Friday, October 31, 2008


I'm slowly shedding all my commitments, like heavy winter coats on a hot summer day.

Study. (Last assignment back today and I feel very pleased)
Violin. (Exam yesterday afternoon. Apart from quickly aborting that major scale which should have been a minor, happy with how it went. Why do they always ask to hear what I am least prepared for?!)
Church. (Two months to go)

Soon I will be as light as a feather.

What? Nablopomo? I took on Nablopomo? Sheesh... what was I thinking?! That's the heaviest coat of all.

So settle back, relax and prepare for daily instalments.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

today i observed...

... free-range-home-grown eggs produce luminous frittata. It was a little off putting but tasted delicious.

... parking under street lights on warm evenings leads to a plethora of stunned insects sitting on the car bonnet, which is rather distracting when driving.

... evening BBQs at the gorge might not be nice on the mossie front, but they sure are good for hanging out with friends.

... nothing tastes better than coleslaw made with home grown cabbage. Except maybe spinach and feta pie made with home grown silverbeet.

... how hard it is to say goodbye to a good friend.

... murder on the driveway. Bantam roosters have a terrible, strident crow that does not sound well at 4am. I think the visiting neighbour might have wrung its neck and I am not particularly sorry as it turned up from nowhere yesterday and annoyed us silly. Our Rhode Island Red rooster is much easier on the ears.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

this is taking things a little too far

I don't even live in the USA, but I've been having delusions of Obama grandeur.

Two nights ago I met Senator Obama. In my dream of course. As happens in dreams, I just so happened to be at one of the presidential candidate debates. The chair of the debate overheard me asking Obama a few questions and invited me to ask my questions from the floor during the debate. I demurred, protesting that I was from Australia, what I thought wasn't relevant, I would not be voting etc, but the Chair assured me my question was quite pertinent and helpful in revealing the height of international interest in this election. And then, as so often happens in dreams, before I could publically pose my question, there was a smooth segue to the next dreamy location of which I am now none the wiser.

Tonight I noticed someone in Hawaii visited my blog. I wondered if it was Senator Obama cruising around blogs, checking out what has been written about him. Because I did write about him. But I imagine he has a lot more important things on his mind.

OK, enough of the drivvle I am so good at producing late at night. To bed!

NB This is not one of my afore mentioned fragmentary posts.

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i don't nablopomow

I have a dilemma.

I signed up for nablopomo (I know, I don't understand what compelled me to join the madness again either). Now, all those fragments of posts floating around in my mind - do I tease them out and post them now, or save them until November but risk forgetting them?

What to do, what to do?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

rolling tide

I stumbled and fell over my humanness today.

Reading too much into something small, imagining a slight where (perhaps) one was never meant and feeling generally miserable about the way I was (hopefully) unwittingly treated. I suspect it's a case of hormones but regardless of the cause, a few tears of self pity were shed as I struggled with a sense of being undervalued and unappreciated.

I should like to be commuted to perfection please. But in the meantime I will settle for my husband who sprinkled a salve of love, kindness and rose petals onto my smarting psyche.

This also popped into my inbox today, a gentle, timely reminder:
Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can)
Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most)
Sit on your ego

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Monday, October 20, 2008

i'm dying here

A few weeks ago I had consistent abdominal pain for almost two weeks. Super nurse that I am, I diagnosed myself with various diseases dictated by my state of mind or the direction of the wind. Ovarian cancer, bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, crohns, endometriosis, ulcerative colitis - you name it, I had it. In the end I was suffering little more than a dose of good old constipation that eventually resolved when I consumed sufficient quantities of prunes, but at the time I wondered if this might be the beginning of my dying. Strangely the prospect did not scare me - I like my life and what I have done and I am quite at peace with the thought I might cease to walk the paths I currently frequent.

It occurs to me now that as I contemplated a hardly imminent physical death I was in the process of dying in other less discernible ways. So hidden was this dying I did not at first recognise it. Only now do I realise the anguish and torment gripping my soul was in fact the fading of once vital dreams.

I am speaking of my relationship with my church. Having never experienced divorce I can only wonder if my recent journey mirrors the decline of intimacy within a marriage. Clinging to hopes and visions of what might or should be, tangled up in the messiness of what is, struggling to sort what never can be sorted, gradually giving up in the face of insurmountable misunderstandings, slowly discovering beauty and allure has turned to dust. Anything that remains is too thin to hold onto and so it is released, sadly, but with the recognition the past cannot be changed. There are too many layers of mistrust to clear. It is too hard, not worth the pain and effort.

