Olympics opening ceremony

Saturday 9 August 2008

... I didn't really watch it. It was on the TV the whole time. I looked up here and there to see fantasmagorical fireworks or cute little girls singing or men walking tightropes to light the flame. And yes it was amazing and looked wonderful etc etc but that kind of thing doesn't really do it for me. There's so much breast beating going on at these types of things that is irritating at times, but I guess big extravaganzas don't really do it for me. They're so try-hard.

Not that I am against this type of thing. I've been thinking over the last couple of weeks about my desire to continue walking somehow towards finding the same sort of freedom that Paul had - freedom in want and in plenty. Freedom from both of those things because it's not being an ascetic and it's not being wealthily comfortable that are the points - it's not a matter to me of some sort of self denial just simply for the sake of self denial (although self denial happens to be an enjoyable thing at times), and it's not a matter of flinging myself about in my comfort because I'm too scared to go out there and be without. It's not about fear on the one hand or self hatred on the other. It's about freedom to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself in simply because it's possible with enough lens cleaning.

And so I didn't feel all Judas-ey about how many millions of dollars this ceremony must have cost. Sometimes it's a good thing to spend millions of dollars, I s'pose. I don't think it's always evil, simply because there are people starving to death somewhere else in the world. And yet I guess I tend to think that often it is.

I suppose I was in a particular frame of mind too because I left work half an hour early this evening and went and bought myself a couple of tops. I'm not your standard chick, going shopping for the fun of it. I actually find shopping to be tedious and overwhelming. This was how I felt this evening after spending 50 bucks on a couple of tops - this is nothing to most people, but it feels like a lot to me. I don't like spending heaps of money on clothes. In fact, the last clothes I bought were from the op shop. I like giving abandoned things a home, even if it happens to be a skirt or a top, hehe :)

And so tonight, I bought my two tops then went into the conveniently located supermarket located right next door to Melbourne Central train station. Gee, food stuffs are geting rather expensive, are they not? Still, I am of the opinion that our food has been way too cheap, that it's only us people living on the Standard Industrialised Diet who think that food should come cheap. I might be cheap when it comes to buying clothes but I more than make up for it when it comes to buying good food and spending shitloads in the health food shop. (For example, I had run up a debt at the health food shop because Ed is a sweetheart and he knew I would pay him back. And I did, too, when I got my tax return the other day - all $482 worth of it).

So tonight in the strategically placed, convenient supermarket, as I stood in the aisle with several items I had never planned on buying (like shitake mushrooms, for example. Those bastards are expensive but I bought them to put in a recipe I am making to take to have lunch with Jane on Sunday, and so I am rationalising it away in that way :) Anyway, shitake mushrooms are so wonderfully good for you. I wouldn't call myself a foodie by any stretch, but the more well I get and the better I eat, the more I can see the direct link between how I think/feel and what's going in my gob. There really is some sort of clear-headedness and wellbeing that comes with eating well, that's for sure. But anyway, I digress slightly, and perhaps waffle (it is after all 2.29 am as I speak and I should have gone to bed at least two hours ago :)

So I left the supermarket having spend 30 bucks, along with the 50 bucks I've spent in the clothes shop. Some people routinely spend 80 bucks on not very much at all. I used to do it all the time in my earlier incarnation as the wife of an accountant but these days Susie's salary is reasonably skimpy. And I really don't mind, even though I would love two weeks' holiday away from capitalist hell and the tedium that is my job, but maybe I will just have to write something to fund it, huh? (Now there's an idea. As I mentioned to a friend the other night, maybe in this job I am actually wrting myself into a corner, literally, where the only way out of tedium is to earn a few bucks here and there writing stuff). And anyway, although I am living on far less money than I have been accustomed to, and barely enough to have any real kind of social life, I am completely utterly conscious of my rich status as compared to the rest of the world.

Painfully reminded of it as I stumbled onto platform 3 with my bags. There was a man looking into one of the rubbish bins. There was something terribly strange about him. I couldn't work out if he was blind, retarded, drunk, wasted or insane or what but there was a long stream of dribble hanging out of his mouth that I could see from 15 paces away and man, I seriously thought I was going to puke. And I walked my feet away from him because the sight of that drool hanging out of his mouth just make me want to puke. I feel sick just thinking about it. He reminded me of the small black dog that lives in my street and roams up and down. It too has a perpetual stream of slobber hanging out of its mouth but unlike this man, it gets several square meals a day.

My 80 bucks would have fed him for two weeks. The money spent on the Olympics opening ceremony could have fed all of us for the rest of our lives. But the first part was the worst. The Olympics opening ceremony didn't see this man picking around in the rubbish bin. I did. And I could have slipped him a fiver or 10 bucks, surely, even if i didn't want to do anything else, even if he made me feel like I wanted to throw up? Because sheesh, if our ugliness is the definer of whether we should receive love, then surely we are all cactus.

