Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

23 06 2012

We are all creators and co-creators in this life.  What are we creating?  This week’s theme from WordPress explores images that mean “create”.  In the last few years I have started to let out my inner artist who has been locked inside for a long time.  On a trip to Albany, I was relaxed and content enough to create a quick pencil sketch of a cottage on the Strawberry Hill Farm.

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The moment that is now

9 05 2012

I follow Karl Duffy’s ‘Mindful Balance’ blog daily, to remind myself to slow down and stay connected. I love today’s post. My dog is also a Zen Master when it comes to enjoying life to the full. I hope you like this post and savour each moment.


Drop into the moment that is now.

No need to judge, no need to have an agenda as to what will be, no need to say, “I am meditating”.

Just be here, drink in all that this moment has to offer as if it is the only one that you have – because it truly is

Jon Kabat Zinn

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Your life is a sacred journey

21 03 2012

Stirk Park: Kalamunda, Western Australia.

Your life is a sacred journey.  And it is about change, growth, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous risks, and embracing challenges at every step along the way…

You are on the path, exactly where you are meant to be right now…

And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity and love…

I hope you like the quote above as much as I do.  It is from:
Caroline Joy Adams – Author, Public Speaker and Writing Coach

RIP – Our Beauty

1 03 2012

Jasper - our beloved friend and companion

Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware, of giving your heart to a dog to tear –  Rudyard Kipling

Jasper is 13, she’s doddery now and losing herself. It’s time to say goodbye. The decision does not rest lightly or come easily. It brings a sore and rising lump to my throat.

We spent some time by the river after work yesterday. It is a place we’d regularly visit when we lived much closer. She loves the grassy banks and running between us. Finding a dead fish to roll in is always a bonus in her mind. It’s our last outing with her. It seemed right to revisit this place one last time. It was so good to see her being bouncy again, even just briefly.

This afternoon she closed her eyes for the last time. It was painless but so quick. We’ve known it for a while and have wrestled and agonised over the the decision.  When do we draw the line – how far do we let her decline before we balance kindness and cruelty?  What if we get it wrong?  It is an awful place.  I wonder if she sees it in my eyes.  We’re bereft yet again.  She is one of our best and closest friends. And now she’s gone.

Here she is lounging all over our bed on her back, head twisted one way and legs another, completely content.  I’ve always been amazed how such a little dog can take up so much room.  I routinely wake up clinging to a small strip along the edge of the bed while she snores on, loudly.  I’m sure she believes it is actually her queen sized bed which she graciously allows us to share each night. I will miss her. I will miss her love, her softness, her company, her smell, her funny little ways.  Her unwavering and totally unconditional love.

She’s stolen biscuits, dug holes in the garden, chewed my written notes, eaten my watchband, been proud of finding something smelly to roll in and is ridiculously possessive of her paws.  She hides socks, eats only one of each pair of shoes and thinks she owns whatever she can see.  She has unzipped countless bags and rummaged around in the contents.  She thinks custom dental mouthguards are tasty chew toys.  She hates anyone who wears all black clothing and her favourite toy is a stuffed wombat.  She goes crazy after a bath running laps around the house almost digging up the carpet for grip.  On walks she waits until we approach someone before she stops to cough and splutter dramatically, trying to convince people we’re choking her.  She loves to have the wind in her face during a car trip, her elbow neatly cocked out of the window.  Whenever she hurts her neck she seeks me out and shows me where to rub it.  She licks her paws until we yell at her and then licks them some more.  She insists on rubbing her face on the carpet.  She stamps and sneezes with indignation if breakfast is late.  She leaves her wet nose marks along the bottom of my windows.

She is always pleased to see me when I get home and greets me like a long lost best friend: every day. She’s seen me at my worst yet never judged me.  She has no pat answers.  I trust her with all my secrets and she loves me.  She’s been there as a quiet comforter when I’ve been ill, snuggling closer she’s content to spend a day in bed with me as I recover.  She’s cleaned my face of tears when I’ve been wracked in anguish.  She’s happy just to be around me, whatever I might be doing.  She’ll follow me from room to room just to make a nest while I work.  She says very little, but her constant presence with me is more precious than any conversation.

