Nothing too Serious


Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gee, it's gotten serious in Susieland the last few days.  Worrying about money will do that to you, I guess. I've been more broke than ever recently and so this has been part of the decision to begin working from home.  Doing the same dull drear, but being able to slip it and slide it in at my own behest is a freedom I am taking great pleasure in.  It's also partly the reason why I have been blogging far less recently.

Still trying to find the rhythm.

Working from home, I am able to work more hours more easily.  Because I need to ramp it up now.  It's time to do that.  But I have been ramping it up a little the past month and I don't really have anything to show for it right now.  All this financial bizzo makes Susie stressed.  Far better a personality geared to bartering, but what do you do?

And now Olive, my up-to-now well-behaved 1998 car has blown a gasket - well, not quite.  She's worn out her crank shaft and her crank shaft gear and bottom pulley.  Apparently.  Cos I mean, how do you know?  Do I feel exposed and vulnerable when having my car fixed?  Yes, yes I do.  Do I need to dwell on the possibility that I may be being fleeced out of 650 bucks I don't really have?  Naw, I guess I really don't.

So working more hours in the land of Susie but so far it not really paying off could get a bit depressing.  It did this morning, I must say.  I have been working from home for a month but I am still finding my rhythm.  Life has suddenly gotten a lot busier.  And so all I can do is continue what I am doing.  Soon I hope I shall be able to begin to save some money (what a concept).

But it can all get a little serious a little to easily.  Therefore, so much better to turn my mind to the things that make me happy, to look forward to the weekend, to seeing my man, to make space in my head for the very things that I feel I don't I have time for.

And so hence this afternoon I flit about inside the playroom that has now really become a workroom.  And from the computer comes a column pitching idea to a local daily, comes two short stories that I have waited far too long to send out into the world once again, to writing a little something Jungian about a dream I had, to doing a little yoga, to blog.  To gaze at the beautiful bunch of long stemmed red roses sitting on my desk.

The things, in short, that I do not believe I have any time to do.  Or any business doing.  Or that will make any difference.

The things that make me feel alive.  That scare the hell out of me :)

Life's too short to fall into the well of seriousness about all of this stuff.  But even beyond that, I am very mindful of my energy levels, as a post-CFSer.  Sometimes it's physical.  But sometimes it's psychical.  Sometimes my energy levels are directly related to the blockages that are still being dislodged from within me, the dastardly amount of internal voices that stop me from doing what I want to do most.

It's those internal bastards I have in my sights right now.  And, miracle of amazing miracles, amongst the dirty dishes and the too-long-between clay binges and the joy and happiness that is a new romance there is also this - this ongoing dismantling of those things that have held me captive.  An everyday sort of a miracle.  Sometime very amazing.

I am Ariadne, and I am Theseus, and I am the Minotaur.  But one of us is on the way out.

Painful Awakenings


Thursday, 22 April 2010


In that curious and exotic way that an "unteacher" appears only when the student is ready, the Magritte painting appeared and opened several revelations to me.  First, our lives as women are not always as self-created as we might assume.  And second, once we are caught in the pattern of creating ourselves from cultural blueprints, it becomes a primary way of receiving validation.  We become unknowingly bound up in a need to please the cultural father - the man holding the brush - and live up to his image of what a woman should be and do.  We're rewarded when we do;  life gets difficult when we don't.
~Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter

I'm really enjoying this book.  It's not particularly my own story - I am, after all, a post-Christian sort of a Jesusish person living in secular Australia, rather than down South Georgia America.  Two very different worlds.

But oh, the differences just reinforce the samenesses.  I cannot deny that my culture is not still a patriarchal one.  I hate saying those sorts of things because I have grown up in it;  it has infiltrated me.  It tells me to keep silent, that it is better to not say anything, to not rock the boat, that things have changed since the days when women all wore hats in public and were not allowed to continue to have jobs when they were married.  But I cannot deny that my own life, beginning in 1970s Australia has not been impacted by patriarchy because I feel it swilling around in the shadow, the repressed anger, the fearfulness, because I can see in my own soul, in its own awakening into experiencing spirituality in terms that are real for me, how embedded it all is.  How we women still take it on ourselves, as a given by the culture, this idea that we are somehow less than.

If you are a man, it will take some awakening of your own to understand how deeply embedded it is, how entirely you can miss it, how deeply this culture is saturated with the idea that women are less than men.  I'm not sure how well you can really understand it.  Especially considering that so many women do not really understand it, because they suppress it.  Because it is a terror.

I love men, I admire men, I am in love with one right this moment :)  But I can tell you this much:  this waking up to yourself, to struggle to hear what you are really saying to yourself, to learn what it is to really be a woman, to learn to stand in that stuff without fear of reprisal ... you have no idea how deep and how hard it all goes, how impacted women become, like a mass of teeth, simply by living in the culture we live in.  How much of a struggle it is sometimes to just simply keep your head above your own water, to know what you feel, what you think, what you want.  How much - still - it is a cultural going against the tide to stand and fully be a woman, in a society that is still so very, very male-dominated.

I guess change is always confronting.  How hard it is waking up.  How truly amazing it is watching the women around me doing so.

Life will not be less than, when women are truly equal with men.  Life will be richer, and greater, and men will be more than they are now, when women are no longer considered less than they really are.

