Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Heat

Watercolour title page for my upcoming, Our Mother Flew Unassisted limited edition hand-made book, also available as a paperback, with plain title pages. From brightspark books and paperback available on Amazon world-wide.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the intense February heat rattles into a topic of conversation, the way the latest exciting restaurant that's just proved more scary than cheery, could run loose in more urbane chit chat. We're under nuclear stare and glare from the sun these days in this most southern island country, (although the tip of South America is also way down south, we're a series of islands and lack continental protection from the elements).

On this blog I often speak about planting trees for travel, to cover our carbon costs but also, planting trees presents a wise activity even if you do not travel much. The sooner we get at least half as many of those trees back which human beings have removed, the better. The weather will then grow less extreme, (with more trees growing), the threat of rising oceans shall diminish, and the amount of water in the atmosphere will also lessen. Those results create milder rains and snowfalls, everywhere, less flooding, reducing soil erosion, and providing other benefits.

Lobby your council and government to plant more trees, now. Plant them yourself too, and check they'll grow in the best and the safest place. Some trees endure for 100s of years, so they need room to grow. Others have deep root systems and require a landscape without underground pipes or wires, (no need to create a safety risk).

But then too I think about how extremes affect us emotionally in this crazy heat, and such adverse effects appear socially in our frazzled or harried attitudes to work and our families. Tempers and behaviour grow more and more unpredictable here when Silly Season is upon us, many could notice. The summer muggy heat in the north of En Zed plays a part in making some people a bit more erratic, somewhat more illogical, and at times severely ill, but too often those people involved may not realise it's the extreme glare and temperature making them so different to their usual selves.

Please take it easy.

Think it's best, possibly, not to make any definite weighty decisions about relationships, travel, spending large amounts of money, or major life changes, in extreme weather like this blasted heat and dryness in the south, or mugginess, as mentioned, up where I live, Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. Plan some changes or projects sure, make a few notes, but leave the final decision for when life cools down, if possible.

Supposing this evening that I tend to feel somewhat self-aware about this issue. Telling people I go crazy in the heat seems wise to me. Extreme summer weather means I'm harder to understand, and make more errors than usual, may grow flustered or overly emotional quite fast, at times appearing upset over not much....But usually with those folk tolerant of human beings there's no trouble understanding me there. 

Love finds an answer.

Collage cover of Our Mother Flew Unassisted poetry collection - to be launched 6 March 1pm - 6pm The Happy Tea House 45 Ivanhoe Road, Grey Lynn, Tamaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Thanks to Chris Knox for helping me choose this cover for the paperback book. 
When something momentous upsets me however, a virus fever, an upset with a loved one, or other deeply affecting incident, I can go into a strange kind of netherworld. There, catastrophising seems as natural as singing is to certain other people. Then I make not only mountains from molehills, but entire mountain ranges of volcanos, and then thunderstorms as well. Steamy, dangerous, and ridiculous, most of this disturbing atmosphere is imaginary and worrying, but I can easily believe in my exaggerated ideas at the time. I wish more people understood me, I suppose, perhaps I need some kind of care manual? What could it be like to offer such a document to new friends and close associates?

Here in a still heat, sitting inside a quiet house, with some occasional traffic soothing by outside, on my second day off from facebook, because I'm reducing stress, life's a bit shaky lately. Sympathy and empathy from some quarters appear lacking or non-existent. This of course makes the situation feel worse. I need to learn to only listen closely to those who prove they love me, through their actions, (again, supposing, here), but doesn't that sound far too ideal? Also, what does 'proof' entail? Lately I'm not sure.

When under any strain, recent advice is to remove something you usually do but do not have to do, (and then that makes a difference). The lack of social media in my busy days has resulted in a little more texting for me, and those phone messages are generally for only family, close friends, or business, so the distracting (albeit at times delightful) rest-of-the-universe does not appear present, nor intrusive. Our nearest and dearest truly are too, they stay in mind, and without social media I've time to think about what I'd really like to say to only them. But some truly loved people are not around, and there's an issue.

My imaginary conversations then also take up a fair amount of time altogether. Although the single dialogues themselves rarely last longer than four or so minutes. Imagining what people may say in reply reveals what I know, and do not know, about those I'm acquainted with; it also makes me feel less lonely.

Recently I've, by the way, associated with someone contradictory, openly hostile when no one else but me much notices, and who seems to believe they're superior to others, while they've covertly hurt a friend of mine for some years, too. The effects of this rather toxic encounter has left me in despair at times. Luckily, I do know some excellent friends with genuine empathy, and also, learnt over many years to exercise self discipline, so I put the troublemaker out of my mind as often as I can. Various steps have been taken too, in order to change their behaviour or minimise the harm, hopefully.   picture from this website

It can feel so dispiriting, however, to realise first-hand how cruel some people truly are to others, nevertheless, and so recuperation feels vital. Staying offline as much as possible does calm me. The garden has assisted enormously, too. Tending the earth, weeding, tidying edges, noting what grows well and what's most admired, all these experiences while gardening, and more, proved deeply engrossing and healing.

One of the puzzles of contemporary life in big cities, in some places, is the isolation of people from each other for many reasons.

I like to encourage others to act with kindness wherever possible, by acting kindly myself towards others, and to myself. Even one extra kind moment a day may make a difference to someone else or your self. Anyone could then pass kindness on, with their feeling better about life generally so believing they're more able to act gently.

Naturally, it's mainly egoists, narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths who behave like they never make mistakes, (therefore many of us know we're not always good company, and feel sorry for that). I've learnt to think after any difficult interaction, "What did I do that I didn't like? How will I do that better, next time?" That's kindness to oneself. To take your self along as if a small child who needs tenderness, this can help anybody to forgive and adjust, in an adult fashion. Saying sorry and meaning it, surely also affects us, well.

Plant trees, act kindly, take care of one another. Not much to ask, is it? I hope not.


  1. Your writing sings to me in an era when we are supposed to feel connected via Facebook sometimes as a sensitive it can leave one feeling even more alone and misunderstood. Your words are full of hope for a more compassionate future and that is beautiful, thank you xx Jazzy Bell

  2. Your writing sings to me in an era when we are supposed to feel connected via Facebook sometimes as a sensitive it can leave one feeling even more alone and misunderstood. Your words are full of hope for a more compassionate future and that is beautiful, thank you xx Jazzy Bell

  3. O thank you, singing away here a stranded mermaid, lovely to know someone hears me.

  4. O thank you, singing away here a stranded mermaid, lovely to know someone hears me.

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