Old Crow

Thank you Mum for this, thank you Mum for me, Only now I’m beginning to see you, the sheer selflessness of your being while you were still part of this terrestrial world and your love for me.

You gave me everything you had and could give, from my primary school education in international schools to my high school days of boarding school here in Australia.

It was hard at first down here far away from you and I guess it must have been hard on you as my Mother, I lost my way and failed my Higher School Certificate at the end of year twelve but still there you were in Central West New South Wales for my completion ceremonies.

I remember how embarrassed I felt at my failure and how you had flown down two thousand miles to be there for me, I was crestfallen.

Then you came down to look after Nan in Sydney and I repeated year twelve, Nan had Alzheimers and you took care of her and me and my other siblings.

It was hard on you, everyday you spent washing soiled bed linen, juggling caring for Nan and us, there was no time for you for a whole year.

Then exams rolled around and I was late for my biology exam and I failed the HSC again, then Nan died on boxing day.

During her funeral service at the crematorium you threw yourself down on the floor and rolled around wailing, I remember wondering shamefully what the hell you were doing but now I know.

You were passionate.

Your whole life people were writing you off and you kept proving them wrong, from becoming a teacher in the PNG islands, highlands and a short stint at a High school down here in Australia,working for the Australian ABC radio, working for Sir Julius Chan, marrying Dad even though he was white and being in charge of the Office of Information on Bougainville before you were retrenched and I think you were the first female to get a license to drive back then.

You were quite someone.

We were apart for some time after you returned to PNG as for better or for worse I always ended up back here in Australia but I lost myself when I lost you for that time then I came back to you there in the village.

You were not expecting me and valued your home and space but you carried on with me under sufferance as I was already a fully grown man.

You ran for election to the Regional seat and I even came with you on your campaign trail by flying to Pomio which was an odd experience for me.

You weren’t elected as you had no big money behind you and I started to get unwell.

We eventually returned to Port Moresby and I got a job at the PNG NBC as a cadet journalist, we argued a lot ever since I first flew back to you from Australia but tried to keep it all together.

I left you there in Moresby as I was ill and flew back to Australia.

I eventually got treated here in Hospice Australia and you flew down to be with me, you were there through it all but then you had to return to PNG and I didn’t see you again till Dad died and we all buried him up there.

You visited me here in Australia here at the flat for about a month some time after and you used to be glued to the National Indigenous Television channel (NITV) and I remember how shocked you were at John Pilger’s documentary Utopia with its depictions of brutality against the Indigenous Peoples of Australia.

You were full of life, still passionate.

Then I didn’t see you again till before your death, you were much quieter and spoke in a whisper.

I don’t know if it was out of respect to me or you were reticent to speak but you were still there when I wasn’t timely enough with the preparation of your food as you were paralyzed on one side from a series of strokes.

Ill always remember you saying my dear in language and kissing me on the forehead for the last time at four in the morning before I left for the airport.

They say you had high blood pressure, but I know you were just full of passion which built up.

I love you Mum, you Old Crow as you would jokingly call yourself and Dad your partner in crime, two Old Crows looking down on us from heaven.

Thank You.

Social Media

Night and Day

I woke up before four in the morning and around half past five I took the shot above, night is on your right and day is on the left. I posted the shot on Facebook which you do at that God forsaken time in the morning and then thought nothing of it.

Then just now one of my nieces asked me about the picture, if it was taken from my balcony and I said yes after the realisation flashed through my mind that I actually have quite a view.

You can see something everyday and not realise it’s worth, this neighbourhood is amazing.

You can walk anywhere within reason and be totally unmolested by negativity.

Caesar’s

Something has been troubling and perplexing me of late, a friend told me what Jesus purportedly said when asked about money which in those days was Roman denomination.

He held a Roman coin which I think in those days had the Emperor Caesar’s head on it and said quote-” Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to the Lord what is the Lord’s!”

Now of course anyone familiar with my blog knows that I struggle with religion having basically been indoctrinated in such practically from birth in the United Church in PNG.

Now I do believe in the existence of a God but I also believe that everything written about him or her has come from the hand of man, I don’t trust the hand of man for I also believe that a God is beyond the limited comprehension of man and unfortunately his vocabulary.

