26 August 2014

Altering landscapes in the suburbs



Late last week, we woke to the felling of trees less than 100 metres away. I'm not sure the image really shows how much has been lost. I suppose it's not on an Amazon scale, but in our little suburb, in North-West Brisbane, not far from the CBD, it feels enormous. 

Over the past few years, Everton Park has become a-buzz with the progress termites intent on a sub-dividing one house allotments, and turning them into two house spaces. In the early days, it shocked me. How could they? There's no yard? What about the kids?

Over time though, with my eyes open to how others' live, I have begun to relax my standards. Everytime I went to Sydney, I noticed that inner-suburb yards are rarely as big as ours in Brisbane, that it's normal for there to only be a metre between dwellings. Perhaps it's not so bad after all. We all know that urban sprawl isn't great. We should suck it up, reduce our allotments and let more folks in. On one level I totally agree with that sentiment. 

It's the initial shock that is the worst. Each day as I drive past the above scene, I'm reminded of what's not there. The skyline is different. It's naked. It's bare. It makes me jolt, or "start". Having lived here for forty-odd years, skylines tend to grow with you. When it's suddenly altered, it's not real. 

I'm betting that the bulk of the construction will be done by Christmas. They move lightening fast around here. So the new skyline will soon be formed. This time next year, we will have moved on and forgotten. 

It's when the scars are fresh, that we feel it most. Walk past and you can smell the fallen trees. But the scars will heal, and our suburb will take on its new shape. And only us oldies will remember when ...

==

There is another side to this story. The little building on the left is the old scout hut, and the trees in front of the hut were not part of the development. However the Brisbane City Council refused to listen to local people who requested that the trees be retained. The bush land was home to many birds and possums all of whom would no doubt be "feeling it" this week. 

25 August 2014

To Sydney and back again, and the John Fries Award 2014


Feeling naked in Row 1 on this Jetsar A320. 

Clearly I made it, to Sydney and back again. Despite my hesitation at booking, I grabbed a flight a few hours before it departed. Once again an excellent visit. 

I headed along to the John Fries Art Award event at COFA UNSW Galleries. I knew a few of the entrants in award. Sadly none of those won. The award was given to Bridie Lunny for a sculptural-performance work This Endless Becoming

The award reaffirmed my knowledge about my lack of knowledge about contemporary Australian art. I get contemporary Australian art created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. But the rest? I need to do a lot more work on that!

Congratulations to Bridie Lunny. 

See you in September Sydney.

08 August 2014

Why I have trouble booking flights more than a few days ahead



I have real problems booking flights too far in advance. If you know me in real life, you already know that I leave it to the last possible minute. Even overseas trips! Anyone would think we were cashed up! Most of the time, short-notice flights cost way more than those booked in advance. But I can't do it, I always end up leaving it to the absolute last minute possible (a stress-filled mix of price, availability & timing).

I know it's because of the kids. Yes they're teens now, but I still have this sense of needing to be here for them. Not so much the eldest boy, who is almost living on his own now and is wonderfully independent. But the youngest three, who are still in high school, I still feel the need to be here as much as possible.

I usually finish my work day around 3.30 / 4.00pm, even though that usually means I will work through the evening or on weekends to catch up. It's also why my career has been more eclectic (lots of casual/ part-time, and sessional work rather than full-time) than focused on one clear path (though that's really a tale for another post). And it's also why I prefer working in the suburbs where I can get home or to school within ten minutes or so, rather than being in the city where peak hour traffic can be a nightmare. Four years ago, travelling over an hour through peak hour traffic from Southbank to the high school when my eldest was hit by a car was truly the last straw and a defining moment in where I would work in the future.

Late last year though I took on a Directorship with a national body with the meetings occurring monthly (or so) in Sydney. I only took on the role, after much thinking about the role (the invaluable experience and the importance of the issue) and my family stuff, and what it would mean in reality. In addition, I've also significantly increased my work commitments this year, that sometimes take me out of Brisbane, for example, taking on the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair last month. It's been a huge leap for me personally to do this. I know that other parents manage being away from their kids much more effectively than me. And it sure as hell says nothing about the quality of mine or their parenting. Just being here does NOT make me a better parent. But it's just something that I need to do. I can't explain why. If I ever bothered to go to a counsellor I might unpack why I am this way, and it would be interesting to find out. One day maybe.

