Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Apologies to my Christian friends

I had occasion to post the following on MySpace this morning. I am copying it here in case it also applies to readers of this blog.


**************************************

I'm sad and chastened to receive this message from a treasured friend:

'Rosemary

I can no longer continue friendship with you..

Your Christian Masturbation blog insults my beliefs.

Not all people who call themselves Christian really are, but I am, and making fun of a Christian group's stupidity, misrepresents the faith to people who don't know the difference.'

And she has blocked me from further contact. I'm sad about this because she's a beautiful and gracious person, and I just didn't think. I know she would have been saddened by this too, and did not do it lightly.

And I have other treasured Christian friends here, whom I truly hope I haven't offended beyond hope of repair.

We Pagans are so often villified in ignorant and malicious ways by so-called Christians that it's too, too tempting sometimes to return the favour, though hopefully with less rancour. At least the thing I was making fun of did come from people claiming to speak on behalf of Christians, whereas some of the things said about us have less basis in fact. But after all, that's no excuse. In any case, my friend was certainly not one to do that!

There are indeed many groups of Christians as there are many shades of Paganism. Most Pagans have enough common beliefs and values to regard ourselves as family, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be identified with some few more extreme groups. I can see my ex-friend's point!

And so I apologise unreservedly to any whom I may have offended. I just thought to share a laugh at something absurd, and thought my Christian friends broadminded enough to laugh with me. But indeed it's truer to say I was not being thoughtful.

I HAVE now thought about removing the offending blog, which was my first impulse. But it's been up a while, people have seen it and reacted however they did. Done is done and I take responsibility and live with the consequences.

This will give me pause in the future, however! The Golden Rule of 'Do as you would be done by' applies to all of us, whatever our spiritual preferences, and I was remiss.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aussies are worried about Sarah too

US leadership affects the whole world.

The following letter came to me by email. I've been unable to discover the original authorship, but I see it has been blogged extensively already. I also note that the net is full of open letters to Sarah, from all manner of persons! The concerns this one raises, though, seem to me worth disseminating as widely as possible, so here it is again with no apologies. If anyone can refute it by matters of fact and logic, please feel free!

OPEN LETTER TO SARAH PALIN FROM AN INDIGENOUS WOMAN

'Decisions that have been made for the last couple of centuries have been decisions made without the presence of a real God....from the vision, not of God, but of money.'

--Tom P., MOHAWK elder


An open letter to Sarah Palin:

Daughter of the Earth ~

I speak from the heart of my indigenous grandmothers. I want to share my concern with and for you, your family, and our country. We have only three choices in our lives ~ to act from Love; to act from Fear, or not to act at all.

The day you were chosen to be John McCain's running mate, I decided to find out who you are. I looked up your voting record at VoteMatch.

I read your voting record, and my heart plummeted into a well of deep grief. We have the opportunity to co-create a reality that respects all people and belief systems; all living beings; to explore and use alternative energies that will not harm the earth; to feed all thepeoples of the earth; to address an economic system that is not and has not worked for many years. I would hope that you, and all our government officials, would be looking for ways to accomplish these things.

Yet, you are suing the U.S. government to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Big Oil. And you are backing a senseless and hopeless war that is being fought only to gain more oil.

Jesus, your teacher and saviour, taught peace, harmony, balance and unconditional love for all. When you proclaim Christianity, what I hear is a need to dominate the Earth and All Our Relations out of fear, greed, and avarice - the 'business as usual' mentality which has so harmed us all in the last eight years (to say nothing of the centuries before).

