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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Look what I got!




A special gift from some special friends, who live in San Diego but I think source these artefacts from South America (she is Guatemalan by birth). He has a lot of photos of them on his facebook page. I'm not into skulls; most of them leave me cold. But I found this piece intriguing when I first saw it photographed many months ago, and now that it has come to be with me, I have fallen in love with it. It is by me all the time, and I can't resist touching and holding it often. It's malachite, a large piece, with the natural markings used brilliantly by the carver to create the skull shape. I photographed it with a small piece of malachite beside it for comparison.

Packing for a house move, I haven't time to tune in properly; but can feel energy and bonding. A most amazing object! I think it must be very old; the surface of the stone is quite pitted. Skulls like this were made by tribal people long ago, as portals and talismans.

I believe it's meant to represent an extraterrestrial skull. At first I thought the piece on top was a head-dress; but no, I think it's part of the anatomy. It seems to be androgynous, as the energy sometimes feels female, sometimes male.

Have to find out more from my friends when I can, but they're busy having a baby any minute, so I might have to wait till later.

Today, at our Litha celebration, coven members tuned in to see what we could pick up. Ancient and extra-terrestrial we all got, in various ways. In addition, one person kept seeing high peaks, another saw a woman with very long hair, I saw youngsters who seemed to be members of the tribe who made it. I also felt that strong tingling at the temples which signals expansion of consciousness, but pulled myself out of the meditation as we didn't have time available for such deep work.

There's much more to uncover, I'm sure. I'm taking a little time out from packing just now, to celebrate receiving such a wondrous gift. Further explorations must wait until we're in our new home.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We're Moving Again!

Being Age Pensioners, we’ve been on a waiting list for many years for low-rent accommodation via the State Housing Department, and finally we’ve got it! Although we have enjoyed being here on the coast for the last five and a half years, we’ll be very happy to move nearer our beloved Tweed River again, and our favourite magic mountain, Mt Warning (so called, we are told, because it was the first thing Captain Cook saw when approaching this coast). In the new home we’ll say hello to the mountain every time we drive out of our street, and again when we drive back.

We saw the outside of the place on Sunday (because we couldn't wait) and the inside today, and we love it! It’s the front unit of a duplex, in a quiet, leafy court. We met the lady in the back unit, who is very nice. She has a huge, thriving rosemary bush. I like having my namesake plant where I’m living, and it’s been a while since that happened. (It’s a sign! It’s a sign!) There are parks nearby for walking, a big local store and a petrol station, and we’re just a few minutes out of town. We’ve lived around the town of Murwllumbah for the last 16 years, ever since we left Melbourne and moved to this part of the country. Our present location is the furthest out we’ve been.

When we moved to the coast, after loving the hills for about nine years, we said, “Yes, it’ll be good to be near the ocean again for a while” and so it has been – but note the “for a while”. Lately I’ve started itching to be closer to the mountain once more; I've begun to miss driving along the river. ( I grew up in Tasmania, a tiny island of mountains and rivers, small towns and villages, forests and rural districts, where you can’t go far in any direction without meeting the ocean. So I love all those things. (I only didn’t like the cold weather!))

We need to be in asap. If Housing Department properties stand vacant too long, people start complaining. We’ll have to break our lease here, though not by much. It was 21st January that we moved in here. The Department has written us a letter to show our landlord, saying we are required to be in before the end of the month. In fact, with Christmas coming up, it could be hard to get a removalist, so they will probably be a little flexible. Still, it’s all about to happen, and I don’t expect to be online much for a while. We’ll hope that our service provider doesn’t take so long over the transfer this time! After that – well, it’s a ten year lease, so we’ll settle down to a new era of stability and security.

Last time all the packing and cleaning half-killed us, and a number of our friends too. We moved in and went to bed for a few days! So this time, with a bit more money stashed away than we had then, we are going to get a carrier who will do all the packing for us, and we’ll have this place professionally cleaned. I still have to wash curtains, and go through my great hoard of papers to see what to chuck out. My darling can’t believe I am finally going to let go of the 15th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1977 – but only because I found out I can now get it all and more on DVD.

We’ll actually be only a half hour’s drive from where we are now, and the Neighbourhood Centre here will pay my travel exes to stay on as a volunteer, continuing to facilitate the writers’ group and fill the role of Secretary of the Management Committee. Just when I am about to leave, I am also thinking of starting a spiritual development group and a Mac users’ group! Both have been requested, particularly the spiritual group. For a few years now, people have been coming up to me and asking if I’d start one. Finally, as I’m about to leave the area, I get my act together!

We are also going to keep seeing the chiropractor here: best one we ever found – and we’ve found some good ones. And we’ll continue to see the psychologist here too. Every time I start going into nostalgia about the things we have to leave behind, I stop myself and say, “Hang on, you’ll be coming back twice a week!”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poetry and Other Adventures

At a recent session with PsychLady I spoke of my passionate love of beauty, all kinds of beauty, and my sorrow at not being beautiful myself. I explained that this is why I began writing poetry when I was very young – I wanted to add to the beauty of the world, and for me poetry was the most beautiful thing a human could create.

She pointed out the obvious: that poetry is my beauty, and the expression of my beauty. I had to admit that if I could swap right now and become a famous beauty for the way I look but lose the poetic talent, I would not swap, not for a moment. For homework she gave me an assignment to write a poem about poetry being my beauty. I didn’t write it until a week later, just before my next appointment with her, but it had been germinating away in the subconscious all the while.

What I wrote was Living Beauty. I was very pleased with it. It didn’t need revising, and I had done risky things with repetition and made them work. In various ways it felt like a quantum leap. Other people liked it too, and “got” it – even poetry haters in my writers’ group. All very satisfying!

Perhaps, after that, the only way was down? Anyway, a couple of days later I started looking through the last four years’ output (since publication of the last book). It was horribly disconcerting! As described in Crisis, I had suddenly lost the ability to “hear” my own poetic voice. I knew I’d been in a rather plain and prosey phase for some time, but I had thought it was still working as poetry. Now, it was as if I was coming to the poems as a new reader – and I couldn’t find any rhythm in them, any music. The language seemed ridiculously banal. Flaws leapt up and hit me in the eye. I realized that I’ve been churning stuff out quite prolifically, posting first drafts and never going back and working on them further. As for the things I had filed as drafts for later revision, they seemed pathetic, not worth trying to do anything with.

This was of course horrifying. My identity and self-worth are bound up with the poetry. And I wondered, in shock, if the friends who had made positive comments on my efforts were just being kind. You must have had the online experience of seeing some self-deluded folks who write atrocious verses, and all their friends rush to comment how wonderful their work is! Could that be me too, after all?

Then I noticed that I was pretty apathetic about things in general. None of the things that normally bring me joy seemed even vaguely interesting. I recognized what I was feeling as the way other people have described bouts of depression – something I have been lucky enough to have avoided so far. I don’t know which came first, the mood or my inability to like my poems. (“So,” said PsychLady yesterday, “You have gone from denying your beauty to denying your poetry too, which is the expression of it.”)

I’m grateful indeed for friends who read Crisis and rushed to disagree with it! Canadian poet Pearl Pirie said particularly wise things:

yeah, that's a familiar sensation/perception for me.

sometimes it's lasted months but it passes. generally means I'm breaking thru to some new inner level, a reorientation as part before growth phase.

a lot of stock is placed in the world poem. communication matters. call it what you will in finer level after that.


Finally some perspective re-emerged, and I realised that many of the people who praise my poetry happen to be poets whose own work I admire. That has to count for something! It’s a very different thing from lovers of the trite and sentimental praising doggerel. And my non-poet readers are people whose taste and intelligence I respect in other matters. Sorry, everybody, for insulting your judgment even briefly (not to mention your authenticity).