I sit in this space with great sadness. It pains me that events which occurred nearly twelve months ago have led me to this point, but my purest ideals cannot stand up to the reality of what has happened in my church to my husband. I want to see the best in people, I want to forgive, I want to be faithful to my brothers and sisters in the spirit, I want to be part of an institution moving to a place of greater relevance in the world. But I just cannot do it.

Every Sunday morning an empty space beside me screams Frank's absence louder than any worship song. People kindly asking after Frank do not cancel out the hurt of what others did or failed to do twelve months ago. I can be as idealistic as I like, but wrong happened and I cannot shake the sense that my decision to cut ties is the inevitable playing out of past realities. But in the cutting of these ties a part of me will die.

We live in a broken world. Bad things happen. We make the best of it, reaching deep within, finding strength to move on as wisely and carefully as possible. The reality is though, the best may still not be all that good or right. Thus the pain. Thus the dying.

Perhaps I should rewrite my title: Part of me is dying here. Another part of me will go on, a little wiser, striving to achieve the ideal, filled with new dreams. Life from the ashes. Hope for the future. Which reminds me of something Jesus said, that in order for a seed to bring forth new life, first it must die. So I am dying here, but it's not all bad.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008


I've been trying to eat vegetables in season this winter. Thus lots of celeriac, fennel bulbs and silver beet.

No... seriously, yum! (You should try the incredible winter vegetable gratin I made. Talk about flavours bursting on the tongue!)

Anyway, my tomato seeds have not germinated this year. Corn, snowpeas, beans, carrots, lettuce, raddish and beetroot are all doing swimmingly. But the tomatoes? Not even a glimpse of green. A few other things have also not germinated, but I'm not as bothered about them - whoever thought growing eggplants in Tasmania was possible or desirable anyway?

Nope, it's tomatoes I dream of. Red, luscious, flavoursome, juicy, wonderful. So I've soaked a few seeds overnight and planted another round. If that fails I will buy seedlings ready to go. Time is running out if I want to catch any summer warmth to ripen the fruit. I must get them in the ground very soon.

But for now I dream of tomatoes. Capsicum too, because I have also religiously avoided that summer fruit during these winter months. (Funnily enough, I've always considered ragout a winter dish, but all the vegetables in it are summer produce! Go figure!)

Bring on the day when my tomato bushes are big, lush and heavy with fruit. Yum oh yum.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

nice moon tonight

the road was a ribbon of moonlight across the purple moor... or the moon was gigantic above the corrugated iron roofs or something... nice


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

why do i always have to be right?

I have a desperate need to be right all the time at the moment. I would like to think this is just a passing phase, but I suspect those who know me well would take pleasure in pointing out I always have a desperate need to be right all the time.

Perhaps I am only over subscribed, tired and on the brink of burn out. That would be preferable to having a serious character flaw I need to face and address.

Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, I don't like it. I don't like myself. I would prefer if I could rise above this unattractive tendency and halt the slide into pugnacity.

Here is the first step: That annual leave time sheet that I KNOW I filled in but my manager is asking me to fill in ready for December? I am going to fill it in again and not even offer a whimper of a sound suggesting I may have already completed it. That shouldn't be too hard. A slight bump to my pride (because I really was organised and reliable and I really did do it when I applied for the leave in the first place!).

Doesn't everything get easier after the first step? Soon I'll be so humble and sure everyone else is right I'll prove all those naysayers wrong while I'm at it. That's the spirit Cecily!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

thinking long and hard about it

I looked at a pair of jeans in a shop yesterday and nearly succumbed. I say 'nearly succumbed' because I have been buying fewer and fewer clothes lately. I don't need them, and while I may not be the world's most fashionable person, my clothes are decent, serviceable and practical. Maybe too practical... the older I get the less I care about frills and furbelows. Sometimes I wonder if I am becoming down right dumpy. Then I remember the world is in a mess because we have shopped to excess, dressed to the nines and been generally myopic in outlook. So what will it be - dowdy or dead from all the nightmares we have created as a society?

So I looked at the jeans before turning away with a sigh. I do not need them. I will learn to curb the excesses of my lifestyle.

