135,000 people

have died.

Smear machine –
you eat
the Radical Left.

the more –
is doing GREAT
People
like crazy!

– are buying
your heart.

The
beans,
you fart.

sources

1. Twitter: @thinskintrump: “135,000 people have died and he sells beans.”
2. Twitter: @realDonaldTrump: “@GoyaFoods is doing GREAT. The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!”
3. folk poem: beans, beans…

Meghan Markle

Her name
wedged in between
the Mail on Sunday
crossed
her selfhood.

The monarchy
create
Meghan’s 19-month stint.
The world
guest-edited.

Meghan.
Wimbledon.
her hair
her legs
her speech
her lawsuit
the face of
the palace.
She is
Meghan.

She felt
the reflected lustre of her royal title.
Her own personal identity
she closed.

Meghan
the royal
is currently staying
her regular defiance of tradition.

She stayed,
her royal identity
reinserted,
still enjoying
the Institution
— her protestations.

Dating
herself,
her royal working life,
a simple blue dress.

Meghan’s plans for the future
made
an address
unprotected by
overall impression
not allowed
her surname
the 38-year-old
eschewed
her impressive, thrilling message of empowerment.

The end of her speech
delivered,
Prince Harry
hugged
‘Markle.’

Meghan.
Epitome of California cool
stood
in her own life.

How I made the poem

I broke an article into noun/verb groups, randomised them in an excel spreadsheet, pulled out and reordered ‘stanzas.’ Then I removed a few lines and added punctuation and capitalisation. Original article: ‘Meghan Markle’s Girl Up speech exposes her plan after ditching royal life‘ author: Daniela Elsa.

my white fragility

June 2020

The states are on fire.

My neighbour has

been there and

she told me

white people are

afraid to go to many areas even in

Washington which is a

beautiful clean city but

a few streets out there are

black shanties.

She spoke to a

tour guide there and the

tour guide said

she took a

wrong turn one day and

she found herself in a

black area

surrounded by

black people who looked menacing at her and

she was terrified and

she still felt lucky to

get out.

My neighbour said there is a bridge there in Washington, a biggish bridge and you can’t get across it, it needs repair, and she said it’s such a beautiful rich city they must have left that bridge like that on purpose for safety.

I said must be frightening to be black and never be able get to get out, you must be scared for your children all the time too seeing how the police there are so hard on the black people and all the shootings of black people unarmed and stuff

My neighbour said, but don’t you think a lot of that fear is overplayed?

She said that she said that she said that

I said

nothing

my Granny Vik – for her birthday.

the kiss and stick of cold dark clay

  – I scrub the earth from my hands.

the prick of her pin at the back of my kitchen drawer

  – I push it to the dark.

the lowing of the black cow

 – out in the farthest field,

the smell of gardenias.

– Her things

keep finding me,

my old Granny Vik, she was

soft to touch, she had

an iron grip and

a sharp tongue.

So many stories.

When she was a girl, growing up in a Siberian gulag, a man came to the door on Christmas Eve. He wanted some bread and a place out of the cold. But there was no bread and no room for a strange man in the hut of four little children and their widowed mother.

The next day, Granny opened the door, and there he was, sitting on the step.

Dead.

Merry Christmas!

When we were kids she worked two jobs so she could fly us to Sydney in our holidays.

She took us swimming to the Bronte Beach.

She took us to the Luna Park and Taronga zoo.

We caught ferries from the Circular Key and visited the Opera House and walked all the way across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

It was bloody tiring, but we managed to keep up.

She wore a silky scarf over her dark hair and beautiful dark red lipstick and a camel overcoat, stockings and fawn high heels. Once someone asked her for her autograph because they thought she was Greta Garbo.

Imagine!

My Poppy was in the Czech Resistance. He would wake up screaming in the night. The ceiling above his chair was stained orange-brown from his cigarettes. He often smelled of whiskey. He was warm and witty and bitter. Once he got drunk after work and thought he was Jesus and gave away his pay packet. Sometimes he would not come home and Granny would get in a taxi and drive around till she found him crumpled under a tree somewhere, beat up, wallet gone.

Her favourite sayings:

  1. Marriage is a dark forest.
  2. All men are unfaithful. Some with women. Others with drink or horses.

Her own father died on the way to join his wife and children in Siberia. He was trying to sell their farm. He fell off his horse in blizzard. He died in the snow.

She really loved my Poppy; she always spoke fondly of him and his terrible suffering.

When I was 20 and single and pregnant and scared and everyone was ashamed of me my mum made me ring her and tell her and Granny Vik laughed a gentle laugh and said, Ah it is so. Well if anyone will do this, you will. You have this baby and go back to the university and study and have a good life. That is it.

And somehow, it was.

She always grew gardenias. In her backyard in Sydney and later in Brisbane. And little ones in pots on the balcony of her South Bank apartment. She loved gardenia talcum powder and gardenia soap.

