Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Quitting when the going gets tough is often viewed by our western society as being a bad thing. When we quit, we are seen to be lacking determination, or having a weak character, or are avoiding our responsibilities and duty, etc. etc. etc.
Quitting difficult things out of fear of failure or of success is fraught with strange emotional turmoil. On the one hand we are afraid of continuing in the difficult situation, but on the other hand we're afraid of losing our reputation - or even the status quo - if we don't continue to "tough it out".
Being a trooper and slogging uphill through the mud and slime of a no-win situation is apparently supposed to be a fine expression of character.
No! That's just being an emotional martyr.
It's one thing to tough out a tough situation which is not of your own making but it's an entirely different thing to tough out a tough situation just because you think it makes you look good for being so "brave"! You have to tough out things like cancer because you refuse to let the demon beat you. You can give up being defeatist about it and fight to keep hope alive because in the end you know that it's got to be worth fighting for.
But...you don't need to tough out a simply bad situation in life if you have a way of escaping it. A horrid job, a failing relationship, a skun knee, a broken heart...
There are choices. There are always choices.
One of these choices may include giving up the difficult thing and changing direction completely.
Steve Pavlina has a fine article today about the "Power of Now". It is about believing in the certainty of THIS moment and not letting fear of the past or of the future keep you in it's grip.
The future is now and failure is not necessarily a dirty word! The two don't have to go together.
So... giving up can actually be a positive decision for a positive change; a choice for making a better life. Giving up that which causes you pain and angst, and embracing a new "now" that brings hope and joy, can be a powerful thing.
It's not the giving up that is the issue here anyway - it's what you do once you've decided to give up that will make the difference.
The following famous lines say it all.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Live your moments in joy. :)
Monday, May 29, 2006
It all depends on your perception.
Your perception depends on how to you choose to think about what's happening around you.
You can choose to be utterly defeated and lose all hope.
You can choose to say "This is how it is right now... and that's okay", then move on and let it be.
There is hope in that.
Laughing in the face of difficult things make those difficult things seem smaller and less likely to bite.
You can still laugh - even when your sadness is almost overwhelming. Life IS shit sometimes - we can't change that by being morose about it.
But ... if we choose to let it be and understand that it was JUST a moment - a blink of a cosmic eye - then we will tread lighter and more joyfully on this planet.
There a many moments to a great life. Sadness makes up some of them and laughter the rest. In between can be morbid obsessions, crazy loves, stupid lies, silly dreams, fantastic friendships, extraordinary scenery, isolation, elation, wonder and magic!
- it all makes for a LIFE not a sentence of misery. The less it is about you, the more likely you'll find yourself having a good time. :)
Choose your thoughts!
Sunday, May 28, 2006
That trait, present in all cultures, and tradtions, is to Name.
Everything about us and around us is identified, codified and subsequently disseminated by the Name it has been given.
Naming things, people, ideas, constructs, possibilities, diseases, thoughts, gifts all give a dense energy to that thing and create for it a form which makes it then easier for us to pick up, discard or scrutinise further.
Things without names are hard to pin down. Ones Genius is a classic example of this dilemma. To find ones genius, one must get precise about what to actually call it.
Names for non-things become things in and of themselves. Angels? Do they exist? Are they real? Do they also have identity and soul? Who really knows! But.... we have NAMED "them" Angels - so therefore the possibility of their existence becomes vaguely more certain.
The name our parents chose for us as babies inevitably processes our identity for us throughout our lives and unless we choose to change it, makes us something of what we are and potentially can be.
Some of us go by two or more names. I have two names. :)
Michelle is my name given to me at my birth. Michelle is the name used by family and some of my closer friends of the past 16 years. Michelle is the name which I use to present a "professional" face in business. Michelle is a name from an old Beatles song which I absolutely DETEST! Hahahahaha! :)
Mitch is the name given to me by a high school friend when I was 14 years old. This name has become the one which breaks down barriers to friendship for me and creates better entente in many ways than "Michelle". I have been Mitch to many different groups of people in different circles for 30 years. It's a name that works in constructing quick friendships.
My cat has more names than he deserves. His name is Billy, but he also gets "Billzoid", "Pooh-face", "Bucket Features", "Foofy-feffer" and so on... I have this "thing" about calling my cat names! Don't quite know why - he just has that kind of energy about him. :)
Naming is what we do. It is intrinsic in our nature and character as people to need and want to name that which is useful for us to do so.
Names are special. They cement us in place but also make us grow into new shapes. Names provide syntax and coherence to our being.
The BEST names are those chosen for us by our friends and lovers. These names, selected by their heart, make the bonds of love and friendship grow deeper and stronger. These are intimate names - sometimes secret names. Names that identify not just what our friends think and feel about us but also define the relationship and it's journey. These are the names that bring a special coherence to our lives and solidify the value we bring to the world.
Naming ones Genius is a process of discovery. Finding the "right" Name does not come without some trial, but, if one can make friends with ones gift... love it and be at peace with it... then it's true name is more likely to just bubble to the surface as obvious as if it had been known all along.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
She has shown remarkable strength and endurance under enormous odds these past three years and I admire her courage and tenacity to hope and laugh in spite of everything she's endured and still enduring. :)
She dropped the following remarkable gem into her blog today and I can't help but share it here too.
The Survivor Movie is a deeply personal and moving summary of the triumph of human spirit over the ugly behemoth called cancer.
Like that beastly ogre who ran after you in the nightmares of your childhood whilst your own feet just would not move at all, cancer is that thing we must all be aware of maybe having to face someday. It's is not necessarily a death sentence. It's definitely a pause.
So... to those who are enduring this enemy of the body, I say "Rest and live".
To those who have endured and survived, I say "Thankyou for staying here with us and not being defeated".
To those who are yet to discover they have cancer, I say "Be ye of good courage - you are stronger than you know".
And to those who are facing death because of cancer I say "See you on the other side. We will miss you until then friend".
I'm half way through already and it's only been a day.
I haven't read a novel in literally years!
A lot of my reading, since having children, has been "serious" informational type material.
My reading list over the years has consisted of books such as
Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond
The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman
and my all time favourite in this genre...
Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawkins, Amory Lovins & L. Hunter Lovins
Then there has been my "religious" reading of course ;)
Paradigm Shift in the Church by Christian A. Schwarz
and a couple of Phillip Yancy books.
But a novel?
Well.... because I tend toward obsessive reading, where if the book is 'that' good that I can't put it down, I guess that, what with being a wife, mother, business partner, worker, cook, laundry slave, volunteer, friend, sister, daughter, and so on... reading books that one 'can't put down' has been impractical for the most part of the last decade.
The kids ARE older now and I have put the brakes on some of the other stuff in my life this year, so I do have time to read for pleasure at the moment. :)
Which means that I owe a BIG thankyou to Martin over at traumwind for daring me to be different and to read something just for fun for a change.
....and it has been a refreshing change too! :) In fact, it's a blast! :)
Friday, May 26, 2006
After the last couple, I thought perhaps that Fridays had in in for me but not this one.
I am feeling stupid, silly, childish and am having a whale of time being so.
Why should the kids have all the fun!
So... here's the thing...
Today is Silly Day and I'm going to enjoy myself emailing great friends and telling them silly things about all things stupid just because it's fun.
I'm even going to do something so silly I never DREAMED in a million years I'd do it! Yes! I'm going to read a Warhammer book! Ta Da!
I cannot believe it myself but.... I was told it was "important" to do so by a good mate so here goes... (gotta follow orders you know ;)).
I can see already that my mind is about to be stretched waaaaaay outside of it's current reality! But, I am itchin' for the ride too - something tells me it's going to lead to some interesting outcomes.
Now when you dance around in circles with your foot on your chin, you can think of me too! :)
I am of the "eager-to-please-puppy" type group of persons for whom identity and self-worth are entirely bound up in making the "Boss" happy.
The "Boss" is anyone who deigns me worth having around. If you demonstrate in some way, that you want me around, I will follow you to the ends of the earth to make you happy.
My sense of who I am is very much about what I think YOU think of me. I have always been inclined to see myself in the mirror of your eyes. The image is distorted of course. The reflection I see, is not really what you see, but I change it to fit according to what I believe you see. I mould myself to fit with how I think you'll best respond. I shape my nature so that we find entente quickly - thus preventing me from being alienated and isolated from you.
And how do I make these assumptions? I sense it - see it - in the hidden languages of eye, movement, unspoken words hanging mid-air, in twitches, touch and smell, taste and tongue. I read the stuff below your spoken words, in the depths, where you think it's hidden - and which it sometimes is - but I try to read it anyway to know where I fit inside that great undercroft of your being.
