Perspective Drawing

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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

One of the worst streets
is the loomy one where
on the one side, desire
on the other, revulsion
for the very same thing,
for things like, for example,
change and (don't say it) love.

It drops you dry
into monochrome
drags you face down
to the bitumen to be
ploughed over by trucks
and laughing groups
of people on bicycles.

But if you look up and
look down the road you can
see in the sun (or at least
in theory) perspective
drawing the two
repellent sides



When sister earth tips that sunhat a little bit askew, in that sorta slanty sexy style onto the side of her head, it sure changes the view and the mood, doesn't it? Inserts a bit of flip and flirt into the mundanities of suburban living.

For two mornings in a row I have begun my day outside, writing morning pages and meditating. Such a small thing, sitting in your little garden, watching the miniscule changes from day to day. The way the dew has still not been diffused from the seats of the two cheap green plastic chairs on the grass, even though it's past 9 am. The slantiness of the sun along the rough wooden palings of your house. The ripe red tomato ready for picking. The tomato bush way overdue for transplanting into the soil, far too root-bound in its pot, leaves dying, needing the deep depths of the soil. Don't we all. The garden bed, awaiting more mulch, more compost, and the seeds that sit on my kitchen counter, ready for planting.

The green of the grass, after all those months of yellow, and the way my eyes just fall into that colour and rest, rest, rest.

How good it is to begin to learn to rest in your own soul. To know the gaze of the Other as love. It heals all wounds, along with time, and displacement. It gives you courage to walk in the dark and see what was too ugly to see before.

Note to Self: Indecipherable


Sunday, 29 March 2009

I agree wholeheartedly with the maxim that it is necessary to carry pen and paper at all times. It's those times when you're doing boring, autopilot things that juicy little ideas for poems or stories or essays pop up from where they've been hiding, simmering.

(Gives a bit of gilt-edging to the doing of boring, autopilot things, I guess. Why then isn't my house cleaner and tidier?)

If you don't get those little buggers pegged down, they go. They just slide away out the door of your mind like speedy slugs. This is why I want a whiteboard in my shower. That waterfall beating on my head and neck just carves out a slippery dip for those ideas to fall out. I had such a good idea for a poem the other day. By the time I was out of the shower and near a pen or a keyboard, it had drifted off like smoke into the wind. Which was frustrating, because the ideas have been as infrequent as modern-day manna lately. All it takes is a garden variety cold, or an ear infection, and my ability to be creative unbalances itself and falls apart like a cardboard cutout. It's particularly frustrating.

Problem with getting ideas pegged down, is that even when I do, they have this tendency to deflate like a tent once I do. This also is particularly frustrating. How frustrating this whole bloody process is! :) I am still struggling with the whole essay writing and short story writing thing, because the first whiff of an outline or any sort of structure and everything disintegrates. It all becomes so didactic in my head, even though it's a fluffy ethereal idea, that I end up losing interest. All this in the space of time it takes to cook some two minute noodles. Sigh.

So any ideas I have necessarily have to be fluid and abstract and airy so that I don't feel chained down. Problem with that is that then the idea is so airy that even I can't decipher what the hell it's about. Here is a note I wrote frantically to myself on my mobile phone:
All clocks. Instead, when someone said come here I would say not in a minute but in a XXX being the measurement of time between
Right. Of course. Better go. Time for my meds.

Street Fighting Kids


Saturday, 28 March 2009

N and E were fighting again two days ago. When I pulled up in my driveway, the insults were being hurled like stones from hard hurt faces as each rode their bike amongst a group of kids divided into two.

"You're just a black idiot," N yelled, her mouth pouting out in anger. "Black people are coming in and taking over this country." I wondered which relative's mouth she was speaking out of when she said that. The way she spoke it, it had that ring of repeat about it. N lives with her auntie, though her father lives and breathes in the next suburb. I do not know where her mother is. A long line of pain. Woundedness and a quick sharp tongue combine in a girl who is quick to take offence and quick to give it, her words often hurtful or careless.

When you're angry, especially when you're a kid, you'll hurl whatever ammo you've got. It's not so easy these days, however, with an African American in the White House and an Australian government that has at least made the symbolic gesture of saying sorry, to hurl those sorts of abuses with much effect.

"Yeah?" hurled back J in response. "What about you whiteys then? You think we come in and take over the country? You the ones who came and stole this country! Ever hear of the Aborigines?"

I think that's the biggest sentence I've heard J speak. He and E are of Ethiopian parentage, 11 and 10 respectively. I think they came here about five years ago. Bless his heart, after his retort to N he said in an aside to me, "Sorry. This isn't about you."

"Yeah," yelled E. "This is a black country!"

N yelled something in retreat. I could feel the hurt radiating off her like waves, like the green stuff that comes off Sims when they haven't had a shower. I wondered how much of this situation was N's fault, with her crackly exterior? Of course, it could never be one-sided, and most kids are nasty. I imagine E has a high bitch factor of her own going down. Still, I feel a particular empathy for N, irritating and occasionally hurtful though she can be. I pray for her. It's not long before boys and drugs and alcohol will rear their heads as convenient and particularly pleasurable possibilities for assuaging her pain.

I went out this afternoon to return and borrow some DVD's. N and E were sitting, something akin to side-by-side, in the gutter. This is how their relationship goes.

"They're talking to each other again," J offered from his bike, standing with the two little Indian kids who live in one of the houses round about.

I bought them a packet of Pods from Blockbuster. I seem to have this overwhelming urge to feed everything in the street that breathes. I was pleased with them, I told them, "For talking to each other even though you don't like each other." They looked quickly at each other when I said that, their smiles breaking out despite themselves.

"We haven't forgiven each other," E said.

"We just play with each other anyway, even without forgiving each other," N said.

I surmised that you have to have forgiven each other in some form to play with each other. Surely forgiveness doesn't mean you have to forget that you don't particularly trust each other, or even like each other all that much?

We pondered such philosophies in the late afternoon sun and agreed that people really suck sometimes. N had gone into the front yard of someone's house, and returned with some very small little sour oranges. We sucked on them and the Indian boy laughed at my face-making. We ate sour oranges and sweet chocolate Pods in the late afternoon sun.

Losers are Grinners


Sometimes you lose but it feels like you've won, you know?

Tonight was a return to the MCG to watch Hawthorn and Geelong begin their 2009 AFL seasons in a Grand Final replay. We lost by 8 points. But life is paradoxically strange. Some losses actually feel like wins, whereas some wins feel somewhat hollow.

Geelong do a bit of psychological poos in their pants when it comes to Hawthorn. Maybe that's why they couldn't kick very straight for goal.

In terms of narrative and poetry, which is the lens I see my football through, a loss tonight has really only set up a nice little spicy bit of season tension, for mine. Tonight, Hawthorn had eight premiership players missing. We debuted three young 'uns, lost one player during the game, did not play our number one ruckman, and had a few seniors a bit niggly round the edges. We did pretty alright considering. Indeed, in the last quarter, after we were starting a reasonable defeat in the eyes, Buddy Franklyn and Jaryd Roughead combined to almost steal the game with beautiful straight poetic goals. In contrast, Geelong were all quivery in front of goal again, like last year. Maybe they'd eaten jellymeat for dinner.

We get under Geelong's skin like splinters. And they know that we know. A win is a win, but this one probably tastes a little too strongly of aspic, I would suspect.

