Same place, different day

29 01 2013

I’m in a new space, literally and figuratively.  I have a new job in a different city, a new workplace and office and I’m making a new routine.  I take time out each day to step away from my desk, go outside and breathe in some fresh air.  It’s an important part of my day.

As a newcomer to the Territory, I marvel at my new surroundings even though blank faces stare back at me – over time the familiar has become invisible.  I decided to take a photo at the same time each day as a reminder that every day is precious and different and offers us a new beginning.

Here is a slideshow from my first fortnight at work – ten photos from the same spot at the same time each day (2pm).

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

28 01 2013

No one has loved me as purely and unconditionally as my dogs. They were always so completely happy to see me, no matter how long I’d been away, or what mood I’d been in when I left.  We farewelled Jasper in March 2012 and sadly today, we had to say our goodbyes to our beloved Gilly.

Rest in Peace my beloved friends.

Rest in Peace my beloved friends.

Eternally missed – eternally loved.
Beauty and Elegance, Love and Devotion

New beginnings

23 01 2013

We farewelled 2012 from our new hometown – Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia.  The sun set on 31 December 2012 as we walked along the Dripstone Cliffs at Brinkin.  The setting of the sun closed the year that had brought such tumultuous changes to our lives.

Dripstone Cliffs: Brinkin, Darwin.  Northern Territory of Australia.

Dripstone Cliffs: Brinkin, Darwin. Northern Territory of Australia.

One of the main things we’ve learned through 2012 has been the importance and extraordinary power of the moment. We’ve become more aware of each moment in time: what it brings, what it offers and how we can respond to it. We’ve been less focussed on the future, because we are painfully aware that the future might not come. We’ve become less focussed on the past because nothing we do now can alter it. We’ve held our plans loosely, allowing ourselves the flexibility to change.  Disappointment tends to happen when we harden our plans into fixed ideas.  The more rigid they are, the more tendency to shatter rather than to ‘give’ or bend.  We tend to set a course now, pick a well defined point on the horizon and steadily work towards it rather than map out each step along the way.  There is still a bit of that, but we’re more willing to let our steps meander a bit, as long as we’re still moving towards our goal.  I’m glad we’re taking this through to 2013 and I know it will serve us well.  The challenge will be to keep this in our hearts and minds and not be distracted by things around us which may steal away our present moments and lull us back into the everyday rat race.

The sun sets on 2012:  Brinkin, Darwin: Northern Territory.

The sun sets on 2012: Brinkin, Darwin: Northern Territory.

Waking up to the rat race

22 01 2013

In the months after Beth’s death, we discussed the absurdity of our lives. I can’t being to express the shockwaves that we still feel today as a result of her loss. It’s not about ‘working through it’ or getting ‘over it’, it’s just that your previous framework shatters with such a loss and you start living on a different scale, in a different realm and with a different perspective to those around you. Everything is all so familiar but life itself has changed forever.  Completely.  Utterly.  It’s like living in a parallel universe.  It makes you feel like an alien, an outsider, excluded from the world you live in, unattached, abandoned, misunderstood and strange – in comparison to those who go about their daily lives and don’t see the thick pane of glass you’re stuck behind.

In the months following, it was like we had suddenly woken up to the rat race and the trap we’d slowly become accustomed to.  We didn’t fit any more.  We’d spent years getting up, going to work, earning money to pay for a house and fill it with ‘things’ that we actually didn’t have time to enjoy because we were out early and home late, earning the money to pay for it all. When we sifted through the pieces of our lives and routines left after Beth’s death, we realised all too clearly that it was an absurd way to ‘live’ and really wasn’t living at all. We realised we’d just been existing.

Make each moment count...

Make each moment count…

It seemed so ‘normal’ to be doing that. Everyone around us was in a similar position – with a mortgage and a job that paid the bills.  It was okay enough.  We’d accepted that we’d have to work long and hard to pay off a mortgage so we could retire with a modest amount of savings that would allow us to have ‘a life’. We’d accepted that we weren’t rock stars so we weren’t going to wake up and bound out of bed to a job we absolutely loved.  We’d often talked about the places we’d go and things we’d do once we retired; like travelling, spending time on hobbies, volunteering and creative interests.  I can access my Superannuation account once I turn 65. But what if, like Beth, I don’t make it to 65? We’re working now, saving now and putting off life for some later date that might never come…  It  became all too clear and sad really – looking around and realising that if I died tonight, I really hadn’t done much with my life.  What would I leave? What would I be remembered for? What difference have I made?

It’s all a giant game of risk isn’t it? We just don’t know how long we’ll be here on earth. I might live to be 100, I might die next week. We just don’t know.  Whatever happens, I want to enjoy my days and not just plod through them in some endless ritual. That means I need to enjoy today, enjoy now because that’s all there really is.

changeWe decided to make changes in our lives. We decided to ‘downsize’ and live more simply. The stark light of grief reveals the absurdity of possessions – they really are just things. They’re not that important. Time and people and health are important.  We don’t actually need much ‘stuff’ at all.

The crazy thing is that when I was stuck in the rat race, I knew it. It’s pretty obvious really and I bet you ‘know it’ too.  But does it make you want to do something about it?  Only now does it strike me clearly and strongly enough to take action. The difference for me in knowing it, and knowing it fully is like this.  If you stand in the supermarket and remind yourself that you’re actually naked under your clothes, you know that right?  But, to know it fully means to actually stand in the supermarket naked.  Entirely different perspective isn’t it?  Well that’s where we are, and it’s a tad uncomfortable.  We’re making changes.

Contemplative Photography 15

21 01 2013


“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them” – Thich Nhat Hanh.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

19 01 2013
A glimpse beyond...   (c)

A glimpse beyond… (c)

Look beyond, look out, look through,
There’s more than what’s in front of you.
Take a chance and start anew,
You’ve no idea what you can do.

Join in the Weekly Photo Challenge by WordPress HERE.

Contemplative Photography 14

14 01 2013

If you’re interested in Miksang photography, check out my ongoing series of posts.  This week I’ve been struck by everything around me being ‘new’ to me.  I’ve just moved to a new town, a new state, a new workplace and job.  Although some things are familiar, all my surroundings are new.  In some ways, it’s great to see everything with new eyes, noticing things that are unusual or different, and seeing some things in reality for the first time.

Speaker's Lawn: shot from the upper balcony.  This looks to me like a computer game!!

Speaker’s Lawn: shot from the upper balcony. This looks to me like a computer game!!

This angle intrigued me due to its symmetry, patterns, sharp contrasts and colours.  The longer I looked, the less real it seemed and the photo looks to me like a computer game.  This shot was taken from the upper balcony looking down onto the manicured green that displays a much different character at ground level.  See what you see.

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