An ode to the sky

At one stage yesterday afternoon I walked outside and looked up at the sky. It was a beautiful blue, with fluffy white clouds that looked painted on artfully positioned across the sky. That was enough for me to be home. You miss a lot of things when you’re away for any length of time, and for me, the Australian sky is one of them. You take it for granted. You’ve grown up with it all your life. Sure, it gets overcast sometimes, Christ knows we get some occasional rain. But really, we’re blessed to have such a beautiful sky again and again. And you appreciate it best when you realise what we have for nothing is far from the usual in many places of the world. And I don’t know of any place who has the same sky as ours, where the blue is bluer, and where it seems to go on forever.

As you can tell, I’m happy to be back in Melbourne. Got back early yesterday after a night trying to squeeze my elongated frame into a cramped row of airline seats. I slept a little and walked off the plane with a sore back. At home the silence seemed to surround me. In my absence, the house had been open for inspection, and there were glossy brochures on the dining room table, and someone’s muddy footprint on the parquetry. I was dog tired, as tired as I’ve ever been from travelling, so tired that I was barely coherent. I dumped my bag at the foot of the stairs and climbed them to my bedroom. Now I heard the familiar sounds, of children playing, and birdsong. Funny how I never notice birds when I’m in Asia. I took off my shoes and climbed into bed fully dressed, thinking I’d be up in 30 minutes. Two hours later I got groggily out of bed.

On the flight back I had suddenly realised that it was almost 5 months to the day that mum had died. It seemed incredible to me, and to others when I mentioned it. Where has that time gone? What has happened? My life since then seems fractured and disorientated. Nearly two full months have been spent abroad in that time, which seems absurd. Looking back my life appears stop-start, and without real direction – which is absolutely true. The image came to my head of a dancefloor and a strobe light flashing on and off. You know that jittery perspective when the lights goes off and when it comes on again the dancers are in a different position? It’s kinda surreal, and that’s how the last 5 months appear to me.

Right now it feels different. Maybe that’s because there are no more looming trips. Or perhaps it is my mindset. I’m not blase, but I appear close to it. Now it counts, no more distractions or excuses. The shit that has happened is in the past, though there is still a lot to be cleaned up. I’m back and already getting calls from people desperate for me to do that. I’d like to also, but then I’d also fancy winning the lottery. Right now one is as likely as the other, and it informs the attitude a little. I’m not blase, just philosophical. Still and all, I feel pretty positive.

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