Do I sound cocky? There is a fine line between cockiness and confidence, isn't there :) And I think I crossed it about 10 k's back. Actually, I crossed it in the last quarter. We could have lay down and got thrashed, but we fought it back and nearly ran over the top of them. And we aren't as good as we will be by the time we meet again in 17 weeks' time. So I swagger a bit when I walk. Watcha gonna do about it? :)

Cocky, from Lester's perspective, would be the cat who has been sitting next to me purring while I type this. In Lester's house, while he's not here. What utter betrayal by the woman who he does gaze at with such love and adoration. If he could read, I'm sure he would be heartbroken.

No, it's not one of the kittens - I still have not managed to tame then. And it's not the mother cat either. She is quite a tame sort of a puss really, but I haven't seen much of her either lately. No, this is the black and white puss with one and a half ears who smells a bit and has a cute miaow. I've seen this puss around a bit. Hell, I've probably been feeding this puss unwittingly. I don't know where it lives - I presume it is next-door. But he (she?) has come here visiting this evening, after we had a bit of a chat out the front while I was parking my car. I think all the cats in the neighbourhood are smelling a good wicket. The black and white puss eats hungrily now, outside my door. One step closer to crazy cat ladyness :)

The Cats might have won the game, but not with any sort of authority. And Hawthorn win when it counts. Bring on the season. While you're there, bring on a bout of cat sterility, if possible, or else it's gonna start getting mighty crowded around here :) Maybe I should get the Hawks to come visit my house, scare some cats away.

Miaow :)

Two Tone & Watch - Sleep in the Pre-Industrial Age


Friday, 27 March 2009

Saw this at Debra Lynn Dadd's Rooted in Nature blog (Kelvin Cunnington would never let her call it that in Australia) about sleeping patterns before clocks and lighting and all such modern contrivances. Sleep is a fascinating subject to me, even more so in a more 'natural' way. Me, I wouldn't have a chance in hell of sleeping in this fashion. But I would love the opportunity. Perhaps I shall do as my friend Jane did, and go and live in a cave for eight months :)

Whereas today we expect that we should sleep the night through--and call it insomnia and take a drug if we don't--in times past, the acknowledged natural sleep pattern was quite different. For most of human history, sleep was broken into two segments, with one or more hours of quiet wakefulness in between.

The initial period of slumber was called "first sleep" or "first nap" or "dead sleep." The later interval of sleep was called "second sleep" or "morning sleep". The time of wakefulness was called "watch." Both phases of sleep lasted roughly the same amount of time, but there was no set timetable. Each person slept and waked according to their own rhythm. References to these periods of sleep and wakefulness are so common in pre-industrial writings that it appears to have been common knowledge. Wild animals also sleep in segmented intervals.

A sleep study done in the 1990s by the Institute of Mental Health confirmed this to be our natural pattern. Left to their own tendencies, without clocks or artificial light, the participants gradually eased back into the natural sleep pattern of two periods of sleep with a period of wakefulness in between. In an attempt to recreate conditions of "prehistoric sleep," subject were without artificial light for up to fourteen hours a night. Subjects tended to first lay awake in bed for two hours, sleep for four hours, spend two or three hours in quiet rest and reflection, and fall back to sleep for four hours before awakening and rising the next morning.

When electric lights were invented, people had more hours of activity available to them, and their time awareness shifted. Imagine for a moment if your activity was determined by the natural light of the sun. During the summer, there would be longer hours of active time available, and in the winter, fewer hours. Long dark nights would encourage more sleep, a kind of hibernation. Yet today, we just turn on the lights and ignore seasonal changes of natural light.

Pic: Willy Whopper
Sculpture: Mimmo Paladino



Thursday, 26 March 2009

by Luci Shaw (from

They asked, and he brought quails,
And gave them food from heaven.
—Psalm 105:40

I'm not asking for quails for dinner
and if they flew in my window at mealtime,
in a torrent of wind, I would think
panic, not miracle.
Time is so multiple and fluid. I lose a day
flying west, and gain it back returning.
I am ravenous to know where I am today.
And who. And how am I to be fed? And if
the prayer I offered this morning at first light
was known and answered last week
am I in some horizontal pleat of time,
some rock crevice in the mountain's shoulder
with a great hand shielding me from
the tempest of too much knowledge?
You never know what a simple request
will get you. So, no expectation of birds
from heaven. Rather, I will commit myself
to this quotidian wilderness, watching for what
the wind may bring me next—
perhaps a small wafer tasting like honey
that I can pick up with my fingers
and lay on my tongue
to ease, for this day, my hunger to know.

If songs were wearable part 2


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Okay, that question I asked was a bit too abstract. I couldn't come up with an answer. How about this one:

What song would you put on to get the housework done when you really don't want to do it?

I would maybe put on The Load Out/Stay by Jackson Browne. I love the story of that song. And it's sort of about what goes on behind the scenes, which is sort of like what housework is :)

I am so bored at the moment. This cold is still hanging around the edges, snipping my interest. It is very frustrating to me that my health continues to give me grief, even if it is just a common cold. I want to get out there and have some sort of a life, not sit inside all weekend writing 300 blog posts :) Maybe I would wear a Regina Spektor song, in that case, to help my immune system. I like that girl's quirk. Or maybe something Kate Bush-ey or Tori Amos-ey. A crazy swirling woman song. That's what I'd wear. A song that is turquoise.

If songs were wearable


Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Imagine that songs are 3D things that you put on, sort of like a spiritual/emotional superhero costume, and when you do you take on the characteristics of that song.

What song would you wear if you were, say, going for a job interview for a job that you really really wanted, and were just about qualified for, but that you knew you could perform out of your own abilities and personality and personal experience, but you wanted to demonstrate this to your boss?

Good question. I shall have to ponder my own question and get back to you :)

I like this sort of right-brained thinking. Whether I come up with anything is another story but it's sort of fun thinking about it.

I keep wanting to listen to two songs over and over again. One is The Wind by Amos Lee, and the other is Glycerine by Bush. Not for the lyrical content so much as the music. What is it about certain notes, played at certain frequencies, that just enter straight into the middle of your heart? This is what prompted my thoughts here, and my question that I don't know my answer to yet :)

Pic: automania

The Mystery of the Cross


Monday, 23 March 2009

Jesus on the cross identifies with the human problem, the sin, the darkness. He refuses to stand above or outside the human dilemma. Further, he refuses to be the scapegoater, and instead becomes the scapegoat personified.

In Paul’s language, “Christ redeemed us from the curse…by being cursed himself” (Galatians 3:13); or “God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him [together with him!], we might become the very goodness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Wow! Just gaze upon that mystery for a few years!

Evil is not overcome by attack or even avoidance, but by union at a higher level. It is overcome not by fight or flight, but rather by “fusion”!

Richard Rohr from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, p. 189

God became human so the human can become a god. Noice work :)

I had some vague experience of this when I was talking last night about ... oh, to me, the worst thing about myself ever, the thing that creeps me out the most, the failure of leaving my marriage. I was talking with Mark a little about why I was, as he put it, "stymied", why I felt stifled and unable to pursue the things I wanted to pursue while being married to him.

We didn't talk too long about it because I don't understand it. It upsets me and it scares me. It is a blindness in my soul and it scares me that it will always be there, this giant numb hole. But to even be able to talk about this thing I have been so so ashamed and embarrassed about - there is healing simply in the talking.

But today I feel hopeful for this ... monster part of me (this is how it feels like). Not that it is going to go away in one fell swoop, obviously. Everything is tediously processural. But just that there is the chance that it might.

