Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's Organic? What's Authentic? What Does it Matter?

You know what it all comes down to? We are all dying, every single one of us, every day. And there's nothing we can do to stop it. 

I know, and I'm sorry. This kind of information sucks. But it's absolutely true, and I firmly believe that the sooner we accept the fact that we are going to die (and probably younger than we'd like, and with unresolved issues, and trips we never went on, and things we forgot to say, and time we forgot to appreciate, and maybe a little bit of pain), the happier we can be during this short, sweet life. Yes, I said pain. Get over it.

I've seen death in so many ways, we all have. That hair in your shower drain? Death. Death in my garden, in my heart, in nature, on the news, everywhere in the world around us. And that's just what we can see. Today, 50 billion cells in my body will die. Yours, too.

But I'm still alive.
And presumably, since you're reading this - so are you.

Which means that we can still make this the best fucking life ever. 

Yes, I've had too much coffee and my brain is pounding out my head with enthusiasm here … but also I really want you to see what I see - that there is TIME, there is right now and it doesn't matter what comes after that.

Now is time. 

So what does any of this have to do with being organic or authentic? 

Being organic isn't just about growing food without undue chemicals, though you know how I feel about that. (When you can, eat organic!)

It's about being a LIVING BEING. Think: organ. And if you don't believe me, check the definition. It's about being a live, dynamic, breathing, sweating, farting, crying, laughing, stressing, eating, thinking being. Changing everything, just by living. 

We're alive, that's already been sorted. What we get to choose is how we live - and the more we care about the world, about our bodies, about the time we have left, the better off we'll all be.

That's where being authentic comes into play. You're going to die. So are you going to do it anonymously? Or are you going to stop pretending to be something you're not and rip your clothes off and find out how this world feels on your skin?

(Personally, I like being naked. Particularly in unexpected locations. Like mountain lakes. The rain. My living room. You should try it.)

You know what authentic is? Don't you dare tell me hipster, or Kinfolk, or those awesome Instagram feeds we all drool over (yes, I love them too … ;) ). It's YOU. It's your little happinesses, and anxieties, and dreams, and insecurities, and all those trillion thoughts that flit through your head every day. It's who you were and who you want to be and most importantly who you are TODAY.

Be YOU. There is no one else.

So does it matter?
You tell me.

Big love, friends,
Amanda xx

PS. I get scared, too. That's cool. :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Friend Died Today

Actually, she died Friday. Yesterday. But I wrote this last night in bed, my daughter asleep and softly snoring beside me, the doona off and the fan on blowing hot, heavy air. Summer in Brisbane - the smell of mock orange, the chatter of geckoes. You can tell how hot it is by how fast they chirp. 

And my friend is gone, and I don't know how to feel about it. I'm sad, but am I as sad as I should be? Because she was so important to me in all those cancer years - the year of the surgery and the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy, when Nelle came to our support group sessions not even walking yet but with cheeks so pink and fatty you could sink your teeth into them - and then over the years after when it was still all about cancer. Every day. Death at my door.

But then, I didn't die. 

I moved on into cancer-free life, a life of known but surely-distant mortality, and her cancer moved out of her breast and through her lymphatic system and into her liver where it would stay and grow and mark the end of her existence one cell at a time. 

Is it fair that I survived? Is it fair that I lost touch?

I remember her smile, and the softness of her hugs. Sometimes she had hair, sometimes she didn't, and she wore bandanas and short scarves to cover her bareness. Years of chemotherapy. Years of hope, and waiting, and living, and dying. I ache for her pain, I hope she lived hard. 

And how is it possible that I feel so connected and so distant at the same time, for this life that's gone and a friendship that had already spread apart over the years? Us girls, we are like a photograph in my mind - an image in another friend's living room, all of us smiling, making it, getting through. A picture that fades with time as we dissipate - as delicate as dandelion seeds - blown off the stem or stuck to it, but changed for the shared experience. My friend, all these friends, carved a space in who I became, who I am and will be all these years I live on and on. 

Amanda xx