Thursday, July 31, 2008
Neither would I recommend that women initiate conversations along the lines of "I don't think it's a good idea for us to have sex now". That wouldn't be a wise thing to do. What I appreciated about the interaction detailed below is that the girl rightly assesses the situation, and avoids it - and that she rightly values sex.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Girl: I’ve gotta go this way.
Guy: Where are you going?
Girl: (Laughs) Home.
Guy: (Laughs) You don’t want to come back? I’ll make you breakfast. We can listen to the CD.
(Snipped a piece of the story here.)
Guy: ... Come back and hang out, have a cup of tea. It’s the last day. We’ll hang out. Whatever. Breakfast. Whatever. Listen to the tunes. Or you could come over later. Whatever.
Girl: For what?
Guy: What do you mean, what? Just come and hang out.
Girl: But we’ve done our work. Why would I come over? We’d just hanky-panky if I come now.
Girl: (Looks at him at nods)
Guy: It won’t be for hanky panky.
Girl: You know it would. (Pause.) And that would be nice.
Guy: Would it?
Girl: It’d be interesting.
Guy: (Probing) Would it?
Girl: (Laughs) It’d be worthless though.
I thought that was a rather exemplary little interaction for we girls. This girl has kept her faculties about her: she’s aware of the warmth of the moment, given the time that they’ve spent together, the way they’ve connected and shared, added to the little sleep they’ve had; she’s aware of the temptation inherent in going back to the guy’s place - and she is not naïve or foolish enough to overlook any of those things, much as she might like to. And she understands that sex is worth so much more than just indulging in this moment.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Also, I feel like much of what I have been writing lately is simply twaddle that I am not pleased with. I have been thinking about this for some time and I was challenged by a paragraph that addressed this The Little Red Writing Book. I won’t reproduce that here because I don't want this to read as any kind of judgment on blogs, which it isn’t; it’s just something I decided to apply to myself. (I am of the belief that if someone wants to start a blog to say what want to say they are as entitled to as the next person – it’s a democratic and free society :).) Then I read this post at the Purple Cellar and nodded my head in agreement, not because I thought Lydia’s blog was mediocre, quite the opposite and being written by a single Christian woman it was of particular relevance to me and I was disappointed it closed, but I agreed with the idea of evaluating what is the best use of our time. I am not writing books but there are a couple other things I would like to write, which are not the stuff of a blog – perhaps more’s the pity, because if our best writing comes from our authentic self, this blog would be better reading if I wrote about those things that meant most to me.
I revisited what I wrote in a very early post on the why of blogging and decided that the best remedy to spending increasing amounts of time on my own isn't writing blog posts to no-one in particular. I have had a small revelation that I am hopeless at using the telephone. So there are old and good friendships I have let slide because those people don’t live in Sydney and I haven’t been intentional about phoning. But those friendships are worth hanging onto, especially given the difficulty of making new ones of equal depth, which I wrote about here. So I am going to put more of my weeknights into that, for one thing. I also want to read more. That has slipped, in part because I tightened my belt on buying books, but I am not getting a lot of food for thought elsewhere and I need to read! (And if I get a tax return I might consider purchasing an iPod, so I can join the podcast generation.) I suspect I’ll be back when I read the next George Eliot :) (and I was pleased to read this post with reference to George Eliot by Jennie Baddeley – thanks Karen for that link).
So, I will still be here, posting when I feel moved to post about something for one reason or another. For now I will cease Poetry Friday, just so the blog doesn’t become nothing but poetry Friday, but poetry will still find it’s way here, you can be sure of that. So this is just bye for a little longer than usual.
Friday, July 18, 2008
A heavy heart, if ever heart was heavy,
I offer Thee this heavy heart of me.
Are such as this the hearts Thou art fain to levy
To do and dare for Thee, to bleed for Thee?
Ah, blessed heaviness, if such they be!
Time was I bloomed with blossom and stoof leafy
How long before the fruit, if fruit there be:
Lord, if by bearing fruit my heart grows heavy,
Leafless and bloomless yet accept of me
The stripped fruit-bearing heart I offer Thee.
