give hope to refugees – world refugee day 2017

 

I was waiting for a take away cappuccino. The cafe is on the water, the view is ridiculous. I had a little lemon polenta cake in an environmentally friendly cardboard box in one hand and my iPhone in the other.

I could tell the man next to me wanted to talk. ‘A homeless person could run in here, grab two of those meals (off the pass) and have a bloody good feed’. We’re a long way from any homeless people here…

‘I was in the city the other day, there’s so many homeless and we should be helping our own, stop this refugee nonsense with all the terrorism going on’ (um…we’ve been fairly insulated from terrorist acts so far, down under. and yes it’s the day after world refugee day – way to give hope to refugees!)

me: ‘How do you tell genuine refugees from terrorists? They need our help just as much as our own homeless.’

‘No, we just need to stop letting anyone in.’

me: (nice!) ‘Well…have you seen the images of what they’re escaping in Syria for example? We’re so lucky here, we have to help!’

coffee ready, conversation over, photograph view on way out…

still swirling in my head – you saw so many homeless, we should help our own first, and so what are you doing to help? did you speak to any, did you give them a bottle of water, a piece of fruit, did you ask if they have family somewhere, or a place in a shelter to sleep in that night?

a group of women meet at my house regularly and for 3 years now we’ve been knitting scarves and beanies which we pass on to local homelessness support organisations, and shelters…when I’m tucked up in bed on these cold winter nights I hope we’ve helped just a little xx

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Walter Mason

 

 

Are you in Sydney? I’m completely in love with Walter Mason. Have been since I heard him talk about his first book just after it was published. By all means have a look and see if you’d like either of his books DESTINATION SAIGON; and DESTINATION CAMBODIA.

I digress!! If you’re in Sydney you can catch up with Walter all over the place. He is constantly running free events – conversations with other authors, inspiring speakers. He’s just a gorgeous person and so generous with his time, and his promotion of others.

‘Do yourself a favour’ 🙂 check out his schedule and find somewhere to say hi to him.

destination saigon - walter mason

 

 

 

 

keep running

 

It’s not fair is it! You can see it in his eyes. The haunting. Not well yet. Why are some people born to do battle with their own head? 

And they’re all around us. You can’t read it in every face, some keep it well closed in, but some pain is so transparent.

I’m glad they didn’t share the how’s of their attempts. Good attempt at the why’s. There is no why other than the demons made me do it.  Then again there is no why not. No judgement, no option for them. Two lost, two saved…one little girl without her father.

 

suicide prevention australia – fundraising campaign

 

 

who’s that girl?

 

Interesting characters – a Daily Post challenge

 

She doesn’t ask for, or need, approval – to be liked. On first meeting she seems a little prickly, not someone you’d warm to. She’s tall and thin, not good looking if we’re being honest…moves a little awkwardly. She’s a bit too loud, and a bit brash.

Is my perception of her physical characteristics swayed by how much she’s annoyed me, in our purely textual relationship, til now? Her emails are always too wordy. She often sends them to the wrong address, and forwards them inappropriately. She’s so annoying. 

The ego of impatience has pre-judged her thus.

She’s not annoying at all! She has so much compassion I am a humbled student as she teaches without intention. A Bodhisattva at work in our midst, not in training. 

A room full of volunteering uninitiated sit spellbound as she shares her work in corrective services. Inspiring enough without the back story – I’m left speechless from our pre-workshop speedy rundown of her life. She is dyslexic, coeliac, with a cricket team of children. The oldest few adopted from overseas, long before it was celebrity, before it was quite common, and as a single woman. The prison is a long drive from home, the ‘boys’ grateful weekly for the visits, and the rest of her waking time filled with equally inspirational doings. She fits well more than a week can hold surely, into her every 7 days. I am humbled. 

How distorted our perceptions and first impressions can be – so far from annoying, I am in awe of her and would love to be able to call her friend.

 

 

 

 

after the parade

 

I’ve lived here for 20 years now and it happened by chance. I never meant to live here, I didn’t want to live here.

