Blog June - 1st

So I am doing Blog June as a way of getting myself writing again.  It's been a while with other things really dominating my life of late.  Relationship changes, moves of city, new job etc etc etc.    I do like to write, so find it frustrating when I loose my mojo and somewhat demotivating when I post something and realise no one is really reading anyway.  So this month, I am writing for me.

I am having to reevaluate the things that have dominated my thinking over the past few years about what is important.  Major change does that I guess and we are all visited by it at certain times in our lives.  If we never do, I suspect life can be a bit of a sidewalk to the grave.  Also, we never improve if we don't examine who we are.  Even though that can be painful at times, I would rather do it than not, despite the consequences or outcomes.

In some ways I am feeling more grounded now than I have ever have.  Why is that? Is it age?  Is it the fact that I have moved myself, alone, to another city and am getting more me time?  Whatever it is, I am enjoying this time even though it is at once frightening and sometimes lonely.   Lonely can be good though.  Lonely means I have more time to play my uke and get better at an instrument.  Lonely, means I have more time to think about who I am.  Lonely, means that I am challenged to examine what it is that I enjoy and find those things, wherever they are.

I don't watch broadcast television, which means, living on my own, I don't turn that on to create noise and some company.  In fact, most of the time, my apartment is quiet with just the sound of me on the keyboard or ukulele, a miaowing cat and the occasional creak of a floorboard.  When I do have other noise it's some music or National Radio playing.  I do love the rich sound of the interviews and discussion and this is something I aspire to with my own podcasts.    I enjoy a life without television adverts and indeed Paul Henry.

Music dominates my life and always has.  I am finding being in a new city without a band challenging.  The camaraderie, the performance, the sounds you make together all go to making a brilliant experience.   The Comfy Chairs were a brilliant experience and I could not have hoped for a better foray into the world of being in a band.  I am rediscovering old music too through my CD collection and the blessing of Spotify and being able to revisit old albums which I have on vinyl but do not play.  The Jazz Butcher, David Sylvian, The Mockers, Tanita Tikaram, Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen to name but a few.

So, enough rambling, let's wait and see where this month goes.....

Blogging every day of June - Blog 30 - The end, or is it..????

And so here I find myself at the last day of June and the final every day of June blog.  It has been quite a ride and I have to admit I have enjoyed it far more than I thought. Although I do admit some nights it has felt like a chore, and I have just wanted to go to bed.  I am kind of sad my June experience is over.  I have found the experience very cathartic and feel my writing is now freer than it has ever been.  The sheer experience of making myself write every day and the intellectual process that goes into writing a blog has been great for me creatively. I was musing tonight with colleagues from around the country, about what I was going to write about and what I would do next.  Many ideas were flying around for my final blog for June, many from me, but not all.  However, I have decided that I will just finish with a few observations about the month and my blog journey.

  1. It's not easy to try an keep it fresh and blog every day.  The temptation is there to fall into a formula or write drivel about anything just to fill space.  I hope that I did not do that.
  2. Writing when you are tired is so hard.  Your brain cannot open itself up as well and it really can be quite painful
  3. Blogging can be very cathartic and I found myself constantly having to walk the line between sharing and over sharing
  4. Even one positive comment, makes the time you spent writing all the more worthwhile

So with that, I think I will call June to a close.  However, I have decided to keep on blogging.  This is a purely selfish decision, I love the experience and the way my writing is changing.  Hopefully though, at least 1 or 2 people will continue to read my missives when they come and hopefully I will continue to enjoy the writing and sharing.

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 29 - Fads and things I love

So, a few days back I said I would cover fads and things I love in the coming days.  Well, I just realised of course, that back on day 1 of this epic journey of monthly blogging, I mentioned my tendency to go with fads.  As such, I don't know what else I should write here on that topic.  I tend to get very enthused about something and I tend to want to do things well and full on.  This can lead to a desire to buy the best tool to do the job with (why buy the $100 thing, when the $300 will make you do it better surely).  Also, it means I am all about something for a while, but then when my interest wains, or when something else comes along, it can be the end of that particular passion for me.  In truth, I think I took the same approach to relationships when I was younger.  Thankfully, I am past that time in my life.  It was tiring for me, and certainly not the best for those who I was in a relationship with. All this said, I look at every fad in my life as something which has left an imprint on me.  That has grown my knowledge and experience and made me a more rounded person and given me joy.  I know that at any moment, I can make some cheese, start a sourdough, preserve some fruit or make a jam etc.  When spending time with the children of friends I can take them on the journey of making bread from scratch.  They can see the flour, water and yeast come to life, work it with their hands and produce the wonderful warmth and flavour of their own home made bread.  Any fad in the world is worth that joy :-)

