Tag Archives: Augusta

Our Peregrinations

Amble – Word of the Day

Amble On …

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Deepdene, between Hamelin Bay and the Augusta lighthouse, the water worn rock is a fabulous site as you come around the bend on the Cape to Cape Track.

 

 

Our Peregrinations

Once you said we should go
out beyond the cliffs,
down to the beach
and restore our senses.

We strolled,
clambered,
seeking.
All the while rejoicing.

We dared to tread seaweed
al dente, or crisp.
Feasted on moist salt air,
and drank in the shimmer of the sea.

We skirted the edges of foamy wash,
then paddled,
immersing,
retreating once again.

We laughed,
we traded soul.
Invited to each other,
surrendered.

That afternoon along the shore
we navigated love,
immersing, never retreating,
washed, found, and whole.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, Country, life, love, nature, romance

Take Courage

Exposure – Word of the DayIMG_0134.jpg

Augusta, the town jetty, and Blackwood River rising.

Fortunately we had raincoats and we knew the rain was coming, but nonetheless, with the wind whipping the rain along, and the cold air pressing in, we felt more than a little exposed. But, because we were prepared we enjoyed the walk. The tide was very high as predicted by the Weather Bureau. There was also a lot of flow from up-river after three major rain bearing fronts have been through and local flooding was expected. You can’t tell from the photo but the timber decking of the jetty looked as if it was floating as the water was touching the underside. We haven’t seen it like that for a while.

Weather exposure can be very serious, hypothermia or sunstroke, the risks are great if you’re not prepared. Preparation means covering up, sunblock, hats, raincoats, warm clothes, appropriate footwear. So that whatever the weather we put on what is necessary to be comfortable and to protect ourselves. However, we know not to wear winter gear in summer and vice versa, and usually we’re good at that.

We’re not so good with emotional exposure. We’re trained, or we train ourselves, to overprotect, and sometimes we wear the wrong emotional gear, like using the mask of happiness to cover depression, or the mask of confidence to cover fear. Rarely do we let others in, we become invulnerable, strong, a veritable fortress. Yet the best possible way forward, the only true way to wholeness is to trust others with our inner world. Of course, it goes without saying, you don’t grab a megaphone and announce your life to the world, but there are people in our lives we can talk to, take off our masks, and be vulnerable with.

As Brene Brown has said many times, in our society vulnerablity, to be exposed, is to be seen as weak. Brown counters this with “vulnerability is our greatest measure of courage.” Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” It is an opening of the self to another, whereby empathy becomes the healing counterpoint or the supportive staging point, depending on what we are going through. Brown’s research is thorough, and in it she discovered that every courageous act was underpinned by vulnerability. That tells me that we can only really flourish when we are able to speak our truth and take off our masks and be real with others, then we are whole and not just pieces or segments. The fortress life may serve us well but to really floursih we need to let the drawbridge down from time to time, otherwise we not only defend ourselves against the outsider, we imprison ourselves from the world. I’d rather be open than be a captive! Take courage.

cherry tree winter bare
cold has stunted many new buds
the wild branch has fruit

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature, psychology, quote, self-development

Unscheduled Schedule

Serendipity – Word of the Day

 

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Sarge Bay, Augusta, storm coming in.

Chaos Theory would say that for every apparent moment of chaos there’s an underlying pattern. Science would say that serendipity is logically explainable. Calvinists would err towards a predestination, others destiny and fate. Some confuse it with spontenaity, perhaps serendipity is spontenaity but I think it is something different, for me serendipity has no particular agency.

Storms come and go, they appear random, we know that for every element of nature there is an action, reaction process, there is an explanation. Storms appear because they are a reaction to pressure fronts meeting, here it is usually cold front meets warm front, winds and rains ensue. A reliable pattern attested to by the weather reports. But perhaps the timing, the position, the intensity are more random.

