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Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

words by Kirsten Macdonald

Waxing lyrical about a majestic universe or avoiding A-Hole retrograde? You have come to the right place.

 

Humans of the earth I am going to cut right to the chase: where does the need for people to be un-nice come from? Truly?

Lately it feels like a-hole retrograde and social media words blowing out like radioactive solar flares – power obesity across the globe? Inequality tipping the scales in a dangerously precarious position, the children are about to fall out it seems.

When an activity puts others in dangers’ way or is harmful, interruption is necessary. The person/s guilty of said behaviour needs to be re-educated. But how? It all just a bit too much, isn’t it? Everyone in each other’s space, business and socials, criticising everything from parenting to little girls trying to save the world. We had one of those before, her name was Joan. She was burned at the stake. This one is being held high enough above the lick of flames. It took long enough though right?

Seriously- what the heck? Why should you care if so and so earns this amount, or that person’s parenting wasn’t what you envisioned it should be? Does he earn more than you and its not fair? Do you kick the footy enough with your son? Perhaps you shouldn’t have eaten that piece of chocolate? Oh Bother.

Don’t forget the pop culture and etiquette of smashed avo and saving a deposit for the thing we sleep under. Perfectionado city. According to Neil Degrassi Tyson astrochemists have gone from knowing nothing of molecules in space to finding a plethora of them practically everywhere. Anne Lorimor, an 89 year old just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, breaking a Guinness World Record. The world is an amazing place full of unexpected delights and as humans we are capable of incredible feats. Surely making a dedicated world effort to kindle compassion and authentic connection should be on the agenda?

Do you laugh too loud or my personal favourite- are you just TOO ENTHUSIASTIC or passionate? C’mon really? I’m going to own the last one. Too enthusiastic. Am I? Yup. Like a Meercat on happy pills. Unless its Sunday, then I am a sloth on Smirnoff.

I once asked my doctor many years ago if I should be on antidepressants to counteract a period of melancholy; his response while retrospectively refreshingly honest was shocking.He burst out laughing. Heartily. A robust laugh. Which is quite seriously undebatable really. Because my melancholy was real and I have fought it my whole life.

I live hard and on purpose, I smell the roses with gusto and understand calm. 

 My friends call me Polly though because I have tendencies that flow towards flipping the situation into a positive. It must get annoying. (positive polly with her perspective gymnastics) 

I am not THAT positive. I don’t fart rainbows and wax lyrical all the time. I do not. I am totally guilty of loving the hell out of the people close to me. They get frequently told how awesome I think they are, but this is the truth. It is actually why we are friends because my friend detector is honed into awesomeness. Yeah I know right?

Comedians everywhere. But have you met my friends? I may not have been blessed with both eyelids, but God made up for it with friendship. If friendships were braziers, I’d have a K cup. Let’s be real here, I need some wins. K cup friendships might not save lives or obliterate aneurysms, but they certainly create treasures worth keeping.

For the record too, just because your health might be up poo creek without a paddle doesn’t mean you are not allowed to be happy or positive. Reality can co-exist.

So why am I pondering judgy people, criticism and defending my position on the positivity aspect you ask? Well, it’s Nellie Florence’s fault. AKA my Nanna. It was her influence that instilled the ideology to treat others the way you would like to be treated. The tricky bit is, my expectations then tend to be high of other people. I really struggle when people are unfriendly or unkind. This is tricky.

For example, I would never in a million years demand that another human go and buy crumpets at 7.30 am when the aforementioned human is doing their daily business in the bathroom. That’s just not cricket. I would never judge someone for their unco-ordinated running man.I never wish bad thoughts upon anyone either, another farting rainbow Kirsten thing.

The multiplicity of our human experience makes us like salt and pepper, when we mix it all up and shake it enough it all becomes lovely shades of grey. Incapable of separation because it all becomes one. Alan Watts style. If we thought about it all a bit more objectively perhaps we could preclude non-kindness.

We are built for survival. So I am wondering why the frontal cortex hasn’t established a decent relationship with the primal cortex. Not a reality TV show one with back stabbing and undie dropping. The long termer, finish each other’s sentence kind of one with a big cupid smooch. Good old Frontal is reason, primal is function and instinct.

Ok, so let’s put those two darlings together and create the pathway that goes like this- my legs won’t move unless I am kind. Before you can eat or scratch your ear- you would have to say to the people around you :

“Have I treated you the way you would like to be treated today?”

