Dust to Dust

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Saturday, 23 February 2013

I recently wrote a how-to on Weekend Notes about raising backyard chooks.

It made me miss my chooks.  It's been a few weeks now since the fox got them.  A rather traumatising situation because it was pretty much my fault.  Instead of shutting them into their coop when it got dark, I had begun leaving it later and later, until I was going out and closing them in just before I went to bed at midnight or 1am.

One night the fox got to them before I did.  A (mercifully short) screaming sound sent me outside with my heart doing cliched things by being in my throat, and there was Selma gone, only her feathers left, and a poor Tristan lying shocked and dying in front of my eyes, on the inside of the coop near the door.

I shut him up in the coop.  I didn't know what else to do.  I didn't want the fox to come back for him.  A part of me was hoping that he was maybe just in shock, that if I came out the next morning he might have recovered somehow.  Most of me knew that it was not true.

I was so sad that I had neglected to look after these creatures.  I want to look after the world.  I cried the way you do when you're a kid, with a heaving chest that's so sore it's like someone has stabbed it with a knife.

Chook-Chook was still there the next morning, in the same spot.  And I wondered what to do with him.  Have you ever seen a dead body in real time?  When my Auntie Dawn died, I wanted to see her one last time to try to reconcile the fact that suddenly she was gone.  As if you can ever reconcile that by anything other than clock time, and even then not really.  She had been made up by the mortician and it just didn't really look like her anymore.  She wouldn't have needed to wear that particular shade of foundation if she was alive with blood rushing through her cheeks.  But it was good to see her one last time.

I saw my grandma too.  In terms of People You Want to Die Like, Grandma and Grandpa were both superstars.  She died on her birthday.  The carer at the nursing home brought her in a bunch of flowers somebody delivered.  She looked at them, said "Oh, how lovely," and then died.  I mean, how awesome, Grandma.  Seventeen years earlier, Grandpa had been out riding his bike to the shop, came back, had a bath, then died. 

In terms of People You Want to Die Like, I totally want to learn how to die as a process the way that Auntie Dawn did.  She was accepting.  Partly I think because she missed her husband and wanted to go be with him, and she was tired.  People might say that you should fight in those circumstances.  To rage, rage, against the dying of the light.  That you have to be brave and fight.  But surely it's braver to turn and face the unknown.  For the light is in the darkness too, and for all we know, death is an entryway back into the light we left when we came here.

I think that sort of view is partly the reason why a few days later after the chooks died, I was able to go outside and open up the coop door, and leave it open.  After all, the fox needed to eat too.  And Tristan wasn't there anymore, any more than Auntie Dawn, Grandma or Grandpa were when the whatever-it-was had left, and their bodies were truly like shells.

I do like to think that they are somewhere.  That they have gone back to that Source from which they came from.  But in a slight twist on the Buddhist, I like to think that this Source has grown bigger and more beautiful since before people were here, because the souls of every person and creature who has ever been born on the earth return to it, enlarging it.  The Source has been giving birth to itself, making itself bigger and more amazing than even the perfection it already was before.  With everyone home.

Dear Big 4 Bank

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Dear National Australia Bank,

Thank you for your two recent letters advising me that two direct-debit items on my account were dishonoured because of lack of funds in my account. In recent weeks, I have been earning as much as, or less than, what I would receive on the dole.

In terms of work for a writer and secretary working from home, it’s rather quiet out there.

I know that you will understand the stress relating to dwindling financial resources as you have recently suffered your own profit slump. It hurts, doesn’t it! I mean, you lost $1 BILLION in profits in the full year to September 2012. I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must feel losing such a large amount of money.
You know what they say, though — look on the bright side. Focus on what you do have. Gratitude is the attitude that gets you out the other side of doom and gloom and potential homelessness into seeing the opportunities that lie scattered all around you like rose petals. I understand with such a large profit loss you may find it almost impossible to not focus on it, but I implore you, dear NAB, to focus instead on the $4.1 billion profit you did make in the same period.

I know, though, what they say about riches — they are never enough. That niggling sense of insecurity just never goes away, no matter how much gold you may pile up in your worldwide Rothschildian storehouses. It is for this reason that I fulsomely understand why in your letters of dishonour to me you needed to spell out to me in capital letters that these items have been returned UNPAID. I understand the need to shame me in this instance. It is to discourage me from being such a bad consumer in the future, to ensure that I always have the money in my account to cover the direct debits that are coming out. I think it’s the same reason why, when cheques have been dishounoured in the past, you have charged me an extra fee for the disservice. Fair enough. It must have put you out a fair bit, after all.

