Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Asking to be Art

Reflection can be a hazy art, especially when the photographer and camera are both amateurs. Nonetheless, this is a reflection worth capturing, me thinks, on this sun-hazy morning, imprinted and ready-framed on the entrance wall of our house as it was, as if asking to be art, as I sat waiting for the coffee kettle to boil and chanced to look up from the poem I was reading about eels and other things (vaginas) to see it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lavender and cream

To read lavender and cream
To see two colours in a dream...

To hear leaves in the wind, a cough sharp as a sting
To feel soothed by the shoosh-shooshing

To wonder who named the wind
Is lavender ice-cream a thing?

To worry as long as a piece of string
To stop short as a shower, drip, drip, dripping

To remember what it is to wonder
To want to be younger

To see two colours in a dream
Lavender and cream

For Joyce

Thursday, April 24, 2014

All I want for Christmas is my...


This contraption - if ever that word fit - was, and could only have been, the brain child of a desperate frustrated writer. I KNOW HOW HE FEELS. Still, I don't think he should give up his day job just yet.

This bizarre helmet supposedly helped focus by rendering the wearer deaf, piping them full of oxygen, and limiting their vision to a tiny slit. (1925)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Virgin Egg

Easter Sunday for this atheist has always been about hunting, gathering and eating chocolate eggs, and today is no different. Except that this chocolate egg was a gift from my SO (significant other) so no hunting or gathering was required on my part, and because it is such a cosmic and creative egg that does not seem 'man made', but conjured by magic, it has got me thinking about the 'bigger' themes at work behind Easter. And when a confirmed atheist (and feminist) gets to thinking about the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ with a stomach full of cosmic chocolate, this is what she comes up with: the Virgin Egg. 

Bear with me if you will... 

In the age-old puzzle of which comes first, the chicken or the egg, the Christian story answers: the chicken, except of course for the fact that the Christian chicken is a rooster-cock, although "chicken" can be a unisex term. God is the chicken rooster-cock, born free of the chicken-hen egg -- free of woman, therefore. In my angry atheist feminist moments I see this story and all religion as a concerted attempt on the part of all rooster-cocks to usurp the primary role of the female egg in the creation of all life. The primary role of the Virgin Egg (sans sperm) indeed. So from now on when anyone asks me which comes first, the chicken or the egg, I'm going to say emphatically, the egg -- the Virgin Egg.

That children and atheists celebrate Easter with chocolate eggs has never seemed particularly significant to me before. I have been overwhelmed and blinded in a way by the pleasure of the chocolate. But after eating this cosmic Virgin Egg (not quite all of it yet; it is bigger than my hand), I have seen the light and will now enjoy my chocolate eggs with a new sense of celebration. A celebration of life and the creative primacy of the female, no less. Something to think about... 

Happy Atheist Easter! 



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Reunionists

The reuinionists were we
blood bound by family
of generations three
through thick or thin for me.    

Thirty-plus in number
eighty-seven to ten in age
much planning and preparation
as if reuniting for the stage.

Though blood is thicker than water
it's no easier to cross for that
to part our seas of separation
was no simple play to act.

But once returned to the fold,
young, not-so-young and old
we matched noses and stories told
and came in together from the cold.

For the reunionists we were
remembering what it is
to be a part of something bigger
that all starts with a kiss.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A room with 31,615 views (OWW 1 year today)

One year ago today I began my 'One Woman's World' (OWW) blog with my first post 'Drought Breaker'. Same time, a year later, we need rain again. The sky, grey and heavy, at intervals clear, seems undecided as to whether or not to drop its rain, as if it's not sure we deserve rain or not. We're hosting a big family reunion the day after tomorrow so I'm hoping the sky either hurries up or holds on.

But that first post was not only about rain. Beginning the blog was also breaking my own drought as a writer by committing to the idea of being a writer as my main pursuit. It took me a long time to decide this over politics and academia for which I am trained. But having made the career-change commitment, helped along by the blog, which has buoyed me up in moments of doubt and helped to persuade me that I am a writer, I feel just about certain it is the right path for me.

 Almost every post has been sent out to you from the snug little study that has featured a couple of times on the blog in the flesh, but has been there in spirit behind every post. Although I often pen my poems and thoughts elsewhere, all blog roads lead back to this room from where they are tidied and transported to you, all 30+ thousand of my viewers out there - or ten VERY keen viewers. Whichever you are, it is more, much more than I had a year ago. This photo just taken is the south end of my study, the desk, window and slim door at the north end. It is the hub of this one woman's world, custom built and made by me. And as chaotic as it is, it is me to a tee (somewhere between a Chelsea Handler and Janet Frame character, perhaps, with last year's New York calendar bought at the NY library and used again for this year; a patriotic plastic mini boomerang, a sketch of Dickens' Old Curiosity Shop, home-made cards from the kids, and plenty of dust).

Of course, as all bloggers know, the first rush of blog bombast tends to wane, and I am no different here. From posting almost every day last April, May and June, some days more than once, this year I am down to twice a week. I hope to improve this rate, and hope is a fine thing. But the writing for publication is keeping me much busier this year than it did last, and taking WAY more time than I could ever have anticipated. All that refining in the re-drafts, that crucial 15%, is one of the more agonising and painstaking processes there has to be - surely. Still, as an apprentice I am glad to have worked my way past believing those wild and exciting first drafts are an end in themselves, to knowing they are a process akin to 'brainstorming' from where the work really starts. Nobody said it would be easy. But the blog helps.

So thank you dear viewers, and here's to another year of OWW: of the sea and the seasons, of Courage and Capsibums (one of my favourite home photos and fun posts), of flowers versus fists and a cat without tail, and all sorts of new stuff that I couldn't predict if I tried and wouldn't predict if I could. It's more fun not knowing. As the new year's card given to me by my number one follower (who I follow in turn) says: 'And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been'. Let's.



Monday, April 7, 2014

All roads lead to romance

Every great story, every simple song,
no matter how short or winding long,
seems to end up here - right or wrong.

The journey home, never mind Rome
From there, here and everywhere
all the roads go.

By hook, crook or chance,
whatever I read, watch or hear
leads to romance, and who am I to sneer...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Writers feel frail...

"Writers feel frail, powerful, godly, small, frustrated, infinite, limited, bewildered, afraid, uncertain, brave, certain -- we're all wounded ego, sure-footed on broken ground, craving respect and needing an audience, introverts who are extroverts who are introverts." 
Chuck Wendig

I only discovered I was a writer comparatively recently, though I have been writing all my life, just not exactly knowing it. I thought I was a dancer, then an academic, then a political activist; along the way, a mum (and wif). I still am all those other things, but not, I think, as much as I am, at heart, a writer. 

If I had read this definition of a writer in my youth, I would have known much sooner that I was a writer and saved myself a lot of time and frustration, methinks. I might even be published by now. But it still helps to know, better late than never, the peculiar, potentially potent contradiction that is a writer. 

Cheers Chuck.