This flows nicely onto things I love I guess.  Because I do love that.  I love that almost primal hearth bound feeling of knowing you are in some way connecting not only with natures primary ingredients and creating something, but also with the many generations that have gone before us and relied on this stuff for not only their lives but often their livelihood.  On many levels the kitchen and concept of hearth is important to me.  A few years ago, when visiting Salem, Mass, the home of "witchcraft", we visited the House of the Seven Gables.  A truly magnificent house, I was also struck by the wonderful kitchen, placed in the centre of the house.  The place where food and warmth was created and where a lot of the "living" occurred.

I often find myself at an interesting tension though, because as those who know me well will attest, I am very technology focused.  This blog, stands as a testimony to to that I guess.  I adore shiny gadgets and I enjoy the difference they have made to our lives in terms of how we communicate with the world, interact with each other and gather information.  This is not very traditional but I love how we can bring these two worlds together.  How the internet and the "shiny gadgets" can be brought together to expose the wonderful things people still do and are discovering again.  You only have to look at the plethora of baking and gardening blogs that have sprung up over the past few years to see that in action.  Have a look at this site Desperate Anglo Housewives : Bordeaux for what I think is a good example.  Susie is a friend of mine, who I met many years ago and have only recently reconnected with.  She is from Auckland and now lives with her French husband in Bordeaux.

I love things that are not and indeed people who are not, quite ordinary.  Things with quirk, people who are not following the path but making their own path.  This world can be a trial at the best of times, and it can become an unforgiving march from cradle to the grave if we are not aware.  I like people who are determined to take chances and forge their existence.  Again, this is an interesting tension for me, because I can not claim to have always lived this.  Yet I hope I am brave and wise enough now to understand this and how I might continue to strive to be happy and fulfilled professionally and personally and not just settle for what seems easy.

I love Music.  Music gets a capital M :-)  Music left an indelible mark on me at around age 14 and I have never looked back.  Music gives me hope, inspires me, takes my breath away, makes me tearful, laugh out loud and desire to create.  Sometimes that is all in the same album.  I guess I should say, that when I say music I talk of both music and lyrics in some cases.  The amazing ability of some people to take the word and tune and create a masterpiece which brings your soul to a standstill.  When I listen to The Beatles back catalogue and marvel at their ability to write so many great songs.  Their ability to write so many complete albums and to create listening experiences which to this day, nearly 50 years later still leave me in wonder.   I often find myself sitting listening, smiling and thinking about what I would not give to write just one song as great as their worst.

Of course it does not stop with The Beatles.  The 80's were huge for me and so many bands from that era still bring me great joy.  The 70's, 90's and today....  I sound like a radio promo....

I, of course, am also a singer.  I have been a bit quiet of late, with work and a few things getting in the way, but this is about to change again.  Working with Nick on material is reminding me how much I am excited by the possibility of singing and performing. About how the experience of taking other peoples songs and delivering them and hopefully, eventually, in creating my own again brings me joy.  If you have not seen it, or heard me sing, check out this clip on YouTube

There are so many other things I love too, and I could go on and on.  I love living in Auckland right now.   It really is a stunning city in many ways, and we are blessed with our proximity to the water.  I love the fact that my life is filled with many creative people.  People who I might not always agree with or understand, but who inspire me, encourage me, make me laugh and remind me life is about more than the day to day.  And of course lastly, I love my partner Kat.  She gives me the room to be me and encourages me.  I may not always be good at showing her that, but hopefully she sees enough of it day to day.

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 27 - iPhone

My iPhone keeps rebooting itself.  This is not a good sign.  I have been hoping that I can wait till the iPhone 5 comes out later this year before I upgrade, but the frequency of the reboots are worrying me.  I have to say, I cannot image life without a smartphone and the iPhone is my handset of choice.  Fingers crossed that I can get it to behave itself and eek a few more months out of it.