But of course, apart from the "mental/emotional" need to be close to the kids, there's also the practical. Over almost twenty years of being a parent, one thing is for sure, you're never guaranteed what the next day or for that matter, the next hour will bring. How many days have we got up in the morning thinking the day will look like x, and before you know it, the day is spent in a doctor's surgery or at the Royal Children's Hospital? We've had our fair share of third degree burns, broken arms, broken legs, stitches, infections, etc, so it means you're never sure what's going to happen. Imagine being in another city when that happens? That would just kill me.

Take this week for example, I'm supposed to be in Sydney on Tuesday for a Board Meeting. And the staff are doing the right thing and are trying to book my flights, but poor things, I just can't yet commit, because I need to wait to see how M is after his unexpected surgery this week. He'll be fine of course, they always are, but I can't leave. Just not yet. I want to be in Sydney on Monday, and will probably wake up Monday morning and book my flight then.

When you're part of a family (not just a parent), you never know when you'll be called away from work and when your best laid plans end up on the roundabout instead.

07 August 2014

Thank you again Queensland Health (and our public health system)

Leaving your child unconscious on the surgery table, even for the most routine operation, is surely a test of anyone parent's metal. Dressed in my blue slippers, blue surgery "hat" and white gown, my baby boy held my hand as the anaesthetist found the vein and eventually put him to sleep. "Unconscious" is different to "sleep". You know how kids, even the overgrown ones in their teens, look peaceful when they're asleep? Well unconscious is very different to that. It's a little disturbing.

I'm so grateful to the staff of the Royal Children's Hospital today. Within a couple of phonecalls on Tuesday, a Category 3 (procedure to take place within 365 days) due in October, was bought forward, first to September, and then to today. I'd mentioned how his leg was hurting and the staff were wonderful jumping the appointment forward. 

I've written in the past about this {link to follow when I'm on a desktop}, and I guess this is part 2 of that story. 

It's so easy to judge Queensland Health - they're an enormous bureaucracy, a system. And sure they have their faults. But I wanted to write a post that acknowledged the wonderful staff we've met. Today it was the committed, though wonderfully frazzled guy at Admissions. So many in this surgical clinic to get through, and yet he and his colleague got through all of us - taking time to explain things and then arrange volunteers to guide us to Day Procedure Clinic. There were the surgical team, each made us feel like we could ask anything, taking time to explain what was going to happen. They even let me walk into theatre and stay with him til be fell asleep. And tonight, as a day procedure unexpectedly turned to an overnight stay, the ward nursing staff have been fantastic. 

Qld Health get the bad news stories all the time in the press. Sure systems break, but there are so many great professionals who do their work above and beyond, and in doing so, keep our loved ones healthy. 

This week Medicare turned 40 years old. I'm one Australian who is truly grateful for our public health system. My boy has received probably tens of thousands of dollars in heathcare, (hours of physio, surgery, nursing) and the most expensive part of it for me as been the carparking.

Don't take what we have for granted, as flawed as it maybe. We need to be careful, for it may disappear before we realise just how wonderful it was. 

06 August 2014

Getting on: changing hands



I'm 45 years old this year. I don't feel it. 

"I don't feel it" is what people say when they realise that 45 (or some other age) isn't what they thought it would be like. When they realise that the age they are isn't as old as they imagined it to be. It's surprising isn't it? 

When you're 18, 45 seems so old. But of course, once you get here, you realise it isn't. The face you see in the mirror looks the same, but it's only the face in that old pic from 1990, that is barely recognisable. 

I'm happy with being 45, everything is going well enough. Kids are grown/growing up. My hair is going grey, and I've decided to let it go that way. Other bits and pieces are droopie, but it doesn't bother me too much. All the standards stuff (sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol etc) is good, so I'm not on any regular medication.