When you say 'the war in Iraq is a task sent from God', I question your authority to speak for the Creator, and I hear the same kind of mentality that guided Adolph Hitler (April 12, 1922), who said, 'My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a Fighter. It points me to the man who, once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews (substitute: Muslim, Native American, Asian, non-Christian) for what they were and summoned men to the fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as sufferer but as fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and of adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish (Muslim, Black, Indian, Hispanic, Asian, non-Christian fundamentalist) poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before - the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago - a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish (Muslim, Black, Indian, Hispanic, Asian, non-Christian fundamentalist) people. '

And, when you proclaim the Iraq war 'a task from God', I hear the same misguided belief systems of the fanatical Muslim sects that proclaim 'jihad', a 'holy war'. HOLY and War do not belong in the same sentence - a 'holy war' is an oxymoron promoted by fanatical bigots who believe only in their own supremacy. I cannot condone such beliefs, and, unlessyou want to take us back into the dark ages of the Inquisition and the Crusades, I pray that you will look at your own beliefs.

You claim that 'We are about to win the war in Iraq'. I question where you got your information. When Bill Clinton left office, we were at -0- national debt - now we are trillions of dollars in debt. . . and no end in sight. To say nothing of the thousands of lives lost on both sides, due to Big Oil's need to perpetuate itself. This is not a 'holy war' ... it is a war of greed. John McCain brought up his experience in Vietnam - one more war fought for the wrong reasons. You're too young to remember, but many of us do remember. Have we learned nothing in the last forty years??

As I read your opinions and the actions you have taken in your short term as governor, I am shocked and apalled, and my heart hurts. You are a mother and grandmother-to-be, yet you are against abortion under any circumstance. Apparently, you'd rather see children all over the world starve to death within a few months of birth because their parents can't afford to feed them, or a mother who beats or throws a child into the garbage because all she can see is the face of the man who raped her.

You don't want any gun control, even though children the ages of yours are killing each other in cities all over the U.S. because guns are so easily accessible to them. Sarah, what if it was one of your children killed by one of those children with guns? Would you still say, 'Guns don't kill people - only people kill people?'

When I listened to your speeches, I don't hear one possible solution to the oil crisis; the war in Iraq; the economic crisis facing our nation. I don't hear anything about better schools, or health care for all, or ways to balance the national debt. I hear ego and arrogance from you; white supremacy backed by fanatical fundamentalist beliefs; the competitive need to slam the opponent so you can 'win' above all else. I do not appreciate the Republicans' 'Perception Management' team 'spinning' lies into 'truths' for the gullible American public's consumption.

My question to you, Sarah, is where is your heart? Where is your compassion, mercy, and the desire to uplift all humanity? Where is your respect for people of other cultures, religions, races? Where is your desire to find true answers to all the challenges our nation is facing at this present moment? You bandy the word 'change' around, but I haven't heard one real word about what you intend to do. At some point, if your voting record doesn't change, indigenous people around the world may start calling you 'Daughter-who-rapes-the-earth'.

As I looked at the crowd at the GOP convention, I noticed very few people of color. Your husband comes from indigenous peoples. In some secret place, his heart must be full of tears and terror.

People of Color - First Peoples, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans - I call on you to look beneath the rhetoric. See the flim-flam of sympathy and self-righteous white supremacist, racist, fanatical religionist 'patriotism'. Understand that NONE of the true issues are being addressed, because McCain/Palin have no answers!! Call for an honest vote count - no 'lost' ballots; no 'miscounts'. . . we all suspected the last election was bogus - it's time to make sure we have a real election now.

My prayer for you, Sarah, is that you learn the true meaning of Love, Service, Humility, Compassion and Mercy. I pray that through this heart opening, you will begin to feel the grief of the world, and all our ancestors. I pray that feeling this pain will level you to the ground, and make it possible for you to examine every belief you've ever held and discard those that do not serve Truth and Love.

And my prayer for my country is that you aren't allowed to 'win' this election. At this time, we need leaders who are open to a new way of viewing the world; leaders who are willing to stop greed and corporate corruption; leaders who will co-create balance and harmony with all. We are moving toward an enlightened age - God willing, we will not fall back into the Dark Ages.

