Inspiration


We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]



Friday, December 21, 2007

Bilby has strange tastes!

It's 4:30 in the morning, and here I am, suddenly woken up with a desperate need to eat a bowl of fresh pawpaw, dried fig and icecream... no - it's not a flavour combination I would particularly recommend! but it does give me an excuse to sit here and write an entry.

I consider myself very lucky that I don't really get morning sickness. I feel nauseous most of the time, but I don't go that extra step and vomit. When I was pregnant with Wombat, it only ever happened when I brushed my teeth. This time, it has only happened once... but Wombat is making it up for it.

Ever since I weaned him, my routine has been to give him a bottle of milk, lying in bed with him, to settle him to sleep. This happens after both lunch and dinner. Lately, he has been climbing into bed very happily, guzzling his milk as normal (I keep him sitting up until it's finished), then giving a couple of little coughs and WHAMMO... up it all comes again, bringing most of his food with it. It distresses him a little - especially if blanky gets caught in the melee - but once I've taken his ukky pyjamas off, he is perfectly happy to bounce around cheerfully with Yeti while I clean up and change his sheets... again....

This started to become regular - every other day after either lunch or dinner, and on rare occasions, after both! I was beginning to think I shouldn't feel so complacent about my own strong stomach :P

At first I blamed teething, then a stomach bug, because we both came down with a good case of the flu which kept us feeling rotten for two weeks (Yeti got sick as soon as Wombat and I started to feel better). Now I have decided - who cares what's causing it! It HAS to stop, immediately! The last thing a pregnant woman wants is to spend her naptimes scraping off curdled milk and doing (even more) loads of washing. So I sat down and had a talk with Wombat, just as I did before weaning him, and we have changed the routine.

Now, he has his warm milk cuddled up in Mummy's bed before he goes potty, so he has plenty of time to sit and let it digest properly - and an excuse to make Mummy read to him for an extra hour before bedtime (which he loves). When we finally get into his bed and he realises there is not going to be any more bottle, we are still having a bit of a whinge and a cry, but by that stage he is so tired that he generally zonks out mid-complaint. Fingers crossed, it is working so far!

Christmas is sneaking up very fast now. I bought Wombat a fantastic advent calendar - it is like a metal tray with a wooden frame, and the frame is made of little boxes. The tray has the stable painted on it with Bethlehem in the distance, and the 24 boxes contain all the characters - as little magnets! There are sheep, cows, donkeys, camels, stars, angels, wise men, Mary, Joseph and of course, baby Jesus. Wombat really adores it! In the beginning it was a bit of a battle to stop him trying to bring out all the pieces at once, but he has really gotten the idea of just opening one box every night. If he wants to play with it during the day, he can rearrange the scene (using the characters he has so far) in endless recombinations, telling little stories about them. The sheep have a tendency to want to fly with the stars, the cows like looking out the windows of the stable, and the wise men have to ride ON their camels instead of standing beside them... it's great fun watching his imagination emerge - I just can't wait until I can understand all of the narrative that accompanies it!


Today we finally put up our Christmas tree. It's not exactly a work of art :P We still like having a fresh tree, but we didn't feel like paying for a cut one and we couldn't finda good potted one this year. We have several from previous years growing out in the garden, and Yeti had plans for drilling holes in a post and inserting branches to 'make' one. Meanwhile, Wombat decided he wanted to walk the paths of my sadly neglected and overgrown garden, which necessitated me trimming back the Juniper tree. I looked at the pile of branches in the wheelbarrow, filled a bucket with rocks and soil, stuck in the branches and voila - instant Christmas tree. It leaves a little to be desired, but Wombat had a brilliant time telling me where all the decorations should hang, and that matters more than having a magnificent display!


Speaking of magnificent displays (or not), I spent today's (vomit-free) naptime baking my first ever gingerbread house. In tomorrow's naptime - though I guess it's today now - I get to build and decorate the house! Wish me luck! I only just had enough dough to make the house so the roof might be a bit thin, but so far it's been lots of fun! I'll post pics when it's finished.

Now it is quarter past five, and I can hear Wombat starting to toss and turn. He often crawls into bed with me at this time of morning, so I had better sneak back in and get some sleep while I can...

PS. The weather has been absolutely incredible - the wettest December we have ever had - it's raining almost every day. We have had about 5 days of sun this whole summer, and I have to tell you, a Wombat gets a bit stir-crazy when you keep him inside too much! I will write more on the ominous silences, and even worse, the "Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dears" some other day... In the meantime, here is a preview to stir your imagination (and this was one of the easier ones to clean up!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sharing the excitement!

I know it's been a long time since my last entry, but I really need to nap, so I won't try and fill in the blanks. Wombat is so full-steam-ahead these days that I'm having trouble keeping up with him!

It's finally starting to feel real - I am pregnant! Coughing, spluttering, aching and exhausted, but pregnant! Today for the first time I went to the toilet without checking to see if my period had arrived (I had the positive test almost a month ago, but somehow I felt it was too good to be true.) Anyway, I needed to put my pregnancy tickers up so I could watch the development... hence a quick entry.

I had thought of lots of brilliant comments to share, but now I am sitting here I can't remember any of them - I'm just desperate to lie down before Wombat decides naptime is over ;P and I have to put on a load of never-ending washing first. There aren't so many nappies to wash these days as Wombat is only wearing them at sleep times, but there are three times as many clothes to wash - my boy LOVES playing in the dirt - there's some kind of magnetic attraction going on!!!

The inner housewife has gone into hopeless retreat... mothering seems to be a 52-hour-a-day job at the moment... Wombat is starting to talk very clearly though (still mainly single syllable words, but LOTS of them...) so it is quite entertaining.

I guess the next thing to do is decide on a nickname for this baby... at the moment I seem to be leaning towards Bilby or maybe Possum... hmmm... I have a definite feeling that this baby wants to be a Bilby... (though at the moment it bears more than a passing resemblance to a tiny dugong...)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Flying Poetry Friday


Lately I feel a lot like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland - "No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!". I must rush off to get Wombat up from his nap, but first... since this is just a flying visit...

Bird

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through which the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

[Pablo Neruda]


And another addition to my ongoing project...

Cupped hollow of grass and lichen,
bracken and bark,
breast-pressed.

