Thursday, May 30, 2013

I was going somewhere with this.....

then my brain got side-tracked and totally forgot.  So you're getting poetry instead.  And a photo.

Dangar Gorge

We stand
halfway down the gorge
it is absolute, and we
mere climbing animals.
All about it circles,
engulfing the stream that falls
far into prehistory.
The rock is red and dark:
uncanny ironstone
exposed to weather, and becoming shapes
as light and shadow in a secret well
deeper, and clearer, and more quiet than time.
The creekbed track that brought us here
trespassed on grave New England farms;
bulls grudged us passage to this place
where trees bind the precipice.  It all
could be a great pitcher at which
not gods now, but piping bellbirds
come to drink, to
dwell inside the mountain.

                                    - Michael Dransfield (Streets of the Long Voyage)

Yep, Dangar Falls, just outside Dorrigo.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pissing competitions

I am forced to conclude that is what most of the people do.  They do not take time "to stop and stare", least of all notice that many roses no longer have a smell, having been bred for colour and form at the expense of fragrance.  There is too much competition, too many things to acquire (corporeal or otherwise), other people who must be outdone, put down.

I try to credit politicians with getting into the game because they want to make a difference, they have an ethical stance.  But ye gods, they make it hard.  What I see on the news, in the papers, online, it's just a case of who can piss the highest, the most.  Just like the majority of managers and far too many staff  in the workplace.  Really, what happened to the idea of doing your job to the best of your ability?

I would so like to think that the small things matter.  That kindness matters.  A couple of songs that spring to mind:

Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody's From Little Things, Big Things Grow (about the start of Aboriginal Land Rights)

John Lennon's Imagine

Monday, May 27, 2013


The short version is that my most beloved wolfhound died earlier this month and I have been devastated.  Literally, laid waste, as per a rough translation of the Latin root.  I'm not writing this for sympathetic comments, more an examination of the process, now that almost a month has passed and there is less rawness.

Grief is a strange thing. There are different levels, intensities.  And it can be so hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving, what would be acceptable.  How well do you know them?  Can you cope with NOT being able to make things magically better?  Naked emotion is not, typically, something that my family does well.  Or ever has, judging by the family stories and backgrounds.

We gave Fearghus a wake, of course.  Almost a third of a bottle of Trapper's Hut made that night bearable (rather a nice Tasmanian whisky, should you get the chance to taste it).  Then there was the packing away of collars, grooming tools, food bowl and mat.  And the very empty spaces where he used to be.  A bull terrier wondering where his big brother was and why were his humans so miserable.

Grief changes for each loss, for each person, for each time.  Sometimes it is almost gentle, expected.  Other times it is a rending beast that takes no prisoners, which exhausts with its intensity.  It doesn't necessarily correlate directly with how much love there was.  Or how much warning you had that the loss was coming, time to get ready, gird your loins....

Loss is inevitable in life.  Change and death take our loves away.  Acknowledge the loss, mourn it and do not ever regret the love.  Love is love.