That hope comes from putting it out there in the open. The world doesn't collapse in on itself when you do. It makes me understand from experience how it is that hiding my bad behaviour is to do more evil to myself on top of that which originated my bad behaviour in the first place. And I don't want to hate Susie that I'll keep treating her like that.

It's much easier to discuss it these days. Mark has a new life, with a new girlfriend, and he is happy. But it is still painful for him - I can see it in his eyes - and for me too, and so there is great poignancy to the discussion. But you can't discuss your evildoing without forgiveness being asked for and forgiveness granted. This is surely the way giant chasms form in relationships, big enough so that trust and the kitchen table fall down the middle, when people refuse to admit the damage they do to each other.

It deprives you of the honey that flows from the forgiveness once granted, and the grace and dignity that is attached to this holy ground of confession and absolution. And the way that the bad behaviour floats down to smaller sizes when it happens. And then suddenly you can see a bit further than you could before. This is healing. Of the incremental variety.

I am grateful to be on the receiving end of forgiveness granted. It explodes the hope out, like seed pods on the wind.

The Shit Spectrum


TAOISM: Shit happens.

CONFUCIANISM: Confucius say, "Shit happens".

ZEN: (What is the sound of shit happening?)

JESUIT-ISM: If shit happens when nobody is watching, is it really shit?

ISLAM: Shit happens if it is the will of Allah.

COMMUNISM: Equal shit happens to all people.

CATHOLICISM: Shit happens because you are bad.

PSYCHOANALYSIS: Shit happens because of your toilet training.

SCIENTOLOGY: Shit happens if you're on our shit list.

ZOROASTRIANISM: Bad shit happens, and good shit happens.

UNITARIANISM: Maybe shit happens. Let's have coffee and donuts.

UNIVERSALISM: All shit is good.

RIGHT-WING PROTESTANTISM: Let this shit happen to someone else.

JUDAISM: Why does shit always happen to US?

REFORM JUDAISM: Got any Kaopectate?

MYSTICISM: What weird shit!

AGNOSTICISM: What is this shit?

ATHEISM: I don't believe this shit!

NIHILISM: Who needs this shit?

AZTEC: Cut out this shit!

QUAKER: Let's not fight over this shit.


12-STEP: I am powerless to cut the shit.

VOODOO: Hey, that shit looks just like you!

NEW-AGE: Visualize shit not happening.

DEISM: Shit just happens.

EXISTENTIALISM: Shit doesn't happen; shit is.


CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: Shit is in your mind.

BUDDHISM: Shit happens, but pay no mind.

SHINTOISM: Shit is everywhere.

HINDUISM: This shit has happened before.

WICCA: Mix this shit together and make it happen!

HASIDISM: Shit never happens the same way twice.

THEOSOPHY: You don't know half of the shit that happens.

DIANETICS: Your mother gave you shit before you were born.

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST: No shit on Saturdays.

Jehovah's WITNESSES: No shit happens until Armageddon.

MOONIES: Only happy shit really happens.

HOPI: Corn fertilizer happens.

BAHA'I: It's all the same shit.

STOICISM: This shit is good for me.

OBJECTIVISM: Our shit is good for you.

EST: If my shit bothers you, that's your fault.

REAGANISM: Don't move; the shit will trickle down.

FASCISM: Shit makes the trains run on time.

CARGO CULT: A barge will come and take all the shit away.

EMACS: Hold down Control-Meta-Shit.

DISCORDIANISM: Some funny shit happened to me today.

RASTAFARIANISM: Let's smoke this shit.

CHARISMATIC: This is not shit and it doesn't smell bad.

MASONIC: Shit happens, but we can't discuss it during Lodge.

RED CROSS: Shit happens - send money.
The call that comes out of the night is from a different creature surely than the little thing that squawks requests during the day for a share of your chips, or which flies in with its friends at 4.30 every winter's afternoon onto the grounds of the MCG. One is like the closed darkness of a couple sharing the whole world within each other, and the other is a passing hug and conversation, a query in the hallway of where are my jeans, are they in the wash.

At night, there is so much tied up in that gull it's a wonder the poor thing can still fly. So many times in the last years that sound has sent me flying down dark roads alone in my mind, keening out on the edge of a knife.

Tonight I heard the sound and felt instead the wind through the feathers, the notes in the air and soared in my mind on an eggshell hope.

There is hope for healing. It leaves and returns.

Sometimes the bravest act is to stand your ground in the face of absolutely nothing but blind faith working deep under the ground of your numb feet.

Pic: Epacris

Empath thang


Sunday, 22 March 2009

You Scored as Human Empath

As a Human Empath, you possess the ability to connect with other people on an empathic level, allowing you to feel their emotion as though they were your own. Visit us at

Human Empath


Balanced Empath


Animal Empath


Communication Empath


Physical Empath


Healer Empath


Clairvoyant Empath


Energy Empath

This post is back by popular demand :)

Sheesh, I dunno about this empath thing. I mean, I know I'm empathic, and sometimes ridiculously so, so that I have to tune out other people's stuff. And this site has helped me to do that in terms of actually visualising turning down other people and turning up myself, which sounds a bit bizarre I know :)

But do I want to put myself into this special box labelled "empath"? I'm not sure.

They hurt, don't they? Wow. Especially when they're on the part of your leg where the fat bits rub together when you walk. The fat bits hurt too, but it's more a vanity issue than anything else.

So the boil hurts but it's like a tooth - you poke and prod it even though you know it hurts. What the hell is that all about?

And so you Google what to do with your boil and it says, "apply hot compress". And so you apply the water on a face washer as hot as you can bear, and you see with delight how a head forms. And you can't resist but to squeeze, but nothing really happens.

You hate having pimples, not that you really get them anymore. But when you did, you would squeeze them and mangle your face and have a big blotchy mark. It was like you had been invaded by something from Alien and you had to get the pus out of you or die.

You have grown up now and are able to defer your gratification and so you leave your boil alone and go and live your life. You wonder if maybe your boil will not offer up its pussy goodness at all, and will just grow and grow until it explodes and you die. Or else you'll wake up in the morning and it's deflated like a pair of octogenarian breasts and you will feel very hard done by because you did not get to squeeze. But there's nothing for it, and so you leave it.

You wonder if your pussy imaginings aren't the result of being a bit creatively out of sorts. Just a poem squeezed out here, and a journal entry there and a blog post over there but really, it's just been a trickle and nothing like the everyday bit of creativity you need to indulge in to stop the readers of your blog thinking you're a bit mad. You think when you return to being creative every day, then you will stop having these weird thoughts - like, for example, every time you turn the light on lately you have this weird thought that appears in your mind that you are going to be electrocuted. You need to rein your imagination in like it's a wild crazy cloud monster and hone it into something edifying.

But until then you continue applying compresses to your beautiful boil the next day and oh, it's almost worth the pain when out spurts a large blob of disgustingly gross pus mixed with blood. And the boil deflates somewhat like a balloon, except harder and not made of rubber ... so nothing like a balloon really. But whatever it is like, it has gotten a bit smaller. You poke and prod at the boil. It sort of grosses you out how hard it is. It makes you want to squeeze your leg insanely until it drops off and the disgusting pus gets out of your body where it has invaded. But it is not to be.

You take a photo of your pus and send it to your cousin Andrea. You thought she might appreciate it, seeing she wants to be a pus doctor when she grows up. Every time you think of how you sent a photo of your pus to someone, it makes you laugh.

