ON THE ROAD AGAIN by Chrissy Guinery

SOME PEOPLE TAKE TO WORDS WITH A WATERING CAN

… AND OTHERS WITH AN AXE. (my friend, James Paull)

Kangaroos, wallabies, foxes, goannas, snakes, echidnas, birds, possums and wombats (oh the joys of our unique Aussie wildlife) lie splattered, squished and smelly all about us. Decomposing in the gullies beside the highway, victims of unplanned road rage. The stench hits unsuspecting nostrils before the carcasses are visible. Some have been marked with an X – others lie in pieces, unidentifiable.

Yep, we’re on the road again.

Despite the furry warzone – I love the sense of freedom and timelessness on the road.

Highway stretched out before us, trees a blur beside us. Sky above, wide and blue.

Sunshine on my shoulder, wind in my hair.

Joy and expectation all around; an air of playfulness and fun in our hearts.

Cheeky grins exchanged intermittently.

Our bed in the back, looking snuggly and fun with its clean sheets and tie-dyed cushions.

Good old fashioned Buzz – No air conditioning and no heating. Au naturale!

Just the warm (and often too hot) air coming in through our windows from outside’s glorious spring day or the (often too cool) night air drifting in through the cracks in the floor and gaps around the doors as night falls.

But the thrill, oh the thrill! To me, nothing beats the joy of the road!

Buzz with his motor straining and engine beneath our bums clanking and vibrating.

Old Buzz, Dear old Buzz!

New friends to make – strangers to hug.

Wayne, the interstate truckie, roars away, hand pressed heavily on his honking horn in a loudly friendly farewell. Falling Up Stairs, a signed copy of my book, on the dash of his heavy rig …the result of a road-stop encounter filled to overflowing with our customary love, joy and happy vibes.

Upon Release

Upon Release

upon release
upon release

by Chrissy Guinery

In my quiet times when I’m sprawled on a towel in the sun or staring into a fire, or walking on the beach or strolling through the bush, I’m reflecting on the journey. The journey of writing neither begins nor ends with a book – the book is merely a part of the ‘whole’.

As I’ve laid myself bare within the pages, others are finding a safe place to lay themselves bare. It is very healing. Sometimes a problem (or a secret shame) put out there into the cosmos makes way for the healing vibes to penetrate and restore, to bring wholeness. Some of the things we go through in life are not nice, not pleasant, and really wound us, deeply. Yet it seems by sharing these experiences the wound doesn’t seem as deep, the events and dramas don’t seem as damaging. It is as though by putting it ‘out there’ something beautiful is given permission to grow within our soul.

I never want to be too busy to listen, to care, to stop and hug another, to embrace and share a smile, lend a shoulder and shed a tear with others. Is this achievable? I guess I am working that out.

It’s an incredible journey – on the edge of fame – it seems that many ‘know’ me as my anonymity begins to fade. Yet, other doors open. Doors wide enough to embrace many. Doors safe enough to share and dust off the dirt to journey ahead, glistening in the sunshine, shining a new bright light that had been hidden beneath the pain. What an incredible thing it is to share life stories with others. What a privilege. What a joy.

I’m feeling overwhelmed and humbled with the wonderful response to my book, as people get back to me on the motivation they feel rising within them. A new hope rising, empowering, rejuvenating.

I wrote Falling Up Stairs with the intention of bringing encouragement and inspiration to others, so I shouldn’t be surprised the book is already fulfilling its purpose, but there is a big difference between wishing and hoping for something and actually seeing it come to fruition.

It is funny really – I wrote a book to encourage people and now, daily, people are responding to the book’s charm and writing to me to encourage me! Haha! What a wonderful joy to be sharing.

Bless you, my empowered friend.

 

AUSSIE BACKYARDS

b5a aussie backyards

b5b2012
b5b2012

AUSSIE BACKYARDS

CHRISSY GUINERY

Spring time is such a wonderful time of year in the Aussie backyard.

The wildlife are making friends easily in preparation for young.

Jumpers and tracky-dacks get replaced with t-shirts and shorts

The cricket bat and ball get dug out from under the house and the

cobwebs dusted off.

The sun is shining and the gentle breeze is blowing.