Blogging every day of June - Blog 26 - Money (or possibly greed)

MoneyIt's a crime Share it fairly But don't take a slice of my pie Money So they say Is the root of all evil today But if you ask for a raise It's no surprise that they're giving none away

Money - Pink Floyd

 

I decided I wanted to cover this topic, because I have a love/hate relationship with money.  Love/hate because I love the fact that with it I can buy things I like and I like things.  I like in particular technology and let's face it that does not get developed without money and you certainly need it to acquire it.  Yet, I hate the fact that some have it and some don't, and that in many cases this is not the fault of those who don't and in many cases those who do are not evil doers cheating the have nots out of their right to have.  Man that is a sentence and a half!

I have a strong social conscience, and that means that on many levels I have a desire to help those less fortunate than myself.  Yet, I have no desire to help those who plainly do not want to help themselves.  Also, I have no desire to give to the point of my own poverty.  A true follower of Christs teachings I am not.  In fact as we have already covered in an earlier blog, I am not a follower of Christ at all.  However, we don't need to go down that track again.

I fundamentally cannot abide a right leaning government and even a centre right one, such as we appear to have in the form of National in NZ, makes me feel uncomfortable.  At their heart, is not a care for all members of society or a desire to ensure that the fundamental basis of our society is equity and fairness.  At their heart is a belief that by maximizing profits and ensuring growth, we will ensure a prosperous society and all will benefit.  Yet, mostly the rich will get richer.  This is not enough for me and indeed, from what we have all witnessed as a result of the Global Economic Melt Down, greed as a driver of the global civilisation leads only to corruption and those with the least to loose, losing the most in overal terms.  Bernie Madoff may be in prison and in theory penniless, but he deserves to be, the millions of investors who in some cases lost everything they had, did not ask to be left this way.

And yet here is where part of my conflictedness (sic) lies.  I would also argue, that on some levels it was the greed of the mum and dad investors leading them to believe that amazing returns on investment with low risk were possible that got us some of the way to the global crisis.  High returns, come from high risk unfortunately and I found myself with little sympathy for some people when that all turned to custard.  However, someone sold them that dream.  Someone led them to believe it was possible and in many cases the people who enabled this, walked away poorer but still wealthy.

Tax!  A subject that makes me hot under the collar and not because I don't like paying it.  I am not and have never been a supporter of the recent tax cuts in New Zealand.  The argument that people could choose what to do with the money they now had and that they would not be worse off holds no weight with me.  Too many people are short sighted and were willing to vote for a tax cut giving them $10 or $20 a week in the hand more, when the reality is the associated necessary cuts in social expenditure by the government and meant that they would spend far more than this personally making it up.  Also, for those of us who CAN afford to pay a bit more in taxes, why should we not, so that the people who need the government support that taxation allows, can get it.  I for one earn more than enough to support myself and be comfortable and I am happy to help ensure others have the necessary education, health care and whatever else they need.  Also, I am bright enough to realise that the collective power of the tax dollar can achieve more for me than I can do personally.  I don't need money for money's sake, but I do like to know I can be comfortable have my needs and desires, and if that leaves me with the ability to help others, then I am even happier for it.

So, dear old money.  I would not be without you and yet every day I feel conflicted about your place in my life and the world.  You can bring me comfort and agony all in one day......

 

How do you feel about money?

Blogging every day of June - Blog 25 - Jamming

A good afternoon today jamming with my friend Nick.  Exciting times ahead, with us forming a folk rock duo.  This may expand member wise but for now we are a duo.  We are starting by covering Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and James Taylor.  We are also covering Whiskey in the Jar.  It was our first time practicing together today and it went very well. A little too much wine tonight....

Blogging every day of June - Blog 24 - Tired

I am quite tired tonight, so I don't imagine anything earth shattering or funny coming out of this blog.  This really is just a thinly disguised attempt to fill a couple of paragraphs and produce a post.  Still, there really are no rules, just a desire to know that every day this month I did manage to get something down. I am actually very pleased with the way this month's blogging has been going.  It has done wonders for my ability to write and I find my thoughts translate to text much more easily now.  It is somewhat like doing morning pages, good for the creative soul I think and connecting ones thoughts.

