Fan Mail


Thursday 29 November 2012

Dear Michael,

I was worried that if I summoned the guts to get up to ask a question at the Capitol Theatre last night I would have gone all American Awards Night and gushed, "I luuurrrve you, Mr Leunig" and then looked like a right dick afterwards. 

But it's true.  Out of all of the People That I Don't Know, I love you the very mostest.

In the best of all possible worlds, you and Helen Garner would come to me wearing giant chicken wings, and would enfold me into your collective chickeny breasts for an entire year, where I would have space and silence and write and daydream all day while the bills paid themselves.

What I love most about your work is the journey that it takes to get there.  And then there is a present to unwrap at the end.  I don't need to make myself shiny to start off walking.  In fact, the way into the middle of your stuff is right through the guts of the Leonard Cohen crack.  I get to bring all my shit with me, and then when I arrive, that shit is soothed.

Which is a particularly unromantic visual, really, but there you have it, that's the life mess, right? 

And so I think that's what makes experiencing your work so heartfelt to me and steers me towards the inclination to gush.  I think that whole experience might be called redemption. 

I've been struggling a lot with health issues in recent years, and combined with a personality trait that makes me a thinker who wants to see and not be asleep, staying upright in a world where a small bunch of Elite Psychopaths are in charge is a hard deal.  Your stuff heartens me and props me up.  And that's a pretty damn near amazing thing to be able to do for people.  It's just, like, the best.  I mean, what else is more important right now than giving people courage and reminding them of the humanity they have and that the feelings they have about how different the world could me (can be?  will be?) are not naivety but are visioning?

And that's all she gushed.  Thanks, Michael.  Very muchly  xoxo


Chooky Casualty


Monday 26 November 2012

My chooks have been free-ranging into the neighbours' yards.  It's a bit hard for them not to do so, because there are very few fences around here.  Yesterday evening, Tristan and Selma came back home, but no Patty.

I was hoping that maybe she'd gone broody and disappeared somewhere to lay copious eggs.  I was worried that a fox which is apparently in the area had got hold of her.  But I was hoping that she would come back.  This afternoon, though, our next-door neighbour told me that yesterday his wife heard the dog over the back fence making noise.  And so it looks like maybe poor old Patty (on the right in this photo) has come to an unfortunate end :(

I feel quite upset, actually.  It's funny how those little critters get under your skin.

When it comes to innocent creatures dying in (possibly - probably) circumstances where they are scared, I go to pieces.  I can concede all sorts of suffering accompanying our lives (with difficulty).  But my utopian heart balks at the idea of anything or anyone dying in terror.  It just shouldn't be :(

Hope and Whimsy


Sunday 25 November 2012

Hope is not linear.  It bubbles.  It twirls in circles, like a Hindu time spiral.  It comes out of left field sometimes and feeds you like food.  All sorts of different vessels carry hope.  Some of them are the diametrical opposite to what or where you think hope would reside.  Hope seems to be quite happy to attach itself even to a shit-encrusted shoe sole.  It's just having the eyes to see it.  Lately I can be a little blind. 

I have noticed that when I am closed down to love, hope also passes me by.  I don't know how to say that without it sounding twee and wanky.  Hallmark, schmaltzy Hollywood movies, and the way we live separated from the earth and wedded to money have appropriated certain good things like love and hope and shoved them into containers where they don't belong.  The containers are too small. 

I think it's time we invented new words for love and hope.

This morning, I'm kindling hope communing with that place very deep in me which knows that the reality we see is not all that there is.  I don't know any further than that.  But this morning that is enough.

This morning the best demonstration of hope to me is this picture from Kel.  As far as I'm concerned, there is a definite dearth of red doors in the middle of paddocks, sitting all by themselves.  

It's whimsy, I guess.  Whimsy gives me hope. 

Menopause Monologues


Monday 19 November 2012

When it was my mother's turn, she went a bit weird, she says.  She was three years older than I am now, and it's funny but I can't remember her weird spell.  Perhaps I was caught up in my own stuff and didn't notice.  Which makes me feel particularly sad, because it is a rather intense experience to have to go through unacknowledged.

