Monday, September 28, 2009

"Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all"

The midlands of Tasmania are swollen with water.
Those who know me will expect me to writer here that this bridge from 1836, (yes built by the hands and sweat of convict laborers) is the first stone bridge in Australia, but actually it is the third.
The trip to Ross was for a meeting regarding the constitution of the Van Diemen Rollers, including both North and South.
I want to go back to Ross and have a proper look around.
I am still regretting not wearing my Wellingtons so that I could have raced around to get close to one of the many, many, baby lambs that were along the roadside.
Zok is home in three days, or as the Australians say "three sleeps".

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"If it keeps on raining the levee's gonna break"

"Don't it make it bad when your trying to find your way home, and you don't know which way to go"

I have been losing sleep, and I don't mean the kind of sleeplessness that comes from the anticipation of Christmas, or going to Disneyland.
I am speaking here about the kind of restlessness that comes from having to make or face a decision that is of the type where there is no happy solution, or no easy solution, or perhaps no solution other than to walk away.

The weather has been no help at all. There has been sudden showers, followed by fifteen minutes of bright sunlight, heavy showers that rage all night; wind rattling the windows and rain hitting against the panes, there has been gray mornings that never get warm, accompanied by constant drizzle.
Being kept indoors has not been helpful, I have not be able to get away from myself or the weeks' drama.

"Crying won't help you, praying won't do you no good, when the levee breaks mama you got to move"

Zok is home in less than a week, normally I would be running around the house, breaking out into dance spontaneously and singing songs about him of my own creation. However the local skating leagues' problems have been as persistent as the rain, and I am beaten down.
I am giving my momentary best, for these last weeks of non-practice, grievance interventions, a couple of loose ends I started, and committee meetings. Then Zok is home, and I am sure that much of this drama will be shown to be as ridiculous as I believe and feel it to be, and I don't think much will bear itself under the weight of having an outside witness.

"All last night I sat on the levee and moaned, thinking of my baby, and my happy home"

Beyond all the above somewhat cryptic, spewing of thoughts, I am away part of October, and then Zok and I leave on my 41st birthday late in October, for about six weeks. Then it is Christmas-if I even think to look back at this post, surely the person who wrote will seem as foreign to me as my diary entries from the early 1980s, by that time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"In this house that I call home"

Almost 11 a.m. and I am having my first cup of coffee, a lovely stimulant that is causing me to feel relaxed and happy after a long trek.
My stinky skate gear is in the dish washer, and the clothes washer is taking care of the rest, the day feels like spring, and with the sun out I can hang up my gear to dry.
Dry gear for tonight's practice would be nice. Although the gear was still wet with sweat from last night practice so damp and soap smelling is still better than damp with Sookie sweat.
I didn't want to come home, we had endurance practice last night, and I really need some blocking practice which I am unlikely to get here. Also Geelong has a guest coach coming on Sunday.
I was too tired to be sad, when I left Betty and Ref at 4:30 a.m.
I found a radio station playing decent music, the moon was large and sort of back lit by a strange reddish color, the roads were empty and I could almost remember the feeling of a past road trip though some part of America.
Betty, Ref, and I spent my last day going to parts of Geelong, that I hadn't walked through yet. I had spied a bird sanctuary through the car window earlier in the week which I (naturally) wanted to check out.
I hoped to see baby Pelicans but all that was spotted was one sleeping and two flying. After we left the unaccommodating birds we went for lunch.
Every cafe in Geelong seems to have some funny quirk, as you might notice the menus were inside children's story books.
I am going back for the October bout, which falls on Betty's birthday.
Two weeks where I was able to skate every day but two, and with other skaters, not alone. It was like Christmas every day.
Home seems suddenly empty.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"And she's clinging to the nearest passer by, She's lost control. And she gave away the secrets of her past,"

Long weekend!
I would love to write expressively about the bout, however, honestly, most of the game itself is a blur. I can remember thinking such things as "Wow that was fun!" or "I wish I could skate faster." or "Dang I can't believe that same hard hitting blocker is lined up next to me, AGAIN."
I know that I made a lot of mistakes and I plan to do better. I know that sometimes I would actually execute a block and then be overwhelmed with happiness long enough that my focus was lost and the next moment, I would get blocked and my body was then careening into the out of bounds area.

I got to 'jam' i.e. skate as the point scorer, and I must not have been really looking when I did my first pass because as I came around I saw, only two opposing blockers, and no jammer, and I thought "Lucky!", followed by "I wish I could skate faster!".
The hour really went by very quickly, and I didn't skate in that many jams, I was in every other, and sometimes not until a third jam, which suited my inexperience. Not that I have been slacking off there has been a lot of skating happening.
Beyond the skating I have already mentioned we also spent one day skating out, in front of, and around the museum in Melbourne. This area is used by the Victoria league, and has some great smooth concrete.
We skated inside a glorious, heated, real roller rink that reminded me of skating rinks from California. Today we had 'moustache' scrimmage, which comprised male skaters, most of whom work very hard, as referees here in Victoria, and other Geelong/Melbourne female skaters. This session was to help along the male skating league that will surely take Derby by storm. Friday before the bout we had suicide drills and endurance.
Tuesday is (!) blocking practice which I am sorely in need of.
I will say that today I am both exhausted and quite bruised.
The dedication and enthusiasm over here is just great. I feel invigorated, and very much as if I am just in a dream that will soon end.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"I was moving through the silence without motion, waiting for you, In a room with a window in the corner I found truth"