Perhaps, Sarah, in another ten years, if your heart opens and you come to understand a larger picture than the narrow-minded bigotry you presently sustain, you would be a good Servant of the People. In the meantime, the heart of the indigenous peoples will pray for that opening and pray that our country is saved from you and your current belief system.

In love and blessing

An Indigenous Woman

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's good about today?

* Eating breakfast outside, enjoying the garden and the mild weather.

* The gardenias on my desk. One of my regular clients for readings, when I'm at Murwillumbah Showgrounds market, always brings me a gardenia flower. This time it was two, and they're lasting well. It's my favourite flower, mostly for that exotic scent, and also for the delicate beauty of white petals which turn gradually gold as the flower fades.

* Our guest, James, is still here. He
cooks us splendiferous meals from time to time, knows how to fix computer problems, and helps out here and there with finances. Above all, he's taken on turning Andrew's health around with nutrition specifically tailored for Andrew's needs, plus lots of laughter and optimism. Apart from all that, it's just good to hang out with him after not seeing him for a number of years.

* Andrew is responding well to the ministrations and already seems much more his old self.

* The fact that I wrote two poems yesterday.

* Kind comments from people who enjoyed the
walking blog
I posted last night (see previous post). The realisation that the trivia of my life can be enthralling to others, and that I must be writing well for this to be so.

* New posts at the latest
Haiku on Friday blog. The tender memories sparked in others by my verse on my mother.

* A new art gallery nearby is going to display and sell copies of Andrew's book at its opening exhibition, 'All's Fairy in Love and War.'

* My new metal water bottle (because I read that plastic leeches into the water). It's lightweight, and has a spill-proof lid.

* Remembering the lovely water bottle carrier with shoulder strap that I got in Peru in 1998, and have just brought back into service (because new bottle lacks a carry loop). It has dusky-hued stripes of blue, red, green and purple, based on those wonderful old Inca designs, and the strap's adjustable.

* The recipe for mosquito repellant which I got from the Neighbourhood Centre – effective without putting nasty chemicals on one's skin. It's also good for treating the stings once they've happened. Here it is, if you'd like it too:

Mozzie Repellant

Gentle enough for everyday use and helps with existing bites also

In a large spray bottle

ADD – 200mls Canola Oil
or light Olive Oil

500mls Dettol

15 drops Lavender Oil

20 drops Tea tree Oil

50 mls water

Spray all over skin daily


* The even easier tip for treating midgie bites (from an Aboriginal guide at Mingjungbal Museum): as soon as you feel the itch, lick your finger and dab the spot with saliva. It has to be your own saliva. This neutralises the itch. Both these tips are vital because I am highly allergic to mozzie and midgie bites, and the dear little creatures just love me. I wind up with welts and sometimes infections from scratching ... but not any more!

And why am I listing all these good things here? Because counting one's blessings is a kind of magick! Energy follows thought. When we think positive, we send out good vibes which attract more positivity, so the happy mood escalates, and blesses all those around us as well as ourselves. Or, put another way – expressing gratitude tells the Universe what we like and want in our lives. And writing things down, particularly for public witness, is a good way to ground them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Walking tonight

I go for a fast walk every second day. Usually it's in the morning or early afternoon, but today I had other commitments and didn't get out for my walk until the evening, at 6.25. It was still light, the temperature mild after a warm day.

I hadn't gone far when I encountered a dog. He was black, and middle-sized. (You have to understand that I tend not to think a dog is a real dog unless it's at least the size of a German Shepherd. This one wasn't, but he wasn't a little titchy thing either.) From across the road he looked thin. I thought he must be a stray. He looked at me hopefully and made a slight move towards me. Despite thinking I shouldn't, I clicked my tongue and slapped my leg and he came across the road to me, cringing down low as he got near. Definitely a stray, I thought, as he crawled on his belly. I let him sniff my hand, told him he was a good boy, patted him and scratched behind his ears. I had visions of taking him home, sorting out the interaction with the cats, and trying to find someone to look after him. (Or, let's be honest, maybe keeping him.)

