Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

30 07 2013

You don’t need a lot of friends, just a few really, really good ones.  Here’s a photo from our day out riding our scooters around the river.  Great times with great people.


For more on the Daily Post and the Weekly Photo Challenge: CLICK HERE


Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

3 06 2013

Charles Darwin University, in the Northern Territory, is the home of the Confucious Institute on the Casuarina Campus in Darwin.  The Chinese Community of Darwin has also worked on a Chinese Garden on the university campus.  It has all the hallmarks of pattern and ‘no pattern’ in a chinese garden.  The elements are wonderful, random or repetitious, light and shadow,  curve and complement, soft and hard.  It was a lovely morning exploring and just sitting and letting the garden reveal itself to me.

For more information about the Daily Post and Weekly Photo Challenge HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

13 04 2013

After a Wet (monsoon) Season that has not been very wet, we’re now awaiting the change of seasons in the Northern Territory of Australia.  The Yolgnu indigenous people of East Arnhem Land recognise six distinct seasons in the “Top End” rather than the three seasons that us white fellas interpret  as The Wet, The Dry and The Build-up.  The Yolgnu live close to the land and know it intimately in a way we can only respect and struggle to understand.  To them, this period of ‘after-the-wet-and-not-quite-the-Dry” is known as the season of Mirdawarr when the winds change, floodwaters recede and the fish are plentiful.

I took an early morning drive out to East Point Reserve this week.  It is on the west coast near Darwin city.  After viewing the beautiful west coast sunset last month, I wanted to see the early morning, east light.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It was quiet and still, a warm gentle breeze made its way across the cliff face.  The delicate and cool east light crept towards the shore line.  And I was alone to enjoy it.

At the same time, the dragonflies were swarming.  Not just one or two, but swarms – dozens, possibly hundreds.  It was a spectacular and almost sacred sight.  They swarmed in and around me and a couple landed nearby on a woody shrub. These delicate creatures go through amazing changes in their lives from larvae to nymphs to intricate flying machines.  They tell us the Wet is over and the best is yet to come.   May it  be so.

Dragonfly dawn: the change of seasons in the Northern Territory.

Dragonfly dawn: the change of seasons in the Northern Territory.

For more on the Yolngu people, have a look at the videos made for, and by them at – 12 Canoes  It is a wake-up call to all Australians that this is a culture and heritage we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to help protect and preserve.  Catch up on the Weekly Photo Challenge by the Daily Post HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

23 03 2013

This week, we capture a moment in time. Something that holds the promise or portent of the future.  I was reminded of this photo I took when leaving Perth, prior to our move to the Northern Territory.  It’s a moment in time – so many things to look forward to, so many things being left behind.  I had no idea then what the future would hold.  I’m still not sure.  But that’s what risks are all about.

Good bye

Good bye

To join the Weekly Photo Challenge – check out the details on the Daily Post here.

Look with your eyes open

11 02 2013
At the end of the day - sunset at East Point Reserve: Darwin. Northern Territory.

At the end of the day – sunset at East Point Reserve: Darwin. Northern Territory.

Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore.  An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, “What did I really see this day?”

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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.


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