The next day you apply more hot compresses - and again, oh joy, you are rewarded with another stream. You wonder how on earth you managed to walk around with what seems to be at least 500 grams of pus in your left leg. And it deflates a bit more, and then a few days later you get to squeeze again, one last time, and then that is the end of the interesting slice of fun, the most fun that's been had in your inner thighs for many a month.

A Room of One's Own


I remember reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of one's Own sometime during the beginnings of my university degree back in the late 1700s. Written in the 1940s, I think, Woolf's contention was that women needed space and money of their own in order to create.

Me, I prefer a house of my own, not just a room :)

I suppose it depends upon the woman. Some women create at a kitchen table with children and husbands underfoot. Albeit with great difficulty, I'm sure, but still, they do it.

Me, I like the idea of having a house of one's own even in a marriage :) If I ever marry again, I shall take steps to ensure that we do so whilst we live in separate houses :)

Does that sound awful? LOL I suppose I'm speaking a little tongue in cheek, but still, the idea is a very attrractive one to me. But of course, once you fall in love and go all stupid, and get less cynical, who knows what might happen ;)

Pic: blueforce4116

The Three Communities

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Just read this over at the Leading Questions blog (HT to

We are witnessing the beginning of an era where the institutional structures that we've depended upon for maintaining progress and continuity in our world are now declining into powerlessness or extinction.

I'm becoming convinced that what all these national and global commentators are missing is the significance of local communities. There is a great emphasis on the power of virtual communities, but that is a different thing.

From now on we are all members of three distinct communities.

  • The global community through institutions of business and government.
  • The virtual community through the tools of social media and the internet.
  • The local community through the place where we live.

I agree. I predict that local communities will begin flourishing from their current death throes. I very much like the combination of those two, local and virtual. I was just thinking the other day what a tool the internet can be in bringing together like minded people who might happen to live in the same suburb or in the next street. I was actually playing around with the idea of a community veggie swap for people who grow their own veggies, after Andrea mentioned one in Brunswick or Collingwood. Great idea, and a nice way to meet your neighbours and get to know them a bit, eating their pumpkin, instead of just seeing them as one more person to be in competition with, you know?

I feel like my heart is increasingly being turned to the people nearby (even though my grouch is too, unfortunately - see below :)

One of the things that I suppose keeps us indoors and away from each other (among many) is how transient we all are, I suspect. I rent here in my suburb. I have no intentions of leaving seeing I have no reason to leave, but if I was forced to then I would possibly consider packing up and moving my way to the Dandenong Ranges. I wonder if this is partly the reason why we don't get involved in our local communities right where we are, the thought that we don't know how long we will be here and so why bother? It's certainly been one of mine.

But for all I know I will be here for the next 10 years! I was actually thinking of having a chat to the kids in the street next time they come a-calling about an idea I've got for maybe seeing if we can organise some sort of street party. A bit of a "getting to know you" for the neighbours, you know? I don't know how it would work, or any of those yukky logistical things, but at the very least the kids would have some fun :)

(Actually, I'm not sure when I will see the kids next. One of them came over three days in a row last week until I cracked the wobblies :) Then three of them came visiting earlier this week but I was sick and really ultra crabby and one look at my grouchy face and they all left. Hmmmm. So if they ever dare to come visiting again, I might suggest it to them and see what they think.


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Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

I love this quote. It tempts me to ignore how I feel so I can shake off my boredom like a wet jumper. But I can't tonight. It's too heavy. Boredom has weighed me down like lead so I am pinned to the moment. "Boredom," said Jean Baudrillard, "is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face."

How strange then that this is the very same sort of feeling I have when I am content. Why are there so many things that look very much or almost exactly like each other, and they are in actual fact almost polar opposites?

Lying beyond the heaviness of boredom is a fear of the silences. I have had a very edifying conversation today but it sort of kicked up the dirt of my emotions and now I'm feeling all upset about things I can't control. And now my emotions have sort of compacted themselves into boredom and an unwillingness to face the silences.

The silences. How quickly the beloved becomes an alien space to be. All it takes is several days of not actively entering into the silence - perhaps the most courageous thing I do every day, being still and knowing that God is God - and suddenly I am avoiding it, trying to fill it. I sit with it for half a minute and the tears are running down my face.

I don't know why I am crying. I do know why I am crying but I don't wish to talk about it here. I think I am afraid of what the silence has to tell me.

Expectations are the killer, aren't they? And yet we think that without expectations we have nothing, but we do not have nothing, we have expectancy. We think that entering into the void is entering into nothing and it's entering into the Everything. I am tired of sitting on this side of that.

I know on the other side of Silence is peace. How strange this life is. Everything I need I have, in some strange way which makes striving needless and my heart at peace. When I believe it. This is contemplation 101, is it not? That beyond the strife everything is radically alright. I feel it in my bones, it's just that tonight my bones are lead.

It all just feels too sad this evening. My expectations have confounded me and the expectancy sits on the other side of the Silence that I don't wish to speak to this evening. This is an unwinnable war and the sooner I wave the white flag the sooner peace is restored but I would rather sit out here tonight, sitting in the coldness of what I don't have.

We are rather stupid creatures when it comes down to it.

Autumn Equinox


Friday, 20 March 2009

Well, this is the official day when the light begins its slow handball from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere. Right now, the earth is all nicely balanced. I do like that thought :) Today, the sun sat at 52 degrees above the horizon at noon in Melbourne town (which is a nice place for it to sit. When it is positioned in summer at 75.5 degrees above the horizon, that extra 23.5 degrees adds a bit of extra oomph to the burningness. To have the warmth without the bite is sorta nice, even though the melancholy comes and bites in autumn). Today, there were roughly 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.

In six months time it will be exactly the same situation, at the spring equinox. In-between we have the darkening of the earth, the inwardness that is preceded by the beautiful weather that is Melbourne in autumn. Then we have winter, the season I struggle with the most. But still, there are nice things about winter too, a sensuality that is absent in the brightness of summer. I have a funny feeling I am more creative in the darker months, too, although I haven't really tested that theory in any way.

But before that, autumn. I hope that many of the trees that were heat stressed during our bizarre summer and were shedding their leaves have recovered sufficiently to put on a show this autumn, the Grand Final of deciduous trees :)

Happy autumn and spring equinox everyone. Even though I am sad to see the beginning of the declining of the light, simply because of my own retarded circadian rhythm, I do joy to think of all you peeps up north who have been labouring under snow and such coldnesses. Happy spring to you :)

It is strangely exciting to me to think of a sphere that is all nicely balanced between light and dark the way we are now. It feels neat and tidy to me somehow, hehe :)
So now Josef Fritzl begins his life imprisonment term and the newspapers begin asking, how could this have been prevented?

It always interests me that this is often the first question that is asked when something bad happens. As if you can systematise the human heart so that nobody is ever hurt or damaged or wounded by anybody else. As if we can outsource that sort of thing, and then be able to blame the corruption or inadequacy of our social services. Because by God, we need a scapegoat somewhere.

It's like the way we call Fritzl a "monster". Anything to distance him from us. He doesn't have the right to be called human, but rather a monster. Surely? He should be put to death, not allowed to breathe the air. He has removed from himself the right to be called human. That's what some say.

I disagree. Whenever I hear someone talking with such full-on anger and rage about how people like him should be put in front of the firing squad, I understand the rage and anger entirely but I also wonder about what shame the person who says such things is hiding. How much they have stuffed down in their soul because they don't know what else to do with it. The shame about the things that they have done themselves that they are ashamed of, in the dark. Oh, I'm pretty sure that the majority of people harbour different types of shame than the sort that locks your daughter in a dungeon for two decades and rapes her 3000 times. And yet, for all of that, I still think Josef Fritzl is entirely human. This is what a human is capable of. This and Mozart symphonies and the self-sacrifice of mothers for their children and raping each other and making art for free and mutilating yourself and helping a homeless person get back on their feet and demonising other people to make ourselves feel better and forgiving people over and over again and punishing other people for our own sins and writing great literature that speaks to the hearts of millions.

