Category Archives: The World

Protestation versus Education

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The following is simply a comment I posted in response to this video, posted by a friend of mine on Facebook. I say a few things I feel very strongly about and I figure I should probably keep this blog alive, so in the spirit of trying to start living again, here you go.

Small hints of truth wrapped up in a lot of needless sensationalism.
I can see where you are and how you think, sweets, but this video is not something you want to say sums up your view, because then your view is heavily biased, selective of information, and incapable of change or adaptation.
The thing is, most people do understand the great machine we’re a part of. Most people do grasp these things. The problem is that people don’t like change, and they don’t like a lack of security, and they don’t know how to manage without a world that has been hundreds of years in the making.

Also no, a world without pharmacology would not be better. A world without global trade would not be better. A world without global communication and technology would not be better.
Instead of eradication, you must think in terms of adaptation and gentle change. The aggression in this video, the patronising voice of so many of the people who believe in it… It will get you, and them, nowhere.

You’ll find that if you educate people in how to survive outside of ‘the system’ they will tend to move towards doing so. People don’t like being trapped but they do love the safety provided. If you want change, educate. Teach. Teach skills as hobbies. Teach advanced skills for those who want to take it further. Don’t yell about how broken the system is, everyone already knows that and the people who don’t are the people who don’t want it to change.
So teach. Instead of this video, share TED talks about survivalism. Share pop culture like Naked and Afraid. Show people what cool things you can do with a pocket knife, or how you can make ink from mushrooms, or how to make their own soap. Educate them in how penicillin is made, and what plants work best in their climate. SHOW them the world they could be living in and they’ll do all the work themselves….
All you have to do is provide the start for an autodidact and ask them to teach what they know to others.

Change is happening. It’s just slow, and you can’t push hard. A little information, a little hope, and that’s all you need.

I plan to write more on this.

Maybe I’ll explain soap making, or how my gardening is going. Perhaps I’ll post my plans for my ideal home, or what new things I’ve learned. No doubt, mental illness and autism will show up from time to time. I talk a lot about these things, why not here?

I still write. I’m still writing. I just want to add a little variation to this blog, make it more… blog-like.

SO there you go.

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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.

 

Long silences.

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The world is making me terribly sad this evening. So much pain. So much pain! Individual pain, pain of thousands, millions, everyone with their suffering on tiny scales (a single candle, oh my god) to enormous scales (Gaza, Iraq, you know the places) and all of it so deafening. It drowns out the whispers of those who rescue dogs and volunteer to be doctors in foreign countries and old ladies who smile at people on the street. All the good in the world is so gentle and quiet that sometimes I think, against this raging bloody darkness, we have no hope. No hope.
And then I curl up in bed, and wait for sleep, and wonder how long it’ll be until that darkness finds me.

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.

Panic

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I find myself terrified, most of the time, that I’m not a writer, and that I can’t write, and that this silent day-week-month-months-year will never end and I’ll never write another story.

I’m one of those people for whom a story doesn’t just fall out and rage across the page.
I have to work at it to get one page, one paragraph, one sentence.

The fact that it always breaks and I always write another story never eases the panic I feel when I find myself unable to write, whether for lack of inspiration, words, characters or plot.

It’s an infinitely more painful experience than any I’ve known throughout my life.

EDIT:
This was my dad’s response to this post:
“Some sage advice from a foot weary traveller upon the same arduous climb?
Revisit, rekindle, relinquish, rectify and relish. Take to your heart old literary loves, your older eyes will see anew that which your pubescent soul dismissed.
Renew your passion for the language, pop the juicy words loudly on your tongue. Gobble verbs, masticate nouns and sieve corpulent adjectives through your teeth. Never slake your thirst or sate your hunger.
Brandish swordlike the slick sharp steel of your vocabulary, curry no fear nor favour in your quest to slice open the arteries of creative expression.
Make it yours. However churlish, childish, covetous or controversial, own it.
Just. fucking. write.”

Soapbox Time

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“Pale Death beats equally at the poor man’s gate and at the palaces of kings.”
– Horace

I hate it when celebrities die.

I don’t hate it because I’m reminded of the mortal coil and our steady but relentless progression down it, or because the celebrity was a particularly meaningful person in my life. I hate it because of all the things people say in response to it.

Right now I’m seeing the occasional message remembering Whitney Houston. Most of the time, I’m seeing comment about how a famous wailing junkie doesn’t deserve all the attention because she finally dropped off the perch.

Don’t even get me started on my whole ‘respect for the dead’ spiel, because it wouldn’t end. I cannot stand people’s need to defame and slander another person’s name when they deserve forgiveness for their past mistakes. Death is a punishment in some countries. It’s often considered the most severe, and certainly the most final of all sentences. Should the dead not be given a moments peace removed from their minor misdeeds and drama?

That is not what this post is about.

This post is about the comments about the soldiers. About little-known scientists who created something great. About the starving children in Africa. About the saints and the sinners and the people in between.

No, I’m not saying they deserve more attention than Whitney. That’s what this post is about.

Everywhere, all over the world, people are dying.

People are dying of disease, of famine, of addiction, of heartbreak. People are dying in wars and rebellions. People are dying slowly at the age of ninety-four. People are dying quickly at the age of two hours. Many people are taking their own life, or having it taken by another. There is not a place in the world where death is not happening.