Fragile curve of shell and spirit,
speckled, mottled,
nestled.

Secret growth of bone and feather,
eggs of the masked
lapwing.

[MW]




Today's Poetry Friday Round-up is at Semicolon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

First things first



Back to Covey's habit's this week - I am up to Habit Three: Put First Things First.

Spend time doing what fits into your personal mission, observing the proper balance between production and building production capacity. Identify the key roles that you take on in life and make time for each of them.
[Quick MBA]


Covey creates "a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. ... Important items are identified by focusing on a few key priorities and roles which will vary from person to person, then identifying small goals for each role each week, in order to maintain a holistic life balance. One tool for this is a worksheet that lists up to seven key roles, with three weekly goals per role, to be evaluated and scheduled into each week before other appointments occupy all available time with things that seem urgent but are not important."
[Wikipedia]

Here is a link to a blank weekly worksheet designed by Covey. Their way of scheduling doesn't really work for me as I am not available at consistent times, but I will be incorporating the ideas from it into the to-do lists which have become part of my FlyLady routine.

First I have to identify the roles which relate to my long-term goals (mother, wife, writer - to quickly name the most obvious ones) then I have to get into the habit of identifying three small ways to progress each role each week, and scheduling them into my weekly plan.

I also want to work on classifying my to-do list based on Covey's time-matrix. There are some more tools and ideas for doing that here, including a free spreadsheet - I just have to make sure I don't fall into Rimmer's trap (Red Dwarf fans will immediately understand) of spending so much time making elaborate colour-coded timetables that I never do any work!

This site has some more ideas on how to evolve a scheme of personal management that works for you. I was particularly struck by this quote:
In order to subordinate your feelings, impulses and moods to your values, you must have a burning "YES!" inside, making it possible to say "No" to other things. The "Yes" is our purpose, passion, clear sense of direction and value.
[ProfitAdvisors]


I also liked the way that site tied the first three habits together - being proactive is realising that I am the programmer; clarifying my long-term goals is writing the program; and now I come to the stage of executing the program - putting it into practice. Speaking of which, Wombat just woke up, and I still have to feed the chooks and the parrot before I can get him up, so I'd better get moving!

SMART habit progress:

  • Waking up Wombat = working on finding a happy medium - he's not getting an instant response, but he's not (usually) being left there until he gives up on me either!

  • Setting Long Term Goals = I've written out eleven goals, and have shared them with Yeti, so good!

  • Being Proactive = realising that I am in control - autopilot responses getting less!

  • Declutter = HABIT - made $25 on eBay so far this week selling old dressmaking patterns (and the auctions aren't finished yet)... and have burnt piles of treasure rubbish on Yeti's fires...

  • My Work is to Love = feeling good

  • Daily prayer = HABIT

  • Positive Parenting = getting back in the groove - mainly lurking on the 4RealLearning Forum and thinking about homeschooling goals

  • Exercise = HABIT - I miss a day here and there, but am getting fitter - now exercise-biking 4.5kms in 10 minutes, up from 2.5 when I started and the pulse rate is consistently lower ;D

Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life! (Find out more about Smart Habit Saturday here: Getting Started with Smart Habit Saturday.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Waking up Wombat



A short break from Covey's habits... something else needs work!

Lately I have fallen into the bad habit of letting Wombat stay in his bed for anything up to an hour after he wakes up, while I finish what I am doing. I listen to him on the monitor, so I know he is not too upset. He has a big, safe bed with toys and books to look at, and although he often cries a bit when he wakes, he generally plays quietly and goes back to sleep for a bit. Even so I don't think this is a positive thing for me to be doing. I notice that he cries more often during the night and is much less cooperative during the day, whereas if I get him up as soon as he wakes up, he is so happy to see me and tries very hard to be good. This has been happening both in the mornings and his afternoon nap time and it's starting to stretch out longer and longer. The crunch point came this week when I caught myself turning off the monitor so I wouldn't have to listen to him Yeti wouldn't hear him whinging because his teeth hurt and he has a wet nappy and he wants his Mummy.

Naughty Mummy.

My new habit for this week is to respond to Wombat as soon as I know he is awake, and not to make him wait for whatever it is that I think is more important, because really, it's not. I just need to be better organised so I get the important things out of the way first, while he is soundly asleep, so I am only doing the optional, easy-to-stop things around the time I expect him to start stirring.

SMART habit progress:


Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life! (Find out more about Smart Habit Saturday here: Getting Started with Smart Habit Saturday.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

The cockatoos are calling

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup will be held at Kelly Fineman's Writing and Ruminating.

The wattle is in full-flower, and the sulphur-crested cockatoos gather each morning to enjoy the sweetness of the new buds. They will stay with us right through the cycle, feasting on bugs attracted to the pollen-laden puffballs and then stripping the pods of shiny black seeds. In thier honour, I am offering an excerpt from a Banjo Patterson poem.

White Cockatoos

Then you hear the strident squalling:
"Here's the boss's son,
Through the garden bushes crawling,
Crawling with a gun.
May the shiny cactus bristles
Fill his soul with woe;
May his knees get full of thistles.
Brothers, let us go."

-A.B. (Banjo) Patterson


I have also rewritten my attempt at a poem for the cockatoo photo. It reappears as a villanelle...



In bright treetops white cockatoos screech scorn,
unheeding, scatter debris as we feed.
Our cacophonic chorus shreds the dawn.

We're raucous hostage-takers of the morn
demanding tribute - ripened fruit and seed.
In bright treetops white cockatoos screech scorn.

Is wattle scarce? Then feast on wheat and corn.
Whatever is in season suits our need.
Our cacophonic chorus shreds the dawn.

Get up, and feast! Come rend with beak and horny
claw. The time of plenty's here indeed!
In bright treetops white cockatoos screech scorn.

The spoilers soon will leave our chicks forlorn,
will satisfy with sharpened steal their greed.
Our cacophonic chorus shreds the dawn.

We'll strut and preen on monocultured lawn,
indomitable, the sulphur-crested breed.
In bright treetops white cockatoos screech scorn.
Our cacophonic chorus shreds the dawn.