There is one change though, that over the past few months that isn't great (the first of many?) …. It's my hands, specifically my fingers. They hurt. I bump them and I wince with pain. I can't click my fingers anymore and I'm having real trouble opening packaging. I can still type and text easily, but other normal movements, like when I wash and dry the dishes, make me want to scream. Quick and casual movements are increasingly painful. 

I went to the doctor about it in Feburary. She prescribed my some anti-inflammatories. She said that's the first step. If the anti-inflammatories don't work, then I have a form all ready for blood tests for arthritis. 

So today, 6 months after that first appointment, I finally headed to the chemist and picked up the medication (the waiting 6 months between the appointment and picking up medication was sad and stupid). 

When I got home, I joked to my mum "where's my medicine box?" (My parents have sooo much medication for various ailments). Is this my first? The first of many? 

Is this some kind of turning point? My mum says her Aunty Gracie (my Grandfather's sister) whenever she was asked how she was, she'd say "upta shit, takes a lotta strength ta get old". 

If old Aunty Gracie is right, it's certainly going to be an interesting second half. 

I thought I might write occasionally about "ageing" on Not Quite Cooked. When I initially Googled (yes, I google medical conditions) what was up with my hands, the results were shit.

I want to read about ageing and getting old, and what it's like from a human / personal perspective.

I'm sick of the gorgeous Hollywood Over-50 features. I'm so glad (not really) that Helen Mirren looks awesome in a bikini, but I don't connect with her. I want to read about and see real women who are working normal jobs and running small businesses, maybe raising kids and grand-kids, looking good (or not), but all "being" older.

Perhaps by writing about it, I'll find others in the same boat.

So I took my first Apo-Meloxicam today. I hope it works. I'll let you know how it goes. Have you used an anti-inflammatory? Have you noticed changes?

Watching real-world violence online

Last night I saw an incredibly disturbing video on Facebook. A friend had commented on the video that was on their stream, so it hadn't technically been shared by any of my Facebook friends, but simply appeared because of the comment.

The video was of a man beating (kicking repeatedly, punching, hair-pulling) what appeared to be a woman on the ground. Disturbingly, the video also had two young children in it, who appeared to be attempting to subdue and stop the man. The children were clearly distressed.

I initially started watching the video thanks to Facebook's instant video play, then it was a about another twenty or so seconds before I could work out what was happening, another twenty seconds shocked by the violence of what was happening, and probably another twenty seconds stunned that this could even be real. I didn't finish watching it. I was sitting with my 15 year old son who was also distressed by what he saw. 

I'm stuck with two thoughts:

Firstly, how long before the rest of my Facebook network begin sharing this video? Not everyone  (and this includes me too on occasion) of my Facebook friends applies common sense or filters before they share content. The high volume of ridiculous meme images and nutty conspiracy rubbish is testament to that. The ripped leotard image that is currently doing the rounds also reaffirms my lack of faith. What does it say about you/us, that you/we would share this video? It's important to note that the video was accompanied by non-English text, so for me, being only English speaking, there is literally no context for what is happening. How does the world benefit from people sharing this video? It's not funny, it's not ironic. It doesn't make you feel good. You can't even say it's a thoughtful video that makes you think because there is no text or contextual information. It's clearly NOT a PSA.

I'll admit I've shared some shitty stuff in the past, but this video is so incredibly violent, mesmerisingly so. 

Secondly, what impact does this video being online have on the people who were actually in the video? We don't know their names. I'm assuming it was a husband, wife and their two children. After watching the video you're left wondering if she survived? And if so, what physical and mental scars does she now carry? How old were the children when this happened and how are they faring now? How have they been impacted by {probably} their father's violence? How have they been impacted by their father's violence being recorded and then shared around the world?

Is the world a better place for this video? I think not.

