On being alive

My life, at the moment, is small. It’s taking place mostly inside the house and a little bit in the back yard. There are some walks with Bertie. Not much is happening. I feel a like a soldier who has returned from the war and is slightly baffled by the rituals of civilian life. Out in the back yard there’s a smooth rectangle of bare gravel. Steve’s building a new shed. Earlier this year Steve spent an evening doing the owner-builder course online and over the past couple of weeks various blokes in high-vis vests have come and gone. I spied on one of them, watching as he got his thermos out and the newspaper and had a nice morning tea in the sun. There has been a minor stress-out over whether the bobcat man’s truck was interfering with parents dropping off and picking up kids at the childcare centre over the back fence. Out in the bigger, wider world, there’s the ebola virus, the slaughter in Gaza, fleeing Yazidis, a second Malaysian Airlines plane going down with all souls. I’ve been taking a break from the bigger, wider world. It’s mainly just me and the house and yard. I’m alive, and noticing that it’s yellow flower season again (daffodils and wattle) and the vege garden is a wasteland of tall grass and weeds.

This morning I watched a Robin Williams clip about being alive. It was for Sesame Street back in the ’80s. How do you know you’re alive? You’re alive if you can answer yes to these three questions: Can you breathe? Can you eat? Can you grow? He tested the theory on his shoe and concluded that it was not alive.

To breathe, eat and grow. To be alive, unlike Robin Williams’ shoe. It’s small, it’s everywhere, and it’s amazing.

Here’s the clip:

On Saturday I’ll be getting out of the house and going to Kandos (a tiny town about an hour away) to do a short presentation as part of a craft forum. I’ll be taking my crocheted guts for a show-and-tell. And next Wednesday I’ll be going back into the doughnut for a post-treatment CT scan. I’ll report on these next week.

7 thoughts on “On being alive

  1. Helen Bergen

    It is amazing. This life thing. I hope Saturday goes well for you, and then Wednesday…

  2. Elena Garcia

    It’s the little things that stand out in vivid when you focus in. The vibrant colour of a red backed wren or a red headed robin. The tiny perfection of an Aussie wildflower, or a dandelion. The intricate patterning of skin on the bottom of a dog’s paw. A magpie singing its heart out. There’s a lot of pleasure in just sitting, looking, listening and smelling a sunny morning… or a rainy one, for that matter.

  3. Igor Demianenko

    Hi Tracey

    Having untold problems with facebook so probably best to use your blog site. Anyway apart from Spring not faraway, and Steve’s shed, we hope to come up and see you soon when it suits.

    Take care

  4. Bruce Fell

    The largest thing we can do is small
    Small is the largest thing we can do
    Doing is the act
    Acting with care is what matters most
    Most-care is the right size
    The size of care is limitless
    Limitless care
    Care limitlessly:
    Parent to child
    Child to the world

    Worlds exists on earth
    Earth consists of molecules

    Ground your molecules in care

  5. Julia

    Hi Tracy,
    Your convalescing experiences are closely resembling Ranald’s. My observation is:
    Time is your new best friend. Don’t rush it.
    Enjoy the small steps.
    Not just a soldier returned, but a hero who defied the odds, who deserves the time.
    There are wonderful things happening in the big world too but like the less wonderful they do not need you right now.
    It’s a great opportunity to redefine what makes a fruitful and satisfying life!
    Take the time. The quality of the whole rest of your life depends on you not rushing to get back to whatever used to seem important.
    It’s easy to be ill. Convalescing well is much harder!!!!
    Relax and Enjoy
    Much love in your direction from here.

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