But when I set off again, he didn't come with me even though I called encouragingly. He started back to the other side of the road. When I didn't go with him, he just stood in the middle of the road looking at me. Luckily there was no traffic. 'Get off the road!' I shooed him, but he didn't move. I sighed and went with him to the other side. Then he made it very obvious we were at his house and he'd love me to come in and meet his people, and perhaps come and live with them. I declined, but I was glad he didn't need rescuing after all.

Round the next corner I met a Japanese girl walking fast and purposefully like me and listening to her ipod. We nodded as we marched past each other in opposite directions. Then I passed the share house where the Koori couple and all the young blokes live. Four of the men were sitting out on chairs by the garage door. They waved; I waved. 'G'day!' we called to each other with big grins.

I went around a court to add more time to my walk, to make up for interrupting it to talk to the dog. Two little girls in their pyjamas were out on the nature strip. 'Hi,' said the smaller one, 'That's a pretty necklace you're wearing.' I smiled and thanked her. When I came back down the opposite side of the street, they were on that side too. 'Hi,' said the same little girl, 'That's a pretty necklace you're wearing.'

Then, as I came towards my house, a very small boy passed me, riding slowly on a very small bike. 'I'm with no people,' he announced. 'Are you out on your own?' I said. 'Where do you live?' He pointed along the street. 'Down there.' I admonished him to be careful on the road – though he was the only piece of traffic in sight – and suddenly he sped away like a veteran. Good, he didn't need rescuing either.

I had no idea that going for a walk at this time of night would be such a social experience!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Speechless with hilarity!

An ad popped up on a page I was looking at, inviting me to see what the Bible says about marriage and masturbation. Fair enough I suppose, for those interested in that viewpoint.

But what broke me up was the big, bold heading: Christian Masturbation.

When you masturbate, kiddies, please make sure you do so in good Christian fashion!

ROFLMAO!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BLOG ACTION DAY: What Is Poverty? (Examining my life.)

For one thing, it’s relative.

I have a roof over my head and enough clothes to wear. I eat three meals a day and sleep in a comfortable bed at night. Compared with millions of other people in the world, I’m rich. When I add that I’m surrounded by shelves of books, have paintings on my walls, and that our household maintains two cats, two computers and one car as well as two people – surely, by some standards, I live in luxury!

Measured by other criteria, too, I’m positively wealthy. I’m married to a man I love, who loves me. My children are all living healthy and productive lives doing the work of their choice. Most of them are in happy relationships with people they love, and all of them have good friends and enough money. I myself have an abundance of wonderful friends, and I live in one of the most beautiful regions in Australia. My health is good. I earn money only in occupations I truly enjoy. So what would I know of poverty?

As I said, it’s relative. When I was a University student in my twenties, existing on a Commonwealth Scholarship and sharing a house in a low-rent area with a couple of other young women, there were times I lived on sixpence-worth of mincemeat and one lettuce per week, and I shared the mincemeat with my cat. Well yes, sixpence did buy a lot more than it does now! In fact we’ve had decimal currency for a long time; it was equivalent to five cents. And that was long before I found out that iceberg lettuce has no real nutrition. I thought I was taking care of my health by eating protein plus a green leafy vegetable. A friend used to give me oranges, and various friends used to sometimes invite me for meals. At the end of one year I pawned most of my textbooks and was never able to redeem them. I still regret letting go of the beautiful Lavengro by George Borrow, a book that’s not heard of any more.

I was poor enough to steal. (Not that that’s an excuse, but it says a lot about my circumstances, not to mention my character.) That was in the days of milk deliveries. I used to go around the back lanes with one of the girls I shared the house with, and nick bottles of milk sitting on doorsteps. If there were two or more bottles, we would take one, and that lasted us a few days. Then we’d pick a different doorstep next time.