Dragonista recently wrote of the horrific images from Gaza and other conflicts, that are consistently appearing in our streams. I have to agree with her position.
I agree the world should bear witness to the atrocities being inflicted on innocent children, women and men. I acknowledge that graphic images can help jolt the comfortable western world out of its complacency when it comes to such violence.
But in using such images we must as a society be mindful of the real harm that actual depictions of violence and death can also inflict on those of our own communities who are vulnerable and at risk. 
By all means draw attention to the inhumanity of war and other violence, but please retain your own humanity by protecting those who would be harmed by its depictions.
Surely, there is no good in the constant viewing of real world horror - whether it be still or moving image. 

05 August 2014

We saved the RDA

{Am posting this using my phone, so can't hyperlink. Will update later}

So, the PM announced today amongst a whole bunch of national security/anti-terror stuff, that the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, in particular Section 18C, will no longer proceed.

We are all very happy about this news. Many institutions, led by the wonderful National Congress, fought hard in defence of the proposal. It was great to see them lead the charge in developing partnerships with other cultural-ethnic-minority interest groups, to present a strong voice. Heartening to hear too, that there were a number of LNP who were willing to cross the floor on this. 

Apparently some are unhappy with the decision. Wow. It must be so hard being so powerful that a government attempts to alter the law just for you. {I will not link to them}

The biggest shoutout of course goes to the original deadly people who were willing to put their reputations, their privacy and anonymity, on the line in the original court case that, I believe, prompted the proposed changes. You mob are proper solid. 

Today we won a small victory in a big battle. Enjoy. 

On the Winter Lurgies

So around May and June I was strutting around the place, sickness free, with everyone around me, dropping with the cold and flu. When I say "strut", I mean, strut. I was arrogant and all "I told you so" with the kids. (Wear warm clothes, out shoes on, where's your scarf and beanie? etc, etc)

So a week out from CIAF, I fall, and fall hard - fever, cough etc. Somehow I come good enough to drive to Cairns, do the madness that was the exhibition, and drive home again. And now, a week later, I'm hit again - temps, vomiting, blocked nose, and praying for no sore throat. 

But what I wanted to reflect on, is how amazing the kids have been through my two bouts of sickness. They've,

- made me countless cups of tea (clearly trained to believe that tea fixes everything) 
- growled me for not wearing warm clothes
- growled me for looking at my phone when I should be asleep
- looked for cough lollies and panadol for  me
- dispensed lots of cuddles and tucking into bed
-offering me blankets and pillows

It's so lovely to see the concern and tenderness in them. I'm sick, but their caring has made the whole month a lot a better. 

On coming good

It's been a bit if a dark patch. I think I'm coming good, though having the winter lurgies isn't helping my state of mind. Thinking about and analysing (and probably over-analysing) the triggers, stressing about the avoided responsibilities, pretending nothing's wrong with smiles and "upbeat", are all part of a long time rhythm for me.

I'm grateful today for K, without her today, I would have simply been dressed for an exercise session, without actually doing ang exercise. And I'm grateful for M, as without her, I would have spent the day sitting on my bed, dressed in my exercise gear, and thinking about the work and exercise I should (and want to) do.

How do you keep a career going when dark patches frequent you? Haven't worked that one out yet. 

01 August 2014

On "Birth is no time for war stories"


Being pregnant is an intense time. In reality though, if it all goes well, it's only 9 or so months out of decades of succeeding years of child-rearing. On reading Tara Moss's 2012 post "Birth is no time for war stories" tonight, I was reminded of something that I had been meaning to reflect upon and write about for a while. And yes, as Tara says, this is probably my Big Truth, but I personally found the birth stories of other women wonderful - scary, hopefully, anxiety inducing and inspirational.

When I told people (and when I say "people" I mean women) around me that I was pregnant, 90% of the time they would give me their birth story experience. In the beginning it was interesting, by the second pregnancy I was probably a little over it, but by the third and fourth pregnancy, I realised that I was receiving a gift.

Many of the women, some in their 70s and 80s would tell me of their births, or offer their child-rearing advice. A lot of the advice was dated and irrelevant, and by modern standards, to be absolutely avoided. But I learned to see, and receive the stories, as gifts.

