I realize I’ve been pretty boring lately, maybe more than boring, maybe droning, robotic (and not in the really rad, classic, dance move way). I guess it’s taken me a while to be able to write something about leaving Australia, and my almost-disasters on the planes, and being surrounded by family I love, and missing other people I love.
Oh, Australia, where do I start with you anyway? Because I got so attracted to the landscape, and the mismatched assortment of fauna and trees, or so attracted to the people with their wonky accents, or just attracted to the boy in college shirts, who knows really? (I really have no idea where this sentence is going because my Uncle is talking to someone on the phone in the room next to me and I have a funny feeling he’s staring into my room while talking and trying to dissect what I’m saying. Plus, the whole house smells like pork chops and lasagna because my Aunt couldn’t decide what she wanted to cook. By the way, these two people, completely unrelated). And what more can I really say about Australia, other than I miss it….without mapping out all the gory details of the missing?
I always have a word for when I’m missing that other part of the world: Saudade (singular) or saudades (plural) (pronounced or in European Portuguese, or in Brazilian Portuguese and in Galician) is a Portuguese and Galician word for a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Here’s another if you know me, then you know that I have words for all the different facets of my life, and my favorite word on the planet is kept. See below paragraph about why that is:
I think….right now…my favorite word is “kept.” I guess that’s kind of a strange one, but let me figure out why I love it so much by trying to explain.
The definition of “kept” according to a google search is this; unbroken: (especially of promises or contracts) not violated or disregarded; “unbroken promises”; “promises kept.”
I think this word really translates to me right now because I’ve broken a few promises in the past and I’ve broken a few hearts (har-har) and I’m really making an effort (within the last month) to start keeping all my promises.
I think “kept” also can relate to keeping yourself busy, keeping yourself hygenic, keeping yourself healthy which is something I’m also trying to do these days. I’ve been eating a lot more produce (and some cupcakes too) and been really making an effort to floss, and shower daily (ya know, college isn’t the best place for showering daily…sometimes you get a little lax and now that I’ve graduated I’m trying to end that cycle).
“Kept” heat is one of my favorite, well maybe my all time favorite phrase from a line in one of my poems. I love the mental image of someone walking in the winter, maybe upset about something, their teeth clicking back and forth to warm their face, and their cheeks rosy with winter glow. Their hands are folded indian style across their chest and their feet are clacking across the pavement, spurting up water puddles with each step. But between their arms, right where their heart lies, they have kept heat. Heat only they can feel that isn’t going into the outside world yet and they’re keeping, selfishly or not, for themselves. To warm themselves. It’s like a warming image of the soul. I don’t know, maybe I went too deep there but “kept” always makes my mind go there.
And lastly, it’s got the strangest letters forced together. Who thought of putting a k,p,t in one word. “Ke-pa-te” – you really have to use your whole mouth for that. And I love that, I love words that make you work to use them. And if I look in the mirror and say it to myself right now – it looks pretty on my lips. And a favorite word should definitely do that.
Right now I could used some “kept heat” being stuck in the snowy anti-wonderland of North Carolina. Wonderland will forever be in Floriade, Canberra for me. (My mom actually bought me a mini-Alice-tea-set for Christmas, which brings in everything I’ve loved about Australia. The fact that I felt lost in a Wonderland, being surrounded by various animals-tons of breeding white-tailed rabbits-, falling in love with my own independence, falling in love with a whole land of obnoxious animal kingdom birthing and a land of people who once all came from convicts. Oh, and not to mention I worked a few “high-teas” for the fancy-bonneted women when I worked at Adore).
Here are some photos from Carolina’s supposed “Winter Wonderland” with the family (aka our competitive side at beating the neighborhood kids in some stellar snow-man building. He came out flaming homosexual according to my cousins).
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.