So just wondering, National Australia Bank — do you reckon you could spot me a couple of hundred till next payday?


This post is alos now appearing on Independent Australia :)

Surfing Snapshot

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Monday, 11 February 2013

I know the internet affects the way my mind works.  I guess I tend to think that it's more the pyroluria-affected ADHD-type symptoms that drive my erratic, distracted way of working where, like today, I am flittering backwards and forwards between different subjects, working on 10 things at once.

But then I've just been reminded how the internet makes it so much worse for me.  And maybe it's affecting my focus just as much or maybe even more than the physical issues I have.  I just before read a quote in this article from Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember.  The linear Western mind of the past 500 years is moving to make way for something else that likes its information “in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts – the faster, the better”.

That must be why I have, as we speak, 25 different tabs open on my browser.  Twenty-five.  That's ridiculous.  One is for an ad on Gumtree that I've had pinned but then forgotten about from sometime last week, that is so old that there's a 404 error on it when I click on it and it says, "Sorry, that page no longer exists."  There's a YouTube clip for chemtrails and an interview podcast with two writers I've been meaning to watch for about a week as well.  There's the Telegraph UK article I linked to above that was talking about online distractions, which was part of some research I was doing for a Weekend Notes article I wrote last week about curbing your online distractions (you will understand now why I needed to write that article :)  There are eight open pages about WordPress and/or clip arts for logos I'm designing for a blog I'm slowly beginning to put together for my partner.  There are two pages relating to a website I'm interested in writing for in the future.  There are six pages relating to articles I'm in the process of writing for Weekend Notes.  There is a page from Sarah's Early Women Masters' site I'm reading about Emily Dickinson.  There is a site about proofreading services that I'm reading for research for future work prospects.  There's an article from The Daily Good.  And finally there's a pizza menu for tonight's dinner.  There's this blog post I'm writing right now, which I started after reading bits and pieces of those articles I'm meant to be in the middle of writing for Weekend Notes. 

Wow.  That's all very productive, isn't it!  It makes me sound like a powerhouse of working energy.  And I guess today I am.  But it's also just bloody ridiculous, and seriously, I am now just a tad exhausted after writing that above paragraph.  It's a cerrrazy way to work.  But it's how I work these days, now that computers and browsers have changed so that you can hibernate the 'puter without turning it off and shutting all your programs down.  Now, we our internet surfing experience is an ongoing one, unlike the days when everything needed to be closed and turned off.

Part of me enjoys working this way.  It sure keeps things interesting.  But that's a bit disturbing when I think of how the internet is shaping my mind.  And the silly part about it is that I often have this yearning to get all of those tabs closed so that I can have that lovely, fresh the feeling of only having one tab open at a time.  But who works like that these days?  Not very many people, surely.

Nicholas Carr's observation that the internet is producing people with a broad knowledge that is incredibly shallow is disturbing, wouldn't you say?.  I find it so.  Especially as a writer, desiring to write stuff that is compelling and keeps people interested.  But how do you do that?  I mean, using myself as a guinea pig, I don't treat other people's words with the same respect.  I flit back to them, reading in chunks.

I think though that part of what fuels this ridiculous incidence of having 25 tabs open at once is something that is the opposite to what Carr is saying.  My desire is to understand to the nth degree the very bottom of every subject I study, and sometimes that makes me flick away from one subject to have a breather.  It's just that then I have a breather in another subject.  And even writing that I know it's a little weird and silly because doing that fuels the very issue I have in the first place, that of focus and attention.  And so the snake comes round and bites its own tail.

What a complex and changing world, eh?  But I tend to think that the web is not all doom and gloom in terms of changing the way we think.  I think that one thing the net is doing is that it is making us realise how connected the world is.  (And like my partner just said, paradoxically it's happening via the very technology that is disconnecting everybody from each while they sit in the same room, hooked into their devices).  Still, despite that paradox, I think maybe it is helping in the ongoing process that is the Western mind learning to reconnect to knowledge that the indigenous mind possess automatically, being hooked into the world and each other.  That connection is what humans need - a worldview of Oneness that maybe we will be able to find our way back to, where we will learn to look after the earth once more.

I hope so, anyway :)

The Uncreated?

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Follow my ways and I will lead you
To golden-haired suns,
Logos and music, blameless joys,
Innocent of questions
And beyond answers.

For I, Solitude, am thine own Self:
I, Nothingness, am thy All.
I, Silence, am thy Amen.

~ Thomas Merton

So lovely.

Mujer Saliendo del Agua 
 by Leopoldo Gonzalez
For so long I swam in that Space Merton talks of.  It felt cleansing and purifying and all the other words advertising agencies like to use to describe skin care products.  Issues of ideology or theology aside - I am talking here simply about presence and communing with that, innocent of questions and beyond answers.