Where were my parents, you ask? In different cities far away. My Dad lived near Mildura, my Mum in Launceston, and I was in Melbourne. If they’d been close enough to see what was going on, things might have been different. But I didn’t tell them. A dear aunt in a Melbourne suburb, my ‘second Mum’, didn’t realise either. However I did have that back up if I’d chosen to use it. That’s not true poverty, is it? Even then I had the roof, the clothes (which my parents bought me) and three meals a day even if they were rather strange and frugal meals. And my studies were paid for by the Government.

The next time in my life that things became frugal was when I separated from my first husband at the age of 25. That wasn’t so much because of lacking money – I had my first job as a librarian then – but more because I had never learned how to manage it. I didn’t have a clue. So once again I skimped on food. If I didn’t pay the rent, I’d lose my home. If I didn’t have the bus fare, I wouldn’t get to work. But I could juggle the eating. We used to hear a lot in those days about poor people living on pet food because it was cheaper. I never did that. Pet food was for my cat! (There’s nearly always a cat – or two.) But I’ll never forget the day I found an orange in the gutter. Someone must have just dropped it. It was huge and fresh and bright. It was sweet and full of juice. I thought I was blessed by heaven! I didn’t feel poor on that occasion; I felt rich! (Wealth is relative too.)

Now my husband and I live on the Age Pension. ‘Single pensioners are doing it tough,’ everyone agrees. ‘So are married pensioners in the private rental market,’ observed a Government Minister on TV recently. That’s us! (There’s a long, long waiting list for public housing.) At present, half our income goes on rent, and the rent is going up in a few weeks. No use looking for something cheaper – rents are high everywhere and rental properties are in huge demand. We’re allowed to earn a small amount above the pension, and we do. Also we get a few perks – travel concessions, discounts on prescription medicines, and so forth. As Seniors we qualify for other discounts at some stores and businesses. With all that, there’s nothing over for extras by the time we feed ourselves, run the car, and pay our electricity and phone bills. We buy our clothes at the local op shop – fortunately a very good one – except for shoes; we save up for them. Occasionally we have to ask the Powers That Be for a food voucher, courtesy of Vinnie’s (St Vincent de Paul). We’re grateful that’s available, and long ago gave up being embarrassed about it. There’s no room for false pride on the pension! The people who issue the vouchers tell us we’re not alone. They say they always get a big rush on food vouchers at the start of the school year, when struggling parents have to part out for school clothes and textbooks. I’m glad I don’t have that problem!

When I was married to my second husband, we were able to send our kids to private school. We had a big house in a relatively (that word again!) affluent suburb. We had a swimming pool and spa, and we threw (relatively) lavish parties – lavish in our book, anyway, though we did our own cleaning and catering. We travelled to Bali several times, and around most of Australia. I worked part-time because I didn’t need full-time income and I wanted to be home with my kids after school. Mind you, there was the time early on when he broke his leg and couldn’t work for three months, and we had two toddlers. He was a self-employed abalone diver; his wages didn’t keep coming in while he was off work. But his mates among the professional fishermen kept us in seafood. I’m here to tell you it IS possible to get sick of eating crayfish, after about three months ... but this hardly counts as doing it hard. It wasn’t until the kids were grown up and no longer living at home that we lost everything and went bankrupt! It was the time of 'the recession we had to have' when banks first encouraged people to borrow big and then tightened the screws. (Many years later I cheered the revenge movie The Bank as if it had really happened.) Not coincidentally, that marriage broke up at the same time. We’d grown apart, and the financial stresses didn’t help.

I was still bankrupt when I met my third and present husband. He was self-employed and in the last throes of paying off huge debts so as to avoid bankruptcy. Nevertheless we managed to find a nice little flat in Brighton, Melbourne, another relatively affluent suburb, and run two cars (no cats at that time, and only one computer). We were very happy. Someone offered him a well-paid job and he accepted gladly. I was able to go off unemployment benefits, or Job Search Allowance as it’s now called, and stop looking for ridiculously unsuitable jobs. I was free to teach Reiki, do psychic readings and healing sessions, all from home, and teach creative writing courses at TAFE Colleges. When we first moved to the Mt Warning Caldera, where we still live, rents were so low that Andrew said, ‘I can afford to retire and go on the pension!’