There is less than a week to go now, and I guess what I do need to do is start to work out ahead what these last few days of June will be blogging wise.  Nothing like a bit of preparation to help with the content creation.  In the coming days I will cover the following:

  • fads
  • things I love
  • money

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 23 - Cats

So, I for some reason have 3 cats.  Well I know the reason.  The reason is because I love animals and also because I am a sucker.  But frequently (tonight being one of those occasions) I wonder WHY? I wonder why I have 3 cats because in the past 10 minutes I have had to get up 3 times to shut the lounge door that each of them has opened letting all the heat out of the room.  I wonder why I have 3 cats because apparently they even with their collective wisdom, and let's face it they are looking down on us, they can not work out how to close the door.

I wonder why I have 3 cats, because they have trained me to get up in the middle of the night to give them food.  They have trained me to give them food in the middle of the night, because if I don't they will not let me sleep and to give in seems the easier option.  I know they look at me and think "dumb arse" when I stumble down the hallway naked at 2.30am to pour some cat biscuits in the bowl.

I wonder why I have 3 cats, when one of them wont even let me touch him, and yet he has been with me for 11 years.  He refuses to talk to me all summer, then in winter will climb on the bed when I am asleep to steal my warmth.  Eye contact is not allowed and will lead to an immediate vacation of the room by him.  Thus, opening the door and letting all the heat out and let's not go there again.

I wonder why I have 3 cats when I find cat fur on my clothes, because I left them washed and folded in the laundry basket because I was too lazy to put them away.  I wonder why I have 3 cats when I find the clump of feathers in the kitchen and cannot find the rest of the body......

Tonight I wonder why I have 3 cats, and yet I know, I would not be without them...... Sucker!

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 22 - TV

Dramatic events in the household tonight. I was summoned to the lounge because Kat thought she had sat on the TV remote, managed to switch on Teletext with her arse (a bankable talent I would have thought), and had lost all reception.  Manager Digital Services to the rescue.  Well it is digital TV after all.  If it had been analogue, I of course would have been unable to assist.  I am yet to meet a Manager Analogue Services, but I am sure there is one out there somewhere. Anyway, I digress.  Have you tried rebooting I asked?  It is an old IT trick, which is the first answer to everything.  Of course she had, I was told.  Of course one cannot believe mere users when they try to convince you this has indeed happened, so I tried a hard reboot.  This is another IT trick, when you knowledgeably bypass the software driven reboot for the true and total power off.

Sadly, on this occasion, still no joy.  The little antenna signal blinked, telling me it was looking for a signal and not finding one.  Could all Freeview be out?  To the Twitter for a hopeful confirmation this was the case.  Alas, everyone else in the universe seemed to still be enjoying the Wednesday night TV, so it was just us. Next, desperate measures here, a quick check to make sure the bush had not grown in front of the dish again.  Nope, my recent pruning had not been undone yet.....

Only one option left, I went for the factory reset, but to no avail.  Check your dish is connected was the helpful on screen instruction.  So finally, unplug everything and plug it back in.  Kat had taken over by the stage.  She seemed unconvinced the Manager Digital Services was making any progress.  Plug it all back in and................... no power at all.  The decoder had well and truly shat itself.

So it looks like we will be getting a new decoder at some point.  Now the question is, can we survive without a TV for some weeks or maybe months?  We are looking at selling and buying a new house and the new house has a UHF aerial and no dish, so we would need a different kind of decoder.  But can we survive......

How much TV do you watch?  Could you survive for weeks or months without?

Blogging every day of June - Blog 21 - Sickness

Hello from the house of sickness.  Kat and I have both been ill for the past two days, and actually with independent illnesses.  Currently we have our fingers crossed that we don't cross pollenate. I actually have the constitution of an Ox (by Kat's description) so it is unusual for me to get sick.  I can go whole Winter without a cold of any substance.  Hopefully, this is my only lurgy this winter and if I manage to ge through without anything else, then I will consider I have got off lightly.    I have not had a Flu for 5 years!

What's your constitution like?  Do you dread winter or is it something you breeze through?