Buzz, the technicolour van provides a comfy place to read and daydream.

Kids seem content to simply sit on the porch after a winter indoors.

Warm days stretch lazily into the cool evenings.

And everyone seems filled with love, joy and happy vibes.

INVOKED MEMORIES

Invoked memories by Chrissy Guinery

I saw my hubby come alive last night.

With five kids and 7 grandkids we didn’t expect to have a quiet Father’s Day. But it’s been a funny year for us. Strangely, on Mother’s Day in May we were in a separate State from all our offspring and celebrated it just the two of us for the first time since beginning to pop kiddies into this world 32 years ago.

Father’s Day was a similar story. Very strange. We had proposed to be travelling, so our children made plans of their own, plans to be with their fathers-in-law. When our idea fell through unexpectedly, we found ourselves just the two of us again.

An evening fire provided the perfect opportunity for slow-cooking a couple of beef steaks with the wild garlic and fresh herbs we’d gathered, so we sat around tapping the keys of our laptops soaking in the warmth from the fire and the aroma of our pending dinner in the stillness.

This is where my hubby comes alive… at the close of day, when all is calm, and the darkness brings its own unique energy.

We’d had a delightful day sharing stories and a rice pasta dish together on the grass beside Buzz (our technicolour van). We’d ventured off into the bush and wandered along the beach for a while. We’d stopped to watch a bunny hop away in a zig-zag fashion; marveled over a wedge-tail eagle souring effortlessly upon the wind; and had stumbled upon a mob of kangaroos where we watched, fixated, the tiny heads popping out of pouches whenever the joeys’ mummies bent down to eat the grass – the little ones having an inquisitive nibble here and there. We’d gathered a few sticks, stopped to explore a new-found algae forming on a few dead branches scattered around the forest floor, and meandered home along the lake where the sparkling, still water was clear as glass.

But THIS is where he comes alive. He LOVES chewing the fat around a camp fire. Fireside reminiscing is where he gets his groove on. We grabbed few favourite CDs and put some old tunes on. Laying back in our cushioned camp-chairs, we let the memories flood over us. Randomly, as the movies-in-our-minds were recalled, we marveled about the many bands we’d seen live, about the festivals we’d attended, and the moods and vibes different lyrics provoked. Hubby was actively animated as he got more and more excited. As the memories popped into our heads, they poured out like liquid velvet. So rich were some stories we almost felt transported there – drunk on the tonic of tastes and tunes.

As much as we savoured our succulent beef, literally falling off the bone, we luxuriated-in our memories. Hubby laughed and waved his arms about and shook his head and poured out one narrative after another, stories of happy times together. He was in his element. His eyes shone in the firelight as another memory seemed invoked by the flames.

We stoked that fire and shared our tales for hours.

Expressing love and gratefulness for our past; appreciating the indulgent richness of the night we were experiencing; and looking further into the future at many more memories to gather and store and share on nights such as this.

Simple, quiet fun. Bonding. Marvelling.

Occasionally reaching for the other’s hand to squeeze as we finished one another’s sentences and allowed the intrigue and romance to permeate the cool night air.

Partaking together around a small fire.

It was a glorious Father’s Day, filled with Love, Joy and Happy Vibes.

#end#

Gadgets of Growth & Goodness by Chrissy Guinery

A little red toolbox takes centre-stage on a huge, colourful, shag rug in front of a glowing fire.

My youngest grandchild and I are emptying the plastic toolbox of its contents one by one, until an odd assortment of gadgets and miniature replicas of ‘big people’ toys lay scattered about us. So far we have explored a blue hammer, purple toothbrush, two mini cars, three lego people, a plastic cupie doll, a leather doggy purse and some pretend food cleverly designed after a corn cob.

Different textures, shapes, bright colours and sizes are being handled with great fascination within his small, chubby hands; explored, felt, tasted, shaken, sniffed and licked, held high and then thrown down to be added to the growing number of toys littering the rug beside said little red toolbox.

It is a delightful bonding time as I watch his facials constantly changing and can almost see his brain taking in and storing new information as we comb through the box of treasures. I coax him in his hand gestures and smiles; in his strange noises as he finds his voice; in the contentment, stimulation, exploration and growth we’re sharing. We are making memories; beginning new traditions, and I know my time spent lolling on the rug with him is helping form his view on the wider world.