That was 15 years ago, and the pension has to stretch a lot further now. The computers are old and slow and the car is falling apart. The current cats are well fed, though. And so are we, albeit frugally at times. (I learnt from the local Krishna devotees to do a mean veggie dhal!) On the whole, I greatly enjoy my life. We don’t get to the movies much any more, but the local DVD shop rents new releases for half price on Tuesdays. We’ve got a great creek to swim in. The garage we‘ve been dealing with for some years says we can pay off the work our car so desperately needs. Our kids have helped out a lot over the years. And we had a couple of windfalls. We didn’t want my Mum or my brother-in-law to die – but when they went and did it anyway, we were grateful indeed for the inheritances they left us. My Mum (posthumously) shouted us an unforgettable trip around the world in 1998. My brother-in-law bought us an extremely comfortable new bed that was badly needed, and financed the publication of my ‘new and selected’ poems so I had a book to take to Texas when I was invited there for poetry festivals in 2006. My dear friends rallied around and did fund-raising to help me get the plane fare together. I can’t really say I’ve had a deprived life!

And now? The constant stress of exceedingly slow computers, to two writers who use them all the time, can’t be healthy! A friend who’s visiting us just now is a Mac expert and, on the basis of what we actually do on our machines, reckons we need a 24-inch iMac each. It seemed like an enormous challenge. Well whaddya know, the Government is about to give pensioners a big pre-Christmas ‘stimulus package’ which will go a long way towards the cost of one of those computers! We’re still cogitating on how to pay for the other without waiting years to collect it – but nothing’s impossible; my life has taught me that.

There are times when I’ve struggled and done without, other times when I’ve lived very well indeed. All my husbands and I always had to work for our money, like our parents before us, and I can justify my pension by all the taxes I paid in previous decades. ‘I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor,’ said some famous person whose name escapes me, ‘And rich is better.’ Well I’ve been comfortable and I’ve been a battler, and happiness has little to do with either state. I’ve been well-to-do and miserable, struggling and happy – and vice-versa at times. I’ve had episodes of being worried and scared; and more of them when I was – relatively – affluent. The more you have, the more you stand to lose.

But poor? I think of beggars I saw in Calcutta, street children in Peru, TV images of people dying in famines. No, I’ve never been poor!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Soap Opera - Update

After the dramas of a few months ago, which most of my readers will be aware of, my very psychic friend Marieah told me she ‘saw’ a past life I’d shared with my youngest (he to whom I refer as the Prodigal). In that lifetime, she said, he had been my husband, and my present husband was then my lover. The two men had killed each other over me. She told me that fragments of the Prodigal’s soul were still caught in my aura, like a butterfly caught in a spider-web. As I was the spider, it was my job to unravel the web and free these fragments so his soul could be whole, and go on its path unrestrained.

Well, it happened that when Andrew and I first got together in this lifetime, he recalled exactly the one described above, and I was then able to recollect some details too. It was during the French Revolution. My then husband was an English squire; the lover was a French refugee from the Terror, whom the squire befriended and took into employment. Andrew thought the husband that time must have been my previous husband in this lifetime, the Prodigal’s father; but I immediately knew otherwise, and said, ‘No, it was the Prodigal.’ It explained a thing or two about his initial attitude to Andrew.

We were excited to discover this past connection, until our friend and teacher Jenette said, ‘I’d advise you to clear it, otherwise you’ll be in danger of acting it out all over again.’ Good point. So we did. Only it never occurred to us to clear the Prodigal too.

