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Friday, June 9, 2017

We Go On

Today is an exciting day.

In what is turning out to be a productive year,  I have managed to strike two things off my very short bucket list.

One was a trip to Antarctica - a never-to-be-repeated once in a lifetime experience that will stay with me until the day I die (which hopefully isn't any time soon).

The second is this.  I wrote a song.  It's my third one actually but...   not only did I write it but I took it all the way.  I have had it produced and as you will see from the nifty little download button to the right, I am hoping all my dear readers will see their way to parting with $2.50 to download it.   (You can also download it from Spotify, iTunes and other streaming services).

All proceeds go to Mental Health Research.

Now some people who heard my own pathetic attempts to caterwaul this song were less than complimentary.  In fact, the girl I work with was positively rude.  My eldest son, Harry, seemed to think the song was miserable.

Well it's not...

And the 50 ladies from the Redlands Branch of the Cancer Council would back me up there.

Because today, I unveiled the song at a presentation I made at the Redland Bay Golf Club.  (Do you know the Redlands chapter of the Council - all those wonderful ladies who man all those roadside stalls, who so generously bake and sew and crochet - last year alone raised $92,000 and took out the top fundraising prize for the organisation?).

The event was the Club's first ever Biggest Morning Tea (capably organised by the lovely young girl who runs their functions, the bubbly Chelsea Morris).

In a nutshell, what I explained to the ladies is that - after the complete utter shit fucking bastard arsehole time I've had, I have kept going.  Despite the whole saga of cancer and a double mastectomy, I have managed to still travel widely, undertake new hobbies and interests, and notch up some achievements such as my book and the commencement of my phD (most exciting!). I listed off all the major events that I marked over the past five years too:  turning 50, my dad turning 80, my sons turning 21 and 18 respectively, one finishing Uni the other finishing school.

Since 2012 as well, I kept going... literally... living at four different addresses.  (You do realise that moving house is up there with death in terms of stress levels, I suppose?)

In the meantime of course, you will all by now be well aware of all the other woeful stuff that has beset me:  more cancer, the death of my dog, my broken wrist, two savage defamation actions, and of course... the end of my marriage.

As I said today:  At any point, I could have given up, but I have kept going.  

17 minutes later, I had my audience literally in tears as I explained the important things that I have learned from all of this:  the indomitability of the human spirit; the relentlessness of life; and the way humans are in fact engineered not for failing but rising - not for suffering but celebration - and not for falling but flying,

I have to tell you it was good stuff... even if I do say so myself.

Many ladies told me I was "inspiring" and I also received a couple of hugs from ladies with wet lashes.  The local MP the lovely Matt McEachan (who I accidentallly called Mark) told me he was so inspired by my talk he felt like reciting a poem (which he did - not only is he a politician, I discovered, but a slam poetry afficionado!).

My mission, therefore, was accomplished.  A good speech is one that arouses emotions and it seems this was achieved...

You see, I really believe it  We Go On.  Life goes on.    Often in our misery we tend to feel as if the world stops - as if life isn't worth living - yet life is inexorable.  It's everywhere.  That's my point.

So no matter how hard a time you may be having - even if you are at death's door - there is something truly enlivening and exciting about knowing that we are all part of it, this amazing and wonderful thing that is living and life.  We are all in it and part of it.

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE AND HOWEVER LONG YOU MIGHT HAVE TO EXPERIENCE IT, TO BE IN IT, TO SEIZE IT AND TO SAVOUR IT, BE ASSURED THAT EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF IT IS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL AND SIMPLY BURSTING WITH PROMISE.  EVERY MOMENT IS RICH WITH OPPORTUNITY….I told the ladies in All Caps, because that's how I write my speech notes.

IT IS FULL OF EVERYTHING THAT IS AROUND YOU – THIS VAST HUMANITY – WITH ALL OF ITS HURT, ITS RAGE, ITS INCESSANT WANTS.. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, ITS ENDLESS, FORGIVING LOVE.

We are all passing through it's true but in the process we all leave something behind, a piece of us that informs the whole - that whole thing that is this vast, endlessly pulsating thing that is LIFE. 

It is enough to know that our hearts have beaten -  for what big, brave hearts they are to have contributed to this huge and wondrously ever-expanding thing that is LIFE.

We. Go. On.

....

Now, if you'd like to hear the song before you choose to part with your $2.50, you can watch it here.  

With thanks to Harry's lovely friend, Trent who made my video for  me for a song (literally) :)  Also to the wonderful singer Sarah Calderwood who loaned me her fabulous tonsils (and flute-playing skills) and producer Michael Fix (who is quite famous I'll have you know).

A very special thanks too,  to my good friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Mary Holdsworth who encourages me to pursue these creative whims.   Mary is herself a wonderful country singer and has been there for me since day dot, providing her patient advice and counsel even as I sobbed my eyes out.