That being said, it wouldn’t hurt at all to go into a revision phase now and get some of those poems to the absolute best they can be. I thought I would take a sabbatical from writing new stuff (apart from the haiku and tanka, which whole groups of people use to spark their own). But PsychLady said the same as some of my friends: “Write about the emptiness, the nothing, the no-words”. Well, I would if I could, but I think it might have gone already!

And the other adventures? We’re liable to be moving house again real soon! But this post is long enough. I’ll write about the move tomorrow. Suffice to say, we’re excited. This shift is the one we’ve been waiting for.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Margaret, Are You Grieving?

I thought it was my dear husband's ageing, deterioration and inevitable death I was grieving for these recent months. And that's true enough.

I just noticed that it's also my own ageing, deterioration and inevitable death that is causing me grief.

It is myself I mourn for.

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

And no, my name is not Margaret. But I expect many readers will recognise the quotation:

Spring and Fall
By Gerard Manly Hopkins

To a young child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rewriting the Bible

byThom Moon 10

(Reposted with Thom's permission, because I like the sentiments!)

Every generation does-apocryrfpha to King James
to GOOD NEWS FOR MODERN MAN
Now a Conservative Thinktank is purging liberalism
from the flesh of bones of belief
LABOR is replaced by VOLUNTEER
That parable about the rich getting in to Heaven
like a camel getting through the eye of a needle?
That has been explained as a geographical gate
one that merchants used upon entering Jerusalem
Purging liberalism has always required scholars-
"enhanced interrogation techniques"replaced torture
"burning the village to save the village"(Vietnamdoublespeak
"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"(Iraq invasion doublespeak)
By such language-all who respond to invasive techniques
become "militants"-and if they resist='Terrorists!"
(unless Americans firghting a War Of Independence-
they (when the war was won)become PATRIOTS
Language has always been a slave of masters
Censorship and editing of William Shakespeare
to delete the bawdy and massage Press Releases
Now we have FAUX NEWS and bully pulpits
Bishops who deny communion to those who disagree
We resort to poetry when prose is dull as politics
Spark art uncensored and deemed irrelevant
until Bibles become Korans and cartoonists stabbed
May there be no Holy Texts to proscribe our disobedience!
FOR SALMAN RUSHDIE's FATWA Dec 5,2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Cat Update

Well he's home. We are to keep him very quiet for 10 days, confine him to the spare room rather than let him negotiate our split level floors, make sure he doesn't jump, and definitely not let him outside. So the first thing that happened was that he wriggled out of our grasps and flew out the bedroom door before we could close it, down the split level and out through the cat door into the garden. By which time I was in tears. Fortunately he didn't feel like going any further and we carted him back inside. He has now settled down, and has claimed that spare room and ordered Freya out of it!

Some hours later, he is vastly reassured, purring happily after lots of loving, and happy to rest on the soft new rug we got him today.

He is still somewhat uncomfortable though. We have pain-killers and antibiotics for him, and his stitches come out in 10 days. He hasn't got a bandage on his leg, as he was so annoyed by it that the vet decided to take it off again.

So wish us luck with keeping him quiet!

And many thanks to all for the well-wishing, prayers and healing vibes.

(I just now picked up the cat carry case, to put it away. Freya, who was hassling me for more dinner, suddenly slunk away quietly and hid under the furniture. Wherever he’s been, she doesn’t want to go!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sad Days

Injury




Our cat Levi needs surgery. We took him to the vet on Saturday after noticing that he was limping.  He has a badly damaged knee with torn ligaments. The vet described it as “an athletic injury” which might have happened after jumping.  It’s a thing that sometimes befalls cats, apparently. She said it’s the sort of thing that could happen to us if we were walking on the beach and put our foot in a hole; the foot gets stuck and the body keeps going. Levi is quite athletic, although he’s a big boy and is eleven and a half years old. He had been particularly active just lately until this happened.

He’s been anaesthetized, x-rayed and put on a drip, and will probably be operated on tomorrow. He is going to have a pin in his knee for eight weeks, after which it will be removed and he should be back to normal movement. (Yes, it’s expensive, but we can pay it off.)

We went to visit him today and give him some petting.  He was ecstatic to see us! I used a Reiki II technique to explain to him what was going on and what would be happening, and that he’d be home soon to take it easy awhile and get lots more petting. He settled down calmly after that.

Death


Last night an email came to tell me and others of the sudden death of Elisabeth Frauendorfer (in Austria, where she lived). Elisabeth was the founder of an advanced healing modality known as MPRUE (Magnussa Phoenix Reiki Universal Energies, the prerequisite for which is that one is already a Reiki Master).

Although we never met in person, Elisabeth was a dear friend and teacher to me and Andrew for a number of years, and to many others.  She kept in touch with her numerous friends and students via online groups as well as personal contact, and encouraged us to share her passion for research into all aspects of healing.

She was a very giving person, and was blessed with many talents including artistic gifts. At present many of us are feeling huge grief. I'm uncontrollably tearful.

All we know is that she died in hospital on November 5th, aged only 52. Her brother sent out a very brief email, which reached one of her students and thereby the rest of us. I imagine her family is still in shock too. I’m not aware of any recent indication of illness, and can only speculate that she may have suffered an accident.

She is irreplaceable. However, those she trained plan to continue her work to the best of our abilities.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ANOTHER new computer

Last Thursday, it being not only my 70th birthday but also Pension Day, I opened my internet banking to do the usual paying of bills etc. – to see that First FosterSon and FF Daughter-in-Law had deposited a large sum of money. It was labelled “Christmas” by which I understood it to be for both of us, but I thought how clever of them to time it so perfectly to arrive on my birthday morning, not to mention just before the 16th wedding anniversary. Turned out they hadn’t had those events in mind, and didn’t know how long the money would take to arrive anyway; they just thought it was time to send us “a little something”. (Their idea of a little something is our idea of huge.)

How joyous and exciting to pay off some large debts which kind people had been letting us chip away at gradually. (Car repairs, chiropractor, phone/internet provider, pharmacy....) With childish pleasure I put petrol in the car and filled it right up, something I’ve longed to do. I stocked up on supplies for the birthday/anniversary party. And, having transferred the computer fund to Andrew for a “previous generation” MacBook, I suggested he phone his older son (my First Stepson) who was handy with likely links when I was looking for one. I had a quick look in JB Hi-Fi while I was up that way in the morning, but the laptops there were fearsomely expensive.

First Stepson said to his father, “Why do you need a laptop? Are you going somewhere?” and explained that with a laptop you pay extra for the miniaturisation and portability. “Go for an iMac,” he advised. There wasn’t much persuasion needed. He Googled Apple resellers for us and found two quite near, so off we went – to find one didn’t deal with Macs at all, despite the listing, and the other one didn’t even exist. It was getting late. We made a snap decision to go to JB HiFi, and there was a lovely NEW 21-and-a-half-inch iMac for $1589 (same price as the tiny 13-inch laptop). So we got it. Just like that. Gee it felt good! The salesman threw in surge protector, firewire cable and screen cleaner for free.

Dear people who generously made donations towards our computers, I hope you don’t feel that it constitutes false pretences if we now transfer them to the car fund. The present vehicle is starting to die, just as the antiquated computers were.

The birthday party was Saturday, and the new machines were proudly demonstrated to guests who were almost as thrilled and impressed as we are.

I had said on the invitation, “No presents”. People either brought flowers instead or ignored it altogether and gave me books and hand-made treasures (a crystal bracelet, a crochet bag for holding loose crystals).  One friend insisted that I must have $70 on my 70th birthday, $1 for each year of my life. The good cooks brought Thai curry and jasmine rice,  cupcakes with purple icing, and a luscious chocolate birthday cake. Three people contributed extra software we wanted for the new computers.