- MW


Still not happy with it... but it's better than before ;P
As always, reading everyone else's brilliant offerings for Poetry Friday will highlight its shortcomings - it can only improve! I often feel my language is too literal for poetry... and yet I can't stop the urge to write or share it...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A birthday - and a brand new ending?

Saturday (August 11th) was my 34th birthday.


You know you're a mummy when you go out with hubby and son to choose a birthday present for yourself and come home with a pair of cute cherry-red boots and 10 Little Golden Books ~ and you're perfectly satisfied!


On a side note: I can't stand reading The Poky Little Puppy - negative, punishment based message all the way through, and then a grammatical double negative at the end... uggh! That one's going on eBay. Our favourites are The Colour Kittens and Where Do Kisses Come From... which have momentarily ousted Wombat's previous favourites - The Little Red Caboose, The Little Red Hen and Goodnight Little Bear (that last one has been amazing for awakening Wombat's imagination - as I read it, he acts out all the things Daddy Bear does while searching for Little Bear.)


On Sunday, we took Wombat for a birthday picnic to Symbio Wildlife Gardens. My Mum and brother came along as well, and despite some threatening-looking clouds, we had a lovely day. I hope you won't mind a long post with lots of photos - it might make up for my absence lately!


First, here is my darling Wombat enjoying his new boots.



He and I had a great time feeding the peacock that was wandering around the picnic area. I could spend hours staring at peacocks - they really are a walking embodiment of my favourite colour!

After lunch, we went for a walk to look at all the animals. My Mum fell in love with the Marmosets, who had apparently been sitting up against the glass talking to her just a few minutes before, but who suddenly became shy when the camera arrived.

The Meerkats were very cute as well, though Yeti thought it was a bit rough that they didn't have at least one wall that the humans didn't have access to. They seemed to like him, as wherever he stood, they would come running over and look up at him.


They weren't too impressed by the cold weather, either - but they did look gorgeous sunning themselves under their little heat lamps!

The most recent editions to the park were a pair of Red Pandas. They were busy having their lunch of fruit - looking very much like a cross between a cat and a bear - I have more photos of them climbing through their trees, but don't want to bore you totally ;P

There were lots of Australian native animals too. A pair of koalas who were quite friendly and climbed down to see Wombat (who was sitting on my shoulders at the time).

A very sleepy pair of Tasmanian Devils.

Lots of kangaroos and wallabies, many of whom had Joeys in their pouches.

Wombat particularly liked this female Eclectus parrot - the main aviary was closed for renovation, so we didn't get to see most of the birds. He didn't like the male so much, because it clung to the bars and squarwked at him ;P


Yeti's favourites were the two Eagles - though he would have liked very much to have seen Arnie, their Barking Owl, who must have been in the closed-off aviary.

Printing off the map of the park from their website entitled you to one free bag of critter food. I will spare you all the photos of feeding the sheep and other domestic animals. Here are some very greedy deer, who kept trying to snatch the whole bag of food in one go. Yeti hung onto ours, but another group nearby lost theirs within seconds! Wombat was too scared to feed them directly (probably a good thing as they would have taken his fingers off!) but he picked up little bits of food (and stones) off the ground and threw them in, and was quite happy that he was doing his bit to help.

Some of the kangaroos were also keen to get at the food, though most were happier to stay in the background. The camel seemed to be telling us he wanted some better sand to roll in - as dustbowls go, it was hardpacked and didn't seem as comfortable as it could have been.

At the end of the day we got to pat this fluffy little Dingo and watch him running around like any little puppy, which was the highlight of Wombat's day.
Here is Wombat with Yeti and my brother - the photo is unfortunately out of focus, but is the only reasonable shot I got of my brother, who was generally trying to stay in the background.

All in all it was a very fun family day out - and we are going back there in about a week, to take my mother-in-law.

In fact, there's a chance you might be hearing quite a lot more about Symbio. In our recent discussions about long-term goals and where we want to build our future, Yeti and I have decided that when we move from here, we need to move into a business - something that will provide the lifestyle we want for raising children. As we were leaving, Yeti asked the owner if Symbio was for sale - he said he had been working there seven days a week for seven years and was ready for a break. It is all just a big maybe at the moment, but we are seriously considering becoming zoo-owners! It would suit all of us down to the ground (except perhaps MIL, but it is only ten minutes drive from one of her favourite beaches, so there's a chance of convincing her to live nearby if not with us)! Yeti is overflowing with ideas for landscaping and improving the gardens (Steff, if this does happen, we are going to be having some long discussions with you about habitat enrichment!!!) and there would be lots of legal and administrative work for me as part of keeping it running and sourcing funding... I'll let you know what happens when we go back - at the moment there are just lots of unanswered questions but it is a quietly exciting possibility.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

A sense of purpose


It has been quite a difficult few weeks, culminating in an explosion of tension. However, my new habit of being proactive has seen me through it (along with a lot of prayer) and I now feel ready to move onto the second of Stephen Covey's habits:

begin with the end in mind.

It is more urgent now than ever before for me to clarify my long term goals - I have a week to go until my 34th birthday - I still want to have two more children before I turn 40 - and we have decided that at 86, Yeti's mum should be enjoying herself rather than providing for us, which is going to require some substantial and imaginative reconstructing of family finances - in one way it is liberating to feel we will be cutting the apron strings and relying on our own resources, but in another it is petrifying, especially when we are contemplating getting pregnant and a major house move as well.

The change must start from within.

There are no short-cuts here. To engage in this habit, you need to have a dream, define your own vision and get into the practice of setting goals which will allow you to make measurable progress toward the dream. ... Until you have defined your vision - the big dream to which you will be working - you will be unable to move on to habit 3 which provides a basic framework for you to re-align your efforts so that you will ultimately achieve your heart's desire.
White Dove Books


It's time for this little energizer bunny to get out of her rut: "stuck on a wrinkle in the carpet… using a lot of battery power… but… going nowhere."

"Begin with the end in mind: Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement. Extend the mission statement into long-term goals based on personal principles."
[QuickMBA]


When I thought about what I wanted as my mission statement, I came up with... you guessed it... MY WORK IS TO LOVE!

So my new habit for this week is to start writing down what I personally want to achieve - the big gold stars I want to award myself - and more importantly, discussing them with Yeti.

