I love flowers and all that they signify. Life. Love. Promise. Commitment. Hope. I love the work of Saskia Hevekes @ Grandiflora. An artist creating interest and inspiration.
But in recent years I have enjoyed receiving homegrown flowers made into special bouquets. A combination of herbs, leaves, blooms and hand tied with string and ribbon, often travelling in a clean jam jar to stay fresh on the journey.
Do you have a favourite flower? For me it is roses, magnolias, peonies and lilies. I love flowers.
I chanced across your latest novel (Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, 2012) via a friend. Our now defunct book club still talks books when we see one another, and yours was the topic over coffee one day. As a mother of young children, my friend was at pains to warn me that the opening chapter was almost too much for her. A gritty heart wrenching tale of love and loss is unveiled in the opening pages. And I too put it down, wondering why I should go on. The harsh Australian bush, battlers, slang, horses and show jumping horses all made me uncertain. And yet with gentle encouragement I continued to read….
Your writing is powerful. It captures so much and at times says so little. Words are sparse. And yet the vernacular Australian bush talk tended to push me relentlessly into entering the world of the Nancarrow family. After a few chapters it no longer jarred as I read the prose. Little Noah’s words came to life, supporting Roley Nancarrow, a local hero now plagued with a paralysing condition.
And as I read about your work, your writing and your current battle with Multiple Sclerosis I am an awe that you allowed yourself the courage to tell that tale in a Foal’s Bread. As our health changes with time and age and new challenges present themselves, there are new opportunities. The unravelling of Roley Nancarrow was powerful and now I know personal. I have just chanced across your letter and interview with Phillip Adam. And now I feel I know you just a little bit more of your story.
Thank you for sharing your Foal’s Bread with me, with all who read this genuine novel. May you find more than a heart shaped stone full of hope to hold onto in these coming days.
Nowadays we have become experts in our own research. We use search engines on the world wide web as we would have once used the local library. Do you still visit your library? Do you know you librarian’s name?
I have a friend and colleague who is smart and expert in her field as a librarian. And if I really need to know something she will direct me to it, with a smile and a kind wish. Google does not do that. I am reminded today that technology has its limitations. I am connected but distant, plugged in but not aways “on”. Let me encourage you to get to your local library today.
I am a little partial to the odd info-graphic. Are you? This one helps me to see what life might be like without plastic. I am certain my life would be better but right now the task of implementing a plastic detox would be enormous.
It is Plastic Free July 2013. Did you know? Not me, not until today. But maybe I can make a difference in the last few days of the month and refuse plastic bags, cups and other disposable items.
Think about it. Why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that? Jeb Berrier, Bagit Movie
|Willow Girl Photography|
How often do you stop and make a real pot of tea and take time to let it brew? To savour the process as much as the drinking of tea. I love this reflection on joy and rest by my friend Belinda, a Mama on the Hill.
For me, the act of making a pot of tea forces me to slow down. When the children are awake, it gives us the opportunity to sit down together and have a ‘tea party’. To connect, share stories, to just with one another. When the children are asleep, it gives me the opportunity to sit and rest, to give my mind space to think, to dream, to pray. Somehow we feel like as mums we need permission to rest…well a pot of tea gives me permission to rest.
It is always sad when one has to farewell a new friend or community. After 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights earlier this year I was sad to say good bye to ‘my’ friends at Dillon. If you had told me that I would enjoy watching television series about a High School Football team I would have moaned and laughed out loud. Football has never really fired me up, let alone a high school version of the team sport. But after a few episodes…I was hooked.
The full 5 seasons of FNL is not without fault. There are moments that are less rewarding than others. But the stars of the show in my mind are Eric and Tammy Taylor, the head football coach(Kyle Chandler) and his wife (Connie Britton). Marriage is positioned as something to celebrate, value and aspire to. Even when there is conflict, tension and disappointment. As Colinn Hansen for the Gospel Coalition writes:
But how might our neighbors’ attitudes change if we told stories of marriage in its gritty beauty, such as the relationship between Eric and Tami Taylor of fictional Dillon, Texas, in Friday Night Lights?
Apparently I am not the only one to enjoy the integrity of the marriage at the heart of FNL. FNL uses football as a means to explore manhood, the absent father and the good husband. It is about the brokenness of the human condition and the the power of community. And I have to say that as you journey with these families through various life events they become ‘friends’. So if you are looking for some new friends, or you want to be encouraged in your marriage or football performance FNL could be what you need.
Conversations were fun with my girl, as we took time out to explore Melbourne CBD together. We browsed in arty, crafty, design shops, ate out, drank coffee, had a Bobbi Brown makeover, watched a film and visited Gorman. Hopefully it is the beginning of a tradition of having some special girl time – with all my four daughters. Just call me Mrs Bennett – for those Austen fans out there you will understand my situation.