Lifted to Thee my heart weighs not so heavy,
It leaps and lightens lifted up to Thee;
It sings, it hopes to sing amid the bevy
Of thousand thousand choirs that sang, and see
Thy face, me loving, for Thou lovest me.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Another of the greater hurrahs that we were privileged to see at Wallaby Creek was the golden-tipped bat. To our astonishment, one day we actually found one just hanging on the wall inside the hut. Unfortunately this meant that it was disoriented and sick and not long for this world, but we were able to have a very good look at it.
Australia's little insectivorous bats are creatures worth knowing about. Dispel from you mind the vision of large, noisy fruit bats squabbling in fruit trees, hanging from power lines and waking you in the night dropping mangoes on your roof. The insectivorous bats will rarely be seen, and the sounds they make are undetectable to the human ear (but go out into the forest at night with the appropriate high-frequency sound equipment and it's amazing what you will hear, the night full of echoes, or set a harp trap in a flight corridor and you will catch wonders to behold).
The constitution forces federal judges from the bench at 70. The Chief Justice, Murray Gleeson, retires next month, after 10 years in the job, and Michael Kirby must go by March.
The vacancies give the Government ample opportunity to recalibrate the balance of the High Court, while another two spots open if it wins a second term, and two more in a third.
Its choice of a new chief justice, the first of the court's seven equals, will be the most important appointment the Government will make, says the University of NSW's High Court commentator, Professor George Williams. "Not only do they have the ability to influence the direction of the High Court, but also the nation," he says.
Only two judges remain from the Keating era - William Gummow (appointed in 1995) and Kirby (1996). Subsequent appointments turned the court conservative, particularly compared with its stand under Sir Anthony Mason.
Kirby dissents more than any other High Court judge, but argues his record would be far less had he served in the Mason court. He thinks the court moved, not him.
Before eight a man came down to the beach in a blue bathrobe and with much preliminary application to his person of the chilly water, and much grunting and loud breathing, floundered a minute in the sea.For some reason I like that. It's so simple, yet I can see it.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The rest of my weekend was very quiet, so on Sunday afternoon I went wandering up King St, for the thousandth time, just to get out of the house and go and pass people in the street and pretend I was interacting with humanity. Invariably I ended up in the wretched Gould's bookshop, and remembered FSF. There I actually found (very occasionally I manage to find something in that shop) Tender is the Night for $4.95 and then did what you are supposed to do in judging a book and read the first sentence:
On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half-way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-coloured hotel.Perfect. No-one called Bjorn or Anastasia, no facile verbiage spilling the sentence into half a paragraph, just the artless pleasant shore and large, proud, rose-coloured hotel. So I bought the book.
It wasn't till I was walking back up the street almost crashing into people that I read the back cover: "A wealthy mental patient, Nicole Warren, falls in love with Dick Diver - her psychiatrist ... cataloguing a maelstrom of interpersonal conflict". 'Oh brilliant!', I thought. That's exactly what I need to balance out the psychological musings of a murderer in Crime and Punishment: a mental health patient falling for a psychiatrist, with a whole maelstrom of conflict.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Hosea 3:1 And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”
Cakes of raisins?! That just isn’t what I thought I was going to read next. Why cakes of raisins? And what's wrong with cakes of raisins? So, I did a bit of bible research to find out if I was missing anything significant about raisin cakes, and I discovered that they must have been quite something. See Isaiah 16:7:
Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
I think I’d be pushing things too far if I said any more than that the sin of the Isrealites is that they loved the gods of other lands (as stated in Hosea 3:1 above), together with the really good things of those lands, more than they loved the God of Israel, but it got me asking myself what are my raisin cakes ...
Friday, July 11, 2008
Lord, give me love that I may love Thee much,
Yea, give me love that I may love Thee more,
And all for love may worship and adore
And touch Thee with love’s consecrated touch.
I halt today; be love my cheerful crutch,
My feet to plod, some day my wings to soar:
Some day; but Lord, not any day before
Thou call me perfect, having made me such.
This is a day of love, a day of sorrow,
Love tempering sorrow to a sort of bliss;
A day that shortens while we call it long:
A longer day of love will dawn tomorrow,
A longer, brighter, lovelier day than this,
Endless, all love, no sorrow, but a song.
Christina Rossetti, Gifts and Graces
I love and love not: Lord, it breaks my heart
To love and not to love.
