Category Archives: Kitty Kitty

Spirituality and the Land in Australia

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Recently I have been seeking to add an Australian aspect to my European-pagan-esque  spiritual practice. I have been researching- did you know that here, in south-west Australia, we have six seasons?- the land, the people, the language, the beliefs of the land and her people. I feel distinctly disconnected from any real ‘roots’ for my spirit. Am I English? A Viking? Anglo-Saxon? Australian? Does my biological grandfathers blood-only relation to me give weight to my interest in Welsh mythology? What about the language, the culture, the things that are the meat to the bones of cultural behaviour and belief? Do I have a connection, a right, to any of these things simply because of birth or blood?

I find blood relation, land relation, to be deeply important. So I looked into this wide, sunburnt land I have been born into and love with all my heart. I have researched it’s people. Now… I am troubled. Conflicted.

“Noongar people lived under severe restrictions whether on missions or reserves. This included not being allowed in towns at certain times (we could be arrested if found there after 6pm) or having limited access to services. See the Perth prohibited area map. Noongar people mostly weren’t allowed to drink alcohol, unless we had citizenship. But even citizenship brought with it restrictions on our freedom and identity. Those who had some access to towns had to go to a window at the back of the pub where ‘blacks’ were served, and then you could get one bottle of beer.”

Identity, Noongar Culture.

I have seen buildings, especially old pubs, with the one random window up the back. I’ve always wondered why, and now I know.
The history here is… horrific. I keep reading and I feel like I’m standing in pools of blood. I often think about what it is to be white Australian, to be the offspring of the people who invaded here. We don’t have Stories. We don’t have Dreaming. Then I read, and I don’t think we’d want them even if we could.
We came here and we killed a lot of people. We caused, and still cause, unforgivable suffering. As much as I might wish sometimes that I had the same connection to the land as our indigenous population do, the same understanding of the Stories, a Dreaming… What history have we got but that of blood and death and cruelty? We have no right to this beautiful land. We certainly have no right to adopt the beautiful world of the Noongar. I feel the rootlessness my ancestors condemned me to is deserved, a fitting punishment for what they did and still do.

I am neither here nor there, and that is how it should be.

 

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Harlequin and Columbine

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I’m awake.

In the mauve haze of summer humidity it’s difficult to sleep, and so I lie there, speculating on the time: is it one am? Two am? Perhaps earlier. Your body heat makes the bed insufferably warm, but I won’t kick off the blanket, even though I feel as though I’m about to combust. A breeze from outside wafts humidity and exhaust fumes with the smell of night blooming jasmine- your favourite plant- and does little to cool the room. Sounds of the city seem far off here, in this concrete box. I think it’s the white noise of civilisation that keeps me conscious. That, or the feel of your skin so close to mine.

I know you’re awake.

If I rolled over now, would you be looking at me? Would your eyes paint the canvas of my face, the threaded angles of my hips? Perhaps your lips would remember that dusty smile I fell in love with, that dusty smile like a phantom now, a ghost beneath your sad blue eyes.

No, you would be watching the ceiling, if your eyes were even open. You know I’m restless and you pretend to sleep. I know the sound of your breathing when you sleep, love, I know when you are tricking me. Trickster, my carnival clown, my harlequin. Pin your heart to my door, Harlequin. Am I your Columbine?

I turn the words over in my mouth and my body follows suit, twisting me, twirling me in the sweat-slick that was once your bed. I find myself facing you. I find myself dreaming of kissing you; kissing you, your scarred shoulders, your hidden collarbones, tracing silver stretch-marks and olivine tan lines. In my dream I find your skin clammy and cold, hot beneath the blanket, wet with sweat. I slide against you like a fish, my hand skating across the expanse of your belly, latching beneath your far hip to pull myself close despite the stagnant heat. I rest my head on your chest and feel the weight of your hand settle on my head. I hear your heartbeat! It still beats for me, relentless, inexhaustible.

“My Harlequin.” I whisper before I can catch the worlds, tumbling from me like jumbled confessions. I love you, they sing, I love you, I love you. You read my voice and I feel your hesitation through your fingertips in my hair.

“My Columbine.” Mechanical. The response comes so swiftly and so naturally that the words should shine, polished with constant use. Instead they fall dull, slabs of fat slipping from the lips of a glutton. I clutch to you and feel you slipping away, never moving. Black dog, they call it. The deepening dark. Come death or dark water, we used to say in secret behind cupboard doors and backyard bushes. To the end of time, forever and ever. This the dark water, your wretchedness and mine.