God to me is an intangible entity and anyone who claims to have any understanding of him usually has an agenda to follow. Now back to the confusion, everything around us I mean everything is Caesar’s, the whole world of man is Caesars including religion or religions as it or they stand today.

I mean in the USA evangelism is very big but they bind ‘religion’ with money and that has been exported to the western world and other nations including PNG.

Its a fatal mix, two opiates together you see and of course this ‘Philosophy’ gains traction especially in disadvantaged populations and then ends up driving sections of those in power and their agendas relegating poorer churches, like the United Church to the sidelines of political discourse.

My point is that God is intangible so in our handicapped understanding of him maybe nothing is what we give because we just don’t know what he or she wants from us.

Maybe we just understand that there is a sentient being out there and acknowledge that fact, so in my very limited comprehension of religion the poorer churches are the ones who are truly giving to the Lord what is the Lords because they have nothing to give but themselves, their limitations and needs.

And on that note,Happy Mother’s Day! to all the long suffering Mothers out there and some words of advice. If you truly want to be a good mother you will take care of yourself first.

Its the first rule of survival that way you can then take care of whoever you are.

It’s no good investing everything into your children because unfortunately they probably wont be around when you get older or realise all the good advice you gave them after you have passed on.

As difficult as it is you have to live for now if you are going to make it through the marathon of motherhood, of course if you can plan for the future but enjoy the now because as Rapping 4Tay said in the song ‘Problems’ -“you think you promised another day!”

Loser!

Why is everyone so afraid of being a loser? I’ve been a successful loser for the majority of my adult life, the expectations of boarding school that started at age thirteen faded away into insignificance in early adulthood.

Primarily based in Australia from then on I always wanted to go back ‘home’ ie Papua New Guinea but through circumstance or design that never eventuated, not that anyone there was sufficiently moved to keep me there.

So I was a transient entity based in the inner west of Sydney stumbling from circumstance to circumstance, with friends that came and went along with the women, a loser.

I lost so much I ended up being of no worth to religion and useless to the devil, it’s better this way, at least there are no lies and I can see people clearer and in high definition, 8K even!

When you are a loser you are of no worth to hold a conversation with, an object of derision regardless of the fact that the main reason that you don’t get along with people is that you don’t adhere to their personal narrative, some of them being mainly religious, employ-ability or lifestyle.

You’ll find if you don’t appear to be even partially receptive people don’t complete their sentences even when you ask them to or my personal favourite…jumping to conclusions.

If there’s even a vague chance of writing you off it will happen regardless if you have a perfectly logical explanation.

Oh and yes it’s not all gravy, people expect you to explain yourself verbatim so to be a hard core loser you must resist the temptation to do so.

It’s not all doom and gloom when you are a serious loser you actually tell people what you think of them, probably too low brow for English etiquette but totally satisfying.

This has it’s risks as when dealing with all poisonous reptiles their tiny reptilian brains get aroused with revenge being the operative word.

At this point it is especially advantageous to arm yourself with a forked stick… for targeted prodding of revenge addled little beasts

So even though I don’t have a permanent home here this is where I’ve decided to lose the last vestiges of my life’s ‘respectability and climb the ranks to be a knowledgeable bogan, Trog, westie, fin dick or feral as to qualify as a toolie you need a trade.

As Beck rapped in his song Loser “-I’m a Loser baby, so why don’t you kill me!”

Don Quixote Mindfulness

Mindfulness is fantastic but what happens when it’s a bright, hot day outside and your head feels like it will explode from sheer frustration.

Try being mindful then! And isn’t that the point of it, to help you focus and calm. It’s all very well to use mindfulness when you are calm or bored but what about now.

It’s just a poor man’s opiate that you can use to accentuate your mood rather than change your frame of mind.

That is the only way I use it, what works for me is to remove myself as best as I can from the aggravating situation, keep cool and wait.

Then you begin again minutes, hours, days or weeks later, as a layman I have only ever used mindfulness supported by a therapy setting.

Now that is removed I am all at sea like any other addiction I guess.

