Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alexys' game

1. So far in my life I have... learned that my mind mostly observes what I'm feeling, likes to discuss it philosophically as open source material for observation and comment. However I am actually not very good at understanding my own emotions, let alone accurately - nor often honestly - expressing them.

2. I am happy about my life because... I learn something important every single day. It morphs into my being like suds into a sponge and I keep growing into the woman I was created to be.

3. One of the worst/best experiences I have ever had was... The best worst experience I have EVER had is my team experience back in 87/88 when I was a member of Rainbow of Promise with Youth Encounter. A cataclysmic wave of growth and pain so profoundly life-changing, it was a crucible more than a 'trip overseas'.

4. I am most proud of... having given birth to two rather clever and unique human beings :)

5. I define love as... the ability to forget what I need or want because the other person is more important than me right now, and being really happy about it too! :)

6. I am grateful for... Christ.

7. I want to be best remembered writings and my sense of joyous playfulness. I want to be remembered for the essence of youthfulness and sunshine.

8. Nothing makes me laugh more than... wit, irony, word play and cleverly insightful parodies.

9. If I could sum of my life in three words, I would say... Anticipation, Words, Experiential.

10. The best gift that I can give is... my courage and my hope.

11. If I was told that I only had 1 year to live, I would... move to Germany and master that bloody language properly!

Thanks Alexys. :) That was fun.

Friday, January 30, 2009

too hot to handle

too hot to think
too hot to do anything
too hot to muse
too hot to decide
too hot to sleep
too hot to play
too hot to be green
too hot to be amusing
too hot to cohere
too hot to know
too hot to gel
too hot to write
too hot to walk
too hot to run
too hot to dream
too hot to create
too hot to attend
too hot to wear stuff
too hot to game
too hot for shoes
too hot for clothes
too hot for standing
too hot for sitting
too hot for laying down
too hot for prayer
too hot for the river
too hot for birds
too hot for my cat
too hot for our house
too hot for paint
too hot for tar
too hot for concrete
too hot for trees
too hot for hades.

burning in a sea of heat so constant, it feels like I'm being broiled for serving on a fine china plate for creatures I can little comprehend.

Wednesday 28th January it was 44.5 degrees Celcius (112.10F)
Thursday 29th January it was 44.6 degrees Celcius (112.28F)
Today - Friday 30th January it is right now at AEDST of 1830 hours, 43.0 degrees Celcius (109.4F)

Next week, we are forecast to receive the following day time temperature peaks...

Saturday 31st Jan 44.0C (111.2F)
Sunday 1st Feb 40.0C (104.0F)
Monday 2nd Feb 40.0C ( " )
Tuesday 3rd Feb 39.0C (102.2F)
Wednesday 4th Feb 38.0C (100.4F)
Thursday 5th Feb 39.0C (102.2F)

...and a wonderful "cool" change will bring us back to a "pleasant" 34.0C (93.2F) on Friday next week ;)

Air conditioners have been cranked up to the max this past few days. It's highly doubtful we'll be using them by the end of next week though. If Victoria's energy requirements can't be contained and in the event of a major bushfire, I may end up being offline and incommunicado for awhile.

Is it Global Warming? Don't know! It depends on which experts you read really. My dad is doing the Salmon thing and flailing about against the main-stream current of popular opinion and emphatically declares that there is no such thing as Global Warming from CO2 emissions! It's simply "Climate Variability". Every few thousand years, the earth chucks a bit of wobbly and either has an extreme freeze or in our current case... a deep heat rub!

Any which way but cook or chill for us average mortals.

By August this coming year... I may well be posting how damn cold it is!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Millenium Gen mi

It's my birthday and I am 47 years old.

I feel right at this moment, 17 years old, giddy with the fullness of loving attention being shown to me on this my "special" day. In many ways, I do identify with the modern and current trend of youthful expression, the strange mix of youthful exuberance for self-expression and individualism. I am just on half way through a full life. What lessons will I learn from here on in? What lessons have I learned that will bring value to those who come after me?

