The Black Hills of Dakota

Four a.m wakes me again. I have a head cold and a tickly throat. It’s hard to maintain one’s decorum when one cannot breath through one’s nose! Awake for more than an hour now. The song from the musical Calamity Jane ricochets around my head! Waking up to snippets of music is not at all an unusual thing for me.

Outside, the sound of birds waking to greet the windy, possibly building into wild, if the weather forecasters have it right, day.

Reactive depression. This is the latest in my collection of health issues since retirement that I am now researching via Doctor Google. My beginning line of thought in relation to it is that perhaps a lifetime of enforced and chosen Active Suppression has brought me to this next  point of biting reality!  A trip to the Doctor for some blood test results, a bit of a yarn, the bursting of the walls of the dam that holds back my tears, my frustration, my anger, my hurt and I am off on a new adventure of ( hopefully) healing!

It strikes me that headspace is a quirky thing! In recent weeks I have congratulated myself on regaining some of my former independence. For the first time  in four years I made the road trip to and from Melbourne. Wonderful! Time with my son and his family. Sitting in their sunny backyard, just being. Diverting by little villages on the way back. Coffee and country food. Friendly conversations and connections with strangers. Enjoying the disconnection, albeit brief, from usual routine and self imposed expectations. Soul healing stuff!

The months of August and September are tipping points for me. Celebrations mixed with agony so perhaps it is no wonder that I begin this October day exactly where I am! The first thing I looked at on FaceBook this morning was a video of the funeral of a 16 year old. The celebrant invited people to get their phones out and to put two telephone numbers into them – lifeline and beyond blue. What an incredibly wise and wonderful thing!

On reflection, I realise that my ” health” – mental, physical and spiritual – demise has come about because of an insidious ingrained from birth unquestioning acceptance that I was born into ” this valley of tears” and I am just a bit miffed about all of that really!

But, it seems I could get over it! Like I got over my dodgy heart – 6.5 years of battery life left on the pacemaker! Like I got over the extent to which I was once horizontally gifted! Like the replacement of the original versions of my knees and right hip has made me more mobile. Perhaps, indeed no doubt at all it is the turn of my mind and my spirit to choose something other than active suppression!

My brother Peter used to say that the way he dealt with all that was dealt to him was to ” get better,not bitter”. He no longer has to grapple with that struggle but it was the manner in which he grappled with it all that made him an inspiration to me and mine and I will grapple on!




2 responses to “The Black Hills of Dakota”

  1. Love your writing, Louise.
    So honest and full of feeling.


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