But then I started asking this one particular question, and it kept growing and growing until it got so big that it started clouding out that innocence and exploded like an airbag until it felt like there was nothing left.  I started thinking, "What if this 'presence' is something other than Source, the Uncreated?  How do I know that this ... whatever I commune with, that feels like though it's in me is in some ways not-me even though it is not separate from me - how do I know that that thing is not a created being itself?"

It seems such a silly thing, writing it down here, sort of childish.  But regardless, that is the question that I asked, and it has muddied the waters for a lot of years now.  It's perhaps a reflection of my pyroluric tendency towards greater levels of paranoia now I'm dealing with the whole premenopause thang (I can't believe that menopause is still something that is not spoken of, or if it is, it's still considered something that women need to "get over".  But I digress).

De la cintura pa' bajo, de las rodillas pa'rriba by Leon Ricardo
More likely that question I asked - who is this Source I am dealing with? - is a particularly fine question, I don't know.  But it stopped me swimming.

If the God I have been communing with is anything existing independently outside of myself, then that leads to the possibility that it is a created being itself.  And then that means I cannot trust it anymore.  Because a created unknown being is a finite being and from my perspective here, feels far more unknowable than an uncreated being that is infinite.  Even though on another level, the first would be far easier to understand than the second.  But a created being is capable of evil.

I don't know if I am making any sense.  I am open to the idea that there are many other beings in the universe apart from us.  I think that many of our religious texts (for example, the Old Testament) could quite possibly be accounts of encounters with those beings.  It makes total sense when you read them in that way.  And it also explains why the god of the Old Testament seems almost like a split personality.  Maybe s/he is!?

Blessed Are the Poor For They Shall See God
by Kathryn Cook Hernandez
Last night I talked to that "God", because I miss communing with them.  The communing goes on inside of myself, and it's the whole world puffed out on my insides, and it grounds me in a way that I have been missing.  I talked to that "God" in the hope that they are Source. Thinking that the idea that used to frustrate me so much - that of God being an invisible being, unseen, uncreated - is really the only palatable choice.  It is the only way to be able to trust that space that feels like I am most fully myself, that feels like it is a combination of me and the universe.  Conscious consciousness. 

I miss the swim.  It's like swimming in the dark.  It adds an extra 193,000 shades of depth to every colour.  It floods me with innocence.  I communed with that unknown last night and it was like a five-minute delve into bliss and homecoming.  I do not think I can resist going back for another swim, even if I still don't quite trust the origins of the water.

Pyroluria Blues


Friday, 8 February 2013

Sick of seeing career opportunities pass me by and not being the one to be chosen.  Sick of not having the time to write because I'm using up my energy doing work I don't like.  Even worse ... sick of not having enough work that I don't like to pay the bills.

Sick of feeling like I am vastly, vastly underemployed but that people can't see my worth.  Sick of part of the reason for that being these health issues that have plagued me for decades.  Sick of feeling like very few people really see me and even fewer understand what a struggle it is and how hard I am trying. 

I am sick of not being seen.

Sick to fucking death of living in a world where if you don't market yourself to the max you have no value.  Sick of living in a species that doesn't seem to give a fuck enough about finding ways to do this thing better that we will push against the goads of the invisible ones who profit from our slavery if necessary to effect change.  We are slaves with learned helplessness tendencies.

This competitive, carrot-on-a-stick society has no place for anybody except for those at the top.  Have we really taken on their ways so much that we have become so heartless ourselves that we don't really care about anything any more unless it affects us directly?  Do we not know that what affects others will ultimately come to affect us ourselves?

Sick of having vision, of seeing what so many don't seem to be able to see. Sick of seeing how unnecessary the fight to survive is in this society, this stupid, stupid, insipid capitalistic dance, and having to dance the fucker anyway.

Okay, that's all.  I feel better now.

I struggle to say all of this because it is complaining and it is not being positive and who wants to hear it anyway?  Well, you know what, inner voices of fear that I am voicing my discontent?  This is my blog.  And if people don't want to read this, then they won't.  So shut up.

There, that's better.

Anger is Not the Enemy


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I think we are in the days where science and spirituality are in the same room, gazing amorously at each other across the crowd, getting ready to kiss.  And they're both made of the energy of everything. 

The energetic level of things is as much a reality as real and solid objects, as solid as your hand when you put it in front of your face and there it is, comfortable and trustworthy and real and stable.  Except if you put your hand under a microscope, and follow it down to atomic level, you will find that your hand is more ... well, it's more not there than it is there.  More empty space than anything solid.  Made up of waves that behave as particles, that behave differently when they are being looked at than when they aren't, made of the same stuff as the stars.

