AN ELDERWOMAN RECOVERING FROM ADDICTION AND GRIEF AND SEPSIS. LIVING ON THE NORTH COAST OF N.S.W. AUSTRALIA
Greek mythology tells story of Icarus, son of the great Athenian craftsman Daedalus, who built the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete. The story goes that Daedalus, imprisoned in his own creation by the King, fashioned two sets of wings from feathers and wax so that he and his son could escape. Before taking to the skies, Daedalus warned his son not fly too close to the sea, where dampness would clog his wings, nor too close to the sun, but to follow his path of flight.But Icarus, overcome with the thrill of flying, ignored his father’s warning, soaring ever higher until the sun melted his wings, and he was left flapping his bare arms. Falling to the sea beneath him, Icarus drowned.The story of Icarus is one of over-ambition. The Athenian’s failure to recognize the separation between his desire to soar closer to the sun, and his inability to do so, cost him his life. So fabled was his failed flight, that psychoanalyst Henry Murray established the personality theory known as the Icarus Complex to describe an individual with an ego so consuming that it borders on malevolent.July 19th marked the sixth anniversary of this website…
It was like a burnt matchbox in the sky.
It was black and long and burnt in the sky.
You saw it through the flowering stump of trees.
You saw it beyond the ochre spire of the church.
You saw it in the tears of those who survived.
You saw it through the rage of those who survived.
You saw it past the posters of those who had burnt to ashes.
You saw it past the posters of those who jumped to their deaths.
You saw it through the TV images of flames through windows
Running up the aluminium cladding
You saw it in print images of flames bursting out from the roof.
You heard it in the voices loud in the streets.
You heard it in the cries in the air howling for justice.
You heard it in the pubs the streets the basements the digs.
You heard it in the wailing of women and the silent scream
Of orphans wandering the streets
Life is both wholeness and brokenness, birth and death. Aging is not a disease.
This photograph seems to encapsulate how I feel right now. It was taken (by the wondrous Sylvia Linsteadt who came to visit! but more of that another time) in the early autumn sun as I strode across September-coloured Dartmoor with my baby boy on my back. This has been the most treasured and difficult of all the years of my life so far. I have had to learn to be a mother whilst we totally reconfigure our life. Building our Hedgespoken home and travelling theatre has taken all the energy we could muster and then it has kept on taking. And I continue to be stretched in more than three dimensions by the challenges and alchemys and incandescent joys of motherhood. Nevertheless I seem to keep
Source: The Hermitage
Source: HAPPY 105TH BIRTHDAY, AUNT MARY!
The Moon Rock site, located at one of the highest points in Kuringai Chase National Park, 20km north of Sydney’s CBD, includes extensive sandstone engravings by the Garrigal clan of the Cammeraigal peoples.It is unique because it includes rare engravings of the 8 phases of the moon, beginning with the creator Biame’s boomerang. Its presence adds further weight to national evidence demonstrating that Aboriginal people were keen observers of the sky and indeed, the world’s first astronomers.The Moon Rock site is owned by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (Metropolitan) since being handed back under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Among the ridges and spurs, there are more than 50 engravings, including depictions of spirit figures, wallabies, shields, fish, sharks, whales, eel, mundoes (or footprints) and tools that are estimated to be more than 5 thousand years old.It’s registration as a significant Aboriginal Place under the NSW Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 means that Metropolitan and the NSW Parks and Wildlife department will jointly manage and protect it for future generations.
Above: Image by Charles Bayliss (1881)(sourced from Blue Mountains Local Studies Centre)Below: Image by Julie Storry (May 2016)We refer to this pier, and these steps as “Man O’War Steps”. Although originally constructed during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie (1810-1821), he only named the little enclosed beach as Port Lachlan, after his son. The current name stuck from about the 1860s. Even so, the name has lasted longer than the original jetty.
Source: Sydney Eye: Mostly Man O’Peace
I am just plain too angry to write. I had a damned good holiday with family and loved ones and it has made me madder than a hornet that I am struggling through this without effective professional help. Maybe the writing will return and maybe not. Certainly not tonight.
“For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”― Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
A SURVIVOR of institutional care, who then spent years living off the grid in the NSW bush, has completed a PhD highlighting the experiences of the Forgotten Australians.Gregory Smith, a lecturer at SCU, has spent four years conducting an in-depth look at the experiences of 21 people who grew up in care – of whom he is one.Gregory’s own story echoes many, and it is one he is only recently learning to share.He was born in Tamworth in 1955 and surrendered by his parents to a Catholic orphanage at the age of 10.”I’m a product of domestic violence, alcoholism, dysfunctionalism in an era when it wasn’t acceptable, but at the same time it was tolerated – there wasn’t a lot done,” he said.”When I was 10, I was told I was going to Armidale to visit an aunty and then I found myself being unloaded at an orphanage.”In line with the times, children weren’t informed of the decisions that affected them.”
I am Rebecca O’Day. I am an artist, writer, chef and wilderness explorer. Please follow me for a few quiet minutes and see the world somewhat abstracted that I see andpresent through my art on these pages. I paint from very deep inside my imagination, there is no “high realism” there. Perhaps that might translate into my work as intimidating even a bit disarming but please take the time to Let Go and peruse. I believe that there is evidence of the “every(wo)man” joy and struggle in my work and that it is always, ultimately, beautiful no matter how harsh it may initially seem. Light and shadow are my implements. I have heard that there is an “intimacy and immediacy” to some of my new work seen recently. This pleases me. If you are interested in purchasing work, would like to discuss my creating a commission piece or would enjoy the opportunity to review new work via email updates, please let me know. If you simply wish to talk ABOUT ART, my art, your art, ART – I would love that.