All of that is the human experience, surely? We can call the bad people who do the bad stuff "monsters". That way, when they say, as Fritzl said to the jury at his trial, "I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. I cannot take back what I did," we can disbelieve them. We don't want to believe that such a monster could have the ability to feel sorry for the crimes he has committed. We don't believe somebody who did something so awful as that, as to ruin the life of his daughter (and I can't even begin to think how utterly damaged she must be in a million different ways), could also be capable of repentence and sorrow. I wonder why that is?

Maybe it scares us to think that someone like that, who did what he did, could also feel the same things we feel. Maybe it brings someone like that just a little bit closer to us, ourselves and all the things we try to keep hidden away. Sure, they might not be in the same league, but shame is still shame and the darkness is still the darkness. It's just a matter of degrees.

At the other end of the spectrum, it seems to me from my personal experience that the pinnacle of humanity is loving each other, even when we see each other as we are. It is perhaps not a thing that comes easily to us, especially in the alienated sort of world we live in these days. Sometimes I wonder if the ability to love each other when seeing clearly is not even a human ability after all. But then what is human (and I ask from within a Christian perspective)? Is it us here and God over there? Is it us here and Josef Fritzl over there? Or is it God and Josef Fritzl both in here? That seems to make the most sense to me, but I just can't shake the thought that you can't have one without the other.

Edit: this all makes sense to me in my own brain. I have arrived at these thoughts in a logical sort of manner, at least inside my own head, and they're not by any means a reasoned-out-for-weeks-never-to-be-altered-again conclusion. What I would like to know is, do you agree, or disagree? What are your thoughts? How do you see it?

Colds and Flus and Military Wins


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

There's a part of me that sits observing what is going on within, taking great interest even if I'm in pain or discomfort or whatever. I think it's the part of me that writes, that heals, that feels the deepest, that is always looking for interesting tidbits to tickle my fancy. Life gets so depressing, I feel like I need to constantly remind myself of the amazing, wonderful things that go on in it. It sort of keeps me a bit more stable, you know?

Yesterday I did not go to work because the dreaded lurgy had struck, a viral and cold combination that could have hit hard but which I seem to have managed to nip in the bud to a certain extent. I'm quite excited about that win! It felt like a military battle between my body and the dreaded invaders and in the end I drowned them. I drowned them in about 5 or 6 cups of lemon and ginger in hot water (along with xylitol. It's meant to be honey but I didn't have any). I continued drowning them in about 4 cups of neem tea (good antiviral properties), extra Berocca (vitamin C and B in fizzy tablets that go into water - yum), extra zinc, a goodly dose of colloidal silver, several doses of olive leaf extract (also high in vitamin C), and about three cups of green tea (good immune system strengthening properties, also has vitamin C).

So now the virus seems to have been drowned in copious watery concoctions, I am now left with the cold. But that's okay. I can handle dragging myself off to work snuffling.

Yesterday was a good day to take off sick because I got to watch Time Team and it was a doozy episode. Archaeologists, bless their hearts, get so excited about what they do. They really do love history and it was lovely to see this one man so excited with what he'd uncovered that his hand was shaking. It was a gold noble, I think from memory the highest currency at the time of Henry V. This castle they were excavating was the bomb of archeological digs. A giant thing with turrets and moats and drawbridges and great halls where a certain king was entertained. Deliciousness! :) It never ceases to amaze me what gets dug out of the dirt, and the care with which it is dug. Fascinating stuff.


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In the morning it's raining
when you wake and you open
wide the door to gasp in humid air,
remembering last night's dream where you
bounced gently in the sea while an old car
bobbed alongside you, unsinking.

The rain holds you heavy and you
aim for a four-minute shower but still
miss your train. The people hold the backs
of their hands to their mouths and yawn.
The air hangs like a humid curtain
between them and you.

In the evening you walk your dog. You are
weary of death. You avert your eyes from the
shape in the gutter that could once have been a
kitten. Your heart pushes it downward to compost
in the dark characters for tonight's dreamscape,
trying to make sense of senselessness.

The clouds are grey with maybe rain. You
wonder idly how many bodies lie under your
suburban feet from millennia gone before.
The walk is jerky post-rain stops and starts,
smells from dank soil dizzying up the dog's nose,
the heady smell of everything that's gone before.

Pic: Cafemama

Friends and Pigeons and Bureaucracy


Monday, 16 March 2009

On Saturday afternoon Lester and I were sitting down having a break from the housework I was doing in preparation for having a couple of friends over the next day for lunch. I was going out for dinner with friends that night; it felt so good to be having social get-togethers with people I enjoy seeing. I was finally better from that horrible ear infection I've been battling for weeks. After being sick, it even feels good to be able to vacuum, you know? God knows it was a disgusting piggery and desperately needed it :) So we were sitting there on Keanu and I noticed the local pigeon, popping its head inside the front door for a look. It walked in a few steps, in that funny chiropractically disabling way that pigeons walk, but then changed its mind and turned around and walked out again.

I don't know if it's the food in the dog bowl that is piqueing it's fancy or what, but yesterday it took things a step further. Lester noticed it was inside this time, and so he chased it. It got as far as the bathroom, where it could go no further.

Man, I got in the zone straight away. I wish I could do that more often. Just walked straight in to the bathroom, knew I had to grab the pigeon on the first get or else it would fly around nutso and Lester would try to eat it. The pigeon sat there, its wings were down, I reached out, it squeaked, and I had it. It was all in that slow-motion sort of way that sportspeople describe, when time slows down when they're slam dunking. I walked the pigeon outside and let it go. I wish I'd kept it longer so that I could have checked it out at close range but I felt sorry for it.

Like I'm feeling sorry for myself right now. I had a really nice weekend of socialising with my homey chickies and then today I have woken up with a sore throat and feel like I'm sickening for something. But before that I saw my school friends on Saturday night. We met up at Seven Stars, the Chinese place I love, and merrily did eat and chat. Sunday I had Cloudbusting and Jane over. Those are two people in my life who I get such a lift from seeing; it was lovely to see them together, and to cook for them.

Then today, VicRoads. One of the more charming smashing-your-head-against-bureaucracy establishments. I spent an hour there only to be told in the end that they couldn't process my order. Because Olive is still registered in Mark's name, they would also require a letter of authority for me to order and pay for new plates to be sent to his address. I understand the requirements for such things, but everything in that place is so convoluted, with IT system changes and regulation changes and 75 hoops for every little thing. I understand the requirements for all of these things. I just have an issue with the way they are implemented. My dad couldn't even get his car registered in both him and mum's names because apparently VicRoads would spontaneously combust if one vehicle was registered in two people's names. It has a funny feeling of a government department, does it not?

To be fair to her, the woman on the counter dealing with me hadn't ordered new plates before. I wasn't going to get annoyed with her. It's not the fault of the poor people working on the frontlines of governmental pooholes. They shouldn't bear the brunt but they do often enough that there is a sign posted on the front of the counter saying "We will not tolerate abuse to our staff". I understand why that sign is necessary. I also think I would rather eat uncooked roadkill than work somewhere like that. I really feel for all the people who do.