We are all made of stars.

Even your hand, so comfortably real and known, proves to be magical and mysterious.  Life is nowhere near as mundane as consumer culture would have us believe.

I read some websites that would be considered by maybe most to be a little on the verge of nutty.  Hell, sometimes I think they're nutty.  Some are by people who identify themselves as "lightworkers", working on an energetic level to help people and the earth.  Now, I happen to be in the camp with the mystics and so some or much of what New Agers say I feel is true.  But some of it verges on religiosity for me.  And regardless of what stream or institution they come out of, all of control's cloaks happen to be as ugly as each other.

One thing I have noticed about some of the people who frequent these sites is that there is most certainly a hierarchy in many people's thinking not simply when it comes to dimensions of existence, but also when it comes to emotions.  Many of the emotions are considered "lower".  Now, I can understand this if you're talking about weightiness.  Say you had a machine that measured the heaviness of emotions.  You would most certainly find fear and anger are heavy and weighted emotions, and love and joy are light, almost not there at all but far weightier in their effects for the positive than maybe even fear and anger are in their effects for the negative.

I understand why people shy away from those heavier emotions.  I have been spending a great deal of my time trying to harness them so that I can dampen down their effects in my life.  Being a pyroluric, I have an intimate acquaintance with fear and terror.  My system has a tendency towards reacting in those fashions because for so many years of its existence it hasn't had the extra amounts of nutritional elements it needs to function in a different way (B6 and zinc being the main elements I need way more of than the average person).

I understand too why people shy away from those negative emotions because we are not taught how to deal with them!  Now, that should be a standard subject in the Australian curriculum, learning to harness the beast that is fear, and the beast that is anger.  Those are animals that can trample you underfoot and ruin your life.

Angerpour by Lucid Light (CC)
I had a breakthrough with anger the other day.  It's been in my focus for a few years now, ever since an incident with my landlord a few years ago who, upon parting from each other with me disgruntled and angry at how little of my bond he was giving back, informed me that "I hope we can part on good terms, as I know you can be an angry person."

Well, that set me back in my tracks a little.  Me, an angry person?  When I feel so collapsible and sorta vulnerable and small on the inside?  Me?  Really??

Well, as it turns out, I have had and do have a lot of old anger, which I seem to be still carrying around with me on some level that he picked up on, and which has come out sideways, making me get angrier than I need to at things that legitimately anger me.  Way deep down, I have a rather deep reservoir of anger - maybe even rage - that I haven't had the ability to be able to face it because I haven't known what to do with it.  Well, maybe now I'm beginning to feel capable of facing that old anger, and letting it go.

What's anger actually for, anyway? Now, that's a question you don't hear often, do you?  What are certain emotions for?  It's not until I began to read the rather wonderful and insightful Karla McLaren that I began understanding that I could deal with anger, that it's meant to be wielded like a light sabre.  Anger is not the enemy;  our inability to know how to wield it is.  And the other day was my first real victory in a big ring.

I was dealing with someone I know well who I believe is mentally ill.  They began laying into me via text message when I hadn't actually done anything wrong.  In fact, it was a situation where I would normally expect the person on the other end of the phone to have some sympathy and understanding, and I was very upset.  But instead, this person took my actions as an assault against them and their partner, and began laying into me.  It was so bizarre.  Out of the blue, someone who has been a destructive influence in my life for a long time began calling me a bitch, selfish, a fucking cunt.  They even called me up and with hate dripping off the end of their deluded voice to tell me those same things.  I let that message go to messagebank.

Flow by Lucid Light (CC)
It was a little scary, I must admit.  And it also made me very angry.  So angry that my hands were shaking in my bid to text them back.  And so I took my new wonder powers of using energy for my benefit instead of repressing it down into a small ball and storing it in my body like cancer.  I felt the anger flowing through me.  It felt more like a river that had been cleared than it ever had before.  Free to flow, without getting tangled up in the reeds at the banks, or getting tangled up too much in big boulders in the middle of the riverbed.  It just flowed.  And it felt a little uncomfortable, because anger always does.

But anger is an energy like anything else.  Public Image Limited said so, after all.  And for the first time in my life on a stage where I was furious, I let it flow through me, felt it, harnessed it to speak a few measured things to this person that I haven't had the guts to say before, and then it left.  And afterwards, there was this joy.  I felt flooded with this joy.

I never, ever realised that what follows on the tail of the energy of anger is joy.  Whoever would have thought it?