Blogging every day of June - Blog 20 - Self Doubt

Are you completely assured of who you are and your place in the world?  Do you live your life knowing that the choices you have made, positions you have gained, things you have accomplished are all because you are good at what you do, talented and deserving?  Well, if you have answered yes to any of these questions or heaven forbid all of these questions, then you are way ahead of me and many others. As I have gotten older, met more people and experienced life more, I have come to realise that many, if not most of the people I meet, experience some form of self doubt.  I am not sure whether this is the confidence of youth being replaced by the realities of life, or if it is just that you don't delve that deep and notice these things about others when you are younger.  But as I have travelled through my 30's and into my 40's I have become more aware of this in myself and those around me.

Mental illness certainly comes in to play with this for some people.  My life has an array of people with various clinically diagnosed illness's of this type and many of them suffer from doubts and anxiety.  However, for the vast majority of us, it is not clinical mental illness, but merely something we struggle with on a daily basis.  Something that confronts us when we risk failure or when we achieve something and immediately refuse to believe it can be true.  In a recent article from Psychology Today Karyl McBride notes:

Molly, age 38, recalls how she felt right after receiving her Ph.D.: "I actually wrote that damn dissertation, but believe me, I won't ever let anyone read it. I don't want anyone to see how dumb it sounds. It is amazing I got that degree. Maybe my field is a particularly easy one or the professors felt they had to pass me after all this time."

So why does this occur?  Why do sane, well rounded, successful individuals, routinely doubt their ability to be successful?  There seems to be a mirad of reasons why this occurs.  For some it is their upbringing, childhood experiences or in some cases trauma.  Conditioned from an early age to think that whatever we do is wrong. However, for some of us, there seems to be no real reason, other than the common human disposition to doubt oneself.  Maybe this is an inbuilt thing from the distant past, which was designed to make us doubt our abilities in situations that might be life threatening.  Sedentary and lets face it, safe lives, may mean this instinct is now forced to act in other areas of our lives?

Whatever the reason, I think our best ammunition against this is acknowledgement. This tendency can be paralyzing and stop people from being as successful as they could be.  Owning this tendency is a good step along the journey to mastering it and not letting it control our lives.  Also, I always believe that knowing you are not alone helps with anything.  So, if you are reading this, and nodding your head, welcome to the group :-)

For the full article by Karyl McBridge, go to http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201104/are-you-plagued-self-doubt

Blogging every day of June - Blog 19 - Aging

I was shaving last night, and remarking to myself about the amount of grey in my beard.  I don't shave clean, but rather trim down with a beard trimmer, to about 2 days growth.  Once I had finished shaving, and was looking at my stubble and the bits of grey in it, I was thinking about how I actually like the way I look these days and the effect of the gradual greying of me facial hair.  How I think I look better now than I did during my 20's and most of my 30's.  This got me thinking about aging in general. We take different paths in life and this is no different with aging.  I am still most intrigued when I meet people I knew years ago, and see how life has left its mark on them.  We all have run into the person who was so hot at 17, but at 35 or 40 is anything but.  I had the pleasure recently of running into a woman I went to school with who was a total babe at school, she looks quite different now, but has grown into a stunning mature woman.  This was actually amazing and lovely to see.

Personally, I have always appreciated the benefits that maturity and life brings.  At 28, I dated a 38 year old for around a year.  It was a great relationship for many reasons, but certainly for her, aging was something that was not a bad thing.  One of the reasons she was so attractive was she was a natural person, with a natural body which life was leaving its mark on and this made her more beautiful not less.

It is these things that come with age that I think we need to celebrate more. A décolletage with some age on it, the sun and life having left it's mark.  The hands that show the journey the body is on.  Lines on the face, each one telling a story and making the person more beautiful, the body more lived in.

I am thinking my next photographic project will be a Black and White celebration of aging.  I feel the more we can celebrate ourselves, our bodies and the beauty that living imparts on us all, the richer we are for it!

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 18 - What attracts you?

So what attracts you to someone?  Is it their mind.  Their smile?  Their sense of style?  Their face?  Are you a legs, breast, or bum person?  Attraction is an interesting topic and it is always fun talking to people and finding out who they find attractive and why. I am going to be honest and say that I myself find attraction in a combination of looks and personality.  I am first drawn to a person by something quirky in their look.  Something that makes them deeply attractive, but not in a conventional "beauty" sense.  I do like breasts and so that totally comes into the equation, don't stone me,  I am guy.