So I left VicRoads, feeling the onset of this sore throat and a bit of a dose of PMS to boot, and burst into angry tears walking to my still-number-plateless car. Sometimes it's just the small things that set you off, you know?

And now I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself because I was meant to go visit my parents tonight for dinner and instead I'm stuck at home feeling a bit unwell and trying not to do the comparison pity party thing of going, "How come some other people never t get sick and I've already had my fair share of being sick, and why can't I stay well for months on end or at least for a long enough time to get a good bout of catching up with people again until I get the next dose of whatever goddamn thing is going around - and gee, everything's so depressing, I hate living in this world, maybe the pigeon gave me bird flu!" Whingeing at God in that ultra irritating way that kids do when they're feeling sorry for themselves, snot running down their faces, going "Muuuuuuuuuuuum," and driving Mum mad. Maybe I should go over to my parents' place after all :)

The Space Before Writing ~ or, Let Go And Float


Friday, 13 March 2009

I've got this little grandson. His name’s Ambrose, and he’s nearly two. When I’m with him, if I am minding him when his parents are out, at first I’m very nervy and scratchy and cross and impatient, and we’re sitting in the dirt out in the backyard. And I just want to say, “Come on, Amby. Get to the point, man. I’m bored. I’ve got a house to clean, I’ve got taxes to do, I’ve got to answer my emails and bloody hell, look at you, you’re filthy from head to foot and I’m going to have to – you stink. I’ll have to take you inside and wash you, scrub you from head to foot.”

These are my thoughts. And he’s just sitting quietly beside me in the dirt. But if I can hold myself there, on the ground, beside the child, after a while a switch seems to click in my brain, and it becomes calm, and rich, and brilliant. We sit there in the dirt, and we poke at it with sticks, and I can hear the pigeons on the neighbour’s roof, I can smell the tomato stalks. The child gives me a companionable smile, and he passes me a little crumb of broken brick. I don’t have to do anything with the piece of brick. I don’t have to say anything clever or analytical about it. The form of the game has not yet crystallised. It’s not my role to crystallise it. We’re not trying, or striving, or battling to achieve anything. We’re just sitting in the dirt fiddling with rubbish and looking around.

Helen Garner, talking at the Sydney's University of Technology conference on Creativity and Uncertainty

I heard these words last night while I was cooking dinner. They just oozed their way into my soul and I felt, as I heard them, the cameraderie of humanity, that "Oh, I'm not the only one," feeling that is such a comfort for me when I feel like such a failure, especially in this area of creativity when I wonder if I will ever do what I have been saying and desiring to do for much longer than a decade.

Then I read Garner's words and think, "We all experience the void. All of us. And it terrifies us beyond belief. Because we're abjectly horrified that there is nothing there. Or even more scary, that there is. But, like looking into the eyes of the sun, this void seems to be where much of the fun is :)

Once you get past the awful feelings that you will explode, or disappear, or fall into Hell, or see too much reality at one time and stab yourself with sharp knives, or whatever. I think God does wonderful symphonic work in that mysterious place, too, the place where all the deep unknown uncontrollable beautifully wild stuff dwells.

But, strangest of all, as Garner says further on in this interview, we have to learn this over and over, every time we do things, the shock of newness, of letting go, of sitting with nothing to say, feeling small, like a loser, like a moron, like we want to be dead, like we will never do anything spontaneous and life-affirming ever again that's ever any good, and we will alienate ourselves inside our little boxes and snap at the young girl down the street who's come visiting again 'cos she's lonely, and then you give up on trying and then it's always beyond that giving up and striving of our control freak brains that then our hearts get to play, and string words together for fun, and play with our grandchildren. Because, like good old Wayne and Brad just talked about on the latest The God Journey podcast, it's not our minds that know the deep things and tell our hearts, but our hearts that have had the knowledge of God poured into them like honey. And we have really no idea how hard it is for us Westerners to let go of our insane minds or how terribly, terribly poor we are in spirit we are for all of that.

But still, blessed are we. Because there is always beginners mind for those with the courage to choose it. And a God who will never give up encouraging us that we really have nothing left to lose.

My Moon and Menstrual Cycles Theory


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Okay. So my theory about why most women get their period when the moon is new - so that we can be all randy under the silvery light - really only proved that I can't count :)

It is a full moon at the moment and - well, last week I might have been hormonally of a propensity to dance by the light of the silvery moon feeling groovy but this week - well, nah, not so much ;)

So much for that theory :) I wanted it all nicely squarely romantic but it's not so. I do know though that women's cycles and the moon and the tides are all linked, and there is a certain sort of romance to all of that.

Some people only plant seeds at certain moon stages. I kind of like that idea. Might look into it :)
I remember when I used to venture into the deep dark parts of the bible that scared the daylights out me - ie the book of Revelation - it would send me off into freak-out land for days and weeks on end. The land of, "This doesn't feel right to me. But that's what it says! All that judgment stuff. It says it right there that God is going to go sick with a giant wrecking ball and kill the whole world and it will be so unbearable everyone will go insane! Well, then, if God is like that I don't want anything to do with him." And go and have a bong. That sort of thing. But keep getting drawn back despite the fears of thinking God seemed like a psycho tyrant.

And so I would rail around, part of me thinking, "Oh, I dunno about this. Half of this doesn't even feel true to me in my head or heart. It feels in my marrow like I am not seeing this right." And whatever personal experience I had had of God - no divine apparitions on the ceiling, but definite senses of presence, and something even more fundamental than that, as if all the molecules swirling around in my body were in tandem with those without and they all spoke to me of God and the oneness of everything. The renewal of things. And so what I read was often in conflict with what I was experiencing. How could God go sick on the world in such a crazy sort of way that sat ill-defined like mental illness in the future, but expect me to trust him? What sort of a father is that?

I still go backwards and forwards on that sort of thing, only not as wildly these days. There is a surety that was hard to hang onto before. The difference these days is that my faith in God's good character has only grown, by testing, and the room for the questions and doubts has been just as healing as the removal of those things along the way. I've come to some conclusions about certain biblical verses that had me perplexed. I've come to sit well with the mystery of God - which has only grown greater - but I just know, in my spirit where it counts, that I can trust this God. There is nothing scientific about this. This is pure subjection. I have nothing else to go on but that and believe, personally, that there is nothing else I can have but that.

And yet these days, when I come across those "God is coming in judgment" sort of things (not that it happens all that often, I must say), they still have the power to bend me out of shape. Yesterday it was reading some words by David Wilkerson about civil unrest he believes is coming in cities worldwide, a judgment from God, he believes. I would have read those things so differently a decade ago it boggles my brain to wonder how I am going to see them a decade from now. Where I once saw judgment as some sort of horrible apartness aspect of God that was separate from his love - annihilation - now I see as freedom for us to go on our ways and do what we want to do and to see the results of our actions. I see the horrible harshness of reality and yes, I do consider those to be judgments of God if you see judgment as being some sort of a severe mercy. I just don't think we are in a nursery here with big daddy God to come and rescue us from all of our mistakes. Sometimes the only way you can learn is through a branding iron. (Of course, I don't think God never comes in and rescues us from our mistakes. I actually believe that we will see more of that going on in the future. But I also believe that a great part of that is learning to "see" more than anything else. We have as many scales over our eyes as a fishmonger market. Sometimes I wonder if we had all the scales removed if it would not simply solve everything?)