I think I've been doing really well with the proactive habit - I'm amazed at how many niggling things have been disposed of. Things which have been waiting months for someone else to 'get around to' are now no longer on anyone's list - I've been adapting The FLYlady's advice to my own needs, and I'm amazed at how big a job can disappear in just 15 minutes! I still need more work on the stimulus-choice-response cycle, but I have at least thought before reacting a few times. I even have my timer ticking down now to make sure I don't waste spend more than 15 minutes on the computer before getting on with real life!

SMART habit progress:


  • Being proactive = excellent & enjoying it (more work need on choosing my response to stimulus)

  • Declutter = babystepping - the proactivity is really helping here

  • My Work is to Love = ditto on the proactivity, and this week's habit as well - it's all coming together!

  • Sacred Space prayer = fell apart with no computer or internet access, but I pulled out my weekly missal and am reading daily scripture for myself so excellent

  • Positive Parenting = in my mind and trying to practise it, though haven't had time to read anything new

  • Exercise = consistent 20 minutes a day - am going to add another 10 minutes to my afternoon routine starting today to celebrate losing 5 kilos since I stopped studying and reACTIVEated my life - wooohooo go me!

Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life! (Find out more about Smart Habit Saturday here: Getting Started with Smart Habit Saturday.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tales from toyland

It's been a while :) First my computer developed a bad case of the hiccups. Once it was up and running limping again, I had to spend every spare minute saving anything I wanted to keep onto CD in case its problem proved terminal. After that, the modem decided that being swapped back and forth between my computer and Yeti's was too much for it, so it took a couple of weeks off as well.

Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed my break from the electrical monstrosity, so correspondence from now on will probably be sporadic. I am no longer getting up at 3am, so there is less time to procrastinate in the mornings - and my routines for getting me and the house tidy take priority. Wombat naptime is likewise generally overbooked in the 'to-do' department.

Poetry Friday is here again, and I am jumping in with a short but punchy piece from Canadian Fantasy Writer, Charles de Lint.

Today's round-up will be held over at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

The Puppet

The puppet thinks:
It's not so much
what they make me do
as their hands inside me.

~Charles de Lint


If you have kids, you have probably heard by now about the Fisher Price toy recall, due to lead paint used in their manufacture. Yeti hunted around and buried deep within Mattel's site, he managed to find a list of the recalled products, with pictures for easy and fast identification. Elmo and Dora the Explorer seem to be the primary culprits, and it is confined to toys made this year, but if you've bought or been given any Fisher Price products since May, it's worth checking against your toybox!

We had an adventure this week - a three hour drive into town to visit a friend - who wasn't home - so we took Wombat to the beach instead.



Windswept, salt sand specked,
plucking snails from a rockpool,
stroking a starfish,
peeking at a purple-clawed
crab in a crevice.

~MW




Friday, July 20, 2007

Poetry is...

My favourite day of the week is here again! Not because the weekend is coming (weekends are pretty much the same as any other day when you don't go out to work or have kids in school). No, Friday is my favourite day of the week because I get to read lots of poetry!

My offering today comes from Carl Sandburg, author of my all-time favourite quote about poetry:

"Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air."
Who Am I?

MY head knocks against the stars.
My feet are on the hilltops.
My finger-tips are in the valleys and shores of
universal life.
Down in the sounding foam of primal things I
reach my hands and play with pebbles of
destiny.
...
-- Carl Sandburg


And for my own offering this week - a cinquain.

Cheeky
cockatoo calls,
screeching from the treetops.
Golden crest flashes. Ready for
mischief.

[MW]




Today's Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Mentor Texts and More.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Inside out and upside down

13 things that are making me feel in a muddle this morning
  1. Wombat had a really hard night (teething?) and didn't sleep at all well. Lots of cuddling and crying.
  2. When I went to sterilise Wombat's bottles this morning, there were five bottles and four teats. I know I used five bottles yesterday so there should be five of each. I've looked everywhere and can't find it.
  3. When I dried Yeti's mug the handle came off in my hand.
  4. I didn't get any exercise done this morning. I haven't made my to-do lists this morning.
  5. Wombat is awake and calling for breakfast but his bottles are still in the steriliser.
  6. I didn't get to 'swish and swipe' this morning.
  7. My brother wants my help with a school assignment and I haven't answered his questions yet.
  8. My sister has written two entries and I haven't commented on them yet.
  9. When I went to feed the chooks this morning I found that Ruby (who has been sitting on her eggs all this time and is STILL sitting on them) had actually hatched a chick... I found the dried out little body.
  10. I hadn't checked Ruby closely for a few days. I might have been able to save it if I hadn't been lazy.
  11. Term 3 starts today and I teach in an hour.
  12. My lesson is prepared but I didn't finish doing the work in my own book to show them.
  13. I have lost that lovely organised feeling I have had all this week....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Folding and FLYing

Have you ever pulled a crumpled king-size bedsheet out of the laundry basket and tried to fold it yourself? It's a struggle, and even when folded, it still looks crumpled. When you take it from the linen cupboard and put it on the bed, it will not feel smooth and fresh like a clean sheet that has hung in the sun should...

Have you ever wasted time ironing a sheet? There's a simpler way!

I fold my sheets before I take them off the washing line!

First, unclip the pegs and pull the corners of the sheet together so it is hanging straight. Take one edge where it is folded over the line, and pull that across to meet the other edge - all four corners together, with the doubled sheet still on the line. Your sheet is now folded in quarters. Reach up and grasp the two edges you now have resting on the line - one in each hand (the doubled edge and the folded edge). Pull the sheet off the line (it may tangle, so ease it off, don't tug). Fold in half and in half and then in half again - put it in the basket & then straight into the linen cupboard - no further folding needed.

When you make your bed with it, it will be wonderfully smooth and fresh because mother nature has ironed it for you!

PS. The Fly Lady is amazing - and addictive. Previously, my mornings used to dissolve into the blogosphere. Now I find myself eagerly swishing, swiping, shining and decluttering... and then sitting down and making lists for my next PODA: Parade of Daily Adventures (To do list). In just one week, I have babystepped myself into actually enjoying housework! Sure, my house will never win any prizes and is still in a state of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)... but I can see the difference and it makes me FLY (Finally Loving Yourself). I've still got a long way to go, but this new adventure is really working for me!