However, for the attraction to last, for it to be something other than fleeting lust, I need the person to have wit and a good intelligence.  I need to be able to talk with them about the world, about politics, the environment and for this conversation to be reasoned, well thought out and at times challenging.  I need to be able to laugh loudly, and for them to take the piss out of me and of situations.  If this last part is not there, it ain't gonna last long.

What are your attraction point or points?

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 17 - Short

Tonight's blog is short.  Short because I am late in, short because I have not hit upon what I wanted to write about.  Tonight's blog is short because I am 5'7" which I don't think is short, but some tell me it is.  Tonight's blog is short because I am feeling slightly out of sorts.  Tonight's blog is short because small things come in good packages and vice versa.  Lastly, tonight's blog is short, but its message is good.  It's not how much you do that matters, it is the quality that is the thing.  

Blogging every day of June - Day 16 - Bodies and remains

I was not sure what to call tonight's post, as I could not think of the best description.  On the way home tonight Kat and I were talking about what we wanted to happen with our bodies when we die.  It's always a good conversation piece, that one!  We are at the convenient time in our lives, when we it all seems such a long time away.  As such, the conversation is more interesting than it is pertinent. I declared a few years back that firstly I did not want to be taken back to Christchurch.  This should be no surprise considering my Home post.  My life is here in Auckland, and if I was to go tomorrow, I would want my remains to be near this life and the people I hold dear.  Up until now, I have always said I want to buried whole and not cremated.  This is really a left over from my Catholic upbringing and that all my relatives have always been buried.  However, I do find I am starting to really not care that much, and would be quite happy to be cremated and then buried.  I think still buried rather than spread.

Kat actually does not care what happens to her, other than to allow her remains to go back to the earth.  Not surprising for her at all.  So as long as I do not put her in a cavity in a wall or in an above ground Mausoleum, she has promised not to come back and haunt me.

For me I do not have a sense of my body being linked to myself after death.  As I have already mentioned in my religion post, I do not see life continuing after death.  Therefore, for me, what happens to my body does not have a strong effect one me.  However, I do think, my remains should be close to those who love/loved me.  For me that is about completing the circle and providing solace to those left behind.

What are you plans for your body when you die?  Do you even care?  Is your sense of your being after death linked to your body?

Blogging every day of June - Blog 15 - Food

So, I like food.  Which is probably a good thing in general, as it seems to be a necessary part of existence.  Especially if you plan on doing it for any length of time.  I have known people for whom food is merely fuel, but I am afraid to say, this will never be me. It will never be me as I enjoy food too much.  I enjoy the flavours, textures and general experience of eating good food.  Whether it be a amazing full on flavourful Indian Curry, or something so subtle in flavour like a piece of Sushi.  I love food as art and will happily pay a small fortune to eat food that has been lovingly crafted.  I am happy that I am paying for the art that is this food, and not the quantity of it.  This is something I definitely did not get from my father, who was convinced that a buffet was the best food experience you could have.

Yet, all this said, I do have a few lines I will not cross.  I refuse to eat offal, and I will not eat chicken feet.  Also, I really do not like the taste and smell of some seafood.  I am thinking particularly of mollusks.  I am not sure exactly why, and on many levels I wish I liked this sort of seafood.

Lastly, I get a great pleasure from making certain types of food.  For me it is about experiencing the process of making food.  I make cheese and sourdough bread.  Both are about harnessing natural processes to make something which is at once living and full of flavour.  Also, I like to make Jams and preserves.  For me it is about taking what is currently in season, and turning that into something that lasts and nourishes.  It is a connection to the hearth and home.

Blogging every day of June - Blog 14 - Be open

Just a short blog tonight, as I am getting to this a bit late at night. Tonight's theme is be open. What does that mean? Well it can mean a million things, and if you are reading this, you know who you are and what it can mean to you. Life is short, life tries to instruct us to conform, not ask questions, be as expected. This path leads us to a land where a lack of creativity abounds. Where we do not open ourselves to the experience. To feeling our hearts and minds and bodies. If you do nothing else this year, open yourself just once to the experience, to the place you have never dared to go. Breath deep, take it all in, concentrate on your extremities as well as your inner being. Believe just once, that by giving over to this, you have nothing to fear. Be open, you will be richer for it.

