Tag Archives: compassion

The Noise of Silence

via Daily Prompt: Noise


Nightfall just south of Marla (South Australia) so peaceful, the silence is powerful.

I often think of noise differently. I often hope my silence is noisy, as a sense of presence, a calm, so that my silence shouts to the world – there is another way. I was once in a contemplative space and someone interrupted the silence some of us were enjoying, and I quipped, sarcastically, “Is my silence interrupting your noise?” Sometimes silence isn’t noisy enough to grab other people’s attention so that they can see it, feel it, and know it. There are times I hope it is an example, as we say of meditation, we hope our non-reactive silence is helpful and calming. Remember the old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.”

With the noise of deadlines, electronica, health issues, discord, celebrations, shopping centres, busy roads, bustling streets, the jarring noises of life can be debilitating, energy sapping. But silence is a worthy noise. Silence is a contempative stance, a space to claim against the heft of noise, and a place to rejuvenate. It is pleasant work, and it is work because you have to work hard to make the time for silence, and to stick at it. But is work that is deeply invested in your health, body, mind and soul.

And silence is the only space in which we can meaningfully hold ourselves and others with an ear to empathy and compassion. I personally find my reflective and contemplative practices increase my ability to empathise, and to compassionately engage with others. For me an investment in silence is the best noise to engage with.




Filed under life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, self-development, Spirituality

Steam Punk Costume

via Daily Prompt: Costume


(Photo: i.pinimg.com Maria Berseneva Photography)

Steam Punk is a sub-genre of science fantasy/science fiction, but is more commonly referred to as speculative fiction. It combines 19th century art and design forms, clothing in particular, with elements of steam powered machinery, and other mechanics of that era. It is, in short, a design aesthetic. Steam Punk proposes an alternative 19th century history, and is therefore anachronistic,  often set in Victorian England or the “Wild West”of America. Its philosophy is a combination of Victorian industrial progress and the hope of the 19th century art and literature. There’s a slogan that is used in Steam Punk circles – “This is what the past would have looked like if the future had happened sooner.”

It has been used in film, ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, ‘Wild, Wild West’, ‘Van Helsing’, ‘Hellboy.’ There are elements in the historical episodes of Dr. Who, and in the literature of Jules Verne

As with Cyber Punk and Cosplay, the costumes are a matter of personal taste and design.

I love the creativity of those engaged with the costumery, it fires the imagination, and I can see its appeal. I could look at this stuff for hours.

But my Steam Punk wouldn’t be Steam Punk, nor would it be a romanticised version of some era, though it would be a combination of eras and hopes, and therefore framed idealistically. My alternative history would be based around eschewing violence, all violence, from sexual, to gender, to poltical, playground (not sure if there’s a difference there), domestic, class, environmental, and well, violence. I want to see creative costumes of compassion, respect, care, inclusion and integrity. I want industrial strength love of all kinds. I want costumes that shout justice and mercy.

Johnny it's Rotten
punked, but not forgotten
the blossom weeps





Filed under art, community, history, life, Philosophy/Theology


via Daily Prompt: Suspicious


One of Orwell’s famous lines in ‘1984’ “Big Brother is watching you” is the classic ‘art imitating life’ become life itself in a macabre twist.

Fear rules, and in several of our recent federal advertising campaigns, citizens were urged to report anything suspicious to the authorities. All aimed at refugee and imigrant groups, well let’s be honest, Muslims, and their behaviour, because you never know when they might try to enact a terrorist attack. Which reminds me – out of the eight supposedly terrorist incidents reported here in the media, three were found to have substance, and two tragically lead to death (notably, mental ilness was the significant factor and not religion or politics, and certainly not “terrorism”).

Minimizing crime and destruction is a good thing, but there will always be places where you can’t get a clear CCTV picture, or where the dots in an investigation can’t be joined. We have beome focussed on eradicating threat, and in essence we are really trying to nulify death itself, we are pop-insurance junkies. Yes, prevention is a positive ideal, but it isn’t a guarantee or a cure all.

My concern is that we are losing our focus. Feeding suspicion is divisive and destructive in its own way. We need to check our suspicion, what is the driving fear, the motive? Who is driving it? Who stands to gain?

Instead we need to build trust not division. Besides, a trusting community will be stronger than a suspicious community; it will develop an oppenness, a trust, respect and strong bonds, compassion and cooperation, and it will develop resiliance, so that when tragedy does occur, there is a strength to face it together, and not in fear.





Filed under community, life, Philosophy/Theology, politics

Born to be Mild

via Daily Prompt: Mild


Well, back in the day, 1969, these were considered wild. The Norton Comando 750, fast, stylish, reliable. But by today’s standards, well they’re a bit mild really, superceded by more modern, sleek, more powerful bikes. This bike has aged gracefully. Generally as things, or beings age they mellow, well, hopefully they do, who can maintain the rage, the anger of youth? Compassion is a better way, it reuses the passion of anger with/alongside others for the better. Born to be mild.




Filed under life, motorbikes

Seeking Assylum: A Christo-Judaic View (or part one)

From a Christo-Judaic view the notion of refuge has been vital for justice and for the health of community. Internally, the people of ancient Israel were instructed (God through Moses) to designate six cities of refuge for those who had slain another person (Pentateuch – Numbers 35). If the slayer/murderer could make it to the city of designated refuge they were reprieved from the death penalty so long as they remained within the refuge city’s walls. it was latterly taught in rabbinical schools that any town run by the Levites was to be considered a town of refuge but only the designated towns could not refuse or revoke a refugee. So, although this was particular to Israel, it stands as a principal of compassion and for all people because Israel was originally to be the model for other peoples on how to live in the light and love of God.

And there is the imperative from Leviticus 19.33 – 34, that the people of Israel were to treat any alien in the land as if they were their own family. The end of verse 34 is particularly significant because it reminds the people of Israel that they too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. As with ironic and prophetic poignancy the Holy Family were also to find refuge in Egypt! (doubly ironic given the state of affairs of the modern Middle East!).

The missionary Don Richardson working in West Papua or Irian Jaya discovered that in that culture there was provision for cities of refuge.

In Islam the refugee is also cared for irrespective of religion or culture. The Prophet Muhammad found refuge among the people of Madinah, and there are many historical anecdotes and historical records of acts of refuge for Muslims by others and by Muslims for people of all persuasions. Shari’ah Law (Pathway) also encourages the safety of aliens and refugees, and teaches that anyone seeking refuge in a Mosque or sacred place is to be given protection and hospitality. But it also goes further and and encourages people to designate their homes and civic buildings as places for refuge. in the Qur’an, Sura 9.6 (see also sura 8.72 ff., and 9.100, 117, among many) asks for pagans to be given refuge, and yes, in the hope they will also eventually find hope in Allah, but the refuge (Aman) must be given!

Whether you are religious or not isn’t the point, it is that in culture past, people found within themselves to look beyond self and even to make laws to protect people, especially those seeking refuge. and if you are prone to a cynicism (original meaning – to question) then it is not about how religion has clearly failed to honour its own teachings. The ideal still stands, can we reach it?

I reflect on that and find hope, hope for a world where we are less concerned for tribe and self and more concerned for building a community where care and compassion can be the foundation for a less negative world. Where the globe itself is a city of refuge.


Filed under Uncategorized