Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Wednesdays. We spend Wednesdays in the garden.
The weather is getting hot.
Sometimes we are drenched in sweat before we even get there; but, we go!
We like to feed the horses and look at the cattle along the way, sometimes there are calves,
As we ride along the river there are magpie geese, and egrets, sometimes whistling ducks.
Today it was hot! I felt tired, things felt wrong... I wanted to leave but persisted.
We have friends at the garden and it feels bad to desert them but the energy felt wrong and my heart said no,
It's like getting out of bed on the wrong side or wearing your clothes inside out...
We stayed. I felt like the sun had already drained me. There were feelings of anxiety and uneasiness around.
We stayed... but our hearts weren't in it! I was covered in ants, they bit, I welted! I became dehydrated, the kids dropped their tadpoles on the dry earth and everything began to feel really crappy.
We struggled to move heavy things, we dug holes and chipped away at claystone, shards of coffee rock sprayed our faces as the mattock forced it from the ground, sweat dripped, vision blurred, head thumping... drink as much as you can! The pond wouldn't fit no matter how hard I bashed the rock. Somebody said it's facing the wrong way... OK, no problem how would you like it? (I could shove it sideways for you if I had the energy!... I didn't have the energy!) Big f-----g Deal I thought, what's next?

Then someone stood on a piece of tin that had been hiding a baby blue-tongued lizard and I knew the day was lost! Poor thing had a broken back and we tried to carry on as though it was OK.
It wasn't OK.The lizard was badly hurt and will die. I said kill it, somebody said no... What can you do? The lizard will die, we all die! We shouldn't have killed the lizard, we should have been listening... We weren't.

My mate Dan got some new teeth. Teeth are important, it's good to have teeth. They can chomp food and also make you look better when you smile, people stare when you have a gaping hole where teeth should be... I know because I do... I stare.
Some of my teeth are gone. I won't get them back? What does it mean to loose teeth? Death. That's all. It's only a sign that we are dying. We're all dying so what's the big deal? I'm glad I won't have a head full of perfectly good teeth when I die. What would they be good for? Some people pay big money to have their teeth straightened. Just to look good! True! Why leave this place without a few dents and scratches? Surely we need something to carry with us into old age. To show the senile and forgetful that we lived! Something cool to show the kiddies. What about the stories? I wonder what the tooth fairy would pay me for that chunk that fell out the other day? 
Some days you've just got to find a place in the shade, sit down and find let the spirit rest, listen. Dadirri!

Down in Melbourne they buried a family friend. It's OK to mourn! Sometimes it's all we really should be doing! 100s went to his funeral and celebrated his life.

Now I'm home, cooled off and relaxed, sunburned neck and nose. Enjoying a cool glass of water. Water is precious, lovely and sweet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

About Teeth

I have a recurring dream. It's kind of like the, 'I'm walking down the street and everyone is looking at me funny, Oh Damn! I'm completely naked' dream. What? You haven't had that dream? No not the one where everyone else is naked! That's a different kind of dream. I mean that dream when you are in what would be an otherwise normal public setting, like at work or school or doing the shopping. And... then... WHAM! You realize that you'd forgotten to put clothes on before you went out. To my nudist friends, please imagine that this is not something you normally do!

Anyway I'm not talking about that dream now either! I'm talking about the TOOTH Dream! 
I have this dream that all my teeth crumble and fall out of my mouth. It's not a nice dream. Although there is no immediate fear or consciousness of pain, I just get this terrible sinking feeling like my teeth are my life and they are falling from my mouth like grains of sand through an hour glass... (or a 7 minute glass in the case of our egg timer). I sometimes dream that my teeth are falling out and it gives me a strange sense of impending doom.

Now everyone knows that teeth are pretty important. Eating is one of my favorite activities, without teeth I would find it more difficult and less pleasant. To loose ones teeth is not a superficial thing! For many people, before dentistry became popular or a sanitized affair, and before processed foods were available on the market, I'm talking way back, in this country about 200 years ago. If a person lost his or her teeth, unless a close friend was prepared to pre-masticate their food, or they had a decent supply of milk, the toothless wouldn't last very long. In many early human societies the teeth were used as an important tool for survival. If you didn't have good teeth you would have been far less effective at a whole lot of important daily duties, like making string, chewing sinew, stripping the flesh from animals and fruit, cracking seed pods, etc... etc... How long do you think you'd last if you couldn't chew your food?

I can definitely see why my primitive sub conscious associates the loss of teeth with calamity, defeat, and death. However I don't how my primitive sub conscious is able to remind me of this just a week or so before I actually loose a tooth! Or at least a bit of one anyway!

A few weeks ago I had the dreaded tooth dream and then just this week I was chewing on a Mintie (OK bad move!) when I noticed a bit that was harder than the rest. At first I thought it was solidified Mintie but when I felt the loose piece clang against one of my remaining teeth I knew for sure! I've broken another tooth! It was a pretty big chunk too. What a bummer! Now I'm wondering how young I'll be when all my teeth are gone! Thankfully there's no pain but I know I'm gonna have to get the thing fixed, I hope they don't want to pull it!

