Wintery day and reflections

Night comes quickly now and by 5pm we are all in and ready for a fire. Humidity falls down rapidly, chill is in the air. Even tho, the sun goes down to the west and shows it luminous last colours of pink, purple and crimson red fading to grey, one can feel that the chill factor is here. Winter descended upon us quite fast this year. Colder already than last year.

Peter and I have decided to get stuck into the garden this wintry afternoon.
Tho, it is cold in the early morning and late evening, the days are at times just glorious when it does not rain too much. A nice 18 to 20 degree is almost the norm. Hence it is a pleasure to spend time out in the garden.

Now that the veranda is finished or almost and we are waiting for the balustrade to be delivered, the garden needs some remodeling. New concept on how to create something different. I am not so good at visualising all these things in the garden. Our dear friend Scott, might drop in later to give some advice, but in the meantime, we have decided to get a rose bed going. Hoping that the wallabies would not get a taste for them. They, apparently love roses and demolish them with gusto. We shall wait and see what happens. A little project that is worth a try as we both adore roses especially the ones with a real rose smell.( That is me)

Polished deck now

Rose bed in progressRose bed coming on.

We worked till late, both tired from a hearty physical workout. Almost forgetting the time when suddenly one feels the cold getting into your bones. time to get in, but not before a last look at what we have done so far. From up the veranda we ponder and admire what we have accomplished so far. Digging these invasive little bulbs that multiply like crazy and picking them out one by one and putting them in a bag heading for destruction.
We both admire the work so far….It does not look too much does it….It will get there… slowly. Tomorrow will be another day in the progression on that rose bed.

While we had a few people for lunch the other day where we entertained the idea of death and it consequences, discussed politics, our way of life, the fate of the world, the drastic consequences of an austere budget, the plight of refugees, the lies of our leaders, and then we delved onto the idea of death some more. A friend said that life and death are part of the same cycle. We all agreed and started to exchange our ideas on this. Referring to our common experience, religions, literature and our personal feelings on the subject. But what would happen if it struck one of us right now? Silence. Well, we’ll get on with it I suppose seems to be the consensus. Were we telling the truth or were we deluding ourselves? Were we putting on a brave face in order to say how strong we were? Were we really avoiding the pain of loss? The answers will be for next time as we decided to meet again and discuss it further over some nice food and wines.

The afternoon went on, drinking some beautiful French wines, followed by coffee and Algerian sweets. Then we all are heading out to the cars. as we exchanged our goodbyes I noticed that one our cows was laying down. It was dead. Four legs up in the air. Consternation all around….Life and death in the raw. Unbelievable said Richard, we were just talking about it. There was a moment of consternation, silence and then we all had to accept it….Life and death come together.

Bianca our youngest heifer was apparently bitten by a brown snake according to our next door neighbour who is a seasoned farmer. How do you know that Ron? Well, says he : “if the wild dogs have not got stuck into her then it is a snake”. Fact or fiction? But he was adamant about it. So far the corpse is still intact in the pit waiting to be cremated.

The week before that we played grand parents. Our friend Magali, a single mother asked us to look after Mereki for a day or two. But Peter and I said, we can have him the full 3 days. She makes crepes and needed some time off for the show. She makes wonderful crepes indeed. And Mardi Grass was a good experience for her. A great adventure for both of us. Finding the time to be with a four-year old all day long and giving him our full attention. Reading him stories, watching a few films at night together in bed. Playing trains. Feeding the dog, the cat, the fish, the chickens, the cows. Cooking pizza. Going for walks and of course Peter took him for a ride on the tractor. Wow! He loved it. A real boys’ adventure!

Pizza made by Mereki
Peter and Mereki

Mardi Grass is a once a year event where people from everywhere around the world and locals of course gather to demand that Hemp be legalised for medicinal purposes and industrial uses. It has been going on for quite a while now. But we seldom attend Peter and I. We have been a few times to watch the parade and the speeches. The police was apparently quite tamed this year. It has seldom been a problem anyway. Peaceful, colourful and fun for everyone. 3 days of fun really.