He’s a unique little fellow; quite different to the playful rowdiness of our older grandchildren with their toolboxes full of music, DVDs, ipods, books, colouring pencils, DSs and constant activity.

As we pause for snuggles and cuddles, sharing the happiness and joy of discovery, it’s prompting me to think about my own toolbox – what do I carry about, play with, gain happiness from, share and enjoy? I know I’m not your average adult, though who wants to be ‘average’ anyway, so what are my unique gadgets of goodness?

Laughter: I love comedy in books, movies and people. Relaxation: I know it is more common for me to be sprawled on the floor, than sitting proper on the lounge. Activity: I walk regularly and like to stay fit. Creativity: Other than my obvious passion for WRITING, I enjoy completing jigsaw puzzles with the grandies, and even get a kick out of the semi-challenging ones for big people – but, I draw the line at straight-edged sides – forget those never-ending puzzles with a thousand pieces of a hundred pictures of the same freaking things. Argh, I dislike those with a passion – that’s not a challenge – that’s torture!

Largeness of spirit: I’m the kinda gal who doesn’t mind a crowd, hamming it up, dining out or gathering friends together. And my little red toolbox would not be complete without a microphone: my gift of encouragement brings such joy to me (& hopefully others). I love public speaking, where I’m motivating people to rise; cheering people on to know who they are and discover their unique giftedness; to draw out strengths in people and to help them come to a place of love, joy and happy vibes.

As the embers burn low in the fire, his mummy returns to gather into her arms, her precious son and his assortment of gadgets. I pack the rug away into Buzz, with a dreamy smile on my dial and I’m all warm and fuzzy inside.

#end#

MATCHING MATES by Chrissy Guinery

b2 matching mates

Last night was sheer torture!

Having said that, I do try to remind myself of the facts… Fact one: my idea of romance and hubby’s idea of romance can be worlds apart.  Fact two: we are coming at it from totally different planets, which John Gray painstakingly pointed out in his classic Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (and he has a Ph.D.). Fact three:  those aforementioned worlds and planets, are, at least, in the same universe.

The evidence of 35 years of togetherness proves the universe knows best.  But I have to confess, that last night our planets were not in the Hayz zone, that condition representing planetary contentment.  It was more like the Big Bang Theory.

My idea of the ambiance of soft, burning candles, finger-foods displayed artily on an antique dish scored from the local Vinnies store at an absolute bargain price, and gazing into one anothers’ eyes while we reminisce about all the good times isn’t always the choice of the evening.  My man’s sense of a great night can be simply sitting together watching a DVD.  Don’t get me wrong; apparently that scenario isn’t weird at all; according to many studies men feel close to someone by sitting side-by-side whereas women like the face-to-face stuff.  So, all things considered, with compromise, last night should have been a winner.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty here though.  I snuggled up next to hubby amidst our myriad fluffy, colourful cushions on the bed in Buzz, our technicolour van, expecting a romance, a comedy or, at worst, an action. Unfortunately for hubby, his choice in film-choosing was at its worst on this occasion… but that’s just my opinion. What he had selected was an arty-farty, sit-down-and-experience-the-vibe kind of film-makers’ dream.  Absolutely perfect for the mood he was in, after a draining day working hard on his latest non-fiction manuscript.

I was ready for fun.  Hubby was ready to chill.  Oh dear.  Disaster recipe.  You know the documentary-style movie where elevator-type music drones on endlessly as the directors anticipate viewers’ senses to be switched on to the brilliant imagery, suggested plots and breathtaking scenery.

Unfortunately, for me, on this night, this type of film closely resembled the same torturous feelings I get when a relaxation CD is played. It has totally the opposite effect on me than the music-maker’s intent.  You know the ones; it could be Bird Song or Ocean Dreaming, and supposedly calming bush or beach sounds bring you to your place of peaceful balance while your pulse slows, your muscles relax and you experience your utopic nirvana.  Argh!  These sounds make me so agitated they almost drive me to the point of crazy – where I could lash out and punch something.

