Karma Baby

Countdown to Borneo- Seven Days.

by Lori Dwyer on May 13, 2013 · 3 comments

Countdown to Borneo: 13 days to take off.

Anxiety Level: Increasing

Organisation Level: Low to Moderate


I keep reminding myself- I’ll only be gone for nine days. In my mind it feels likes some kind of forever, an indistinguishable eternity of change.

Fueled by my children’s obsession with death, perhaps, or maybe the other way around (whichever). The thought of dying in a horrible plane crash or ingesting some variety of flesh eating parasite exists in my mind as though it’s already happened. There’s a nagging, uncomfortable anxiety at the edges of my consciousness. 

I really don’t want to die. That’s a thought is both unfamiliar and comforting. I find the universe’s inherent sense of irony alarming in it’s extremes- it would fit, horribly, if I were to find some kind of happy, begin to feel ‘normal’ again, only to cease existing altogether at the crux of it.

I put that thought out of my mind, away in a compartment marked ‘Impending Doom’. There’s not much else to do with it.


I’ve never been away from my children for such an extended period of time before, and I will miss them.

I’m existing in a heady mix of terror and excitement I’ve never felt before. It’s as though every time I inhale I’m reminded of how very scary this is (this is my first time overseas, I’m effectively going all by myself, I am far too f*cking old to be doing this for the first time…). But for every inhale, there is an exhale. And every exhale is a fizzing excitement akin to rapture (I am doing this, I am going overseas. I am terrified and I’m doing it anyway).

My bigger-picture consciousness runs on the same undulating, up and down waves. I bounce from maniacal organisation- packing, sorting, photocopying, planning; to lazy apathy- smoking cigarettes, drinking copious cans of V, randomly surfing longform reads on the web. I’m thinking it’s a kind of self-regulation; my mind effectively shutting down the Big Preparing To Go Overseas process at regular intervals. Lest it overwhelm me and I begin to feel as though I’m drowning in it completely.

Deep breaths. Just seven days to go.


Sometimes weird stuff just happens.

I had the pleasure of taking my mum on a BridgeClimb for Mother’s Day (more on that coming soon, and you can check out the video on YouTube).

It wasn’t until the end of the climb that we really got chatting to our instructor, Nicole. As it turns out, Nicole’s dad runs a tour company in Borneo. Working with orangutans.

Nicole’s dad is Garry, the owner and organiser of Orangutan Odysseys, the company that’s taking me to Borneo.

I like to think these things happen for a reason. I’m not sure what that reason is, as yet. But what are the chances, of a coincidence like that?


Countdown To Borneo: 13 Days

by Lori Dwyer on May 7, 2013 · 3 comments

Countdown to Borneo: 13 days to take off.

Anxiety Level: Moderate

Organisation Level: Moderate to High


I’m existing in a bubble of my own self-inflicted anxiety. The things I’ve been meaning to do before I left for Borneo are piling up, one atop another, in a heap marked ‘Later’. (Visiting both the shrink and the dentist, toilet training my daughter…. all the best of good intentions that can certainly wait).

I am going overseas for the first time (kind of) in less than two weeks. The days are toppling onto one another like a pile of dominoes. A clicking, sliding house of cards that disappears flat into itself with such startling rapidity you barely have time to catch your breath before the next rows fold into each other.

Don’t think about it, just do it. I’m terrified. But, if nothing else, I’m an expert at just putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s how I’m choosing to approach the next thirteen days. One thing at a time. One task at a time, as it becomes important. Try not to forget anything. Especially breathing, in and out, and reminding yourself you will be fine.

I’m in a good head-space for it. I know this feeling- it’s bizarrely nostalgic, reminiscent of a another time when I was so terrified all I could do was one moment at a time, one task as it became important. But this time around, it’s laced with magic and adventure and excitement. I’m focusing on that- the exquisite, exciting apprehension of it. Because if I don’t, I may just find myself paralysed with crippling fear. And that won’t do, not in this situation. Not at all.


“”You are exactly where you are supposed to be, in this moment, right now,” Our yoga teacher said to us. My racing mind immediately came to a screeching halt to digest this new and profound information.”

Paula’s Story, published at Carly Findlay’s blog

“You know, I’ve been thinking, everything is…just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all of this. This rock…this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life. Ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. There, in space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right…right here. I’ve been moving towards it my whole life. The minute I was born, every breath I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.”

127 Hours

I like to think sometimes the Universe presents you with tiny nuances, recurring themes to remind you that the world is much bigger than you can conceive. Signposts, perhaps. to tell you that you’re on the right path. To present you with tools you may need to do what you have to do.

Or maybe I just look too hard and put far too much significance in the blog posts I read, and the movies I watch.


I am exactly where I need to be, right now.

Things roll out the way the do for a reason.


A Different Kind Of Missing Someone.

by Lori Dwyer on May 6, 2013 · 3 comments

I miss my gran.

It comes in slapping gulps, every now and then, flashes of cold water reality shocking my psyche. It’s a different kind of missing someone, a different kind of mourning. My life has continued relatively normally since she’s been gone– there has been no huge adjustment to make, I haven’t had to reassess my entire existence the way I did after Tony died.

It’s just that my Gran has been so firmly woven into my life, ever since I was a child… sometimes my mind bumps over the expectance of her being here. I’ll drive past her street, or think of her in present tense.

I’m exquisitely aware of the absence of her. Of how she’s always been here…and now she’s not. It takes me by surprise. And every time, I cover it up, shovel life over the top of it until it doesn’t hurt so much any more.

I can’t grieve anymore. I’ve only just made my way out of the blackness of that pain, of missing my husband. I’m reluctant to begin mourning all over again. It doesn’t feel right, missing someone piecemeal and in parts, rather than as an all encompassing presence.

But at the same time, this feels like grief untainted and pure. Missing someone without being angry at them for leaving, without feeling a though the Universe got it wrong.

The memory of my grandmother is rich and worn, comforting and familiar; the softly worn paper of a book I’ve read a thousand times. I remember fretting badly, the night of Tony’s funeral, worrying that I would lose the sound of his voice. That it would fade out of existence and I’d no longer remember what it sounded like when he said my name.

I’ve not encountered that thought yet about my grandmother. Her voice comes into my head unbidden, so distinct it may as well be her there speaking in front of me. The crinkle of her eyes, the sound of her laugh. Her warm, comforting practicality.

I hold the memory of her as a omen, a token, a warm blanket to wrap myself in. Proof that there’s goodness in the world. Proof that lives well-lived are entirely possible.