun. As she opened the door she heard, through an open window on the other side of the courtyard, someone playing the piano and instantly she was transported back to that weekend.

The weekend when her love was home from the hospital.  During the time he was home he spoke hardly at all, mostly he was just sitting and savouring the peace and tranquillity after spending several weeks in a busy regional hospital.

He sat enjoying the beauty of the house he had created and outside the house, the wonder that nature had created.

On the Sunday the house had been filled with family members but during the time they were there he said nothing although from time to time he would smile and  if somebody spoke directly to him he would nod his head.  Later, when most of the guests had gone and they were left with just his son’s family, the son hugged his father and asked when he had last played the piano.

Saying nothing, he got up and went to his beloved piano where his fingers found the keys and with his special smile, he started to play.  It was music that neither she nor his son recognised, but it was music nevertheless. After a while, he stopped playing, closed the lid and returned to his seat and his contemplation of the beauty and wonder that surrounded him.

And that was the last time he played the piano as the next morning he went back to the hospital never to return home.

The memory of that afternoon, the piano and his playing it with the joy on his face and the look in his eyes wold remain with her forever.

And as she settled down with her book and her wine, she contemplated how a small thing like the sound of a piano being played could evoke such a memory

“To live in lives we leave behind is not to die”
Judith Baxter, blogger, friend, mother, grandmother and sister

Creative writing kit

 

Note – this was prompted by Judy Reeves in her “A Creative Writer’s Kit”.
Her prompt was “Someone’s playing the piano”

Some fact, some fiction – isn’t that what all good stories are made of?

Still Hiking Into My Old Age

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I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then
to pack my load and take off slowly
but steadily along the trail.
~ Marlyn Doan

I used this quote as the title to my post way back in June 2011 when I was  a very new blogger. I loved the quote but at the time I knew little of Marlyn Doan and have found very little about her since.  However, I found that she was the author of 3 books and was a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association up until the time of her death.  In recognition of her work HECA founded a scholarship in her name.

I’m glad to have found out something about her, although the reason for the search was my walk through the bush this morning in the company of my Occupational Therapist.

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 What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.  I have written about this bush in the past – A walk in the bush.

It has rained quite lot over the past few days and so it was wet and muddy underfoot, but that didn’t deter us.

The bush walk

The native birds were singing, the sun decided to shine for a short time, the water was gushing in the stream and I was told that I could retire my walking stick as I was doing so well.  I have now acquired some Nordic Hiking poles which I have yet to try, so maybe when the physiotherapist comes to visit next week we can try them.

How lucky am I that I have both an Occupational Therpist and a Physiotherapist looking out for me. Two completely different women with didfferent training,  but both so caring and encouraging of my efforts.

 

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And now as it’s Tuesday, I shall have lunch and get ready to meet with my friend.  We shall probably hve a short walk and then go to her house for our usual game of Upwords and a cup of tea.

toward the sushine

Words and More Words

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It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long,
difficult words
but rather short, easy words like
“What about lunch?”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Posted letters are few and far between these days as so many of us use email instead. So when I arrived home the other day to see an envelope with my name and address hand written, I became quite excited.  That is until I opened it and found a business card inside setting an appointment date with an Otolaryngologist.  Well, I had no idea what an Otolaryngologistt did so I went to our trusty friend Google to find that it is is an ear nose and throat surgeon.  Suddenly the card and appointment made sense.  Since the accident my hearing has markedly declined and this was a follow up to a hearing test I had recently with an audiologist.

Note – I am now referring to the accident as my latest adventure.  Sounds better don’t you think and it gives me lots to look forward to.

Goofy-Riding-A-Bike Not ready for bike riding but who knows where this adventure will take me.

So another new word and yesterday while reading Elizabeth George’s novel Just One Evil Act I came across another word new to me -” ..that chain of thought led him ineluctably to the Pakistani professor…..”

The Oxford Dictionary tells me it is an adverb meaning inevitable, not to be escaped, impossible to avoid etc etc.  So we get the meaning and see how it fits in the Elizabeth George sentence.