Find more great tips over at Rocks In My Dryer!

Monday, July 16, 2007

In case anyone hadn't guessed....




You May Be a Bit Histrionic...



Dramatic and over the top, you crave attention.

And you'll do anything it takes to get noticed.

You love to be seductive, even when it's inappropriate.

If you're ignored, you're easily hurt ... and act out even more!




Hiyaaaaa CHOP!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Delicate Balance


In this case, I think the title says it all!

(It's worth clicking on the photo for the full macro experience. I was amazed to catch a shot of this winged queen and her paramour. It's a natural history lesson in itself!)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Changes


This has been a real emotional rollercoaster of a week with some momentously life-changing decisions made. I'm still feeling pretty shell shocked and all my habits have suffered. If my ego thought it could just swan into a new life as supporter rather than supportee, it was wrong. Each day I am reminded that you don't become a new person simply by turning your face in a different direction and saying 'I want'. Even hard work alone won't do it. It is necessary, but not sufficient (that's a term lawyers use meaning that you have to have it, but it's not enough all by itself.)

Thankfully, Yeti says my only work for this week is to rest and get my head together, bless him. He pointed out that I haven't had a proper break from studying in 15 years (I nearly bawled when he said that - I guess that shows just how much I need one!) I can't possibly expect myself to adjust to being a dropout non-student overnight. However, he also suggested I start thinking of ways to be more efficient, more effective in my life. To think about becoming the person who can achieve all the things I want to do. This reminded me of a long-term goal... a seed sown long ago that has been lying on rocky ground waiting for some rain.

Years ago I first read of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits for Highly Effective People. Everytime I forget about them, they pop up somewhere else. I think it is time I started making them mine! (I probably should buy the book, but at the moment I am stuck using internet resources. Luckily there are some great summaries out there.)

"The Seven Habits move us through the following stages:
1. Dependence - the paradigm under which we are born, relying upon others to take care of us.
2. Independence - the paradigm under which we can make our own decisions and take care of ourselves.
3. Interdependence - the paradigm under which we cooperate to achieve something that cannot be achieved independently."
[QuickMBA]


I would like to think I am independent, but when I look at myself honestly, I am really still in a stage of dependence.

The first habit is:

become proactive

You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you act about certain things. Being "proactive" means taking responsibility for everything in life. When you're reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. ... Between Stimulus and Response, we have the power to choose the response. [Wikipedia]


"Our response to what happens to us affects us more than what actually happened. We can choose to use difficult situations to build our character and develop the ability to better handle such situations in the future.

Proactive people use their resourcefulness and iniative to find solutions rather than just reporting problems and waiting for other people to solve them.

Being proactive means assessing the situation and developing a positive response for it. ... Once we decide to be proactive, exactly where we focus out efforts becomes important. There are many concerns in our lives, but we do not always have control over them. ... Proactive people focus their efforts on the things over which they have influence, and in the process often expand their area of influence. Reactive people often focus their efforts on areas of concern over which they have no control. Their complaining and negative energy tend to shrink their circle of influence.
...
Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve thier lives through the things that they can influence rather than by simply reacting to external forces."
[QuickMBA]


Up to now, I have definitely indulged in a reactive mentality. Too often I function on auto pilot. I don't give myself time to assess a stimulus and decide how best to respond.

"Covey contrasts ... having a proactive mentality with being reactive. Reactive people, he says, are those who are resigned to the truth that whatever they do in the present can have no effect on their circumstances. And interestingly, for reactive people, it really is a truth, for whatever we believe in our heart affects our thoughts, words and actions.
...
Proactive people ... will point out that there are always choices. It is by the decisions we make, our responses to people, events and circumstances that proactive people can and do affect the future. We may have no control over what life throws at us but we always have a choice about how we are to respond.
...
this notion that having a particular attitude of mind (which is really where this habit begins) can make such a huge and positive difference to almost everything we experience in life ... is also completely liberating.

When we are finally prepared to accept full responsibility for the effects that are manifest in our lives; when we have the strength of character to admit it when we make mistakes (even big ones); when we are completely free to exercise the options available to us in every situation; then it can be said that we have finally internalised this habit. The other six of the habits require that we first work on our basic character by becoming proactive and thereby transforming ourselves into men and women of integrity."
[White Dove Books]


So that is my challenge, starting this week. This (and the next 2 habits) "are the "private victories" required for character growth. Private victories precede public victories." [ProfitAdvisors]

On a daily basis, I need to focus on my circle of influence - look at my world, see what bugs me about it, identify little things I can change, and act on them. I also need to take a moment to choose my response to stimulus, rather than just reacting. That's enough to concentrate on for a start. We'll see how I go.

(Sorry about all the long quotes, they are really reminders for my own reference, as this is the most convenient place for me to store them.)

SMART habit progress:


Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life! (Find out more about Smart Habit Saturday here: Getting Started with Smart Habit Saturday.)

Dreaming


This week's Poetry Friday Round Up is at Chicken Spaghetti. Each week I seem to be very early or very late with my Poetry Friday contributions... it's rather obvious which one I am this week!

First, from Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal - also known as Kath Walker:
Gifts

‘I will bring you love’, said the young lover,
‘A glad light to dance in your dark eye.
Pendants I will bring of the white bone,
And gay parrot feathers to deck your hair.’

But she only shook her head.

‘I will put a child in your arms,’ he said,
‘Will be a great headman, great rain-maker.
I will make remembered songs about you
That all the tribes in all the wandering camps
Will sing forever.’

But she was not impressed.

‘I will bring you the still moonlight on the lagoon,
And steal for you the singing of all the birds;
I will bring the stars of heaven to you,
And put the bright rainbow into your hand.’

‘No’, she said, ‘bring me tree-grubs.

[Oodgeroo Noonuccal, ‘Gifts’, in My People, p. 39]


For more Aboriginal poetry, I recommend this essay by Adam Shoemaker: The Poetry of Politics: Australian Aboriginal Verse.

And for my offering today:

New songlines stretch across an ancient land -
no sacred trails recorded in the stone,
no tales of dreaming written in the sand,
but tight strung wire announcing "this I own!
This property is under my command!"