Source: Rebecca O’Day
Nights were spent sleeping with ticks, leeches and snakes, but mornings could bring cloud-filled gorges and symphonies of birdsong. Academic Gregory Smith tells Richard Fidler about the 10 years he spent living in a forest, trying to purge his demons.My wellbeing wasn’t my primary concern. The longer I stayed in the forest, the more unhealthy I became.GREGORY SMITH, SCU ACADEMICAfter decades of life on the margins, Gregory Smith walked himself into the wider world.
Yunupingu – whose name means “the rock that stands against time” – writes in the full knowledge that his time as a guardian of his culture is running out. He says it is time for a different approach to reconciliation.
In a 75-minute speech on Thursday night, Bernie Sanders described his “vision of transforming this country”—a vision that depends on the wholesale mobilization of the populist army galvanized by his presidential campaign.”Never, ever lose your sense of outrage,” Sanders told the New York City crowd in an address titled “Where We Go From Here.””You can beat the establishment,” he declared. “They’re not quite as powerful as some make them out to be. In every state we had to take on the entire Democratic establishment. That is not just your state—that’s true in every state in this country and yet we ended up winning 22 of those states.””I have no doubt that a strong well-organized grassroots movement can take on the establishment and defeat the establishment and that is precisely what we’ve got to do and what the political revolution is all about,” he said to rowdy applause.
ROBERT GRAY.Journey: the North CoastNext thing, I wake up in a swaying bunk.as though on board a clipperlying in the sea,and it’s the train, that booms and cracks,it tears the wind apart.Now the man’s gonewho had the bunk below me. I swing out,cover his bed and rattle up the sash—there’s sunlight rotatingoff the drab carpet. And the water swayssolidly in its silver basin, so coldit joins together through my hand.I see from where I’m bentOne of those bright crockery daysthat belong to so much I remember.The train’s shadow, like a bird’s,flees on the blue and silver paddocks,over fences that look split from stone,and banks of fern,a red clay bank, full of roots,over a dark creek, with logs and leaves suspended,and blackened tree trunks.Down these slopes move, as a nude descends a staircase,slender white gum trees,and now the country bursts open on the sea—across a calico beach, unfurling;strewn with flakes of lightthat make the whole compartment whirl.Shuttering shadows. I rise into the mirrorrested. I’ll leave my hairruffled a bit that way—fold the pyjamas,stow the book and wash bag. Everything done,press down the latches into the case,that for twelve months I’ve watched standing outof a morning, above the wardrobein a furnished room.(Gray 1998 )
Mark GregorySince the early 1960s Mark Gregory has been interested in lyrical commentary on working life exemplified in song and poem, tracing and collecting examples to study the origins and traditions of this material with a particular focus on Australia.In 1984 Mark began working with Brian Dunnett on his Railway Songs collection and was involved in the recording of poems and songs associated with the Trains of Treasure exhibition.For the last twenty years his collections have made use of the internet and the possibility of storing searchable archives of lyrics and audio files. Taken together these research archives contain over 1000 Australian songs and poems:Australian Folk SongsUnion SongsAustralian Railway SongsFrank the Poet
Briefest of Briefs.I went to Toormina with the Girls and we had fun and a hot dog and a doughnut. I bought 2 shirts and a bag – I do not purchase things easily. I am therefore delighted with myself. Kaybee has my washing with her. These days are busy days and I am able to do them although I do weary. I did not bleed today.I did have plans for this afternoon and this evening. They did not come about for reasons which I shall not write here. Suffice to say that I recover a little and am less willing to pretzel for other people or to try to read their minds.
For over 150 years songwriters, poets musicians and writers have observed and recorded many aspects of Australian railway life. Many of the songs and poems came directly from those who were employed in building or operating national railway systems. Others items came from those who used railways as passengers, or recall trains amongst their earliest memories.
Source: Australian Railway Songs
Australian pensioners are once again being bullied by a powerful lobby group which advocates cutting welfare spending to reduce the government’s budget deficit.A new Centre for Independent Studies report says retirees have a “misplaced sense of entitlement” about pensions and suggests homes be made part of the pension assets test, heaping further anxieties upon the elderly.Pensioners are constantly made to feel that we are an expensive liability; a burden on society.The report echoes the Abbott government’s ill-fated National Commission of Audit, and its urgent call to cut the age pension while ignoring calls to rein in superannuation concessions for wealthy Australians.Retirees gaming the superannuation system to retire early: report Read moreCiting the burden on taxpayers, the CIS does not consider other sources of revenue, such as improved tax collection from multinationals or from the 37.6% of large companies who paid no tax in Australia last financial year. Nor does it concede that governments do not solely rely on individual wage-earner income tax receipts. It is a cruel distortion to depict age pensions as coming solely out of tax payers’ wage packets.To counteract the scaremongering by the CIS it’s important to note that Australia is second-lowest amongst the OECD in spending on age pensions.We spend 3.5% of GDP on age pension, while the UK, for example, spends 6%. France and Italy spend 14% and 15% respectively. Yes, we have an ageing population, but the government’s own estimates show spending on the aged pension will increase only slightly to 3.9% by 2050. Our superannuation scheme allows government to shift the cost of welfare on to workers.