I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Poverty of Spirit

When I look at the conflict in the world I despair about our future.

I think the quote below sums it up very well. I include myself in this. I really do value the opportunity to connect with other bloggers in the international community. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our politicians  could do as much?

Martin Luther King Jr

Weekly photo challenge: Abandoned

I wrote a poem this morning as part of the writing course I am doing.

It just so happens that my school experience links with this week’s photo challenge. As it is a PHOTO challenge, I have chosen an old school photo to match the theme. I really DID feel abandoned on that day. It didn’t take long to get used to school, but I still didn’t enjoy it. I have only learned the joy of studying in recent years 🙂

MEMORIES

Mum left me in a big room

Boys, girls, Sister Kevin

I struck out in fear

I had to stay – Mum left me

****

Boys, girls, lunch boxes

The stale smell of unwashed flannels

Banana sandwiches every-day

Awful warm milk at playtime

****

Spelling is fun h I p p o p o t o m u s

Cuisenaire blocks – to add up and take away

A prize for top of the class

Maybe school is OK

****

Latin Mass, First Communion

Rosary beads, confession, and penance

The smell of incense

Not at Mass? Line up for the strap

****

Decades have come and gone

Back to the same church

This time it is saying goodbye

To my loved ones and to my past

****

 

Daily Prompt – The Normal

cropped-dsc00257.jpgPost 497

To me, being normal is about avoiding extremes. At one time I wasn’t happy unless I achieved something 100%. I believe it is all very subjective, especially when it comes to writing. When I worked for the Government it wasn’t unusual for correspondence to go back and forth to the Executive and/or the Minister’s office. At some point one has to draw a line in the sand and say enough!

In primary school my family were delighted when I had the top marks in a test or assignment. I think I got a bit addicted to getting the praise. I wasn’t particularly good at cooking etc so my school work was my area of ability. As I reached the higher levels in school I found I had more competition and was surprised when others overtook my skill level.

When I study today I still try to get the best possible results but I am not obsessed about it. In life generally I am content to be “average” and know that is OK.

NORMAL is so variable! Consider different cultures, customs, languages, religions and ideologies etc. We can only do what is right for us and respect the differences in others.

cheers

Lorraine

 

Poll about blog topics

Melbourne Cup Day 2012 021Would you give up expressing your views (on a blog) if you knew some topics or opinions may alienate some of your readers? Should we stay away from politics, religion and health matters? What is more important – authenticity or popularity (statistics)?

When I write I tend to go with the flow and let my words express my thoughts – obviously there are some boundaries that I adhere to. I was surprised this week as I sent my blog address to a distant relative, Peter (are you reading this Peter 🙂) and he provided me with some feedback.

He said: “Visited your Blog this morning.  First impression: warm, peaceful and serene.  Just loved it.  I don’t know how you have done that but it has such a comfortable feel about it.  Truly marvelous selection of words and pictures.  Must be the trees whispering into the ether! That was until I came across Julia. Ambiance shattered!!”

The “Julia” he referred to is our current Prime Minister. I don’t deny she is very unpopular with a lot of people but I wanted to express my views in support of her. I wonder if I lost any other readers with that post.

It is more important for me to express my true opinions/feelings than seek popular support. I rarely write about my political views but don’t try to hide them when they are relevant to the discussion.

What do you think? Are some topics taboo if we want to increase our number of readers? Please take my poll below and let me know if there are other topics that I overlooked please. You can choose more than one topic on the poll.

cheers

Lorraine

Perserverance

My Wandering Boy There’s a freshly cut red ros...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I was trying to find the words to an old hymn about Zion City. I have a hymn book so I determined to go through it page by page until I found it. I was confident I would recognise the words once I found the page. I pride myself on my patience at doing tedious jobs and felt very virtuous patiently flipping through the pages. I stopped to reflect on the words of some of my old favourites. After some time I got tired of it as there are 624 hymns in the book and I had only made it to #370!

I resorted to the modern approach of finding stuff and did a Google search and found it in less than ten seconds. Now that I had the first line of the hymn (Glorious things of you are spoken, Sion city of our God) I checked to see if it was even in the book and it was number 374! I was only four pages away from finding it when I gave up.

When we tire of a project we never know how far away success/achievement would have been if we persevered for a bit longer!

cheers

Lorraine

 

 

Poetry among the stained glass windows – a virtual opportunity to participate

I haven’t written any poetry for years! I love to read other people’s  original works and may be tempted to write some of my own.

detail of a stained glass windows with the CoA...

detail of a stained glass windows with the CoA of royal France in the chapel of Château de Breteuil, France. XVIIIth century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s blog presents a unique opportunity to take part in a writing exercise. There is special provision made for VIRTUAL participation. This is thanks to my neighbour, friend and fellow WordPress blogger, Ted.

Your poem may be selected for inclusion in an anthology, the copyright of the poem remains with you, and you are free to re-print or publish your poem elsewhere at any time.