I am always scanning. Scanning the environment of heart, mind and soul, looking for sound underground. I am sensing my place in your world, in your face; looking at myself in your eyes and judging if that image is worthy or not. Mostly it's been not, over the years, but I'm getting better at not believing my own crap anymore. I'm getting better at the self talk, the self thing....slowly anyway.
It's a terrible curse this you know. Not believing in ones value for itself can be crippling emotionally and I have been to those dark places where it nearly got too much.
As time has moved on, I've gotten better at just accepting who I am as I am without personal judgement and loathing. I am confident now despite lapses in concentration occasionally. My personal faith in God goes a long way in this, but I will admit that my temperament is such that I will always need to seek some kind of validation from other people just as bodies need oxygen to breathe.
Maybe we all need validation. We're all looking for the belief that we are valuable just as we are without judgement or imposition.
Looking for self in the eyes of another is what a lot of us do, sometimes at least. We are all scanning the landscape of our lives and relationships, looking for that which brings us release from the burden of thinking we are not actually good enough - perfect enough - to be here. We primp and preen and do our damnedest to ensure we are "fitting in" with what we think will bring us the most security and happiness.
The truth gets blurred here.
What we want to see in the eyes of another isn't always what actually is. Masks are sometimes there for a reason - to hide what we are really feeling and thinking about the person before us. Some masks are worn to protect that other person from knowing our truth - because we do care about them really, just not the way they expect. Some masks are there to frighten others off because we don't like what we see in their eyes about our own reflection.
When we are brave enough, courageous enough to expose our vulnerability within, our fragility and our hopeless need for love from someone; when we come to them with our defenses down and the bridge extended across the moat inviting them to come inside; when we take off our mask and show ourselves as we really are; when we turn off the scanners and just let the other person be too; THEN we have found ourselves at last.
When we are brave enough to risk exposing everything to someone we love, we open the flood-gates of hope.
What we worry about most is when to do this exposing. We won't often risk doing this thing for our beloved especially when we don't see that same willingness to risk, for us, in their eyes. To risk exposing our deepest truth on the mere hope of mutual intimacy and connection is like believing we will win first prize - without a ticket - in the worlds largest lottery.
And so the masks stay on. We struggle uphill, again, perceiving our worth in distorted mirrors and feeling lousy because we can never seem to feel perfect - be perfect - enough.
There isn't an answer to this that isn't spiritual. Finding perfect love comes from a source outside of the human equation. When we seek to know the love of God, we are better able to risk loving other people without needing their validation.
Our deepest spiritual need is to belong to someone, to really belong and to feel connected to the piece of us that seems to be missing. We are all looking for that piece. One day I know we will find it.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Dreams swirled and eddied like softly running rivulets of clear water through my mind and even though I felt as if I was an integral part of these dreams I was also observer and commentator on them, minutely scrutinizing each facet of the dreams as they played out.
They would often repeat on a theme but with subtle changes or edits, if you will, because through the observation, I could see where improvements could be made and thought them into existence.
The dreams were beautiful, full of words and soft, gentle, joyous participation in being persons alive with wonder and possibility. The colours were muted, darker than usual for my dreams, with soft incandescent lighting and glow. There were muted reds, chocolate browns, deep greens, soft blacks and lazy mellowed whites. The softness was the most extraordinary sensation. Everything that was touched yielded and gave way in silky, soft and sensual pleasure.
The theme was the same throughout but each variation on it made the ideas within fill out and become truer and yet more impossible at the same time.
The theme was unconditional love. The variations were smiling faces, beautifully spoken words (that I wish I could remember well enough to copy here), of wisdom, love and peaceful communion. Impossibly beautiful joy and an intense sense of belonging.
It has been a long night but a night where I did not feel frustrated or annoyed that I wasn't "asleep". I could feel the bedclothes around me and the warmth generated from them and I was very comfortable. More comfortable than I usually feel in our nice big bed actually. I could lay perfectly still for a long time and experience each wave of dreaming as if it were a warm bath of indulgence and foaming bubbles.
Of course, a cynic might suggest I may have taken too many cold and flu medications before bed.... maybe... :)....If that is the case I can see why it would be easy to become attached to chemicals to induce such sensations. But no! I don't think so in this case. Something else was involved although I have no idea what.
I knew I was dreaming but I was still able to experience the dream. Quite an unusual feeling but very pleasant.
So even though I feel like I haven't exactly been asleep these past few hours, I feel very floaty and surreal today like I've been on a journey not quite of my own making.
It has been exceedingly lovely. I have no idea if it all means anything constructive but the experience has been beyond fantasy and dream, it has felt deeply real and encouraging.
I've never had a dream quite like it.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
So here it is. A strange little story of passion, need, love and friendship. Hope you like it. :)
Ocean and Rock Pool
He was the ocean.
He was deep, deeper than most men or women could fathom; and mysterious.
On any given day he could change his hue on a whim. One day green, green as apples in baskets, on another, an azure, crystal blue, and then changing with a flip of a coin to grey or black. He could be muted and uncoloured too, soft and forbidding all in one instant.
His depth was implied for no one could enter into it. He kept the swirling, murky truths of his heart hidden and contained, but they controlled him all the same – ever moving, ever silent, and ever changing. Yet, he was immutable, stronger than reason, but as fragile and as transient as time, too. A strange dichotomy to be sure but nevertheless, he was still but unchanging, and yet always in flux.
His moods changed with every moment, every day. One day he might be calm and peaceful, the next angry and savage, filled with cruel intent and lashing fury. In one day he could soothe lovers and torment survivors. He could rent nations apart and then fill their bellies with nourishing food. He was ill content, but full of himself. He knew his power but used it not as a weapon – he could not help the force of himself – he was as is and is to come.
Dark, beautiful, strange and omnipotent, his only flaw was that he was forever bound to the Moon and her wily constraints. She was his muse always and he was bound to her like no other thing on earth. He longed for her like food and riches.
But wait! There was another!
She was a Rock Pool on a vast shore.
She was pure, clear, still and as transparent as glass. She sheltered in the rocky outcrops on Oceans shirt-tails. She in turn gave shelter to the creatures that feared oceans intensity and she gave them respite from him and the searing day too. A friendly place, a warm place, her gift was a quiet thing, a sweet thing that would but give joy to mankind if they knew of it. She lived her life in retreat and hope for anything new.
And she was also removed from the world. Hard to see and understand because of her chosen place in this lifetime. She was alone, but not alone, swirling quietly under effervescent breezes in the places where few men dared to bother going.
She liked mankind, especially curious children, but they were rare in her life. The play of molluscs and the warmth of sunshine, the measure of eternal time and place were all she had to think upon. And then there was Him. Ocean - her need, her thrill, her fear and her wanting.
She lived for him alone. Jealous of Moon and her power over him and yet, needing her to drive him into her embrace at days end. She pleaded daily with Moon to allow her love to crash over the rocks, into her well-spring, thereby sustaining her for another day.
He filled her, fed her, re-created her and she needed him too much to deny him his assault. She awaited his wet-spray fingertips or rumbling full-frontal force of his being each day. He came to her - sometimes sweetly rising, sometimes crashing and violent - to come to her and refresh her to the depths of her transparent, bowl-shaped shallow heart.
And he needed her. She sustained him too, in many ways. She was his quiet retreat from an incessant urgent hunger in his deepest being. In her, he could find peaceful respite and calm retreat from the grind of eternal undulation. A piece of him at a time could rest there and grow lichen and sit, just quietly sit, and feel the sun bear down upon him, eating him up until he could bear it no more. She was a place where he could hide and the Moon could not haunt him, making him ache all over again with his need for Moon’s power over him.
He did not love Rock Pool like he did the Moon. Moon was obsession for him – a cruel never-ending obsession borne of passion and desire for impossible connection. But he did love Rock Pool in his way; after all he could not help but keep coming back at days end to her. It was as if he was inevitably drawn to her for the simple pleasure just to be with her. It would nag at him. Yes! This was his weakness, his one Achilles’ heel, it was this attraction that would not cease and yet could not impassion him.
At days break, she, Rock Pool, would see him leave again to wander the world in his own way, exploring possibilities on every shoreline, whilst she learned to wait and wish upon Moon for the tide of love to break over her again.
Thus Ocean and Rock pool lived all the days of their lives, apart and very different, but always one and the same in their essential natures.
They learned to live content with that.
© M. Pitman 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I waxed lyrical about the wonderful slowness and intimacy that is developed through textual conversations.
But having read Alexys Fairfield's last two blogs about the deprivation of kids in places such as My Space dot com, I'm feeling like I might have been a little naive.
