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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Writer's Journal (exercise): That's Me

I look at the photo and smile fondly. Was I ever that 4-year-old with the wide-eyed look of wonder? A serious face. A pretty face too, though I never thought of myself as pretty. My Mum had done me up for this portrait, my ringlets carefully combed, my best dress on. It was blue, though the photo is black and white. I inherited this blow-up in the gold frame when Mum died; she kept it always. I decided to put it up in the new home, when we were hanging the sketch my artist friend Jennifer did of me in my artist’s modelling days. Being my friend, she was much more interested in my face and expression than in the body. I came across the photo and thought they made a nice pair — the sketch is contemplative and serious too. Actually I was mentally writing a poem that session, I remember well. It was boring lying there, I had to think of something. The poem was called Mosaic and I was and am quite pleased with it. Did I ever publish that one? I think I did. So many poems, so many publications, hard now to remember them all, and now that I’m so prolific in my old age, harder still. Doesn’t matter anyway — expression matters, communication matters, keeping score doesn’t.

That’s me, waxing philosophical at the best of times. Not my brother’s brand of philosophy*, more like taking a philosophical attitude, which means something more like making the best of things, cracking hardy, and so forth (I think). I tried the academic kind of philosophy, even majored in it, but I get fed up with it now.

* My brother is a university lecturer in Philosophy

Writer's Journal (exercise): Train Travel

I love it. Always have, since I was a kid. Not that we did a lot of train travel in Tassie — no need, for the most part, as Dad was a car salesman so we always drove. But occasionally I was sent on a train to an aunty and uncle somewhere else on the island. And later, in my teens in Victoria, there were longer journeys. I liked the sleeping car, with a room to myself, and waking early in the morning to pull up the blind and watch the landscape slide by. In more recent years I’ve loved the XPT journeys to Sydney and Melbourne, choosing to travel by day as much as possible, able to walk around, write, read, watch scenery, do crossowords, eat meals...

I like the slower pace of trains, the opportunity to look around, to doze occasionally, etc.

When I was a young woman going to work from Melbourne suburbs to the city, I liked train travel for just the same reasons, though not the crowding. Luckily I lived far enough out that I usually got a seat.

When my (now) best friend Pam boarded with us, Bill would have been gone early; she and I would wake with our alarms, one would be in the bathroom while the other got breakfast and vice versa (we fed ourselves); we’d walk out the gate, wait for the bus, get out at the station, queue up, get on the train, and finally arrive at Flinders St., in almost perfect silence. Only by the end of the trip would be become awake enough to exchang a grunt or two. We were in perfect accord, it was the beginning of our lifelong friendship.  The sort where you can go months or years without contact, then pick up as if it were yesterday.

Trains — I wish the XPT still came to Murwillumbah; I wish it would be extended to Brsbane; I wish it would operate like a suburban train with all the small towns en route.

The Tooth Fairy (with a difference)

Dear People, I am raising funds to help a friend get some dangerous mercury amalgam fillings removed from her teeth as soon as possible, by the safest possible method. It's a costly procedure. Her circumstances are such that she feels she cannot afford this any time soon; she is already paying off regular dental work.

As a Reiki Master, I have seen plenty of evidence over the years of the serious health damage such fillings can cause. In my observation they are always a big factor in chronic fatigue, for one thing. As long as they remain in the body, they continue to cause trouble and any healing work is only temporary — because they continue to leach new amounts of poisonous mercury into the body ongoingly.

I was so shocked and horrified to learn that my friend had any, that I decided to swing into action this way. (My own circumstances being such that I can't just gift her whatever it would take, all by myself.)

If you think you can help, here are some ways:

1) Send a donation to my Paypal account, marked Tooth Fund. Paypal address: rosemary.lifemagic@gmail.com Never mind if it's only a small amount; every little helps.

2) You might prefer to book a psychic reading with me, and I'll put the fee into the fund. Readings can happen by email, Skype, or in person if you happen to live near me. $100 for one hour, $50 for half an hour. (Aussie dollars if you live in this country; otherwise US dollars.)