I went to stay further outside of Melbourne, at a lovely place, where one of my team mates who skates under the name of 'Nine Lives Isis' lives. She is on the coast in a place called Jan Juc.
Really, really pretty.
Her home was just like a T.V. show to me. Exactly how I had always pictured a beach home to be, and of course how I pictured Australian homes. There were surf boards everywhere, guitars, large deck, outdoor shower, and even a skate ramp.
She surfs as well as skates.
We walked along Bells Beach after having a nice breakfast at a cafe.
Later, we worked a bit on the skirts to be worn by the 'Psychotics' at Saturday nights bout.
Then we went for what she called 'a short skate' outside. The "short" skate almost laid me out, well actually at one point, I was literally laid out. There was a hill she called "sort of steep", I bailed onto the grass about one third of the way down, to watch her hit rocket speed and then do this amazing roll at the bottom, both of us laughing as I then widened my skates to the very edges of the concrete to try and plow stop as slowly as possible to go down and meet her.
There were a couple hills, short but so steep that I used my toe stops to climb them, while she whizz-ed right up.

I, now only refer to her as 'Isis, Mighty Isis'.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Radio live transmission...listen to the silence ring on..."

After my last post, I immediately wanted to go out and skate, so that is exactly what I did. The house slash farm that I was staying at had a nice long country road to the left that ended in gravel, and to the right ended at a sort of Stephen King country highway.
I stayed to the left.
I still find seeing cows to the left of me and sheep to the right; charming.
I got violently ill the early morning on the day I was leaving for Geelong. I was shocked really, I get sick very rarely, and all I could think was "Bad luck", and "Oh no! I have to skate!".
After a few collapses and a complete emptying of my body, I seemed better.
I got to Geelong and as one might expect, did not exactly shine at practice.
I have a chance to make up for that, when we practice again tonight.
I also got offers of extra help, perhaps due to my performance, and no matter what I need extra training!
I knew I was out of my depth when a girl crashed right in front of me, and I fell on her, getting her skate in my shin, which is never good...afterwards, one of the coaches said "You have to just jump over the fallen skater".
I of course thought- "Okay, that will just get put to the top of my today list, 'Acquire super powers.' check!". Of course the skater who advised me, then did exactly that in the next scrimmage.

I don't know if my pictures are clear, but one is from part of the yard where I stayed, I have never, ever, seen water in there but the no swimming signs always remains...
Also the platform for the 'V-line' aka country line of the Victoria trail system.
The V-line was much nicer than the city line, which provided a view of Melbourne that was simply, not flattering.

My attempt at blogging via my iphone via the Australian network did not go as planned, so sorry for the strange post earlier...

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Ain't no grave gonna hold me down"

No skating yet.
I am out farm way, just past Zok's childhood suburb, part of Greater Melbourne, (although quickly this land is becoming developed). I have been hanging with little people and watching the sky, which here always has something going on, racing clouds, flocks of birds, changing colors.

I had the chance while walking to visit Zok's Mom to stop by my favorite small church. Officially the church is part of 'historic Thomastown' and just a block from where Zok grew up.
My walk was done in fine, bright, spring weather but as with all Australian weather that I have been party too, that weather changed to a storm which could be seen rolling in from the horizon. Quickly, the weather went from too warm for wearing my sweater, to wishing I had an extra sweater, and a raincoat.
Melbourne is pretty flat, and if there were not all the signs of habitation, one would feel they could see to the end of the continent.
In spite of building and endless power wires, the weather is ever visible on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"I'm not lonely, I'm just lonesome for you"

If there is a theme to my life, then that theme is probably 'leaving'.
I would tell you about what compels to leave, but I really don't know, if I think about myself, if I had to describe myself, I would tell you about a girl who just wants to stay in bed. I do a lot of bargaining with myself. 'If' I do this than I can have 'that'. If I skate with all my effort, then I can have a beer and spend a long time in a hot bath. There is no reason, no force stopping me from just spending all in day in the bath, and drinking nothing except for beer, and yet, my inner voice must have its bargain.
Interesting, the parameters we put upon ourselves, and the notion that some external presence is going to care, going to give or take according to our actions.

So I am leaving, and my calendar is filled with future leavings, and although I mostly stayed home the last few months, bound to the neighborhood by winter weather, I now, suddenly feel as if I never stay at home. That I am always leaving, and when I am away for a month, I will dream of a bed as comfortable as mine, and when I finally return, I will be so happy to realize that I had that bed all along.

I am posting some photos from Geelong, I want to say "Geeeelong'"but the Australians say "G'long", so I am trying to remember not to sound like such a foreigner. Ms. Betty Bamalam has nice places, with good coffee, walking distance from her cute apartment. There is a waterfront, a carousel, and a botanical garden. I will have a good time, and learn a lot, and looking back I will forget I was ever nervous, or fretful about leaving.