Friday, September 19, 2008


Recently, I was prompted to think of the books and movies I turn to when I need comfort, like when I have a cold/flu or I've had a stinker of a day. Most of the books or movies are romantic stuff like "You've Got Mail" or "Sense & Sensibility" etc but one film that came to mind later was "A Knight's Tale" with Heath Ledger. I mean who could forget one of opening scenes - medieval audience of jousting getting down to "We will rock you" or the meeting with a naked Geoffrey Chaucer - great writer, terrible gambler!!!!

Then just the other day I remembered another old friend - this time, music. The teenage boy next door decided to play his oh so droll, wouldn't know talent if it hit him on the head, music, loudly enough to be heard up and down the street. Now the door from our living room to the garden is very close to his downstairs "pad" - so being really pissed off after about 30 minutes of this "noise", I opened the door turned my stereo right up and gave him a serve of "You Shit Me To Tears" by The Tenants - twice. Great, great, great song. Did I mention how much I like this song? Good dance tune too. I was able to let him know exactly what I thought of his manners as well as his taste in music while dancing and singing all the anger out. Being the thick skinned type, it did not seem to make any difference to him but I felt so much better afterwards. Hah!
Lyrics as follows:

There's a little man & he sticks in my mind
He's a pain in the arse & seems to find
Every bone in my body with an axe to grind
And all I've got to say about it

You shit me to tears
Am I making this clear
Just give me a break
For fucks sake

He's got a big car and he drives real fast
But you can't see where you're going
With your head up your arse
His voice is kinda muffled cause it's full of shit
And all I've got to say about it

You shit me to tears (etc)

My, little Dougie (insert appropriate name) how you've grown so tall
You've grown into a painfull know it all
I'd like to shove your head into a barbed wire fence
But you'd probably tell me all about it....

You shit me to tears (etc)

As you can see, this one is for those times when one either wants to hit the offending person or run screaming with rage through the streets pulling one's hair out. The first will get one arrested and the second, committed - so the above revenge fits quite well. My reputation with my other neighbours may have suffered but some things are worth it. (Smug, self satisfied smile)

Friday, September 12, 2008


I dreamt of the Morrigan last night. I had asked them for help in banishing something. In the dream I asked them again. They scolded me saying "It is done" then when I attempted to thank and praise them they scoffed at me and told me "Praise is not required, we did for you, sister." while they held my face. I woke up feeling a little shaken to be called sister by these women. This is the first dealings I've had with The Morrigan, that I'm aware of anyway. I don't really know much about them, so I'll have to do some research and see if the stories match my impression of them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Darling Buds of September

After a horribly cold winter, (We had 5 consecutive frosty mornings! And ice on the birdbath!That never happens here. Well obviously it does now - but it's not supposed to, being on the cusp of a subtropical zone) the weather is finally warming up. I'd take down the blanket over the curtains that was intended to keep in more warmth except that the mornings are geting lighter and until daylight saving starts at the end of October, I don't really want to be waking up at 5am or earlier. I'd noticed about a month ago that the season had changed -there was something a little different to the quality of the air. It took another week to be certain and finally the proof has arrived.

The maples all have new leaves and the sycamore(ish) tree (not really sure what it is) has baby leaves a week earlier than last year. Herbs that I allowed to self seed are pushing their delicate green leaves out of the mulch and my mind is turning toward planting the vegies I want this summer.

It's funny (not really) but over the weekend I heard about the floods in South Wales and here in New South Wales on the mid north coast we had ours on Friday. The bridge over the river that runs through the middle of town went under. There is always a scramble by those living northside, before the Council closes the bridge, to get emergency supplies (candles, batteries, food, toilet paper!!!) - as they only have a small corner store on their side - and they are never quite sure how long they will be flooded in.

Last year, a little earlier than this, we had another flood and so much rain that a landslip occurred between the house above us and our property, partially destroying the retaining walls separating the two. It has taken over a year for the Dept of Community Housing (who are responsible for the other property and for one reason or another legally responsible for the repairs) to start work of demolishing the remaining retaining walls and rebuilding. In fact, for the last fortnight there hasn't been a worker to be seen. The lower wall had been nicely cleared away and they'd dug a trench for the footings and then disappeared leaving a huge pile of clay soil and what amounted to an unsecured 6 foot trench between the upper retaining wall (yet to be demolished) and the walls of our house . Now along comes torrential rain and lots of it. Waterfalls flowing over the bank and washing the clay soil into the lower garden, another section of retaining wall collapsed and water gushed between the the horizontal slabs of the remaining now 6 ft unsecured retaining wall (about 1 and half metres from house). You can understand why I was a little nervous. My poor long suffering husband donned his dri-za-bone and using sleepers from the collapsed wall braced the remaining panels of retaining wall. phew! Having been notified of the damage to their excavations the workers have deemed it unnecessary to turn up today, Monday, to inspect the damage. Mutter, mutter, mutter.