What the response would be?

Imagine if this was a prerequisite to social discourse? Customer service would make us blush with joy. Sex lives would be magically enhanced across the world, people with disabilities celebrated, and differences rejoiced. Wars ended, world leaders high fiving each other…whale hunters weeping at the destruction on the ship’s decks, snobbery abandoned, hunger destroyed, child marriages and exploitation might no longer exist.

Would our faith in each other grow? Would the homeless be housed? The hungry fed? The unloved be loved? This is my pondering. 

When we are kind, are there strings attached?

The strings are the expectation people might do the same if the situation was reversed. Where did this expectation of others having to be nice comes from? Yup, it was a childhood mantra. Problem is these days’ people get all tangled up in their own stuff. What happens when people don’t return the favour, and you are left like a kitty up a tree, and the branch is ‘abendin? 

 ‘‘Concentrate on YOU’’ is thrown at us every day, look after yourself first. Spend more time on you and less on others is blasted across the emotional airways. Look I am all for self-nurture, but if we are THAT tied up in our own stuff are we at threat of slowly growing narcissistic? The canaries looking in the mirror, preening their feathers. Quip of the day- Want to know how a narcissist is doing? Tell them about you.

Perhaps this is all about energy maintenance, staying in our own lane only to reach out and love another when guided to. 

For we are all our own creatures on a journey in this place, are we not?

I know when we conserve our energy and pour it into focussed areas that are sourced from an intuitive truth- we can only learn and grow. We can also create healthy boundaries. This includes unnecessary crumpet purchases and saying no to the mother’s group catch up where everyone hates someone and has a serious case of twisted knickers.

My mantra- always be kind to each other, be brave and enjoy the time you have with the people close to you as best you can. I know I will be. And children of Australia; please darlings, please let your parents have some private bathroom time, when something is evacuating your body, alone time is essential.

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

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Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

words by Kirsten Macdonald Waxing lyrical about a majestic universe or avoiding A-Hole retrograde? You have come to the right place.  Humans of the earth I am going to cut right to the chase: where does the need for people to be un-nice come from? Truly? Lately...

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Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise.

A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position. Described by sports commentators as a dazzling talent, Lucy McEvoy is a young sportswoman to watch. She is refreshingly open with a keen sense of humour and grin so big you can’t help but grin back- but she is not to be underestimated on the ground. The recent Carlton draft pick plays football with a tenacity that is compelling and fierce. 

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Lucy on the eve of the draft at her home on the Bellarine Peninsula.

K: You were a promising basketballer, when did you know you wanted to swap to footy and when was the choice locked in?

L: I was selected in the first national side in 2016 at 14 years of age. I thought this is cool. I loved it, and it was so much more fun and physical than basketball. I loved the atmosphere and the competition. 

K: What do you love most about football? 

L: You get to play with your friends, the training is awesome, it’s fun, and the game is full of really good people. They just want to play footy and have fun with the game. I think its all about the culture and the vibe of the team. 

K: What’s your favourite position? 

L: Midfield, because I have been able to learn so much. But I actually enjoy all of them. 

K: The idea of tackling and falling so hard and being physically dominant in competition puts the fear of God into me, what do you love about it? 

L: I love the physicality of it, the tackling of it. It’s the only sport you can do it in without being abused. When I started playing footy, it sort of crossed over into basketball! So taking a screamer over a player and trying to stop tackling the players wasn’t working well (big grin inserted- told you she was funny.) Seriously though, pushing your body to its limits to see what you can do and with a team in play is the best. 

K: Outside of training, what do you do for fun or relaxation?

L: I walk the dog, Dudley, the German Sheppard cross Jack Russell. (He’s charming and looks baffled ponderers.)

K: Favourite athlète and why? 

L: Dustin Martin – he’s so good, you know when he gets the ball he’s going to do something good with it every time. 

K: Growing up, was there a particular person you looked up to or looked to for advice with sport?

L: There were a lot of good people, but Brendan Matthews- my Basketball coach from 8 to 16 was brilliant in giving me advice and guiding what I needed to do to improve in general in sport. 

K: Is it overwhelming coming into this newly recognised and supported arena or is it exciting, especially Carlton.  

L: Exciting. It is so exciting to get in there and see this happening, and it is a little bit surreal because it is so new. 