Today, my kids have shown extraordinary generosity in their gift giving. Friends have gone way and above the call in wishing me well on this day.

Even the gang in Second Life organised a surprise birthday bash for me which blew me away as I had no inkling they were up to something! They even had a rainbow which is a portent that holds significant meaning for me spiritually and personally - and they didn't know that fact either, which of course, lends awesome power to its providence.

I've eaten enough junk food today to sink the Titanic and have thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of it.

There are hardly words to describe how I'm feeling right now. I feel buoyant, optimistic, energised and positive. I feel extraordinarily loved. Within a week, I"m sure my mood will perhaps be different - as moods often can be - but for today, for THIS now that I'm living, I feel alive with the wonder of love and potential.

Thank you God for days such as this. Thank you for the bounty undeserved, in the love of family, friends and you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

a slightly weird saturday

Well... it's not like it's anything extremely out of the ordinary as such.

I got up a bit later this morning after having HAD to get up very early to an energetic kitten (as you do! *sigh*).

But she was still driving me nuts by 8:30am so I resigned myself to getting out of bed and doing my morning "check my mail" routine on the computer here. I do live a rather sad existence, counting on mail from around the world each day *smirk*

But anyway... the upshot of it was that I was pinged left right and centre by a bunch of people in Skype and Googletalk and found it all rather frenetic and busy for someone still waking up and feeling dopey and annoyed.

It must have done me good though, because a few conversations later and I feel pretty good now. Something feels lighter and there is less drag pulling on my inner spirit.

The boys from the band are all here to rehearse now for this afternoon's gig at Northfest (a new mini festival here in my town). My JD plays the drums. They're definitely getting better at this band thing I must say...despite the rather ad hoc approach to rehearsing. Needless to say, my house can get rather loud on occasion.

I might pop along to Northfest later to check it out. I did have grand aspirations today of going shopping at the second hand clothing places for some clothes this morning and haven't managed it. I am really desperate for some new clothes, especially for wearing to work! Will get there eventually, I guess.

As of next Saturday morning, I'll be out earning extra money cleaning a home for a local family. I'm not sure how long this will last but as the goal this year is to get the kids their own computer (instead of nagging me for the use of my Preciousss), I need every cent I can scrape together.

I don't know why today feels slightly weird really. Just that there feels like there is this heavy portent in the atmosphere - an instinct that there is a change in the wind on its way perhaps. I feel as if I'm on some kind of bizarre threshold of something surprising and out of the ordinary.

Maybe I'm projecting too. I do that a lot! It's possible that this will be a rather ordinary Saturday.

Porena is leading a workshop in Second Life at Perfect Paradise Island on Imagestreaming later this evening and I'm really looking forward to it. I've only a rudimentary understanding of this tool for creative visualising, so am keen to learn more. Maybe that could be what I'm feeling right now at this midday hour... a heightened sense of something interesting on my knowledge horizon... maybe. :)

So, anyway - all things considered, it is nice to finally be in a place where my spirit feels much lighter, more joyful, less burdened by the innumerable vicissitudes that seemed to be the theme I constructed for my life in 2008. There HAS been a shift inside of me - a big one but also a quiet one too, my perspective and my outlook have definitely been adjusted and I am enjoying the process of that adjustment.

After Winter comes the Spring! See, Badger? I do understand the seasons after all :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

overwhelm good: overwhelm bad

Seems to be a big week for me.

Overwhelmed is the catchphrase of each day. My new job as a Project Worker with a Volunteer Resource Centre is taxing my brain to the hilt. I'm being thrown in "gently" by trying to absorb as much information as I can. Once January is over, and the year finally begins with the kids going back to school and volunteer groups all re-convening, my job is bound to get extremely busy. The sheer networking task I have ahead is amazing, contacting people and getting to know them and their needs with all things Volunteers! Wow! What a job this will be!