The dream breaks. I’m on my side still, hands tucked close. I have become my own cocoon. You gaze at the ceiling unaware that I watch you, your fingers scratching unconsciously at the blanket above your breast. You seem so sad.

I want to tell you how today the Earth pounded with billions of feet, dancing to a rhythm we can’t quite feel. A billion voices cried out in song, a billion hearts beat a bloody beat like a billion meaty drums. Within a billion chests, behind a billion ribs, between a billion lungs blossomed life and memory and old quiet joy. Here bloomed humankind, flowers at once brilliant and beautiful and excellently lethal. Here groaned the weight of time, the airy pull of the future. Here, a string to tug you from your shade, as if that could return you to me, bring you to me.

I hear you blinking.

“I don’t think this is ever going to end.” Your voice startles me and for a moment I want to shuffle closer, feeling an unexpected agony. The finality in your voice echoes with defeat, a desire to give up. It’s the worst thing of all about the darkness. A disease came one day and took your joy and left you empty. I find most days that I miss you, even in your company.

Your hand slithers from the blanket to touch my fringe. You stroke my hair- once, twice- and tilt your face to the lavender light seeping through the curtains, your own hair mussed and unwashed upon a flat pillow. I half expect you to say something more, as if that fragment of conversation weren’t all you could offer up. Your body slumps in exhaustion just with that one confession. I’m left drifting. Unbidden, a torrent of thoughts cascade through my mind: a funeral, stumbling across your body hanging purple-faced from your bedroom cupboard, the feeling of living a life where I don’t wake to you every morning and fall asleep to your breath every night. This life, this life forever. Waking one day too late to tell you the truth, my truth. Terror takes the place of dull longing for a moment and you remain silent, unknowing.

It has to end. It has to. “It has to end.” I don’t know if I’m saying the words for you or for me, but I say them anyway, whispering them against your palm like a mantra. “You’ll come out the other side, my love.”

You give a short, curt nod and close your eyes.

How many times have I dreamt of kissing you? Of sleeping in this bed, waking to you, lying drowsy beside you on a Saturday morning, avoiding your cold feet and your hands smelling like rosemary. I’d like to help you with your braid every night and to kiss your forehead before our morning coffee.

Children. I’d like to have children. With you.

The night drags on in silence and sleep doesn’t come. You are finally heavy and still, truly sleeping. I can prop myself up on one elbow and watch you, like protagonists in cliché romance movies do: eyeing lustfully the faces of their desired in the half-light, the twilight of an unknown hour. Is there an hour, a specific hour, for romance? This could be it! An hour of unexpected courage. An hour of foolish courage. I can almost see it! If I lean here and kiss you while you sleep, our worlds will change. Your eyes flutter open as you are, I’m sure, a light sleeper; however, I daren’t guess your thoughts. You grow pink, your lips will fill and shift beneath mine to form a kiss or a curse. We stay awake through sunrise and birdsong. I confess my love, a heavy burden finally set upon another’s shoulders. You whisper to me of confusion. Whore! You spit. Freak! You scream. You chase me from the sheets, you throw me against a wall, you kiss me with the passion of the horrified and the joyous.

You love me too. You sing it beneath the cries of I hate you and how could you.
Your rage abates. We curl together, new, gentled, loving. I hold your hands in mine and breathe against your fingertips. Your dusty smile returns and the rising dark finally breaks, leaving you forever.
We live happily ever after.
It is a nice dream. I could make it happen. I could act on it now and bring our fairytale to light! My heart skips a beat at the thought. Oh, to kiss you, to have you as mine! It seems almost too good to be true.
My courage falters. What if it is too good to be true?
What if your cries of hatred and disgust are genuine?
I must take a chance. I must! Your life could be at stake. If I find one day that the world is without the glory of you because of a lack of love, I could never forgive myself. The world would be worse for wear in your absence. I must tell you! I must give you this gift, if not for your sake then for the continued health of our little planet.
Nerves steeled and trembling, I slide closer to you. I daren’t breathe. Your face is lavender in the filtered light of the moon, your lips a darker purple, your eyelashes like ash upon your cheeks. Beneath your eyelids tiny mounds shiver and twitch- you dream! I think of how I will tell you that I watched you dreaming, or perhaps I won’t, perhaps I will allow the kiss to be the center of attention for tonight.
I hover for a moment, doubting. I take a breath.
I deliver my one, perfect kiss to your sleeping mouth. Your lips are cold and your teeth are hard behind them. Oh Harlequin, my beautiful Harlequin.
Your brows furrow and I withdraw, awaiting your awakening, awaiting your delighted recognition of my love.

