Okay. So I am Religious. Baptised in the Anglican Church, confirmed in the Presbyterian Church. I’m Christian with a side of open-mindedness about the different forms of spirituality. I don’t preach to people. I don’t believe in Hell. I support Gay Marriage. I believe that everyone has the same capacity for good and evil, and to some degree I believe in the Force. I’m no ones archetype of a traditional Christian I guess, but me and God are peeps.
I’m not normally out to tell anyone else their beliefs are wrong. However sometimes their beliefs can be very confronting and I find myself frustrated. I look at the way some people are so anti-religion and anti-Christianity and to be frank; I can’t blame them sometimes. Its not the beliefs, its the people touting them and using religion as a vehicle for preaching hate, sexism, homophobia, racism and basically all that is the antithesis of Love.
One of my Facebook friends has been posting some extremely religious things on their page. Normally this wouldn’t even be something I would notice. Most of my friends are extremely political so for the most part my news feed is a stream of what people think and believe, and I enjoy it. However the nature of the posts has been disturbing me.
For one thing I don’t think there is a single choice a women can make which makes it her fault if her partner or spouse beats her. Saying that she was just ‘Blind’ as a wrong choice she made, completely disgusts me.
This series of posts this ‘Friend’ has done about women making wrong choices in marriage makes me feel similarly appalled. They talk about the failure of marriage or ‘bad’ marriages as being a result of the women’s actions or inactions. It baffles me why a marriage or partnership between two people is anyone else’s business to begin with, or at the very least why any problems or issues are automatically something that can be thrown back at the women as “A godly women would have never ended up there to begin with”. Last time I was at a wedding there were two people at the altar. Just saying.
I guess the problem for me is looking on someone else first with judgement rather than compassion. Its also the fact that these posts scare me; how many other people feel this way? The fact that people may be converted or aligned to this way of thinking is in some way even more offensive than messages of hate being preached in the first place.
There is this new sort of Ricky Gervaisesque antagonism towards Christians, and posts like this one clearly show why. For me the most important message I ever learned at church was that ‘God is Love’. I don’t think that anyone should ever be heckled and hassled in or out of religion.
This weeks writing challenge asks you to look at a photo that represents happiness and discuss the truth and integrity behind the image.
Now I didn’t take this photo, but I was there, as was the author of the above Facebook Post.
This photo was taken at a peace conference I went to in Japan when I was about 16, which I have posted about before. The exact moment was during a moment on stage where the group, representing young people from 28 countries, sang Bobby Darin’s ‘Simple Song of Freedom’ with a choir of Japanese youth.
So very dorky. So very clap-happy. So completely full of love and proper Joy, irrespective of our genders, races and religions. Link below of the actual song.
My Gran always says that ‘Anticipation is the greatest part of pleasure’, something I like to remember frequently. Its not the moment of happiness as much as the sigh of a Florence-inspired “Happiness, here it comes”.
That’s about me for today. I find it hard to separate my feelings about my friend from my reactive feelings to the things he keeps posting on his page. We’ll see what happens.
Eep so I have been a wee bit absent lately, will get back to updating this more regularly again but here is a snapshot of what I have been up to in my absence:
- Trained up for Navy in May
- Been to hippie camp
- Started selling hula hoops online
- Buoyed by success, started own website and Facebook page
- Hula hooped a lot
- Got a mad-crush on a boy
- Signed some petitions
- Registered as an actual business
- Spent long hours hunched over excel to make extremely small and unsatisfying headway into the wonderful world of business
- Volunteered for stuff
- Slipped on a pear while walking in the garden, rolled ankle into a bunny hole, tore two ligaments and ruptured another
- Moped a little more
- Had to cancel Navy (again)
- Booked fun and exciting trip[ away in April for my birthday
- Nearly went to the ballet
- Nearly went to Hoopfest
- Volunteered a bit more
- Sold more hoops
- Rediscovered passion for
The only other thing I hadn’t shared yet is that on January 29th my bunny Freddie died. I feel like I have to excuse the way I feel about it because I found it incredibly traumatic and I know there is this mentality that some people hold of “oh well, its just a bunny”. I guess the thing is I had Freddie for 7 years. He was the first real family I made for myself after leaving home and he really was a particularly special little creature, and extremely dear to me.
A large part of the sadness was also guilt. Freddie did not drift off in his sleep in old age, he dug a hole out of his cage and got attacked by a neighbourhood tom cat, while he screamed for help I was up the driveway patting kittens. My dad heard it and thought it was a possum crying but as I came down and he told me I ran to the bottom of the property where I found him lying still on the ground, breathing but bleeding. I took him in to the vet first thing in the morning to put him down but the vet looked at him, gave him a couple of injections and sent him home as apparently his injuries were very survivable. Shortly after that he died.
