Waking up

This is a true story though you may think it otherwise. At 1pm on 1-1-11 (January 1, 2011) I began to wake up.

At that time I lived in a grimy industrial city. I had chronic fatigue syndrome and couldn’t work. My doctor said there was no cure but insisted I see a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. At 1pm on 1-1-11 I went to yet another appointment with this therapist. I remember the time and date because they looked so strange written on the appointment card. The therapy was going nowhere but I wasn’t in a position to argue.

I hadn’t been at the appointment long, maybe 11 minutes, when I had the strangest experience.   A voice sounded in my head – ‘Wake it,’ it said. ‘What are you doing here? It’s time you woke up.’  The voice was so unexpected I wanted to sit back and listen to it but the therapist was banging on and I knew from past experience that if I ignored her she’d get hostile. I made the right noises and got through the appointment.

On the way home I listened to the voice. It changed my life and has been doing so ever since. It offers no answers but teaches ways to wake up from the collective dream where we are all victims or victors collectively avoiding the realisation our planet is dying.

Others too hear this voice. It speaks differently for everyone yet the message is the same – wake up.



Prompt:  “Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.” http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/05/haibun-monday-2/

WordPress Writing 201: Poetry – um …

In a moment of optimism I signed up for WordPress  Writing 201: Poetry.  The first assignment turned up my email inbox today.

Day 1: Screen, Haiku, Alliteration

I not much good at alliteration and, as usual, I can only write haiku if I combine it with an image and create a haiga so my attempt is has no doubt broken all the rules of the challenge already – here it is –

bla nk

Expecting the unexpected

SoCS badge 2015Prompt:   Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “expect/unexpected.”  Use either or both words in your post, or simply base your idea on them. Have fun! http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-315/ 


                             jordan and london 430 (2)

‘This is so-o-o boring,’ Jacinta muttered to herself.   ‘The same old same old over and over again.   I thought when I booked this package tour to Mars I’d be in for the unexpected.   I truly expected that all my pre-conceived ideas about life would be turned on their head and that I would have life changing experiences every tick of the clock.   Instead what I get is this.’   She stared bleakly at yet another corridor in the underground shopping mall she’d been touring for the past five days.   Up ahead the tour guide waxed lyrical about the advantages of shopping on Mars.   Not only were all the shops Duty Free they were all Factory Outlets and offered their goods at Way Below Retail Price.    For days he’d been listing all the high end stores they could visit.   There were so many Jacinta had stopped listening.   Everyone around her practically orgasmed at the roll call of names but she was over it.   Totally.

‘I really don’t know what’s wrong with you,’ Maybellene, her tour companion chided. ‘Just think of all the wonderful bargains we can snap up this afternoon during our free shopping time.    My neighbours will be so envious when I tell them just how cheap I got all this stuff,’ she boasted as she flounced after the tour leader.   The woman was total bore, Jacinta decided.   The only thing she had in common with her was the twin share accommodation they slept in at night.   ‘Never again will I tick the box that says I’m willing to share accommodation with another single female just to save $400 on these wretched tours.   In fact, never again will I sign up for one of these wretched tours.’

Totally fed up with the whole deal and Maybellene’s relentless enthusiasm Jacinta hung back pretending to be absorbed by yet another window display of over priced leather handbags and glossy silk scarves that would bunch up around the throat of anyone was foolish enough to buy and wear a scarf that cost $US2,735.

Once the tour group had drifted on and the leader’s voice faded into the distance Jacinta slipped down a corridor between two stores.   Anything would be better than being on that tour a moment longer.  ‘Maybe something unexpected will finally happen to me,’ she whispered to herself.   In a way she no longer believed this was possible.   Her life, despite her early daydreams of glory, had turned out to be no more than a humdrum run of expected events and non events.  

‘Did I hear you say you wanted the unexpected,’ said a deep male voice beside her.  ‘Step this way.’

Without thinking of the consequences of following a tall, dark and handsome stranger down a dark alleyway, Jacinta did just that.   ‘At last,’ she thought.  ‘The unexpected is finally going to happen to me.’

She hurried after the man as he disappeared round a corner.   Once she turned the corner she gasped in awe.   The man was no where to be seen.   Instead she found herself standing on a balcony with looked out into space.  The darkness of the universe beyond Mars opened out before her.       


Stars and planets glinted like ice crystals in the depths of blackness.   As she watched it seemed that somehow she travelled out into the void.   She was dimly aware that her body remained on the balcony while her consciousness soared through through vastness.   Huge nebula swirled around in bright gaseous clouds of reds, gold and electric blue.   Star systems and galaxies that were indiscernible to even the most powerful telescopes on earth loomed in front of her vision then fell behind as she journeyed on and on.  Oddly she had a sense that she moved through time as much as moved through space.  ‘The space-time continuum’, said an androgynous voice somewhere near her left ear.    


She turned to see who it was that spoke but could not quite discern what or who it was she saw.   Was it a spirit guide?  An ancient god?   A comic book alien?   She could not be quite sure but somehow it didn’t really matter.   A feeling of safety and of deepest peace engulfed her and she had a sense that she was journeying back through time to the Big Bang,  the beginning of it all – she did not know for the word for the immensity and profundity that drew her to itself.   Perhaps God was the word but this energy, this Source could not be personified or categorized.