You sigh.
You rub your eyes.
You roll over, and continue to sleep.

Why I paint people.

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Not paint on bodies, although that’s fun, but I like to paint bodies. People.

I like the shapes and tones and curves and variations in bodies.

I would paint them all the time if I could.

Erotic paintings, nudes, clothed, silhouettes, religious paintings, closeups and distant hints of skin…
Thin and fat and muscled and slight, everything in between. Finding beauty in monstrosity and ugliness in perfection.

These are things I like to paint.

I want to study Freud.

and I want to study Michelangelo.

Maybe both Michelangelos.

(this one is by Michelangelo Pistoletto.)

I like bodies.

I don’t even have to like the person inside the body, although, sometimes they show through and make it even more amazing.

Steve McCurry did it pretty well, I know you’ve seen his “Afghan Girl” photo…

See, isn’t that just beautiful? Isn’t she stunning?
What a brilliant work of art.

I also like little pieces of bodies.

I like hands. Escher did hands:

And I like feet, too…

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”

You know who said that?

Leonardo Da Vinci.

I like dancers bodies, and I like little old bodies, and I like those moments of movement that are rarely noticed-

like the ones that Muybridge caught:

So.

If you were wondering.

That’s what I like.

A Big Sister’s Rage is a Terrible Thing

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So today I was browsing tumblr and stumbled across the above image.
It’s common knowledge. It’s commonly accepted.

There is nothing that makes me as psychotic a pro-body feminist vocal activist type of person, except this. Except my love for my little sisters.

Robyn is 9. Renee is 13.

Renee wears more make-up than I ever have in my whole life. She wears playboy bunny outfits and talks about how she can’t eat foodcourt meals because they’ll make her fat, and that would be unappealing. My thirteen year old sister.

When I tried to explain to her that she doesn’t need it- any of it, the makeup, the diet, the skanky clothing- to be a worthwhile person, she gave me a look that broke my heart. She genuinely could not comprehend what I was saying. The music she listens to, the clothes she wears, and the attention of the boys at her school are what make her her. I can’t help feeling that I somehow failed as a sister, so see her like that. I mean, by all means, if you want to wear playboy and an inch of foundation because that’s what you want to do, do so! Just please, dear gods, don’t do it so other people will see you as worthy.

It’s made worse because (I know everyone says this about their siblings, but this is backed up with legitimate testing) she has an extremely high level of intelligence. She’s smart. Very smart. She is working in mathematics three or four years above her grade. She can understand and manipulate concepts that I, at 22 with university education, can’t quite grasp. She’s also beautiful in that sort of nordic-maiden way. Tall and graceful and blue eyed and blonde haired. Of all the people in the world, she does not need these image and identity issues, and certainly not at the age of 13!

Thankfully, Robyn seems to be finding her own way. If anything she’s taking after me, only with Renee’s intelligence and a quicksilver wit. My little sisters will grow up to be amazing human beings, so long as they can do it and stay true to themselves.

I am at a loss, my dears. I am so, so very at a loss. There must be something missing, something that we are missing, for childhood to be lost so quickly. Something is wrong if we lose our identity and pride and childlike joy before we even start middle school/highschool. There is something wrong if girls like my beloved Renee and Robyn think that what they look like, what they listen to, and how sexually appealing they are to others influences their worth as human beings.

Help me. Please, help me understand.

I don’t know where to start to help change this.

Questions…

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Anonymous asked:  “Describe to me a walkthrough of your dream house.”

The house is on acres of untouched land, by a river, on Australian soil. Good red earth, y’know?
It’s wooden on the outside, with healthy gum trees, a wild garden. Earth tones inside, and full of light, and there’s smooth airflow from one end to the other. There are two levels, wood and tile floors downstairs and carpets upstairs, where the bedrooms are. The kitchen is big and connected to the dining room. There’s a wall of windows that look out into the bush, and a small window at the back of the kitchen that enables food to passed from the kitchen to the veranda for eating outside. The walls alternate between gritty and rough to smooth and clean.

Upstairs are bedrooms, as many as are needed, and another bathroom like the one downstairs- sandy coloured, all golds and blues- with an open glass shower. A big shower, almost a wet room.
There’s a writing studio and library, wooden and quiet and filled with dusty light and beanbags and a writing desk.
There are guest rooms for company, which are white and clean and neat.