K: What do your family and friends think about it all? 

L: I think they’re proud (she’s humble) but everyone is super supportive.  I have a great group of mates and good people around me. 

K: If you had a choice of travel, where would you love to go? 

 L: I don’t have the travel bug yet really, but Australia, there is so much to see. I want to see all of it! 

K: Fave Comedian?

L: Kevin Hart  – he’s hilarious and quick. 

K: What do you wish was different about the attitudes toward women in sport and the male dominance aspect of opinion and performance? 

L:  I think its starting to change, I still feel like if it hasn’t come from a man, it’s not seen as relevant. There’s a little less recognition, but it is changing. I really look up to AFLW pioneer – Susan Alberti, – if you are in that environment, you have a duty to protect it and tell them what you think. This is what she does. 

 

K: Is the women’s competition of a high standard yet in your opinion, given the newness of it all? 

L: Oh yeah. The skills and abilities of the women players are really upping the competition. There are some injuries of concern, like ACLs and concussions, but this is changing. Things like running head-on to pick up the ball are stuff boys have been getting taught not to do since they were little.  There are motor skills and learned reflexes we are catching up on quickly, and it’s already a high quality game. 

 K: How did you go when you were younger playing with the boys? 

 L: The boys on my team were always really good. Sometimes at the start of a game, the other team would throw a bit of banter around about getting beaten by a girl, I wasn’t afraid to say something back. I’d give them a bit of banter back. I pushed, I wasn’t going to be pushed- gained some respect when they could see I could play. I’d go out and smash it, that was always fun to see the look on faces. (She laughs.) But most boys were supportive and inclusive.  I am still great mates with many of them today.

 K: Does anything really bother you?

 L: Most things negative or anything that is water off a duck’s back, I don’t get fussed by much or bothered. 

 K: Social media-obsessed? 

 L: (laughs) No. It’s good to see what people are doing, but I am not consumed by it.

 K: Treehouse or Cubbyhouse?

 L: Cubbyhouse, I think- so I could see everything. That’s a really cool question. 

 

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

words by Kirsten Macdonald

When I first met Faye Kendall, I knew she was someone I would like to interview one day.

With a keen sense of understanding people and a high intelligence hidden beneath a humble smile, Faye is somewhat of an enigma around Geelong. Her passion for preventative health feels like a thunderstorm brewing – encapsulated in a crystal clear jar of strategy that is before her time. It will rain on a barren land, screaming for health restoration.

 

Her recent growth of business Whole Body Health and Wellness has people talking and for good reason, but we wanted to know the why behind the woman. She is a Doctor of Osteopathy, humanist, traveller and entrepreneur, Faye is incredibly candid in this interview as we dig deep to find out the connection between body, mind and health.

Why do you like helping people? 

Helping people is a natural part of being human, and I think that we all help each other in lots of different ways without realising it. Smiling at a stranger, taking the time to listen to someone who needs to talk, cooking someone a meal or offering to lend a hand to someone in need are all ways in which most of us help each other every day.

It’s when we all help each other that healthy communities are formed. When I’m able to help someone (whether that’s at work or not), that person then has a greater capacity to help someone else in return, and then it just becomes a continuum. 

 

In our clinic I have people who come in with a specific problem that they can’t fix on their own, so they ask for help, so there is a set structure around the way in which I am helping someone.

 

A.T. Still says- 

Science which consists of such exact, exhaustive, and verifiable knowledge of the structure and function of the human mechanism, anatomical, physiological and psychological, including the chemistry and physics of its known elements, as has made discoverable specific organic laws and remedial resources, within the body itself, by which nature under the scientific treatment peculiar to osteopathic practice, apart from all ordinary methods of extraneous, artificial, or medicinal stimulation, and in harmonious accord with its own mechanical principles, molecular activities, and metabolic processes, may recover from displacements, disorganization, derangements, and consequent disease, and regained its normal equilibrium of form and function in health and strength.

 

Do you agree?

F.K: I wholeheartedly agree with Dr Still. We are just as much a part of nature as any other living organism. Therefore our natural state of being is health. Disease and injury are temporary states of imbalance within our bodies that occurs when we (or the environment we live in) is out of sync. Science has proven over and over again that with the right environment, our bodies have an innate capacity to heal.