I had HOPED that kids were perhaps learning to differentiate between this kind of stupidity and gross corruption of their souls but maybe there is a lot we still need to teach our youth about the boundaries of respect - for themselves and for others.
But then I was horrified to read Dave Pollards dissertation on Insecurity and Status-seeking in adults.
If adults cannot recognise the intrinsic worth they hold within themselves as unique and wonderful individuals - without pride or self-seeking need for gratification - how then are we to teach our kids their own inherent value as people?
The world cries out in desperation for love. Unconditional love that isn't about merely meeting ones spiritual, physical and emotional needs but fills them completely so that they aren't an issue anymore! It then becomes not about us, but about others. When it becomes about others and not ourselves, we are more content, satisfied, and joyously, deliriously happier than ever before. We are blessed more through our forgetting ourselves than through trying to satisfy ourselves.
It's when the deepest parts of us are nourished in complete knowledge that we are precious and LOVED - just as we are - that we are then able to be wise in the way we teach our kids to be lovely people.
So... tell your kids you love them. But more than that - show them through your own actions.
There can be no dishonour, debauchery, licentiousness, hatred, greed, selfishness, manipulation, dysfunction or madness in aiming for these qualities. But in order to achieve them, we need to know that we are already valuable and that we don't need to prove anything about ourselves.
And the only way we can know that we are valuable? I won't preach - you know where I stand on these things, just be open to the possibility that God wants to come to you just as you are.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Illness can bring out the bear in us eh?
All our defences come up and our tolerances come down. Walls instead of bridges. People become targets and words become arrows shot straight into hearts - just to make the quiver of ones temper a little lighter for it.
Oh! I can be nice enough to friends and strangers... but family can cop a serve on a regular basis when "Mother Bear" isn't feeling well.
Okay! So, a cold is a cold is a cold and it'll take a week - or 7 days - to get better, whichever comes first. :)
Just allow me to wallow in self-pity under dark blue clouds until then. After that you have my permission to tell me to "Get a Grip" and get over it! :)
Sunday, May 21, 2006
There seems to be something unique in how these relationships develop. That feeling of entente and community generated through TEXT rather than through personal presence, seems to cement the feelings of genuine understanding. So, instead of misunderstanding people because of mixed physical signals, I understand you so much better because I get what you're saying through your words.
I think perhaps, that writing our thoughts has a different kind of energy to it. This relationship building over the net removes some of the peripheral stimuli in our faces, bodies, eyes and hands and instead, brings a kind of pure essence of identity through the way we express ourselves in text.
These friendships are no less valuable than the ones we make in "meatspace". :)
They grow, change, develop and fade just like other friendships in our 3D lives. There is something esoteric about internet friendships though, that transcends the boundaries of normal relationship building. Building a relationship through text seems to have a very intense, personal and intimate quality in this cyberspace world where we may not know each other in person but can still "know" that other person very well indeed.
We are often cautioned against trusting people on the net. It's wise advice of course, but in my experience, I've found the fraudsters to be rare. Most people are genuine and those who aren't are generally found out pretty quickly - it's hard to maintain a written lie for long after all. I know for certain that the few internet friends I've actually met in this three dimensional world are as lovely, as funny and as beautiful as they portrayed themselves in conversation on the internet - through the way they write.
The internet may change this with the new technologies of spoken and visual communications aka Skype The relationships we build through this medium will be much more like every day relationships because the "noise" of our bodies, especially our voices, will also be more present.
I'm not sure it's a good thing - yet, but I'm willing to try it all the same. :) However, I also find the beautiful slowness of textual communication to be quite refreshing. I think BECAUSE it is such a slow process we strip back to the essentials more quickly and expose that which is most ourselves more easily. This builds friendly intimacy and understanding faster than when we are trying to sift and survey truth and resonance through the maps of intonation and skin - at least in my experience it has.
Text has a soul to it that is as unique as a fingerprint to each person. What they write is their voice but purer and less filled with static than the normal spoken voice. We are less able to hide who we are through what we write.
Maybe it's because I read things between lines - I am given to over-analysis on these things sometimes, but I do feel the emotion of another through their written words. The context and the meaning of the words are significant of course but there is soul too - very beautiful and pure essence of soul.
If literacy is reading and writing, then it has also become emotional as well. Being able to read is one thing, being able to feel and understand what one is reading is an entirely different skill. I believe that this next generation will perhaps have a better EQ than previous generations, because the internet will MAKE our kids understand people in a new way, with new tools to do so. The textual chat of our kids will re-define world view and culture for the next century or two; language itself notwithstanding! There will probably be a paradigm shift in the way our kids relate to other people because of the nature of these "new" kinds of relationship building technologies.
One could be cynical and say that this technology is no different from the advent of the telephone but I beg to differ. The telephone gave us immediate access to immediate relationships that already existed in our corner of the world. The chat technology of the internet opens up the world to entirely new possibilities of connecting with people who used to be completely outside of our knowledge and experience. We didn't just pick up the phone to meet new people, we used the phone to conduct business with strangers and connect with family/friends/neighbours. Chatting on the net, opens up potential to make new friends first THEN connect with them for business opportunities. It's a definite difference but no less important than that other piece of century-defining equipment.
Family and friendship have taken on a global context that is exciting and quite hopeful I think. The more we build wonderful new relationships online, despite cultural and traditional differences, the more likely this planet we share, will survive our capricious selfishness. Call me an idealist then if you will :)
In the meantime, I'm just really, really enjoying my virtual tribe :)
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I still don't quite know why I was feeling like that. I've been on an incredible high these past few weeks since having discovered my Genius, so I guess it's inevitable to have to come down off this mountain some time.
I'd like to turn around and go straight back up but that wasn't practical for Moses, not even the second time around, so I figure it's probably not practical for me either. Genius is what we do for others, not so much ourselves. This means that a lot of the euphoria of change and identification I've felt these past few weeks, now needs to be channelled into constructive "doing" things that will help this human train we're all on, travel to its destination smoothly.
I also didn't start yesterday with my usual morning prayer.
Each morning I wake up I ask my God to bless my day and the day of each person who's name or face pops into my mind in those early waking moments. This habit of mine consistently seems to make my days go better, smoother and more positively. When I fall out of this habit, I find I struggle uphill a lot more. It may sound wierd to you of course, but it works for me ;)
The day shouldn't, technically, have been such a dark tapestry of internal conflict. I had the pleasure of catching up with a dear girlfriend whom I rarely see these days what with our busy schedules. It was so lovely to see her and hear all her news. That was indeed a highlight.
However, by last night, I was desperate for some kind of release from the inner commotion of disturbed thought and feeling so I turned off the tele and put on music (of course! ;))...
Radiohead's "The Bends" album filled the spot nicely. Moody and replete with dark, sad lyrics, it's kinda ironic that this type of music should lift the clouds from my heart, but it did. It was as if Thom knew exactly how I felt and channelled my gloomy distress into velvety sounds that caressed the sadness slowly toward joy again.
To finish off the evening, I then turned to an old favourite...
Dark side of the Moon of course, by Pink Floyd :)
Nothing is more guaranteed to bring a song to my lips and a smile to my heart.
All is well. :)
Friday, May 19, 2006
I feel dissolute today and I don't know why!
Pieces of me feel like they're been strewn across a painted emotional landscape, fluttering like ticker-tape into puddles, the colours of my being seeping like old blood to the edges.
I'm so tired right now.
Weak and uncontrolled.
It's these tapes in my head of course.
I've been re-working them all day. The negative thinking drones in terminal loops inside my brain so I regularly must stop myself and strategically rearrange this perverse energy into "rational" thought. I am trying to have internal conversations with a view to "correcting" my thinking processes and thereby relieve this emotional stress I feel. It's hard!
I try to construct some sort of coherence and meaning from this.
Why would today be of such ilk as this?
What is missing? What do I need to do/think/feel/say to be together - coherered - again?
At least tomorrow is another day. This too will pass. :)
Instead of just telling you about it, I've written a story instead. Hope you like it. And congratulations to the person/s behind this remarkable repository of social history.
The tiny corner of her postcard, split apart and curled upwards to meet her and she cursed it as she pressed her thumb hard against it to stick it back down. She smoothed out the paper until it had adhered properly.
"It has to be perfect", she said to herself. "It has to say exactly what I feel".
The corner of the card remained in place and so she turned attention to other parts of her 10cm x 15cm creation.
She had taken a picture from a magazine to represent the image she wanted to convey on this card. She didn't want anyone to know who this was about. It was a huge risk exposing this truth to the world, but she did need somewhere to vent and this was an opportunity too good to pass up.