Thou veiled within Thy glory, gone apart
Into Thy shrine, which is above,
Dost Thou not love me, Lord, or care
For this mine ill? -
I love thee here or there,
I will accept thy broken heart, lie still.
Lord, it was well with me in time gone by
That cometh not again,
When I was fresh and cheerful, who but I?
I fresh, I cheerful: worn with pain
Now, out of sight and out of heart;
O Lord, how long? -
I watch thee as thou art,
I will accept thy fainting heart, be strong.
"Lie still," "be strong," today; but, Lord, tomorrow,
What of tomorrow, Lord?
Shall there be rest from toil, be truce from sorrow,
Be living green upon the sward
Now but a barren grave to me,
Be joy for sorrow? -
Did I not die for thee?
Do I not live for thee? Leave Me tomorrow.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I am not so sure about the loopy edging around the bottom, and whether or not I am just going to snag myself on everything I walk by, but because it was joined on at the end if I get totally fed up with it and hooked on too many passing hookable things I can just remove it.
I’ll also need to remember to reduce my dietary intake before I plan to wear this sweater, given the way it’s rather snug through the middle. In this day of hipster clothing I think we’ve all forgotten we have waists that used to be seen. And the downside of this nicely long and fitted jumper is that when I turn sideways, there is my gluteus maximus unduly maximised, highlighted as the munificent “curve” that it is.
Anyway, I have quite a bit of this nice claret wool left over and am contemplating a matching hat.
P.S. The title of this post is from The Lady of Shallot by Tennyson: "There she weaves by night and day/ A magic web with colours gay". Crochet is poetry.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
The one thing I would love to do is go camping – real camping, somewhere you couldn’t be except that you’ve brought your dwelling with you and can sit around a fire at night, poking it and toasting things, and watch the stars … But that is not something I would attempt on my own any more, especially not anywhere close to Sydney. A bushwalk later maybe.
Yesterday, I went on a big excursion to the Summer Hill Anglicare warehouse, to fossick for that amazing bargain. I had only one thing in mind though, which is probably not the way to opportunity shop. I didn’t find it. So I came home and worked on formatting the next edition of the Equal But Different Journal, which is the one real “job” I have to do, so I thought I’d get that out of the way, then last night I had dinner with a wonderful family at my church and their gorgeous kids. I have had three meals at their house in fifteen days, so am feeling quite spoilt, but I love the way they live out what they believe church and fellowship is (and include me in it).
Today I took myself off to the Bather’s Pavilion at Balmoral, for no other reason than because I’d never been there before and it sounded fabulous. Earlier this morning it looked like not such a nice day, so I thought I’d leave it for another, then the sun made a re-appearance so off I went. Being there was a perfect moment. I got a little table by the window, ordered a chai latte, took out a notebook and pen and the Little Red Writing Book but then spent as much time just gazing out the window. It was so tranquil and unhurried and the sky was layering deepening shades of blue upon itself like a celestial oil canvas under an invisible hand. Here's a few pictures from the digital camera I inherited when my sister upgraded:
Photos rarely do justice to a stormy sky and this one is no exception, but you can get the idea:
Sunday, July 06, 2008
If I recall rightly it was the second night of trapping. I was trudging along my trap line at about 2:30am, motorcycle battery strapped to my waist, spotlight in hand, when I shone it on the traps up ahead and paused in my stride. One trap contained a possum, but what was in the other? It wasn't moving like a bettong, had an eye-shine that didn't belong to any wild creature I knew.
A cat! I had caught myself a feral cat!
(You need to understand that feral cats are supposed to be very difficult to trap (even though they are called “cat traps”), least of all with nothing but peanut butter, oats and honey, which mine were baited with.) I arrived at the trap and gazed upon this creature with a mixture of dismay and joy. Joy because it was one less feral pest to eat my study animals, dismay because the task of dealing with it was mine. I was faced with that momentous decision: could I destroy the one for the good of the many?
I like animals, just incase you're wondering, probably more than most, but it would be an act of environmental terrorism to let a feral cat go free in this country, where they kill an estimated 12,000,000,000 native animals a year. Also, foxes don't survive in North Queensland, owing to the temperature isotherm, so many species elsewhere endangered hang-on up there, which makes the presence of feral cats particularly loathsome. But what was I to do? All of the jackeroos at the nearest station were gone for days mustering (and I mean "gone for days" – they’d head off on horseback with a helicopter to round-up the cattle on 200,000 acres of largely unfenced land and come back in a cloud of dust with a great herd of drought masters days later).