Well, tonight is very chilly out and Peter just lit a fire. I don’t think that I will have anything for dinner as I am still full from lunch with fish and chips.Not bought mind you but all made here. The chips were just succulent and we really gorged ourselves on them. Calories here we go!

Till next time again

REJECTION. One insight.

Today I decided to put pen to paper to recall a very interesting (maybe) event and moments that occurred in 2007. Where to start ? It might be hard to bring all these to surface again, but I am pretty positive that something might come out of it. Well, the positive element is already here, otherwise I would not be writing it. Let’s try it and see what happens as I unfold the story.

In March 2007, my father, a very important persona in the way he shaped my thinking and my life reached the decision to cut all bridges to our relationship to both of us. My husband and I. Countless discussions and discourses took place reflecting on different aspects of the inner workings of what we are. My father was not an “educated” man, just an ordinary man that could comprehend the machinations of the mind and their ramifications in our life and society.

A call in the early March 2007 took me by utter surprise. Yes, the element of disbelief was enormous.

“No more conversations, no more phone calls, no more getting in touch.” “you are up yourself, selfish and know it all, wallowing in self indulgence, wasting time and being unconscious of your acts and attitude” He said.

Words failed me utterly. I had no response to this onslaught on his part. I was stunned , deeply hurt, flutters in my stomach played havoc, I felt that I was going to be sick and my throat was drying up fast. The only response that I gave was : “what about mum, how I am going to find out how she is” She had been unwell for the last few years. “ don’t you worry about all this, well, goodbye”.

I was left totally not only speechless but a sense of gloom and doom enveloped me. Anger surfaced pretty fast and I started to justify my attitude and my position. My image was totally destroyed. Questions emerged. What did I do to them? Why is he so callous? Who does he think he is to rebuff me in such way? He is an arrogant man, wanting to be always right. And it went on and on like that trying to find gaps in his thinking and attitude which I attributed to him getting too old and may be going senile….That was so far from the truth as I realised later

For days I was trying to justify, to substantiate where I had been wrong. What events lead him to take such a dramatic position towards me? What warranted such an outburst from him? Stories of endless justifications lasted for weeks. Unable to sort it out. So, I decided to write to him since he would not let me renew any forms of relationship. I wrote pages and pages, discussed it at length with the boys and my husband. In the end I could not come to sending him the letter and pages that I had painstakingly written.

I remained silent, deeply hurt , confused, puzzled, and flummoxed with no resolution in sight. Then we left for Bangkok for 4 weeks where we met with our son who was at this stage on a posting in Hanoi, but flew to be with us. We churned the same stuff over and over again as I was trying to find solace and confirmation of my attitude and position. To no avail of course. I was on the wrong track… maybe.

Then, still disconcerted and not being able to come to any solution as to what I could do, my mother rang me one early morning in July just 3 months after this saga and told me that dad had passed away suddenly that very morning at 6 AM. Fear enveloped me totally. I was again in disarray.

We packed our bags and left for Melbourne as fast as we could. I shall pass on this period as it was again a moment of deep pain, emotional suffering, stress, anguish, bitterness and distress for everyone present. I might recount it another time.

After deep reflection and introspection in this whole matter, I finally realised (maybe) the point my father was trying to make. In his wisdom, that is what he decided to do: to pierce the abscess of what he saw being my most fundamental problem. When I say ‘mine” I also mean the issue that is plaguing most of us. Let me try to explain finally further the point of the title of this writing.

Rejection. Fear of not being accepted by our family, peers and friends. Not belonging or being seen as not belonging. Always wanting to please anyone in order to look good and nice and safeguard our image. How is the writing above going to illustrate this?