The next day I buried Freddie by myself in the garden. I dug the hole and prepared the ground, lit some candles and played some music while I sat with him for a while, before laying him in the ground and burying him.
Its a lot of detail to give for the death of a rabbit, I know. But Freddie was my dear little darling, and my world felt his loss very vividly. I miss him a lot.
So I thought I would try send you in the direction of something awesome. Phillip English has just about finished a journey he started in March of last year biking all the way from London, England to Cape, Town South Africa – a journey of more than 15,000 kilometres.
I went to school with him and he is truly a top bloke who has done a really crazy adventure, using the spectacleness to bring awareness to the Acumen Fund. I don’t really want to paraphrase his description so will paste it below as follows from his Crowdrise Page:
Hey I’m Phillip “The Posing Cyclist” and on the 31st March 2012 I am going to be peddling over 15,000km from London to Capetown,with the goal of raising $25,000 for my favourite non-profit organisation – the Acumen Fund. This is an organization dedicated to eliminating poverty by using entrepreneurial methods .
I will be cycling unsupported,with all my equipment on my bike through rain, hail, and extreme heat across 13 countries,taking me roughly 12 months to complete.
As a way of showing my personal appreciation for anybody who is kind enough to donate to the Acumen Fund, I am going to publicly thank any person who sponsors the tour by taking a photo of a thank you message on my trip with the name of the generous donor. The photos will be shared on my facebook fan page and I will also link them to google maps, so you can see exactly where each photo was taken.
If you would like a very short custommessage (maybe a happy birthday for a friend or the URL for your blog) included in the message, just message me right after you have made your donation.
And for those of you that don’t want to be thanked publicly just message me with subject ‘opt out’ or simply donate anonymously.
Naturally, I will not have access to the internet at all times,so I cannot give you an exact time for how long it will take me to update my blog and facebook page.
I’m going to try to update at least once a week, though there may be times when that is simply not possible.
So why am I supporting the Acumen Fund?
What I personally love about the Acumen Fund is their approach in tackling poverty. Rather than giving out donations and grants,they invest in local enterprise and businesses who want to provide critical services (water, health, housing and alternative energy) at affordable prices to people earning less than four dollars a day.
By sponsoring me on this tour your donation will go directly to the Acumen Fund to help them build businessesthat service the poor.
A massive thanks in advance for your donations and support.
Please go his Facebook Page or the Crowdrise Page to show support and have a look at the photos etc he took along the way. He hasn’t quite achieved his fundraising goal but it is an amazing adventure he has gone on which I thought was well worth sharing. Please share on if you can – would be great for his to get a few more shares and hopefully donations on the home straight.
What a lad.
Was trying to use this for the ‘Map it Out’ challenge as well but it doesn’t work super-well between two locations so far apart because you can’t select a walking or cycling version. But you can at least see the locations on a map and how far the journey is even if it were as the crow flies, which is great.
When I was 19 my friend and I moved into a little farm cottage on an organic dairy farm in rural New Zealand. I had just been living in a house with 9 other people and needed the change, and for other reasons, as did she.
The thing about being in any rural setting is that it is isolated. We found ourselves trapped in a world of our own imagining that was cosy and comforting but probably not healthy. Of course we did leave the nest to go to work and classes, but the majority of the time for the first wee while was spent in our small warm home. We didn’t realise it then but I think we were waiting.
Eventually we realised we needed to see our outside friends a little more, so we started having a monthly pot luck dinner. I’m not sure if it is a universal concept but to explain it anyway: Everyone brings a dish and you share a medley of different dishes in the pleasure of each others good company. Sometimes we themed it: Indian, Vegan, 1940′s, and BBQ.
When we had moved into the house my friend’s father had brought down an old barbecue for us to use. It was only when we went to set it up one autumn evening for a Pot luck dinner that we noticed that the metal tray that sits between the grill and the gas bottle was missing. She rang her father and he said to wrap a piece of cardboard up in tinfoil and use that in its place. In hindsight this advice was not the best choice to follow.
We were a bit sceptical but as people arrived we set it up and it seemed to be running fine, the flames being kept away from the gas bottle by reflecting off the tin foil sheet. Most of the barbecue food was cooked quite quickly and we were just finishing off grilling someone’s chicken sausages when we noticed the tinfoil sort of melt away and the cardboard ’tray’ catch alight. Within seconds the whole tray was burning and we freaked out and turned off the plate. We grabbed the cardboard with the tongs and dragged it out an ran away. Running away wasn’t arguably the best decision as we noticed the flames continue along the hose of the gas bottle, licking their way down voraciously to the LPG cylinder.
But we did, though that’s another story.
2013 is going to be a completely kickass year. I can feel it. I can tell. [I kind of need it to be].
I like to think that there are many other people out there similar to me. Every year we approach the impending New Year as some sort of milestone. We think that there is something a little magical about the 365 days spanning one year on the calendar to the next, and we treat this as a momentous occasion. We also like to start things on a Monday, the first day of the month, or the start of a new season.