As practitioners, we have a choice between treating the disease or treating the health in our patients. By working with and acknowledging the health that is present in all of us we get to help the body correct the imbalances that led to the unhealthy parts forming in the first place while also working to maintain equilibrium and homeostasis within the body. This is what true preventative health is.

When did you decide to become an Osteopath, and why choose this? 

 

I was in my first year of doing P.E. teaching at Uni when I found out about Osteopathy. I was really interested in the details of anatomy and physiology covered in the course. I hadn’t heard of Osteopathy before, when I researched the philosophy behind the practice of Osteopathy, it really resonated. Particularly that our bodies can self-heal and that osteopaths look at the patient as a whole person.

 

How does Osteopathy shine a light on deeper issues for people? 

Osteopaths are always looking for the true cause of the problem, which often isn’t overly transparent when you are dealing with organisms as complex as humans!

 

If a firefighter were called to a house fire because the neighbours reported large amounts of smoke coming from the house- and then proceeded to address the smoke while ignoring the fire, then we would all ask why the firefighter was just treating the smoke and not the fire. Yet when it comes to health care, our medical system seems to be well set up for identifying and treating symptoms but is lacking the tools to look for and treat the cause of the symptoms.

Osteopathic training has its educational roots in traditional western medicine, yet its philosophy is based on natural medicine. We are trained to look for and treat the cause of the problem to help alleviate the symptoms that our patients are presenting. Sometimes this is straightforward, and other times there are multiple factors at play. Two people may present with the exact same symptoms. But this doesn’t mean the cause of those symptoms is exactly the same. This, in turn, may result in a different treatment for each person as opposed to a one size fits all approach.

You have created a health clinic, with specialists from Osteopaths to Psychologists, Naturopathy, Chinese Medicine, in fact over 9 different offerings. From a business perspective, bringing the very best practitioners from different modalities under an umbrella is clever. I have seen you have the addition of digital overlays and flow through aftercare as well as a luxe approach- this is unique and if I can say, quite revolutionary. Especially in a time where we hear and read reports of an over strained health care system. Why did you take this approach?

It was time to do something different. To truly be proactive rather than reactive and give a quality to health that was new and fresh is the drive behind this.  There are lots of different modalities in the health care setting that can help people get better. We can collaborate and brainstorm together to create the best outcomes for our patients.

 

Why is referral within a space of multi-discipline approach so important to you? Not everyone is doing it, so why are you doing it?

From a patient’s perspective, we also want to make it as easy as possible for them. We also regularly refer to practitioners outside of our clinic. If we believe care will come from a practitioner outside of our practice, we refer our patient there.

 

Do you meditate? 

For me, life offers lots of opportunities to meditate in different ways, so I don’t have a set daily practice but rather take the opportunity to meditate whenever it arises.

When I work as a cranial osteopath, I’m engaged in the present moment, and I need my mind to be aware of what is happening so that it can observe the treatment process without getting in the way. I’ll often go out into nature where I can swim in the ocean or walk through the forest. These are the things that centre and ground me.

How does WBHW reflect you? 

WBHW started as a solo practitioner clinic, so the foundations of what our clinic has become somewhat intertwined with how I live my life.

There’s a limit to how much one person can achieve on their own. When there is a community of people all supporting one another and working together, then the environment in which we live becomes stronger and healthier. (Just like a body.)

 

Who is the most interesting person you know and why?

I have a lot of interesting people in my life, but if I have to pick one, it would be my friend John. Apart from being genuinely interested in EVERYTHING- he’s passionate about the things he loves, is always learning and willing to try something new and doesn’t try to hide his quirks.

What do you wish everyone knew about their body?

Everything in the human body comes from a single cell. When you look at a particular bone, muscle, joint or organ in isolation without considering the effect that tissue has on the body as a whole, you are only getting one piece of the puzzle.

Your influencer is…

Right now it’s Brene Brown. She inspires me to be brave even when it’s uncomfortable, even when it’s hard and even when I want to take the easy road. It’s the little choices every day that make the difference.

 

Favourite author and why…

Eckhart Tolle. Sometimes you read a book that completely changes the way you look at life. For me, that was’ A New Earth’.

 

If life could be summed up in a quote. What would it be?

 

Dr Seuss – “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

 

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise. A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position.