I have included a link

http://stainedglasspoetry.wordpress.com/ that will tell you all you need to know to take part. I have also copied the information about Virtual participation to hopefully encourage you to look further at the WordPress site established for the Writing Morning.

If you would like some historical information about this beautiful old church then go to: Some historical information is HERE

From Ted’s blog:

‘Virtual’ participation

If you are unable to come to Busselton to take part in our writers’ morning, then participate online.

Click on ‘HOME” and explore the windows by scrolling down and down. On the ‘HOME’ page, you will find the windows and a brief description of each.

Or, click on ‘WINDOWS – IN THE CHURCH’ or ‘WINDOWS – IN THE PORCH’ where I have uploaded a thumbnail of each window.

The images are high-resolution, so you can look at each window in detail by clicking on the thumbnail or smaller image.

Then write any poetry inspired by the windows – or by the church itself.

It helps if you can fill in the ‘Submissions Form‘ electronically and send it with your poems. Otherwise download the Submission Form and entrust your poems to the postal services.

Or click here ….Submission sheet

I hope you will take part. I think I will make a virtual contribution as well.

Cheers

Lorraine

PS If you have any queries you can leave a comment for me and I can pass them onto Ted for you 🙂

To the CEO of the WORLD

 

Roses 004

Flowers from Vasse market 004

Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

 

 

Dear Chief Executive Officer, The WORLD

 

I am writing to you today to express my concern about the way people on Earth treat each other. When I see the news each night I find it incredibly hard to imagine what it must be like for people in some parts of the world. I see innocent men, women and children being killed or badly injured on a daily basis. Often the violence is incurred by fellow-men and women who have different belief systems or there is a power struggle over land, minerals or borders. I am very fortunate that I haven’t experienced anything like that first hand. As CEO, do you think you could carry out a development program for all the people of the world, to learn how to get along with each other? I realise it is a big ask but it has to start somewhere. First you would need to work with people and their families – teach them how to get along together and to love and respect each other. They also need to learn how to respect each others’ differences and “live and let live”.

These are just some initial ideas. I am sure you can develop them a lot better than me. Once we have achieved progress with people and families living happily and peacefully alongside each other, then we can expand the program to the next stage – working with local communities. I am sure that you get my drift. We need to start small and build on what we achieve. No doubt there will be some set backs but, since humans are so clever at lots of things in the world today, I am sure we can overcome any barriers that arise in these communities. The program will then expand to help states and regions get along with each other and eventually we reach the ultimate aim of all countries having respect and love for each others’ citizens. I know we won’t ever have everyone thinking, believing and behaving exactly the same as each other. That would probably boring anyway. The real goal is to learn to love and respect each other, including our differences.

Just imagine what the world could be like if we could achieve that! Wishing you great success in this venture!

 

Lorraine

 

God and faith

Anglican Catholic Church in Australia

Image via Wikipedia

I once had a strong faith in a loving God and it was integral to my life. I attended a Catholic School for seven years and this provided a foundation of belief. I was President of the Young Christian Students for our region at one point. It wasn’t for very long though because I had a big “fall from grace” (another story sometime) experience where priest asked me and a small group of others to end our involvement in the church. It was never official – he just didn’t want to see us again  😦

All through the following years I still believed in God – I didn’t stop. I lost faith in the church though and didn’t resume my involvement until I was in my twenties. A potted history is:

  • Catholic School and church till I was about 15
  • Resumed involvement in Catholic church in my early 20’s
  • Moved to the Anglican Church (the Church of England in Australia) mainly because there were more people in my age group with young children. It was a “charismatic” Anglican Church
  • With great fervour we jumped into a “missionary like” situation and went to a remote Aboriginal Community for 12 months work. That was a big eye opener for me – seeing the disharmony and arguments among the Mission staff –  a very different group who were quite “fundamental” in their interpretation of theology
  • Next adventure was a similar trip to the Kimberley region working for a mission with very conservative views on religion.

I guess that last dot point is an important one, because my marriage broke up during our time there and the mission staff wiped their hands of us and were no support at all to our family at the time.

Since that time I still attended church, mostly in an Anglican Church. It was very accepting and not judgemental and didn’t tell me how to live out my faith. For about the next ten years I continued my involvement and took on various roles in the church.

So what happened? Where did it go wrong or where did I go wrong? Where did I lose my faith in God? I would really like to find my faith again. Does it just get harder to believe in God as we get older? Does cynicism set in?

I am not asking for answers – I am just sharing with you where I am at now. The topic arose because I was reading a book I picked up for 50 cents at a second-hand bookshop. It is called “Readings for Mental Health” and it is put out by the 12 step program of GROW. It is a brilliant book that helps me put my feet on the ground but it is also insists on a belief in God. How can I make use of the information provided if my faith is absent. It got me to thinking about “where has it gone?”

All for today. Thanks for reading this far!

Lorraine