As we grow up and start being part of society the most important thing is to feel wanted and included. Normal. Then, an event occurs…the arrival of a sibling for instance, then we start feeling left out. We are going to make sure that we are always in the forefront just in case we have lost this number one spot. That is only one aspect of it. There are countless examples that we can dwell on to illustrate this. A friend dropping you for another, we dress to hide a little fat on the belly…so that we still feel ok, we put make up on so that we feel beautiful just in case also we are told we are not…and on it goes. Many of our acts in life are to enhance our image, our position, our sense of worth and our importance. If something goes against any of that we feel cheated and can easily be depressed and we start playing “catch up “with other things. Compensating. Yes, that trip to Bangkok, wanting to be away and “forget”. Of course this was not going to resolve the issue.

What my father had done was to confront me with my self importance and go to the bottom of my attitude of seeing myself as being rejected. In his rejection there was in fact a deep sense of care and love. He wanted me to face this issue with all the force of rejection. Powerful. Confront myself. What I did and  what my attitude showed was the opposite. Exactly the opposite. I looked for justifications, belittled him, poured scorn on him, and in my blindness I rejected his premise. A fool’s attitude in fact. I was so taken  by sense of righteousness that I missed the point, hence missed the lesson at the time. I was not prepared nor was I ready to see my own game.

If I had confronted my deep sense of rejection I would have thanked him for his action. But no, I did not see it. How can you even start seeing anything if you are obsessed with yourself all the time and want to show daddy how great you are, how good you are, how caring you are, then, you are not seeing what is truly motivating you, what is propelling you, and what is really driving you.

Yet, he saw it and moved on it. How profound that is when you reflect on your actions. When you start seeing your actions….always with the aim to please or not loose face or look good at all times. He did not want to be pleased. He wanted me to understand. How liberating that is when you see that his motives were pure, loving and warmhearted. He rejected me in order for me see through the pain and the pantomime that I was inflicting on myself. In this rejection, he also hurt himself. Severing ties with his daughter in order to achieve a greater outcome for “me”. Not only for “me” but for the advancement and understanding of what we are, and to decipher the inner workings of the human beings. He had this question at one stage for us : “how do you see you children, as human beings or as children?” The reply was difficult to give. I wonder what reply I really gave. If my memory does not falter I think, I said it was a hard one to come to terms with..maybe both I said…Children and humans. But now can I really say that?

Now I understand how he saw “me”. And Only now, can I say to him thank you with all my heart!

Till next time.

 

Drive to Melbourne

Here we are in among the trees, the famous eucalyptus of Melbourne for a brief moment. That is where I started this blog.

A totally impromptu trip down the south. Family and friends were present. Coming from everywhere to spend just a little time together. Visiting a few friends briefly. Picking up some presents from Fran and Les. Seeing Nicole and Nathalie. Sue, Peter and their family for fabulous time together. Without forgetting the little Charlie that I managed to cuddle and feed. Thanks Jen for this little moment of feeling the tiny bundle in my arms. Pam and Catherine out from England. Naomi and Gary from Sydney. John back from Perth. Maria  with Ross and Zoe and Isabelle.

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Catch up with G’s mother, Val for a lovely moment chatting about our progeny and their endeavours, trips, works and their vacations abroad. That is also without saying the wonderful dinner that was cooked for us. Simple,tasty, varied and so well prepared. Many thanks for this Val!

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At Sue’s place  there many were old acquaintances and friends. But the marathon feast was Peter M with the help of everyone present who managed to cook for 70 people. We had enough food for 100. Lovely Indian curries, full of flavours, spices, salsas, salads, and deserts galore. I never had so many slices of pavlova in my life. My husband Peter also of course gorged himself…what a sweet tooth he is! So did I  for that matter and never looked back. They were just scrumptious, so was the Tiramisu.

 

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We drove this time with Benoit a friend from Nimbin who had to pick up a bus in Ballarat. We took it in turn to fly on the highways. We stayed together in hotels and motels along the way. All The start of the drive was rather scenic and then miles upon miles of flat straight highway. At times driving around these parts of Australia is rather boring and monotonous. Lucky that we were 3 to do the trip. Taking turns every 2 or 3 hours. Chatting, story telling, playing some music which quickly got on our nerves while driving.