I marvelled at how an 80 year old women who has seen her own children grow up and go on to have their own kids, could so clearly recount her experiences of being pregnant and giving birth.

Being pregnant is incredible (yes, yes, my Big Truth). It's so difficult to capture the intensity of having that little creature inside of you for so long. I was laying in bed the other night and I was thinking that babies and toddlers are like little parasites (? not sure if this is the right word here) that latched on and remained latched til at least ten years old. I used to love how they could be busily playing in the same room as me, then when I would get up and move to another room, they would gradually, with little fuss or bother, follow me, and start playing again. Crazy little ducklings. I remembered how they all "owned" my breasts for years. My body was never my own during that period. I was food, comfort and the centre.

I for one am truly grateful for the stories - even the gory ones (and there were some!). I felt like I was joining a club - of old aunties. By listening to and acknowledging their stories respectfully, I hope I too gave them a gift - the opportunity to bring back old memories, reminisce, laugh and have a little cry.

I may be 45 years old and well past my reproductive years, but I still remember each of my four births like they were yesterday. I will always remember the sisterhood of stories, even from women who have now passed on, as part of that wonderful crazy period of my life.

27 July 2014

Loki. What's that?

Sister: What's that?
Me: Just Tumblr.
Me: *showing her the screen* Everytime I log into Tumblr a picture of Tom Hiddleston comes up. 
Sister: Who's that?
Me: *unbelieving* Loki
Sister: What's that? 
Me: *speechless*
Sister: *starts Googling* Well he's nothing special. Just the usual white boy. 

#lol 

That's what happens when you still have toddlers. 

24 July 2014

Look at the view out of my office window today

Today we're in Cairns working at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. We (Iscariot Media) are representing proppaNOW, and selling artwork and tshirts. It's a funny thing, thinking about where the business has come from over the past two decades. I would never have imagined myself speaking confidently about the artists and their works. It's easy with the proppaNOW group though,  as their work is clear in it's intention and I know their bodies of work so well. 

I'm looking forward to the next three days. It's a completely self-funded event, so fingers crossed, Cairns will love (and then buy) our shirts. 



17 July 2014

Dealing with the fallout

Dealing with the repercussions or fallout of a black dog period, sometimes makes coming out of it just as difficult as being in it. 

Tomorrow isn't always "just" another day. 

*repercussions may include, unanswered emails and phone-calls, avoided conversations, missed meetings, unpaid bills, unattended relationships. 


09 July 2014

NAIDOC and Blak History Month


July is crazy.

In addition to the Blog Carnival Deadly Bloggers is hosting, we worked last week at Teneriffe Markets for twelve hours, which I posted about on my Iscariot Media blog.

We are also launching Dark and Disturbing in two days at Musgrave Park. HOLY!!!!!

I'm also writing for Blak History Month and I haven't even started!!! (Sunday I promise) Follow it on Facebook or on Twitter to get your Great Moments in Blakistory Fact Sheets each day.

I also have a bunch of SEQICC duties, including meetings, social media-ing, and attending two corporate function.

I've done no exercise for the past two months and I'm beginning to feel it. Anita Heiss is currently training for a half-marathon, and she manages to do that and train. She's getting up before dark, in winter, in Sydney. Surely, I could find time to walk around the park once a day?? I wish I was addicted to exercise and movement. I love it when I do it, but when I stop, I'm completely stationary.

That's it. It's all I can afford right now. I have a report to finish before I get to bed, and tomorrow is bump-in for Musgrave, and a couple of meetings, and a corporate gig and art exhibition in the evening. *le sigh*

Come and say hello if you're going to Musgrave. I think we're in tent 106. See you there!!

02 July 2014

Annie writes

So Annie, unprompted I might add, wrote a post for the Deadly Bloggers Blog Carnival. I don't know why she offered to do a post. It's so public and she hates "people looking at her". She's written a few posts lately on her blog so I guess she was up for it. 

