Thursday, 28 January 2010

Spoon Fed

"I'm NOT a pheasant plucker;
I'm a pheasant plucker's son.
Nonetheless, I pluck pheasants all day
Until the pheasant plucking is done."

Phew, I made it. Not one slip-up, despite the traps lying in the schoolyard rhyme, each one spring-loaded by the Reverend William Spooner.

He's the Oxford don who said "shoving leopard for loving shepherd."

Nowadays, we call such gaffes spoonerisms. Even when Spooner was among the living, the term had made the dictionary, the source himself still lecturing at New College, saying tasted worms instead of wasted terms, and worse.

"Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon."
~~ E. M. Forster English Novelist and Essayist, 1879-1970

Another Sculpture by the Sea photo taken in November 2007. The artist Tomas Misura called it "Twisted Reality"

Monday, 18 January 2010

Simplicity verses Complexity

The Buddhist scholar and teacher Stephen Batchelor stated:

"How much of our life is spent in avoiding what we really are?
Yet in a quiet corner of ourselves, do we not secretly recognise the deceptive strategies of such avoidance?
How often do we find ourselves happily indulging in some trivial pursuit, even though a deeper awareness is whispering to us of its futility?"

I feel we live in a society where we like skating over the surface of things. We prefer simplicity to complexity in the way we consider our needs and the way we organise our collective lives.

Photo taken at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Nov 2009.

Friday, 15 January 2010


I have written about fear several times since I started blogging. This four letter word that we often give so much power to is one of the most debilitating emotions one can experience.

Maybe we could look at FEAR from a different perspective.

The myth of fear is that we're supposed to overcome it or conquer it.

The truth about fear is that if we learn to talk to it and treat it with respect, it will teach us how not to be afraid.

Yes, it can be horrible and crippling and awful.

Trust me on this one. I know fear pretty well. I know the kind that causes full-body trembling and awful heart palpitations. And the kind that makes you think demons are flying at you through the windows. And the kind that has you sobbing and writhing on the floor.

Fear can be debilitating. So I don’t mean to be going off on some annoying spiritual kick about how it’s good for you or something. It’s just that you don’t want to battle it.

And not just because battling it makes the fear stronger (it does), but because — when you talk to it — your fear is the best teacher you will ever have.

Instead of kicking fear, you can dissolve it. It can kick back, but it can’t dissolve *you*. The only way to get the fear to dissolve is to interact with it. Just like you, it wants to be noticed and cared for.
Your fear needs to know that you are taking steps to keep yourself safe. So give it some reassurance.

Think of it this way. Your fear is like a knight. It has a mission or a quest or whatever to keep you safe from failure and humiliation and things going horribly, horribly wrong.

So it keeps you from working on the thing you want to do. It shows up again and again, with worry and doubt and what-iffery.

A misguided strategy, yes. But well-intended. Annoyingly well-intended.
If you want your fear to stop scaring you silly, you’re going to need to reassure it that its mission has not been in vain.

In fact, you can tell your fear that you’re going to release it from its quest and take over the mission of looking out for your own well-being.

Talking to your fear is a great way to achieve distance from it. When you’re talking to your fear, it isn’t you anymore. It’s just a temporary part of you. You contain it, but you contain a lot of things.

This distance, paradoxically, allows you to befriend it.

Befriending it, paradoxically, allows it to become something else.

I know. Argh, stupid paradox. Is it scary to talk to your fear? To even acknowledge its shadowy presence in the room? Absolutely. I’m sorry.

So — that’s the sum of my wisdom today.

Your fear is normal. Your fear is legitimate. Your fear is talking to you. Find out what you need to know.

Much love to you as you take this journey.

"Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here."

I have used this photo before but I feel it represents what I am trying to convey in this post.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

I Do Exclaim!!

Mamma Mia had one. So did Moulin Rouge and WHAM. Musicals, in fact adore them, with Oliver and Oklahoma each getting their slice of the action. As did Keating and Hello Dolly.

I'm talking about the exclamation mark, that stand-up, shout-out piece of punctuation that stabs the modern message. There's Jeopardy! and Yahoo! And the gossip mag OK!

Back in 1972, when Grease was the word, it didn't need an exclamation mark. The word was enough. Not now.

Nicknamed "screamers" by printers, exclamation marks are cold sores of the keyboard. One peck and the itch goes deeper. Germans have the right idea, using the symbol as a warning on autobahns, a shorthand tip to steer well clear.

As a kid I played a board game called Sorry! and failed to suspect contagion. Help! sang the Beatles, and we never lifted a finger.

Before 1970 the exclamation mark was a three-key operation - full-stop, backspace, then the apostrophe - but that would be unthinkable in these emphatic times.

Research suggests the punctuation to be ironic, a wink at a trend among comedies such as Airplane! and Run, Fatboy, Run!

F.Scott Fitzgerald said "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke."

"When my sonnet was rejected, I exclaimed, 'Damn the age; I will write for Antiquity!'"
~~ Charles Lamb English Critic, Poet and Essayist, 1775-1834

This is my sweet Miss Ellie relaxing on the BBQ January 2010

This photo I feel could warrant an exclamation mark or two!!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Calling All Angels

According to my good friend Dianne (Joseph's grandmother) I have a young soul.

When we went to "The '80's Are Back" Exhibition this week, which by the way was excellent, the conversation turned to angels and Dianne related many stories about angels that had visited her since she was a small child. Wonderful, fascinating stories that had me listening attentively and wishing I had at least experienced once.

The reason we were talking about angels was because Dianne has recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel Cancer from which she could die. As some of you know I believe in angels and was given a small metal one by Wendy, another dear friend. I told Dianne I wanted to lend my angel to her until she gets well. She gratefully accepted the gift and promised to hold this angel tight whenever she needed support.

This is not the first time Dianne has needed the angels help. 10 years ago an aneurysm burst in her brain leaving her severely disabled. Over the years she has slowly regained her speech and movement on the right hand side of her body. She even regained her driving licence!

So I am calling on all the angels. I want my friend around for a few more decades. I am learning so much from this old soul.

I wrote 2 poems in July and August 2009, "Ode to Angels" and "Believing in Angels". I was obviously surrounded by angels when I penned them. The final words from the last one are..."I am burning a candle right here in my heart, I MUST Believe".

"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly". ~~ Author Unknown

This is Dianne at the '80's exhibition, Sydney, January 2010.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Beginning

Well a new decade has arrived.....twenty-ten. Sounds like the future doesn't it. Not the present.

It’s been an incredible roller coaster of a decade and I’m ready for something new although I haven't got a plan yet, at least not for the first six months.

I’m feeling optimistic but that is nothing new. So out with the old and in with the new....maybe my new word for the year should be NEW.

Anyway dear blogger friends when I have a plan I will share my journey. It will probably be mainly in photos and quotes as my blog was very wordy in 2009.

Let the games begin......Carpe Diem

"You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being -- not because anybody says so, not because you're successful, not because you make a lot of money -- but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.”

Wayne Dyer quotes (American motivational Speaker)

My mother (Beryl) dancing and singing to her favourite song by Nat King Cole, "Rambling Rose"....30 December 2009, Lindfield, Sydney (not bad for 87 years young!).