Post Secret. A blog on the internet where people could send in their deepest, most intimate secrets anonymously. It was a brilliant concept and a fascinating insight into the human condition. Relationships, love, lust, greed, desire, friendship, hatred, anger, grief, relief... it was all there. Cass loved reading it and had for a long time wanted to contribute her own dark secret.
So, here was her chance. She had bitten the bullet a few days earlier and had secretly gathered her bundle of craft supplies together with the view of finding a quiet space and time where she could construct her postcard. She smiled at the irony of crafting her secret in secret only to then have it published for all the world to see. There was something cathartic about the idea though, as if by confessing this sin, she could somehow be absolved of the guilt of it.
With pieces of torn newspaper with isolated words, glue, card stock, markers, glitter, a few magazines from which to take images, scissors, a postage stamp and with a sense of guilty pleasure, she sat one sunny Saturday afternoon alone in her kitchen and began the crafting process. This monster inside her had resided there, in her heart, for the past 20 years. She was tired. Tired of carrying painful longings, secret dreams of possibilities never obtained, tired of having to be so under control with this thing. She needed to get it out, to clear it from her subconsciousness and set it free.
She started with the image of a woman and a man sitting across from each other. They were smiling and drinking what was apparently coffee gauging from the advertisement the image had come from. The two people in the image looked at each other with laughter in their eyes. They looked like they were good friends.
Cass took some glue and smeared a rough shape around the couple. She then sprinkled on the glitter and shook off the excess revealing a gaudy, glittery heart. She wanted it to look a little like a school-girls effort, with tacky, glittery heart-shapes. This thing inside her was like that - childish and foolish. She let the glittery glue dry and then choosing, carefully, the words in newsprint, she snipped and glued the following message to the card.
"I have always, always loved only you".
That was all it said. She didn't need to say more. This was her guilty secret, the one she could no longer contain inside her.
She sat back and contemplated her card. A lone tear trickled down her cheek as the pain of having kept this underneath her skin for so long leaked through. She composed herself and put the card into an envelope. She addressed it and put the stamp on it.
She decided it was best to post it straight away so she packed up everything on the table quickly and was about to head out the door when the phone rang. Sighing, she went to answer it, the postcard grasped in her hand.
"Hi" said the deep, velvet voice on the other end of the line.
Cass's heart skipped a beat but with her many long years of practise, she quickly regained control over her messy heart. "Hello Tom!", she said brightly with a smile in her voice.
She looked down at the card and the silent tear again broke ranks and retraced its path down her cheek. He was her best friend's husband.
Life could be so unfair sometimes.
© M. Pitman 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Have you ever just let the sound enter you and fill you and let it take you into a state of complete and extraordinary wonder?
I have of late been taking a LOT more interest in sound as an art-form.
It's not difficult to notice from this blog that music plays an incredibly important role in my life. Even though I can barely play a note of music myself, I love and appreciate the fantastic and wonderful places music can take my heart, soul and mind.
But it's more than music too. It's sound. Effortless, pure, clean sound. For example, the other day I listened - really listened - to the thrum of a truck on the busy highway, or just now, the sweet early morning twittering of waking birds. Both sounds, very different and each having their own quality. I'm trying not to place these sounds into a rigid context or put a personal judgement on the "rightness" of them, but I just want to let them percolate inside me to become their own musical notes for the soundtrack of my life.
Clicks, pops, whistles, clangs; muted whispers, darkly expressed low notes, sweet centered notes, high-pitched jarring noises, it's all as much music as that which is arranged in synchronised harmonies.
We take this discordant 'music' of ordinary life around us so much for granted. The sound we absorb everyday is actually quite extraordinary.
Silence is a beautiful thing too. But silence is something most of us can only handle in smallish doses. Silence can become oppressive and disconcerting if enforced for too long. Silence becomes its own noise and one will strain to hear anything new that will break it's spirit. And if one can't hear, then sound will insist on being felt - it cannot do otherwise.
Music, soundscape, vibration, resonance; these are that which enrich us and create synergy for us.
May you experience the pure sound of your life today. :)
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
One of my favourite sites to visit each day, of late, is 365 Tomorrows. This is Sci-fi Flash Fiction at it's finest. A big thanks to my friend Martin for the link. :)
Anyway, I wanted to have a wee bash at FF myself so here's the next writing experiment from me. :)
Flying with Yes or No
Georgie stood atop the outcrop of rock that overlooked the valley below and wondered if it was actually worth going ahead with the idea.
Did she really think she could do it? Was it worth the effort, the time, the stress?
She couldn't exactly answer those questions with immediate confidence so she waited for the tiny little zing deep inside her gut to help her make the decision.
Each time she asked the question and then followed it with one of these options. Each time she waited until she felt, rather than heard, the answer deep inside her.
This was how she always made her directional choices in life. It was how she finally decided to take up gliding all those years ago. She had been very young, barely 15, but the thought of flight had held her fascination since she was a small child. Her parents had been against the idea because gliding was considered a "mans" sport, but her gut told her to go for it because in the end, she just wanted to know if she was really capable of flying like birds.
That life-changing decision eventually led to her becoming a fully qualified commercial pilot and that had in time, led to her heading up the Airline Pilot Training Program out of the airport she could see, down to her right, in the valley. It was lauded world-wide as one of the best programs available and every qualified pilot who had trained under her governance had maintained a perfect incident free report card. She was pretty proud of that.
She only half watched the apparently tiny planes departing and arriving, being, as they were, at a distance from her, but right now, she was more concerned with whether she should go on with the proposal sent to her by NASA, The National Aeronautics & Space Administration in the USA.
Test flying new planes was one of her joys. To feel the nervous shudder of new alloy and glass under her finger tips as she caressed virgin aircraft into the blue beyond thrilled her like no other sensation. It was a dance with death that filled her with more than enough life several times over. She loved that thrill like a drug.
Still, this was an awe-inspiring proposition all the same. She imagined flying for NASA in their sleek and shiny high-altitude jets, assisting a crack team of engineers, scientists and aeronautical experts, testing some of the latest space technology that would eventually, change lives for decades to come. It seemed like a very satisfying thing to do.
The zing was definitely there. She smiled and whispered a grateful thanks to her god and turned to leave her rocky outcrop finally content that she was a woman who could, quite possibly, change the course of history.
© M. Pitman 2006
I was a classic "Night Owl" type who liked reading past midnight, or partying at the disco (yes...disco! I'm really that old you know! ;)) until pre-dawn.
Sleep was something one did in the morning until just before lunch! :)
But time changes everything. Even Night Owls.
For the past two years or so I've become more an "Early Bird" than a Night Owl. I tend to wake up around 5:30am these days and get stuck into the day. However, the flip-side to this is that I'm a decidedly wilted flower by nightfall.
My kids think it's hilarious that Mum has to crash on the couch for a nap nearly every day. They haven't got to this stage of their lives yet though...I'm waiting for my turn to gloat when they complain how tired they are! ;)
However, these past three months have seen me getting up earlier and earlier.. I've been having this insomnia thing going on. It's not too bad getting up at 4:30am or thereabouts but it could get a bit tedious soon if I can't get this old body clock to settle down to a more manageable rhythm. I thank God there's the internet for these early morning sojourns, it's much better fun than early morning TV I must say!
I had surgery a few months back and one of the post-surgical symptoms I was warned about was the probability of a period of insomnia as my body healed over time. Subsequently, I've not been particularly stressed about not sleeping much at the moment. This too will pass, as all nagging annoyances generally do. :)
Mornings aren't so bad. I love the quiet tranquility of early mornings. I love my kids but once they're up out of bed... life gets kinda hectic and starts to spin at terminal velocity... so I'm much happier if they stay there, in bed, for as long as practically possible most mornings :) It gives me time to think, to write, to chat to friends over the Net; Hey! I actually GET to access the Net without having to invoke Parental Computer Rights! :)
So yeah! It's a bit tedious this VERY early rising thing but it's not so bad really if I just go with the flow.
Everything changes; all the time. No matter how routine we might think things are, time, place, things, people, ideas, all morph and move, flex and hitch. It's not a bad thing unless you let it get to you. Life is about growth and movement, it's not meant to be static immobility.
That's what makes living so wonderful! Everything, absolutely everything, is so much more interesting this way. :)
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I haven't said much here about my faith. Mostly because Faith is such a personal and intimate thing for people that many of us would much rather prefer if we never said anything about it to each other. We all want to believe our OWN things about God, Life, the Universe, and the Price of Fish in China.