And my very best present of all came from a friend who phoned up on the actual day of my birthday and told me, in tears, how much my poetry moves her. What more could I ever ask?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Geting Rid of Other-Worldly Visitations

My friend Maryna has lately had a new "ghostie" at  her premises.  I'm not sure if she is happy to keep this being around or not, so it would be presumptuous of me to rush in with advice on removing it.  However, I do know a method, so I'm sharing it here for anyone who may have need of one.

Actually I know several, but this one is particularly good because it also removes the reasons for the entity to be in your space – therefore, once gone they are liable to stay gone. It was taught to me many years ago by my great friend and teacher Jenette Youngman, who called it Karmic Completion, and it has many applications. I love it because it involves treating all beings with respect, unlike some forms of exorcism and space clearing which are cruel. To become adept takes time and training, but the following is a simple version that works for this kind of situation.

Ground, centre and protect yourself, then go into meditation and send lots of love to your "visitor". (All beings are children of God and are worthy of unconditional love for that reason if no other.) Ask what name you may call them and if there is anything they need to communicate. If you have not been aware of this presence until recently, perhaps they're not just stuck on this plane but have some other reason for visiting. If you can get them complete on that, they may then be ready and willing to go to their future destination / destiny. If stuck, there would be a reason for that too, so the same applies

It is enough just to hear what they have to say, acknowledge each utterance with "thank you" (for the communication, regardless of what it is) and keep asking every so often, "Are you now complete on this issue and ready to take the path of love to your future evolution?" until they say they are. Don't get involved in making promises or carrying out any actions they may request; keep it on the level of dialogue. You’re in charge! You have the right to say who or what may enter your space.

If the being has something to communicate to someone other than yourself, just ask them what it is and have them say it to you until complete. Keep asking, "Is there anything more you need to say to this person in order to be complete on this issue?"

You can create a path of love with visualisation and intention. Some people see it as white light. However you see it, it's important to identify it as a path of love. When they declare themselves ready, invite them onto it, and watch them along it until they disappear in the distance. THEN DISSOLVE THE PATH! (You don't want any uninvited entities coming along it.)

If they get stuck on the path, you can ask, "Is there anything still incomplete for you?" If it's fear paralysing them, ask if they would like an angel to accompany them, then have them call for an angel and let you know when one has come. I have never known them not to agree to calling for an angel, nor an angel failing to appear and accompany them the rest of the way.

Don't dwell too much on this matter thereafter; let it be complete for you too.

Of course, if the visitor turned out to be a guide or angel, you might not want to send them away. But be on the safe side – some make claims that are untrue. You can always call guides or angels to you later in case of need and they will happily come, even if you have previously sent them away. Also, check how you feel in their presence. Clear and empowered is probably a good sign. You can send love to them and see what the response is. Anything that is aligned with love will love you right back and that should be felt unmistakeably. Any other response is grounds for sending them away.

(This process can also be used to clear any disempowering aspects of one's own psyche.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

New toy

I can haz 15 inchiz!

And a sleek and lovely thing it is, giving me the greatest pleasure. I'm referring to a brand new 15-inch MacBook Pro – more thrilling to me right now than anything else you might imagine.

Anyone who knows me even slightly knows how I have been whingeing these past 18 months or more about the poor old eMac and the frustrations of being unable to upgrade operating system or browsers. Using the computer online was a constant struggle as the browsers jumped without warning to pages I didn't want to be on, took hours to complete simple operations, and frequently froze and had to be restarted.

What is less well-known is that I do a lot of volunteer work for the local Neighbourhood Centre, a very active organisation in addressing the needs of this community. I'm Secretary of the Neighbourhood Association which operates the Centre, taking minutes of meetings, writing official letters, etc.; I'm facilitator of the very successful, long-running writers' group, WordsFlow; and I edit and proof-read sundry official documents as required – in all of which I've hitherto been considerably hampered by working sometimes on the oldish Windows laptop at the Centre, with which I'm far from comfortable (just can't get the hang of it – so many unfamiliar operations to go through before you get to do what you want) and sometimes on my increasingly dysfunctional (desktop) eMac at home.

Further, this did not bode well for the course I'm scheduled to run at a nearby Community College in a few weeks, on "Brilliant Blogging" for the non-geeky. I was going to have to use yet another oldish Windows machine. Not a good look, for the tutor to be fumbling around incompetently!

All that is past.

As most of those who know me also know, I have been unashamedly begging for donations to help me get a new machine, as well as stashing away any extra I managed to earn by my own efforts. People who love me have been looking out for likely second-hand Macs for me, "previous generation" capable of being upgraded; and a Mac engineer I know was ready to vet anything they found ... but meanwhile I still had to amass the funds. The car reggo came due and I needed to dip into the amount I myself had contributed to the savings. Wouldn't touch other people's donations, given in good faith for the specific purpose, but dipping into the rest made a big hole in the fund.

It was all getting a mite disheartening. So in a recent casting of circle and talking to the Archangels, I thought of asking for something for me, namely that I get "the right computer for my needs" and that I get it before starting the blogging course – and that my dear, deserving Spouse should soon get one too. His own desktop computer, a nice little iMac that replaced an ancient laptop which died, is beginning to falter for the same reasons as mine: the software cannot be upgraded. I was clear that all this would take a miracle, but I also have experience that they can and do happen. The very next day, the Neighbourhood Centre Manager, out of the blue, asked me what exactly I wanted in the way of a laptop.

The Centre has an amount for special purchases, tied up in such a way that it isn't available to go into general running costs. She thought part of it could be used for a new laptop, and that as I'm the person who, almost exclusively, used the old one, it had better meet my needs. Such a large sum needed authorisation by two members of the Finance Committee. Fortunately they too could see that the Centre would benefit from the increase in my efficiency.      

I said I would like a 13-inch MacBook Pro. After having a look at them, she said, "They're VERY tiny" and suggested that the 15-inch model would be more efficient, and that it would be good to get one of the just-released aluminium ones which would be stronger than the polycarbon. We were able to source one of those. This was a piece of luck; most suppliers around here are still selling off the polycarbon models before getting the aluminium ones in stock. We'd have had to decide whether to wait some weeks or settle for less than what we wanted, except that we found one shop where a customer had ordered in a 15-inch aluminium one, customised to a faster read speed than usual, and then decided not to take it after all.

So off we went and got it! With three years of Apple Care into the bargain. I feel very valued.

The Neighbourhood Centre owns it and I am the custodian user. (The fact that it's not exactly mine –only to all intents and purposes – means that I'll be taking VERY good care of it.)  I'm an enthusiastic supporter of the Centre, not planning to sever relations until I'm really decrepit – which of course will be never. If some unforeseen reason to leave should arise, I guess I'd have to try and buy "my" computer from them, but will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Oh the joy of being able to operate smoothly at last! This is in fact the very first brand new computer I have ever had to work with. I'm getting used to it, and the Centre Manger was quite right about the 15 inches. Sometimes bigger is better, lol.

Bonus – the computer fund can now  go towards a "previous generation" laptop for the beloved Spouse.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disorder

The discovery / realisation of severe mental disorder in a close relative.

I'm delicate – perhaps ridiculously – about posting on the subject here, yet want to put links to MySpace blogs on the matter. The outdated browser, all I can put on this old computer, is now so jumpy that I can't stay on a MySpace page long enough to copy the url!

For those who are interested enough to go to the trouble, the link in my previous post will get you there. Then you need to click on the link at the bottom of that to the next post, and then the next and the next. They are "Professional Opinion", 22 October; "It Gets Worse", 26 October; and "Views", 27 October.

