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Even in a little thing

10th July, 2009. 3:38 pm.

My life is still full of the "I must remind people about this" stuff. I keep forgetting things, so I'm going to remind anyone who may be in Canberra for Conflux that they can help decide the workshop I'm giving, just this once. There are only 2 more days for suggestions, though, so you may want to speak up soon.

The good thing about bad health is when you get to the "it doesn't hurt as much" stage the brain kinda kicks into gear. I had worked out that gentle movement was what my skin needed to not be as bad and I have gone through many seasons of Star Trek as a result. After my night with only a half hour sleep, my brain resturned a little and I read Kate Wilhelm's Storyteller (and I now know what's wrong with my novel-in-progress and why it doesn't have the tension the plotline says it should, which makes that whole horrid night worthwhile), and I'm in the middle of some Carol Emschwiller and Kim Westwood's The Daughters of Moab. By shifting between them I can fit my mood and legs and brain all at once. It's my second pair of books this week, Monday to Friday was a book sandwich buttered with Star Trek and with a Kate Wilhelm filling.

I'm still in catch-up mode with other work, but it's beginning to happen.

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10th July, 2009. 5:07 pm.

Why is sleep so important? Because when I sleep, I sort out the big things, the stuff that's too hard to deal with when awake.

Last night I dreamed a dream about my family. I hugged my great-aunt. The last of a big family - she's grudgingly alive and I saw her at Les's funeral. It hurt her when I held her hand. In the dream I gave her a hearty hug. In my dreams she's not as fragile as a piece of Queen Anne's lace.

When I woke up, my head was filled with music and I suddenly realised that neither father had appeared at that family function. "They're both dead," my half awake self said to my dreaming self. "That's why they weren't there." And that's the moment I finally accepted that Les is gone. Sometimes it takes days, sometimes weeks. This time it's taken months for me to reach a deep acceptance.

I'm still angry: parents aren't supposed to die. I should be able to ring him and ask about my front door and about the lighting in my lounge and to gossip with him about the grandchildren. Instead I give cheek to his grandchildren on Facebook and just let the draught at the door remain unblocked. Right now the grandchildren and I are deciding if Mum is cool or ubercool.

I know he's gone. Just now I put some scented geranium in the pot-pourri bowl at the door and it will mingle with lavender and his warmth and wonderfulness will greet friends at my front door. Les was well-known for his amazing pelargoniums and geraniums and this comes from the biggest and best of them all, the one he planted at the driveway. It has a mixed flower scent, like an old-fashioned pot pourri. He was an old-fashioned father and I miss him.

It's good I can let him go, though. Parents shouldn't have to remain that long, unreleased.

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