She got all paranoid, the way I am at the moment.  Was convinced Dad was having an affair.

My auntie, her sister, got ultra sensitive and would slam out of the room and off to her bedroom on the edge of a comment which left my cousin and her dad scratching their heads and asking what upset her this time?

My body hasn't reached the menopause threshold yet.  Except for the paranoia bit.  But I have all of the body chemistry that points to it being an experience much more difficult than it needs to be - low progesterone, high estrogen, high copper.  It's that trio that makes it such an intensely uncomfortable experience.

And if I'm not even there yet and I'm feeling like this - well, all I can say is that I'm actually sorta hoping that what I am doing at the moment is ironing out all the creases, a little early, so that when menopause actually happens I will fly through it, relatively speaking.

That's the plan, anyway.


I remember the day my cousin got her period for the very first time.  It must have been a weekend or school holidays because I was there, as was usually the case :)  I think it was mid-morning.  I don't remember what happened exactly except for murmurings and toilet visits by her mother.  I don't remember any conversation.  I do remember the feeling though.  It was mystery, a place I wasn't yet.  There is an 18-month gap between us, and it was perhaps never so deep a chasm as it felt on that strange day when my cousin turned into a being different than she was before, now this thing was happening to her :)

I mean, it's so weird, right?

The world is bizarre :)


I sat outside with my chooks after letting them out of the pen this morning.  Selma and Tristan scrabbled around in the dirt pecking at things and brrring and clucking and being all chicken.  Patty was nowhere to be found.  She was off in the dark confines of the nesting box, doing the secret women's business of egg-laying that Selma is yet to be initiated into. 

Such a common thing, laying an egg.  But such a production, as well.  I feel honoured that we get to eat what her body works so hard to produce.

Bloody Men


Friday 16 November 2012

Men and women are just so bloody different. Sometimes it makes me want to impale myself face down on some eyeball-spaced spikes.

I reckon one day it's going to be discovered that lost to the mists of time was a third gender ~ let's call them mimmen.  

Life was particularly interesting when the mimmen walked the earth because both men AND women fraternised with them.  

And it was great on the one hand, because the mimmen understood both men and women, being the middle gender.  But then it was complicated, because it got to be like a love triangle thing writ large, with the end result being that everyone got so jealous and overwrought that over time, the messenger was shot, and the mimmen were just quite simply wiped out, murdered in their beds by both men and women.

And that's why now we're just stuck with each other.  As punishment.


(I love men.  But honestly, sometimes you all just fucking shit me :D



Advice seems to be particularly easy for people to give online.  I'm not sure what it is about this space that makes it easier for someone to blurt out a whole lot of recommendations that someone else should take up.

It's really quite arrogant when you think about it.

What seems to open the floodgates the most is if you implicate even a whiff of a negative emotion you're experiencing. Then some people seem incapable of not rushing in like a tsunami to offer you ways of removing yourself from its clutches.

I find that 90% of the advice that I am given is stuff that I already know and practice.

Ergo, 90% of advice that we think we should give ... maybe we just shouldn't.  Especially if someone hasn't actually asked for it.

Creative Bubbles


Wednesday 14 November 2012

What is it about the shower that spawns so many uber good creative ideas?

Actually, that's a rhetorical question, because I know the answer.  I know what it is about the shower. It is the negative ions in the running water that create a sense of wellbeing. And whenever I feel a sense of wellbeing, off my creativity runs doing cartwheels.

Ions are particles of something or other that make up air.  There are also positive ions.  You can experience those most compellingly, say, on a hot day in Beijing at peak hour.  The shittiness you feel from pollution?  That's from the overabundance of positive ions in the air.

Positive and negative in this case are polar opposites to the experience had by peoples of the earth of said positive and negative ions

Negative ions = good.  Expansive, creative, relaxed.  Parasympathetic, if your nervous system is listening and wants to know which ions to partake of.  Me, I have an ioniser for that purpose.  It sits beside me as I type words for payment that are positively ionic in their effect on me and which, if I am not careful and very vigilant to make space anyway, impede my ability to be able to play with the negatively ionic words that are all orgasmic and playful and fun.