That is the Overwhelm good. I walk home each day around 1530 and I muse on the providence of being given a job that matches my skills and interests. This is the kind of work I wanted and I whisper prayers of gratitude for this chance to do something useful with my time and talents.

There is so much to learn though. Just sifting through the expectations of my position and what is required under the funding agreements with Government is quite daunting really. I only vaguely feel out of my depth, but thankfully, each hour makes me more sure that I am in the right place at last. At least for now.

The other face to the Overwhelm coin is "bad". Some weeks ago, I began a friendship with an Australian man online via Second Life. A sweet, wonderfully enticing connection with someone I really liked - and still do very much. Sadly, at least for now, that won't continue as it had. It hurts a bit and I get quite emotional about it if I think too much on it. I'd give in and re-connect but for different reasons, which I won't elaborate on here, it isn't feasible.

I already miss our conversations and the laughter. It's nice to have that "click" with a member of the opposite sex. That open camaraderie and rapport that is so easy and just flows between kindred souls... he is a terrific person and I wish him well.

Someday we may actually catch up in 'Meat Space' and enjoy a wine and a laugh. I hope so. For now though, the pinching ache of sadness lurks around looking to poke me in the heart strings and remind me of what "might" have been "if only". That may dissipate in time but nevertheless, it's always going to be a sad thing - and even a little "bad" - that some friendships just aren't easily available in the here and now.

Already, this is proving to be an interesting year! Overwhelm is good or bad or both... dealing with it is as much about "flow" as anything else. Emotional flow is not my strong suit but I'm learning as I go :) For which I am grateful.

Monday, January 12, 2009

volunteering and do I even care?

I started my new job today.

I work in an agency delivering resources and information, training and options for all sectors of the volunteer community.

My role is as a Volunteer Management Program Project Worker. A rather dry sounding mouthful for a job title really. It's more or less community development work with a focus on assisting Not-For-Profit organisations with all their volunteer resources and training.

The old days of "just" chipping in to help out are fading away. Government - at least here in Australia - are recognising the huge value volunteers make to the community and social fabric of our Aussie society. It's not only good economic sense, it's also good ethical sense. A community bonded is a community that is healthy and less likely to drain services. Volunteers are integral to that goal.


Do I care enough about the concept of volunteering to do my job well?

Good question!

I have been a volunteer over the years in many different organisations and guises. When I adopt a project...I really adopt it! To the point of fanaticism sometimes. I can become so deeply entwined into a group as to be utterly consumed by it.

In recent years, I've been very cautious about becoming "too" involved for this reason. I don't really like being told what to do. I rather like bossing people about and telling them what *I* want done for the most part! At the same time, I feel so obligated to my chosen group that the burden I put on myself in meeting those self-imposed duties can literally suck my spirit dry.

Looking back, I can see a distinct pattern to my involvement in groups. Three years! Yes! Nearly everything I have ever had a strong focus for and have been passionate about has lasted for approximately three years, give or take a few months. That was rather eye-opening!

I did a rather brief and perhaps a little perfunctory muscle test on my new job today, to find out what my core "thinks" about this jobs prospects - given my poor track record in recent months with retaining employment - Answer? Three years! hahahaha

It's like it's some sort of hot wired genetic code thing in me or something. My gene for Hyper-Focus Passion Facility is set to three years max!

So back to the question. Do I CARE enough about volunteering in general to do my job well. Actually... you know what? No!

And that is a very, very good thing! It means, that just maybe, I can be a lot more impartial, less emotionally involved, less Hyper-focused and definitively less inclined to have my body, mind and soul eaten up by the Group Mind!

And that means...I could very well keep this job longer than I expect! Just maybe!

Do I care? I care enough to not want to care overly much.

Think about it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

my tenuous home

This fragile circle
holds only enough to soothe us -
there isn't much left over to grow us.

Do not sleep
Do not cry
Do not breathe unnecessary thoughts
into the ephemeral chemistry around you.

Think smaller rather than bigger
in the practical application of
bigger dreams.

Life is a Law. Law isn't life.
Be free to challenge the unnecessary.