Unapologetically Her

Unapologetically Her

Inspired Read

What does it take to climb a mountain of adversity as a child, to find yourself as an adult in a place of complete devastation? Sitting with the realisation you are deeply unhappy. ..

Words: Kirsten Macdonald

For one Australian woman,  the decision to alter her life would carry an enormity and bring challenges she could never conceive of. The outcome?  She has become the embodiment of grit, positive change and possibility.

Telia Tonkin was 38 years old, weighed 159 kgs, standing 175 cms tall. Carrying physical and emotional weight and in an unhappy marriage,  the mother to two beautiful kids realised if she did not make a change, she would die. For her, it was a straight forward action, there was no-in-between. 

 Life was about to change dramatically.

 

“As a teenager, I would walk down the street with my friends, who were all thin. People would approach and look at me first; I always told myself it was because I was the fat one.”

“I always felt different from my friends, the outsider because of this. It is interesting though isn’t it? What we believe to be true, because those friends, my best friends to this day also had their own self-beliefs and insecurities. But at the time, my feeling of alone was big. People would look at me, and I always felt it was because of my size.” 

 

The root cause of her attachment to food was forged in emotional distress, comfort eating and resentment eating. A toxic trio that would create difficulty in her life. “There were adults in my life who constantly told me I was fat and lazy, so I believed it, and ate to rebel and in spite.”

 

Fast forward years later, a successful teaching degree in her hand,  a move to Queensland and a brilliant police force job, Telia married, had children and paused.

 

“I knew that not only would I have to make a total body transformation, but a total mind change. I started to see things so much clearer, I was abundantly aware of the mistakes I had made, both physically and mentally. I had two young children, I couldn’t go on being so unhappy, pretending to the outside world that my life was fantastic, hiding my tears, dreading that car ride home from work, back to that unhappy house, which was supposed to be a home.”

“But isn’t home where you should feel safe? You should be able to express yourself without concern of the consequences? I didn’t have a home, I was in a house, I was simply treading water, and I couldn’t stand it one more minute. My children are my world. You know the oxygen mask theory? You need the mask first so you can give the kids oxygen? So I left, I packed up my two children and drove away. I rented a house near their school and started living for myself again. I became a better person and a better mother because of that decision. My energy went just into my journey to health and that flowed through to my children.”

 

The dedicated mother had always enjoyed a passion for sport from a girl, and it was this that pushed her forward.

Bootcamp training, nutrition advice and a commitment to a gruelling transformation would fuel the next path Telia took.

“I started to focus on my love for weightlifting, training for a sport like that can be brutal. Training twice a day, 6 days a week. My children embraced my love for exercise, they would ride their bikes as I ran, they would come to training with me and sit quietly in the creche. Not once did they make me feel guilty about following my passion. They were proud of their mum, they would tell everyone at school that they had the strongest Mum in the world.”

Telia lost half her body weight and started to gain her confidence and the progressive feeling of shifting from a negative mindset to a positive one. The positive was much more enticing and it paid off. 

 

The next step was competitive weight lifting. The last two years Telia returned home from the State Masters with a silver medal.

 

 

 “Some would say that winning a silver was amazing. But for me,  being second best in Queensland just wasn’t enough.” 

 

In March 2018 Telia competed in the Queensland Masters Weightlifting Championships in Milton, Brisbane.

 

The trip to Melbourne for Nationals paid off. 

 “I achieved 6 out of 6 lifts, equal personal best. But do you know the best part, I won Silver! I didn’t come second, I won Silver! There’s a massive difference let me tell you. So do you know who I am? I’m second best in Australia for my age and weight category in Masters Weightlifting! I’m number one in Queensland, I’m the strongest mum in the world (according to my children.) But most of all;  I’m happy. If people notice me now, its because of my hair, or something positive. My life is mine, no longer under the weight of so much.” The metaphor is not lost.

 

“I’d done everything right, trained hard, stuck to my diet, remained focused, I felt good. I couldn’t have done anymore more going into this meet. To be honest I don’t remember much about the day. I remember I was so focused, just took one lift at a time, didn’t think too far ahead, didn’t worry what the other lifters were doing, kept my mind clear from negative thoughts, those negative thoughts that were dragging me down for years.”