For material on the disorder itself, this is the best I've found, and leaves me in no doubt of the diagnosis. There's a lot of reading, all spot-on. I found the "Now We Are Six" link particularly illuminating.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brainwashing

Having had brainwashing attempted on me and almost succeeding, I'd like to do my best to make others aware of the techniques just in case you ever need to be fore-armed.  (Hoping I'm not also putting weapons into the hands of the unscrupulous! But if they want weapons, I expect they can find them without my help.)

I don't know where the following document came from. A concerned friend sent it to me at a time I badly needed it. It was illuminating and empowering.

Brainwashing Techniques

1.      Assault on identity
2.      Guilt
3.      Self-betrayal
4.      Breaking point
5.      Leniency
6.      Compulsion to confess
7.      Channeling of guilt
8.      Releasing of guilt
9.      Progress and harmony
10.    Final confession and rebirth

•         Assault on identity: You are not who you think you are.
 This is a systematic attack on a target's sense of self (also called his identity or ego) and his core belief system. The agent denies everything that makes the target who he is: "You are not a soldier." "You are not a man." "You are not defending freedom." The target is under constant attack for days, weeks or months, to the point that he becomes exhausted, confused and disoriented. In this state, his beliefs seem less solid.

•         Guilt: You are bad.
 While the identity crisis is setting in, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target. He repeatedly and mercilessly attacks the subject for any "sin" the target has committed, large or small. He may criticize the target for everything from the "evilness" of his beliefs to the way he eats too slowly. The target begins to feel a general sense of shame, that everything he does is wrong.

•         Self-betrayal: Agree with me that you are bad.
 Once the subject is disoriented and drowning in guilt, the agent forces him (either with the threat of physical harm or of continuance of the mental attack) to denounce his family, friends and peers who share the same "wrong" belief system that he holds. This betrayal of his own beliefs and of people he feels a sense of loyalty to increases the shame and loss of identity the target is already experiencing.

•         Breaking point: Who am I, where am I and what am I supposed to do?
 With his identity in crisis, experiencing deep shame and having betrayed what he has always believed in, the target may undergo what in the lay community is referred to as a "nervous breakdown." In psychology, "nervous breakdown" is really just a collection of severe symptoms that can indicate any number of psychological disturbances. It may involve uncontrollable sobbing, deep depression and general disorientation. The target may have lost his grip on reality and have the feeling of being completely lost and alone.

When the target reaches his breaking point, his sense of self is pretty much up for grabs -- he has no clear understanding of who he is or what is happening to him. At this point, the agent sets up the temptation to convert to another belief system that will save the target from his misery.

•         Leniency: I can help you.
 With the target in a state of crisis, the agent offers some small kindness or reprieve from the abuse. He may offer the target a drink of water, or take a moment to ask the target what he misses about home. In a state of breakdown resulting from an endless psychological attack, the small kindness seems huge, and the target may experience a sense of relief and gratitude completely out of proportion to the offering, as if the agent has saved his life.

•         Compulsion to confession: You can help yourself.
 For the first time in the brainwashing process, the target is faced with the contrast between the guilt and pain of identity assault and the sudden relief of leniency. The target may feel a desire to reciprocate the kindness offered to him, and at this point, the agent may present the possibility of confession as a means to relieving guilt and pain.

•         Channeling of guilt: This is why you're in pain.
 After weeks or months of assault, confusion, breakdown and moments of leniency, the target's guilt has lost all meaning -- he's not sure what he has done wrong, he just knows he is wrong. This creates something of a blank slate that lets the agent fill in the blanks: He can attach that guilt, that sense of "wrongness," to whatever he wants. The agent attaches the target's guilt to the belief system the agent is trying to replace. The target comes to believe it is his belief system that is the cause of his shame. The contrast between old and new has been established: The old belief system is associated with psychological (and usually physical) agony; and the new belief system is associated with the possibility of escaping that agony.

•         Releasing of guilt: It's not me; it's my beliefs.
 The embattled target is relieved to learn there is an external cause of his wrongness, that it is not he himself that is inescapably bad -- this means he can escape his wrongness by escaping the wrong belief system. All he has to do is denounce the people and institutions associated with that belief system, and he won't be in pain anymore. The target has the power to release himself from wrongness by confessing to acts associated with his old belief system.

With his full confessions, the target has completed his psychological rejection of his former identity. It is now up to the agent to offer the target a new one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No More Fatted Calf

Those who recall the traumas of the last visit home of my Youngest (the son formerly known as The Prodigal) may be interested in the final chapter.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change

Is it real or isn’t it? 

We are certainly seeing a lot of extreme weather all over the world in recent years, and it does seem to be getting worse. Tsunamis, dust storms, floods, earthquakes, tropical cyclones, droughts….

But hang on – hasn’t the earth always experienced these conditions? There have been some huge climatic changes in the past. It wasn’t human polluters who caused the Ice Age, for instance. There’s a theory that our earliest agrarian ancestors may actually have helped delay the onset of another ice age a few thousand years ago. Read all about it in Wikipedia.

Um, hang on again. If that is so, it does make sense to think we may have gone too far in that direction by now. It’s not all bad: we didn’t really want another ice age, did we? Maybe the planet needs that balance, but it wouldn’t be very good for us human beings. On the other hand, we don’t really want to be inundated by rising seas either. The inhabitants of small Pacific islands particularly don’t want to be!

But is it all a myth?  I have a friend who believes that it is a lie. He says 1998 was the hottest year on record, so clearly the earth has been cooling down, not warming up, in the last decade. (I must say, in terms of planetary time, that doesn’t seem very long actually.) He bases his opinion on this story. Not actually conclusive as far as I can see.

He also thinks it’s a ploy to institute “a global tax (Cap and Trade)  to pay for a New World Order, or One World Government whichever the turnout if we allow it to happen.”  He’s by no means alone in that view!

Another friend counters:

Here's a condensed version of an article just published.  No politics. Just thought it was interesting.

Global Warming Could Cool N. America
Kate Ravilious, National Geographic
September 16, 2009 06:16 AM


Global warming could actually chill down North America within just a few decades, according to a new study that says a sudden cooling event gripped the region about 8,300 years ago. Analysis of ancient moss from Newfoundland, Canada, links an injection of freshwater from a burst glacial lake to a rapid drop in air temperatures by a few degrees Celsius along North America's East Coast.
This event created a colder year-round climate with a much shorter growing season for about 150 years, from northern Canada to what is now Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The results suggest that North America's climate is highly sensitive to meltwater flowing into the ocean, said lead study author Tim Daley of Swansea University in the U.K. The work also means that history could repeat itself: Currently Greenland's ice sheet is melting at a rapid clip, releasing freshwater into the North Atlantic. 

Article continues


And where do I stand? I think climate change is real, that we have contributed to it, and we’d better find a solution very, very soon. The earth will survive all right; it’s likely we won’t. That’s why I’m participating in Blog Action Day. Anything that might conceivably help….

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Praising Bad Poets

Well, I don't, but many do – particularly online. On MySpace a man who would have trouble getting a job writing greeting-card verses is fawned over by dozens of online friends who make gushing comments about every one of his sentimental effusions with their poor spelling, atrocious rhymes and pathetic attempts at metre. And so he believes himself to be an excellent poet, and gives advice to others on ways to improve their work.

On facebook is a very nice, intelligent woman who has befriended me. She tagged me to read one of her poems. I refrained from comment. What could I have said? She's not like the man at MySpace. It's free verse, and she can spell. But if I had said anything, it might have been, "What a lot of words you know." (Meaning, "You've chucked every one of them in here.") And she's bright; she'd have got it immediately, and probably been offended.

In truth, I nearly jumped right in on first reading to congratulate her on being so funny. I thought it was hilarious on purpose, and brilliantly so. Then I read others' comments, and here were all these GOOD poets praising her wonderful, incisive language, her taut imagery, and so forth. They were serious. If she was having a joke with them, she was keeping awfully quiet about it. I re-read the piece and realised she probably didn't mean to be funny. Oh dear.