When it comes to Christianity - it gets even murkier and muddier still. Not many people outside of the institutional church want much to do with the constraints and fixations of we christians. We are too wierd, too flawed, too arrogant. We profess so much of what is NOT Gospel and expect that the world will listen. We speak of Love and Hope but rarely demonstrate it unless it happens to come with commandments.
There IS love and hope and gentleness within the Church, it's in the quiet places, in the hidden places where people just go about being who they believe rather than just saying what they think they believe. There is much to love about the Christian Church - IF you can see it through the eyes of Christ.
I'm no angel, but I am a Saint! I live in a world that you can't get to unless you come inside my Faith with me and explore this world for yourself through the understanding of the Holy Spirit. I've been given something so unique and powerful that it's difficult to describe as a human construct. It's more than real, it's blimmin' unreal! :) I have access to incredible riches of Joy, Hope and Love. I KNOW I am deeply and intensely loved by my Creator. I KNOW that my flawed and faulty nature will never match the perfection of God but despite that He chooses me again and again and again to walk with Him.
I wear a chain pretty much permanently around my neck. On it hangs three small elipses, each one engraved with a symbol and a word that mark out for the world what I am and what I believe.
On the back of each elipse is a text from the Bible which says what I know to be true for each concept.
Firstly "FAITH" John 11:25-27 (The Message)
"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"
"Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world."
Next is "HOPE" (My favourite :)) 1 Peter 1:3-5 (The Message)
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven--and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all--life healed and whole.
And finally and as importantly "LOVE" 1 John 4:10-12 (The Message)
This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us--perfect love!
These three texts and the three symbols, The Cross for Faith, shaped like a sword, the Anchor for Hope, the Heart for Love - perfect love without constraints or conditions - these are the essential creed by which I wish to live.
I don't want to proselytise you and MAKE you believe the same things I do. I couldn't even if I did want to. We cannot come to God ourselves - or even believe in Christ by ourselves. This faith - this impossible belief - happens only when you are given the eyes to see these things for yourself by God himself. The only thing He wants is that you allow Him to show it to you!
It's really that simple!
There is so much that is flawed in a christian but at the same time there is much that holds the greatest potential to demonstrate the truth of who God is. You will find it wherever there is love, hope, joy and inspiring faith which transcends ordinary life and lifts you up to the most beautiful and wonderful of places. Genuine Christianity is warm, honest, open and gentle. It's kind and never self-centred. The arms of Christ, his hands, his feet, his wisdom and his sacrifice are evident in the beautiful christian. There is no lie there - just truth and a glimpse of heaven. There can be no room for bigotry or judgement from us. We are the guilty, rescued, so who are we to judge anyway?
I wear my chain to remind me of these things. It hangs like army dog-tags on my chest, always there to let me know how deeply I am loved and to remind me how much I need to show you that same kind of love even when I keep on failing at it time and time again. I trust that my God forgives me when I do.
This is my creed. I thank God for it.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I've had one of those weekends where you want it to end and it won't and it's taking forever to move....
.................... toward something...
.........................................different than what you've got.
Discontent is such hard work!
It's so frustrating wanting and not having, and waiting for the wanting to go away and then just have it!
It's a new week. Who knows what new adventures lie in wait around the corner.
I can't wait. :)
Sunday, May 14, 2006
It's another day.
A beautiful, simple, theres'-work-to-do day.
I sit here drinking HOT tea which I've made with my own hand (and which is entirely preferable under most circumstances), and have been reading up on the history of Mother's Day.
Some say that this day is a commercial excuse for people to shop and buy stuff. Yeah! I can go with that. But I DO rather enjoy receiving gifts and if the family won't buy me any, then I usually make it an excuse to buy something I would like to have. This year, it's a webcam and a VoIP headset (I am so excited :)).
But what do mothers themselves really think of Mothers Day?
Well, here's what I think - because I'm a Mum, so I feel qualified to give my 2c. :)
It's a kind of a longing really. A wistful longing to be recognised and appreciated and to have that not taken for granted feeling. To know that what I do and why I do it is as important in the greater scheme of things to the members of my family as it is to me.
I would love to have a day where I could just do what I wanted to do for myself. I am prone to these bouts of complete selfishness but because I'm in that in between age of nurturing two different generations, my children and my parents, I find that Mothers Day for me is more about working for the recognition of others than for myself. It's not a holiday as such, it's a day of duty in appreciating the work of other Mothers.
So I haven't ever really thought of Mothers Day applying to myself. It's simply just another day, another task to be done, another meal to attend to, another person to acknowledge. The latter is however the sweetest thing of all. Acknowledging the work of other Mothers is perhaps why this day is valuable despite all the commercialism. It's a good thing to tell other women that they truly are appreciated and needed. It's a good thing to demonstrate the depth of our love and thankfulness for their unwavering contribution to our needs. It's a good thing to be demonstrative in our affection and shower our Mum's with simple gifts of time, appreciation, goods, food and sympathy.
My 20 year old God-daughter gave birth to her first child this past week. Her baby girl is now bound to her heart, body, mind and soul for the rest of her days. No matter what happens, where her new baby daughter goes, who she grows to become, what she does, who she does it with, my God-daughter is going to feel everything her child does as keenly as if it was happening to herself. Maybe my God-daughter will finally now begin to understand her own mothers anguish these past few years for the wild ride she has given her! :) Who knows.
But for today, it's her very first Mother's Day. She has become a fully paid up member of this special club and her work will now, never end - even on Mothers Day.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
I was musing again today about how I came by the name for my Genius.
It was all in this picture.
Drawing ones "Genius" is one of the exercises in Dick Richards book Is Your Genius At Work. There are multiple exercises in this book which will help you discover your own Genius, and everyone finds clarity at some point on the journey. For me it was in this little sketch.
Now if you'll please excuse the fact that I have absolutely no ability in drawing, this piece of "art" actually turned out to be key to the defining moment when I KNEW what I was about.
I drew very quickly of course, without any clear idea what I even wanted to draw. I just let it come out of me so to speak.
It started with two rough circles, then the smiles and the eyes and then the hands with that big black blob tying them together in the middle. I put the legs on these little people just so they looked a bit more like people I suppose, but they were pretty much irrelevant.
I studied this picture for quite awhile and each time I kept noticing that little black blob in the middle.
That was the key. I knew that this was where it mattered most to me. This is what I do and what I want to do. I don't know I'm doing it half the time but I'm always filtering life through this thing to make it happen. I use every available skill I own in the range of human endeavour to bring it about through language, commmunication, thought, idea, body, soul, belief and values.
I am looking to build that sense of cohesion between myself and another. The Ties that Bind. Stuck on You. Secret Handshakes between friends. Mutual admiration. It's all that and more.
I guess this is why I can come across as being scary for some people who don't understand what I'm about. It appears as if I want to "entrap" them in my grasp but I don't really; I just want the feeling of trust, love, friendship and harmony to be mutual. It's ME who feels incredibly frustrated when it's not.
Of course, from there I toured Roget's Thesaurus to find the best word that summed all of this up. That word was "coherence". From there it was almost easy to find the gerund to precede it. I couldn't build a house if I tried but I am about construction processes, particularly "building up" people. I'm an Encourager, par excellence, and I will do everything within my power to make you FEEL good about yourself just because I really, really want to. :)
It's been an extraordinary journey this discovery of my Genius. My husband only commented last night that he was quite blown away by the "change" in me of late. I smile at that. I have ALWAYS been about "Constructing Coherence" - I just didn't know it at the time!
Now that I do, I guess I'm more in tune with my desire to do what I do naturally best in this world. It's all quite obvious in hindsight.
One of the most noticable outcomes for me of late has been that I can look people in the eye a lot more confidently. I thought I was reasonably confident before all this, but apparently not. Now that I know better who I am, I'm able to understand and accept people for who they are more easily, instead of perceiving myself through what I think they're thinking of me (and if you can work that sentence out - you're doing really well baby! LOL).
Anyway, I'm still learning new things everyday about all this Genius stuff and it thrills me no end to find the blooming buds of new growth in my spirit as a result of the process.
I encourage anyone who has not yet done this search for their own Genius to get a hold of the book and have a go at the exercises. If you get stuck, pop on over to the The Genius Workshop and some really lovely people will be only too willing to help you track it down. :)
Friday, May 12, 2006
I don't think so.
Not today anyway.
Some days, life is basically garden manure and today was "one of those days".
So... I'm trying to find my sense of humour under all the humus. It's going to take some finding but I think I will manage to get some sense of the bigger picture back by Monday. I'm ever the hopeful one.
Besides, if I can't laugh at the non-sensical stupidity of this life I lead sometimes, then that's going to make anything I say here, from here on in, sound just little bit hollow. I'd like more integrity than that in expressing my inner bean, I can assure you.