As she approached the fulcrum point she had the strangest sensation.   For a timeless expanse of beingness she sensed/experienced herself as part of it all – part of the galaxies and black holes that whizzed by her – part even of that fulcrum point she now approached at the speed of light.   Even as she became aware of this she was immersed in a swirling, pulsating lightness of being.   Her sense of a separate self disappeared.  She was at one with all of it – vibrating on a cellular level at the same frequency.  Time ceased

As an awareness of the experience began to coalesce into words the reverse process occurred and she travelled back and back through the eternities of time, oscillating in and out of consciousness of herself as separate and herself as part of the universe until she stood once again on the balcony.

Coming back into her body she shivered/laughed/cried all at the same time.   ‘Well that was unexpected,’ she giggled to herself as she hurried back to join the tour group.   ‘My life will never be the same again after that I’m sure.’

She entered the main thoroughfare of the shopping just as the tour group doubled back on itself.  ‘There you are,’ shouted Maybellene.  ‘I thought we’d lost in the rush.  Come along, we’re about to get lunch at a fast food outlet that specialises in Martian Burgers made with genuine soluble synthetic protein dressed with E number food additives!’

‘I’ll pass on the burger,’ Jacinta giggled.   Her experience of the unexpected had left her buoyant and she didn’t feel the slightest bit hungry.  ‘That will take me a while to process’, she thought as she tagged along after the others.


A walk in the bush


It’s school holidays over here.  My autistic grandson finds holidays hard as he likes his life to be ordered and structured.   To get through the holidays my daughter plans activities and writes itemised lists of what is going to happen each day.   Today the list involved taking for a long drive with family to the bush, having morning tea at a picnic table then going for a bush walk.   The first few items happened without a hitch but the bush walk wasn’t as straight forward as you might think.   I mean why walk in the bush on a hot day when you can get back in the car and listen to music on the stereo – or so my grandson thought.  

We coaxed him away from the picnic table with talk of going in a cave.  It took some quick thinking on my daughter’s part to convince him that the shelter shed beside the picnic table wasn’t a cave but eventually we got him moving.  

DSCN8662 Perhaps it is no more than the light playing tricks on my camera lens but the bush we walked through had a magical quality.

We were up at Mt Eccles, a National Park at an extinct volcano some 60k inland from where I live.    Up at a lookout we spied Lake Surprise, the crater lake. DSCN8649

The lookout is surrounded by crumbling dry stone walls.  DSCF7907

These walls can be found across the area.   Some were obviously made by the early white settlers but others are far older and were made by the Gunditmara people, the aboriginal tribe that has lived in this area for thousands of years.  Further to the west are Lake Condah and the Tyrendarra wetlands – places unique in aboriginal culture for the  people lived in large villages in permanent stone huts and developed an elaborate network of dry stone wall weirs and fish and eel traps. Dating back 6,800 years, it is one of the world’s oldest aquaculture systems and older than Stonehenge.The stones used date back 30,000 years when the volcanic eruptions from Budj Bim flowed across the area creating the landscape.    http://dswaa.org.au/dswaa-backs-gunditjmara-bid-for-world-heritage/


While Lake Condah would be a fantastic place to visit (and I’ll get there one day) just getting to the cave was a big enough challenge for us today.   My grandson’s stressful shrieks were matched by the shrieks of cockatoos in the trees above us.   Eventually we made it to the cave.  Strangely the lad wasn’t at all deterred by the gaping black maw of the cave and had to be held back from rushing down the slippery stone steps at breakneck speed. 

DSCN8671  DSCN8690




I hung back a bit to take photos.   The magic of Mt Eccles is at it’s strongest in these lava tube caves scattered throughout the crater.

The cave itself doesn’t go back very far and there isn’t much to see.  The torch we had was utterly pathetic so we stood around in the black for a few moments then left.

DSCN8686  My grand daughter was the only one of our group who wanted to linger.   Apparently the location was exactly how she imagined the home of dragons.   She spent quite a while trying to get a photo that she planned to use for the cover the book she is writing about dragons!   I have no idea what the strange light on the cave wall is – it appeared in my photo of her attempting to get the perfect shot but it was not visible to the naked eye.  Maybe it’s the flash of her camera – maybe it’s just further proof that the place is magic.


Once we had all emerged from the cave my grandson surprised us all by happily walking on through the bush for quite some distance.  This part of the park always intrigues me from a long dry wall stretches along the crater rim. 


Perhaps the wall was made by the early settlers to fence in their livestock or perhaps it is far older.  

DSCN8702  DSCN8703

Beyond the wall a track led us to a fenced off area so we decided to head back to the car.


My grandson was very happy about this idea and marched along without a fuss.  I wandered along behind the others enjoying the bush.   Mt Eccles has never been logged and the manna gum forest is quite different from the forests growing closer to the coast.


Back at the cave we decided not to follow my grand daughter’s suggestion that we go back down into the black but puffed and panted as my grandson led up the steps in record time.   I think he could smell the car by now and only wanted to get in and turn that stereo back on.


At the top of the steps my daughter convinced him to sit for a moment as we got our breath back. DSCN8722  While he waited for us he  donned the Fireman Sam helmet he had made himself and carefully carried for the entire walk.

Back at the car there was time for a high five and a chorus of ‘Good Job’ before bush walk was crossed off the list.   All that all that was left to do was eat lunch,  drink water and drive home – with the stereo on loud.     

linked to Jo’s Monday Walk