There was a sweet lingering aftertaste of nourishing mindfulness but COVID 19 reality bitterness cleared the palate and so I ended up at the beginning of of this piece.

I guess it is drop dead easy to adapt to a framework but nigh impossible or seemingly so to breathe on your own, that is where I am.

I have seized up as the starting pistol has gone off, the memory of decades of training, volunteering, working and concentrating on my mental fitness shattered by its report.

It is just me now and that is the reality that others less fortunate than I face, not having had enough time in therapy.

I have had enough time now I have to do things for myself, it is complete but what do you do? Mental illness has been my life and occasional employment, and acquaintances.

It was who I was and am, not very good timing to begin again and as what? I am completely alone.

All that I have experienced before means nothing, no one knows me, all I have to do is breathe and get my legs moving.

The other runners have retired, I am in my own race now, breathe.

Start thinking even though your mind feels like it is filled with liquid cement, think, think anything just think.

Now focus!

Witches Coven

” Night has fallen and I’m lying awake, I can feel myself fading away -” Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen on the soundtrack of the movie.

I am one of the invisible now like the Bob Dylan song ‘Rolling Stone’ “- You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal! – “,.

” – As you look into the vacuum of his eyes and say do you want to make a deal -” He was rather bitter in that song.

Well the neighbourhood is coming round from the coronavirus blow, stirrings of life at night when it was as deathly quiet as a freshly dug cemetery in the witching hours .

More planes overhead, traffic on the road.

As of midnight on Friday travel within a fifty kilometre radius and non essential business will be open here in Queensland, the Sunshine State.

We seem to have dodged the bullet down here , the southern states haven’t fared so well.

Ahh witchcraft, so beyond the realms of possibility that it almost seems romantic, well white witches at least.

I think in the present day they would be quite a welcome change from “- steel eyed death and men who are fighting to be warm-” ‘Shelter from the Storm’ by Bob Dylan.

Ahh “-to dance beneath a diamond sky with one hand waving free-“‘Mr Tamborine Man’ by Bob Dylan.

Winter is coming.

Local Tourist

Monty

I’ve lived in this locale for almost twenty years, seen businesses come and go and still I don’t know it as the locals keep to themselves and their own.

I don’t see them walking the street as everyone except the street people have cars and bicycles although since the coronavirus lock down I do see people I have never seen before. It will pass, the thing about vehicles is that they remove you from a situation or locality whereas if you walk you are part of the landscape.

Vehicles apart from public transport do have their uses especially for a Sunday drive to the countryside or the beach but I do feel that they detract from a sense of community.

It’s almost like George Orwell’s book nineteen eighty four (1984) where the screen is the ‘community’ or shared psyche, I’ve spoken about this before, this disconnect between what you see and what you actually experience or find is locally relevant .

It fosters a sense of apathy and powerlessness almost as if there are two different worlds, what you see on the screen and what you experience personally. I get the sense that people actually don’t care much about this, the thought being if it doesn’t affect them then it is irrelevant to them.

Everyone drives, something has been lost I guess it keeps costs down if you can actually drive everywhere but the knowledge of the neighborhood I mean I’d love to see the Police walking the streets, getting to know people instead of just turning up to arrest them from their cars.

There’s the old guys with their mobility scooters , the painters who congregate at the pub, the people who own coffee shops, people who walk for leisure or design with or without dogs, shoppers, cyclists, skateboarders, the tailors all the subtleties and nuances of a community that you see out of the car window as you drive past.

Hello!

Discipline

Everyone talks about courage but there is something other than courage to take you where you want to go or just endure during the seemingly endless bad times, discipline!

For those of us not blessed with courage, discipline is equally powerful. Having the gravitas to stick to a task or tasks day after day, week after week, month after month through sheer bloody mindedness. The world and those around us thinking that we are totally mad but we persevere, through gritty discipline.

Courage can leave you when you are in a world of pain, when everything that can go wrong has, when there is nothing left for you to give physically or mentally, when people are laughing and mocking you, you get up through discipline and adhere to it with every fibre of your being, let them laugh and mock you because it is your journey, your discipline.

You may be fat, smoke like a chimney and be nothing to look at but you get shit done with disciplines friend fortitude, you need to go to the shop and have no car, you walk there and back.