No more the faithful quester's quiet tread
will trace creation's map in dots and string
bright beads of waterholes on story's thread,
ancestral spirits teaching through their prayer.

A corroboree of breezes left to sing
the ceremonial rules of 'taking care';
to strum the fence wires, humming as they play
for tiny feathers flitting light as air;
to wonder why the elders went away...

[MW]



Thursday, July 12, 2007

"What do we live for...

...if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
(George Eliot)

Thirteen reasons why I am thankful to be withdrawing from the College of Law.

1 - I have chronic IBS. Ever since I was 16, I have felt stress as a large cold rock just under my ribs. For many many many years it made me physically ill. I would put food into my mouth and chew, but that 'rock' would choke me when I tried to swallow. I would get stomach cramps so bad that I would end up in hospital. There was never any actual problem. It was just my body's way of (not) coping with stress. No matter how much I tried to fight it mentally, my body would collapse underneath me. When I became pregnant, the rock magically melted. I have not felt its presence since Wombat arrived in my life. Until recently. About three weeks ago, the rock was back, bigger and colder than ever, getting worse every time I thought about my exams and the expensive prospect of dragging Yeti and Wombat into town for two weeks. The moment Yeti asked me to justify why I was continuing with this course, the rock started to shrink. When, after much soul searching, I made the decision to withdraw, the rock was suddenly no longer there.

2 - I want to be a whole-hearted mother, not a half-hearted law student.

3 - I never wanted to be a solicitor. After I finished this course, I was supposedly going to read for the Bar and become a barrister, and then I would have to establish myself in a practice - this entailed actually moving to town for several years, and would be a lifestyle totally incompatible with becoming pregnant again, or providing a healthy lifestyle for my family.

4 - Whenever I thought seriously about this vision of my future, I started to cry.

5 - I felt trapped by the decisions I had made, so I kept forcing my nose to the grindstone and trying not to think about it, at the same time drifting into procrastination as a way of escape, like a rat scrabbling around the blind alleys of a maze.

6 - We want to have at least two more children - and in a month's time I will be 34. I don't want to wait until I am over 40 before Wombat has siblings! (it is worse in Yeti's case, as he is 20 years older than I!)

7 - I want to write. I have four unfinished manuscripts - some fiction, some non-fiction - which I have been unable to work on while studying. All have good prospects of publication, if I can just get them finished.

8 - I get an average of 20 visitors a day to my home website, mainly coming to read my university essays. I want to tap this resource. I plan to finish updating the site, making only an excerpt from each essay available for free, and charging a small fee for access to the whole paper.

9 - I am a specialist. I am good at tunnelling down into a topic, finding out the minutiae, covering the field and consolidating my research into a very readable exploration of a problem. The College of Law course requires me to be a generalist. My notes are constantly too detailed - I can't seem to just skim the surface, no matter how I try. Then, every time I get comfortable with a topic, I have to move onto the next one. The course also jumps around between many topics all at once. No matter how competent I felt at the start, after a few months of this, I have become harrassed and helpless.

10 - When Wombat wakes crying in the night, I want to go to him and comfort him for as long as it takes. I don't want to be grinding my teeth and thinking "Go to sleep, I have to work." I need to be relaxed so that he can relax and know that all is right with the world.

11 - I want to spend time with my husband again. I want to support him and his plans for the future instead of always demanding support for me. His plans involve home, and family and togetherness. The only justification I could find for continuing with the course and qualifying as a solicitor was so that I would have a fallback career to support Wombat in case something ever happened to Yeti - it was hardly a plan for togetherness. I have two honours degrees. If I needed a good job, I could have one tomorrow. I have a wonderful husband who has provided a comfortable life for me. While he is here, my work is to love.

12 - My mother-in-law is 85 and still slaving to care for this family. It is time I took the burden from her. It is time I became an adult and took charge of my house instead of always being distracted by external demands.

13 - Once I made the decision, the relief from tension was immediate for all of us. Wombat certainly felt it. When Yeti and I were playing with him after dinner, he kept going from one of us to the other and giving us kisses. That has to be more important than anything else I can think of!

(I am glad I have done the work for the course so far. I do not think it is wasted - I have learnt a lot about myself and the law, and gained several useful skills that I don't need to be a qualified solicitor to use. I also now own the materials, so I can keep reading on my own, without having to take notes or panic about being examined on them.)

++++++++++++++++++

To the Anonymous commenter who sent me a link to the words and sheet music for the Hymn to Our Lady of Good Counsel:

Thank you so very much and God bless you. I will say the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary today for your intentions.

(For non-Catholics, here is an explanation of the Rosary.)

++++++++++++++++++

In case you were wondering, I will be maintaining this site, as it is an important way for me to keep contact with my sister, and Yeti agrees that the new habits it is fostering are worth pursuing. I will be setting a strict limit on how much time I spend here, though - and only after more important things are done. I am starting early on my next SMART Habit, by creating a schedule for myself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reality interruptus



It's worse than I thought - my father's visit this weekend seemed to be the breaking point (especially my going to bed with Wombat & leaving Dad to argue with Yeti until after midnight) - and the stress of having to spend over $2000 and 2 weeks in town for the College of Law...

Yeti is furious with how much of my time the 'law study' is taking when I told him it would only be 3 hours a day.

He is furious that I am not working on the book I promised to write from my thesis.

He is furious that his 85 year old mother is worn out from doing all the housework.

He is furious that they both spend all their time supporting me and I give them nothing but bad attitude in return.

He is furious that he never sees me, and that if I keep going in this law career we probably will never have any more kids because I will always be too busy and too stressed to even think of getting pregnant.

We had a huge argument tonight and he basically gave me an ultimatum - prove why I should be doing the law and that I really want to do it & fight for my right to, instead of constantly complaining like I'm being forced to do it.

Immediately investigate things I can do straight away with my degrees - I am going to write to nearby universities after I post this and ask about lecturing/tutoring, just to find out if I DO have the possibility of an academic career.

Quit studying before I spend all Wombat's money on myself (my only income is the government parenting payment) and become a housewife, giving my full attention to mothering & being supportive of others - but if I take that (very attractive) option I have to be the best housewife the world has ever seen - and I have NO practice at that. It would also require me to justify why I have spent 13 years and run up a $36,000 study debt gaining two high-level honours degrees, with no intention of ever using them... giving up my law studies this year would waste $6000 in fees (I didn't pay them upfront - they are added to that immense aforementioned study debt - but if I ever go back and start this course again I would have to pay them upfront.)

