Stories of a landscape

These photos, taken by my father in the 1950s, show a landscape that I love.

02-33-herefords-tree Continue reading

Advertisements

Weekly photo challenge: half-light

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge, set by Krista, asks us to match our photo to a poem, lyrics or story. Happy to oblige, with both a poem and a story …

half-light-2016-01-30 17.22.40

‘Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Continue reading

The big ride

I got my first bike when I was 12, and promptly fell off it going down our gravel driveway too fast. I limped home with a bloodied knee, but this accident did not deter me. Once my tears had dried, I got back on the bike.
20160306_092908-bike-shadow

The bike was blue, gearless, and it spelled freedom. I lived on a farm 5 miles out of town, but with the bike, I suddenly had mobility. Once I’d mastered the art of riding downhill, I explored the farm by bike. I rode to visit my cousins in one direction, my auntie and uncle in another, and the river where we used to swim, in yet another. Continue reading

Harmony

Don’t we all strive for harmony?

It seems to me that the quest for harmony — social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual — shapes most of human endeavours, even if, it must be said, we often fail, and achieve not harmony, but discord.

What are the prerequisites for harmony?

Well, for me, they include:

20160129_200024-beach

  • The beach at sunset — a receding tide, glowing clouds, and a big extended family having fun together, what more could you ask for?

Continue reading

Time for a road trip (with music)

In late January, a friend (the BFF) and I set off on a long awaited road trip. We started separately, catching up with family and friends in different parts of New South Wales, then met up for a big loop through Victoria that took in the Great Ocean Road, magical forests, historic goldfields and long straight roads.
2016-02-02 11.40.52-vic-road

Continue reading

Indigenous reading challenge

My 2015 challenge: the wrap up

On Invasion (Australia) Day 2015, I set myself, and anyone else who cared to participate, the challenge of reading at least 5 books by Indigenous authors within the year.

The motivation I gave for doing this challenge was ‘to better understand the experiences and cultures of the traditional custodians of the land we live on’. Of course books are not the only way to do this. When I was a student in the 1980s I read a lot about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, politics and culture, but since then I’ve continued learning from Indigenous radio and TV programs, and from working with Aboriginal colleagues.

But I do love books — the long read — and I decided it was unacceptable that books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so rarely made it onto my bookshelf. Setting the Indigenous Reading Challenge was a way of making sure that they got back onto my to-be-read (TBR) list. Continue reading

Alphabet

While on a beachside holiday last week, I was reminded (by my social media feed) of an alphabet controversy from last November: an Optus store in Sydney’s western suburbs was bullied into removing signs using the Arabic script, that advised potential customers that they had Arabic speaking staff who could assist them.

The controversy over the signs blew up on Facebook, and an Optus staff member — Dan — has become a social media hero among those of us who want to live in a non-racist society, for his calm & thoughtful response to the attacks.

Walking along the beach, enjoying the early morning sun on the water, the fresh breeze, the antics of the seagulls, and the sand sculptures left by the departing tide, I felt sad that an ancient and beautiful alphabet could stir up so much hatred. Those haters are really missing the point of being alive.

Love-humanity-2016-01-18 09.09.46

Check out other responses to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge here.