She chose to write about racism. Which I thought was odd, because she doesn't really ever talk about it that often. Actually rarely. At only 13 years of age, I think she's still in "listening" phase. She was always a good listener, soaking up the world. Reading her post, I think she sees her dad and I being "obsessed" with racism, discrimination and "the cause". Which is kind of funny, because I don't think we are. But I guess from an outsiders point of view, it probably looks like it. It's lovely watching them grow up and trying to make sense of the world. 

01 July 2014

Clearly ... purple is my favourite colour!


I spent most of Saturday on the computer creating graphics for the inaugural Deadly Bloggers Blog Carnival. I'd been thinking about doing something for ages but I just couldn't work out the structure. Then it hit me part way through last week.  

On Saturday, I spent the day writing and updating posts and creating the graphics. It's so bloody purple!! When I moved Deadly Bloggers to its own site from Blogger, I had to decide on a colour scheme - and purple it was. 

One of the joys or being the owner of it, is you get to decide. 

If you read this blog, I hope you'll take some time to visit and follow Deadly Bloggers (the blog) and all the deadly bloggers who make it up. 

And if you're on Twitter, the hashtag is #dbBC


30 June 2014

#blogJUNE is done

Well there you go. That's #blogJUNE done and dusted. Apart from one mishap where I missed a day (I made up for it later), I have (incredibly) finished it.

It was a good exercise - forcing myself to have something in the mind each day to write about, and having to find cheats (ie. posting stuff from work or presentations & speeches).

It's much easier to do a #blogJUNE when you only really blog for yourself, and not a business. I have "work" blogs that would benefit from increased content - but that would take much more planning.

Thanks flexnib for the inspiration, and hope to see you next year.

29 June 2014

Why I began blogging?

One of the participants last week at the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, asked me why I began blogging.

I originally began in 2008/09 after I attended a workshop, facilitated by Edgeware, but run by Eddie Harran. In that probably only one and a half hour workshop, Eddie explained everything from blogs, MySpace (was dying but not quite dead), Facebook, Flickr, Blogger, Wordpress, RSS, Twitter and more. He gave context to the different platforms. I began to understand what things meant, in what order they happened, and importantly, how I could use them for my work.

But really, the answer to the question is, I began blogging for business. I wanted to share ideas about Indigenous education that I felt were being missed. I mean, it's easy to talk to a group of pre-service teachers, but once they've graduated? It's much hard to capture them. The odd after-school professional development session doesn't really help people who know so little.

I had built websites from templates before Eddie's talk. The first I probably built in the very early 2000s. It looked terrible. I continue (mostly) to build my own. I care less for the look of a site, than I do for the site's organisation of information and the quality and usefulness of its content.

Why do I blog now? I still blog for business, but on this space in particular, I blog for myself. I rarely tweet out what I've written, I don't count or measure the statistics. And the odd person or two eventually finds their way here.

Here. I blog for me.

Update: I was cleaning up the categories on Deadly Bloggers, and found this post I wrote in 2012. It relates.


28 June 2014

I deleted the Facebook app off my phone

I've had one of those weeks. The self-doubt weeks. It's during these weeks that I tend to delete Facebook "friends". I have no idea why I do it. I mean I know the triggers and stuff. But I can't work out why I think unfriending makes a difference. It's all in my head. I know.

So instead of going on an unfriending spree, I've deleted the app off my phone.

And guess what, I've survived. (and my Facebook "friendships" have too)

Whatever it is, it will eventually pass. And perhaps I'll reinstall the app.

One day, I'll understand what it all means.

Or not.

27 June 2014

#FollowFriday

I've been meaning to do this for a while, that is, document those deadly folks who are my #ff recommendations.

I first started this list back in September 2013 ... a never ending list...

