Before we came to Noosa, I had never heard of a Pandanus Palm. I love them. The sight of a Pandanus Palm hanging off the cliff over the ocean is a sight to behold. I am grateful today that I got to walk amongst them and talk and talk and talk. I am grateful for the beauty that surrounded us. And for the fact that my friend and I can talk nonstop and still have so much to say.
B came home at 4.30am last night. I am grateful that he and I met in advertising so our lives together are punctuated by both of us keeping ridiculous hours to meet ridiculous deadlines. I am grateful because I get it. I know many of my friends never did. I think they thought I was either the most trusting or the most stupid of partners. But mostly I am grateful because he came home. I was feeling a tad miffed to be honest and then I heard about a very dear friend’s brother. Who isn’t coming home. All my love and strength goes out to his wife and two very young children and my friend for what lies ahead. Sadly, but realistically, it takes such fundamentally sad events to make me realise once again how much I have to be thankful for. And to remind me how impermanent things are. That’s not frightening, it just is. So I am grateful B is here. For now. And will continue to celebrate every single moment we have together, even when I hate him, because it will end. And because right now I am the lucky one.
I love the movies. I especially love the movies on a weekday morning. It feels so indulgent because it was just never ever something I would do. So, today I am grateful I could go to a midweek matinee movie and not take it for granted. And feel naughty and indulged but not guilty. I am grateful for the treat. And for the momentary pause.
It’s a funny thing. And Susie, you’ll laugh at this. It’s a funny thing but the checkout girls and guys at Woolies don’t ask me how my day is anymore. Or what I’ve been doing. Or what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day. I only realised that today. Just to backtrack a bit, I had a little not big picture stuff rant a while ago, and not at the employees, but the management, who make these often very young checkout kids ask me about my day, what I did and what I’m going to do. I know it’s their job, but they don’t really care. And why should they. It’s just a job with an auto prompt. I do believe just a smile and a how are you would do it on both parties side, unless we choose to engage further. It’s not really necessary otherwise to initiate this false banter. I feel for them and I really feel for me. We could all do without the potentially awkward moment. Today I realised they hadn’t asked me for a while. I thought yay, management have realised what a crock of shit it is. But then I noticed the lady at the checkout counter behind me was being asked. So it was just me. It’s just been me a few times then. I do engage, and smile sweetly and kindly because I do know it’s not their fault but clearly they can see it in my eyes. Don’t ask me how my day has been because I just might tell you.
At dinner last night a friend asked me where home was now. After nearly four years here. For all of us, here or there. I always hate those questions. I have since the day we arrived here. Are you happy. Do you miss home. The reason I hate them is because it is so hard to answer them. To be honest. To even know how you really feel, because there is so much stuff that clouds your honest assessment. How can I be happy here, even if I think I might be. Doesn’t that negate the relationships, the people I’ve left behind. How can I be happy here when they aren’t here. And if I say I’m not, what about the opportunity we’ve been given. How can we not put our best foot forward and embrace the adventure. What about all the fabulous friends who have rallied around us and supported us to find our feet here. And how can I not be happy providing a possibly firmer future for my kids. What am I teaching them if I’m always looking backwards. Where do the girls feel more at home? I answered that home for them, in fact for all of us, is where we are. And as I said it last night I realised I meant it. We are where we are meant to be. So, I guess that right now thats here. So, does that mean this is home now? Africa is in my blood and in my heart. It is the country of my birth. It is with me wherever I am. My family is in my heart and in my blood. They are with me wherever I am. I now know I don’t have be anywhere to be home. But I wondered if I had answered correctly for the girls. So I asked them. Jem said, well I was born in South Africa, but I don’t really have a home. Just as my heart cracked, she went on to say, home is where my family is. You, daddy and Kate. Kate didn’t want to answer, then said here. Here?, I said. Australia? She said, well, it’s where we live. So simple. Home truly is wherever we are. And I believe that can be anywhere now.
Being the mom of a gorgeous teenage girl is quite challenging. I imagine being the daughter of a control freak mom must be quite challenging too. We have some very funny moments. Some very emotional moments. Some quite volatile moments. Those moments where I’m not sure who the adult is anymore. Which is why I am very grateful we talk and giggle and share. A near perfect moment today, the beach, a flat white from Hard Cafe and a girly chat with Kate.
I had such a fabulous day yesterday. Playing assistant to director B. If he had suggested that before, never mind how last minute, I would have snorted at the idea. Me. Do that. Are you fucking mad? As in, do you know who I am, how important I am. I don’t even attend my own shoots anymore. Now, you want me to carry the tripod, scout locations, drive you around, traipse into the strangest areas for the most fabulous of shots. You have got to be kidding. But I said yes. Not because I’m so noble but because B said we’d stay at Limes. And he’d pay me. The day started with a frission of excitement the minute I woke up. It clearly was not the prospect of what the day held. Nor the wonderful pay check. Said with a wry note of sarcasm. Not that I am not grateful of course. I think it was the promise of freedom. It was like I was given a free pass to have a day with no responsibility other than to do whatever B told me to. What a fabulous day. We laughed and stumbled, well I stumbled and we worked. Way into the night. I remember at one point under the Storey Bridge as I wrestled with the tripod for the umpteenth time as B changed his lens for the umpteenth time to do the perfect tracking shot for the umpteenth time, I mentioned how amazing it was. Not his shot. But being there. I didn’t have anywhere to go, anywhere to be, but there. Never ever, not one single, very well paid minute in my previous career or life, had I felt that before. There I always felt like I should be somewhere else, doing something more, hurrying up so I wouldn’t be late, for a meeting, for a deadline, for my kids. I was so important. Whatever it was, yesterday under the Storey Bridge I felt content. I didn’t need more. I was with B, my girls were being beautifully cared for by my fabulous friends. I was content. And that I had decided a while ago, is my definition of happiness. To be content. I am so grateful that I am finally realising it doesn’t take much. And that I already have all it takes. But apparently not what it takes to be a good film crew member. B just sent me this shot with this comment “So I’m loving the shot of the hotel until I wonder what that is in the centre of the shot……” In case you’re wondering, it’s my bag. Well, he didn’t pay me enough anyway.