Anyway, today is glorious. Birds everywhere! There are a pair of pardalotes attempting to nest into the nice new soft bank eroded by the rain. I've been trying to discourage them, assuming, perhaps optimistically, that work on the retaining wall will recommence soon. Just the other day not one but two male Regent Bowerbirds with their brilliant yellow and black plumage showed up in the wild tobacco trees (that I've allowed to grow in the garden) with their mates and the King Parrots have been coming in to feast on the pigeon pea flowers. Why would anybody spend time indoors when so much is happening outside? Me, obviously, because I'm writing this but not for long. Here I go. Signing out to go sit on the verandah and bask in the warm sun. Blessings to all.

Euch! Don't touch it.

Australia has traditionally had a culture where men do not shake hands with women upon introduction - which is more than a little unsettling for someone who comes from a culture where it is expected and not to do so is seen as insulting.

Now why don't these men shake hands with me? Is it because they think they show me respect by keeping their distance? Perhaps it's never occurred to them that by shaking my hand they may show me the same respect they show my male companion. Maybe they are so immature that they are unable to conceive of touching a woman in any way that does not mean a precursor to sexual intercourse or.... are we women all so scary that they "don't have the balls" to look us in the eye, shake our hands and acknowledge us as someone worthy of their (nonsexual) consideration?

What about those that do shake? Fortunately, with the growing numbers of professional women in the workforce, shaking hands between genders is becoming a more frequent occurence. Most men, I'm happy to say, are able to manage a proper firm handshake.

But what is the handshake by the fingers all about? Is it.... "oh my god, I have to touch her hand, how do I do that again?" or "Shit, my grip is so powerful, I wouldn't want to crush her delicate bones". Whatever courtesy is meant by it, it most often gives the following impression - of finding some malodorous, disgusting object and without the benefit of surgical gloves, having to dispose of it. So, holding it by one's fingertips, one frantically looks for the opportunity in which to divest oneself of said offending object. Which may be, for all I know, exactly how he feels. Now, if it's the first reason then my response is - quit being such a lilly livered twit and just shake. If it's the second then for "fucking, fucketty fuck's sake" (thanks Bo for the quote) boys, these bodies evolved to give birth, your handshake is not going to have us fainting away in agony. If however, the idea of skin to skin contact via the hands is so disgusting then for crying out loud - don't bother even trying because either way, you're going to offend me.

Not that I imagine anyone who needs to read this will acutally end up reading it. But it certainly has made me feel better writing it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Life

After a short (thank goodness) but particularly debilitating episode of anxiety and grief I began to fall into the depression pit. I did not want to go there again. A friend helped me stop the descent. I had been looking for The Truth, the one unalterable, unchanging Forever Truth. And I found a truth. At least, a truth for me, at the moment and even maybe a part of a bigger truth. I am yet to find out.

After the phone call, I took myself outside armoured with jumper, coat, woolly hat, socks and boots and armed with a hot water bottle. It was a cold, clear, still, Saturday night. Still, except for the party up the road and the hoons with their cars racing either into or out of town. I sat at the top of the steps leading to the garden from the verandah, attempting to keep my attention on body sensation, breathing. I reached out emotionally to the life around me and I realised (a light bulb moment) that everything that anyone does from the drunken parties to long hours of work to whatever - we are all grasping for, trying to create, experience, more life, more living. Everything is striving toward life, more life and I was a part of it. I was really connected to it - in the flow of it. The concept of connection to all things became the experience and it was beautiful, soul-filling and deeply peaceful. It has been a very long time since I felt a part of life in that way. My emotional state did a complete flip.

Since then, I have read a novel called "Shantaram". In the book, a character talks about his theory that the universe is moving towards ever increasing complexity and to the Ultimate Complexity and this seemed very much to strike a chord with the experience I just had. Nothing is static - everything is moving towards more. We may not, at times be acting on that impulse in a constructive manner (use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, reckless behaviour etc.) but it seems to me that consciously or otherwise that is the underlying motivation for what we do - in whatever way we want to define life or an aspect of it.