When we lived on the farm, we would often look out across the valley and watch a rainbearing front coming in from the west, it would drop maybe 1 – 2 inches on our place, yet a property down the road might be dry – nothing. The next time we might get nothing and the property down the road might get 1 – 2 inches. Rain is patchy at best, never consistent across a front. Rain may be patterned by the pressure system, but within that pattern there are random moments where rain doesn’t fall equally, where the wind squalls vary, where hail is inconsistent. A normal abnormality! Thunder and lightning would be another example.

Storms aside, love is perhaps the greatest example. Not withstanding hormones, the what, who and when of love are serendipitous. Love, true love, is interrupted planning, disrupted expectation, blindsided hope, deranged logic.

“When love becomes logical, it dies. When affection is timed, it no longer exists. When bliss is scheduled, no after-thought can bring it back. Now is the only time for serendipity, for synchronicity, for joy.” (Amy Larson/AmyJalepeno.com) All the romcoms, TV shows like Friends, are testimony to serendipity, that the best laid plans all come undone every time, and the unplanned becomes the real. Perhaps love itself is serendipity. I like to think so.

“She was forever unexpected and I was drunk on that about her.” Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird.’ (Harper Lee)

snow covers the ground
stark are the barren branches
one blossom smiling

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Together

Plethora – Word of the Day

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Augusta, the beach near Skippy Rock.

A plethora Black Nerita (Nerita atramentosa) a type of Mollusc or sea snail, lining the beach. Tough little shells, but such tender contents, surrendered to the ravages of tide and sun, or predators. Somehow, though they are a common and certainly not a beautiful shell, together en mass they make an eyecatching vista along the shore, one that pleases the eye and draws you to them. Wrecked, faded, empty, but yet varied, together a canvas of colour.

A single shell might go unnoticed, but no one could ignore a multitude. Together their faded, ordinary selves become something else, something to behold. Together there is a strength never achieved alone. What is singularly ordinary with many becomes a spectacle. As we approached this section the shells stood out boldly, and we stood for some time taking it all in.

It’s an analogy that works for me, the idea of being imperfect, a little broken, some faded, all different. That if we apply that to humanity, it works. Individually we are fine, but together we can be more, our colour shows, we are stronger, varied yet one in some ways. We complement each other, enable each other, provoke and challenge, support and carry at times. And we too are sometimes empty, broken, a little faded. Life can be awesome, but it can also be flat at times, and it can be painful too. Community doesn’t have to be clautrophobic, cloying, or homogenous. Like the shells that line the beach we can line each other’s lives with connection, closeness, time, support and more. Together we bring out each other’s colour.

sole black nerita
faded, empty, washed up
now we shimmer blue

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature

Into The Mystical

Mystical – Word of the Day

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The Blackwood River, Augusta, looking north east, one of my mystical places.

Mysticism comes from thε Greek root of μυω, which means to conceal. Mysticism crosses every religious boundary and belief system. That which is mystical is hidden. In the great debates about God from a Christian point of view there is the mystic view that God is both knowable and unknowable at the same time, that as such, there are elements of God that are visible, definable, but that mostly, God is concealed and unknowable.

Many have pursued mystical experiences. Aliester Crowley (1875 – 1947) was one of the most famous occultists of the twentieth century, trying to make connection with a world beyond. Carlos Castaneda trained as a shaman and explored mescalin using peyote as a mystical experience, inspired by the Toltec. Timothy Leary went with the synthetic drug LSD. There are trance groups, fasting practices, musical experiences, ritual practices and more. True tantra, like Tibetan Tantra, was only ever a form of meditative practice whereby the delay of orgasm and the control of orgasm is said to increase ecstatic experience, but for the purpose of prayer and meditation (and should not be confused with “Californian tantra” as I call it, or with Hindu left hand practices). Kabbalah originated as a Jewish mysticism, but now has non-Jewish paths as well. A number of celebrities have dabbled in Kabbala from Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna.

In the third and fourth centuries Christian men and women from Israel, Jordan, Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa went in droves into the deserts to develop a communal and contemplative life. And from John Cassian to Theresa of Avilla, to Thomas Merton, a few Christians became mystics, seeking the unknowable God.