Neat. Tidy. Wrapped up. These people and me, we must be more than a little OCD.
I have thought about my general hopes and dreams for the next year. Then thought a lot more about the specific ones. I have thought of my new plan of attack, the date of release, the moment of impact. Etc etc etc. I like thinking, its exactly the right amounts of neither helpful NOR productive. Gold.
This is to say: Happy New Year! And may the panicking begin.
The rules for my ‘resolutions’ are as follows:
- Things that are achieved need to be blogged about then I will come back and change the goal to a completed hyperlink.
- Can’t be changed, obviously the wicked world of WordPress is a pretty concrete comittment.
1. Go to Hula Hooping Camp. [Yes, its a thing!]
2. Go on a first date.
3. Make my own veggie stock.
4. Take a roadtrip.
5. Get something published.
6. Join a choir, or similar. If rejected: take singing lessons.
7. Run a 1/2 marathon. Faster than last time.
8. Do more blog posts on average per months than last year.
9. Own less stuff.
10. Tattoo. [Just don't tell my Mum!]
What do you think? Wimpy? Ridiculous? Unambitious? Too whimsical? not whimsical enough?
I have a problem with New Years resolutions generally in that there’s too much pressure to make them and not enough to complete them. And everyone asks what they are, which is annoying because it could be something personal that I don’t feel like telling the random stranger asking me, but to lie about it kind of feels like you are cheating on your goals. So I decided on picking more achievable things as these ‘grand goals this year’. I’m pretty sure everyone already has the things they want all the time regardless of the new year be it love, security, or a climb rope out of a darkness they may have found themselves in.
I want to be happier this year, and I wan’t everyone I love to be happier too.
Happy new year <3, MB
[The thing about this prompt that breaks my balls a little is my OCD urges to write pages 1 and 2 (and 4 and 5). I can't just do a single solitary Page 3, WHAT DO YOU MEAN PROMPT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN. I apologise for the CAPS there and assure you that no lower-case letters were hurt in the making of this post. I also invented a word: adult-hooded, it means grew up, without implicating actual childhood.]
I was born in South Africa, and adult-hooded in New Zealand. My Mother was born in Malaysia and adult-hooded in South Africa. My Grandmother was born in India and adult-hooded in England. We obviously enjoy mixing it up a little.
My Great-Grandmother was a pretty amazing lady, particularly for her time. She was a female Doctor and Surgeon to one of the Maharajahs in India. Because of this my grandmother grew up in Umaid palace, with the little princes and princesses as playmates. Recently we watched documentary about that region of India (Rajistan) and at a photograph of the current King, and little price at the time, she casually interjected “Oh, I threw up in his hat one Summer when I went with them up into the Mountains to escape the heat”. That’s what makes us famous and classy, we rub shoulders with royalty and vomit in their hats.
I find this section of the family history fascinating, and it is one of the reasons I want to visit India so badly. We have several ‘artefacts’ from this time. Some jewellery, a giant silver palace shaped music box, the Maharanis Tea Set, photos, and a letter to my great grandmother on her departure. This is framed and hangs in our lounge but I really love the contents so will transcribe it for you here as follows:
On the eve of your departure on eight months’ furlough, we the citizens of Jodhpur, beg respectfully to express our deep sense of gratitude for your devoted services in the cause of the welfare of the ladies and children of Marwar, and particularly of this place.
During the ten years that you have been amidst us, you have endeared yourself to all classes of people by your cheerful and painstaking attention to your patients, and by your unfailing kindness and courtesy to all those who have come in contact with you.
Since you have taken charge of this Hospital there have been notable improvements in the work both as regards quality and quantity. It is due to your skill in medicine and surgery that the number of operations and that of in-door as well as out-door patients have enormously increased and our ladies, who once showed reluctance in going for alopathic treatment, now joyously avail of your services in the hospital. the relief given to the poor suffering souls in the hospital has increased in number in your time.
We beg to avail of this opportunity of offering our gratefulness to you as well as our beloved ruler his His Highness the Maharaja Sahib Bahadur for securing the services of such an efficient, kind-hearted and skilful lady Doctor as yourself who has spared no pains in saving the lives of hundreds of women and children.
Words fail to describe how deeply we feel your departure from amongst us. We are, however, happy to learn that you are only going for a short sojourn in your beloved country, and we fervently pray that the almighty will return you to us full of fresh vigour and energy to still be useful to the suffering humanity.
In the end we all wish you a happy voyage and safe return.
We beg to remain,
Your sincere well-wishers,
THE CITIZENS OF JODHPUR
Marwar state Press. JODHPUR
Isn’t the language gorgeous? Anyway, that’s me for today, I ill try scan in some pictures to upload on another day.