Intermittent Internet

I think it’s something to do with bandwidth for as this area fills up with tourists the chances of me getting online become more and more unpredictable.    Lately my internet connection has been dropping out constantly.   At this rate I will have no internet at all when the majority of the summer tourists turn up after Christmas.     I may or may not be able to get online during January.    For that reason I may not be able to keep up frequent blog posts, reply to comments quickly or visit your blog.    I will do all of these things when I am able.




The Dreamtime


In north west Victoria, Australia an ancient image of Bunjil, an Aboriginal creator being  from the Dreamtime is painted with ochre onto the wall of a small cave at the base of a rocky outcrop.   Bunjil sometimes takes the form of an eagle but here he is represented by a man attended by his two dingo helpers.


Snow on the Heartbreak Hills

Only two or three times in my life have I seen snow falling.   The last time was when I lived at the base of the Heartbreak Hills – so called for the heartbreak the early settlers experienced when they attempted to farm the barren slopes.

One cold winter’s morning  snow floated down whimsically as I drove up the hill to the university where I was doing the final year of a Visual Arts degree.  Outside my studio it had collected in tiny drifts in the gutters.  The studio was freezing so I went and stood in the rotunda to watch the spectacle instead of working.  The enigmatic man who was either the love of my life or a case of mistaken identity joined me. Snow fell in delicate flurries and landed on the pines that marked the perimeter of the campus.  Beyond them the Heartbreak Hills were transformed into a fantasy of tiered white mounds and indistinct dark shapes.

The art faculty was a weird place at the best of times – dreamers, fantasists and moody malcontents mused and brooded in its shadowy recesses.   In the snow we drifted into the silent voids and white spaces of our own interior landscapes.   Pretty girls danced past disguised as alpine damsels.  The boys beside them were indistinct cyphers in their heavy hooded jackets.   My grumpy supervisor appeared in a WW1 leather flying hat and thick fur lined gloves.   ‘Living in a winter wonderland’ he sang as he skipped into his office.   The enigmatic man beside me assumed a gallant, noble air as he escorted me to lunch in the cafeteria.

The day and the mood suited my purposes perfectly.   The theme of the art I was making was hybridity and the way we in the West think our cultural roots go straight back to ancient Greek when, really, they can be traced to many sources.   My theory work was going well but I was struggling to produce art that reflected this idea.   In the transformation of the physical environment people around me slipped out of context and revealed hidden aspects of their personality.  Soon after lunch the snow stopped falling and I went to my studio to paint.

The snow melted overnight.  The next day everyone reverted back to form and we all got on with our final semester’s work.   By the end of the year I had a body of work that supported my ideas and the enigmatic man had proved himself to be a case of mistaken identity.

Winter mountains –
swirling snow drifts  

– certainties shift

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash



Climate Change and The Shift

photo prompt: 

Will the world as we know it crumble and fall?   Will the archaeologists of some future race stumble upon the ruins of our civilization?   Will they then shake their heads and wonder why we did nothing to halt the climate change that brought about our demise?

Lately I’ve been thinking that there are two ways to respond positively to the threat of  climate change .    One response is the outer response – this where assessing the facts takes place – it is where we petition governments to change their policies and it is where we to make changes in the way we live our lives – where we learn to consumer less,  to eat less meat,  and to monitor the ways we use electricity in our homes etc.

The second response is the inner one.   It here where we shift the way we think about life on Earth and humanity’s place within the ecosphere.

Quite possibly the driving force that will implement real and positive changes in our outer world will come from a shift in consciousness.

We humans tend to think we are at the top of the evolutionary ladder.    From that position we assume the right to dominate and exploit nature for our own gain.   What we forget is that we are actually part of the natural world.   It is the ecosphere of planet Earth that gives us the air we breath, the food we eat and the raw materials we use to create our ever more elaborate lifestyles.

This attitude of superiority hasn’t always motivated humans.   Indigenous cultures across the globe live in ways that are in harmony with the environment.    Looking at the archaeological evidence of human society before the birth of the city state it’s easy to imagine that once upon a time our ancestors were more in tune with the rhythms of nature.   A shift in consciousness would take us to a similar place.

I am not suggesting though that we all go live in caves or herd reindeer.    Rather, if our hearts and minds become more tuned into the natural world around us, the way we live on the planet will inevitably change. 

With increased awareness of the inter-connectedness of all things the focus of hearts and minds begins to change.   We are no longer so fixated on exploiting the Earth and it’s people and animals to satisfy our desires for more money, more stuff, more power etc.  We become more interested in working out ways to live in harmony with the natural world.

Opening up to this shift in consciousness can be remarkably easy.   It can be as simple as going for a walk in the park and becoming aware of the air quality, the light on the plants and the way being in such environments often creates a more relaxed mood.

Speakers at the climate change conference in Poland are telling us the end is nigh.   If we continue down the path we are currently on they will be proven right. 

If we shift our consciousness to a more holistic understanding of the world around us and our place in it we will start to change the way we live on the planet.  Instead of being the exploiters of the Earth, its animals and disadvantaged people we could become the caretakers.

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Onwards #writephoto

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Leaving the cultivated land of the homestead I pass by the rough fence that marks the boundary.   Beyond it the wild land stretches up to the sunlit mountain peaks.    Will I ever ascend to such heights?

Time was when I was young that I could have bounded up the rocky slopes without pause or second thought.   Of course then I was young and was not interested.   For me then it was the city lights – the romance and the highs.

It is only now as I explore more deeply this third phase of life – this time beyond maidenhood and motherhood – that I even contemplate the journey high into the mountains.

I will take with me minimal possessions.  Over the past few years I have whittled down the material goods I surround myself with.    Still, though, there are too many.   The keepsakes, the photos and the mementos that gather dust upon my shelves – these I still hang onto.

Gazing up into the heights I realise today is not the day I will scale them.    It is not time yet.  I am still bound…   still attached to my own past – that sense of self I laboured long and hard to build through the midlife years…

No, today is not the day I cast it all off and step upon the mountain path focused only on the higher goal.  Now is the time when I prepare myself.   Now is the time when I sort through my baggage and cast aside all that burdens me and holds me back.   Now is the time when I focus my intention.   Now is the time when, in deepest meditation, I build my capacity to hold the intense light of the mountain top within my being.   Without preparation that light could well be too much to endure.   It could well blind me so that I could lose my footing and plunge into a ravine of jagged rocks.  That mountain path is not for the faint hearted.

No today is not the day I scale the heights but at least now I see the way.