72 grams

Yes that is the weight of the latest egg from Chilli chicken.

Incredible that such a bag of feathers and bones can produce that kind of egg on a daily basis.

She seems happy enough.

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Nothing more…

The problem with dark days is that they are just that, nothing more.

So when someone says “what’s wrong?” or “anything I can do to help?” these well meaning requests bounce through the fog and stick to nothing at all.

I wouldn’t call it a fight.

It is just black, all of it.

No point  hitting at the darkness because it is nothing more than that. Just try to live through it.

I know full well it blinds me to goodness, it blinds me to truth, it blinds me to the soft glow of love. So damn dark, too bloody heavy.

But it is nothing more and yet it is more than everything, go figure.

Pop

My grandfather, the last of three I’ve been lucky to have, is dying.

I’ve never called him grandfather. He never wrote me letters. I can’t think of a single present he bought for me. Still, he has always been a bright shiny light in my life.

When I was a child growing up in Coffs Harbour the excitement that came with every visit he made from Sydney, was as sweet as the sugar coated jellys in my nan’s lolly tin. The slapping of his cheap black and white thongs along our front path was a cheerful sound. It meant fun was here. A really good tickling was about to begin and would end with screams of laughter.

The crinkly dry skin of his elbows could be pulled into little hills and his round belly gurgled like it was already digesting a delicious joke. He could tell a joke. He’d lean right in, the hairs in one eyebrow arching up into mischief, then he’d say “did you hear that one about…” and away he’d go, without leaving me behind for a second.

I thought when I moved to Sydney, I’d have the chance to get closer to him. I’d try to write down his life story the way I’d done for my Pa or maybe I could make up for the years that I hadn’t written to him, like I’d written to my Grandpop. I drove across Sydney several times but amongst the chatter from my Nan, the cups of tea, or his latest great joke,  that opportunity just slipped me by.

Now as we enter these last days when his smile is as absent as his memory, I can’t bring myself to go and see him. I  Not because I haven’t loved him like any child should love their grandparent, but because I must keep that bright brilliant vision of him. Is that wrong? Is it selfish? I don’t know.

I do know, that this time, he has to leave me behind.

But maybe because I’ve not seen him darkened, he’ll remain that bright shiny light in my life,
and he’ll still be called, my Pop.

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Rest In Peace

John Benjamin Darby (Jack)

12th December 1916 – 6th April 2011