The day a squirrel made everything okay

I approach one of those pivotal moments in one’s life.

In less than three weeks, my beautiful wife and I will be leaving Wellington, New Zealand – the city which has been my home for more than 14 years. We will then spend a week with each of our families before boarding a flight to San Francisco – the city which will become our home for the foreseeable future.

The pivot has not yet occurred, and our actual departure is still just over a month away.

Yet I am already looking back. I’m looking back at the time we spent with our dear friends in Wellington before the move.

I’m remembering going to see Iron Man 2 at midnight at the Embassy cinema with Brock (who bought the tickets), James and Chris, Keith, Jem, Tim and Michelle, and of course Mia.

It’s tomorrow night, but it’s already happened.

It’s already happened and we’re living in San Francisco and alongside all the awesome newness we’re missing our friends. We’re talking about them fondly, and remembering the drinks we had before the midnight screening on a school night.

It’s already happened and we’re back living in New Zealand, and our kids have grown up and have kids of their own. We’re sitting in our comfortable chairs, drinking tea and smiling as we remember those last few weeks in Wellington before the start of our first San Francisco adventure.

It’s tonight, and the movie is tomorrow. I sit in bed as Mia reads the third Harry Potter book for the first time. I look around the room we’re sub-letting, and I can feel the seconds flowing steadily by. I look back down at the laptop as my fingers clatter across the keys and these letters appear on the screen.

The moment of clarity fades away as I find myself staring into nothing and remembering the squirrel. Tom Rix arrived in San Francisco today himself, and 8 hours ago he posted this image of a squirrel. (Thanks Tom!)

Somehow the squirrel made everything okay. This upcoming move has made me feel in turn excited, terrified and numb, and as we approach the actual day the sheer change of it has grown increasingly overwhelming.

But there are squirrels in San Francisco. We will get to see squirrels. And that is Quite Awesome.

When I saw the squirrel (of all things), somehow I knew it was going to be okay.

So here I am, looking forward and imagining looking back. Finally writing another blog post for the first time in probably months, feeling like I’m looking into a whirlpool which will be sucking us in and then spitting us out.

Once we’re free from it, we’ll look up – shake the water from our hair, and realize we’re not in New Zealand any more. Perhaps I’ll remember to update you as to how it feels on the other side.

I’ll do my best to.

Published in: on 27 April 2010 at 11:06 pm  Comments (4)  

This is real life.

Yep. This is it.

Look around you – away from this blasted screen.

All that stuff? Real.

If you run your hand over it, you can feel the texture of its surface. Real.

Right now? This is it. This is your life.

This may all seem blatantly obvious to you, in which case you’ve probably stopped reading. For whatever reason, however, when I stop to consider that this is real life, it is almost always a revelation.

Have I always been so disconnected?

Certainly as far back as I can remember I’ve spent most of my time more in my thoughts than my body.

Lost in a book or a movie or a song or an idea. Full of hope, worry, regret or nostalgia. Seeing what I think is in front of me rather than what is.

And when I stop, when I stop like have right now, when I make an effort to cease the babble in my head and see this moment – this moment which is the essence of what this life actually is – when I do that, everything tends to appear a liitle absurd.

But again, perhaps that’s just me.

Whatever the case, this I know: in a moment I’ll stop writing and you’ll stop reading. I will get up from this park bench and go buy some fish. I haven’t the foggiest what you’ll do next.

And for both of us, this will still be real life.

and in the Space-Time Continuum


It’s the night before we depart up country to spend Christmas with our families, and I’m still up. I’ve written a list of things not to forget for the morning, I’ve tidied up, wrapped presents, had a sandwich and answered a few more Ringorang questions.

I think to a degree it’s Ringorang that’s got me thinking about time again. From a very young age I was fascinated by the subject, and in particular the idea of travelling through it (in ways other than how we normally do). While at intermediate school (jr. high), I penned a number of chapters of a time travel novel – which I recently came across again when going through all my hoarded papers…

Anyway, I actually was inspired to finally update this blog again – and aim it in the direction of the Space-Time Continuum for a bit. My initial thought was to begin with a quote from one of my all-time favourite playwrights which most of you will probably never have heard of. After reading the quote again, however, I was reminded of a response I wrote to it some time ago I’d also like to include – but will have to find.

In the meantime, here is a quote from same character in the same play, Meeting Place by Robert Lord:

If I observe myself closely I can see myself living.

I can stand outside of myself and observe. I can climb right out of my body, sit somewhere else, and watch myself sweat. Dreams, jokes, mistakes. I can see them all and I can make myself respond according to a pattern. I can remain outside and watch the body living. The more I observe the more the body seems strange. The more I notice the less familiar it appears. The body still responds but the body becomes a stranger.

I am outside.

I’ll see if I can find the other piece of writing in the morning – otherwise I’ll post it once we return from family Christmases.

Funnily enough, one of the aspects which has fascinated me about time is the very idea of writing to be read. There is an inherent time displacement between me writing these words and you reading it – a displacement which will increase indefinitely. My present is your past, and yours is my future. For these few paragraphs, the two connect…

Well, Season’s Greetings to you – whatever time of year it is. =)

Published in: on 20 December 2008 at 1:55 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,