First stop Dubbo. A lovely motel half way there. A rather busy town. How can one starts describing Australian town. In my eyes they all look the same. A few colonial buildings, historic relics, war memorial lost on the main square, fish and chips shops where the smell of fat is enough to make you run.
When I think that, when I first starting teaching and first arrived in Australia, that particular smell of fat(God knows what it is) used to attract me like a magnet and I used to dive into the shop at lunch time to get my fill of greasy chips, battered fish and scallops, which by the way had nothing to do with the real crustacean, but just a deep fried potato cake. The whole lot wrapped in 2 layers of white butcher’s papers, vinegar optional, tomato ketchup and a wedge of lemon for the fish. Hot and fatty. Getting back to school the smell used to invade the whole staff room and I would happily share some of it with my colleagues. Today this smell makes me nauseous and I run the other way at the presence of this obnoxious odour. Anyway, the Australian town is blend and had no particular attraction. Businesses, sheep, cattle and a few other things I am sure. The landscape was nothing to rave about as the rain battered us the whole way down to the Victorian border. Still on the border we can’t bring fruit with you in the car. Fruit fly are supposed to read the signs along the way, especially capsicum and tomatoes. I am sure there would be some special schools for these creatures to teach them how to read. But there might be a point also in the government forbidding these vegetables from across the border.

Just before Dubbo, we steadily climbed to about 1000m. The highest town in Australia…Armidale. Quite quaint, rocky, and the home of University of New England. Indeed with its valleys, undulating hills, green plateaus surrounded by mountains it does reminisce of England/Europe. Very green at the moment as the rain pelted down, and had done so for the last few days. Everything was getting a good soaking. We went on driving through state forests and little villages and hamlets. Very desolate, yet at times picturesque.

Then the front passenger seat belt got unstuck. Alarm bells started ringing. A loose bolt. Panic. But a quick call to the local emergency road assistance got us on the move again. A trip to Subaru is warranted as it is a brand new car and still under warranty.

After a frugal breakfast and a tank full of petrol, we headed for Richmond Hill Hotel, in Richmond, Melbourne. An old suburb where we used to live many years ago Peter and I when the kids were little. We took Benoit around our old haunt and showed him around. The boys grew up in the street among a truly multicultural setting. A dead end street where everyone was out, the doors left open and the gang in the street used to come and go at leisure. We revisited the house and saw all the neighbours, but did not go in or got in touch with them. maybe not the same people after all these years. The only person I managed to get a glimpse of is Moira. Our ex neighbour from across the road who was still there, on the phone. A quick sneak from outside through the open curtains. Was not game to talk at 10.30pm.

Then the next day after breakfast laid on by the hotel, we drove to Mediterranean food supermarket. An old place where we used to get and shop for all sorts of Italian goodies. Cakes and breads made on the premises…the real thing. Excellent coffee for a fraction of the price of the trendy shops in town. Imported olive oils, anchovies, olives, tuna, sardines and dried cod. Of course a shopping spree was necessary. Lovely organic hams and salami. Superb hard cheeses and French butter of all things. In brief a real feast for the eyes and above all the tummy. Lashing out!
Benoit was quite amazed to see all of these wonderful delicacies. We also bought a few things to picnic at Sue’s place.

Then, we drove to Benoit’s hotel where we left him to pursue his own adventures. He is buying an old bus that he wants to fix and travel around Australia with his family. Peter and I stopped in a park and had a real Italian sandwich with organic salami and hard crust bread rolls. We had not had these for years. Slowly, and loosing our ways a few times, we made it to Sue’s and Peter’s in time for the reunion. Brief it was indeed.

It was lucky that we managed to get a house-sitter for these few days. It is not easy to get people to look after a farm and a little kitten. Last year we were invited to Melbourne also, but the timing was not right. It depends who is around and who is available.
We always say that we should not have any animals, but we always add more to the menagerie.