  1. @LukeLPearson - an energetic, passionate Koori educator who initiated and drove the rotation curation account @IndigenousX
  2. @IndigenousX - a rotation curation (shifts change each Thursday) of Indigenous Australian voices
  3. @AnitaHeiss - author and activist who tirelessly works for a range of grassroots community causes online and in real life
  4. @TheKooriWoman - her no holds barred political, cultural and social opinion. She games, she writes, swears, she's deadly
  5. @NomadiqueMC - He's sweary, he's #metal and Green. One of the first people I followed on Twitter and one of the smartest brothas I know
  6. @Utopiana - not on the Twitterverse as much as the Facebookz, but if you need to keep up with her blogging, you must follow
  7. @SivParker - since joining the Twitterz she has owned it - storyteller, political observer, grassroots, activitist
  8. @Ren_1 - I can only describe in hashtags #realz #hiphop #critical #grassroots #truth
  9. @NareenYoung - a deadly sistah who never fails to stand up. Insightful, critical and essential
  10. @Liz_Loveslife - she doesn't blog (much to my disappointment) but her mix of politics-edu-black tweets rocks 
  11. @MsLou - black, feminist, lawyerly, unafraid
  12. @DrSRP - academic, intellectual, perceptive, fun. Asks questions, links meaningfully
  13. @DB_1974 Dameyon Bonson is a LGBQTI and Suicide Prevention Advocate. Makes you think and act
Don't know what a #FF is? Don't worry, it's a little bit 2010, but here is a quick history: http://technorati.com/social-media/article/do-you-followfriday-on-twitter-what/

26 June 2014

Thoughts on my wavering atheism

I like being an atheist. I'm not elitist about it, or staunch. It's just sensible. Virgin Births, burning pits of hell, parting seas, angels… yeah. righto. no thanks.

I was raised Catholic. We went to church every week until I was 18 when I decided that I didn't want to go anymore. When we were little we were so Catholic that when we stayed at Nan's, we would do the rosary before bed. I can still whip through a decade like nobody's business. 

I love my Cathlic stuff - I collect Rosary Beads and Nativity Sets. I go to Mass every now and then. I enjoy it. It relaxes me, and it reminds me of my youth. But the silliness (i.e. the lack of transparency, the patriarchy, the institutional sexism etc) of the Catholic Church… I know all that stuff means I can never fully go back.

Anyway, I am/was happy with my atheism.

Until the old fella went.

I find myself feeling better when I imagine that he's still here. That he is still with us. I so badly want him to still be here.

That's why I feel my atheism wavering like never before.

It hurts so much. Everyday I have to remind myself that he's not here anymore. The pain of him not being here on this earth pisses me off. He didn't get to finish the way he was meant to - he was taken.

I don't know how people do it. I'm a mess when I think about it. I'm a mess just writing these words.

But I feel good when I think of his spirit, with us and around us. He visits me in my dreams and when I'm daydreaming. I won't go back to the Church, but I'm not sure I want to go back to being atheist either.

I don't know if it's just a grief that's making me go back to the beliefs that were embedded in me so early and for so long. Maybe, like the grief, it will pass.


25 June 2014

Check-In time

I'm an Edgie. That is, I've done the Edgeware Build Your Business training, and am a casual facilitator of the program.

One of the first things you learn when you become an Edgie is to Check-In and Check-Out. It's an opportunity air your stuff - the good as well as the bad, what you've been up to, where your state of being is etc.

Last night we had an (online) Edgeware meeting, with facilitators from Australia and Europe. It was during my check-in that I became really aware of just how much I've got going on right now.

I shared that we are 
  • starting our new Dark and Disturbing brand
  • working on the SEQICC Annual Indigenous Business Breakfast
  • planning for a couple of market events in July (Teneriffe Markets and CIAF)
  • working on a new range of packages for the graphic design and web design components of our business.
What I didn't mention was that 
  • I was preparing for a presentation with the Queensland Youth Leadership Program at Parliament House (did it today)
  • "Launched" the inaugural Deadly Bloggers Blog Carnival
I can't believe how much I have on right now. The above to bullet lists don't even mention the client work and normal blogging work that we do. 

I feel pretty good right now. Though next week I may be going out of my mind.  