When she worked as a forced labourer in a Bavarian factory for Mr Hitler, the girls slept in straw together. With no sanitation things often smelled a bit ordinary.

The day after Granny’s funeral, my mother’s gardenias flowered for the first time.

Those two often argued, but now Mum has a little shrine in her sewing room. Two photos of Granny, and a little vase of flowers on a doily, arranged on their own little table.

I’m thinking that it’s the most wog thing my mother has ever done.

Overcome Evil with Good — Exploring Colour

My heart is heavy because of the tragic killings and carnage at the mosques in Christchurch yesterday. Shock, disbelief, horror were my initial reactions. Then acceptance of the truth of the reports followed by frequent checking of updates. It seems the death toll will be around 49 lives lost, as well as many injured. In […]

Overcome Evil with Good — Exploring Colour

Review: Caring Science Mindful Practice — free online course

For those interested in transpersonal human caring, or in relating to self and others with compassion, the Caring Science, Mindful Practice course will begin on January 9, 2019. This is a free, online course and those who fully participate in the course activities will be emailed a Certificate of Completion. You can register for the course here.

This review is based on my memory of the January 2018 iteration of the course. I wrote the review in appreciation of the course and of caring science.

About the course

The course was developed to help people integrate Jean Watson’s Caritas into daily life. Jean Watson is a nurse educator and founder of the Watson’s Caring Science Institute. The Caritas are principles for relating to self and others with compassion.

The course provides one or two short video tutorials each week. These tutorials address the Caritas and other elements of human caring. There is a weekly opportunity to reflect on the tutorials in writing or by creating an image that illustrates your response. Narrative reflections often took the form of a little story told – something that happened – with a comment on how a particular Caritas was in play, or how that Caritas would have made a difference to the outcome. If you wish to receive the certificate, you are also invited to provide affirmative responses to the reflections of other students. I found this took me about two to three pleasant hours per week.

Although the course was originally developed for nurses, I was welcomed as an academic librarian. I believe anyone who cares for others in any capacity and is willing to share their experiences will be welcomed into the course.

Positive aspects of the course

There are many positives to talk about, here are a few that have stuck in my mind.

  • The course is moderated by experienced volunteer tutors. Tutors play an active part in discussions and answer any questions.
  • The course practised what it taught: The tutors and participants created an inclusive, caring environment. The occasional raw story (nurses deal with a lot) was met with compassion and consideration.
  • The course provided a welcome opportunity to slow down and consider the Caritas and other teachings in the context of my life as an teacher, librarian, mum, sister, and partner.
  • The course seemed to accommodate people who speak English as an additional language. No one was precious about the technicalities of the English language, students were all free to express themselves in the various Forums. The videos were clear and could be re-watched if needed. (I am being circumspect here: I don’t want to speak for these students.)
  • It is a free course that provided genuine interaction and opportunities to communicate with other students and a Certificate of Completion. You do not need to pay for the Certificate (many online course charge extra for this).
  • The course is run annually: if you missed this year’s registration you can pop a note in your diary for next year.

Negative aspects of the course

There is only one negative I can think of. There was little opportunity for students to meet outside the course and continue their practice, online or face-to-face. I believe nurse participants are able to join another program for a reduced fee, and this may provide that continuity of practice.

Should you do the course?

If you are interested in compassion or nonviolence and would like an opportunity to explore these concepts with others – yes I would recommend it.

If you are a nurse, counsellor, teacher, or anyone who works with people and would like to try some additional tools to keep compassion alive in your work — you should definitely register 🙂

About the photo

This photo: Lighthouse represents the light of compassion, shining calm and steady over the people all night long.

Lighthouse was kindly shared by photographer John Curley on Flickr with the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Thank you John!

taking the dogs out

the best part of the day was taking the dogs out.

Gemma is small and brown. She is part Corgi (her legs) and part Joy. She loves to run around and around in great circles over the grassy hill and back again.

Dooley is my Mum’s fool of a poodle. He is tall and thin and black and he chases after Gemma, barking. She runs around him, leaping at his throat when he gets too close.

After the chasey game, they lie in the cool grass and I sit with them as the stars start to come out. There is slobber on my leg and my foot, but Gemma is lying on her back in the grass with her tongue lolling out, smiling up at me.

And all is well in my world.

yin yoga

Here

in seal pose on my kitchen floor I’m waiting for my own birth and I’m gently reflecting on how all my little worries were resolved and I’m in all moments in-between

our sun unborn and the final marvelous aria of the opera of the planets and the tins to be unpacked from yesterday’s shopping – all  happenings all time in this moment

Now

inspiration

I experienced this during one of Melissa West’s new yin yoga series (free on YouTube): Melissa WestIntermediate Yin Yoga for sleep

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