Every single one of those people is a person of importance. You may not have heard about them, you may not feel emotional attachment to them, you may not even have liked them if you knew them. That doesn’t make then unimportant. The soldier dying in the midst of a short, sudden battle is no more important than the little old man dying alone in his bed in his spartan apartment. The children freezing in the streets are no less important than the great leaders who are dealing with their fatal but slowly progressing disease.

Can you even comprehend the numbers? Billions of people ceasing to live. Billions.

Every single one of them deserves to be acknowledged and remembered. Every single one of them had a life and a story. They may not have been good people. They may not have been strong people. They may have had addictions and vices and anger issues and a tendency to leave the toilet seat up. Some of them would have beaten their children. Some of them didn’t even have children. A great many of them died trying to care for their children. Many more of them died thinking about their children, or lack thereof. They may have died with regrets, or with great pride in what they had done.

Can you imagine the stories they could have told you?

Can you grasp the adventures they may have had?

Do you know who they were, what they feared, who they loved, where their passions rested?

No?

Did you know Whitney Houston, beyond her image on a screen or on a stage?

No?

Did you know every one of the soldiers who fell and never got back up?
No?

Do you know the names of every individual child suffering deadly malnutrition and hunger pains?

No?

Perhaps that is why you cannot mourn for them all at once, and that is okay.

We as human beings are actually incapable of seriously understanding anything on that scale. We can quantify it, we can describe it, we can count and manage and organise it, but we cannot comprehend it.

The best we can do is understand what is near and dear to us. Mourn the dead celebrities. Respect the fallen defenders of freedom and justice. Do what you can to ensure that this year, the numbers of the dead on the streets is significantly lower. Feed the world, y’know?

Death is an excellent equaliser.

Just don’t run around saying that one death is more important than another. Don’t demand more attention for one person like the other doesn’t deserve it because of their failures in life. Everyone has done something in their life that other people wouldn’t approve of. That’s not the point.

You cannot mourn every loss in this world. Mourn your own losses, allow the people around you to mourn theirs, and never, ever tell another person that their loss is less important than yours.

Show respect for the dead. All of the dead. Even the ones you didn’t know.

Okay?

Important Announcement

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So.

Finally, it’s not China or Egypt who are under threat from th great dark silence this time, it’s the good ol’ US of A.

 

Censorship hits a nasty little nerve with me. I like freedom. I like my freedom and I like other people’s freedom and I think freedom is an all-around good thing, if a little difficult to maintain and survive.
Books have been burned, history has been lost, and art has been destroyed by censorship in the past. No one should ever be able to say what you are permitted to see,  to access, to say.

EVER.

The laws in America (SOPA and PIPA) don’t just effect them. They can stretch out and touch other countries.
Not only that but this provides precedent for our own countries to start enacting their own internet censorship laws.

Ignore the commentary about what they will and will not censor. Governments are notorious for abusing their own power, and this censorship would soon spread to any sort of website of internet activity that is deigned “Unfit” for the populace.

 

And honestly, America?

Your people have been protesting through the past months despite deaths, police brutality, and general mistreatment by officials and authority. They are already very, very angry at you.
If you keep going like this, there will end up being a war, and not just between you and the internet. It will be between you and your people. You and the world.

Don’t. Be. Stupid.

Either that or be an example. Watching one big happy McCountry implode would certainly serve as a warning to Australia.

 

Please, if you stumble across this blog or read it when I post, share. Share the video, share the message. We live in a world of global connection. We have a global culture.

 

Forget Anonymous.

We are the pissed off techno-generation. We truly are legion.

They will never, ever be able to silence us.

Two Days

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Two days, back to reality.

Back to puppy cuddles.
Back to furrit chattings.
Back to the hot studio with the grapevine around the side.
A studio I can paint in.
I’ll paint something amazing…
Listen to the cicadas and breathe in the heat and
I’ll sing along to Adele and Le Tigre at the top of my lungs.
Badly.

I’ll contemplate taking up smoking, simply to have something to do between strokes.
I’ll change my mind, because of the health risks.
I’ll think about having a glass of wine instead…
Until I remember I don’t actually like wine much.

Two days and I can begin my countdown,
The countdown to 2012,
New Year’s Eve,
Which I’ll hopefully not spend alone.

I’ll think drunkenly about what is to come,

Hope that at least some of my heart’s desire will come to be.

Dreams come to fruition.

It isn’t much-

Inspiration, Intelligence, Independence.

Perhaps next summer I’ll be sitting in the back of a pick-up truck,

Baking in the sun,

A cold cider between my knees and a burger in my hands

While the smell of warm canvas and oil paint

Drifts from my paintings…

As they wait to be hung on smooth white walls.

In my dream I am happy,

Pleased with small pleasures,

A clear sky, a clear mind,

A room of my own, an income,

And a lightness in my heart.

I can hope.

I will hope.

In two days.

Storms..

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The sky splits open above me, and I sit safely in a shelter of bricks and plaster,

remembering that in this vast open plain storms were once the voices of the gods reminding us how small we are.

Now we huddle in big tough houses and don’t feel the wind,

we don’t feel the rain,

but when the thunder starts up again…

We are damned if we don’t quake right down to our

tiny,

helpless,

insignificant

boots.

I love Australia.