Thursday Doors: stronghold

You could be forgiven for thinking that I’ve jumped off the Thursday Doors bandwagon, but in order to truly believe that, you mustn’t realise that it’s not possible to escape that particular wagon. You might doze in a corner for a while, or you might walk alongside it to stretch your legs a bit, but there’s never a real separation.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say in my roundabout way is that it has been a heck of a long time since I last actively participated in Thursday Doors, but I’m finally back. I’ve seen more and more doors, and have more and more photos …just need the time to sift through them and construct blog posts.

On the week-end, I started reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It is an amazingly well-written story about WWII, and it’s inspired me to pay attention to the small details of the world around me. It inspired me in much the same way as TD did, so I figured it’s time to wake from my TD hibernation and compile a new post. Continue reading

The Idiot

Last week I finished reading Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. I think it took me about four months to finish it — not just because it’s a difficult book, but because I haven’t had a lot of time and energy for reading, which, in itself, is a shame.

This is not the first Dostoevsky I’ve read, but it’s the first I’ve read in over ten years. I read both Notes from Underground and The Grand Inquisitor while I was still in high school, and found it fascinating (or so my notes at the time say), but my reading tastes went in other directions, and didn’t return to classic Russian literature until I picked up Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina a couple of years ago.

Although I tried to allow a bit of space between these two tomes, my mind is naturally going to compare the two. This, of course, might be quite unfair, especially since I rank Anna Karenina as one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Continue reading

blue days

The day started off blue.

Through the space between the blinds, all I could see was blue sky. It gave promise of a good day. But in the time it took for me to get out of bed and brush my teeth, the clouds gathered and made the world grey again.

Lifting the blinds, glancing out at the sky and the street below, I wondered where the clouds came from. Where did the blue go?

Still, it wasn’t raining yet, and I was determined to get some errands done. I’d had a good sleep-in the day before — a lazy, slumberous day — so I had to make this day productive.

The rain started as I approached the shopping centre. Several people were walking about without umbrellas, and I thought they must’ve been deceived into optimism by the early morning blue sky. A woman sighed in relief as she reached shelter and sat down on a bench.

By the time I was leaving the shopping centre — probably not more than half an hour later — the rain had stopped, and patches of blue sky could be seen once again. The sun shone brightly at my back, and I opened my umbrella so that it might dry before I got home.

The sunshine didn’t last long, though. Soon it was raining again. It has been raining on and off all day. Sometimes it rains softly, in a fine mist, coming and going in a whisper. Other times, the rain falls in a sudden rush — a torrential onslaught that drowns out all other noise. But even this dissipates after a few minutes.

And all day, between the bouts of rain, there have been patches of blue sky — patches of false hope. Even now, I can see mostly blue sky from my window, but the trust has been broken; I dare not hope.

not today

This week has been exhausting on so many levels. I spent most of today sleeping or lying down or sitting. The only productive thing I did was sweep and mop the floors, and go out to buy snacks for a party I’m going to tomorrow.

Getting out of bed this morning was a struggle, and not just because I was out late last night.

Eventually, I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, got ready for the day ahead …and then went back to bed (for 30 mins? 45? maybe an hour?) to contemplate if I really did need to eat breakfast.

Of course, the answer was “yes”; I always eat breakfast. Plus, I had a vague craving for cheese on toast, and not because I was hungover, but because I needed comfort food. (I was not hungover.)

The only other significant thing I did today was start writing a letter to my friend who’s going to start driving down to Canberra tomorrow morning.

It’s been a long time since I felt this… ordinary (to put it lightly).

I will see her again in about three weeks.

It’s funny how the first 3.5 months of this year have gone by so quickly, but three weeks seems like a dreadfully long time.

And we’ve known each other for only about 3.5 years. “Only”. Because 3.5 years is not a long time, is it? Feels like we’ve known each other three times as long.

a measure of absurdity

Just a thought that occurred to me the other day:

There are people willing to travel interstate or fly across the country to attend concerts, sporting matches and other live events. They might only stay for one day or one night before returning home, but, as far as I know, this is not generally considered a very absurd thing to do.

Essentially what these people do is pay a lot of money to go a long distance to see one person (or a small group of people) for whom they are but one in a crowd of thousands. Chances are they will not interact directly nor meet face-to-face. Yet, people still do this.

So is anyone then going to tell me that it is absurd for me to fly interstate just so that I can visit a friend for one day, one night or one hour?

Is it much different to attending a live event? Well, apart from being a more balanced ratio (one to one)

Yes, with technology, you can make video calls, send photos and whatever; but you can also watch sporting events from anywhere, and there’s bound to be concert footage on the internet somewhere. Still, it’s not the same, is it?

It’s not the same as being there in the flesh.


A very close friend of mine is preparing to move to Canberra in just over a week’s time. I have lost sleep thinking about how much I’m going to miss her. Just about the only thing making this easier is my confidence that we will keep in touch (we have already started making plans for visiting each other).

I think this will be both one of the hardest and easiest good-byes.

And if it is absurd, then I don’t care.