Before you judge me too harshly, don’t get me wrong, I love getting lost in bird songs and spend hours ocean dreaming – but those recordings hold no resemblance to my real-life experiences on my travels throughout Oz.  Listening to that recorded racket ensures my utopia gets smashed onto a rocky shore by fierce, belching waves and the flesh picked off it by evil, black ravens, while it dies an agonizing death. I want to pull my hair out, emit crazed screams like a demented lunatic, yank the CD from the player, and run in search of a hammer to crush the thing to smithereens.

On the other hand, hubby is fully and completely into it.  He finds his happy place and nestles back for hours, releasing all the tensions of the day, deep-breathing his cares away, being calmed and soothed until he’s floating totally lost in the exhilarating paradise the divine music transports him into.

To be fair to myself, it had been a most exciting day for me – packed with new experiences and brimming to overflowing with love, joy and happy vibes.  I had launched my first blog; my very own website was taking shape; and I had received some glowing reviews on my first book, Falling Up Stairs (due to be released in September).  I couldn’t calm down.  I was hyped up.  Really, truth be told, I didn’t want to calm down. 

Sure, at first lulled into a false sense of security, I had appeared happy to snuggle into hubby on our cushy mountain; but I’d been hoping for some adrenalin release through the hilarity of a comedy or the saga of a drama, or even the blokey blow-up-the-town scenes of an action movie.  To lie completely still and allow the calming images and soothing sounds to wash over me just wasn’t what I was wired for last night.

And yes, I know Tim Winton is a flipping legendary Aussie icon (even I, myself, am guilty of swooning over, getting lost in, recommending and chasing after a number of his books) but his film, The Turning, a filmmaking collaboration of 18 talented Aussie directors, and, according to the cover, ‘amazing, striking, engaging, entertaining and frequently mesmerising’, was the wrong vein for this little black duck on this said evening.  I’m sorry.  I know I’m brave (or stupid) to tackle something extraordinarily brilliant on my second blog; and I know Tim Winton has a million worshippers, fans and devoted, die-hard followers who may disagree with me on this one; but my adrenalin levels were on high speed, I needed stimuli, not merely suggested stimulus.

And to my credit, I tried.  Really I did.  And the more I tried the more difficult I found it to keep my body still, my pulse from racing and my pent-up energy under some semblance of control.

Guiltily, I cheated by turning to my iphone for some social media updates, and some photo sorting, and a bit of texting, and a weather update, and popping some blog ideas into my notes page.  I sipped delicately on a chamomile tea, poured from a shared pot, hoping for extra bonding points.

I tried. Truthfully I did.  But before my adrenalin burst my blood vessels and my skin ripped open from the pressure, and my guts and insides spilled bloodily all over our bed, I had to get up.  I had to get out.  I had to run from that calming elevator music and those dreamily pleasant images.  I could take no more.

Maybe I should have stuck it out for my man.  Maybe I should have persevered and thought of something sad or lonely or depressing.  I’m sure hubby would have gone to those lengths had it been me who’d chosen the movie.  But I didn’t.

Strangely, in a bizarre twist of fate, hubby joined me outside about 20 minutes later, looking defeated.  He hadn’t quite made it to the end either.

I think I’ll suggest we try watching it again tonight.

#end#

This Morning’s Judicious Juggle     by Chrissy Guinery

judicious juggle

Sea gulls dip and soar around my head while the miniature plovers scurry away on their tiny, spindly legs, allowing me a wide birth along the sand dunes.  I feel the curiosity of my larger feathered friends around me; sandpipers, tattlers, oystercatchers.  The darting swallows and willy-wagtails seem more nervous as though they, too, are wondering what the new change means.

It is important that I am here early today – I need to see the sun rise over the ocean; I need to sense the difference.

You see, they opened the lake yesterday.

By ‘they’ I mean the powers-that-be, our local council, in one big mother of an excavator.  It was a real ‘event’ here in the sleepy national park where we live, the monster machine clawing at volumes of sand, dragging it away from the entrance; opening the lake to the sea.  Many rushed to see it.  I was invited, but declined.

I preferred to come down this morning, when the machine, the noise and the workers are long gone; and the curious hoards have returned to their homes and are more than likely, now, still snoozing in their beds.