I think I should shout out, "The Emperor's got no clothes!" But I'm not as free or as game or as clear as that little boy. I am like the courtiers and the populace. Everyone else is saying how beautiful the new clothes are, and so I'm afraid to open my mouth for fear of looking like a fool. Besides, I like her as a person and I really don't want to upset her. So I say nothing, and hope she doesn't notice.

Her poetry is image piled on image with little in the way of context or connection. Well, OK, that's perhaps a valid way of making poems. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me – and maybe that's just me being dumb. But here's the clincher: say it aloud, it sounds horrible! There's no music at all; there's hideous dissonance, but not even intentional dissonance which can be interesting – it's just a complete lack of attention to that aspect of poetry. Ugh!

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Meditate: the Easy Way

I'm always teaching people how to meditate – by what I think is the easiest way.  But why learn in the first place?

Meditation is the foundation of all energy work. It's not just a method of relaxation, though it is that too and regular practice can greatly reduce stress. Do it consistently, and you'll also find that your intuition increases and you have more energy for your activities. You might get insights during your meditation; even more likely, you'll find them occurring at other times.

It has been said that prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening for God. (Or the Universe, one's Higher Self, one's guides, whatever.)

There are various methods, some very elaborate and/or time-consuming. If you have a method that you like, that's fine. If not, here is the way I think is easiest -

1. Arrange to be undisturbed. (Phone turned off, etc.)

2. Sit on a chair that supports your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your lap palms up, with thumb and first finger lightly touching. This is a mudra (hand gesture) that promotes relaxation. Some people think it also prevents unwanted energies from entering your space while you are in a relaxed and vulnerable state. Another way to do that would be to create sacred space (see previous blog) and meditate inside it.

3. Close your eyes and observe your breathing. You don't have to do anything special with your breathing. Let it be however it is and do whatever it does, and simply observe it.

4. Be light and easy about this. Don't concentrate grimly; that defeats the purpose.

5. Your mind will wander. Don't even try to still your thoughts. Maybe some great adepts can do that after years of practice; most of us can't and we don't even need to. When you notice that you're off on some train of thought, don't bash yourself up. Just, gently and without struggle, bring your attention back to your breath. I repeat – GENTLY AND WITHOUT STRUGGLE.

6. You will also get distracted by things like noises or itches. Again, as soon as you notice you have become distracted, gently and without struggle bring your attention back to your breath.

7. When you're ready to stop, make sure you're looking down, and open your eyes slowly. You'll be deeper than you think, and the light can be quite a shock.

How long should you meditate for? And how often?

It depends. Some gurus say three hours a day, but we won't even go there. (Not if you're holding down a job, raising a family, or just trying to have a life.) The Transcendental Meditation people recommend 20 minutes twice a day, before breakfast and lunch. Even that can be a bit much for some of us, but it's good if you can manage it. I don't think any more than that is necessary. 10 minutes once a week is better than nothing; 10 minutes once a day is better still. Find what works for you, on the principle that little and often is better than a huge amount once in a while (you know - just like physical exercise).

Ian Gawler, an Australian who cured his own cancer with the help of meditation and now teaches it to other cancer patients and their carers, advises busy people to 'meditate in the spaces'. This is good advice if you already know how to do it; otherwise better get in some practice first. Once you are practised at it, it's easy to drop in and out of meditation just for a few minutes at a time. (Don't do it while you're driving or operating machinery!)

Having decided how long a session will be, how do you time yourself? If you ask someone to let you know, they should NOT touch you to bring you out of it; that will cause shock. It's best they gently call your name, and repeat it until you finally hear them. (For most people, most of the time, it will be quite quick. Sometimes you might have gone very deep and it will take a little longer.) Or you could set a timer or alarm clock, but preferably not a loud, jangly one. And if need be you can crack your eyes open just a fraction to look at your watch, while staying in your meditative space and closing them gently again at once. A pleasant, musical timer is best. If time is not an issue, then allow yourself to come out of it whenever your body and psyche decide they're ready.

It's best not to meditate when you're tired; falling asleep is not the idea. For the same reason, after a heavy meal is not the best timing. And it's preferable to do it after exercise, not before; you don't want to get all stirred up again just after you've become relaxed. On the other hand, before a cup of coffee is better than after; you don't want to be too hyper to relax.

Eventually you can use your meditative state for specific purposes, such as contacting your guides, astral travelling, performing absent healing....

(You can download these instructions here.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflecting on the Dust Storm

Along with the notion that we may expect more such events, I'm left with this sobering thought:

a sky full of dust
thickening in the nostrils
and nowhere to run

(Reposted from Haiku on Friday at MySpace)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dust Storm

The day before yesterday, driving back to the coast from the nearest town, I did my usual thing of gazing at a panorama of ocean a moment at the crest of one hill before dipping down into our village. This time, it was disappointing: the water dull, and a strange haze in the air.

Next day (Wednesday 23rd) I went to my Tai Chi class at 9am. Nothing much to notice then. I had my chiropractic appointment at 11.15, and as I walked there I noticed that the fine day seemed to be getting overcast. When I left, the chiropractor and his receptionist both came to the door and looked out at the thick yellowish haze now coming over the hills. It had an eerie quiet to it. "Ominous," they agreed. We couldn't figure out what it was. I thought there might be a bushfire somewhere – and yet it wasn't smoke we were seeing.

I went home, turned on the local news, missed most of it but got something about motorists needing to be careful of "the dust from Newcastle" so I Googled that. I found out there had been a huge dust storm way off in the outback desert, exacerbated by gale force winds which blew it eastwards, and by some bush fires along its path. It had blacked out the whole of Broken Hill the previous night, and then moved on to cloak Sydney and Newcastle in an eerie orange-red glow by Wednesday morning.

By 12.30 in the afternoon it was well and truly here - not red as in Sydney but a nasty pale yellow that didn't look healthy. And it was not healthy, of course. In Sydney asthmatics and others ended up in hospital. We got off fairly lightly here by comparison with other places, but we could certainly smell it and knew we were breathing it in somewhat. The day got darker and darker.

Soon the whole sky was blanketed from underneath, and the day and evening became quite cold – strange for this time of year in this part of the country –  presumably because of the sun being blocked off. When night came it seemed much darker than usual.

The satellite weather picture on the evening news showed a massive cloud that moved across from South Australia and central Australia to the east coast, stretching from south of Sydney to the Gulf of Carpentaria (the most northeastern point of the country) and as wide as half the State. They said it probably was not an effect of climate change, but one wonders. They also said it was by far the worst dust storm in our recorded history. Here's a NASA view of it from space.

I had no trouble finding a topic for yesterday's 30 Poems in 30 Days prompt: "Write a poem in which a similar or identical phrase is repeated three or more times throughout the poem."

Dark Sky in Daylight

Once upon a time
this was a lush continent
but that was long ago.
Now we have drought.

Our dry inland “outback”
dry like this for centuries
became that way long ago.
Now we have desert.

Today there’s a haze
thickening the whole eastern sky.
Wind and fire outback yesterday,
now we have dust.

We have it here
far from the red centre,
blown all that way yesterday.
Now we have darkness.

23/9/09


Amazing, on waking this morning, to find blue, sunny skies and no trace of the dust to be seen. Even now, though, well into the afternoon, I only have to sniff a bit and I can still smell it. It prompted a tanka (a form I'm playing with a lot lately in an attempt to learn it).

A fresh Spring morning
yesterday’s choking dust cloud
vanished from this coast –
to infiltrate the ocean
or arrive in New Zealand?