Marieah’s description was interesting because the Prodigal has a pathological fear of spiders, way beyond most people’s revulsion – jumping and yelling in uncontrollable panic on merely seeing a picture of one. I’ve even seen his face go white.

So I set about doing visualisations of unravelling the web. Our relationship didn’t get any easier. There were some distressing communications by email, and no doubt he was equally distressed. Andrew felt under psychic attack from him quite often, and when I tuned in I had to concur that that was the source. In the end I consulted Carol, my Theta Healing and Thought Field Therapy teacher. Brilliant woman! She gave me a long session over the phone, using TFT to clear some of my emotions around the present issues, and Theta Healing to complete the past life clearing. ‘Now,’ she said, ‘You’ll both be free to go on your own paths without the karmic bonds holding you back.’

After that the psychic attacks on Andrew stopped altogether. There was no communication between the Prodigal and me, but that was a relief. I relished the peace! However, he’s my son and we actually do love each other underneath it all. I consulted my own guides as to what to do and was simply told to be loving. So when it came time for one of those ‘family update’ emails, I included him and made a brief acknowledgment that much as I hadn’t liked his behaviour when he was with us (a matter which was no secret from the rest of the family) I could see that his intention had been to benefit me.

After a while he sent me an email accusing me of telling lies about him! I gave up at that point, thinking, ‘Oh well, we’re poles apart. We’ll never understand each other.’ I just didn’t answer. Interestingly, I wasn't devastated as on previous, similar occasions.

A couple of days ago, the phone rang. Andrew picked it up and I heard him tell someone, ‘I’m fine thanks.’ Then he brought the phone to me, saying, ‘It’s [the Prodigal], do you want to speak to him?’ I took the phone and said hello, to be greeted with a warm, ‘Hi Mum, how are you?’ For the whole call he was unwontedly agreeable. (I found out later he was the same to Andrew.) It turned out that he’s just got a new Medicare card, is soon to leave the country again, and has given my address for where the card is to be sent. He wanted to know if I’d keep the card safe for him and just send him the number. Of course I will.

I got off the phone and said, albeit laughingly, ‘The little bugger! He was perfectly charming. He wanted something, of course.’ But I was pleased. Better to be on good terms than bad. On past experience I’d say it won’t last – but I also know how Theta Healing can shift things, so I’ll wait and see. Meanwhile I notice that I’m not so attached as I used to be. It will go how it goes; I’m calm about the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What's in my handbag?

This is a meme for which Jenny of From the Living Room tagged me.

My current favourite handbag is a black leather backpack, the third in a row of similar design, as I seek to replace them as soon as they - finally - wear out. I was on a lifelong quest for the perfect handbag, and never considered the backpack style until Andrew and a shop assistant persuaded me some years ago. What do you know - that was it! The first one only had one front pocket in addition to the main cavity. I had always thought I needed bags with lots of different pockets, but I asked a friend who created wonderful leather stuff to make some pouches for me, one for make-up, one as a wallet/purse, and some miscellaneous ones. That worked beautifully. I still use the last remaining one she made for my make-up, but the latest bag has more pockets. I sometimes wear the bag as a backpack, and sometimes slung over my shoulder by one strap.

I don't have a digital camera to record the contents visually for posterity, but here's the list.

