03 November 2012

What I know about remembering.

"Memory was a curse, yes, he thought, but it was also the greatest gift. Because if you lost memory you lost everything."
~ Anne Rice

My memory is cumbersome. Sometimes I lug it around like a heavy book. Other times it's like feathers, allowing me to softly escape. It's full of beauty, of people, of good times. It can wear me down, but also lift me up. It reminds me I have lived.

I used to write poetry. It was all dark and romantic and naively sexual. So very Silverchair in their Neon Ballroom era, mixed with a bit of Australian bush poetry studied in my senior school years - a strange appropriation of diverse Australian culture. It sort of just stopped when I got happy. Maybe when I got rid of those loser boys left my life - the ones who just weren't good enough.

I was searching for an email the other day, and found this poem that I had sent to a friend, from back in September 2010.

I cringe at my poetry. I cringe at the sadness and the cliches and the vast amount of love that filled me to the utter brim. I never used capital letters. And how did I know what word should spill to the next line?

if i am the sunshine of your life,

why am I the one that clouds fall upon?

you make me feel the full spectrum of emotions,

but i heard about a girl who had a brain scan and felt no emotion,

so i guess i should feel lucky i was over the moon last night and devastated tonight. I am the one who will always love you more than you love me, and

you are the final decision maker, you pull the strings.

my response may have been diplomatic

cool, nonchalant - yeah, it's best we stay as friends

but the truth is, i'd like nothing more than for you to hold me and love me.

I couldn't work out whether it was a song lyric, or if I had written it. I even googled it. I wondered why I would have written a poem then, in 2010? I was all about blogging and writing meaningful, long winded text messages. And then I remembered, I wrote it about him. Because he was also one of those boys that just wasn't good enough. That unrequited love dragged on for so long. I must remember not to let that happen again.


It is a year ago since I had set off on my mini Darren Hayes tour. One night in Melbourne and the next in Sydney. That time marked the week I began to feel happiness again, after a couple of months of not. I was so broken. Darren's album helped me heal, his live shows helped me come alive again. I listened to and watched Darren in absolute awe. I remember when he looked at me during the shows. I remember the emotion I felt when he sang Talk Talk Talk and Bloodstained Heart. His voice found its way to my soul as he sang The Siren's Call.

"I can almost taste happiness, it's such a long way off..." and then,

"I've seen a hint of it, this happiness, this bliss. Just knowing it exists, I know that I must try..."

His words were like medicine, like a hug. I could feel them healing me.

I remember when we waited for him out the back of the Enmore and I whispered that I love him, and he whispered back to me. "I love you too Carly". I remember the elation, the internal shrieking, the validation I received from my ultimate idol.

I met a new friend that week - a Darren Hayes fan who was also in the queue at the Melbourne concert. I have her number stored in my phone as Candice Darren Hayes. She was the first person I called when Darren told me he loved me. I called her from a cab at midnight, because I knew she'd understand. We squealed and I talked at a million miles, recalling the joy of the moment with Darren. We Oh My God-ed a lot. And I'd only known her for 30 hours. She understood the power of being a fan.

I spent time in Sydney with good friends, eating, drinking and shopping. I walked the streets of Sydney alone in the day on the Friday, the sunshine on my face, just so happy, smiling about what had happened after Darren's concert the night before.

Those memories, they make me smile so much. My eyes light up and my hands gesture dramatically. I'm full of life when I tell people about the time Darren Hayes said he loved me out the back of the Enmore.


This week I feel happy. Because of a boy. He is kind, funny, happy, smart, community focused and cute. I think he's pretty awesome. I don't know what it is - probably friendship, maybe more. It doesn't have to be a definition, does it? And I don't want to share too much - I want to protect it, so we can keep creating these new memories. It's fragile and magic, like a handful of stardust. It feels good. I really enjoy the simplicity of our time together. It has been laughter and hugs and a wonky dink on his bike and him saying I've got such a happy face...that I'm beautiful. I smile when I think of him. And that's a lot.

But my memory is a lesson. I'm trying not to run ahead. I'm trying not to over think it. And I'm remembering not to let it get too complicated and enjoy this time for what it is. Happiness.

This is my entry for Sarah Wayland's What I know about... series. This fortnight's theme is Remembering. You can join in too.


PS - today I am guest posting at Styling You! I am writing about taking my blog to the public speaking circuit. It's a thrill to have my work on Nikki's blog - I have been a fan for years! Thanks for having me Nikki!



  1. Memory IS a lesson. A lesson in self restraint, in resilience building and of reminding (especially in bloody relationships) what you'll try not to do again. Ive never attempted poetry - I think it would come out all Dr Seuss on me!

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. So beautiful Carly. I can really identify with you at the Darren Hayes concert. When I was at U2 on their last tour, some of Bono's words had me in tears, I felt that he really got me.

    Keep smiling and thank you for these tender, bright and reflective words of yours. xx

  3. Beautiful post Carly, I think the thing about memories is that you experience them with all your senses, I feel that my memory is a collection of movies about my life - I can pop one on at anytime and instantly be transported like in a time warp to that time with all it's sensory experiences. So happy for your new friendships, you're creating new memories now.

  4. Your blog made me think of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGH_DCTR6bI

  5. Hi Carly, found you via your styling you post. I am busy looking at your archives! As a Perth girl, I loved your interview with Bob Evans...this post about memories is something I can relate to, especially when men are involved ha ha. May the adventure you are starting in this friendship give you lots of beautiful memories. Xlisa

  6. Oh Carly, you are an evocative and most beautiful writer. I could never write poetry. You have gifts in writing as you do. Thank you for sharing this about remembering. I remember you going on the Darren Hayes thing too!! Denyse

  7. So beautiful Carly. You are so right, memories are lessons, both good and bad. x

  8. Don't share, keep it inside you like a blooming glow. And then, the instant you let it out, it lights up others too.

    Speaking of beautiful memories, I once had a boy tell me he loved me out the back of the Enmore too. It was 1995 and he was as stoned as the Olgas at the time. Man, he was beautiful, though.


  9. I, too, wrote poetry when I was sad and stopped when I was happiest.

    You're right. Memory is a lesson learned. Enjoy the new ones you make with the boy who thinks you're beautiful :)

  10. Your memory is a lesson. YES!!

    And I love the metaphor of this being like stardust. To show it to anyone is to risk it blowing away in the breeze. You'll forgive me, though, for doing a few little on-the-spot running "wheeeee!!!"s on your behalf.... if this is the same budding friend I am thinking of? Hmm??? xox

  11. Beautiful post! And I like your poem :). Words from the heart always mean something, even if they feel clumsy late on :)

    I love your handful of stardust metaphor. That's how I want to walk through the day, holding handfuls of stardust :)


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