I really DO believe in the possibilities of a future with a positive spin on it no matter what happens today that is less choc-coated than on other days. I will always be a half-glass-full girl despite days where I am wondering who gulped down the top half of my glass without my knowledge!
Okay. So I'm breathing deep and sucking in the JOY! Yes! That's what I need to do: breathe in deep and say aloud...
"I am happy and healthy and I am NOT going to go completely blind!"
Repeat all weekend for maximum benefits.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
A VERY large young lady - who was actually very pretty as well - had been stopped by the Police and she chatted with them while they sat in their divisional vehicle for quite a few moments.
I'm not sure what the conversation was about and it's none of my business anyway - that's not the point here.
Anyway, as the cops left, she walked back to a group of three youngish males and promptly laid her head against the chest of one in a posture of need and comfort. She wasn't crying but was obviously quite shaken.
All three men proceeded to 1. find out the story 2. comfort her because of the story 3. try to cheer her up - It was quite the most amazing thing...
BUT THEN.... The best was yet to be...
Without ANY compunction, in broad daylight, in full public view, and with smiles on their faces, these three men gave this large and beautiful woman a huge "Group Hug". They surrounded her with the full force of their combined compassion and cheer, embracing her in the middle of their circle as if she was the most important person on the planet.
I'm absolutely blown away! It was the most beautifully supportive and sensitive demonstration of love between friends I've seen for a very long time.
THIS is what we are here for people! To DO THIS.
I don't particularly care about whether the woman was involved in something unsavoury or otherwise re her "chat" with the police. There are no judgements from me about her story here. I don't need to know them and neither does anyone else.
What I found profound and inspiring instead, was that here was a gentle expression of affection and concern from a group of men for another human being who happens to have been a woman. There was no sex in it as far as I could tell - it was just friendship in its purest form BETWEEN the sexes!
It was absolutely blimmin' marvellous to witness and has made me smile all afternoon.
Men and women CAN be loving and affectionate with each other and still have great friendships. We don't need to confuse our love for another person with sex or desire. We just need to learn and understand how to communicate with each other clearly enough so that beautiful entente between us can grow.
Those three lovely blokes today proved to me it is very possible. :)
Thank God for Good Men! :D
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
And maybe it's because I'm noticing the writing world more of late, but it also seems that the local bookstores in our town are brimming with "new" authors and many prolific authors with new titles and more than a few others under their belt.
It's surprising that we all have so much to say! :) The total number of words in this ever-burgeoning feast of literature must be astronomical!
Still, we find new ways to say the new things, and new ways to say the same old things. I find myself adding new blogs to my blogroll everyday and they ALL interesting and informative. I have learned so much more in these past two months just reading blogs, than any degree at any university could have given me in a year.
But is it all too much? Will we ever become so glutted on this volume of expression, of idea, of news, of story to be tired of it?
The world of The Weblog has come a long way. Maybe it's reached the zenith of it's natural bell curve - maybe it's still got further to go. I suspect the latter. There are millions more people who still want to be HEARD and get that sweet feedback in knowing that what they say and think is of value to "someone" out there. There are millions of "someones" out there, who are ready and able to soak it all in and enjoy the writing. That's the beauty of the Blog - it's so immediately reciprocal. It's brought the writer - and the reader - out in nearly all of us. We are writing furiously everything we think, know so and how to, just because it's so refreshing to be able to do this without that middle man publisher thing going on.
It's not that I have anything against publishing companies par se, but I do think they're fighting a really big battle now. Our way of relating to literary entertainment is changing inexorably. The blog has created an instant form of publishing in a short, immediately accessible format that suits our Western constraints of Time Worship.
Publishers know this and the plethora of "immediate" fiction awaiting purchase on bookshelves around the world is exploding; at least it seems to be, here, in Australia anyway. They've just GOT TO keep up with the pace of it all. So we see new authors, new titles, new ideas, new concepts and new covers every day. It must be making a few old publishing heads go grey with anxiety.
These books may be all very, very good writing (or not), and they may have taken the writer years in development and editing, but the truth is - they are for "immediate" consumption by a reading hungry public who just want the thrill of a story to carry them away for a brief time and then move on. What is left is called "remainder", sold off cheap and eventually pulped to make new books. It all seems so disposable doesn't it?
I suppose the blog is disposable too. It's a thought, an idea, a construct so brief and dissolvable within the moment that it's like Pez, fizzy on the tongue and competely forgettable unless you happen to collect the containers it comes in. Blogs are like that too in that I "collect" these written 'containers' in my blogroll and each day taste their updates as if they were sweets on which to indulge. It's heavenly entertainment but does it REALLY say anything compelling enough to last through time and history? Is it actually healthy to have so much of such a good thing? Is it a good thing at all?
I think so. On the whole, we are compelled to make our voices heard above the din. We naturally select our particular "tribe" of like-minds which say the things we like to hear or want to learn about. We are all looking for coherence in making our, understanding, understood by others and vice versa. The blog gives us this reciprocity, and the pulp fiction on those bookshelves does too in many ways. It's all learning AND it's entertainment. In this very mixed up crazy world we live in with terror supposedly around every corner, I think we crave this sweet disposable thing for the joy it brings.
Quite frankly, I think Shakespeare would've been in 7th heaven if he lived in this generation and I'm SURE his blog would be very well read indeed. :)
My take anyway :)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
For the past two weeks, Australia has been watching nervously as two miners, trapped nearly 1 kilometer below the earths surface in Beaconsfield Tasmania, were slowly and gently extricated from their tiny dark prison.
A third miner, Larry Knight was killed instantly when a small earthquake caused a rock fall in the deep gold mine.
His two co-workers were released in the early hours of this morning in time to farewell their mate at his funeral today.
They walked free apparently unscathed by their ordeal.
This news item has the stamp of indelible legend written all over it. It is one the more wonderful stories to come out of the news for a long time.
I confess that I haven't followed the miners dilemma very closely except for the morning headlines. I get so emotionally entangled inside these things I decided early on, when first hearing of the disaster, that it would be better to keep my engagement with it slight.
I still prayed for those miners. I still felt for the family of Mr Knight whose body was found only two days after the rockfall (on ANZAC Day April 25th 2006). But I kept my nose out of the affair largely because it can become almost voyeuristic in many ways and that's not usually a good thing.
Ahhh but yes! The relief this morning to hear they'd been freed at last. Answers to prayer? Yes undoubtedly! Dedication and perserverence under duress? Most certainly!
The sweet freedom in coming out into the light of a new day after two weeks of dark, cramped, hot and muggy confines, must have been one of the most powerful feelings these two men had ever experienced. They have felt, seen and done things we can only barely begin to comprehend over these past 14 days but they have kept their spirits high and not lost sight of their goal. Freedom.
Now the true test of their character and I guess a test of the people of Beaconsfield itself will be if it can help these two men to deal with the massive emotional pain of losing their co-worker in such circumstances. This will be a bitter time for them as they grieve the passing of a friend and juxtapose that emotion alongside the incomparable joy they must feel at being free and alive.
The measure of a person is how well they understand their ability to handle the tough times. There are times when we should know what we can do to help ourselves but most importantly, there are times when we need step aside and let others take over the reins of control; if we can do that gracefully without rancour, then we are truly free.
The soul is always free to choose its way. It always has wings and always has the opportunity to fly. The body may be trapped, bowed, entangled, engaged, subdued: but the soul can never be made so. Your souls ability to live large and alive in the world is its greatest strength and mankinds greatest hope. Give your soul beautiful wings made of Faith, Hope and Love and it will always be free.
I thank God for the safe delivery of these two men to their families. I thank God for the short life of Larry Knight and ask his mercy on his family. I am proud of my people here in this country for their strength of character, their willingness to roll up their sleeves, dig in and dig out those who need help. I am amazed at the fortitude and resilience of these men who mine for gold in such inhospitable places.
Above all, I am glad that this story teaches us more about the truth of Liberty and Freedom than any political speech ever could. :)
It's a good day in Oz today. :)
I'm not sure who said that (will have to track this quote down eventually), but it resonates with me in a big way.
In the dark of night when all seems empty, cold and lonely, a sweet tune can lift the spirit to greet the new day with anticipation rather than dread.
I want to be that bird!
I want to be able to help people feel the anticipation and positive promises that could await them in the coming of day.
I want to inspire you in the oft taken-for-granted tune of my heart, so that the breaking day brings sweet joy and faith that there are better things to come.
Hope is the bird that sings before dawn.
