About realtomatoesblog

I am a blogger who writes generously- unfiltered thoughts about what's happening in my life and around me sometimes in Australia and often overseas. My thoughts include stories of friends, family, community and occasionally politics and media. Every so often, I will post a short story. i hope my posts will inspire others to be straightforward and honest.

Sharing A Moment

imageHere I sit, stealing a few minutes to be away from the chaos of the hotel room with small children; the repetitive mantra ‘ mum can I do iPad?’, ‘mum what’s next?’

I sip a warm coffee as I stare into the distance at the open expanse of greenery. The rustic golf course is dotted with only a handful of private, lush estates.

Closing my eyes, I feel the warm sun soothing my anger, peeling away the layers of frustration and quieting the noise.

In my fantasy mind, there is an alternative-complete solitude-rewinding time to a life with no children, no partner, when I had time to think and be present.

In reality, however, the memory of those days of single hood still pulses in my bones. Days of pining. Days and nights wishing I could turn to someone who cared and say ‘isn’t this magnificent?’

In the life I have chosen, I can hear them sigh and nod in agreement. I know that in a few months or years, when we are involved in the routine of life, we can recall this view, this place, this moment. The recollection will make us pause, to look at eachother and remember this is why we chose to spend our life in a pair and then a unit.

Therefore, I conclude that the evocation of a moment of joy, shared collectively is enough to make dealing with the frustrations and chaos- worth it. I am ready to return to my beautiful family, to bring them downstairs and to share the view with them.

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Flash Fiction #1: Fresh Start

The Library is whisper quiet, the rain outside coming down hard and furious. I’ve been waiting patiently and finally the front door slowly slides open. I see the long, delicate fingers, the arm outstretched…and then like a slap in the face I see it is not my love after all, but her sister, Janine.

My heart sinks back deep into my chest. I’ve been stood up. She has changed her mind. Although I thought that last night was the start of something, to Natalie, I fear it was nothing.

I can hear our conversation in my mind, me pleading for her to leave her troubled, loveless marriage.

‘When is it time for you to live?’ I said. ‘You have given him 6 years. Isn’t that enough? You will never have the life with him that you can have with me. We will have love, passion, and adventure. I will take you to the places of your dreams.’

‘But Stewart, I promised him. “’til death do us part.”’ She had said, refusing to look him in the eye.

I lifted her head and forced her to look into my eyes. ‘Isn’t that what this is? Aren’t you dying a little everyday? You will never be more important than the pub is to him. You told me that when you wake in the middle of the night, he is often not there. That he’s playing poker. Losing YOUR money. ‘

‘I will be there,’ I had continued. ‘I will go to sleep with you at night and be there when you wake in the morning, to bring you a cup of tea. I will make you the first priority, not the last.’

‘Cut him loose!’ I pleaded. ‘I love you, don’t you see?’

A tear had rolled down her cheek. I kissed it away and then melted my lips into hers. I couldn’t tell where my lips ended and her lips began. We were one, as I knew we were meant to be.

‘Okay,’ she whispered, lifting her eyes to mine with a weak smile.

We made a plan. We would meet at the library. She would arrive with her suitcases and passport and together we would disappear. Start fresh.

And then the rain came. Always a bad omen. But I was hopeful. I trusted the universe, I trusted her.

She had sent an sms saying she was on her way. But that was over an hour ago.

And now, I look up and Janine is in front of me. Her eyes conveying the pity she feels.

‘I’m so sorry, Stewart, she’s gone. ‘

Magic Between 10 and 3

I haven’t written in 11 days. My last piece was while I was immersed in the Writer’s Festival – away from ‘real life,’ for a few days.

Writing is very interesting; creativity ebbs and flows with my schedule. I need to be free of life’s chores such as making lunches, picking up dirty socks in random corners of the house, folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen for the fourth time that day.

Is there a way to turn the mundane tasks of running a home and motherhood into creative inspiration? To not need to run away, but move toward it? Is there a way to look into the eyes of my child and find awe in the purity of their joy?

Pleasure: The complete smile, which forms on their lips, makes their cheeks glow and their eyes sparkle?

Innocence: The way a common word like ‘but’ in a sentence can make them fall on the floor with laughter?

Generosity: When they pick up a beautiful Autumn leaf or fallen frangipani in the park and hand it to me as a present?

Maybe. But who will sort out the rest of the chores while I am distracted, getting lost in thought? This is the dilemma.

Until then, I will have to wait until school drop off for those few magical hours I can squeeze out for my writing.

socks

Be Skeptical, But Continue to Have Hope

Tonight I saw Gloria Steinem speaking at Town Hall. She is glorious, astounding and inspiring.

Knowing she is 82 years old put me over the edge. I cried on and off for the last half hour. Why?

Waking this morning, I figured it out. I cried because she is a stand for women’s voice in society. In fact she has been that stand for my entire life.

Coming from a traditional household that was divided into male and female roles, Gloria and her cohorts ( through my studies at University) were the ones who opened my eyes to my freedoms as a woman. We do not have to follow the path we have been told. We can create our own.

But at 82 she will not be here for my granddaughters. So who will be their voice? Who will lead women of the new generations?

Surely with the misogynist pull within social media we need a strong female leader to take us to the next stage of our development so that we do not slip back into the dark?

Well, as Gloria said, ‘we need to be skeptical, but continue to have hope.’

So, Gloria, that is what I will do.

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No Such Thing As Too Personal

During coffee with a shall we say— more than an acquaintance, less than a close friend- of mine she remarked ‘Wow! You have such beautiful skin- it glows. Lucky you, you have good genes!’

In my hysterical fit, my milky coffee flew out of my nose.

‘Well, you obviously don’t know me that well!’ I said when I regained composure.

‘Good genes may be part of it, but with a mother as a beauty therapist, I have been using professional products on my face twice a day since I was twelve.’

After having children, my products just weren’t enough. So, I started buying those handy Scoopons and Groupons for microdermabrasion, IPL and eventually the occasional injection.

It’s work, it’s a an investment.

I refuse to follow the path of many women these days– either by letting myself go and losing confidence in my appearance or going to further extremes and opting for surgery.

I would rather put in the effort now, in my middle years.

The shame is that like everything else, women do not talk about these things. They are deemed too ‘personal’ or they are too competitive to give away their secrets.

In my world, there is no such thing as too personal. Life is too short for secrets and holding back.

You receive what you give. Let’s be generous with eachother and open up.

Brain Fog

Frustration! I have spent four hours attempting to create this blog. I have taken a course on how to set it up. I have the instructions, even pictures with arrows. ‘They’ say the templates are supposed to be fool proof.

Well, then I must be a fool – 240 minutes and I have little to show for it. Is it age? Is it too much wine? Is it running after children, managing a house, trying to have a semblance of a social life and starting a new career that have rolled the fog over my brain?

I wonder if this is temporary or if I have permanent brain-dead-ness?

All I know is I am trying to think and it is not working…. Maybe a goodnight sleep is all I need?