Sweat stinging your eyes the heavy plastic bags cutting into your hands and you are still a kilometre away from home, the suns beating down and you are short of breath, maybe you stop but you keep going through discipline.

Life is not a sprint session, it’s a long march of deprivation, pain, self doubt, loss and mental anguish but you will find you can bear all of these things and more if you are disciplined, you do the grind and don’t give up on the man beside you and if he is no longer there then you continue in his memory.

The world is built on negativity, people are quick to cut you down because that’s all they do, all they know, criticize and sleep.

Just because something is difficult or seemingly impossible that does not mean it is not worth doing even if it appears insane it is our discipline when courage has gone that matters the most.

Journeys

Reading another blog as I tend to do in my spare time when I can concentrate I came upon the Theseus paradox ,Theseus being the founding King of Athens who after many moons sailing the seas returned.

The wooden boat he started out with had had all its parts replaced with new ones so essentially it was a new ship the basic question is it it the same ship that began the trip (A) or the one he finished his journey on (B), so does that equate as A=B?

I would argue it was the same ship because there was only one journey and there is one constant , the people on board so through the one journey they replaced all of the parts of the ship with new ones while making the same journey without interruption.

Even if they had stopped and completely rebuilt the ship it is still part of the same journey so so A contributed to B but only through the constant of C, the voyagers.

Identity is in our voyage no one is the same as they were last year because I think the human body completely regenerates during that period.

Identity is in our place in society, our reactions, actions, memories, the interactions with people on the way and living memory and even if something life changing were to happen we still have our identities as remembered by others and even our Blogs.

I’m coming to the conclusion that everyone is unique, I think it would be a stretch to even entertain the idea that we could all possibly be the same and that uniqueness is our identity.

Equilibrium

I’ve tried everything, antidepressants , anti psychotics, off label uses of medications, binaural beats Saint John’s Wort, 5 Htp , hormones, supplements, coffee, herbal tea, healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, vitamins, minerals, stimulants, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), alcohol, herbal preparations, illegal drugs, religion, witch doctors, logic but still I’m down the rabbit hole of delusional depressive apathy.

Sig Sauer P220 ( Picture Sourced from Wikipedia)

You get to a point where you just can’t think of anything , a rather joyless experience where the thought of suicide is never far away. The only thing keeping me here is the totality of death.

What keeps me going is gratitude, I have a gratitude list of things that I am grateful for and there is no way I can repay all the people that have gotten me to this point so to honour them I stay alive, it can get tough mentally though.

You know I’ve always wondered why the brain seems to attack itself with mental illness and negativity,you would think that the brains default position would be a positive one the logic being a positive psyche is more likely to survive.

Another thing that helps when I can focus is mindfulness especially meditation, the clarity when I do get it is deeply calming, my favourite spot is on my balcony where I do most of my thinking and smoking and it doesn’t have to be quiet.

If you just focus on your own self and disregard the noise both mental and auditory it can be a perfect pick me up.

I watched channel Nine Brisbane news last night on the television and realised why I don’t like watching commercial stations, everything is so staged I mean are you trying to tell me that all ‘reporters’ are good looking and fashionable and the obligatory hand gestures to ’emphasize’ their points like puppets..what!?

As lurid as a tabloid.

I remember what it was like being unmedicated, that cold empty feeling in the pit of your bowels, like you were totally inconsequential.

Mental illness from personal experience robs you of your assertiveness and confidence, you could be built like a brick outhouse but have the mentality of Bambi, not exactly a menace to society.

I included a picture of one of my favourite hand guns a Sig Sauer P220 one that I’ll never own as well as a Browning Hi Power or a Ruger Mini 14, I like guns, identifying them was one of my hobbies and probably still is.

Don’t get me wrong I think using them on defenseless people is sub human but I wouldn’t mind belonging to a gun club just to take pot shots at paper targets.

Guns fascinate me, I’d really love to be able to learn how to use and maintain one but I don’t live in America so I guess I’ll never know oh yeah they do have mental health checks for gun licenses over there so it will remain a fantasy.

Anyway put away that Sig P220 and come outside it looks like a beautiful morning.

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