“I lifted in the snatch first, 3 out of 3 lifts, they were fantastic lifts and I was so damn proud of how I remained focused. I was equal first going into the Clean and Jerk, I knew what I had to do. When they announced that Telia Tonkin was Queensland Champion, I cried, I couldn’t control my emotions. For three long hard years I had wanted this so bad, and now it was mine! GOLD! Number one in Queensland! After I composed myself, I realised I had qualified from the National Champions in May to be held in Melbourne. I thought, you know what, I’m going to do this, bugger it! I’m going to represent my State at Nationals.” And so she did.

And you know what Ponderers? With cropped blonde hair, striking eyes and ornate tattoos, Telia is bold and edgy, funny and incredibly real.  The attractive and tenacious woman is unapologetically her. The jokes come fast, and her brave and brutal honesty screams of an authenticity that is rare these days.

So who inspires Telia Tonkin? “My children and my siblings and their partners are my scaffolding, they are my world and source of strength and love.”

“One aspect I have noticed is that many people become so insecure about their partner making change, that they seem to get some satisfaction about making you feel guilty for putting yourself first every now and then. Or people who project their own stuff on you. Some people like to keep you in one space to make themselves feel good. This still baffles me. So many women stay in unhappy situations because they are afraid of the financial implications, they are afraid of being alone, all fear based.”

“Don’t lie to yourself, and act. Because the funny thing is, when you give yourself permission to find happiness, and seek it out- you are never alone because you find the most important person- yourself.”

Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

words by Kirsten Macdonald Waxing lyrical about a majestic universe or avoiding A-Hole retrograde? You have come to the right place.  Humans of the earth I am going to cut right to the chase: where does the need for people to be un-nice come from? Truly? Lately...

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise. A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position.

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

words by Kirsten Macdonald When I first met Faye Kendall, I knew she was someone I would like to interview one day. With a keen sense of understanding people and a high intelligence hidden beneath a humble smile, Faye is somewhat of an enigma around Geelong. Her...
Broken Feet

Broken Feet

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He walks on a path with his tour guide.

Where will the path take him? The tour guide is a wonderful companion, showing the man the beautiful plants, trees and mountains, the possibilities of the journey, the treasures of abundance and prosperity in the lands he does not yet know. 

HELP! He hears a voice cry. He turns and sees a woman broken on the side of the road, her feet are at odd angles. Busted and twisted, they look pained and sore. He must help her! 

I have the tools in my bag that can mend those feet, he tells himself. He must help!

 

The tour guide shouts something to him.

“This woman’s feet are broken because she bought shoes that were not good for her. Her parents bought her badly made shoes, so her body never learned to walk the way they needed to. So she bought badly made shoes too as it was all she knew. But it’s okay, a shoemaker is coming soon in perfect time. The shoemaker will make the most beautiful shoes, and the woman will know joy for the first time in her life, and her feet will be healed and mended, stronger than before.”

But the man does not hear his guide.

Her shouts are a barely audible whisper. Drowned out by his need to fix the woman’s broken feet. His need to help, to love and be loved was strong. His good intentions were loud. 

He left the path and went to the woman. She smiled. They became friends. She doesn’t expect him to fix her and yet he does, and she is grateful. He gives her bandaids and a kiss to the forehead. Her feet stayed broken forever.

All is well in his world.

The tour guide is out of earshot. He can no longer hear her. She is waiting for him down the path of which he has forgotten.  

He builds a home, finds friends and a dog. He drinks and takes in the vista of the nest he has made in the world. He knows success and puts a thing called money into a building. The cash takes him on many journeys in cars and planes and buses. But his seat is feeling uncomfortable. The roadside stop became an entire universe for him to dwell. It is safe. It is all he thinks he knows. The tour guide is no longer a memory, but a sense of deja vu.

The loneliness gets worse. Aren’t I meant to be somewhere? He asks himself, as he touches the wrinkles on the sides of his eyes. He has everything he needs, and yet he is empty. He believes he is alone. However, the tour guide never left. 

His sadness deepens and rejects everyone, he has not learned to ask for help.

He is not looking at anything, he is stuck. He calls out to God in agony. A  God the world tells him is a magician in the sky who can fix everything with a special wand. The stuff of fairytales and old wives. There is no answer. 

In a deep conflict, in the quiet of the space of the grass on which he stands in a forest inspiring him with a sad wonder, he has an inkling. Something inside calls him. It is the voice of the tour guide, the voice is getting stronger. 

“Why am I so depressed?” He asks. 