If he knew the reality of my procrastination, I think he would demand I leave as I am obviously uninterested in being married to him - he would see it as that much of a betrayal of 'us'.

Whatever way I look at it, big changes are going to have to occur. I need to do some serious work and thinking. I have a lot of investigation to do before we can make informed decisions. I can no longer keep drifting along in my comfortable life, pretending to be so focussed on the grindstone that I can't see how miserable I am making those around me. As tempting as it is to throw in the towel and 'make the stress go away' I can't keep making spur of the moment decisions and then forcing everyone else to live by them - that's how I got into law in the first place - it was not from any idealism or desire to be a lawyer - it was just a quick answer that seemed to satisfy other peoples' idea of what I should do with my life.

Please pray for us - I will try to keep you informed of how things go. There's a brand new ending out there for us... I just have to find the right path to start on - but first I need to find my 'Big Gold Star destination'... and that's going to require some divine assistance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beaded Medicine Bag and a dose of self pity

I haven't finished any new projects this week. I have been working with a new material, and it is very difficult to sew. I shall show the results when I get something I am happy with.

In the meantime, here is one of my favourite items, finished a few years ago: a beaded medicine or amulet bag.


It is just the right size to store a small keepsake - I use mine to hold a little turquoise stone given to me by a friend, which has the word 'SUCCESS' carved into it.


It is relatively simple to make. I love beadweaving and made several of these bags (the others were all given away as gifts) a few years ago. Unfortunately, beadweaving is not a craft I can practice with Wombat around... one bump and beads go everywhere!


I love the colours of this bag - a mix of my favourite blues and greens, with accent beads of peacock irridescence on a purple base. The bag hangs on the wall in front of me, and it makes me happy to look at it.



I've just wasted more time than I can possibly afford searching the net for a tutorial to link to - it would have been quicker to write one myself, but now I am out of time.

I am getting depressed about my procrastination levels lately, and when I start to feel low, it seems to get worse - I stop doing all the things that make me feel good - like exercising, taking care of myself & dressing warmly, getting my work finished. Instead I sit here and drift the hours away doing nothing - which only makes me feel so much worse. This morning I didn't even make myself a cup of tea.

As the panic builds up in front of this onsite school I must attend, instead of attacking the work and preparing properly, the stress seems to paralyse me. I feel like curling up into a ball & crying (tears are not far below the surface today) or staring at a spot on the wall. I know that all I need to do is shake myself and concentrate on the next task, babystepping myself through to the finish and I don't understand why I keep handicapping myself like this. The stress and depression will build up into despair and I will make myself sick. I know I can't afford to get sick, can't afford to take a break, and that makes the stress worse, so I procrastinate and get no work done - which means all my efforts in getting up so early are for nothing. I should have stayed in bed and rested.

This self-sabotaging funk is what the quote at the top of my sidebar is all about.

What would it matter if blogs went unread, the internet went unsearched, entries went unwritten? I would still be 6 units behind on my property-law study, and I would still have an assignment due tomorrow which hasn't been started - I haven't even opened the reading for it.

I was doing so well, feeling really proud of myself for coping, and now all my priorities have become twisted around again. I had such good intentions this morning but they went nowhere.

Time to start making a brand new ending again, because this road I am paving at the moment sure feels like it's leading me to hell. Does anyone know what I mean?

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Meez

I've seen these popping up around the place and thought they were cute.

This is me & Wombat - though Wombat is really only half that tall... my post-baby-body is not that thin... I normally wear my hair in one ponytail, not two... my eyebrows are so pale they are almost non-existant... and I don't wear make-up except on very special occasions ;P



Wombat has been worrying me lately, as his normally fantastic eating habits seem to have disappeared. He only nibbles at his food, rejects most of it, and makes a big fuss about pointing to things on other people's plates, even when what is on his plate is exactly the same.

I couldn't work it out as for the past few months his appetite has been immense and he would eat almost anything put before him - especially vegetables at dinner time.

At the same time, his normally erratic sleeping habits have suddenly done an about-face. He is sleeping in until almost 9 or 9:30 every morning, and having a 2 - 3 hour nap almost every afternoon - never less than an hour and a half. Previously he was skipping naps altogether and waking up at 7am!

I considered all sorts of causes - was this a side effect of weaning? or cutting him back to one nap a day? (I decided to cut out the morning nap as it made things easier for me - having been up since 3am myself, by afternoon I really need a little break from him or I get grumpy. Also, all the activities in the neighbourhood - such as Mass or storytime at the local library - coincided with his morning naptime.)

Then, as I was thinking about my sister and newborn niece, it struck me! I suddenly remembered how Wombat, as a baby, would go through regular cycles - one week he would be driving me mad with his insatiable appetite for food and learning - he would always be awake and always hungry. Then just when I got used to that, I would have to start worrying because he was sleeping the day away and hardly feeding at all. During this period, I would often be aware of him changing - almost visibly growing and developing, putting the things he had learnt during the previous few weeks into practice.

I realised that the cycle goes on, and that is probably what I am looking at here - he has been going through a growth spurt - first tanking up on the fuel he needs to grow - both physically and mentally - and now resting while he makes it all part of himself.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Fine Line

This week's challenge at Macroday is A Fine Line.



There are several fine lines here - the edge and veins of the leaf, the silk thread of my scarf, and strands of my hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the full photo - Wombat, holding a leaf as he always is when outside, was also playing with my hair. I just wish I'd managed to get his fingertip in focus - that would have been perfect for this challenge! But the moment was gone, and he wouldn't hold still to recreate the shot :) I cropped from the section that was most in focus (the bit furthest from Wombat's moving fingers!) and made the picture feel more balanced by rotating to put the 'heavier' element at the bottom (if that makes sense). I love the contrasting texture and colour of the result.

Tip Junkie Giveaway



Today I found The Tip Junkie - another great blog with many helpful ideas... (perhaps it should tell me not to get distracted at the computer at 3:30 am in winter before I put my shoes and jumper on...)