24/9/09

Photos here (Sydney).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Resigning from Extra Motherhood

“You’re such a mum,” says my friend Pat affectionately – and inside myself I go, “Oh no, not again!” But it’s not too bad; she doesn’t actually want to claim me for herself in that capacity as so many others do, she’s just commenting on how I come across.

It’s a mystery to me. I have friends of all ages and don’t feel older in my consciousness than any except the really young, and not even all of them. Further, I have never experienced myself as particularly maternal, even when I actually had children – though I did my best of course, as one does. I certainly wasn’t the stereotype, the happily domesticated, perfectly efficient Mum of the early sitcoms (much to my youngest’s continuing reproach). I remember saying, when the kids had all left the nest (really the nest left them, but that’s another story) and my cat and the last of the family dogs had died, “I think I’ve finally learned how to do Mother, just at the point when it’s over.” (For those who will rush to tell me it’s never over, I’m speaking here of practical, day-to-day mothering.)

Not that I wanted it not to be over. I was glad I’d got through it somehow without major disasters, and I was good and ready for the children’s father and me to be just  a couple again – at last! Then we found out that we no longer had much in common apart from parenting, and when that was gone … but that too is another story.

Then some of my younger friends started claiming me as  their “adopted” Mums (i.e. one Mum, me; various independent-of-each-other adoptees). It never sat easily with me – I just thought we were close friends – but it always seemed meant as such a compliment, even an honour, that I accepted the silly label with whatever semblance of good grace I could manage – and the attendant feeling of some undefined kind of obligation, too. How churlish would it be to refuse? Well from now on that’s what I’m going to do. Next time someone says, “You know, I’ve decided you’re my surrogate Mum,” or, “You’re just like another mother to me,” I’m going to say, swiftly and loudly, and if necessary rudely, “Oh no I’m not!”

I’ve started to notice that these can be dangerous projections. Did I mention that I’m not maternal? Sooner or later I’m bound to disappoint. I don’t do the mother thing well … though perhaps that wouldn’t matter anyway, given that projection is involved. Even when the person consciously sees me in that role, I think there’s still a lot of unconscious stuff comes with it. After all, who wants an extra mother except someone who feels they’ve missed out on the real thing? The ones who see me that way aren’t making up for a deceased mother; no, they’re substituting fantasy me for a real one who was/is unsatisfactory. But sooner or later they reach their delayed adolescence, and then it’s time to break free, grow up and become themselves, delivering a few hard kicks to Mother-Figure in the process. After all, at that point, who would want a mother figure being privy to the confidential details of their lives? (That’s what friends are for. So, by virtue of being mother, I cease to be friend.) I never trained as a psychotherapist, to expect or deal with such developments, let alone maintain objective, professional distance from someone I regard as a pal, and I’m just not up for it any more.

I’m perfectly happy for my sons and foster-sons to call me Mum, and to sign myself that way in emails and birthday cards to them. Sometimes nowadays they call me by my name (as one of the “fosters” always did) and that’s OK too. And of course there is a special bond, a special history.

I didn’t meet my stepchildren until they were already grown up. Sensibly they’ve never regarded me as an extra parent, but more as a friend. I have a nice relationship with my stepdaughter, and she sometimes turns to me for advice, but she doesn’t want me to be her Mum; she’s got one.

I’m perfectly happy when my excellent god-daughters address me, half-jokingly, as “god-mum”. We’re all quite clear on the nature of the relationship and it’s nothing like mother-daughter. It’s somewhat like being a favourite aunt. (I am that too, to a beloved niece.) Mostly they call me by my name, and I treat them as the adults they now are.

And I’m perfectly happy to be “Nana” to my grandchildren. They’re “steps” too, but that makes no difference to them – I’ve always been around. So I AM an extra grandmother, but in an official way. It’s a real relationship: I’m married to their grandfather.

All these relationships, you see, are real and defined. They are legitimate, they have either legal or socially recognised status. There’s a framework. This makes for ease and clarity. Even the mentoring I do for some people is recognised by all parties as exactly what it is.

For the rest – sorry, I did my parenting decades ago. There were lots of bits of it I enjoyed and I certainly don’t un-wish it, but it was enough. I don’t want or need any grown-up infants now.


(Disclaimer: None of the above applies to my friend Letitia, whose idea of surrogate daughterhood is not to want things from me but to seek to do things for me!) 

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Well, look at us!

 
Andrew and me, taken August 7 2009
For everyone who may be wondering 
what the heck we look like nowadays. 

Monday, September 07, 2009

Innovative new online mag

The Group is an exciting new concept in online publishing. Curated by a roster of some of Australia's best and boldest writers, each edition will bring you quality new work from Australia and abroad. Foundation members include John Birmingham, James Bradley, Larry Buttrose, Billy Marshall Stoneking and Mark Mordue, with more to be announced soon. Membership is free and open to all, on Facebook.

GROUP 2 magazine is now online, at:

http://groupmag.blogspot.com/2009/08/group-2_26.html

Much to my joy and pride, I'm included in this issue!


You can read the first edition GROUP 1 at:

http://groupmag.blogspot.com/2009/06/group-1.html

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Self-Parody

A friend has been playing a game of self-parody. (Less likely to give offence, he thinks, than if people parodied each other. He’s probably right.) Having done a wonderful job of catching his own style, he invited others to try it too. Daunting, but of course I couldn’t resist! Here’s my self-parody blog post. Do you think I succeeded? Anyone else game to try?



Sunday market day
I manage so well alone
feel self-reliant
and meet wonderful people
my goodness always so blessed

The day started cool (well, for these parts, that is – but it could be a lot worse, I could be in Melbourne, LOL [Actually I was of course in Melbourne for quite a long time in one of my – ahem! – previous lives … or in fact two of them, with a gap in between when I went to the country … but I digress….].).

Yes, well, as I was saying, the day pretty soon got much warmer, and I was excessively delighted to be in the pavilion! (Dungeon that it is in winter, but one can always rug up – in this neck of the woods, as it happens, we think it’s freezing if we have to wear one jacket – but still, as soon as it hots up around here, the pavilion is the place to be.)

A darling little girl came by with her Mum, and as soon as she caught sight of me in my bright, welcoming outfit and vibrant purple hair, she broke into huge shrieks of laughter, pointed at me and nudged her Mum, who bent down for the child to say something in her ear. She hastily shushed the little girl, but I saw a hint of a smile twitching her lips too as she glanced over at me.

“It’s perfectly all right,” I called to her across the space between us. “She’s drawn to my aura. It happens all the time with these dear little ones.” The mother merely threw a somewhat startled look over her shoulder and bustled the child away.

*Sigh.* So often the parents just don’t – in fact can’t – understand the very special children who are manifesting upon the planet these days. These kids are indeed incredibly drawn to me, and tend to be overcome by spontaneous joy whenever they encounter my energy field! Btw I have no explanation for this; it is simply what is so.

And so it was yet another magickal and auspicious and wonderful day, and once again I was able to give my clients absolutely what they wanted and needed (deep-down, that is, even though in some cases their consciousnesses may not always have allowed them that awareness as yet. Luckily I have learned to be supremely confident of my insights on these occasions, being, as I am, the recipient of so many miraculous gifts)!

“How blessed I am,” I thought to myself for the umpteenth time, as I packed up my car later in the rapidly increasing heat. “Indeed!” I agreed with myself as I steered with gratifying efficiency out of the somewhat awkward parking space that my personal angels had found for me earlier, and drove home over Clothiers Creek Road’s steep, winding hill. Oooh! that steering wheel was HOT! Time to start again with the old towel-over-the-steering-wheel trick when parked for any length of time!