I am going to put a waterproof whiteboard in the shower. Much easier than having an idea that goes - ooh! - and then having to repeat it to myself over and over again while I jump out and run to note it down.  I wonder if such a thing has been invented?  Surely it has, in an age when the sweaty-balled beast of late Western capitalism makes it incumbent for us to not simply live, but to have to earn a living.  Ergo = lots of crap we don't need, created by people who want to make enough money inventing things so that they can go off and do what they really want to do.

I guess the exception to that is inventors.  They're right where they wanna be already, inventing things.  Which is rather convenient for them. 

And yes, it's true a waterproof whiteboard has been invented.  Indeedly doodly, by someone whose best ideas come to him in the shower, and who knew about dive slates, underwater note-taking devices for SCUBA divers.  I bet you any money, he put two and two together and came up with this idea while he was in the shower.  Which is all cool and postmodern, isn't it.

Maybe I should alert him to this post I have inadvertently included him in.  Product placement.  He might send me one for free :)

The Case Against Having a "Good China" Cabinet


Tuesday 13 November 2012

'A Zen student walks into his master’s chamber. The student is shocked and appalled to see that the Zen master is drinking his morning tea out of a treasured, priceless Ming-dynasty teacup belonging to the monastery.

'“How can you do this?” asks the student. “This teacup is a priceless treasure. What if it falls? What if it breaks?”

'The Zen master smiles and says: “I consider it already broken.”'

Amanda Palmer

Chemtrail Blues


Friday 9 November 2012

She is standing waiting for a bus
head down, fiddling fingers on the screen.
I drive past her into a horizon of
metallic streaks and dulled sun,
clouds which do not contain rain.

The void between that vision and our collective silence
is a gaping loneliness that moans in my soul.
How do you awaken those whose denial
is a thick blanket shrouding them like death
from the evil of a few they do not wish to face?



Sunday 4 November 2012

It is the height of hypocrisy, you realise suddenly (but for the eleventy seventh time), to bemoan the fate of the outside world ~ where the supposedly strong overpower and demean and shame the weak ~ and yet to do it to yourself.  You hear Gandhi's mantra, the one that reverberates through you like a gong, to be the change you wish to see in the world.

And so you've embarked on a campaign.  It's like the buddy system at primary school where a big Grade 6 kid befriends the new little scared Prep kid.

And so the Gaping Void ~ he sort of looks like those alien creatures that used to be on Sesame Street (the ones that say brrrrrrrriiiiing when the telephone rings and are amused and bemused by everything around them) but who has a big hole right out of the bottom of him so that everything falls out, and he is constantly and continuously hungry and thirsty for what he can't seem to ever get.  You go and call to the Gaping Void and he comes to you moaning and then you go and find the Mother, the one who has compassion and understanding and far-seeing.  She is the one who may seem weak on the outside but who is totally strong on the inside, who understands what it is to be open and to love and understands too the near-sightedness of  the fearful and the ignorant who think that it is weak

And so you buddy up the Mother and the Gaping Void, and she takes him on her knee and rocks him, and you think that maybe if left together long enough she would take some of her thread and begin to sew up his hole.

And then along comes a creature who also wants and needs, but he is made out of long bits of sticks, and he tries to climb up on the Mother but he can't. And she picks him up too, and cradles him too on her lap, uncomfortable though it be for him.

And then there is the part of you which is dead but walks, Overblown Ego, who thinks that things like this are stupid and childish, this game-playing, and that you should put it away.  But you know that voice.  It's always there, at the ready to criticise anything that has life or love in it.  Because they scare it.  That part doesn't understand, being like an inflated jumping castle you had to puff up one day when you were small, a fort in which to protect yourself but which no longer serves.  That bit which thinks it is strong, is the weakest of all of today's cast of characters.  It just doesn't really know it.

Power to the Peep


Thursday 1 November 2012

Sending some metaphorical power to Sarah in that cwazy New York weather.  Hoping you get your electrical version back soon :)