Driving back from dropping the little one in the city today I realised, I haven’t embraced my environment in all that time. We live in the hub of city life. Turn your head that way there’s the redlight district, any drug that exists, the crime bosses. Look back over your shoulder and there’s a homeless guy on every corner. Keep going straight along this parade route and it’s lined with the most unusual of the LGBT spectrum. Do these sections of community coexist so closely in all cities?

Sometimes I can see the colour and excitement, others the black dog and side show alley and it scares and saddens me. Even on the sunniest day.

Last weekend colour was everywhere. Music. Celebration. My cousin marched for the first time. There’s a lot of gay in my family. It’s the confused ones I worry about. I wish an easy life for everyone – I know I’m naïve.

Today it was just dirty and seedy. The green ‘walk’ pedestrian wave dumped hospital workers in scrubs; a large bouncer all dressed in black; a couple of walking wounded, eyes glazed, struggling to lift one leg after the other going not even they know where; and a pair of beyond middle age tourists onto the road, in front of my car. It’ll be the same next time the lights change.

No one’s cheering on Oxford St today.

Same street, keep driving, the designer labels and coffee shops welcome you to the edge of wealthy town. Where’s the line (is it a specific set of traffic lights?) that says ‘if you don’t know where you fit in life turn back, you fit back here; if you like to lunch and shop or watch those that do you’re almost there’?

Could everyone on that side of the line please come over to this side for one day and see just how much they could help. There’s a beautiful long street of diversity crying out for everyday colour. Time to get involved.

 

late sunday night – thinking in the tub

 

It’s been a long time between baths and aren’t they just wonderful!

I just lay there letting my bones soak up the added magnesium, and listening to an audiobook for a while. Contemplated the line of green at my feet. Are bath related things green to make us think of the sea? The frangipani candle is in a green tin; there’s a pattern of light green and pink bows around the tiny china soap dish; green granules of lemongrass scented relaxation; and the mandarin shampoo comes in a dark green bottle.

I silence Wayne Dyer when I can’t hear him over the waterfall of warmth – refilling, reheating… Instead I start my nightly prayers right there. First I express so much gratitude to the Buddha for leaving a life of luxury to discover and teach the path. Gratitude and respect. And then, the actual prayers are private, specific prayers for my children, my mother, workmates, myself, and others that are on my mind at any given time – a fellow blogger and her son across the country; a softly spoken asylum seeker I know, whose outrageous legal costs amount to nothing short of paying the boat man if you ask me; and then all sentient beings…

Why is it that being immersed in still, warm liquid is so soothing? I start to think about Schapelle. I think she’s innocent. I didn’t always. Anyway it’s time she was allowed to heal. Her sister was interviewed tonight and spoke of Schapelle’s strength in surviving the last ten years, but also of how it’s changed her. Have we stopped to realise that the sister has been through a lot herself in that time? I heard maturity, intelligence, compassion and tiredness in that emotional voice – will that change the public’s perspective of her? For years we’ve heard her screaming at the media as she dashed in and out of the jail on what must have been often horrific visits. I found myself impressed by that sister tonight and I wish them both well.

Plug out.

 

 

other people’s stories

 

Twelve people came to our office yesterday to learn.

People watching is often interesting but condensed like that I found it good for mindfulness. Good for realising that everyone has something going on. All these bodies walking around with their own insecurities and challenges.

Two were late. One because he slept in – I know him. The other told me during a break that he’d first gone to our old location – quite a walk out of his way early in the morning.

Phones on silent but one call taken outside, and from her end of the conversation I know that her car had broken down this morning.  And after picking her up and delivering her to us, her daughter was now dealing with mechanics, tow trucks…

Before we all parted company one, way too young to have three children surely, told me her youngest had thrown up in the car on the early morning drive and so…she was looking up buses on the net/phone. The car was going to need some detox time.

Too easy to get caught up in my head with this and that disturbing me. Everyone has something going on, everyone has a story to tell.

Every single sentient being’s story is important.

Light a candle tonight at 8pm (AEDT) out of respect for refugees / asylum seekers #LIGHTTHEDARK