Anyway, honestly, these days, what I believe doesn't feel as important to me as what is, ultimately, and hanging on to that - God and his love and his care for what he has made. These days, I feel like my faith has grown stronger whle growing smaller at the same time. It's weird - like it's getting smaller and compacting down and getting hard, like a mustard seed, and meanwhile all around me are great giant wads of I don't know what the hell I think is going on. I just don't know anymore and it confuses and upsets me so I cry but that's okay. If the mystery was able to be worked out in 16 years then what sort of mystery would it be, huh??

Not that the doctrines and ideas and worldviews aren't important - they're everything. But they are seen in the greater light of knowing God personally for yourself, in that intangible, ineffable way that is difficult to speak of. I got bible slapped online last night by someone who has obviously been reading their bibles a fair bit and who knows their doctrines, but I wonder what their personal view of God is considering they had the sort of spiritually milky immature arrogance that goes along with the sort of Christian we have all been on the harsh tail end of and probably most of us on the head end of too. And so again I am reminded of clanging cymbals and all of that stuff and of what it all boils down to in the end - love God, love others.

Still, the worldview changes feel like they have come from the relationship spent with God as I am able to experience him, from all of that "working out your salvation with fear and trembling," trying to sort out where everything fits (partial preterist at the moment), trying to work out if you can trust this God. That's part of the reason why my turnaround times were longer in the past - the turnaround from "Oh, my, I think God is going to send me to hell any second if I step out of line" to "I am of the dust. I am human and he knows that. I know that he knows that because I know that he knows the worst in me. And he hasn't gone away yet. And he is good, and he is love, though he is not a tame lion." And I think it takes years and years of becoming more willing to see what really is. It takes guts to see what is. But the turnaround times have whittled themselves right down now to something like a day of running in cosmic fear and asking those sorts of fearful questions and coming to comforted and secure answers. And that feels like some sort of a miracle to me. And I have this feeling now of comfort, that each time it happens I see a bit clearer something of what happens on the other side of the bad, the salvation and healing that comes on his wings. And that definitely feels like some sort of miracle to me, too.

Dogalog of Dogs and Logs


Monday, 9 March 2009

This is Wysiwyg. He is Kel's doggy and ain't he just so cute! This bone is just a leedle bit too big for this doggy and he did not want a bar of it :)

Now, it might just be me but I swear when I look at his little nose, it looks like it has a picture of a cat on it! Can you see it? Please tell me you can see it :)

This is Lester. He's pretty cute too. Here he stands in the leaf mulch and ferns of Kalorama Park where we recharged our batts today after my art therapy session. There is nothing for it but to describe the smell of Kalorama Park as something if not erotic, at least of the same tonal value. It is humus at its best, and if that is what we come from it then that's fine with me. The combination of bottom notes of deep dank earth and rotting leaves with top notes of leaves and fresh air is heady perfume indeed.

Here are some logs. One of these logs on the path is in its natural habitat. The others have been planed and sawed or whatever you do to them for them to become these posts, which were particularly helpful in stopping me from falling over. Thank you, logs of all varieties.

Here is the dog. Can you see him? See Lester jump. Jump over log. We went a bit off the beaten track. He got a bit puppylike jumping logs. Certainly not behaviour of a dog who is going to be 70 years old, that's for sure. But I think he was enjoying the unfurling too :)

Here is the dog log. I am so glad I took that track that is beginning to be reclaimed by the ferns to come upon this handsome beastie :) I hope whatever the accident was that claimed his ear, that he has recovered now!

I've been reading back on some of my old blog posts. Gee, I'm an angry old woman, aren't I? :D

And I swear way too much. And it detracts from what I am saying. And it is, after all, a bit childish to swear ~ unless you do it with finesse, in very small doses, when you just must be emphatic in that particular way.

So that's it, kids. Please, pull me up in the future if I'm getting too potty mouthed. I have decided to turn over a new oral classy leaf. From now on, I hope that I will only say fuck when it is really necessary. Because really, honestly, I think I could cut out 70% of the times I say fuck and still be able to say fuck for 30% of the time with probably even more efficacy.


Pic: Alanapost

Sustainable Economics


Sunday, 8 March 2009

You know when you get a new car and then suddenly you see the same car everywhere on the road? Or you're studying something of personal interest in a psychological sense, and then all of a sudden you see evidences of that everywhere, in the behaviour of those around you, or references on the TV, or in blogs, or whatever? It never ceases to amaze me how our focus inside determines the focus outside. It's sorta magic!!

It also leads me to want to know what reality looks like. If we only ever really see certain things at any one time else we would spontaneously combust, I wonder - what does it all look like together? I would imagine we would need to be expanded, like fly eyes with 400 million different facets, to be able to view it all at once. I look forward to a future time when maybe we will be able to.

In times past it really unnerved me, that idea that we only really see what we are focussing on. It used to feel far too slippery and relativistic and postmodern. It used to scare me, like seeing things this way was the beginning of the downfall of our entire society. That seems strange to me now. As if acknowledging that we don't see everything at once somehow detracted from God, or the reality of God, or what I was taught reality consisted of. These days I can't quite understand how it ever scared me. I must have a very different mindset than I did when I once considered those things as somehow separate from God. Now, I just think that this is a necessary way we view the world. We cannot see everything at once. The visual, mental and emotional bombardment would kill us in five seconds flat.

So we see, in some fashion, and some simplified explanation, what we are allowing ourselves to see. And I guess this is why I get so frustrating watching media items related to the economy, when there's NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AT ALL in the analysis of the global financial recession, that the economy we are living inside is a constructed one, and that it is unsustainable.

I watched a show a few weeks ago called Insight discussing this. The conversation ended up really being all about how to regain consumer confidence. Because that is what our system is based on - confidence. If people don't feel confident enough to spend, then the economy will continue to nosedive. The disconnect was like listening to a mentally ill parent giving their child a talk on why they should continue to pretend that everything is fine when really, it's not.

I came across this interesting video that explained how the whole sub-prime mortgage thing occurred. I get frustrated when it comes to thinking about economics because it is so unbelievably complex. And I know very little about economics and my eyes glaze over real quickly, which is a frustration because I want to learn more. What I do believe is this: that economics is no different to any other arena. There are as many economic models as there are ideas. To think the one we have is the only one or the best one is just simply not true. We don't have that option any more, surely.

Because I think what frustrated me the most watching Insight was that there was no discussion AT ALL about climate change and about how the current economic lens we are seeing the world through is patently unsustainable. That was the disconnect that freaked me out the most. Sitting right there in the middle of our shortsightedness was the earth, that which we depend upon for our survival. But no discussion about it. It felt so terribly dysfunctional to me that I couldn't watch the show to the end.

Some say that the way we live and the amounts of stuff we produce and the pollution that comes as a side-product of that is still not enough to be causing the changes in the climate and I say that they are just pretending because they don't want to face the obvious. I also think that part of that reaction is because there is no discussion at all going on in our media about alternative ways that we could function as societies.

Where are the conversations, and where are the alternative models for sustainable economics? I really am wanting to sit at the feet of those who could teach me what that sustainable economy could look like. Sometimes I even wonder if it's not even a matter of changing the system as it is now but, as usual in my Franciscan way of looking at things, turning aside and doing it differently, the way the believers did in the book of Acts when they shared everything in common. We have the technology to do that. We just don't have the vision and it's there. We just can't see it because we've been trained not to. We have also been trained to think that getting more more more is what we need to fill the hole hole hole when I suspect there's nothing to fill that hole except God in whatever way you experience him, and that needs to happen when we discard, not gain.

