I took my daughter to Paddington Saturday afternoon. She loves the vibrancy of the bustling city area; art and colour bursting out of shop windows, the pavement and passers-by. When I had deep purple hair, nobody seemed to notice here, as they are soaked in colour; blasé as only those spoilt by rainbows can be.
We wandered around as I explained to her how I adored Oxford St as a teenager. I came here on a walking frame, in body braces and casts. I would have crawled here to soak in its magic. A man named Remo had a wonderful shop on the corner of Crown and Oxford streets, REMO General Store. How I loved this place! There was a 5 metre long window on Crown St, in which designs such as the iconic Eternity by Martin Sharp were proudly displayed. Remo sold the most extraordinary items; it was the ultimate emporium. I lost myself in the store. I was no longer a patient, in pain, on borrowed time. I was limitless. I told my child all this as we strolled to Ariel Booksellers for Remo’s General Thinker book launch. Remo has always been ahead of his time. He has been Licensee and Director for TEDx since 2009. The TEDx mission is to propagate Ideas Worth Spreading: to inform and inspire.
Remo was extremely gracious when my daughter approached. She was confident at first, though when it was time to talk, she became tongue-tied. I helped her out, though I was rather overwhelmed myself! You have to read this remarkable and beautifully designed book to appreciate what a pioneer this fellow is, and how he paved the way for every dreamer who aspires to do good in this world.
I have always admired the work of the White Ribbon Foundation, a collective of fine individuals who speak out against violence toward women. I was privileged at my recent book launch to have Mr Don Smith, an ambassador of the White Ribbon Foundation, speak. He spoke with passion, and there was silence as we came to terms with the horrifying statistics he proffered. Each number spoke of a precious woman or girl. Suzanne Grae have been a formal foundation partner with White Ribbon since 2008, and are sponsors of the Breaking the Silence in Schools program. It has been running throughout NSW, implementing programs aimed at developing respectful relationships and education. I was humbled when Suzanne Grae offered to dress me for my launch. The ladies at my local store were beautiful, and I chose ¾ length trousers, perfect for my short stature! I also selected a black top and navy jacket, with polka dots. I noted that they sold hand cream at the counter, and bought a tube for $9.95. All profits go to the White Ribbon Foundation and it is the best hand cream I have ever used! Catherine Baker from Suzanne Grae’s head office came to my launch, and I was filled with gratitude when she bought a book, and asked me to sign it. The support of White Ribbon made me feel validated, heard and that I was saying something important through my book. I shall be forever grateful to both White Ribbon and Suzanne Grae for their kindness.
My book launch is in a week’s time. I am feeling a little disassociated (as I do when I am overwhelmed, and my soul feels the urge to take flight). I am excited, and scared. Long car trips are carefully planned over a week, so that I can prepare a body already in inordinate amounts of pain. I will be sitting all day, before the launch that evening. Painkillers and Tens Machines, heat packs and stretches. The first concerns of my mind. Getting through the day in comfort. I know that hearing two fine men speak, an ambassador from the White Ribbon Foundation, and my friend Brian Bell, will render me teary. In a good way. The cleansing kind of emotion, where your chest is wracked with primeval rhythm. Seeing friends who have been with me throughout the years will leave me humbled. I am so grateful. I am terrified. I am relieved. I know this is the beginning of a wondrous journey. I am ready.