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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Hard to stay in retreat mode with the Sydney siege happening.

Ignorant of anything that might be going on in the world, I turned on the TV late yesterday morning to watch an innocuous half-hour program that wouldn't have interfered, only to be confronted by breaking news — which had evidently first broken a couple of hours earlier.

You can't detach from something like that! Although, half way through the afternoon, when nothing was changing and the journos were reiterating the same information, I did turn off the TV. Turning off the mind from such a thing was, however, too difficult.

I'd already started the day by watching online a live telecast: the funeral of a young man, some of whose family are like my family. He was taken suddenly in a car accident. The picture disintegrated just as his wife broke down in tears while trying to read her tribute to him. Distressing in various ways! I gave up. When I tried to access the archived footage a little later, I couldn't. 'Too soon,' I thought, and turned on the telly while waiting — straight into the siege.

No, not a day for staying cocooned.

Nor can I stay that way today, having woken up to discover the sad ending to the siege, with loss of life and injuries.

I had already realised that it wasn't going to be practical to stay on retreat as xmas got closer. I'd have to cut it short. Following these recent events, I'm cutting it shorter still — reluctantly, but I came too far back into the world while all that was happening; I may as well stay.

I've already said what I could to the family of the young man. And the whole world is still saying all sorts of things about the siege. I can add nothing more.

About the retreat, I can say it was illuminating and that I enjoyed it. How to integrate the results into everyday life is now the question.

I imagine few of us could live in contemplative detachment for long periods; instead I intend to incorporate some practices into my life in shorter, more frequent increments. The possibility of going about my daily life with some different underlying attitudes is also something to explore.

Who's listening?

In passing, I'm astonished that — although I posted a facebook status update to say I would be absent from there during December, and also advised close real-life friends by email that if they needed to get in touch urgently they should text — many on fb, even in the second category, went on blithely messaging, tagging me, and posting to my wall.  Many seemed to assume I was still there, others to be taken aback on getting an inkling that maybe I wasn't. Very strange!

If one of my fb friends doesn't respond to communications for a while, I go looking to see if their timeline sheds some light on this. It seems a simple and obvious enough thing to do! Apparently not.

I suppose it sometimes appeared that I was there. Birthday notifications come into my email, which I did check occasionally. I could and did send greetings direct from there. My blog posts have links by which I can share them to facebook, Google+ and twitter without actually going to those places. I did that too, as I was still writing things during the retreat. 

This doesn't mean I got to see anything else on fb. I deliberately refrained from investigating any 'notification' pings on my iPad. Surely the point of a retreat is to retreat!

I'm seriously thinking that if I do this again, I might de-activate the account next time. (After all, it is so easy to re-activate.) 


  1. My apologies for tagging you on fb re the request for healing. It was an unthinking automatic thing to do. Healing = snakypoet. Ditto re emails except the Followers poem.

    1. What was wrong about it was that I might not have seen it and you might have missed out! But I think the Universe loves you — I had to get on fb for a couple of minutes that day to check a matter of fact, and there staring me in the face was your request!

  2. Rosemary, I am sending love and holiday greetings from the states. I hope you are writing and thriving in Oz. xo


Comments are moderated and will be visible after approval from blog owner.