It may well be gone tomorrow or last
one hundred thousand lifetimes more -
who cares how long - but for Now,
the miracle is that it is even here at all.

Inside the marble of water,
inside the bubble of air
you and i are sharing,
rests a canary that sings before it
stops breathing.

This planet is my tenuous home.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The girl who couldn't cry: Chapter 5

Everything about Dwayne was long. His legs were long and very thin, his torso similarly long and wiry thin. His neck and even his face were long and thin. His ears looked as if the lobes had been stretched downwards, his nose was ungracefully long and very thin, the tip pointed and sharpened as a result. Only his eyes remained round enough for him to be considered reasonably human. He was a research modification in the genetics of dwarfism. By tweaking the gene responsible for shortness, The Dwayne Modification elongated out of all natural proportions to something just slightly less than a human spaghetti noodle. To watch Dwayne walk was like watching an over-long reed move through space.

When sitting on the bed beside Ari, Dwayne looked twice as long as she in his body - and thinner, if that were possible. When he stood beside her, he was a skyscraper in comparison. The pain in Dwayne's joints and muscles from the sheer force of will in keeping his length upright in space was obvious in the dark blue circles under his eyes. He lived in constant physical pain and only Ariadne could hear his silent weeping at night, in his room, in the other wing. She never mentioned it.

The pain behind her eyes throbbed a little harder. She tried to thwart the onslaught of emotional and physical mental torment this young man was permanently carrying. She could only go inside of it and immerse herself in it and simply feel it. She imagined herself one of her spirals, going down inside the cave of pain she felt emanating from Dwayne. Somehow, this process helped, especially in proximity. She was able to relieve it somewhat if they kept the current emotional levels at this keel - if they changed...she would have to spiral again and it took a lot of energy to do that.

"What's up?" she asked making small talk. Her voice was low and soft.

"Nothing much" lied Dwayne equally quietly. "Margot was a bitch to you at lunch time, again, I hear" He was somewhat overprotective of Ari and she smiled a wan smile. She knew he would have liked to make her his woman but the thought of that kind of emotional pull made Ari sick and she had always refused his more obvious advances.

"Margot is doing what Margot always does," she philosophically replied.

"Yeah. Well, she needs to keep her big blue mouth shut n’ go outside and fry some eggs in the sun on her blue-tinged arse." Dwayne mumbled ungraciously, growling these words in deep throbbing tones. He paused and then he changed the subject quickly on feeling Ariadne tense beside him. "Nice picture by the way."

She wasn't tensing so much for herself as tensing from the assault of his emotional responses toward Margot. It worried Dwayne that everything he felt, this girl could feel too on top of her own emotional state. He tried very hard to keep his emotions and status as neutral as possible even though he found incredibly draining and hard to do. He cared so much for this girl, some nights he would lay in his cot and feel the ache in his heart was stronger than the pain in his joints. He pulled these thoughts in and down to try and protect her from them.

"Stop trying to disguise what you're feeling Dwayne" Ari said softly. He relaxed and she winced "It's okay...I got it," as if his emotions were something he'd dropped and she had picked up.

She held the completed image up for both of them to see. Dwayne looked at it and then took it from her hands and got up off the cot and moved towards the door. "I don't like it D. No sense in showing it to me from a distance," said Ari, knowing his reasoning. He turned and held the top corners of the image and looked at her.

"You realise you are a genius? Don't you Ari?

She sighed and bent down, her head diving between her legs to peer under her cot. She pulled out a large portfolio of previous artworks and leaving it lay on the floor, she opened the mouth of the portfolio, dozens of art pieces encased inside, their edges appearing like the pages of a mottled book, and looked up at Dwayne.

"Just put it away Dwayne. It's over." Her words were ludicrously filled with despondency. It would require a fresh canvas to alleviate the foreboding doom she seemed to be implying under those words.

…To be continued. (I hope)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The final Gathering

My father's side of the family is "unusual". So I have been told by those in the know on these things anyway.

