Wednesday’s historic deal between the United States and Cuba was noteworthy for a lot of reasons—and a fascinating one that’s emerged has been the role of Pope Francis. It’s been reported that the Pope sent personal letters to President Obama and President Raul Castro enjoining them to reconsider the situation; then, he invited US and Cuban officials to the Vatican in October to talk things out. In the days since the announcement—which His Holiness greeted with “warm congratulations”—the Vatican has enjoyed wide credit as one of the biggest influences in breaking the decades-old standoff.
Contact Time with StudentsIt has been a great debate over the years for our nation’s teachers to spend more time in the classroom. Our Ministry of Education, over the last three years, has hemorrhaged the teachers’ holiday/recuperation period by adding two more teaching days per term. This year is no different and now not only are they trying to shorten the days of rest for teachers, but are now mandating them to go to professional development seminars conducted by education officers who themselves are exhausted with work.All this, because there is the perception that teachers have too much time on their hands to find additional funds to improve their standard of living. One talk show host mentioned about the amount of teachers who are driving better cars and living in luxurious houses and that teaching seemed to be a money making business instead of that of educating the population. There were mentions of teachers having after school classes where students must pay a cost. Investigations were secretly conducted to find out the cost of these services and publishing how much money a teacher makes conducting private classes.
THEY are everywhere in north Australia, and nowhere. They are real and unreal; mythical and historical. They are depicted in the rock art, they are in the stories, they are in the minds of men and women from Cape York and the Top End right across to Broome on the distant Indian Ocean’s shore — the Little People. They have a hundred local names — Rai, Janjarri, Mimih — yet the picture we have of them is strikingly consistent. We know they are slight, elusive, magical, mischievous. We are told that they are always nearby, listening, hovering, poised just beyond the edge of our field of vision: they are the necessary companion beings to complete and populate the vast, empty-seeming country of the remote north. Of course we hear about them most often in old, remembered song-cycles: they serve as the puzzling trickster-heroes of many a wildly ramifying Aboriginal narrative. But are those stories simply tales, legends — or do they point to a time now gone when there were diminutive people spread through the lush rainforests and up and down the coastlines of the north? Were the Little People real? Are they still?
AcknowledgementsThis Project was made possible through the support and cultural authority of the Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council. Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance would like to express our gratitude to Sue Hoskins for her time, commitment and for sharing the community cultural knowledge and stories with all of u
CHRISTMAS IS A STUDY IN CONTRASTS, OF MANY DIALECTICS WHICH WE EMBRACE AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A SOCIETY. IT IS HAPPY AND SAD, INGENUOUS AND CYNICAL, SPIRITUAL AND CRASS, SELFISH AND ALTRUISTIC, A CELEBRATION OF GOD, A DEIFICATION OF MAMMON.” ELIZABETH C. HIRSCHMAN AND PRISCILLA A. LABARBERA
via “Christmas is a study in contrasts, of many dialectics which we embrace as individuals and as a society. It is happy and sad, ingenuous and cynical, spiritual and crass, selfish and altruistic, a celebration of God, a deification of Mammon.” Elizabeth C. Hirschman and Priscilla A. LaBarbera | THE OLD PROVERBIAL RECOVERY.
An ancient mystic described perfect human fulfillment as being “alone with the Alone.” Why should I not like being alone? I came from the Alone, but all rivers flow back to the sea. It seemed, no matter where I went in life, what I did, or who I met, I felt the tug of that current flowing deep inside me, drawing me back toward the original solitude – my home.
JOURNEY AT A TROT
I’m very busy now. I’m scaling heights,
I’m swimming after dark from winter shores;
the fishers know my name, and there are nights
when ragged people warm my heart, because
they share the little that they have. I’ve slept
upon the beach, sung jazz up on the stage,
and wandered wild for days where sorrow crept
to snuffle at my heels. I know the cage
that is my isolation. Here’s the door.
Just watch me run! I gasp, my body aches
but still I must go on, there must be more!
I’ll find the energy although it takes
its toll of me. My love has passed away.
I push to just get through another day.
Kathleen Earsman 2004
This poem is another from Australian Poet KATHY EARSMAN. A woman gifted with words and with soul.
FOR ALL OUR LOST TOMORROWS
Through all the long strong seasons of the moon
I’ve wandered wistful, yearning for his touch.
In all the empty spaces placed in front of me
where he can never be, I mourn.
For all the poems he will never share,
for secrets, songs and sounds he’ll never know,
and for the moon that shone in glory when he died
I’ve cried the many months since he was gone.
Through all the bright bold silvered nights
the moon has dressed in loveliness he’ll never see,
and all our lost tomorrows wrapped in sorrow
I will still love him tenderly.
KATHLEEN EARSMAN 2004
Made with #Pixlr # – http://pixlr.com/mobile
A personal favourite place of mine on the Bellinger River.
You are all my family. I know that you are human and imperfect. Some are confused, some struggling, some tired, needing a moment’s rest. Tired of the rain and needing the rainbow. I love you all fee-sabeel-illah. Have no fear. Allah is with you and will not abandon you for a single heartbeat. The rainbow is coming, or maybe it’s already here and all you need to do is look up. ”
– Wael Abdelgawad
Created by Photo Grid.
Since becoming the possesor of an android slate 21 on Christmas Day, I have been pretty much possessed by the intricacies of operating it especially in the realm of posting to blogs. My daughter and her 3 year old LOVE it and Izzy seems quite fond of it – but we remain antagonists although I do see lurking potentials. I have achieved a collage ( as above) and managed to upload it. Its a slightly cooler greyer day here in Raleigh. Izzy is out on the front verandah attempting to discover when and where his Gr Grandfather from Gdansk jumped ship in World War 1 and I am at my front window wrassling with the Slate , eating pickled onions and cheese slices and drinking a creaming soda spider.
The collage is of my grand daughter down in the cold country where she currently lives, me up here in Raleigh where its war, my daughter and her twin cousin with the baby in 2013 and Izzy with the parrot of his daughter.