It’s not about politics for me; I’m neither pro nor anti the council opening the lake through man-made efforts.  I know of places where nature is left free to take its course and the lake waters cut off from the sea become putrid and stink to high heaven.  It can smell like a sewer with the sun beating on stagnant waters.  So, personally, I don’t hold a view per se, I simply want to experience the moment in my own private way… sensing how the ocean feels about it – not how my fellow man perceives the change.  I need to catch the vibe of the sea.

I’m stunned at first.  I stand still and quiet; listening, watching, waiting…. My normally pristine beach doesn’t look dissimilar to a battle zone.  In stark contrast to the welcoming aqua waves that normally greet me by gently lapping at my toes, this morning’s ocean seems angry.  Messy, brown waves hurl onto the shore, the stagnant putrid lake water gathered throughout the night, frothing up dirty grey foam and spitting out miniscule bluebottles by the thousands, as if in spite.  Smashing and hammering the sand, waves litter the beach with moulding, plastic drink bottles, crushed and rusting soft drink cans and even a dangerous, glass-encased, florescent-light tube.  Mess.  Debris. Logs and sticks. Bluebottles and cuttlefish.  Broken bits of shell and volcanic rock.  Leaves and seaweed.  All entangled, encased, ensnared in the frothing grey foam.

Even the sky seems to be taking on the dark mood, with clouds above me as thick and grey as the foam at my feet.  The sun is obscured – deemed obsolete.

I find myself on a mission.  It is important for me to clamber around the debris and get to the lake, despite the bluebottles sticking under my bare feet in the gooey, thick sand and the dirty foam rising up my ankles. 

I wait.  Eager to feel the impact.  The lake seems to tell a different story.  The lake seems happy.  The waves are entering in and the lake seems to be sighing in delight, lapping them up.  Seems to be relishing the refreshing, clear water.  Contentedly allowing the waves to drain it of its debris and flow fresh new life into it.  The lake’s sandy walls seem to be breaking away, little by little, hungrily widening the gap for the waves to come and play again after its months of stillness.  Welcoming waves, bringing bubbly life.  The lake is loving it!

I feel the energy.  The surging waves releasing the lake of its pent up frustrations.  I take a deep breath.  The lake has room to breathe.  Energy.  Life.

It is normally just me and God on these walks…. along with the sea and the birds, and this morning is no different.  God is with me.  There is a tangible peace.

I sense the contrast between the ocean and the lake.  I recognise nature’s dependence on balance.  The lake is being made free.  The ocean may not like it for a time, but it is doing its job.  Bringing refreshment to a place desperately starved.

It may take a week, or even two, but before long the mess will become less.  The waves will return to their sparkling blue, deep green and inviting aqua again.

Strange objects will come adrift on other less likely shores – a red toothbrush, the green asthma puffer, the tiny tube of pink lip gloss and maybe even a young lad’s green, plastic, toy army tank.  Maybe.

This battle zone will become a pristine natural wonder again.  Clean sand and clear water.

Come Spring time, children will be found splashing playfully in the gentle waves.  Canoers and kayakers will scull easily from lake to sea on the changing tides.  Fisher-folk will stand in the gap, casting out long lines, hoping for a bite, or two.

The machinery’s tyre-tracks will quickly be forgotten, washed over by a million waves; covered by myriad grains of sand.

Spring will bring with it sunshiny days and balmy evenings.  All will be well with the world.

I’m content.  I can feel the pulse of nature, breathing in, breathing out.  Alert to the changes.  Necessary changes.  Watching, waiting, sensing what is to come. 

I allow myself to experience the emotion before turning into the bush where I am quickly told-off loudly by a lone large black cockatoo separated temporarily from his flock, awaiting his next chance to announce coming rains. I pass a curious, yet lazy, mob of complacent kangaroos, who contentedly watch me pass before getting back to keeping the grass down to a reasonable level under the tall gum trees.  Tiny, flitting, native birds; finches, blue wrens, even a pair of whip birds foraging the forest floor, protest at my trespassing.

Finally I return to Buzz, our technicolour van, filled with love, joy and happy vibes… with a tiny, green plastic toy army truck tucked into my left hand.