May your dawn this day be beautiful my friend. :)
Monday, May 08, 2006
I've been listening to Jeff Buckley's Grace album a lot lately and I am in awe of the writing in these songs.
These lines from "Lover, you should've come over" ("Grace" 1994) make me cry every time I hear them, they are that beautiful!
It's never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It's never over, all my riches for her smiles when i slept so soft against her
It's never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
It's never over, she's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever
"She's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever" - Doesn't that make you want to just sigh with the loveliness of it?
I'd love to be able to write lines like that!
Here's my first attempt at a rather tortured love song. It's soooo nowhere near the calibre of what I hear in the Grace album, but it's a baby-sized wobbly, teetering step toward writing beautiful lyrics at the very least - maybe - someday.
Bridging the Distance between us.
I gave you laughter
I gave you tears
I gave you a fruit basket or two over the years
and it was just another way that I thought
would make you stay with me forever
but now you’re walking out the door
on the way to freedoms shore
away from me
I just wanted to be with you
just wanted to keep you close
I thought I was doing something useful
that would ensure our joint repose
I’m just trying to be constructive
in bridging the distance between us
I gave you kisses
I gave you tears
I gave you everything I owned from our years
and all it seemed to do was to add to
the distance between us
I was just trying to be constructive
in bridging the distance between us
but it didn’t do our thing justice
now I’m trying something more constructive
in Bridging the distance between us
I still don’t get it when your anger
gets in the way of my need to keep you close
and I still can’t seem do anything constructive
in bridging the distance between us
there are grey linings on the clouds in my heart
and there’s no fuse to light my soul anymore
and I don’t understand what I did to abuse you
I was just trying to be constructive
in bridging the distance between us
M. P. 2006
I'm not copyrighting this one so if anyone wants to take it and adapt it and set it to music - be my guest!
Personally, I don't reckon it will set any record charts alight but who knows...someone who has the skill of Jeff Buckley might just be able to make something beautiful out of it.
In the meantime... I'll keep trying to get this poetry/lyric thing right so that someone out there might one day cry from the loveliness of them. That'd be nice :)
I do want to write!
Writing isn't "work" at the moment. It's pure pleasure and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself doing it.
So why are work and play so hard to do at the same time?
If I were a professional writer - I'd probably find the writing process tedious and horrible. I wouldn't want to do it and would find every excuse not to.
I'd give anything to go work in our business serving fussy customers, and cleaning - endless cleaning of equipment, floors, utensils etc. That would suddenly appeal if writing were a tedious task.
It isn't - at the moment! I want to write and write and keep writing. I want to feel the keys of this keyboard every day, under my fingertips tapping gently away, making words come alive with meaning and context, idea and news. I want to write here in this blog, on my favourite forums, to friends in emails; I want to write stories and poetry, and maybe even drama. I just feel compelled at this time to write it all down.
I'm in story mode at the moment. I have the urge to go into the hills alone, with just this computer and Broadband Internet (for research purposes only of course ;)); a case of bottled water and maybe some cheese and get stuck into the work of writing stories.
Well that's just stupid Michelle! You just said work wasn't what you wanted to do!
Ah! But this isn't 'Work' work, this is 'Play' work! An entirely different animal altogether! :) This is what makes time morph at super light speed or stop still entirely - or both at once sometimes. This is what makes me forget to eat and yet not feel hungry. This is what makes me feel totally real and yet "off with the fairies". This is work that takes me outside of myself while I live inside my head! It's passion, energy, pleasure, and invention with minimal effort. I am LOVING it! :)
It may not last though. I can never tell when my passion for these things will dissipate. I am if anything, somewhat fickle in my interests at any given time. Tomorrow I may lose interest entirely with this writing thing; it will lose it's allure and become mere work again - with no life or energy of it's own. Just another tedious thing I "have" to do! I never like "having" to do anything I didn't want to!
Is this a whinge? Probably! I'm good at those too :)
But while this wonderful creative beast is inside me, I will obey it's command and write until I can no longer do so. I just hope the "Next Big Thing" in my life will be as sweet as this has become today. :)
Saturday, May 06, 2006
We all fear its power. We either choose to subjugate ourselves to it or we are in constant battle with it.
It's called the lack of integrity and authenticity in our presented face to the world.
We can SAY whatever we like about who we think we are or what we think we're about, But the truth is... we are only ever as much as what we think we want others to see.
True integrity and authenticity in a person is rare. When you find a person who is consistently and authentically as they are 75 percent of the time... then hang on to them as a friend, partner, lover for as long as you can - you won't find more honesty elsewhere!
And what of this authenticity I speak of? It is the open face of warm communication that says with hands, eyes, feet and tongue that what I am thinking right now IS what I'm being right now. When I am angry - you should know so! When I love you - you should know so! When I want to be alone, afraid, hungry, powerful, happy, you should know so as coherently as my being these things will attest.
It isn't thinking one thing and doing another. It isn't wanting something and not admitting that you want it - confusing the issue with "rights" and "needs" instead! It's not being perfectly presentable in the guise of sycophancy for the gratuitous gratification of self desire.
But... we all do this terrible thing! We all allow the chimera of deceit cloud our relationships with confusing messages of ambiguity. We tell "white lies", we tell large lies, we abhore violence and yet are drawn to it, we seek love when lust is our desire. We claim all manner of faith practise but we don't follow our own rules!
I carry this terrible thing. I will fight with it until my dying day. It's not that I want to or that I need to "accept" it as merely another side of my natural nature. I will never accept that I cannot be as authentic within as I am without. I desire the highest integrity and I will aim for that in everything I do.
If I can achieve a part of that goal - I will have lived a Good Enough life!
All I ask is for you to forgive me when I stuff it up. We know we ALL do that!
Friday, May 05, 2006
I've named my Genius "constructing coherence".
The more I have played with this construct and idea - the more it has demonstrated itself to be true in every pattern and fit of my life!
Naming my genius has made the pieces of "me" become better acquainted and my self-confidence has sky-rocketed as a result. I feel more coherered within myself if that makes sense!
The flip-side - and what I realised last night writing that email - was that for me - my biggest vulnerability and achilles heel is "Fear of Abandonment". This is the total opposite of coherence to me.
I look back over the course of my past and the times I have been saddest, most lonely, and the most terrified have all been times when I sensed the looming dread of being abandoned and alone. Being misunderstood, rejected, isolated, unloved, un or under appreciated terrifies me.
These are the albatrosses of Lack of Coherence around my neck. I dread these as much as I would dread the onslaught of a life-threatening illness.
Coherence then is always my goal. It is the defining element that makes me feel I can make the world a better place. It is about bringing us TOGETHER in the mutual glue of respect and maybe a dash of adoration too. That feeling of belonging and being made whole and complete through that belonging...
But do others understand this? Does it matter to another that I feel the compelling urgency of constructing coherence around me? Does that fear of abandonment resonate in anyone else as terrifyingly and dreadfully as in me?
This then is my dilemma! There will always be people who do not "get" this thing inside me! There will always be people who do. It then becomes a matter of choosing who I like to spend time with and who I don't. Doesn't it?
It's the "who I don't" part that irks me! You see I want coherence across the entire board!!! There's no - choose who and what in this for me... it's about building bridges not walls between everyone!
I WANT to understand those people whom I find difficult to love and understand - I WANT to find entente and friendship with them and so on. THAT'S the compelling force inside of me... to construct that sense of coherence and understanding between ALL people... not just the ones who "like" me!
So it looks like I will always juggle these two opposing forces within - coherence and abandonment. Like a coin with two faces the odds will always stack one way or the other. It's not that I think this is about chance or fate, it's just that there will always be this kind of gamble inside me as to which will win out when I am expressing my genius in the world. Will I construct coherence in the hearts of mankind? Or will I cave to that terrible fear of being abandoned?
Revelations are funny things! Just when you think you have it all sorted... along comes a curve ball to make you swing once more! :)
I love this life!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Like the world of dreams has escaped its night-time cage and is encroaching into my day-time.
It's probably that I just need an eye checkup! Perhaps! I DO feel as if I've not gotten enough sleep!
Still, I can't help feeling that life has taken on the morphing, fluid construct of Dream at the moment.
Today I literally feel the world around me is flexing and contorting with that subconscious wierdness of the dream-like state. Where things are there but not and pieces of things are being anachronistically aligned in odd juxtapositions. Things don't quite "fit" today. There is flow - too much flow even - everything feels strangely moveable and unfettered.
Perhaps it was the Jonny Walker I drank last night? But then it was only a little glass! (So smooth, so smoky, so much clean fire on ice - crumbs! I do enjoy a good Scotch! :p)
There is this entity inside me today that doesn't quite know where to put it's feet. Where to tread first into the day.