In the zip pocket just inside the top of the bag:
  • My FlyLady wallet (the one my friend made eventually lost its zip).
  • A large emery board.
In the main cavity:
  • A packet of Bluetack, to be used for sticking flyers up on community noticeboards.
  • 'Rid' insect repellent. (Not soon enough – with the advent of warmer weather, already I'm covered in welts and scabs.)
  • A bundle of unused tissues.
  • A fold-up-small nylon shopping bag.
  • A slim pocket diary, used only to record how many glasses of water I drink per day. (Everything else goes on the big FlyLady wall calendar at home).
  • The Ancestral Path Tarot deck, in a fine cotton pouch I bought at a market.
  • A purple FlyLady lanyard holding a clip-on spectacle case for my 'Fitover' sunglasses. When I'm out it holds my key ring as well, but at present that's hanging on a hook inside the front door.
  • A flyer about a talk Andrew and I are attending next Monday night.
  • My FlyLady timer.
  • There is usually my make-up pouch, but that's on my bathroom vanity basin just this minute.
  • Often there's a folding umbrella too, but not right now.
  • Often also a large notebook, either A4 or more often A5.
  • And quite often a book I'm reading.
In the pocket on the front of the bag:
  • My small Thoth Tarot deck (about a quarter the size of the original).
  • A rectangular magnifying glass that slides out of a hard black case.
  • A small velvet bear in a burgundy colour, used as a proxy or surrogate in 'absent' healing work.
In the pocket on the back of the bag:
  • A pocket torch.
  • A pocket calculator.
  • A smallish folding fan.
  • Two pocket-sized spiral notepads, for all kinds of notes including Tarot readings I do for myself when not at home, but mostly for writing poems when away from computer – one with purple pages, nearly full, the other with pink pages, still almost empty.
  • A pocket-sized notebook with black vinyl cover, for magickal manifestation work.
  • Two pencils.
  • A pencil sharpener.
  • Two magenta-coloured biros with blue ink.
  • One Flylady give-away purple biro with black ink.
  • A card from café d'bar, an art gallery/café which is stocking Andrew's book. (That will now go into our card file.)
  • Three packets of rose stickers from the local discount store, to identify as mine items which Andrew has identical versions of, such as notebooks and pens. Had to settle for roses this time, as I couldn't find my usual cute purple cats. (This item will not stay in the bag either, but be transferred to a desk drawer.)
Well, there you are – pretty much what any resourceful poet/witch/Reiki Master might carry, lol. ... I wonder? I'll tag another such, satyapriya, to find out, and also The Cerebral Mum if she can find the time, and Pearl of Humanyms (and other blogs) because I'm curious about what she carries.

It's not compulsory to describe the handbag, but failing a photo I think it's interesting. And I won't hold it against you if you decide not to do it at all.

Thanks, Jenny, that was kinda fun.

Note: No apologies for advertising Flylady! She is A Good Thing. (No, she doesn't give me a commission, in fact doesn't even know I'm doing it.)


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Slight change of plan

So I'm not getting a new computer - yet. (See previous post.)

The finance company wouldn't do a deal on Andrew's and my combined income, and even with augmenting the Age Pension to the degree we're allowed to, neither of us earns enough singly to be eligible. Damn! The store was very happy to sell to us if we could find a way, and we know it's doable, in fact they were willing to offer us an even better deal on the basis of us buying two ... but, no go.

Meanwhile I have gazed upon the face of heaven! Er, I mean I have had a test-drive of the 24-inch iMac, and nearly fainted with sheer lust. Gotta find a way!

The only option I can see now is to find someone willing and able to buy one for us, either outright or on hp, and have us pay them back bit by bit, as we were prepared to do for the shop if we could have got the finance sorted.

We've started a computer fund already!

I'm getting a new computer!

I mean brand new, not another secondhand one. Our mate James, newly returned from a few years in America, and looking where to settle, came to visit for a few days. Then he promptly had a heart attack, had stents put into closed arteries, and after leaving hospital has come back to us for a few weeks. Which has been good in all sorts of ways. he has made a wonderful recovery, and it's great to have so much time to hang out with him after some years of phone calls and emails only.

He noticed our constant frustration with our slow, antiquated equipment, and being a Mac expert was able to see that for our needs the new 24-inch iMac would be ideal for each of us. Then he found that a place nearby is offering a good deal on hire purchase, and I realise I only need one extra client a month to be able to do this. So James - who is a much better negotiator than me - is taking me up in a minute to look at them and hopefully bring two home.

I might be offline a few days getting the new one set up. Depends on the fine print etc,, whether this actually happens, but I'm just tellin' ya.