I'm not too sure why my teeth are so week but I have a few theories.

1. Caffeine, (I drink a ton of it and have heard it depletes calcium.)
2. Sugar free cola drinks (there's no sugar but heaps of caffeine and a bunch of nasty chemicals)
3. Too much sugar (It's possible but I'm not such a sweet tooth)
4. Opening beer bottles with my teeth (Haven't done that for a long time but I don't suppose it did my teeth any good)
5. Eating ice (A friend got me onto it years ago when we had no money... I kind of got used to it, At least it doesn't make you drool red bile and spit, like an anesthetized camel!)
6. Too many years of falling asleep with the 'whitelady' or one of her friends and forgetting to brush my teeth before collapsing into unconsciousness. (Hey when you're all charged up and living for the moment who's seriously going to march off to the bathroom and brush their teeth? It just wouldn't be the same!)
7. Genetics (Probably! Nothing I can do about that one either)

It doesn't bother me so much to loose a few teeth. I don't like paying to have them pulled but I've enjoyed plenty of steaks in my life and am happy enough on a vegetarian diet these days anyway. Besides during these days of affluence and highly processed foods a person doesn't really need his or her teeth, except for social reasons like smiling at a potential mate, new employer etc...
But the world is changing quickly, I have a strong sense that teeth will become quite a useful tool in the post peak world. I sure hope the kids don't end up loosing their teeth too, I reckon they're gonna need them!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rest - a Parasympathetic imperative!

Last night I actually got to bed before midnight!
Burning the candle at both ends has worm me down... way, way down! I have ignored all the signs and laughed at suggestions that I get some rest. I don't operate heavy machinery, I sit in an office for most of the day, who should care if I stay up every now and then? Surely I'm entitled to a little bit of me time!

Well every now and then has once again become every night! After a day sitting, mostly at the computer I come home, get straight into taking care of kids and family and once they are all settled and sleeping, the adolescent in me says great! Now it's my time! And so I switch on the computer and catch up on all the stuff I'd really like to be doing if I had more time! I convince myself that there's no harm in it but I recently read an article in Kindred magazine titled A Place to Rest that made reference to the Parasympathetic Nervous System. 
My lifestyle would appear pretty easy to most people but the reality is that I am suffering from stress! TRUE!
Having virtually collapsed from unhealthy exhaustion last night the article reminded me of all the aspects of life I've been pushing to the side for too long. Physical exertion, meditation and most importantly some healthy Rest! I have refused to rest! I know I need it but I've fueled myself on caffeine and insisted on getting my fair share of time to do what I like! The problem is that the most available time, when I don't have other commitments is late at night when everyone is asleep... and when I should be too! I have no energy to actually do anything so I jump on the computer! I can defrag the computer but my mind remains over wound.
I have never coped well with sitting around at other people's leisure! Not that I have miles of strength or energy but I am one of those people who is much better off put to productive use! The sedentary life is like a slow death! I enjoy the comfort of working in an office and I love my family but I respond to captivity like an animal caged. I have developed a neurosis! Reading this article which mentions the Parasympathetic Nervous System reminded me of the harm I know my lifestyle is doing to me... It's gotta change!

Well actually it is changing, little by little. Just for today I have managed to counter this problem! (I say as I type about it so close to midnight!) Today I spent the whole day outside with my boy! It was hot and we sweated... Spending the morning laboring down at our community garden in Nightcliff was a great way to exercise the demons of idleness! Then off to the pool for a swimming lesson, followed by a fairly long cruise along the foreshore on our bike, visiting a friend and eventually returning home at about 4pm exhausted (and sunburned...). Physically exhausted and completely happy. Ready to rest! As my boy gets older I am gradually finding ways to get us both out there. I think he's a lot like me and enjoys the stimulus of being amongst the plants, working in the soil, meeting the Frilled Necked Lizards, the people and the weather!

This morning it rained on us while we rode down McMillans Rd. We sang and laughed as we cycled through the tropical shower. When we arrived at the garden it was hot but we were happy to see the chooks and eat snake beans off the vine! We inspected the Banana Circle that we'd help to make the week before and found the compost rich and steaming, full of life! The boy happily wandered off to find lizards and collect cicada shells while I cut bamboo and chatted with my gardening friends... As far as I can tell this is about the best way to prevent:
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Muscle tension, pain, and headaches
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Memory impairment
  • Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Inattention, lack of focus
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Sadness, depression, and lack of motivation
  • Over-eating or under-eating
  • Smoking, drug, and alcohol abuse
(List of ailments as per that article in the Kindred magazine)

It's been really difficult to get any time to Rest at home since we had the kids, (Several years) Today was one of the few days in all of that time when I could actually lay down on the bed for half an hour, during the day without having to break up a fight, change a nappy, prepare someones food, or attend to any number of other domestic responsibilities or demands. I actually managed to get half an hour of real Rest! BLISS!
Now that the boy is getting older we may be stepping into a new phase of family life. My mission will be to wear him and myself out physically whenever the opportunity avails. This will be our path to peace!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A walk in the shade of a Glasshouse Mt.

