“I cannot sleep”

The title is the first line from my favourite poem – but it’s also been distressingly accurate over the last month. While I’ve been getting to sleep just fine (the 3mg melatonin I’ve been prescribed for the last half-decade does the job very well), I kept waking up early. And as my various chronic ailments mean I operate best on an average 9-10 hours sleep? The 7-8 (and occasionally 5-6) I was getting was running me into the ground, and fast.

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Labelling Me

I’ve been thinking about labels again. It’s one of those things I keep coming back to, not least because it impacts so heavily how I perceive, and am perceived by, the world. Labels are everywhere, and pretty much unavoidable.

A lot of people really dislike labels, feeling limited by the boxes they’re placed in. Which is understandable – who wants to be crammed into a musty overused damp square that is nothing like who they really are?

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State of the Dee

Where did I go?

It’s been weeks since I’ve updated. Given that there’s usually anything between one and four posts a week from me, to go over three weeks without any at all is extremely unusual. The last break I had of any length was actually the end of 2006, when I dropped off the radar for three months – and I wasn’t planning to do that again!

That time, there was no particular reason. This time there was. So, what happened? It started when I went into hospital, in extreme pain – we ran through a bunch of possible diagnoses, ruling out the appendix, kidney and gall stones, and the sacroiliac joint. Every time a new possibility came up, the surgical team, in combination with x-rays and an abdominal MRI, figured out that wasn’t it. And eventually, after three days, they send me home with wicked strong painkillers and orders for bed rest.

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Because I’m a curious person, I get to wondering about how sexual the previous generations of my family were.

(This isn’t as weird as it sounds. My parents are dead. All grandparents bar one are dead. And the greats? Long gone.)

Obviously they were sexual enough to reproduce, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. That goes for the ancestors of most everyone on the planet. But were they happy? Did they smile, or ‘think of England’? Did they have relations because it was part of marriage and  expected of them, or necessary to survive, or did they take pleasure – and give pleasure – and feel joy in coming together?

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Don’t Dream It’s Over

I’m sitting upstairs in my small apartment on a Saturday morning, eating brunch at the formica table that sits just off the kitchen. The view from the window is sunny and clear, and I’m enjoying the Spring warmth. There’s a knock on my door, which is down the narrow wooden stairs, and I go to answer it. My mother and her friend Pinky bustle in, looking excited and pleased to be there.

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My Brother the Ocean

Last Saturday was two years since my brother-the-human died. So Apollo and I went out to visit him, in his new form as the ocean. He’s been the ocean ever since we scattered his ashes there, on the date of his birthday in 2011.

Auckland is on an isthmus, so we’re surrounded by ocean on all sides – I can get to the sea in under five minutes from where I live, driving down to the local wharf. But that’s not where my brother-the-ocean is. He’s at Bethell’s Beach, or Te Henga. While the ocean stretches around Auckland, and from there around the country and the world, he is, I believe, content to explore the great West Coast beaches area, basing himself at Te Henga.

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I need to be able to let go – and it’s damned hard for me to do. Over the years I’ve had to hold on and keep it together for so long, that even awesome orgasms only bleed off a bit of it. Mostly I’m still holding on – those subconscious muscles are tensed, and often I can’t figure out how to relax them no matter what I do. Lucky for me, I have amazing partners who are there to help me.

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Gold Coat of Memories

When I was a young girl – and when I was a teenager – every winter my mother would put on her big golden coat before heading out the door to work. It was a glorious coat, in a rich colour that evoked the summer sun. Woolen on the outside, satin-lined on the inside, double-breasted and with pockets big enough for gloves, it had a collar you could put up to keep your neck warm, and a belt for extra tightness. It didn’t skimp on length, either – on my mother, who was just five foot five, it reached nearly to her ankles.

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Cervix with a View

Last week I had an appointment for yet another ultrasound – both external and transvaginal – to check on the state of my Essure™ since I’d had the procedure done last year, and to see if my pesky ovarian cyst was still in place. (What’s an Essure? That’s the wee thing that makes me permanently baby-proofed. Yay!) I figured this was a good opportunity to finally snap myself some in-hospital Scavenger Hunt photos, given I’d bailed on the opportunity the previous time!

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Peaceful Places

Sometimes you’ll find a peaceful place when you’re not expecting it. On road-trip down to Wellington late last year we found such a treasure.  Hylas, Kiana and I had been having fun looking out for spots to take Scavenger Hunt photos – we did the public toilets in Otorohanga, and later found the Ruakawa Falls Lookout as well. But what we had really been hoping to find was a good old New Zealand cemetery. The kind you see on the roadside, full of old headstones and tottering rails. Not an in-use cemetery, but an old one. An interesting one.

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