I want to get this right, make sure we’re not keeping her too long but don’t want to rob her of life prematurely.  I don’t want her to go but I don’t want her to suffer.  Urgh – there is that lump in the throat again.  We will hold her right to the end and hold her in our hearts much longer.

Goodbye my Beauty and elegance.  I love you and will miss you desperately.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

26 02 2012

This week’s photo challenge from WordPress is Indulge. Participants are asked to depict the weekly theme via a photo. To get involved visit The Daily Post here.

Yesterday we took some time out to sit by the river. The scorching heat has relented so it was comfortable to be outside. We found some deep shade and watched the world go by while enjoying an iced coffee, some chocolate and listening to a cricket match on the radio. We saw cyclists, birds, people barbecuing, water bikes and boats.

East Perth Cove: Swan River, Perth

The real indulgence for me was to take my sketch book and be able to sit in the fresh air and sketch, noticing shapes, tones, patterns and feeling them wiggle off the end of my pen. It felt even more indulgent because we’d left all the chores at home, unfinished.

Burswood Resort Complex from East Perth.

Our Illusions of Life

12 02 2012

Illusions in Art: alley off Hay St, Perth.

Illusion of Story
It’s interesting that we tell ourselves stories, construct our destiny, and futures. Then we’re disappointed when things don’t go the way we’ve imagined. But that’s just it. The future is just what we imagined. It doesn’t actually exist. It is an illusion. There is no future right now. There is just now.
I created a future, a script of what life would bring. Rather than hold it lightly, I believed it was the way things would be, shouldbe. It seemed fair. There was an order about it. Events occured in succession. This one was born, would marry and would die in a certain order. The illusion was shattered and sense of ‘natural’ broke too. Life seems somehow more uncertain, more unpredictable. That too is an illusion – life has always been that way, it is never tamed, never harnessed. I learn to hold each moment gently in the palm of my hand. I haven’t stopped making plans but I think very differently now.

Illusions of love
It’s interesting how those around us rate our relationships and judge our closeness. It seems there is a framework for where our love should lie. I’ve had people wonder why my mother-in-law’s death has anything to do with me – a mother-in-law can’t be that close. A sister must be so much closer than a friend. How shallow it is to rate someone’s love and the quality of a relationship. I’m sad they have no concept of how love can seep into life, but I’m also glad they don’t know this roaring ache of love lost. I love that my love breaks all those norms. I love people, some related, most not. The relative rating scale of ‘closeness’ is such an illusion.

The steep path of grief

23 01 2012

Bluff Knoll - Stirling Range National Park, Albany. WAustralia.

I wish you were here.  I wish you were here to help me walk this way, I’d be telling you all about this journey.  You’d be leading, making us rest, cheering us on, keeping us going.  I can’t see very far ahead today, the path is steep and uneven, just as I thought it was levelling out.  How did I get here?  I keep stopping, looking back over land that spans a lifetime, the pauses make the climb seem easier for a moment.  I can catch my breath, see where I’ve been and trace my footsteps with certainty.  I look backwards towards the horizon and see some things with a clarity never realised.  Some familiar landmarks look totally insignificant from this viewpoint – funny, I thought they were monumental.  Each step forward is uncertain and tiring but it’s physically impossible to rush.  The ground is unfamiliar and I have no idea how far I have to go until I’m ‘there’.  I have no idea where ‘there‘ is.  I wonder if I’ll recognise it.  I wonder how long it will take.  I wonder where the others are.  I wonder why I bother planning when the only certainty I have in life is this moment – this breath, this minute.  I wonder what I’m doing.  I pause to breathe deeply, sucking in the silence before turning back to the path before going on.  I try not to look to far ahead, just take one step at a time – “When walking, just walk” I hear my Zen-voice say.  I still wish you were here.

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