via Daily Prompt: Trance


American Artist James Turrell’s installation (in the garden) at the National Gallery in Canberra, opened to the public in 2010. Lyn and I visited it in 2014. The work, a stupa,  is titled “Within-Without” and has a window in the ceiling to the sky, it is surrounded by water, and when you sit inside you can hear a gentle whisper travel round the wall. According to Turrell his work is about light. Turrell wanted to affect the way we see the sky, but we found it much more than that. We found it entrancing, and indeed Lyn is in a sort of trance or meditation as I took this photo. It was one of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting the gallery.


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The Wonder of Whales

While on our road trip we took time out on the Nullabor to go to the whale watch centre. It was well worth the effort. The centre is owned by the local indigenous community who  have utilised funding to make the boardwalks, viewing decks and facilities. There is a research centre nearby, sadly not open to the public.

The video below is of one of nine mothers with calves, this one has a white calf (which is not unusual) which will probably darken as it matures.

I find whales fascinating, Lyn named it when she said mystical, that connected for me. They communicate in a variety of ways, especially that high frequency sound they make, they play, they clearly nurture their young, there’s a warmth and an unknown. In a way research is important and helps us to understand nature that we might better care for our fellow travellers, but something in me wants them to remain mystical.


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My Country



I was never one for rote learning, too much of a free spirit I preferred to recall what actually moved me. Cept for this gem which dug in deep into my psyche, and remains lodged there. MacKellar wrote this while revisiting England and feeling homesick for Australia, and this poem is a rebuttal of her friend’s assumption that England was better. MacKellar responds without acrimony and draws on why she loves Australia rather than why she doesn’t write of England. In my personal view I prefer this to the bilge that is the pseudo 19th century hymn we have as a national anthem that only speaks in an English voice. Just saying.

My Country (Dorothea MacKellar)

The love of  field and coppice

Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.


great words,


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Solitary, just another binary?


There’s always a positive and a negative in western thinking, a constant binary approach, this or that, right or wrong, black or white. Solitary once carried a greater positive sense of wholeness. To be alone can be a very positive thing, a time of deep reflection, integration and working with the data that inevitably comes from relationships and community. In fact, as one of my favourite authors, Parker Palmer, puts it, we can be community and solitary at the same time, an integrated approach to being whoever, as self, in the midst of community, and without denying others. Attending to self is vital and not at all selfish, if we don’t attend to self we become destructive to self and to others, so that community fares better when we do attend to self, and we become more whole as a result. To be solitary, to have solitude in the midst of community and life in general is to live with the eternal paradox that we need both self and others, and at the same time.IMG_2373

Back in 2014 I went on a bush walk in a conservation reserve at Chowerup, it was a time of deep inner conversation about my future direction and why, at the time, I felt blocked in moving forward. I was the the one who needed to set myself free and acknowledge that I was blocking myself and the solitary walk helped me to come to some clarity on this fact. Others had tried to point out the same in advice and solution giving, but it was all white noise to me until I was able to take the voice of community and and also self and reflect for a while. Solitude is healthy while grounded in community.


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We set out on a journey one spring day. We unfurled the tarp to reveal a labyrinth, a journey of reflection, meditation, prayer, confrontation, consolation, nothing binary, just life in the mix. Solitude in community as we walked together. For some there was ease, others had to wrestle, for some there was resolution, for others a waiting, but in the silence something was spoken. A walk of life as it is, living what is inside on the outside. The journey to the center, the going in and the coming out by the very same path, but leaving something in that center, without judging. The rhythm of the walk the turns, the straights, the pauses, all spoke in their own way through our bodies.

The tarp was unfurled – but then so were we, our souls unfolded and set free in the moment.


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Daily Prompt: Grainy

via Daily Prompt: Grainy


Sandstone layers at Ormiston Gorge in the West McDonnells, grainy, and also each individual piece of sandstone is grainy, as sandstone characteristically is. Wonderful to run your hands along and to feel the grainy nature of the sand and know that it is ancient. Something about how we are so young and fresh, and this grainy rock is so wise and ancient, ever present, unwaivering and strong, silent yet speaking.



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Days on the Road 20

We arrived home on Sunday, August 13. We had a lay day on Monday as we unpacked, washed and generally reaquainted ourselves with what we call home. But today, Tuesday 15 we had to get the camper van back to Apollo in Perth. If any of you watch Top Gear, you might well remember the Hilux named “unbreakable” which survived dropping, blowing up and the ocean among many things. Ours, being an Apollo with the number plate 130VTS, became the “Indestructable Apollo 13” Hilux. Great vehicle, great drive and a wonderful home for three weeks of our lives. Yes – we’d do it all again, and with our friends Geoof and Su. In fact looking forward already to the next venture.

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