I have resisted a trip to southern Queensland for a very long time. It's a busy commercial crowded and glitzy place, what could I possibly do down there? I've seen Surfers once and I've heard the Sunshine Coast has gone the same way! Why would I go through the pain of seeing what they've done to it? Like the song goes... "There ain't no Paradise in Surfers.... It's a Paradise Lost!"

Well guess what. There's more to Sunny southern Queensland than beaches, Highrise and sweet blond chicks wearing gold bikinis!

We've been off and away, tripping along in the cool of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and it was Good!

A couple of days at Glasshouse Mountains Eco Lodge. Where there was an abundance of fresh fruit straight from the trees, pineapples and even macadamia nuts just lying around on the ground! We cracked the shells, chomped on the white flesh of nuts and scooped chunks of melting sweet bromeliad flowers dripping with sweet syrup. Drinking rainwater from the tank was also a pretty sweet experience.

Glasshouse Mountans Eco Lodge
(Glasshouse Mountains Echo Lodge)
It was via The Glasshouse Mountains Echo lodge that I discovered the word flestering, and while we were there we saw a few creative examples of the owners recycled re-sculptured flester art. OK doing this sort of thing is nothing new but I think the creation of a word to describe it might be.

Beerburrum lookout walk/climb
(Walking uphill)

From the Echo Lodge I went for a drive with my Mum and Brother up to Maleny and then on to visit an old friend who happens to live in an amazing part of the world called Crystal Waters... WOW!
Yep! This was the part of the trip that sold me on going down to Queensland! At the beginning of this year I thought we would need to leave Darwin, I felt so sure about it that I used up a large chunk of my money to fly to Tassie seeking refuge in the cool mountains surrounded by temperate rainforest. I went looking there because it was a place surrounded by trees and fresh air and because it was very cheap. However the place I really wanted to go to was Crystal Waters Eco Village!

Cob woodfire oven
(Cob woodfire oven @ Crystal Waters)

Crystal Waters Village Green bakery
(Crystal Waters Village Green Bakery)

This trip was no longer urgent but having done some research I was pretty keen to see the place first hand. I'm so glad I got to see it. It was beautiful! I had lowered my expectations too far after having read as much as I could find about the place. It was actually quite beautiful, which I hadn't expected. This is a place I could live in! Maybe one day we'll return!

As usual there's plenty I'd like to write about this trip but it's late, my eyes are stinging and I have a head ache so I'll reduce it to a few words.

I really liked the hill country behind the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The diversity of plants and animals caught me by surprise! I was not prepared to see so much variety of species, it blew me away. The fertility of the soil and the availability of fresh water was also surprising.
One day I am sure I will return!

Friday, November 04, 2011

A glove full of peanuts...

Give me an inch and I'll take a Glove full of peanuts!
I know that obsessive self indulgence is not a healthy path to tread. I know that I'm prone to fits of fantastical illusory dreams of divine expression and art and that the high I seek will always dump me like a king tide surf on an empty shore.... but... There's no law against it yet and if it don't interfere with my ability to operate a motorcar then what's the harm right?

Tonight I dragged the family out to the Darwin Visual Arts Association (DVAA) at Frogs Hollow to see an exhibition of paintings titled 'Peanuts fill the glove...' by the Artist Nat Uhing. Nat is a multi skilled and practical artist who has produced some awesome textile creations in embroidery and bookbinding... sometimes, I think combining the two! If you thought embroidery was just for old ladies (Hey I didn't think that! I'm just saying if you did...), you'd be tragically wrong! This exhibition isn't about textile art though I did see one mixed media piece... the exhibition is essentially paint on canvas! Paintings...! 

The title for her exhibition may seem a bit cryptic so if you're wondering maybe a snippit from the Artist's blurb will explain...
"...every one of these paintings went out on a journey by itself, to grapple with whatever the fixation of the week was, and without a care for where the others had gone…peanuts, gathered to fill an ineluctable glove."
Nat's art erupts with colour and exudes imaginative introspection, self exploration, energy and humor! It's fun, sexy, elevating and... well I reckon pretty bloody good! 
'Reading Monsoon Dervish' is Melancholy... Lady Kitsune (foxy) is crazy! 

I've followed these paintings via Nat's Blog so I'm already kind of connected to these paintings in a way but Sam, who hadn't seen them before was just as impressed (as I am obsessed!)... The kids were more interested in the free corn chips and lollies outside! (Well we hadn't fed them dinner and hey if their busy stuffing their faces and letting me check out the art, I'm not going to complain!)
Just as Nat let us in on the creative process vial her blog 'The Smallest Forest' she also shared some of the music that inspired her paintings. I'm listening to it now and am transported into that ethereal world of imagination.. possibly gleaning some of the power that enabled the artist. But to be honest, feeling more like the voyeuristic dreamer. No paper, no brush or hand. I can't watch the bubbles bursting above my head all day (or night). It was a nice interlude though. Thank you very much! 

Oh yeh there was a collaborative exhibition next door called Sirens which was also great, full of mermaids, octopuses and seascapes, the female form with fins in shades of blue. We were surprised to see some familiar names in the list of artists and rather impressed with their work too!

I'm not sure how long the exhibition goes for... maybe all of November. Check it out.