Blogging every day of June - Blog 13 - Earthquakes

A predictable blog tonight perhaps, but I wanted to at least mention Christchurch. As I have mentioned before, I grew up there, and today's destructive aftershocks have started the journey all over again for the poor people living there. For the 3rd time in less than a year, their lives have been disrupted by mother nature and their nerves shaken once again. I find it hard enough when I hear that is has happened, I can't even begin to imagine what it feels like to be there. One of my brothers lives in the Eastern part of town, and has suffered from liquefaction badly before. Tonight, in his words, "The are Fucked". It seems all the work they did over the past months to restore their home and lives has been undone in a few moments today, and I suspect that might be the end for them in their current house.

I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to be down there through all this, and I guess none of us who are not there can. It seems incongruous that my life goes on here as normal, while not too far away, in a place that I did once call home, people do not even have the power to stay warm tonight. I was talking today with a friend whose mother is still in Christchurch, and musing how I am glad both my parents have passed away and are not living through this.

So, although I no longer call you home Christchurch, I am thinking of you, thinking of the people down there. I hope this journey is nearly at an end for you, and that soon, you can actually begin to rebuild your lives.

Blogging every day of June - Blog 12 - Arty Bollocks

My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and midlife subcultures.

With influences as diverse as Wittgenstein and Francis Bacon, new tensions are crafted from both explicit and implicit meanings.

Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of the human condition. What starts out as hope soon becomes corrupted into a tragedy of power, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the chance of a new beginning.

As temporal phenomena become clarified through boundaried and critical practice, the viewer is left with an impression of the inaccuracies of our era.

 

This wonderful statement comes courtesy of the Arty Bollocks Generator .  It is wonderful and you should give it a try :-)  Thanks to le.svano for the link to this.

 

Blogging every day of June - Blog 11 - What is home?

By the look in your eyes, I can tell you're gonna cryIs it over me? If it is save your tears, because I'm not worth it, you see For I'm the type of boy who is always, on the run... Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home....

Paul Young - Wherever I lay my hat

Tonight's blog was a suggestion from a friend, after we were talking about our heritage.  Home is an interesting concept and it seems to me that it means different things to different people.  Some of my friends associate "home" with the place they grew up, and no matter how far away they live or how long they have been away, it always stays the same.  Others, like myself, feel home is where they are now, as long as their heart is also there.  For example, I lived in New Plymouth for two years after leaving my home city of Christchurch, but I never felt like it was home.  I now live in Auckland, and my heart is here both in terms of my partner, but also in terms of my sense of being.  I feel at home here, it feels right for me.

This has got me thinking about what that means?  Is it that Christchurch was never right for me?  Is it that my experiences there never left me feeling like it was a place I belonged.  Is it that I am escaping something that I don't want to face up to?  I think, in fact, it is just that I have moved on.  I suspect, I am like the song, when I am gone, I am gone and the place where I am, if it suits me, is MY place.  This should in theory mean I fit in anywhere, and I guess on many levels this is true.  I never had any issues in the towns I lived in.  I never felt homesick and made friends easily.  In some ways I envy those who still have a strong connection to where they grew up, but you can't invent what you don't have.

But what about the genetic feeling of home.  The feeling of home someone gets when they visit the country their parents or even grandparents were born in?  How does that come about and what does it mean?  A few years back I read a great book by a guy called Pete McCarthy.  It was called McCarthy's Bar.  He was born in England to Irish parents and he travelled back to Ireland to find out if his feelings of Irishness were imagined, or real and the result of some genetic hereditary thing.  It was a hilarious read, but also poignant.  He definitely had an association with the place, even if some of the things there were totally daft.  One woman, would not rent him a double room, because he was on his own.

I think there is something to the deep down feeling of home, when you visit a place, a country that your ancestors came from.  I am yet to experience it myself (having not been to Europe), but I get stirrings when I hear a lone Piper, and have a suspicion Scotland will feel very special to me.  Also, parts of England hold a mystique to me, especially around Lincolnshire.  I have no idea why but I intend to visit and find out if it feels special.  Others, have talked to me about their visits to the "homeland" and how it did effect them.  How much of that is the mind controlling your emotions because you are expecting it?  I dunno, but if you feel it, you feel it I guess.  I suspect that your parents, who they are, how they behave and raise you, and I guess your relatives, all impart their experiences into you at a young age and this feels right, when you are where they were shaped.