I have the opinion that everyone's spiritual path or lack thereof is unique and highly personal for the reason that, like my experience above, a realisation or idea may be quite profound for one person but the next person may merely shrug and say "Well, duh". So, I sometimes wonder how useful or appropriate it is to share our spiritual experiences since no-one is able to share exactly the experience we have and thus perhaps to not fully understand in the same way but what the heck - here it is.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A friend recently held a blessingway for her 2nd child and each of us were asked to present a poem or prose or a gift from our hearts. I chose to speak of my own experience - I don't know if I can do it justice as I'm not really a wordsmith but here goes.
Even from the first contraction I felt a sense of being a part of something greater than myself. Participating not just in the birthing of my child but touching that ancient and eternal birthing that is everpresent throughout the universe. Each clutching of muscle a magnificent push with the very hands of the stars guiding its progress. Each breath that of the universe helping, soothing, giving life and giving Life to each moment. Then there was the moment, the minute, second standing in the bedroom next to the birthing pool when I surrendered to the glorious, beautiful actions of my body and I knew the universe watched in excited anticipation, the stars showering me with encouragement and blessings. For every birth is special and worthy of celebration and every tiny particle of the universe rejoices with the mother. Was it hard work? Yes, I'd never worked so hard in my life. Not for nothing is it called labour. Was there pain? No, only great discomfort which I welcomed as a purposeful midwife to the wonder-filled, heart overflowing, brutally gentle, magnificent, triumphant process of birth.
Yes, my son was born at home. I was not offered and did not want drugs of any sort. And minutes after Ancient Tree was born, Mr I asked if I was up for the next 5 children and without hesitation I said YES. Let the bright seraphim.....

Monday, May 5, 2008


Well almost.
The concerts went much better than I expected given the limited amount of practicing done by some members of the choir. We performed Mozart's Mass in C Major, an incredible work considering he was only 17 when he wrote it. We also performed Beethoven's Chorale Fantasy - a majestic piece. Renate was brilliant on the piano. Sunday's performance was so much better than Saturday's and my solo in the Beethoven was the best I've done it. You know when you have those moments when everything just works and its gorgeous - the singers, the orchestra, the piano all coming together like one breathing organism and the music just flows and I felt like I was flying, soaring and all there was was the music and the audience may as well not have been there!!! And then the orchestra plays it's final chord, the momentary silence and suddenly I'm back there thinking, gods, where did that come from, was that really me sounding like that? Or was I suddenly possessed by some long dead diva. Holy shit!

I'm still walking a few inches off the ground.

Ah well, I've had my well deserved day off from all the hard work. Tomorrow it's back to Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate" and Handel's "I know that my Redeemer liveth". And digging out "Let the bright Seraphim" from the vault for the next concert.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Talking of Dreams....

Last night I had another of those dreams.
I was in a first floor apartment, the window open to a warm balmy evening.The type of windows that are hinged at the side and open outward, no wind out mechanisms, no sash windows. No fly/mozzie screens on the windows either, so obviously I was not in Australia!!!! On the wide treed and grassy strip down the middle of the road a jazz band was playing and there is some kind of celebration going on. Party lights twinkled in the trees and the old gas style street lights were on. I was packing for a holiday/journey.
I am doing a favour for an old boss (a lifetime ago) working in the office at the golf club. Ony the office in the dream isn't the office in reality (of course not!!!). Next thing I'm back in my real job (only it isn't) with artwork and papers strewn over a huge table in front of me and I'm ringing my old boss to see how he's doing and he says "Your duties are here" to which I reply "I have a job already". Then I'm back at the golf club office which isn't the office and I'm peering through the window and there is a bedroom in there all neat and clean with pink linen and lace, an antique dressing table and a white cot (empty) and I thought how weird that someone was living there (even though no one was around). So I walk back along the verandah and I see Ancient Tree waving at me through the window of the clubhouse, big smile on his face. I go to him and we hug and laugh.
Next scene, I am revisiting a place where I am well known and everyone has come out to say hello including the whole Court, complete in medieval costume and jewellry (yes, well, hmmm....). During my stay there, after someone commented that the prince and one of his friends look alike, I realise with a shock that they share parentage - when they shouldn't (gasp, tut tut).
Then I am in a room off the side of an old stone church used by Rotary (what the .....?) I am given a prophecy card (huh?) by the president of the local Rotary club where I actually live.( I should mention that I am not a member of Rotary but do know they have a four point ethical code something about truth and service and I know the president through the local steiner child care centre.) At first the black scrawl on the card means nothing and I say I'm going to need a book to translate it but as I look at it the writing becomes English though not written in straight lines and not in even handwriting. Along and aroung the edge there is writing saying that a knight will discover a threat to Australia and the name Tsvangarai is written and I think - what the hell has Tsvangarai got to do with Australia?!!!! [You tell me].
Anyway, next thing I know I am getting ready to embark on the boat home or onwards, not sure which. This boat is a wooden river boat. Again the whole Court is there to farewell me. I am standing aside with a a person who is a member of the Court but not - a fringe dweller like a jester might be (?in this world but not of this world). This person is non gender specific but I think of them as him but there seems to be some confusion. This person takes off their amulet/badge of office and places it over my head. It seems to have a druidic symbol on it. At one point in gets stuck on my hair but eventually is placed round my neck. I feel honoured and humbled. I hug this person and weep and weep and weep. I ask when I will see him again and am told "not till your death." After which I walk to the boat and.....wake up!!! (Damn)
Wouldn't it be great to be given episode two the following night? Never seems to happen though.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why argent?
Not too long ago I had a dream. (Mr I, who never remembers his dreams, loves to hear about mine, they are always so weird and quite often wonderfully mythic and epic in nature.) This particular dream centred around the question of "who am I?" To cut a long story short, a "guide", for want of a better word, I cringe at the thought of using "angel" with its sickly sweet new age insinuations, told me I was looking in the wrong way or to the wrong people and proceeded to place before me list of words, of which, the only word I could remember on waking was argent, a word hitherto unknown to me. Naturally I made straight to the dictionary to see if the word actually existed (you never know with dreams!!!) and lo.....
argent: Heraldry silver; silvery white. I just wish I could remember what else was written on that list!!!
In what way that partly answers my question.....I tell you when I know.
I was doing some pondering on a newspaper article of the pope encouraging world leaders to either be moral or promote moral values or both. My immediate thought was that it would be better to be ethical. Then I wondered about the difference between the two and....
  • Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong (definition from WordWeb)
  • 1a. concerned with goodness or badness of human character of behaviour, or with the distinction between right and wrong. b. concerned with accepted rules and standards of human behaviour.... (The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary)


  • Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong (definition from WordWeb)
  • 1.The science of morals in human conduct. 2a. Moral principles; rules of conduct b. a set of these (medical ethics). (The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary)
But I don't know about you but these things seem quite different from each other to me. After all, on what do we base our ideas of right and wrong. Morals seem to come from a Christian based culture whereas to me ethics are better stated as conduct that harms none. I suppose from an academic point of view this would seem quite simplistic an argument. And I don't want to get bogged down in suppositions with regard to the law of the land or hypothetical situations. I want to talk about choices that individuals make with regard to their conduct.
Whilst reading Jay Griffiths "Wild: an elemental journery" earlier this year, I was appalled to learn that there are still Christian missionaries in search of uncontacted tribes in South America to "spread the word" knowing full well that when they do so they will bring death and disease to these people. Now they may feel morally correct in doing so but their conduct is far from ethical. According to Griffiths conversion leads to a rendering of these tribes connection to their environment which results in depression, suicide, drug abuse. Apparently this is all okay because when they die they will be received into heaven. Has anybody yet identified the location of this place?!!!! I feel heaven (or hell for that matter) are what we make of our lives depending on the choices we make.
Recently, we had a change of government from what I and many considered a very small minded Liberal (an oxymoron if ever there was one)/National coalition to a Labor government. The previous government had refused to make any apology to the indigenous stolen generation however one of the first things the new government did was to formally say sorry, openly with no excuses, justifications or qualifications. It was a beautiful moment in our history that took a lot of courage given the possible legal ramifications. (Let's hope this government continues to act as morally and ethically.)
Given the panic over the peak oil issue, I can understand why an oil dependent country may wish to invade and control an oil rich country. They may even think they had moral grounds to do so but ethical?
To look at ethics in the broader sense with regard to big business and the community is to open such a can of worms that is just too big for me to consider here.
Do no harm! I started to consider the ways in which we do harm. There is the most obvious - physical, emotional, mental. The immediate thought is of harm done to others but how many of us think of harm in relation to ourselves? The most insidious form of harm coming from our thoughts and attitudes. For anyone who is interested, I suggest looking at Dr Masaru Emoto's idea in his book The Message of Water or researching psychoneuroimmunology.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Here I am

Well here I am wondering where to start.
I have some peace at present. Mr I and Ancient Tree have gone out for a drive - it's school holidays and Ancient Tree has been getting quite bored - not being allowed to play outside in the rain. Where's the fun in that?!!! Mr I and I are also getting quite bored with Ancient Tree's imitation of various characters from "Shaun the Sheep" - birthday present which has been played ad infinitum.
Oh great! It seems we are to be subjected to the overly loud p.a. system from the nearby oval entertaining us with the questionably interesting goings on of this afternoon's football (rugby of some form) match. Rather it was Yvonne Kenny singing Handel - any Handel!!!! Time to shut the windows and doors and crank up the stereo.
Yesterday's rehearsal of Mozart's Mass in C Major 'in honorem Sancitssimae Trinitatis' left me exhausted. With only one rehearsal to go before performance we should not be having to help people who still have not learned the work properly. Who was it said "The difference between an amateur and a professional is that an amateur practices until they get it right a professional practices until they can't get it wrong." ? I hope our audience won't be expecting anything close to a professional performance. Well I did it for the experience of choral singing - I've learnt my lesson. I'll stick with solo or ensemble work from now on. One person who will sound superb is Renate Turrini. We are also performing Beethoven's Chorale Fantasy. I only wish we'd been able to sing it in German as the English is execrable.

That's it for now. Mr I and Ancient Tree are home.