Peer Review, Mermaid Blue

I don’t know whether the incredibly talented Mermaid meant this post to be part of Reading Australia, but she has certainly read Australia well with this post, which I commented on.

https://mermaidblues507.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/wisteria-gardens/

What a fabulous post. I too lament progress.
I too prefer the rustle of the leaves in the trees to the hustle and bustle of the lives that some people think they must live.
I love the smell of the Wisteria, almost as much as I do the scent of Hyacinth as a wealthy woman passes wearing Chanel number 5. The only fragrance that can compete with the Wisteria is that which assaults the senses after kilometres of bushealking you come across a stand of wild freesias ( an introduced pest ) in the Royal National Park.
Again you have done it. Thanks for the memories.

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Peer Review, Barefoot Fairy

https://barefootfairy42.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/footprints-on-the-sand/

Wow Audrey. That is amazing writing. I was there with you as you held our hand. With you we took every step of that walk. We saw what you saw and like you I stared in awe at the drawings of a people who may have even introduced art to the world. I too wanted to touch it. I reached up but paused. I’m glad I didn’t…your admonishment about destroying what has been forever was ringing in my ears.
Thank you for taking us on this mind walk. Some of us are no longer to physically do it now.

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Watch “My world” on YouTube

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Spiritual Importance of Dance

In every culture there seems to be an importance placed on music and dance. The music and dance of a culture tells stories of ancestors and events that have happened in the past. Passing on the dance and the song keeps the story alive. One is able to connect with the spiritual aspect of a culture by viewing or participating in the dance of that people.

For the Native American people, it was and still is important to keep the story of the Ghost dance at Wounded Knee in the hearts and minds of the generations to come. This story is similar to the end time prophecies in the bible. All the dead shall no longer be dead but we will be able to dance with them. There will be no more tears and crying, no wounded or sick. People will be happy and will have enough provisions. The buffalo will return, the white man will be no more.

It was the great native American dream. That the land would be restored to them, that the white men would leave and the animals would once again roam on the plains. This is the promise of times to come, not for now. If the native american were to hope for it in this current age, then I am afraid they will be a little disappointed. In fact, the white man has not finished taking land from the natives. President Donald Trump has allowed the Dakota access pipeline to go ahead, encroaching on Sioux land, and potentially poisoning the waterways that give the Sioux nations their drinking water.

For African people, and African American people, the dance is not something that they make up but one that is passed on from generations before. The dance is spiritual, embedded in them from birth. The moves are not new, they are ancient and have meaning.

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Likewise, the Australian Aboriginal people have dance and music as part of their culture. They tell stories of events by portraying animals and other things in nature in the dancing. Literature for the native people groups around the world may not be a written language but a language, with stories, fiction and non-fiction being told in the dance. To the native people of these countries and more, dance is not something for entertainment but to pass on the knowledge of what came before. It is a spiritual connection with nature and with the ancestors.

 

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Do you see what I see?

As part of the inside out CAPA competitions at Uni, I wrote the following poem with the hope that it would shed some light on what asylum seekers, including children have come through to reach our country. Then what do we do, but shove them in detention, without any possible hope for a good future in out country.

I hope that when you look at asylum seekers, you would look with compassion, and understand  what they see.

Dave.

Do you see what I see

Do you want to see what I see.

The mud the blood

Broken bodies on the ground

My family is not to be found

Death and fire all around

 

Do you hear what I hear

Do you want to hear what I hear

The guns the bombs

Echo in the night

And fill me with terror and fright

They give me nightmares each night

 

Do you smell what I smell

Do you want to smell what I smell

The chemicals the flesh

Smoke rising in the sky

Sometimes causes me to cry

And makes me wonder why

 

Do you feel what I feel

Do you want to feel what I feel.

I’m scared alone

In detention on my own

My future is unknown

When will kindness finally be shown

 

Do you see what I see

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Inside Out, seeing through someone else’s eyes

I was asked to submit to a social justice awareness competition at my Uni. I could not stop at one cause. I submitted these 3 photos with the commentary to appeal to people to look through another’s eyes before judging and to feel some compassion. Maybe these will touch the heart of someone with the ability to make a difference, whether that be a person with the financial ability to help, or someone with the right contacts to make a change in the way governments and leaders see things.

Is it right to ask you, as I normally do, to enjoy this post?

Dave

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I saw this site and took the photo during the Syrian Crisis, when people were dying and buildings being blown up. This site reminded me of Syria. Sometimes people who don’t understand, tell immigrants to go home. With this photo, I hope to open their eyes. Sometimes immigrants have no home to go back to. The war rages still in Syria. Many millions displaced. Will we show compassion and offer a home to the homeless?

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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Freedom, so close

I took this photo to represent the plight of asylum seekers who are in detention, not only in Manus Island or Nauru, but also community detention centres right here in Sydney. Having endured the bombs, death and terror of war in their destructed homelands, they risk everything to come to a new land, where they hope they can find freedom and enjoy the dignity that should be afforded to every human being. Instead they are treated like animals, kept in detention for an indefinite period. They are so close to freedom, but so far.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25

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Feed me

I sat down on the pavement next to a young homeless person. He said to me: “I watch people with bags from expensive brand name stores. They walk past and turn their noses up at me. Even though they wear their fancy clothes, they are poor. Sometimes I think I am richer than they are”.

I was with some people in a group a week later. A man was complaining about homeless people looking at him eating in a restaurant and that they shouldn’t be allowed on the street like that. I asked him if he thought the street person looked bad, how do you think you look from his point of view, when he is sitting on the ground.

 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25

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TRANSCENDENTALISM IN AMERICAN LITERATURE

The American writers who coined the term transcendentalism were of the belief that one has more to learn from one’s connection with the earth, and nature, than in schools or books. These writers were anti-establishment, and therefore anti capitalist in thought.

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Studying Emerson’s “Nature” and “Self Reliance”  reminded me of the following story. It is a story that asks the question: Why is money so important?

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An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Our capitalist society builds the reliance on money. Where does it takes us. Jesus said “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to lose his soul?” When we strive after money and things, we can sell our own soul. We can give up that which is important to us.

I can bring back here the question of if colonisation was good for the native people of a land. People seemed content with what they have, until they are told they can have more, better, faster, stronger things. How often do you update your mobile phone? Native people who are not westernised, are content until the west interferes.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson and Thoreau ask us to be individual. To have our own thoughts and ideas, to forget what has come before and reinvent new ways to do things. But is anything original anymore? Emerson and Thoreau were of the same school as Blake, Coleridge and Wordsworth before them. Blake became disillusioned with his mentor/pastor Swedenborg, but Emerson and Thoreau embraced the man’s teachings; primarily because Swedenborg was also against establishments, particularly organised religion.

We should all think for ourselves. If one is to follow Jesus, it should not because others have told you that is the correct things to do, but that you have a personal revelation; you discover for yourself that a Messiah is for you.

One person in Australian culture from the 80’s that was truly an individual who thought for himself was Mark (Jacko) Jackson.

Jacko called himself “A genuine original”. I am sure that nobody would argue with that.

This post is my attempt to put a little fun and interest into what is a dry topic in literature. I hope you have enjoyed it, and it has gone a little way to helping you understand transcendentalism.

Dave

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