By the way, are you a follower of her books.  They are about Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of the Metropolitan Police and his side kick Sergeant Barbara Havers.  An amazing writer of whom I am totally in awe, and if you haven’t read any of her books I suggest you hurry off to your local library and pick up one.

Having returned from the mall where I had a facial and bought my own copy of Upwords, the game I play with my friend on Tuesday afternoons.  I can now introduce it to another friend who is almost housebound.

Upwords

I shall continue to read Elizabeth George’s book.I’m at page 493 of 719.  Will I finish it this afternoon?

book-tea

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone copyright.

 

Erratum

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It’s 3am on Sunday 11 September 2016.  Waking in the night is not something I do with any regularity and today I awoke realising that I had made a mistake in yesterday’s post – Another Year On

Originally I wrote –

“On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Then I chaged it to

“Of course yesterday it was 9/11 here in New Zealand, and  many of us were  thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Confusion because here in New Zealand we say 11/9 and those of you in North America say 9/11.  In any event everything else in yesterday’s post still stands and today we will remember those who lost their lives, those who helped rescue some and the people whose lives were changed forever.

 

 

Another Year On

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“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness,
is a way to honor those we lost,
a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
President Obama in a 2011 radio address

On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.

Even though we are told that there was some indication that a major action was about to unfold, nobody could really have imagined the extent or the effect that it would have.

Here in New Zealand we watched in disbelief as the drama unfolded.  Having heard the news on the radio we switched to the television and saw the events as they happened. We saw the unforgettable images of the planes flying into the tower, the bodies falling onto the ground and the faces of the rescuers, working against all odds to rescue anybody at all. These images and words spoken by the firemen, the policemen and other volunteers will stay with us forever.

And in the 15 years since that attack what has happened?  Horror mounts almost daily with reports of innocent people being killed or forced to flee their homes, people living in daily fear of what will happen next.  We hear of young girls being kidnapped by Boko Haraam, many of whom are still missing years later.  Journalists and Peace workers are being murdered and video reports of this are sent around the world.  Fear and belief that all Muslims are evil is escalating and we see evidence of this all around the world.  Where will it end?  And how can it be ended?  Not with more violence and hatred because we know that this only feeds itself.

Perhaps it’s naive to consider that we should or could give peace a chance as John and Yoko Lennon suggested in 1969. But how could this be achieved?  Are any of the “Powers that be” putting any thoughts in this direction, because somebody with some authority has to have the intestinal fortitude (read guts) to begin.  I fear that there is nobody brave enough or committed enough to be the first.

“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
From the song Imagine by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So on this day each year we will remember the folks who died on that tragic day and remember all those who are still suffering because of it.

May I share my rainbow with you in honour of those people?

Rainbow

My rainbow

Note – First paragraph changed – see Erratum

 

 

Spring or the Ides of September

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In the northern hemisphere you have unsettled weather in March and we have it here in September.

installing-sprng

Image stolen from Jeff    at jccsst-random.blogspot.co.nz

 

Well yesterday Wednesday)  I said we had all weather conditions in one day except snow, well today has made up for that.  We had a slight fall of snow here in Wellington but we also had hail.  And the Cook Straight Ferry sailings between the two islands have been cancelled all day.  Apparently thee were waves up to 6 metres at times and we have just been informed that the gale force winds reached 130 kmh.  Windy indeed.  Several roads have been closed for the day and we are being warned not to go out on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

So obviously walking was out of the question, instead a friend picked me up and we went into town for lunch and while she popped into her office for a short time, I took the opportunity to do some retail therapy.  See how well I am recovering.

And now continuing with my obsession with words Ive just been reading a  post  from September 9  2011 when i was very new to blogging and was writing every day.  How very disciplined I was then.  It was called Playing with words

Words

“Better than a thousand hollow words,
is one word that brings peace.

Buddha

 

In that post I commented onOnomatopoeia and  and came up with a word for each letter of the alphabet.  The comments were interesting as many of my followers like words andI love words.  I like the sound of them, I like to see them written down and I like to see them used by others in different ways and I just like playing with them.