There’s a loft room, and that’s mine. It’s dusty wooden, raw-ish wood instead of the gloss downstairs. There’s a lock on the door and a massive circular window toward which the foot of my bed points. I have an easel there, and my own messy writing desk. Written on every surface are words or scribbled images, flecks of paint. There’s oils and medium and the smell of canvas, and painting cloths strewn everywhere. It’s a mess.

Everything in the house is randomly colourful. Red kettle and multicoloured coffee mugs- the big thick kind- and art everywhere.

Outside there is a garden path from the kitchen to where good edible food grows. There’s also a place for chickens and goats, and a little farther down, a big shed with a kiln and all my sculpting material.
From there, it’s only a short walk to the riverbank.

I Swore To Myself I’d Never Do A Harry Potter Roleplay…

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Oberon poked a finger through the cage of his hyperactive owl, ignoring the people milling about him to brush his fingers through his feathers. The little black-eyed tawny owl fluffed itself and peered around it with the wild curiousity Oberon didn’t seem to possess. It had occurred to him that perhaps he should feel something- excitement, perhaps, or nervousness- but he still felt numb, in shock. His sister did all the organising when their parents weren’t there, fluttering in confusion. He felt almost sorry for them. Discovering that their children were different, were other, had been an unpleasant shock for them. They had tried to be proud of the twins, but since Heaven collapsed on the kitchen floor, their concerns for the twins’ welfare had only deepened. They felt helpless. Their helplessness made Oberon feel guilty, like he and Heaven had been some sort of curse, while Heaven herself drifted along in her own world.

Thinking of her, he glanced up, his gut jumping to his throat in the moments where he couldn’t see her. Her name forced itself up his throat but got caught behind his teeth, which he clenched when he finally spotted her chatting to a robust, talkative old lady. Heaven didn’t seem to be paying much attention to what the woman was saying; the woman didn’t seem to be paying much attention to Heaven. Instead she talked endlessly with grand gestures, smiling to disguise glazed eyes filled with forced cheerfulness. People like that annoyed Oberon. They reminded him a little too much of a defective nanny.
Rasputin squaked as someone bumped his luggage trolley and Obe twisted to shout out to the offender… But a hostile glare from the sharp-faced boy silenced him. As a ten-year-old, Oberon wasn’t yet aware that a face like that belonged to cruelty. He only saw an ugly curl to the lip, a squint to the eyes, some kind of passive anger that had nothing to do with him.

“Brother?”

Heaven was calling.

Struggling with the sideways drift of the luggage cart, Oberon made his way over to his sister, tugging his beanie down to his eyebrows. Heaven was looking about with incredulity, seeming almost affronted with whatever information the lady had provided her with. He responded with the sluggish glance of a boy who really, really didn’t want to be standing in the middle of a crowded train station with a crazy sibling and assorted animals. He glanced around for the sharp-faced boy, but he was nowhere to be found. Something uncoiled in his belly. Oberon hadn’t realised it, but he’d been on guard since the collision.

“Did she just tell us to run ourselves, our pets and our trollies straight into that brick wall? That very sturdy and painful looking brick wall? Do you think she’s mad?”

Oberon frowned. His sister threw him a glance to tell him a facial expression was not an adequate response. Expressing just how much attention he had paid to his parents efforts to teach elecution and poise, he added, “I dunno?”

The brick pillar in question seemed quite solid. A little too clean for a packed station, but it could be clean for any number of reasons. He was sure that if he threw paint at it, the paint would stick. Or chewing gum. Or soot. All things he didn’t have in his possession. Heaven’s expression was beginning to flicker with the uncertain panic she picked up in new or unexpected situations. Soon she would either burst into tears or into an anxiety attack, or both, and the last thing Oberon wanted was a scene. He could just imagine having to explain it to a police officer: “I’m sorry sir, see, my parents just dropped us here… Yes, yes, even though we are under the legal age limit to be alone… and we are trying to get to a station that doesn’t apparently exist so we can go to a magical school where they teach us, well, magic, and my sister couldn’t figure out how we should walk through that pillar over there so she freaked out. Oh, and she is a bit weird in the head. A bit of a spaz. Would you mind directing us to platform nine and three quarters so all this can be sorted?”