Dad was the eldest of six. A big loud, brusque bunch of four boys and two girls. A close-knit and cohesive family unit growing up with an extraordinary father and mother of their own during the greater part of the 20th Century.

Those six kids went on to have families of their own. I am the eldest child of this next generation. The adored, feted upon, darling first Grandchild of my beloved Grandfather Lou and my darling Grandmother Sylv.

I watched as my family grew to include a large number of gorgeous cousins. Every so often we would gather all together at Grandpa's and later, after he died, "Grandma's Place". Wonderful family get-togethers filled with argument and chatter, laughter and debate, cigar smoke and jocular teasing. The best part was the collectively sung opening grace at the beginning of each meal, our voices all blended into a unique harmony. It always stirred my soul.

When, my grandmother died some 12 years ago it seemed as if we would lose that quality of wider family that had been so incredibly grounding for me, as a child. I assumed we would all go our separate ways, the younger ones would find wives, or husbands, I would never meet. They would have children I would never know.

An Uncle and his wife changed the dynamic. They opened their home to the possibility of re-creating those noisy, wonderful, close clan gatherings of our heritage. We established, by consensus, a post New Year date, the first or second Saturday in January. It became a Clarion Call for the clan to gather. Those who could make it did, those who could not waited another year. A very few have never been able to attend for whatever reason but have always been there in Spirit.

All of us are committed to church, faith, home and family. No matter where we were in the world, the depth of connection and love between all of us transcends petty rivalries and minuscule hurts. My ex partner "Baz" attended yesterday, for to exclude him by virtue of our separation was unthinkable - even by me. Despite our own failures and pain, he is as much a member of my extended family now as he ever was and I will never begrudge him belonging to it.

Nothing is worth the expense of losing people through anger and pride, the goal is always to reconcile the differences toward peaceful agreement. My family is gifted at this and despite all their natural human flaws, the arrogant tendencies, the silly politics, there was and still is, in my family, a resonance and a quest for harmony that was stronger and more substantial than pride and willfulness.

Over the years, I have watched as, gradually, my younger cousins - predominately boys - went on to marry exquisitely beautiful women, and men with the same values, goals and faith, so that they blended into the greater unit like greased cogs in a freely moving flywheel. The family gatherings grew larger.

For ten years, my Uncle and my Aunt have prepared their home, opened their door, organised the catering, and provided the atmosphere that became known as "The Hedt Do".

A new generation of children were born. My little cousins, once removed, are so gorgeous and precious to me. I held the youngest of them in my arms yesterday. I am 46.5 years older than him, but we are connected via the blood that flows through our veins. He is no less my family, than his Father, my first cousin, and his Grandfather, my Uncle. The tree grows.

Most of these early January events have averaged between 30 and 50 people. Loud, noisy, boisterous, filled with cigar smoke, beer, excellent food and much laughter. We are all still connected through our faith, and our willingness to never become so proud, we cannot forgive the ones we are bonded to by blood.

Yesterday, was the final regular Gathering of the Clan. It is time. The family has grown so much and is spread so far and wide now. The organisation for this event was a major burden on my Aunt, in particular. The unit cohered and solidified through her efforts and others.

Now it is time for those tiny cousins, once removed, for whom I am an Ancient Person to learn a different history of their family, through their own parents. They will never fully know the Unit I grew up with, the amazing coherence of familial understanding, love, generosity that I have held in my memories and experiences. But, because their own parents hold it in their experience, maybe they will re-create it down their own family lines. Through this, the power of faith and love within family will keep spreading out into the world beyond the borders of this time and my Father's generation.

We aren't unusual in who we are...we are as anyone else... the difference, I think, was - is - that we shared a bond that went beyond blood. It was called Faith and it was - is - rock solidly entwined with love.

Thank you Pam and Brian for bringing our Clan together for all these years.

Be present at our table, Lord
Be here, and everywhere, adored
These mercies bless and grant that we
May feast in Paradise with Thee