See what you think of my alphabet.  Can you offer other words?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Wet, Wild, Wellington Wednesday

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“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing.
Whenever people talk to me about the weather,
I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.
And that makes me quite nervous.”
― Oscar Wilde

Well, we were warned that it was to be a cold wet and windy day.  Apparently there is a southerly storm creeping across the country and nowhere will be immune from it’s effects.  I guess that’s one of the things about living in a small long and narrow country.  Sometimes one just can’t get away from the storm.

Well, as you know I’m a pluviophile and I’m English and like walking in the rain so I got ready for today’s walk.  But discretion took over.  The wind is close to gale force at present and I was told in no uncertain terms to say inside.  So that I did and no walking today.

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But today was supposed to be called A Word on Wednesday.  You all know how I love words and get very excited when I find a new one.  Well yesterday I found one –

Peregrinate – to travel or journey especially on foot.  Henry James had this to say about peregrinate – “But I seem to travel, to peregrinate less and less and so I am reduced to living on my past accumulations” But not for me.  I propose to keep walking and finding ever new places to see.

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And now after lunch with a friend it’s 4pm and the sun is shining.  The only thing we haven’t had today in Wellington is snow, but we are promised the gale force southerly tonight, so who knows.

And just because I love this, I offer it to you.

Savour Kindness PG museum

The plaque at the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice

 

Today is Tuesday

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It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”
Leslie Bricusse, The Leslie Bricusse Songbook 

As I was so pleased with myself following yesterday’s walk, I decided to walk again today.

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This time I found some other steps leading from our road down towards the village. And this time there were not 132 steps to navigate but 154.

So I walked down and found myself in yet another road I had never seen before, then on to the village and a hot chocolate and a scone for lunch, although I was so hot I should really have had a cold drink.

Then back home, this time retracing yesterday’s walk to the village, past the primary school, along two roads and up those 132 steps. I must say this gets easier each day.

A shorter distance today – 2.90 kms and 6.9K steps. I wonder where I’ll go tomorrow.

I’m always thrilled at what one sees when walking that one completely misses when driving.  And if I hadn’t beenUpwords walking to the village instead of driving I wouldn’t have found these roads and would I ever have ventured down these steps.

Later I was picked up by a friend to spend the afternoon at her place, talking but mainly playing a game new to me called Upwords.

It has now become a regular weekly afternoon and I am certainly enjoying this new way of making this elderly brain work.

 

Meandering on Monday

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Pluviophile

Pluviophile  – I learned this word from a blogging buddy, VivinFrance, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.  Still miss her.

I’m English so I like the rain and walking in it – that is of course, if I’m properly dressed. And today it’s pouring down.  So I’ll get properly attired and face the rain. I’m so thankful that I am able to walk again on my own.  Until recently I had to have somebody with me when I walked but two weeks ago I was given the all clear.  So another thing to add to my gratitude list.

Then shortly before 1pm the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Just to be expected in a NZ summer.  So I decided that rain gear wasn’t necessary and I would go for a walk.  But once I started I didn’t know when to stop.

I started up our long drive and put on the MapMyWalk Ap. Up the drive to the road and then down these 132 steps, then along to the village for coffee. I decided to come the other way home forgetting that it was all uphill.  There were some steps on the way but far fewer (36).   So 3.4kms in 57minutes. Very pleased with myself

Quetta Street Steps.jpg

Once I got home I realised how out of practice I was, so have to do more of this walking to get back into shape.  So a cup of tea, Stacey Kent on Pandora and my book and all was very well with my world.

Books tea

And today I have been given the date for my driving test.  When one suffers brain injury following an accident, one’s licence is immediately suspended for six months.  My friendly ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) Case Manager set this up for me.  So on October 6 I go for an off road test and then when I pass that, I will have another test driving my own car around the streets.  Hooray – the final hurdle in this latest “adventure”.

Oh and those of you have hung in since 2011 will know that this will be my fourth driving test.  I wonder if it will be as easy as the others.

And if you missed those posts and would like to read them, here they are:

The Driving Test 
Driving Test No 2
Driving Test No 3