 “Because, my child, there are so many distractions” sung God into his heart. “What do I do now?” He asks. “I am your guide, but some of you must surrender so you can walk the path directly, for your heart to hear, your ears to know and your intuition to listen to my directions, you are blind, and now you will see, you were lost, but now you are found. Free will is yours to enjoy, but take my hand, and we will walk it together. 

For the first time, the man knew calm. He knew peace and the deja vu became a knowing. The next journey began.

 

We hope you have enjoyed our Fictionista from Kirsten Macdonald, please share it if you like it. 

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The Broken Path of Diamond Kisses

The Broken Path of Diamond Kisses

Kirsten Macdonald

Kirsten Macdonald

Wordsmith

The Broken Path to Diamond Kisses

by Ponderings Radio

12 Minute Read

She ran away from the pain her whole life. 

As a small child, she learned very quickly that a gross room torn with old wallpaper and mildew could be quickly transformed with a diamond-infused paintbrush. Diamonds crushed from the ideals of television families and fairy tales could be blended into the bristles of the brush to create alchemy.  

She took a thought gently pulled like fairy floss and moulded it with her hands. Some singing and stamping of feet and a diamond-encrusted paintbrush would appear in its place. She was ready to paint the walls. Anything could be transformed- a yellowed bruise, the words thrown like poisoned darts, the dark looks and the nights of terror. 

 

Surviving was her greatest trick and most sincere gift of distraction. 

Until a battle opened her scars, it seemed her very best tricks trickled out with the blood. Seven years of smiles, prayers, kneeling on cold soothing grass and plenty of dark humour got her to here. This spot. Right now. The running from the pain has bought her full circle. She stands in front of a tsunami rising up to swallow her. It wasn’t going away, and there was no avoiding it. The diamond brushes were ground down to dust. The stories are faded, pulled from pages and now composted in the ground of experience beneath her feet.  It’s just God and her. Time to walk through it.

She tried once before jumping over the forest, running around the forest. She dug for days under the forest. Tears anointed her skin, thoughts of all the loss — the things she could not replace or fix. Her fingernails filled with the dirt of days and gritted teeth determined not to let people see behind the veil. It was time to march through the forest. She knew what waited for her in there. It made her soul wither and want to run, to hide, to drown in the sleep of peace. 

What had she become? Life had not been kind. 

 

She grew wings. 

 

They aren’t pretty. 

 

They have twisted tufts, barely resilient. Once strong and fierce, they’ve seen too many fights. They could have a mind of their own. Each time without fail after a battle, she would feel as though she could not get up from the floor. A cold desolate floor- echoing silence and a lack of hope. Then it would happen, a flutter, a rip and her body would haphazardly rise. Before she could clap her hands, her feet were 20 cm above the ground. Lopsided but up. The wings wanted to make sure her children’s foreheads would be kissed again, and again and again. Her last legs, her broken wings. 

 

She tied a sash of red around her waist; the last strands of faith gripped in her hand and the songs of her women. Her heart is splintering, stripped by bearing the weight of a thousand walks, numb beneath words. Pushing through the bracken and branches, the murky ground sponges beneath her. 

A cabin is in front of her.  She walks inside and waits. She knows he will arrive soon. 

The most grotesque monstrous ogre gnashing and snarling, trauma dripping from its teeth like an ooze. Welcome, she says, her fists daring to take him down and scream her rage at him, but she knows it will infuse him into her skin. She resists with all her might. 

It screams at her; you are a  burden. You will not make old bones. You are lumpy. You are bumpy. Your teeth are too big. Your hair does not cover your scars, who are you fooling?  Who do you think you are? Look at your swollen body and the signs of your scars. Who are you again? The teller of stories? The world is like stale water in a starving dessert of narcissism. What a joke. You are broken. The world is broken. People are like shards of glass in your eyes, and they will never change. 

Your children don’t need you anymore. Blah. That’s your humanity, your silly little ego humanity. Keep trying. Always were, unloved and craving like a dirty little beggar. You will break. Pity pity pity.  Do you remember what you once were? Haha, no longer. 

Reader beware- we should have warned you first. It’s a nasty ogre.  

She crawls in agony from the whips of his words to the bench. She makes tea; her bloodied heart rips open like an old tent door in a storm. The tea is steeped as he yells his profanity at her, she laces it with love, squeezed like a rung towel from her heart. Each drop captured by each glance of her children as they slept. She thinks about God. She thinks of the love for her family. 