I don't know how to love with the love I've been given. I am developing the Buddhist mindset that says that we all have the seeds of love within us. None of us is unable to love, even though many of us don't know how to. I need to do some major watering. I think we all do, really.

(I have this weird idea that as the world gets darker and darker and zombier and zombier, that many other people are getting lighter and lighter and waking up and coming to terms and sorting their shit and I don't know what it all means, and it kinda scares me, but this blog post has already been a diarrhoeic spewing forth of about 17 posts at once, hasn't it :) I don't have enough brain that's not mush to launch into an 18th :)



  1. It’s so frustrating to be here on the West Coast in California and realize the Opening Ceremonies are over but we won’t see them until 7:30 tonight … sigh! If I want to watch the whole thing, I’ll need to RECORD it and watch tomorrow … and that just seems WRONG somehow when it’s already happened and I could be watching NOW.
    Hugs and blessings,

  2. Hello ST! How is you?

    Well, I must say, being a southern hemispherean, it was nice seeing something that was in our prime time for a change - although having said that, it started at 9.30 at night. But we are used to staying up till the middle of the night to watch Wimbledon or the French Open or anything that is going on in the rest of the world ;)

  3. "I have this weird idea that as the world gets darker and darker and zombier and zombier, that many other people are getting lighter and lighter and waking up and coming to terms and sorting their shit and I don't know what it all means, and it kinda scares me..."

    Me too. And I don't know what it's all about either.

    I kind of imagine it must have something to do with Matthew 4.16, "...the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."

    In the dark the light shines more brightly. Maybe it actually does. Maybe it's not just an optical illusion...

  4. Yeah, I feel that way too, getting lighter while everything else seems to be going to hell.

    So why us, can't we just sit in a pew and gossip about the pastor's wife and the fact that her blouse is a bit too form fitting for a modest woman?

  5. i guess i really am a hermit. i had no idea that the olympics were starting until i read about it on your blog and tess'. oh, well...

    "if our ugliness is the definer of whether we should receive love, then surely we are all cactus." those are the words that really stuck out to me.

    your heart is big, susie!

  6. Hmm... I have sensed the darker and darker while lighter and lighter, too. I am not sure what to make of it, either. I am startled (considering where I came from) to realize that some of the darkest darkness is within the walls of buildings that are called churches by those who enter. Not saying that all churches are dark, but there are some that certainly lack and bright illumination... and I sense that that will increase, too. There is a lot here to think about. And I don't have the mind for it tonight. ;-)

    Morning, Sue...

  7. Mike: that verse is very beautiful, isn't it? I think we all live in such incredible amounts of darkness. It's all glossed though, and we keep being uniformly informed that it's actually light we're living in, but gee.

    I might go and read a gospel. Really wanting to read the bible but struggling at the moment.

    Tyler - hehe :) Your comment just gave me a massive dose of claustrophobia haha. Ewww, I don't miss church services at all. Just not ... at all!

    Lucy- aw, thank you. But as they say, doesn't matter about the size if you don't know how to use it, right? I just remind myself, as I read on Tyler's blog the other day (I think it was Tyler), that God doesn't do anything before showing us. Hmmm, I can feel a blog post in there somewhere :)

    Katherine - oh, yes. Now, that is the scariest thing of all, is it not? I am totally with you there, and how scary that thought is when you think about it.

    Night, KG :)

  8. i'll say more after a few hours sleep and some coffee. i just wanted to pop in here and say i caught some of the olympics this evening. women's buttefly swimming i believe. it was strange because i actually found myself rooting for austrailia so i could rejoice with my friends there.

    is that weird?

  9. Jon - aww, how sweet of you!

    (Although I must say, here, the term "rooting for Australia" has quite different connotations than it is to you guys in the States ;)

  10. do tell... am i being crass in another culture? that would be sweet!

    kind of strange. there were even 2 americans in the race and i was still cheering(is that better?) for the aussies.

    it's almost embarassing to be an american on the world stage these days. our public relations are not always the best, you know? i would be surprised if we DIDN'T come off as aggressive and arrogant assholes who just take what they want without asking and give off an air of "what the fuck are you going to do about it?"

    our volleyball team was actually getting booed quite frequently when they scored points and i had to wonder... does venezuala really have that many fans in the house? or are we just hated that much in general?

  11. Your comment about the contrast of the light and darkness actually reminded me of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Much of what they were doing artistically was contrasting.

    I often find myself struggling with the idea of millions spent that way when people are hungry. But then, somebody got paid, didn't they? I guess I hope that the performers got paid, and I hope that normal Chinese people just struggling to make a living were hired to do something in those ceremonies.

  12. hello, I was wondering if you knew about Melbourne's collaborative op shopping blog 'I op therefore I am'


    there are links there to maps and addresses of Melbourne's op shops. let me know if you are interested in joining.

    regards, Amelia


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