So, after that minimal sleep I got back in the truck, with Steve who wasn’t going to miss this for the world, drove down the paddock to the nearest dam and did this:
First I had to test the depth of the water (in a professional manner):
Next I got my cat:
Then I didn’t really want to watch what I was actually doing. So I dropped it and then turned and ran. There is a photo of me looking rather distraught taken after this one, but it’s on slide film:
I gave it a good 20 minutes, just to be sure. Then I came back and fished out my trap, but, horror of horrors, the back door came open and the cat actually slipped into the dam and all I had was left with was the trap:
There was nothing for it but to go in after the cat:
If you think I am awfully mean well, drowning is, so I’ve been told, supposed to be quite a nice way to “go” – once you get past the initial struggle. And if you still think I’m mean, here's just one of the reasons why I did it:
I got back to the lab at the university and dumped my dead cat in a sack on the floor, with the declaration “look what I killed!”. One of the mammal nutters rummaged through the sack in excitement. Then came the high-fives and congratulations. We’re a strange lot, us zoologists, but zoological field research has its own rites of passage, and destroying your first feral animal is one of them. A few days later I was presented with the skull of my cat (I didn’t arrange for that, believe me) by one of the skull freaks and told that I should mount it. I let him keep it.
Friday, July 04, 2008
MY little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd
I struck him, and dismiss'd
With hard words and unkiss'd
—His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,
A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach,
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells,
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
To comfort his sad heart.
So when that night I pray'd
To God, I wept, and said:
Ah, when at last we lie with trancèd breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood
Thy great commanded good,
Then, fatherly not less
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
'I will be sorry for their childishness.'
Coventry Patmore 1823–1896
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Empty hands, empty hands, a worn-out exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has had for me so many sharp experiences. God help me, my baby, my baby!And afterwards Elizabeth would write the poem:
One child and two green graves are mineSometime later, when a close friend, Carrie, lost her own two children, Elizabeth wrote her the letter below. Carrie had been prostrate with grief but on receiving this letter writes that she was "fairly aroused, lifted up, placed upon my feet":
This is God’s gift to me;
A bleeding, fainting, broken heart –
This is my gift to Thee.
Is it possible, is it possible that you are made childless? I feel distressed for you my dear friend, I long to fly to you and weep with you; it seems as if I must say or do something to comfort you. But God only can help you now and how thankful I am for a throne of grace and power where I can commend you, again and again, to Him who doeth all things well. I never realise my affliction in the loss of my children as I do when death enters the house of a friend. Then I feel that I can’t have it so. But why should I think I know better than my Divine Master what is good for me, or good for those I love? Dear Carrie, I trust that in this hour of sorrow you have with you that Presence, before which alone sorrow and sighing flee away. God is left; Christ is left; sickness, accident, death cannot touch you here. Is this not a blissful thought? … May sorrow bring us both nearer to Christ! I can almost fancy my little Eddy has taken your little Maymee by the hand and led her into the bosom of Jesus. How strange our children, our own little infants, have seen Him in his glory, whom we are only yet longing for and struggling towards!
Another sweet daughter has been lent to me of the Lord. Lent, LENT, let me repeat to myself in remembrance of my own sorrow and of yours.
This appeal involves features typical of a great many applications that assert contravention of an order that a child spend time with a parent: the complaint, even if correct, seems a heavy handed, even obssessive reaction - yet, if the incident is the latest in a series (about which there will commonly be mainly subjective comment, irrelevant to the particular proceeding) perhaps any exasperation of the complainant is at least understandable; secondly, the "excuse" offered by the respondent will seem "fair enough", at least not to be behaviour that ought attract punishment; and finally, whatever the outcome, it will seem unlikely to contribute to any real diminution of the particular family's conflict.
Yes, indeed. I wish they'd just all go home and be loving and reasonable.
Jane Shilling; Not a Card Sent or a Bauble Hung; The Times (London, UK); Dec 23, 2004.