The ogre begrudgingly sips the sweet nectared drink, a sly look upon the woman, its bruised and black drooped eyelids closing. Yawning, it falls asleep and starts to shrink.  He hiccups. Snapping and sounds of squeaking, the ogre becomes as tiny as a baby bird. She picks him up and places him in the palm of her hand. 

With a prayer of love, she blows a sweet breath upon his scaly body. He closes in on himself, spinning and turning. Again she prays, sending him love and the feelings of beauty and abundance. He becomes still. Very slowly, a wing unfurls. She smiles. His dark muck glitters and shivers into shimmering light. Another wing unwraps. The summer hue of yellow and forgiveness glints around its small body. The elytra reflect the blue of her eyes and open to taking flight. It opens an eye in surprise. Beauty.  She watches with a smile as it rises up into the sky.  

Time to get the child. 

She walks through the forest, and the small house comes into view. The weatherboards are broken, blistered and puckered from the hot sun. The verandah is still sagging. 

Inside a little girl watches the contorted and angry faces of the grown-ups. Loud voices and smashed glass punctures the air around her. 

A clash,  a bang and fear races through her child heart like unfiltered lightning. Her small hands became fists; her pink fingernails dug into the palms of her hands. She needs paintbrushes now. 

Pianist hands, her grandmother told her many times. They are fighters hands now. 

The woman walks up behind her and quietly places a hand on her shoulder. The girl looks at her with wide, startled eyes. This stranger’s eyes look so familiar. Who is this? 

It’s okay, says she. 

“This all finished a long time ago; you don’t need to be here anymore. You’re okay now. You are safe. 

The little girl takes a breath, calm envelopes her and her fists unclench. 

It’s time to go, says the woman. Are you ready? She removes her sash and lifts her shirt slightly. Gripping the edges of her sides, she rolls back her stomach like a lush velvet curtain. Behind the rubbery sheath is a door. The little girl gasps, but she is fascinated, not frightened. Grained, knotted and scarred with lines, it is tough wood now, this old door. It is built to endure. 

The woman taps twice on the wood and pushes gently. With a small screet, it opens. It looks very dark in there says the child as she glances at the woman with the familiar eyes. 

Of course, says the woman, look closer though, you are safe, I know about the diamonds and the paintbrushes. 

The child is comforted. Who is this person? The woman rubs her hands together and hums a tune. It is harmony and honey whipped together. 

Inside the door, a light grows and pulses, warm and inviting. The child tilts her head and looks closer. 

It looks lovely in there. She can see a chair, a bookshelf, a warm fire and a white cat that looks like it’s fur is velvet. 

Are you ready to hop in? The woman asks. 

The child nods enthusiastically, as the woman kneels down, pulling the door wider. Reaching out, she holds the child’s hand to helps her in. The child ducks her small dark head. 

The child squeezes through, her hand is warm from the wooden door frame, melded to the woman’s skin. She gasps at the vastness of the interior. How did she get so small, or how did this room in this lady become so big? 

I know, right? Says the woman with a smile. Go have a look out the window. Get comfortable. 

The little one runs to the window and looks out. They have the same eyes. She sees what the woman sees. 

The woman closes the door with a click and turns around, walking back through the forest to the new track. 

The little girl smiles and claps her hands, spinning around on one foot. She IS loved. She IS safe. They are going to find some new paintbrushes. 

Can we have some fun now? She calls out to the woman, and her most ubiquitous smile sparkled. 

“Absolutely,” said the woman. I thought you would never ask. 

I’ve missed you so much, said the woman. 

As the sun set on them both, they knew the battle was over, and the fight was over.

The call of her family bought her home, not broken but forged. For no sword is made golden without flame and hammer.

They sensed her wild woman; her walk was a stalk. Her hips were a eurythmic stride founded in a whole lot of don’t mess with me, and I will love you forever. Her once perfect hair now wild and held by a piece of frayed denim, with full lips that were anything but pouted.  A sweaty brow reeked of courage and bloodied determination. No longer owned by the flesh of fear, she was ready to dance, and it would be glorious for the worlds more than these granted her witness to the extraordinary.

To understand and feel the warmth from the sun of God’s grace. This was her Invictus. 

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