I think the unknowable attracts, and we pursue it, partly to make it known, to unravel the mystery, to bring the hidden into full view, in the main, to experience what is concealed. Most of the writings of mystics that I have read reaffirm that God, Other, the divine, is unknowable, but that in the journey of mysticism, there is connection, ecstasy, love, wholeness, union and more.

For me any sense of the divine comes more through nature and the contemplative. The photograph shows a familiar walking space I take in, some days it is beautiful, some days it just is, but always it evokes a sense of mystery, of the divine in some way. There is something about certain places that does that for me. Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Elachbutting Rock, Boranup Forest, and more, are places that move me deeply, places where I sense an otherness beyond myself or other people. I have felt ecstasy in these places, I have been overcome with joy, they can be erotic (in the pure, emotive sense) experiences, I have experienced deep inner stillness, and sometimes a confusion of feelings rushing in all at once. Such things tell me I am more open in these spaces, yet I also know that my openness is also because I sense something more. This for me is the mystical.

As Van Morrison wrote in his song “Into the Mystic” – “Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.”

I stand in silence
mystical nature envelops
the heron smiles

©Paul Cannon

Van Morrison “Into The Mystic”

 

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under Alt-Religion, bush walking, Country, Haiku, life, meditation, mindfulness, music, Philosophy/Theology, quote, religion, Spirituality

A Friend

Introduce – Word of the Day

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I hardly need to introduce Augusta, and this particular part, the Blackwood River, as it is a constant reference in my writing. It is my favourite place and our true home. I first came here with a close mate, Nigel, in 1981 on a sudden whim, the same road trip which ended in meeting lyn, who would later become my wife. Lyn and I ended back here on our honey moon road trip in 83. And for nearly every year after we brought the kids for the summer holidays. Finally, we knew we wanted to live here so we eventually bought our home here, a place where we feel at peace, and where we feel that affinity with nature and community. This shot is the jetty where the river walk begins to pass the shire caravan park, and looks across the Blackwood to East Augusta. We were on a walk, as we regularly do, and I just loved the winter clouds and how the light played with them and the water, and the colour tones were unusual to the eye, hence the photo.

To return to the theme of affinity with nature, I find that my contemplative stance is richer in nature. I also experience nature as a soul friend, one who awakens my eyes, my heart to the deeper things, a spititual awareness, and one where I begin to feel more whole. Here my senses are engaged and I feel stimulated. Here I am content. so in that sense, I’m introducing you to my friend.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.” Gary Snyder.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, life, mindfulness, nature

Broken Mornings Restore

Broken

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Morning had broken. Post sunrise at Augusta. You can see the plume of smoke on the horizon from the controlled burn. This was the day before the storm across the southern half of the state last week, which is traditionaly the break of season. We now move from autumn to winter.

With every sunrise I think of that old hymn ‘Morning Has Broken’ and it has stuck in my mind ever since I heard Cat Stevens popularize it. Stevens included it on his 1971 album ‘Teaser and the Firecat.’ As a single it charted at number 6 in the US according to Billboard, and number 9 in the UK. It was on the radio for weeks. The wonderful piano that makes it so great was devised by Rick Wakeman in conjunction with Stevens.

I like to take time to watch the sunrise, sunset, the stars, the change in the sky, just to soak up the moments. In another sense, the sky and all its gifts are part of the rhythm of life. The sun’s movements are the bookends of each day, but also a reminder that each day is enough in itself, that to live is to live in the moment and not in any other day. The irony is, that if we do live in the moment, we build a capacity, a strength that helps protect us from breaking. Living in the moment is letting go, nurturing grattitude, accepting the elements of the day, reaching out to others, sharing love, touching the joy that is somewhere in us and perhaps needs intentionally drawing out. Besides, worrying never changes the outcome anyway!

I believe that each new day is a new opportunity, a new experience, and a new horizon, by which we have a fresh start and new opportunities to explore. And, as the song says, each new day begins, like the first one. There is a rhythm of life, it is a gift, it is faithful, it is there for us to be in.

