the birth of hope

candle-yet-to-be-lit
a candle waiting to be lit…

Hope wanted to be born. She wasn’t sure yet if she was a thing or a being, and in the state she was in—not yet manifest as she was—well it didn’t really matter. All she knew was that she was needed urgently on earth. Very urgently. Strange things had been happening. Peculiar people had been chosen to be leaders. Fear was stalking the land, sending out messages in 140 characters until its mistruths took root in people’s hearts. Continue reading “the birth of hope”

unexpected visitors

king-parrot-324729_1280For the past two years, a pair of king parrots has turned up at my house for a few days in September. They’ve woken me early to demand that I feed them. Somehow they know I’m a soft touch for birds with festive plumage because I have a policy about NOT feeding birds. This pair insist upon it by peeping loudly  (click this link and scroll down until you get to the audio field on the right to hear just how insistent they are) until I respond. Then they grace me with their sunflower seed eating presence until they are sated. Continue reading “unexpected visitors”

a little first aid for the soul (II)

DSC_0038It’s important to cherish warmth of heart especially when life feels tough or a little wintry. Developing our capacity to centre ourselves in our hearts so that our activity and our thinking is warmed by what we experience in the sphere of connection, of love, of courage, is part of our contemporary human challenge. If we become too isolated in our clever, controlling heads we can be prone to judgment and criticism, forever seeing the world, ourselves and especially others as ‘not quite right’ in ways that definitely need fixing. And isn’t it remarkable the way we can see the shortfalls of others so much more easily than our own. Continue reading “a little first aid for the soul (II)”

a little first aid for the soul (I)

Ascending_Mt_Feathertop_StevageI am so distant from the hope of myself
in which I have goodness and discernment
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly and bow often.’

Mary Oliver from ‘When I am among the trees’

Perhaps we wouldn’t be here on earth if we didn’t have a bit of distance between our current selves and our hopes of our selves. Continue reading “a little first aid for the soul (I)”

cynicism and beyond

I am reposting this due to a techno hitch when I tried to edit it last year.  Also Parker J Palmer’s recent column cited the same poem by Miller Williams. Read his column especially if you’ve already read this.

‘We’re all so critical,’ the young man shook his head, ‘I just can’t say what I really feel!’

open hearted bougainvilleaI know what he means. There’s a thick layer of cynicism in Australian culture that somehow smears across our hearts and stops us getting involved with our own feelings or those of others. Sometimes it seems like we prefer to sneer, or spoon on the irony. We can banter with the best of them, but truly wearing our hearts on our sleeves? We don’t do that—and not just to avoid the cliché.

What is going on with all this cynicism? We’re not alone. It’s a world-wide phenomenon, but we seem especially good at it down here. Continue reading “cynicism and beyond”