New glasses today. They shimmer with indigo, and they give me new sight. Ahh, sight. The gift of sight.
My sight is something I have struggled with. As an artist who drinks in the world with her eyes, losing the strength of my eyes each year since I turned 18 has been challenging and fearful. I am grateful that with tender care, their progression into weakness has slowed. They have become my barometer for balance: I cannot spend too many hours soaked in electronic world each day without them telling me it is too, too much. They have become my constant and mindful blessing of gratitude: thank you for serving me, eyes. Thank you for showing me the world. Thank you for seeing in this moment.
I can see each leaf on each tree now, with a breath as refreshing as spring. Tonight I went to the secret fairy garden in our backyard, and sat in the gladness.
To see the beauty in this world through rich colours and glowing light is sacred.
You’ve been in my dreams and close to my skin, and when I awake I find you’re not just around me but inside me now.
I think, “you are my biggest brother” – not only my oldest, but the biggest – the man who is bigger than the stars and clusters of planets and a field lying yellow in the summer. You are bigger than exquisite possibilities and truth and body, and you teach us that.
A few weeks ago, a boy I knew when I was a teenager died. And he made me think of you. He would have been nearly the same age as you when you died. I turn your eternal age of 25 in a few short weeks. I used to think you were old enough to die – that 25 years is a good go at life. And yet, here I am on the birthing precipice of that age, and there is still so much to do. So much to live and feel and experience and know and do.
I dreamed that you died again, and I began to wail that I was losing you all over again. And the stars came out, and I stopped wailing, and I realised I knew how to grieve now.
My grieving made me yearn to dance, my bare feet thrashing the gravel, my sweat becoming stars, my heart pumping long, loving bursts of blood through me. I wanted to dance you into heaven, I wanted to celebrate you in the ways I now know how to.
I didn’t want everyone to go home, to sit in our silent rooms on our own and cry, to not know what to say, to feel that the experience was too uncomfortable to sit with. So I gathered our family and friends together in a big circle near the shed. And we drummed, we sang, we danced, we prayed, we spoke, guiding you home to Great Spirit.
I danced you into me, in that dream.
I danced until my arms were a-swirl and every precious possibility, every piece of love, every dream, every promise, every lifetime was awake.
Today, I wake up and you are with me.
Today, I wake up and something I want falls through, but I feel you beside me, smiling down a thousand lifetimes on me, telling me that everything is sacred, everything is real, everything is new, and everything will happen.
I want to photograph you today. I will photograph the stars and the grass and the great looming trees instead. You are in them.
All My Love,
And then the sun came out and glowed through the rain and the whole world looked like a miracle…
And this is the story of how the Universe totally rocks, in totally unforeseen, unknown and intensely loving ways.
A couple of months ago the opportunity came up for me at work to attend a business conference in Brisbane, where my little sister goes to university. I jumped at it, thinking I could spend a bit of time with her and a number of lovely friends who live there.
And then my little Me-Me got sick with tonsillitis. Again. For the seventh time this year. So now she is having an operation and needs her kin around.
And guess what? It’s when I’m there.
And guess what? I just got given extra holidays to tack onto my weekend.
And the day before I need to leave, my big sister is flying in to stay.
So the blessing and the miracle is that I will be in Brisbane for a week to work for a little bit, to hang out with my little sis, tell her hilarious stories, make her jelly, feed her ice-cream and just be with her.
It is a joy that I can do this. That this crazy little set of circumstances has worked out so the sisters can be together for each other. And it is the tenderest honour that I can look after my little one when she needs me.
Sometimes the most healing thing of all is just to be present to love each other.
This Universe leaves me breathless with beauty, Leonie
I regard Gail as being the Queen of Grace ~ she walks her path with tender awareness, a gentle heart, a listening soul, a compassionate mind. I learn from reading her. I expand from hearing her story. The maths equation is simple: Gail = Precious.
Gail collaborated with her gorgeous daughter Kristiana for this portrait of me. When I opened it up, I had the most star-filled smile on my face… it evokes for me so much beauty and innocence, a mermaid maiden in love with the stars and flowers.
There is so much joy and spirit in this game… in this honouring of each other, and sharing our truest visions of each other.
May your day be filled with smiles like shooting stars, Leonie