Two of my favourite quotes about living in the now:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” Maya Angelou

And of course the song – an earworm for your day 🙂

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under Country, life, mindfulness, music, nature, quote

Blackwood Seasons

Photo Challenge

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In this place there are a number of songs that seem to pop up fro time to time, one is the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” with that wonderful line “Turn off your mind relax and float down stream …” On so many levels that is applicable in this place, the Blackwood River, Augusta.

Blackwood Seasons

Time softens, flattens, slows,
the blade a pleasing splosh and slurp
as we glide the water,
Dolphins at the bow, Whiting below.
There are memories here
of life seasons.
Kairos, time within time.

My footfall feeling the earth
as we weave the trails.
Either the softness of green,
or the crackle and crunch of the dry.
Blind ends, bends that beckon,
stumps covered in moss and lichen.
The granite is unyielding.

Light plays across the leaves
and bathes the bush in a warm palette
that pleases my eyes,
in reality my mind;
though it really is my heart.
Surely, it is my heart.

Birdsong pushes through 
the whispering breeze,
the leaves as triangles and tibrels,
the bough as cello.
Though I hear a kangaroo in the distance, 
I cannot see it,
nor the scuttling ghekkos and skinks.

The rain.
Of course the rain, petrichor abundant.
And rivulets forming little creeks
running home to big sister and brother.
I relax.
Iam home,
I am in my place in the world.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, kayaking, life, poetry

My Favorite Place

via Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Augusta, the place where two oceans meet near a river mouth, and where heaven touches earth.

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Above; Early Morning from the deck, looking east across the Blackwood River, and the Southern Ocean beyond.

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Above: The Southern Ocean, and part of our routine has been to walk this beach as part of a loop.

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Above: The Blackwood River, not far from the river-mouth, and this is part of our regular walking route.

Augusta is my favourite place. Although it would be true to say, I have many fave places, but Augusta would be top of the list. It’s not where I work, and I’m not yet living there full time, but we have renovated an older more compact house to be our next step, and later, into retirement. We fell in love with Augusta 35 years ago when we spent some time here on our honeymoon. And we returned regularly over the years for family holidays, eventually being able to afford to buy a house and renovate it. We work about 1.5 hours away and so we come down for our days off and holidays etc. It is my fave place because it has bush walks, river walks biking and kayaking, ocean and beach, forest. The flora and fauna are magnificent, the views are great – restful and restorative. It is a small community and relatively. For us it is a place of happiness, and where we can be creative too.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, boats, bush walking, community, Country, life, nature

Conversant With Nature?

via Daily Prompt: Conversant

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One of my favourite places, the main beach at Augusta, clean, pristine, and great for everyone. There are dune protection programs, a series of specified paths, signs about protecting the Sand Pipers who breed there, and also for the possums too. The State govt recently imposed a ban on plastic shopping bags, and the community are supportive of that goal. The problems are few here, mainly the threat of bushfire, or the one or two people who flout the accepted behaviour for using the beach, river, or the forest trails.

I may not be fully conversant with all things environmental science, but I do feel conversant with nature, for me there is a sentience, a relationship with all beings. The result of that sense of relationship is more than just awe for nature, I have a respect for and desire to engage with nature. The interdependent relationships we survive with and thrive on are finely balanced and require care and attention. Any loss is more than just regrettable, it is permanently damaging, and in some cases, cataclysmic. Plastic islands in the ocean, plastic sand (grains of plastic) in the Mediterranean, marine and terrestrial creatures bound or damaged by fabrics, salinity, air pollution, and more, are a major concern.

As we continue to battle human rights and have made sweeping changes in some areas of human rights, it seems that we are not yet conversant with the rights and needs of nature across the world. Time is short, and nature needs us to be conversant with its needs now and its future. The irony is, the UN are in dialogue over space law, especially the treatment of the Mars environ by the Mars One team, yet we haven’t really ironed out a binding agreement on earth that gives nature a voice of its own. Ecuador has already stepped up (in 2014) and shown the way: “We the people assume the authority to conduct and Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction, which violate the rights of nature.” (Prosecutor for the Earth at the first International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Quito, Ecuador, January 2014). A sign of hope.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, Country, environment, life, nature, Restorative Justice, Science