No.
That wouldn’t go down well at all.
It couldn’t be the case anyway. He had already invested too much hope into this. To find out it was all fake would be heartbreaking to he and Heaven both. They had taken this as a sign that they weren’t evil or insane or some kind of mutant. There were others like them. Others like them who could teach them how to make it stop.
A place where Heaven wouldn’t be a freak anymore.
A place where Oberon wouldn’t be the freak’s weirdly-named brother.

He couldn’t give up on that.

“Hev, I don’t think…” He twisted his trolley around until it faced the aburdly clean pillar. “This is supposed to be a school of magic, right? We’ve come this far.”

Just in case, he tugged an apple from his pocked and tossed it between his hands before lobbing it at the pillar. It flew cleanly through the air before colliding messily with the bricks, transforming smoothly from apple to apple puree and splattering nearby passengers with yellow sludge.

Oberon hadn’t expected that.

“…”

Heaven’s lower lip began to quiver imperceptibly.

No. I’m not giving up this easily. His stomach churned at the thought. He was the brother. He was older, if only by a couple of minutes.
It was his job to look after her. One more glance at that confused, fragile face and he knew what he was going to do, with a child’s foolish determination.

Oberon lifted Rasputin’s cage with a grunt (he was an awfully heavy bird) and plonked it atop Heaven’s luggage, just in case this went exactly as he expected it to. School had introduced him to any number of bruises and he hoped that maybe this time wouldn’t be too different.

Screwing up his face and shutting his eyes, guiding the trolley with one hand and an elbow as he held his glasses to his face, he launched himself forward. There was enough distance between himself and the brick for him to build up some speed. Soon he was running, hearing the pillar come ever closer, closer, closer- and expecting that crash, he braced himself…. and kept on running.

Oberon opened his eyes and immediately fell over, losing his grip on the trolley, watching stunned as it drifted away from him at speed down the platform, eventually drifting to the left and smashing into the side of a fire-engine red steam train.

No way…”

Wizards still used steam engines?

Adventures in Queerdom

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So perhaps I am finding my feet on this rainbow-brick-road that I have discovered myself wandering, dancing awkwardly, unfamiliar with this new beat. I haven’t been sure, but I’m finding myself steadier and steadier these days. My feet aren’t shaken on their helter-skelter travels.

The girl.
A first in my exploration of fearlessness.

She was cute, rectangular glasses, blue neckerchief. Her hands were soft and cold and brushed mine like an electric shock. It made me giddy and silly and I babbled something about being obsessive compulsive about organizing things. She laughed and said I could obsessive-compulsively organize her table anytime. I think I swooned. I fled.

Jai teased me and flicked a game cover at my head, chastising my shyness. He pointed out the neckerchief. He repeated her words as he had heard them, tinged with his arrogant certainty.

It was the neckerchief that convinced me that maybe all would not be lost if maybe… This once… I grabbed my girl-love-lust and ran with it. One must be fearless, no? Fearlessness in all things, not just adversity and the unknown.

We (Jai and I) went for dinner. I wrote my number and a brief apologetic compliment on a scrap of a receipt. My fingers were slippery with avocado and sweet onion sauce.
I fought down the feelings of terror and nausea, uncomfortably aware of the fact that what I was doing was not only something I could never see myself doing, let alone do with a (socially acceptable) male, and certainly never with a girl…

But with Jai’s hand in the small of my back and his laughter in my ear, I made my way to her work and stood there, furiously blushing, enveloped in awkward silence. She was busy.

I handed her workmate the note.
I fled from the store.
I watched Jai peer over shelves and customers for a few minutes before he returned to my side.

“She’s looking around,” He said with his trademark cocky grin. “and she’s smiling.”

I got her message this evening, after I got home and was able to charge my exhausted phone.

She wants to meet for coffee.

I feel fearless.

Things, sometimes.

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The ring on the left is my dad’s old wedding ring. The one on the left is my mother’s.

They’re both silver and the engagement ring is 100+ years old, with skilfully cut moonstone in the centre.

The moonstone is transparent most of the time until it catches the light,

and then it erupts into ephemeral blues and silvers,

like the reflection of the moon in a lake.

It’s one of my most treasured possessions.

Possibly my favourite.

Today my mother wrote this, in reference to my confusion over a writing course:

Chanel, from the moment you realised those symbols called the alphabet contained meaning you tried to write them on anything. When you found those symbols with meaning created a book, you rarely had your head looking elsewhere. When you found the meanings in books could be created in a digital medium, you took it to a whole different level. I reckon you could answer your own question.

♥ XX