I think of the monkey who sticks his hand inside the hole in the tree to get what his trappers have left him. Once he has grabbed onto it, his fist is too big to remove from the hole. And so his trappers come upon him, and all he needs to do is let go and he will be free, but he will not let go of what he holds in his hands to be free.

We really aren't all that different from that monkey, I don't think :(

Album Covers


Friday, 6 March 2009

Bet you didn't know I was in a couple of bands, did you? No? Well, I was. Here are my album covers to prove it.

I have to admit, I had a few qualms being in a band which named itself after the king of the Celtic otherworld and yet persisted in naming our album such a twattish title. I think we were aiming for The Darkness sort of irony, I guess. Luckily we were pure death metal so we could get away with it, in that cynical ironical sort of way which is the lowest form of wit.

So then I left that band and as is the way of things, I auditioned for tons of bands and none wanted me. A failed solo career and finally, five years later I joined Disturbo 13. You'll agree it's a much cooler name, yeah, and better album cover, too, right?

Well, yeah, except how weird - different band but they INSISTED on naming our album the same stupid name as my last band!! There was no irony to hang on either considering Disturbo 13 were composed entirely of accordians. We disbanded six months after this album was released. So let my tale of egoic woe be a lesson to you, kids. Don't elevate style above substance or you'll end up with nothing.

This meme has been flying around emails and Facebook and blogs forever but boy, it's fun.

To get your band's album cover do the following:

The title of the article you get is the name of your band:
1 -

The last four or five words of the last quote on the page is the title of your album: (well, not random enough if I get the same album title twice!)
2 -

The third picture on this page is your album cover:
3 -

4 - Use an image editor to put it all together. (

(Aside: I am listening to the Indian music my neighbours are playing. This is some sort of rappy-type song, with the vocalist doing that "yeah" thing that rappers do, only in Indian. Sounds sorta incongruous :)

Earth Tremor


We had an earth tremor this evening. About 4.6 on the Richter scale. Lasted a couple of seconds where I was. It's centre was at Korumburra, south east of Melbourne.

I have never experienced anything like that before. We get tremors from time to time here but that's the first one I have actually felt. Was looking out the window of my house at the time and started thinking, very calmly, "What's going on? Something is moving but I can't quite work out what it is." How strange!

Well, there you go. That's livened up my ultra boring evening. I don't often get bored, I have to say. Can usually find something to keep myself amused but tonight I'm in the twilight zone between getting over this infection and being well, and I always go a bit weird when I'm in this stage. I just don't know what to do with myself, and start thinking about stupid things and getting maudlin about absolutely nothing at all. Plus, my neighbours are having a bit of a get-together and I can hear them all talking Indian and listening to Indian music and I feel jealous that they have big blogs of culture while I live in a beige one.

Luckily my country isn't beige. I love a sunburnt, fire-ridden, flooded, wear your entire wardrobe in one week, earthtremored country!!



Been thinking about the Bible lately and comparing it to a script. Have you ever read the script to a play or a movie and found it really hard to work out how the script should be read? Or you read it and think it's a particular way, and then you see the work performed on stage or screen and realise how much you got it wrong? How much it springs to life when someone enlivens it, when the words are being spoken out of a real mouth and expressed in a real body in a real context that has real application, not just speaking out to eternity? Seems to me at face value that Christianity of all the religions is one which must be embodied, the way the feasts were embodied in Judaism, for example. Seems to me that a religion that was never meant to be a religion, that gets stuffed up in our heads in a purely theoretical scientific method of discerning and sifting wheat from chaff, is going to be rather far off the mark from its original intent. Still, we all know this, don't we. We can feel the unease, embodied in our bodies ;)

I suppose that's why I hold biblical interpretations so much more loosely these days. First because we are at least 2000 years from any of those words coming out of the mouth of a real live person. Secondly, we are cultural way far from Israel 2000 and more years ago, a culture which shares more (I think in my limited knowledge) with Eastern thought than it does with Western. I do not read the bible anymore so much as a prescriptive list of dos and dont's or I will incur God's wrath as I do a series of questions, designed, I believe personally, for us to think deeper and enable the Spirit to do the work in us, one-on-one, out here in the real world, not inside our heads in an intellectual bookish sort of way, as inclusive as that element of is. It's just not the whole picture, that's all.

We miss the isness and the oneness in favour of diving and conquering, separating and naming.

I really think we miss a lot. I really wish the Bible had come with a free DVD pack so I could get some more context. But in the meantime, I'm happier to sit with discrepancies and mysteries and inconsistencies than I am to be told how to interpret something by people who are 2000 years away from the action, and generally powerful, privileged, and smothered under possessions (read: rich, white, Westerners, most often men).

The water is deeper out here but oh, you can do somersaults in it :)

Parents and Kids and Birthdays


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

It's my dad's birthday today. My auntie is over visiting from South Australia and I headed over to my parents this evening to wish dad a happy birthday. It was good to catch up. My auntie bookmarked my blog to read, and I heard stories about what she would like to do to Andrew Denton, which was rather interesting :)

So it was my dad's birthday, and yet he paid for our takeaway dinner (Seven Stars in East Bentleigh. Do yourself a favour). I didn't get him a present either. I never do. He doesn't like to make a fuss. He was just pleased that I graced him with my presence.

Said presence left with more than she came with. Not my birthday, but I was the one to get some soap and lip balm as a gift from my parents' little holiday away down the coast a few weeks ago. How does that work? Do the parenting scales ever balance back the other way?

Actually, the real winner of the night was the dog. Lester took himself off into the spare room and began rustling around in there at one point of the night. Came out with a bag that was actually for him - containing a baker's dozen full of tennis balls my mum had retrieved for him from a fellow tennis-playing friend. That dog can sniff out a bag of balls from 100 paces. He proceeded, as is his delight, to rip up the bag and cover the dining room in a flurry of tennis balls.

He has this cute habit of putting his ball in his food bowl. Not sure what the deal is there, it's like a little security blanket for him while he eats. Lucky he had eaten most of his food because by the end of the night there were nine of the suckers in that one food bowl :)



Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Thanks to the people who gave me some feedback on how readable this blog template is. It is, I concur, rather frilly and fussy ... while being strangely ... well, brown at the same time :)

Apologies to the one person whose eyes are going a bit googly, but I'm afraid she's staying :)

I have a new poll up. Please vote if you would like. I have a post brewing and I wanted to get a snapshot of how much alienation infects our lives.

Ad Break

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The moment is in the middle of the ocean
sunning on a rock, hanging in the balance,
flapping her tail and running
her hand through the water.
The liner roars past, spews seaspray.

The moment shoots at your heart when she can
~ an ad break, says look! and pulls you
ravelling up through eons of peacock blue,
up through to deep yellow gold like
a million yolks of a million suns.

Oh! you say, but then push past to the TV's surface
yet your walnut soul cracks an inch,
hopelessly in love with what it disbelieves.
The moment folds her hands in her ancient lap, flaps
her tail on the rock, runs her hand through the water.

Pic: by cobalt123

Augustine Centre


Sunday, 1 March 2009

Hey, happy autumn and happy spring, everyone.

I got given a brochure to The Augustine Centre last week by my art therapist, who thought it would be up my alley (interesting expression. I wonder where it comes from?) Unsurprisingly, I want to do just about every single thing on their program. It makes me sort of drool :) Even the Soul Dance sounds sorta kinda cool.

I'm trying to think about interesting future fun things to do, this afternoon, keep myself cheered up. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by illness, sugar withdrawals (four days, pretty much) and my own bloody head :( Anyone wanna swap brains for a while?