I got some space in my head last night with a good GTD review process so why should it be that this morning - I feel a bit... well... like seaweed under waves? Undulating under the fluid nature of waters power!
It's like I'm being transported by something outside of reality, like there's this unspoken force carrying me toward a Charybdis or a waterfall! To who knows what!
It's quite the most bizarre sensation! *scratches head in wonder*
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Aaaahhh! Sweet! :)
I finally got around to doing a weekly review today! *bounces around room ecstatically*
My "weekly" reviews have been a source of frustration for me in this whole Getting Things Done utility.
My "system" isn't perfect and I have let it lapse these past couple of months with the temporary change in my lifestyle. Slowly, I'm regaining my stride again and reaquainting myself with my PDA as life picks up pace once more. I think I have pretty much gotten a handle on the whole context to-do list thing and the calendar etc. .... I think!
Weekly Review, however, is a whole other animal!
I procrastinate on having to THINK about my current work. It's like just setting the time aside to go through and deal with my stuff is too mundane and a little bit pedestrian. I make excuses for not doing reviews. I know it's not that difficult really - it's just.... blech!
But! (There is always a "But!") when I DO do a review of all my current commitments, I find I am more calm - more completed in some way. It's as if my mind is able to sweep away those nagging little isotopes of "Things" inside my head and clear the psychic table of all the clutter.
There is NOTHING more wonderful and satisfying as an uncluttered space! I like spaces that are clean lines, symmetry, ordered calm; and apart from a set of bookshelves or two (a necessity in any space in my personal opinion ;)), I am more content within when the spaces around me aren't gunked up with crap!
So I have space in my head at last! Not dumb space; not empty space but space in which to just be, create or do! A calm knowing that all is well and will get done eventually as is needful.
I need to remember this sensation! I need to remember that there is definite coherence across all the muddled complexities of my life when I take time to think it all through and get it out of my brain and into my PDA ready for that synchronised moment in time and place when it's required.
Constructing that particular kind of coherence is where I really need to do some work. I have to find a structured way of integrating the Review process into my life that doesn't have that "blech!" quality about it. I have to identify just what it is that takes the process from "ho hum!" to "Yeah! Let's do that!".
Somehow, I have to get creative with this!
Okay! So I'll go put this on the project list now! :D
It's quiet here at present. Will need to get the kids up shortly so they can get ready for school.
I have never been a "morning" person before, but since I started on the whole GTD journey 12 months ago, I have found I rather like being up early now.
I like this ephemeral peace in the loungeroom in the wee hours at dawn. It's become a comforting time, a peaceful time of reverie and thought - a time to catch up on favourite blogs, emails, reading, and simple pleasures such as a cup of tea that stays hot to the last sip.
I'm still a little shell-shocked from my encounter with yesterday So much emotional energy, so much heaven (and too much hell) in one day is actually very exhausting for this particular corporeal body. I still feel the remnants of that incredible bliss but there is that pain too of knowing that a friend is suffering just too much. I keep needing to sound off to God about that.
Toast is ready... kettle is hot. It's time to put aside the psychic reverberations of emotional reverie from yesterday and be practical today. It's time to integrate the mind and body to the mundane, in situ, processing of necessary data. It's "bill-paying" day! *sigh* :)
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I had a road trip for some 90 minutes - one way - on the open highway today, down to a small town south of me to see a man about a particular kind of horse (it's all too tacky to describe here so we'll leave it at that eh? ;)).
I was on my own. Hubby had kindly filled the car with fuel, checked the tyres, cleaned the windscreen and all that when he got home from work this morning.
I did some errands, attended my bible study group for a bit. I put Lenny Kravitz's "Mama Said" album into the CD player in the car and then headed out into the darkening southern skies. Rain was looming but that's okay - we NEED it desperately in these parts.
So with a light heart and my passion for LOUD music, on my own with sweet nothing but me and the road, I headed southwards.
The music moved my spirit to levels of incomprehensible joy! I just felt so enlivened and REAL driving in my microcosmic world of tin and petrochemicals. It was totally surreal and lovely and wierd and wonderful and divine! I felt as if I was engaged in a kind of mellow gathering of mind, spirit and soul that the pieces of me were connecting and growing new shared veins and memories.
I've more or less given up on listening to long news items on the radio these past few months. Don't get me wrong... I still keep up with the headlines every morning but that's enough for me right now! There is so much terror, pain, disgusting and vile corruption of hearts and minds that it has become merely fodder to keep the airwaves busy and I don't NEED that right now! I want to FEEL peace, love, joy and the warm cup of human kindness around me. If there was just a teeny tiny little piece of peace in each one of us for a moment every day - then this poor sad world might just be a little better for it. Besides.... when I do need to get a salient reminder that all is not as it should be... I just go read Dave Pollard's incisive words - I wince in pain and then move on because I want to save the world too and it's just too much to do it all at once on my own! Sorry Dave! :s
So these days I find my peace in prayer and in music! I find it has given me a much better ability to cope with the massive amount of media that comes at me every day. With that... my heart has been happier, lighter, freer, and more coherent than I have felt for many, many years.
I sincerely promise that I didn't smoke anything or drink anything untoward before I left! ;) :D LOL.
I realise that such inordinate joy is a little creepy for some people. To see someone who is grinning large like Whoopie Goldberg in cats whiskers (a la Alice in Wonderland) can be a LITTLE much for some more tortured souls! I do realise this and I have tried to keep it all contained I assure you! It is however very difficult to keep the bubbling fountain of pure unadulterated happiness from exploding out from ones chest! This blog is just the pressure valve eh? ;)
Anyway - Lenny's words reverberated in my ears (I'm surprised they're not actually bleeding - crikey! I really did have that music loud in the car today :D).... every lyric seemed to fit with my souls need today. I love that about the poetry in music - it always means "something" when you need it to mean something!
I arrived safely in good time. In fact enough to kill so I wrote some stuff down in my notebook just for the hell of it. :)
Scattered leaves of emotional decay
tumbled yellow on the lawn
of my soul.
The tree of my Self is stripping back,
structure and clearly recognisable
form and shape
to winter in the quiet rest of Just Being
I am content
and though all is frost around me
I feel the warmth of the Son
in my branches
and my heart flows with viscous sap
of life-giving Joy
So here I wait in this gentle wintertime
to weather stiff breezes
and refreshing rain and to feed
my roots with times' sweet
...and when the painful buds of Spring's bloom-time
are ready to reappear
I shall have grown,
more tall, more strong, more permanently grounded
within this earth.
© M. Pitman 2006
I saw "The Man" and s'all good :D so began the trip of 90 minutes back home again!
I whacked an ELO album into the player and got into the groove once more.
I seriously had to laugh when I inadvertently turned down a dead end street just when Jeff Lynne sang the line "I've been living on a dead-end street" (from Sweet Talkin' Woman)
What a blast to have that little bit of synchronicity today! I am still giggling over that one!
Anyway... this is going to sound completely ditzy and juvenile but I have always found the affirmation of my God in the Rainbow! Every time I see a rainbow I KNOW that I'm being looked after, smiled upon and well.... assured that my existence is of value! yeah! I know... completely out there isn't it? :o But, I saw that rainbow today on my trip home. It was as if God was saying that all this Joy within wasn't just an accident of time, place and my soul's journey... it was deeply and intrinsically BREATHED onto me and into me by a force I can only barely comprehend. It was pure! Light refracted and yet completely pure a thousand fold over and it is the essential element of any miniscule effort of courage I can muster.
I got back home and ran some more errands. Now... I don't believe this a co-incidence at all but I caught up with an associate - a lovely woman who is suffering cruelly from that most malicious of diseases, melanoma cancer! A gorgeous woman who has not done anything to justly deserve this blight but is deeply and severly suffering in her body and her soul. I could see it in her eyes and through into her heart. She was in that most fragile of places - intense and overwhelming pain and God! But it hurt to see her.
A knife-through slice in this most glorious of days - just to remind me that THIS is what my Joy is for... to impart and give compassionately and intimately where it is most needed. To feel the pain of another but not to be buried by it but to infuse that pain with something beautiful and soft and lovely and real! Mercy! Joy is for bringing mercy to those who need to know that they are not alone despite any cruelty of circumstance and evil intent in this suffering world.
It's evening now... my day is nearly done. God in his wisdom has shown me both sides of His Rainbow today. I have seen both Heaven and Hell and it's been worth the trip every tiny part of it.
Sorry this has been so long! You KNOW I just had to share this don't you? ;) :D
Light Always (and rainbows if you will :D).