Benoit, left for Ballarat to get his bus and he drove back home while we Peter and I drove back slowly, taking our time to admire the scenery. We were also surprised at the quality of coffee that was served in all the towns that stopped at. Many moons ago like 30 years, it was a real dilemma to find something decent. When the boys were little and we used to do lots of camping around Victoria, if I did not have my fix of coffee in the morning I used to get miserable, despicable,moody, nervy and no one would talk to me in case I yelled at them….Problems of addiction I suppose. Peter and the boys used to drive to different villages to try and find some Italian pizza shop that might serve a decent coffee. Today everyone in country Australia provides something reasonable and drinkable. Times have changed and presently 2 small cups is more than enough. Also gone are the days of instant…NESCAF! A truly disappointing drink. Nothing that taste even like coffee and when you think of what goes in it, you don’t want to know or touch it in spite of all the flamboyant publicity about it. Nevertheless, I was quite astonished to see that most of my friends and family swore by it…The only thing I could say is: how can you do that?

The food was nothing to rave about and the price was too much.Your usual hamburger, fish and chips, pizzas. All fattening and unhealthy. So lovely picnic with simple fare sufficed. But we hit a great little Vietnamese soup place in Box HIll that was just delicious and we went back for more on our out to Geelong.

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On the way back, I rang up Magali, our house sitter, to see if she could stay another day. No problems. We stopped in different towns this time.  We took our time. Home sweet home. And above all it is nice to get back home again and find that all your menagerie is happy to see you and you are delighted to be back home and sleep in your own bed at last.

Now that this trip is over the other one is looming. Bangkok, London and Paris.

Till next time

Random talks with my father in 1999 on a trip back from Cambodia

13th April, 2013

Intellectualism is a point of fixation.

Can we really capture our first feelings? Is it really possible? Can we really re- live old feelings? Are we really trying to recreate what we have lost? Feelings change one may say.  They change with life events, as we experience new situations, these move with it. One mixes up changes with disappearance. One has to change. One can’t live with someone without changes that occur on an every day basis.

Imagine, if every time you wanted to make love with your partner you tried to recreate the same feelings that you had for instance 20 years ago. Is that possible? Do you have to make an effort to love something or someone? As soon as there is effort, you only pretend to love. It is not natural at all. If every time to have to search for that first feeling when you are trying to make love then you are making all sorts of efforts to fix that first feeling. As soon as there is effort there is a lack of authenticity.

Thought has taken too much preponderance and has to be put back in its place.

Thought is the choice of the data bank if you like, it draws from memory. When a thought arises it is expressed through language and that is how it expresses itself. Hence it is always the past. It is the expression of memory. It has arisen from it and it becomes conscious. Its function is to fix. 

There are two sides to that. It is lucky and unlucky at the same time. On the one hand it is very adept at functioning in our everyday life…food production, house building, orientation. It evolves. Look at our ancestors and what we are today. It may have taken them ages to light a fire; today it is done with a flick of a switch. It has a practical function. It allows action, it is action.  On the other hand thought by itself is damned. It can never have all the information. Today it is totally overwhelmed with information…data.

We can see how we fix our description of the world in our mind, and take that model into the relational field we live in. The description becomes our reality; a set of labels projected onto the vibrant relational field that is life. One has to be careful of labels. Labels cover the content, so that we see the label rather than the content. One has to discover that, and our attitude to this field is to resist it by all means.

Can we seize our ME? It is impossible. Why is it impossible?  If you point your finger at me and ask:  what is this ME  that you occupy, that you live? What is it?  The question sounds simple, but when I try to look around the mental space that I inhabit, my consciousness you could say, I am stumped when I try to say just what it is. I can’t say what it is, nor can I say what its boundaries are. When I want to seize ME, I don’t realise that I am creating another ME. And if I want to seize the one that I have just created, I again create another one. Because to grab this first one, there must be another one that does it also. Hence you can’t never catch it or grab it… It is almost unconscious. One is not aware of it.