Laurie, who owns the blog, is running a contest for a the kind of shirt I REALLY need for my fortnight at the College of Law. (I am still panicking about clothes. MIL has brought home a few shirts, and pulled a pin-stripe suit out of her cupboard - a man's suit, that was bought second-hand in case it fit my hubby many years ago, but which fits my post-baby-body pretty well - I guess there might be some reasons to appreciate hoarding...)

I don't know if she will post internationally, but if you leave a comment on her contest entry and say you were referred by me, there's a tiny chance we might both be wearing something classy!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tomato Staking

This week my Positive Parenting Rabbit Trail led me to read about 'Tomato Staking':

"Well, your child is similar to a tomato. Without your constant good parenting, he'll grow wild and end up rotten. You need to be his stake. You need to be constantly keeping him with you as he grows, and training him, just as the tomato stake trains the tomato plant, to be as you want him to be - as you know he will need to be later in life." (from Raising Godly Tomatoes)

I started with this discussion on the 4RealLearning forum, which opened with a question about a screaming 18 month old. Wombat doesn't scream (yet) but I was attracted by the 'Child Training' topic, and I usually find the mothers at this forum give good advice.

Then I followed a link here: Unholy Anger: Disciplining Ourselves Before Disciplining Our Children. This article from the Catholic Education Resource Centre discusses St. John Bosco's method of discipline for children. I particularly liked this quote:

"The gentle appeal to the child is full of a mysterious authority and persuasive power, whereas the loud anger just serves to estrange the child from the [parent] and to undermine the [parent]’s authority in [the] child’s eyes."

I also found the name of a book that sounds very interesting. I am adding it to my 'want to read' list: "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Adele Faber.

Finally, I started working my way through this site: Raising Godly Tomatoes - I will say now that I don't agree with everything said on this site. The basic technique of keeping a child with you and directing their behaviour strikes a chord with me, but some of their methods would not be mine. Having said that, it makes interesting reading and has given me ideas - for both what I do and what I don't want to try with Wombat.

I was interested in the author's rules for starting early in teaching obedience:

You can start by teaching your child "no" and that he must respect that word. Once your child has learned to obey the word "no", you can use it to teach him almost anything. Decide what you would like to see him do or not do and use "no" to teach him.

I actually tried it out for a day, out of curiosity. I found that before long, I was saying "no" more than any other word, and while I was having some success with getting Wombat to listen to me, my own mood was getting sourer and sourer as a result. I did find it helpful to remember the advice to outlast the child, by saying 'no' in a calm, firm, gentle voice, and then repeating the instruction until it was obeyed... but I have decided to save the technique for the few things I really want him to do (or not do), rather than for shaping every element of his character!

I haven't finished reading all the material on this site. I plan to do a little more browsing around, though not necessarily read it all. My personal conclusion from what I have read so far is that it is more important for me to train myself to be a consistent, reliable, strong stake that Wombat can rely on for support - since I don't really want to train him to be a tomato, godly or otherwise! The approach is a bit too authoritarian for me, with not enough emphasis on the dignity of the child.

I will give the final word to Elizabeth of Real Learning:
"What's a tomato farmer's nemesis? The computer. I can't give them full time and attention when my face is turned to the screen."

Confessions of an heriditary hoarder

I am a hoarder. My sister is a hoarder. My mother is a hoarder. My grandmother was a hoarder. If you traced my maternal line back to the stone age, I am sure you would find the cave of my ancestress filled with rocks, stones and pebbles, leaves, dried flowers and grasses, scraps of fur, bone and sinew, twigs and sticks, and anything else you might think of because it glitters prettily in the sunlight or just might come in handy one day.

The problem is, my husband is also a heriditary hoarder. Between us we manage to have "stuff" overflowing from every surface, box, cupboard and drawer - most of which has not been touched by anything except dust since it was originally placed there.

Even with things I use regularly - Wombat's clothes for example - the "stuff" tends to accumulate out of control. I only sorted out and tidied his drawers two weeks ago, and already I am battling to close them, and having to pull everything out to find the item I need...

So my new habit for this week is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever attempted. I am going to DECLUTTER (ignoring the tiny shrieking self who runs for cover in my innermost being leaving handfuls of torn-out hair behind her)...

That's right. On at least three separate occasions each week, I will attack a different drawer, box, container, shelf or surface, throwing out, giving away or selling anything I can bear to part with, folding, sorting, dusting, tidying and rearranging. (I had thought of doing it every day, but the chances of that happening are miniscule, and then I would get caught in that procrastinating perfectionist trap of "I failed yesterday so it won't matter if I don't try today".)

Other habits are going well this week. A number of you expressed interest in reading more about Positive Parenting, so I have decided to keep track of my 'rabbit trails' (a term popular with homeschoolers, referring to how research on one subject often leads you down a rabbit trail to something else.) I think writing it down will also help me to remember, so each week I will post links and a summary of my research in a separate entry so as not to clutter up :) this one.

This week's Positive Parenting Rabbit Trail is: Tomato Staking.

I am also enjoying my daily prayer with Sacred Space, and thought I would end by sharing this snippet from today's meditation:
In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment. I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.


SMART habit progress:


Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life! (Find out more about Smart Habit Saturday here: Getting Started with Smart Habit Saturday.)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Truth and Beauty

Today's Poetry Friday round-up can be found at Farm School.

Wombat has a book of patterns, which he likes me to draw for him and which he attempts to copy. He likes dots and stripes and wiggles, but his favourite pattern of all is a spiral. Looking at pictures of nature in his books, he loves it when I point out the spiral in a seashell or flower. Yeti is a mathematician, and many years ago he introduced me to the wonderous truths of fractals and natural geometry. When I think of truth and beauty, I start spouting Keats and Wordsworth and the English Romantics. Today I thought I'd go looking for some new (to me) inspiration.

Each and All
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me;
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
And fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.
...
Then I said, "I covet Truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat,—
I leave it behind with the games of youth."
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Above me soared the eternal sky,
Full of light and deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;—
Beauty through my senses stole,
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My personal offering this week is a fibonacci poem.

Fern
frond
tight furled
whorling curled
geometric world
uncoiling mysteries beyond
truth beauty unfolding behold golden spirals turn.

(MW)