Introduce – Word of the Day
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.
via Daily Prompt: Agile
Redbank Gorge was worth the short scramble, but I’m not as agile as I once was, although, in my head I’m still in my twenties 😀, but I’m definitely not fragile! As a child my parents took us on country walks. And my friends and I would sneak off for escapades in the surrounding countryside collecting tadpoles or frogs, chasing fish or floating leaves in streams. As I grew older it became more about nature as an interest in itself. And later still, I understood nature to be integral to my spirituality, something our whole family shares to some degree. Whether it is a serious trail hike or a simple bush walk I feel whole and nurtured in the bush, and I do anything to make it happen, agile or not. It’s not about the conquest or possession of nature, it’s about emersion and relationship.
via Daily Prompt: Penchant
Music,chocolate, red wine, a definite penchant for these and more, but my real penchant is the bush. It’s where I’m most whole, where I’m most centered, where I feel I can breathe, body, mind and spirit. I find the bush deeply moving and deeply spiritual. For me it is a relational thing, this living breathing stuff is part of me and I am part of it. It is also one of my muses, and it gets my creative juice flowing. A day in the bush, a week on a trail, camping, bush walking, whatever, restorative and energising.
When I was in primary school poetry and times tables had to be memorized, tests and assesments of memory were to be had. Every Friday there was an oral times table test for the whole class, and poetry had to be presented each term. ‘My Country’ was one poem I enjoyed memorizing. Another was Coleridge’s ‘The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner.’ Sunday School brought memory verses and nativity plays to memorize. Scouts brought a whole range of memorizing from the national anthem to knot formations.
But as I have aged it is less important to memorize things like numbers and poetry, knots or scripts (with the exception of the ubiquitous password). The things I have treasured and committed to memory without even trying are moments with people. As we approach Fathers Day in Australia I am particularly conscious of the hole my late father left when he died the age I am about to become. But, that hole is somehow whole through memory, or re-membering, the putting him back together.
He was a simple man, a coal miner who struggled in school, survived the blitz, he had his hopes and dreams, wife and children, a home. But he was also a frustrated man, an angry man, and many times his fists formed what he thought of the world and spoke directly to each one of us. And yet amidst the terror of physical threat, there were times of joy, celebration, play, holidays, excitement. Memories are what they are.
They were the best of days and the worst too, but I am glad I have my memories of dad to treasure, and ponder, to reflect on for myself. For me, memorizing moments and people are about my wholeness, my path, and I am glad to walk with them.
Which bit of you do we see? Do you have compartments that you carefully show to the world in different contexts, to different groups? Sometimes we are merely slices of ourselves offered carefully for show. How many of us have the courage to be ourselves wherever we are and with whoever? I was struck by Courtenay Martin’s (Journalist and author, founder of Feministing, appeared at PopTech 2014, On Being 2014) comment that we need to “show up.” In other words we need to have the integrity to be ourselves, to be whole (though recognising that we’re incomplete, a work in progress). So that the world gets all of us, and not just a slice, and so that we don’t get caught in endless machinations to present a slice, a compartment of ourselves. There’s something healthy about being whole.