Being very much otherwise occupied tomorrow, I’ll leave you with a promise to post another poem soon from my old mate Thom, who always gives me permission to share his work. We've known and revered each other since the days when I was a famous poet in Melbourne in the eighties, and also when I was very highly acclaimed in Austin, Texas during April of 2006. (Don’t worry if by some chance you've never heard of me; perhaps you’re too young (or too old, roflmao) but basically it’s really entirely my own fault for being too modest in recent years to push myself forward, unlike some others of my more widely-recognised colleagues from that thrilling heyday of the Poets Union (of which btw I was a co-founder back in the day.).)

Oh and, if you would like to read my poetry, you can find many of my poems at my “Lecherous Crone” blog, my “Weekend Limericks” blog, my primary MySpace profile, and of course on Twitter, where I am massively enjoying trying my hand at “tweetpoems” of 140 characters or less, which are frequently re-tweeted by my followers as a way of expressing their admiration. (In my case, of course, it‘s a particularly challenging exercise because I always put a hash tag and the word “poetry” after each tweetpoem so as not to confuse any non-poetic members of the public who may come across them, thereby further reducing the number of characters available.) I am also published in the jocularly titled anthology Wankers Anonymous (Google it!) and will be featured in the first issue of the forthcoming ezine Poetasters Online, ed. by Datura Flight.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

on this darkest of nights

By Thom Moon 10
(posted with permission)


i cannot see my hand in front of me
the bush outside my borrowed window is black and deep and dark
absolutely no perspective is gained around me
unless and until i look-UP!
fierce stars and planets in a foreign constellation
beam brightness and illumination
as it is by night-so too by day
your candescence shows me the way
among the rising,falling,spinning frozen stars
to navigate a pathway by the ways of Light
it is a long road to morning
the darkest hour is not before the dawning
it is now,when things seem blackest
we go within -or choose to look without
hope of consolation or maps
There will always be Light above us
and light within-even if obscured
by a context of darkness
Light and change are assured..
TRUST IN CONNECTION EVER/MORE August 19,2009

Market Sunday

It’s that lovely, economical period of the year when we don’t need either the heater or the cooler on. Last Sunday was warm and sunny and gorgeous; it was surprising that some of the market stallholders didn’t turn up. Maybe there was a festival or something somewhere, that the rest of us hadn’t heard about. Luckily a lot of the public had not heard of any such thing either, and came to our market.

There were drummers too, a new troupe in this region, dressed in outlandish, glamorous costumes, all different, the predominant colour bright red. The market organiser had warned me beforehand, knowing that loud noise nearby can interfere with my psychic readings. “They’ll be walking around,” she said. “Not staying in one place.” I bumped into one of them early, doing my rounds before the customers started arriving. It was an old mate I hadn’t seen in some time. She took in my purple-red hair and vibrant red and purple shirt and told me I should be in their troupe!

I loved doing the markets with Andrew all those years – 14 or so. It was companionable and fun, and he did wonderful things for people with his Reiki treatments and Indian Head Massage. I also love doing them on my own now that he’s retired. I’ve enjoyed discovering that I can be capable and self-reliant; now I relish the ongoing experience of that. The gazebo, given to us some years ago by our good friend the Water Filter Man when he got himself a newer one, is very easy to put up and take down. I’ve got it down to a fine art by now and can do it alone and unaided – even though the other stallholders would help if needed.

Newest GodDaughter came to see me! She will be six months old next week, so was conveyed by her parents – her radiant, besotted parents. They handed her to me and settled in for a chat, as I had no customers just then. “Oh look,” they said, “She likes you.” They told me she had just started “getting funny” with anyone but them, but she seemed fine with me. I reflected that I’ve known and held her since a few days after her birth, but they said she even reacts that way with her grandmother. I felt smug. She sucked gently on my shirt and twiddled my sacred pendant. I noticed that she is getting prettier all the time.

“Could she pick a card?” said her mother. I turned her to face the table and drew the cards closer. She selected two which clearly described each of her parents. I encouraged her to try for one more, to comment on herself. She got 4 of Cups, sometimes known as the card of “Divine Discontent”. I explained that it depicts someone who’s got lots of goodies but wants more. Her father said, with a laugh, “She’s been a bit like that lately.”

The drummers started up. They stood in an empty space a few stalls down from me and bashed their instruments fast and loud while a bit of a crowd gathered. Then they started marching and dancing towards us, at the beginning of their “walk around”, rat-tatting all the time. It was wonderful – and it was thunderous. “I think I’ll just take her away a while,” said Newest GodDaughter’s father with some concern. He scooped her up and set off for the far side of the market.

When he returned a little later, he stood holding her as he chatted to me. She suddenly caught sight of me, her eyes focused in and she beamed. Then, still holding my gaze, she laughed and laughed with sheer delight. I’ve never felt so flattered.


Newest GodDaughter at four and a half months, with her Radiant Mum


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TURTLE ISLAND(a story forgotten..

By Thom Moon 10
(Posted with permission ... just because I like it.)

She had put the crab pots out and invoked turtle wisdom
(slow,deep,sustaining-with our whole world upon its shell)
Went out to pick up the crab pots
First one empty-second one full of crabs
Third one -something stuck inside
Now the water was clear so she could see down
at a turtle stuck for the past 12 hours
She had to cut him out-he was dead to our world
But she began massaging him ,flipper by flipper
until involuntary movements of his beaked head
assured her that some life was evident
She had done this for hours-praying,meditating,chanting
soothing and caressing until she was able to slip that turtle
back in to the waters(asking a surfboard rider to care for him
As soon as the board rider came close-turtle dived deep and was gone
leaving only this slip of a flipper of a story to share
as evidence that all magick is reversible
What you love is salvageable/beliefs make results real
and we still have a lot to learn from turtles
Like-how did such a huge creation
fit within the tiny entrance to a crab pot trap?
(and how will we ever get out again?
WELCOME TO TURTLE ISLAND TOTEM August 18,2009



Photo © Patricia Geyer 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weight Loss Update

How’s the secret diet?” asks Stepdaughter with a naughty laugh in her voice. I don’t even think, as I reply that I’ve lapsed a bit during this hard winter of lingering colds and low energy. Only afterwards the word registers: “diet”.

People just won’t get it.

IT. IS. NOT. ABOUT. FOOD.

Even the woman I think of as my best friend in these parts snorts testily when I tell her for the umpteenth time that it’s not a diet. “Oh well, whatever you call it then. Eating plan, whatever.” She looks so scornful - despite seeing me scoff the chocolate biscuits - that I give up and refrain from insisting that it isn’t an eating plan either.

We have been so conditioned to believing that weight IS about what you eat. And certainly I have proven that over and over again myself – Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers, successful graduate of Jenny Craig, and so forth. Eating to slim does work … for a while.

Well, why should you believe me? I keep not telling you what we ARE doing. And then I say that we are not sweating off the weight with a harsh exercise régime either.

OK, let me tell you some things I can say. Over the winter Debbie, my massage therapist – who is trained in Swedish, Shiatsu, Reiki, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Lymphatic Drainage, Advanced Aromatherapy and Cranio-Sacral, and knows how to read a body – thought my thyroid was out of balance. She suggested alkaloid foods. I was worried; if I started a special diet, would it interfere with the credibility of the weight loss program? Would people say afterwards, “Oh she only lost weight because of the thyroid diet?” I said as much to Letitia, the originator of our program. She just gave me a kinda fish-eyed look and said, “When have I ever spoken to you about food? It’s not about that.” So I relaxed and was careful for a little while, and when the doctor had my thyroid function tested it was perfectly in balance. So I stopped worrying about what I was eating.

Then Debbie picked up that my pancreas was a bit out. This was a worry; once before I had been told I had a pre-diabetic condition. I took my blood sugar for a little while, while cutting down on sweets, and requested that my doctor order a blood test. My naturopath and doctor both pronounced that I was not diabetic.