3) Say some fervent prayers and/or send energy to the situation and/or wish my friend well. I know that these things too are of real help.

My friend doesn't yet know what I'm up to on her behalf, but will be informed shortly.

Thanks to you all for reading this far!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Farewell JD

RIP J.D. Salinger who never conformed nor played the celebrity game. Thank you for 'Catcher'. I still have my treasured copy, decades later.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The (New) Move

It went easily, despite heavy rain at the time, and we love the place. It’s in a tree-lined cul-de-sac, high out of flood range, and very quiet despite the presence of young families. We look out on trees and hills.

Many people hate suburban living. I’ve lived on rural properties and in the inner city, and both are very good; but, moving here, I realise I also love suburbia. I grew up in the suburbs, lived in a colourful suburb whilst attending University, worked in suburbia for the most part, and raised my kids there too. Whether treed, bayside, or high-density, I experience the suburbs as friendly. The neighbours in our new street wave and smile when they see us. It’s nice, and just enough. Murwillumbah has always reminded me in some ways of the Launceston I grew up in; this street particularly so.

Some of the plans for the new home changed suddenly, e.g. when the removalists said, “That cupboard won’t fit through that door.” It was obvious from the start that, as always, our car would be parked in the open. The garage will have to be library, temple and consulting room. At the moment it’s still full of boxes, but at least the bookshelves are up around the walls. We even have some bookshelves in the house, in Andrew’s office and in the living-room. We’ve gone from three bedrooms to two, so Andrew’s office is also the spare room, with the fold-out couch that’s our spare bed. We’ll only be putting visitors up for a night or two now, not indefinitely — not necessarily a bad thing! My office is a desk in the living-room, because I quite like to be on the computer and watching telly at the same time, whereas Andrew sometimes wants peace and quiet while he works. (I trained myself many years ago to be able to create poems in the midst of family noise and activity.)

We miss our air conditioning but the electric fans are doing a good job. The convenience of being only a few minutes out of Murwillumbah is wonderful. We’ve already found a doctor and a chiropractor good enough to stop us missing the excellent people we saw in Pottsville. We did have notions of continuing to travel there to see them, but then Andrew developed galloping gastro for a week, and I did my back in. It became obvious that driving for half an hour to another town for treatment was not the greatest idea we ever had.

Poor Levi dislodged one of the metal bars in his leg. We weren’t initially able to make the new place as safe for him as the old one, and he was apparently starting to feel friskier. He must have managed to climb on something at night while unsupervised. Next morning he had a pronounced limp and, it turned out, a heavily bruised belly. How we didn’t hear him and wake up, we’ll never know. So, back to the vet, and the pin was pulled out. He still has another, which must remain there until the beginning of February. He’s not looking inclined to do any more climbing; however he’s mad keen to get outside — which is not going to happen until after his next op and recovery. Apart from that, both cats seem very happy and settled here. Freya has been able to explore the outdoors, and I’m sure she brings him reports.

Getting reconnected to the internet has been another saga; meanwhile I‘ve been glad of free access via the local library, albeit with time limitations. We finally ditched the incompetent server we had, and now have a new wireless connection, as of just this afternoon. Whoopee!


New Era

I came to a momentous decision — no more psychic readings at the Sunday markets. I haven’t done any since just before the move, being too occupied, and found myself reluctant to resume due to the state of the old bod. My back’s coming good after several chiropractic adjustments, but I was shocked that it went out at all after what I regarded as fairly mild exertion.  Maybe I twisted the wrong way, or too far, when lifting something – or maybe it’s time to acknowledge that I’m 70, ridiculous as this seems to me. Anyway the thought of loading my stall into the car, getting up at 5 am next day and driving for half an hour, setting it all up, sitting for a few hours (which tends to make me stiff these days) and then breaking it all down, reloading the car, driving home, unloading ... well, it suddenly didn’t seem very appealing, regardless of the fact that I’ve done it happily for years and years.