Tonight I just found this article relating, among other things, the health hazards factory workers face in producing jeans with the latest stress marks, dyes and faded patches. Maybe I'll never buy another pair of jeans again. Or I'll buy a suitably classic style that will last me for years in order to prevent myself from contributing to the injustices these people face.

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It's a day for being happy, no doubt about it.

The sun is shining down, warming me through and through. I've been hardening my heart to the signs of spring. The fresh, green nubile plant growth, lengthening days, and flowering trees have all passed by, not unnoticed but certainly not rejoiced over. Silly me, because it has all been rather beautiful and I could have been much happier. But sometimes I get so into the spring thing I am disappointed by continuing chilly weather. Harden your heart no more sweet Cecily for spring is well and truly here, flowers, leaves, sun, warmth and all!

In the midst of the sun and joy I have been listening to Gypsy Groove, a CD I bought yesterday. I don't know, maybe I'm just a lover of funky dance music; perhaps the memory of that wonderful Roma art exhibition in Prague is stirring my passions. Whatever it is, I love this CD. It makes me want to laugh and dance and twirl, all of which would be perfectly suited to this beautiful day!

On top of all that, the sheep are making me giggle and giggle. They've just been shorn again and they look so spindly and naked and cute when three hours ago they were all woollen and fat and roly poly.

So be happy Cecily. The world is a beautiful place.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

uncover this!

The last assignment is uploaded for marking, the online quiz complete - time to let the hair down a little and enjoy the good things on offer!

So we went to a performance by a local youth dance company called Stompin'. The setting was a cul-de-sac in a local suburb, where we huddled together against the cool breeze and gave ourselves over to the dance and its themes.

Uncover this! (Part 2) was an exploration of those things we choose to expose to people around us and the effect this has. Starting one hundred metres up the street we journeyed beyond people doing every day public things, riding bikes, hanging washing, checking for mail while car stereos broadcast music into the street. In the cul-de-sac we reached a place of intimacy and closeness where dancers interacted with each other, cars, lights, nature strips and wheelie bins to create a sense of the tensions and connections created by sharing oneself with another.

The show was energetic and vibrant, entertaining but also thought provoking, touching on themes common to us all. It stimulated the audience to consider their own lives and relationships, inviting them to thoughtfully uncover their true every day selves on the path to real (but not easy) connections.

I wish you could have been there too, because it was a great performance and no blog post I write can really do it justice.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

frustration personified

I had to find a JP to certify that my copies of important documents were in no way fraudulent.

First the library: 'not available until 5pm'.
Then the police station: 'sorry she just went home'.
Followed by Service Tasmania: 'our volunteers are only here until 2pm' and the Magistrates Court (at which I was strip searched... or had to pass through a metal detector anyway): 'neither of them are answering the phone I'm sorry'.
Finally at the Supreme Court: 'the two JPs are out at present. And [rather snarkily I might add] it's not my fault you can't find anyone available'.
At which point one of the JPs returned and saved me from a complete meltdown.

I think I now know where every JP is situated in the whole entire town. Or at least where they might be if you happen upon them at exactly the right moment.

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best day in the best job

Today I made bread rolls and tacos and carrots and chillies out of play dough and sold them for toy money. Then I watched a magic show and was delighted by the incredulous laughter of a room full of primary school children. After which I cosied up with a few girls from Grade 6 and knitted my way through lunch.

The life of a school chaplain. So tough!

(I think I might have the best job in the world)

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Monday, October 06, 2008

vegetable orchestra

You know how much I love vegetables? Well this is one groovy show.

I think I want their CD.

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better than a soap opera

I've never been a huge follower of the plethora of soap operas on offer, unless of course you count my almost daily dose of Neighbours while living in London. I would suggest this had more to do with feeling homesick than being a true Neighbours-believer!

Suddenly I find myself rushing home for the next round of my favourite show on television - the news, with its daily updates on the great American Presidential race. I love it.

I cheer for Barack Obama, I laugh uproariously at the Sarah Palin parodies, I gag at the sight of John McCain, and I grin when any Democrat hopeful makes a good point in the ongoing debate. Of course as I am patently biased, I am yet to hear a good point from the Republicans.

All I can say is this: America, please, please, please don't subject the rest of the world to four years of McCain and Palin. I just couldn't stand it! (And as you know, it's all about me)

Of course I do have a few more cogent and logical thoughts than these, but who really cares - I'm in Australia for goodness sake! So I'll stick to the rush and thrill of this fascinating, unfolding drama.

Keep it coming baby!