Meanwhile I became concerned about my osteopenia (precursor of osteoporosis) which I know I do have. I found out that the medication prescribed carried its own problems. My chiropractor recommended weight training as the only really efficient way to address the problem. So I started a gentle régime under the guidance of a trainer. I’m afraid I am not very disciplined and it’s been in abeyance a little while, but I do intend to resume.

And I have continued with my Tai Chi classes which I was already doing before going on the weight loss program.

Here is the interesting thing – while I was dieting for my thyroid and pancreas, while I was gung-ho with the weight training, I was not losing weight. I was in my “lapse” from the program and I could tell from my shape and the fit of my clothes that I actually put on a little. Now that I have revived the program, I’m starting to see slimming happening again.

The same happened to us all. It felt like a long, hard winter. Several of the team got sick this winter, sponsorship funding ran out, people at a film conference Letitia attended loved her idea but told her that her approach to the filming could use some changes…. We all either put back a bit of the weight we’d taken off, or stayed the same.

And yet we know the program works. We didn’t lose all the weight we wanted to as fast as we wanted to, but my goodness we did have some dramatic results. And the hiatus has been useful too, making us look deeper at what makes us fat and what makes us fit.

We had a meeting the other day, to hear Letitia unfold her new plans – not for the program, that’s unchanged, but for the way we present it to the world. Exciting stuff! And our enthusiasm is rekindled. We have put our lapses behind us and got back into the swing of it. And guess what, my face is suddenly looking slimmer in the mirror, and I’m doing up my bra on the tightest row of hooks again.

And no, I’m not divulging the details just yet. I don’t care if you think it really MUST be some revolutionary new way of managing food. Mind you, I always have eaten in a fairly healthy way – well, except for the chocolates – but that never stopped me getting fat, and since being on this program I haven’t made any drastic changes to what I eat, when I eat or how much I eat.

I had a lot to lose and I still have more than half of it left, so don’t expect to see me become stick-thin overnight (or at all; I’m not mad on the skin-and-bone look). I don’t know how long it will take. However we now have a digital camera, and almost know how to use it. I intend to post pictures from time to time, of the Incredible Shrinking Woman.

Today I walked into the Neighbourhood Centre and one of the staff – who sees me often – did a double-take and said, “Are you losing weight?” Yeah!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Computer - Developments

People have been so kind with their good wishes and helpful suggestions! My friend Letitia phoned up and said she had a friend who worked at a computer refurbisher much closer to home than the Sydney mob and could get me one that had just come in, for $550. She put her name on it while waiting for them to strip it down and do it up.

Then she happened to mention this in a phone conversation with her brother - who is a Mac computer engineer. He said, "Why are you getting her that model? She won't be able to upgrade." He suggested that it would be affordable to go for the "previous generation" i.e. not the latest model but the one before that, and to look on eBay. He also said I'd have more luck if I would consider a laptop.

Would I? A laptop is my preference! In my role as Secretary of the Neighbourhood Association, I get to use their laptop to take the minutes. It has Windows. I hate Windows! I can find my way around it, usually with some help from the more experienced, but after using Macs all these years I find Windows operations incredibly indirect, circuitous and time-consuming. It would be heaven to just take my own MacBook laptop along to meetings ... and many other places too.

Letitia is a whizz on eBay. She has put a watch on what I want, to see what they're going for. Around $800 it seems. When I get the money together, she will refer any likely-looking models to her brother to assess.

I have emailed close friends and family members with a shameless begging letter, to see if they'd like to give me an early present for my 70th birthday later this year, by chipping in for my laptop. Meanwhile am doing what I can to amass the funds myself, and have the first $100 set aside.

It's wonderful that what had seemed out of reach has suddenly become possible!

And incidentally, my Tarot student who "saw" that I would get a new machine via people who cared about me, actually thought it would be a couple. Letitia and her brother, perhaps?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rating My Life

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
7.2
Mind:
6.7
Body:
5.9
Spirit:
8.8
Friends/Family:
7.2
Love:
7.3
Finance:
6.1
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Friday, August 07, 2009

If the house is a mess ...

My second husband Bill had a great mate, Lindsay, who used to renovate houses. He said that he'd observed over many years that "the more intelligent the woman, the messier her house". My friend Beth and I used to have standing joke ever after: "I'm having a really brainy day today," meaning, "Ignore the mess" or, "Do come in, I've been ever so dumb lately".

Of course, this was in the era when it was still assumed – in most circles – that housework was exclusively the woman's responsibility. Thank goodness THAT isn't the case any more ... is it?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Magickal Assistance

I mean business about the new computer! So I asked all my witchy friends to please do some magicks to help me manifest it. I know that, with these people, I only need ask and it will be done. Have also done my own working, of course, in conjunction with the full moon.

And yesterday, when teaching a Tarot class, I asked a student to do a reading for me on the matter.

She got that I shouldn't be hung up on getting the latest model but to look at getting an earlier one that would meet my needs and be affordable. She also got a strong message that it would come to me through the help of someone who cares about me.

I went on MySpace last night and there was a message from one of the witchy friends, a lady who lives in America, sending me a link. When I followed that, it was to an Australian mob who refurbish ex-Government and ex-lease computers, with a 12-month warranty on the hardware. (Well researched, eh?) And amongst all the variety of PCs, there was a 17-inch Apple intel for $899, with an operating system that'll work for me. I phoned this morning and learned they have a good supply of this model, so I have time to get the money together, don't have to grab it now (which would not be possible).

Andrew needs a new machine too, though not quite as urgently; this is also do-able in reasonable time, at that price.

Magick works in very practical ways, as all witches know ... and my student is shaping up as a most accurate Tarot reader!

Meanwhile, people both online and local have been booking psychic readings with me, so the computer fund has been started. Whoopee – and thank you, Universe! My thanks, too, to those who responded to my previous post with prayers and well-wishing – it's all powerful.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why am I soliciting money?

What I love to do is writing, teaching, mentoring, counselling, networking: all the things I do online. Now I have an opportunity to do exactly this in a bigger way and earn some money at it too. I’ll be working with people I already know personally, who are close to me, so I know their integrity and also their skills. I don’t want to say more at this stage as it’s a bit confidential until we get it up and running. It’s a long-term plan, and we’ll be putting the preliminaries in place any minute.

Only, I have a problem. I’ll need much more efficient internet capability than I’ve got.

My computer is old – so old that I can’t upgrade my operating system. This is to do with the hardware, not the software. The hard drive simply will not accommodate anything beyond Mac OS X.3.9 – it doesn’t matter how often I empty my trash, move files on to a back-up disc, etc.

This means I can’t upgrade my browsers either. There are several versions more recent than mine, but they only work for OS X.4 and later. The earlier versions, moreover, are no longer being supported. So even though I can use them, this is fraught with increasing difficulties.

My computer is agonisingly slow. It can literally take hours to complete a few simple operations – by the time the machine thinks laboriously for a long while, the browser jumps unbidden to a different page or to a different location on the same page, and I find I’ve clicked something I wasn’t aiming for because the page has shifted, so I must undo that, or I have to return to the page I was on a minute ago and didn’t mean to shift from, or the cursor freezes and I try a reboot…. There are times I’ve been in tears. And as you can imagine, there are a lot of other things in my life that just aren’t getting done because of the inordinate amount of time my computer operations take.

Can you help me manifest a new computer?

Perhaps you’d like to buy a copy of my latest poetry book, “Secret Leopard” if you don’t already own a copy?

Or would you like to buy a psychic reading or an aura drawing?

Maybe a simple donation? (See Paypal "Donate" button above.)

If you are a praying person, would you be willing to pray hard for me to get the computer I need?

Perhaps you could send energy and intention towards that goal? Or visualise its attainment?

If you can work magick, will you please help by doing a working for me to get the right computer?

And if you are a healer, please send healing vibes to the situation.

Or just wish me luck.

Many thanks!