In a blogging frame of mind


October 30th, 2008

So I’m sitting here in my home office. The windows, which need yet another clean because there was a dust storm while I was away, and because of the salt that accumulates from the winds that blow off the ocean, look out over our native garden. That’s not a garden full of natives (as in people) but plants. Australian native plants, instead of European or English or South African plants – plants that belong here and grow well in these often dry conditions. There’s a red, terracotta bird bath that is the meeting place for all the local birds. Really. They come and perch on the edge chattering to each other and flying off when a bigger bird arrives. Some of the plants are still flowering. There’s a red and yellow kangaroo paw and a red bottle brush flowering, while other plants are finished. There hasn’t been much rain so the grass is drying off.

I’m working on my MacBook Air while my desk-top Mac stays off. I like the portability of my Air – when I turn on my desk-top Mac it feels like ‘real work’. I’m waiting to have a teleconference with a client. My old Brother phone/fax seems so out-of-date. Teleconferences seem so out-of-date, I wonder when government agencies will finally catch up and start using skype and web tools such as dimdim or moodle?

I work in bare feet. That means whatever shoes I’ve had on are left in a trail throughout the house, yet they seem to congregate in my office. My red and grey North Face sandels and my pink and black Quicksilver thongs (bought at a local Quicksilver sale – 4 pairs for $10, what a bargain), my trusty Keen shoes that I wore in Taiwan and Chicago and a new, black pair of Keens that I bought in San Francisco when I played hookey from the Open Space on Open Space with Becky Petersen (oh yeah, that’s right, it’s OK to play hookey – it’s called the Law of Two Feet) all lay around the floor, competing with space for books (read and unread), bills to be paid (mostly unpaid, OK, all unpaid) and the ghost of my beloved Radar.

Radar was my golden retriever. He died in February. The vet came and injected his vein with that green liquid. He died in my arms. His pain all gone now. He’d been with me since I took the Great Leap Into the Unknown when I left a full-time, secure job with superannuation, annual holidays, sick leave, you know the sort of stuff, and started my own business. He would sleep just behind my chair, so whenever I moved back he would sigh, and have to get up and move. That’s when he could still walk. He’d come and rest his chin on my knee when he wanted to go out for a walk. He’d raise one eyebrow when I’d startle him with an exclamation while working on my computer. And he’d snore gently, twitching as he dreamt of chasing ducks, I believe. When we lived in Melbourne I’d take him walking to Darebin Creek – a little bit of nature tucked in behind the industrial factories of Heidelberg (that’s Heidelberg Melbourne). It was quite overgrown. I was always wary of snakes in summer but never saw any. I knew they were there. We’d walk on the leash through the suburban streets. He would get more and more excited as we reached the park where I could let him run free. And off he’d go. Stopping every few steps to sniff and wee on a particularly good smell. Then we’d reach the creek. He’d bound into the water and bark at any ducks. He loved ducks. well, he loved chasing ducks. They would simply fly off and land a bit further on, looking at him warily and knowing they would never be in any danger. When he got older and his hips went, he would stand slowly and want to run, unable to do so very well, or at all, in the end. He would lean against my leg. Sigh. Lie down. I miss him.

The lights from my wireless router twinkle at me. I love this technology. It keeps me connected, and yet it doesn’t. I was reminded of this yesterday when my friend Boxy called to say hello and pass on some news of a mutual friend who’d been ill. We chatted for a while and then I realised that he didn’t know much of what I’d been doing. ‘You don’t read my blog, do you?’ I asked. Challenged? I realised what assumptions I’d been making about blogging – that anyone interested in me would read my blog blah blah blah. No they don’t. There’s probably only a handful of people who actually visit and read – some of them very good friends who I love keeping in touch with this way, people on the other side of the world and just down the road who I really feel connected to. And yet there are others who don’t use any of this technology – they deserve my attention too.

So 16 months after I started blogging I feel more able. I feel I’ve started to find my blogging voice. I’ll take more risks. And I use my blog for me, a way to record, reflect, share and communicate. What I still have to learn is about the world beyond blogging. It still exists. It’s another example of yes, anding. I need to blog AND take care to communicate with my non-blog/Twitter/Facebook-reading friends.

AND. thanks to Denzil and his great writing workshop, I need to just write more and trust where it takes me. When I sat down to write this post it was going to be about something else altogether. I’m surprised at where I ended up.

4 Comments so far

  1. Janet Rice on October 30, 2008 11:34 am

    Glad you got back on afn Viv, or I would never have got to your blog! I’ve just spent almost half an hour reading your stuff. ( I almost said wasting time – but it wasn’t wasted, it was good stuff – just not what I had planned to do!)

    You inspire me. I’d love to catch up over summer sometime – I finish up on Council in 3 weeks time,and then a whole new world awaits. I’m not getting to the afn conference again this year – not because of work, but cos I’m going on the great victorian bike ride with my teenage sons. It seems lie ia great way to mark and ending and a new beginning.

    cheers

    Janet

  2. Viv McWaters on October 30, 2008 9:36 pm

    Welcome Janet – I hope visiting my blog is time well spent, but then, there’s lots of other things you could be doing 🙂

    Have a good break after the Council – you certainly deserve it and we will catch up over the summer. Have a look at my latest post about Fireworks – appropriate, i think for endings and new beginnings.

    Cheers

    Viv

  3. Cherie Scott on November 4, 2008 8:54 pm

    Hi Viv,

    I visited your web site after reading your message on afn. I very rarely read blogs (though I want to have one of my own), so it was very interesting reading yours. I enjoyed reading about your dog Radar as I am in the process of creating a ceremony to honour my Labrador-retriever cross. I was with him when he died and it was an awesome experience. He died years ago and I always meant to do the ceremony but . . . I wanted the family to participate and the time just never seemed to be right. I think I was waiting for something though I know not what. For some reason I put it off. Now my 15 year old cat is approaching the end of her life and in wondering why she was still here I visited the notion of unfinished business. I got that she is waiting for me to do the ceremony for her friend the dog. They used to sleep together in front of the the fire. Your blog inspired me to add to the writing I have done about him and my journey with him. So thank you – I want you to know that your blogging made a difference to me and maybe I will get myself a blog sooner rather than later.

    In gratitude,
    Cherie

  4. Facilitation - Evaluation - Beyond the Edge - Viv McWaters on December 16, 2008 8:24 pm

    […] was a sad time when my trusted companion of 15 years, Radar, died. You can read a tribute to him here,and […]

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