Hail Technology


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Anthropologist Brigitte Jordan is interested in how knowledge gains authority in various settings.  Jordan observed a contemporary hospital birth in which a labouring woman was desperate to push.  The nurse looked not at the woman but at the foetal monitor.  She was waiting for the doctor who was the only one who could decide whether the woman was ready to push:  '... every time the woman tries to get her desire - her expressed knowledge about the state of her body - acknowledged and made the basis for proceeding with the birth, her version of reality is overridden, is ignored, is denied, or, most frequently, is sidetracked, deflected, and replaced with some other definition of reality ... as might happen to an obstinate child whose parent opts for distraction rather than confrontation.'  In the contemporary birth environment, according to Jordan, authority rests with the doctor and the knowledge delivered by technology.  The woman's expressed knowledge about her body does not even rate as knowledge.
Mary-Rose MacColl, 'The birth wars', Griffith Review 22:  MoneySexPower

It's been a long-learned wisdom that I need to daily ground myself within my own body.  It's taken me years to really see how easy it is to disconnect, especially in this sort of world where I do not need to go draw my own water or plant my own vegetables.  There is a dread that comes with the realisation of how easy it is to switch off from the loudly sane inner voices saying perfectly reasonable, beautiful, wonderful things.  Many (all?) of us learn at some point that we can get up and leave, sit six feet above our own bodies.  That it is a way of getting distance on things.  That sometimes you can think better sitting up there.

Sometimes life calls for that desperate need, to escape, to suppress, to take flight.  If you can't buy a plane ticket, you can at least go on a six foot trip.  But there are payments to be made from taking this trip too often, and it does then become an awfully difficult and yet ultimately beautiful thing to learn how to crawl that six feet back into your own stuff and discover yourself.  How much more there is sitting in here.  

Of course, abdicating from ourselves is not simply as a result of trauma but is often what we learn to do within a painful life.  It is, after all, a terribly pedestrian thing to sit abdicated.

We do not believe what damage we can cause half asleep until we do, how many lamps we can knock over in the dark, how many dog's yelping feet we can step on in the night, how many pieces of dark furniture we can trip over in the dark and send ourselves sprawling.  We often do not want to stop being half asleep because of the terror, the terror, the terror of being awake.  

Because there is, isn't there.  The stark whiteness of freedom, like one of those godawful new energy saving light globes that make you, a living, breathing, pink thing, resemble a morgue inhabitant.  That's how being awake looks when you're half asleep and so some of us will never understand the awful irony that living where we think is safest is the most dangerous.  Of how much more we can see when we refuse to live half asleep.  That yes, it is terrifying but it is also beautiful.  It is life, and it's fucking messy.

You know, I really am not a technophobe.  But this human penchant to abdicate from the world, the way we abdicate from our bodies (same coin, really), sits heavily alongside big machines that beep.  We want freedom, we say.  But we are confused, we are scared, we are terrified of our choices, of making the wrong decision.  If only someone or something will just tell us what to do!!!!!   If we have a king, an expert, someone wearing navy, to tell us what to do next, then we will be safe.

But we will be even safer if we are allowed to be included in the equation too, alongside the machines and the people who have studied for years to gain expertise.  But what  can one single person do in the face of those things?

In this way I am glad I shall never experience this situation of giving birth, especially in a hospital.  I cannot think of anything more terrifying than being in a never-before-experienced, painful, scary situation with my own body and of being called upon to abdicate myself from it so the system flows better.

Not that a foetal monitor or any other technology is a bad thing.  But then, humans are not things either.  We have knowledge too.  In a different, more messy way, certainly, than a streamlined machine.  In a human sort of a way.  

You know, I cannot imagine that if it was men giving birth that they would still be relegated so, their experience downplayed and ignored, right in the midst of the amazing everyday sort of miracle that is bringing forth life, right from out of the middle of your own body.



Thursday, 15 April 2010

You forgot it was like this.  You feel like you could look in and fall, look in and drown.

Sometimes you have to look away.  Sometimes it is all a little intense.

But you don't want to ever look away.  You want to savour every moment of this, the sweetness.  You forgot about how bottomless this feels.  You forgot how it feels like the first time and yes,  Radio Susie is incessant in her blaring of old Foreigner songs, sappy lyrics and old poetry and it's all been said before but you forgot, you forgot, how it always feels like you two are the only ones ever, ever to feel this way.

How new everything is.  So much to discover.  Like the moments just before dawn on a slightly chilly morning, the promise of warmth and light, everything so fresh.  Everything already said before :)

You think that this must be how God views everything and everyone, all the time.

You really do think it's possible you could fall in and drown, in the deep brown wells that are his eyes.

How many morons ...


Friday, 9 April 2010

... to stuff up a blog?

Just one.  It was always a stupid idea, with a blog called Discombobula, to split it up into "creative blog" and "the rest of the stuff."  And now, reintegrating it all back into one blog once more, I have inadvertently deleted all of the comments that have found their way here over the past couple of years.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's no biggie, not really.  And my word for this year is, after all, impermanence.

But it really pisses me off how pressing a few buttons and it's all kaput.  Or else it's all duplicated.

Oh well :)