The strange thought came to me that it might be time to retire from this service. Then I looked at the financial aspect. The market takings used to be an essential supplement to the Age Pension, but now that our rent is considerably reduced we don’t have the same need. On the other hand, I now have to declare any casual income to the Housing Dept. so that a percentage can be added to our rent. Not to do so would constitute fraud! When I think of my average market earnings — not huge, as I’m essentially selling units of time and there are only so many available during the market hours — and then deduct petrol, stall fee and the percentage that would go towards our rent, I’d get about $50 on a good day. Not worth it for all that effort.

It’s only the market work I’m dropping. I’ll still be available for phone, Skype or email readings, and will continue to see clients in person at my home or theirs. But, as my long-term readers know, I’ve always particularly loved the market work, which hasn’t been primarily about the money but part of my service to the Universe. Not that I did it for free. Like most people, I work in order to earn money; it’s just that I made a commitment to myself long ago that I would only work at jobs I loved. (Or, as someone later reframed it for me: “do only the things that truly excite me ... and be of service.”*) This does sometimes reduce the possibilities for money, but life’s too short, I reckon, to spend it doing things one dislikes. At the market I always asked for clients ”who want and need what I have to offer” and was continually astounded at the way people were brought from all over the world to my daggy little stall, to receive what only I, with my particular skills and life experience, could give them. I’d have gone right on doing the markets if this latest move hadn’t taken such physical toll. That gave me the chance to stop and look at the whole situation. I found myself unexpectedly thrilled and happy at the idea of stopping this work I’ve loved for so long — and which, according to feedback, I’ve done so well. That had to be a sign. I think it was Thich Nat Han who said, “You know you’re on track by the aliveness you feel.”

Just to be quite sure, I consulted my beautiful Rumi cards. Using this oracle instead of something at which I’m adept, such as Tarot, is like asking another person – a wise other person. I wanted some “outside advice” so as not to risk influencing the answer. I did a simple past/present/future reading and this is what I got:


What brought up the present situation? (The past.)

A “Love” card:

Open your heart, and you will hear the lutes of the Angels.

Love establishes for you a direct connection to heaven, to the Divine.

[Yes. Sometimes other clairvoyants would walk past while I was doing a reading, and feel impelled to come back and tell me they could “see” my direct connection to Source. I would consciously and deliberately open my heart chakra to work in the energy of Unconditional Love, which I believe is what made that connection possible. The angels were always present and often gave me messages for my clients.]

The present situation.

A “Birth” card:

The fragrance, my friend, that floats to you this moment streams from the tent of the secrets of God.

Your life has reached a decisive and very positive turning point.


[I did indeed feel that I was being intuitively guided to stop the market work now. And what is intuition but the voice of God? This card was my direct answer, I thought — for how can there be a turning point if one goes on doing the same thing? Good to know that the change is so positive!]


The future, and how to deal with it.

An “Ordeal” card:

You’ll only enjoy the City and your relations,
After enduring all the griefs and ordeals of exile.

After all you have been through, joy and prosperity will taste even better.

[Well, we have been through a thing or two, and have learned how to survive. And although Murwillumbah is just a country town, we have come in from the seaside village to a more urban setting. It’s nice to be assured of joy and prosperity now, to which the market work will evidently be irrelevant. 

Or does the “exile” refer to our new difficulties in getting internet connection? Don’t ask! It’s becoming another saga, but the details are petty. Meanwhile there’s the library, and my memory stick for transferring pre-written blog posts.]

You know, a funny thing happened when I transferred files from my old computer to the new laptop. The only things I somehow managed to lose irretrievably were copies of psychic readings done by and for me, some of them dating back years. “No accidents”?

I expect the Universe has some other work for me now, which will be revealed in time. It’s exciting to begin a new era!



*In full, a life-transforming promise one may choose to make to oneself: “I promise with all my heart and soul and love for myself and the world, that from now on I will only do the things that truly excite me ... and be of service.”  – Bashar, channelled by Darryl Anka.