24 June 2014

Grab your foil! Selfies and the NSA

Someone just posted 
What if the selflies fad was created by the NSA to get updated photos of everyone
Bloody hell. Tin foil hat anyone?
 

23 June 2014

(not really) Winter


It's 8pm, and I'm wearing thongs, though I do have a scarf on. 

This is winter in Brisbane. 

It's the season where for a few days in an official three month season you get to wear boots, jackets, leather and scarves. I have jackets that are years old but barely worn. Same goes for my knee length boots. It's their third season, but not at all worn out. My winter cardies are probably a decade old, but still hold their own.

I'm sure it's hard to dispute the assertion that Brisbane winters are simply perfect, being neither too hot nor too cold.

We like to complain that winter is, well, wintery. But we can't, it's just not. Right now it's 18 degrees. In June. The middle of winter.

Could we really live anywhere else?

#blogJUNE



22 June 2014

Brief mention in Artlink

Thanks Carly Lane for a mention in her Artlink editorial. Looking forward to devouring the rest of this latest edition.


*Not a great #blogJUNE contribution, but there it is. 

21 June 2014

Mum's Garden


Sitting in mum's backyard tonight. Surrounded by overgrown trees and shrubs; the ground a carpet of fallen leaves; every minute or so a sting of a mosquito bite; dense oxygen filled air; the occasional movement of leaves from fluttering birds eager for a feed before the night comes; her garden, a cave that hides me from the outside world.

#blogJUNE

- is this the correct use of semi colans? I really don't know. 

20 June 2014

RIP Gordon Bennett

Gordon Bennett passed away a week ago. Tonight was to be his exhibition opening at Milani Gallery. Today, and for the next two weeks, the walls will be bare.




#blogJUNE

19 June 2014

The piklet post.


The no post post. 

The pic instead of a post post. 

The I have everything and nothing to day post. 

The it's two minutes before midnight post. 

A poor addition to the #blogJUNE effort I know. 

18 June 2014

Learning to lead

So, it's 10.35pm, and I'm struggling to come up with anything to post.

Right now I'm so overwhelmed by both my paid and unpaid work. I feel like I'm neglecting clients. They're so wonderful I can't believe they haven't Tweeted how crap the service (or lack of) is that they've been getting. All my work is fulfilling, and I know I need to delegate more effectively, but I'm still learning how. I must be so frustrating to work with me sometimes.

I'm definitely still working in the business than on it.

My volunteer work is taking up so much more time these past months, but there is currently no one to take my place and I do love the SEQICC and its vision. So leaving the organisation is absolutely out of the question right now.

I noted a few articles on Hilary Clinton's leadership secrets today. While some of the ideas are valuable, they don't necessarily help an ordinary woman like me right now.

What did help me today, was two particularly inspiring conversations I had.

The first was with someone who "played the possibility game" with me. Over the course of two hours, we trusted each other, told the truth to ourselves and each other, and came up with a pathway to creating something new in Brisbane, something that could really make a difference to the community. I only met her today, but she was inspiring and the meeting made me believe that people can work together without constantly border protecting.

The second was with an amazing Murri women who I've grown to love and admire over the past few years. Another ordinary woman, but an extraordinary talent and and mind. She gets me, understands the challenges of being a parent, a parent of teens, and working as an independent, with artists and within a creative space. I trust her implicitly. She also pushes me to be brave and to value myself and what I'm capable of. Coming away from two hours with her, leaves me energised.

Okay. So it turns out I do have something to write about this fine #blogJUNE day.

I'm still learning about leadership. I find myself reflecting on it more and more. The conversations I have help me to put the pieces together.



My dad bought a tablet

My dad bought a tablet. He's on it all the time, working on this and that. Last night though he had a bit of confusion. 

He was swiping his finger over the tablet and these streaks of black were appearing on the screen where he wiped. He was confused. Looking at his hands, looking for the black ink or paint on them, but not finding any. 

He said to mum "What's going on? Why is this black stuff on the screen?" Still unable to determine the source of the black, still looking at his hands. 

Mum just busted out laughing.

He was using a Paint app.