Talking about the boomerang. How was this instrument invented? How did it happen? How did it come into existence? The Aboriginal people of Australia were living with their environment. They lived close to nature and all that it meant for them. A sense of being related with everything that brought them their food for survival. An osmosis with the trees, the earth, the sun, all the elements that surrounded them. Today’s western civilisation has lost this intimacy with all that. Not the idea of a relation with nature, but for them it was living like that on a daily basis. They were not living with the idea of nature, they were nature, they were aware of the common interest that they had with their surroundings. And that their survival depended on these relationships. They were not exploiting nature, no property. We have lost this today. And we try desperately to find it. Hence the idea of devising a boomerang arises from this tight intimacy with nature and their deep relation within it. In this relational movement of interdependence, there is possible emergence of creativity. If this relationship, in this exchange with one’s environment is non-existent, there will be little or no creativity. If I am not integrated and isolated how can I become creative? It is incompatible and impossible. It is in the depth of my relation with all my surroundings….here we can see how it is difficult to transmit through words this feeling of total relationship. “Surroundings” has very little meaning unless it is lived. There is no inside and outside even if the word transmits that.

Now we can understand the duality of language. One can understand how language can seem inadequate to express this feeling of osmosis. This vision is not an image; it is this deep feeling of interdependence…Even the word “vision” is misleading. One can’t exist without the other and this immense interrelationship that created our organism and it is working in total osmosis. An exchange that is beyond what we can see with our naked eyes. Thought cannot even start fathoming what is taking place in this immensity. It is an incredible world in itself.  And we should not forget that our body is made of that world…. continual exchange and relationships and communication with all the molecules and particles. We are not even aware of what is taking place within us. Hence, we are not “surrounded” by our environment; we are an integral part of that. No outside, no inside. No separation.

 When we separate, we only have an idea of that separation. And it is this idea that separates…but even that is not correct because, thought is totally part of that also. It is a continuation of these exchanges. For humankind this is a very difficult passage, to see this separation, which is not a separation. It is only created by thought. The multitude of differences that thoughts creates, the profusion of characteristics, and it is all these processes that we are entirely part of. Thoughts, words are only a frame that is useful.  And it is this totality that allows every one of us to be what we are. Each one of us has his own distinction and beauty …without being separated.

 Thought has created marvellous things, but by the same token has also created immense problems that we are facing without any decent solutions for today.

This photo bellow is where we used to sit down and have our talks. Image

Till next time …and thank you Peter for your editing and your support.

From Edgar Assoun: Reflection

 

Constantine au loin

L’ intelligence est une création de cette immensité, étant elle-meme cette immensité mystérieuse. Relation mystérieuse et en osmose avec chacune de nos cellules. Elle a le pouvoir de rétablir équilibre et harmonie aussi avec chacune de nos cellules, et de guérir nos souffrances.
Experience unique et exprimée par les etres humains, elle est un cadeau de liberté et d’amour.

Edgar:2007

July frenzy 2011

Indeed, hello world and here I am writing a blog. I never thought this would happen. But don’t they say that there is a first time for everything.
I have tried many sites and many starts up, but this one looks the easiest to start with. Very easy and user friendly.
So what I am to blog about? for many years I wanted to write to to tell the world about the transformation of my inner world through the conversations with my parents. An Hommage I wanted to render them and to thank them.

But first things first.
We are in a frenzy to go to Europe and the preparations are endless. The cows need attending to, the chickens, the dogs. All is so precipitous. So much to arrange. But I know it will fall into place in due course.

3 days before we go, the neighbour, Jenny tells us that some of the cows are in desperate need of extra feed are they are going rapidly down in condition.So, Peter had to drive quickly to Lismore to get some extra food for the whole time we are away. I just hope that Judy is capable of handling the task.

In the meantime ANgus and Kylie came over to lunch and we enjoyed a super lunch or roast pork and lots of vegies. They walked out with loads of old films.