Syria Sorrow

on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syria. Halfway across the globe but not out of sight. 
In my lounge room, on my breakfast table: Syria, Sarin, send in the bombs. 
Whose children are those carpeting the ground? A mosaic of sadness. 
The sounds of Syria today: screams, silence, prayers .. in Arabic.. but other tongues yesterday. 
A litany of laments the national anthem for ages, since Adam walked Eden, perhaps under the same sun.

Syria, the very navel of mother Earth, fought over like the prize of the harem. 
Land between rivers, stained red with more blood than both arteries can carry. 
What babble have the rocks there heard.. in Assyrian, Kurdish, French, Latin, Aramaic? 
A land older than its name, newsboy catch-cry, spread over the war-table and stuck with pins. 
The world wants another spectacle.

My prayer,
as Russian fingers march the map to meet American fists, 
as guerrillas mark off territory sweating the name of Allah or of Mammon; 
is for a second bolt of light to strike those eyes considering the roads to Damascus. 

Are You For Real?

on Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I’m starting to wonder what that is. Real, I mean. A good friend gave me a book recently, about philosophy and humour, and somewhere between those two I may have lost my point of focus. Once you start messing around with perspective and relativity, reality gets a little slippery and starts swaying like Moses’ staff in the wilderness. Good ole Reality, something that I’ve been brought up to believe is as solid as a nice cedar stick, becomes all floppy and even makes funny hissing noises..

Dreams. Are they real? Are they, as serious dream analysts say; prophetic, inner truths, issues crying out for attention? Or are they just the runaway sleepy fantasies of our over-stimulated minds?

The swami walking on the bed of coals will tell you that the mind can overcome reality. We’ll have to believe that his, at least, certainly can, since the reality of those embers putting out plenty of heat seems to have been safely ignored by his soles. (Don’t try that at home.)

Will reality go away if we ignore it? Having actually tried this myself, I can testify to the negative. My library fine stayed right where it was despite a very valiant effort on my part to deny its existence. Blaming that reality on someone else having misplaced my book did help soften the harshness of my undeniably real financial depletion..

Life is real, of that I am sure. My perspectives do seem to turn on a paradigm, but each one settles into its own groove, the good bad and ugly combining to decorate the reality of existence. Much as I might like to believe the twilight fancies dancing in my REM rest, eventually I need to wake up and embrace the real me.

I blog therefore I am... :)

Sleeping Beauty ~ Thomas Spence

Q for Quest..or maybe Question?

on Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I’ve been running around. Like a hairy goat. Like a headless chook. From one place to another, inside airports and train stations, and one thing is certain. Wherever I go, there I am. It’s been an exciting half a dozen weeks tripping on a holiday through Europe. Perhaps I thought the change in scenery would cause some kind of commensurate shifts in my viewpoint of life, or my personality, but I seem to have reached home in the same shoes I left with.

Looking over my shoulder, the whole experience is already rapidly receding into memories. Luckily I took a few snapshots or I may not believe it had happened at all. I’ve been on trips before, and have to confess that apart from the slideshow performed for a few very lucky friends, those photos haven’t seen the light of day since. Life seems to happen in the now, with little time to think back or forwards.

That gets me thinking...that if I haven’t changed, and the memories move so quickly into distant past, why do I go to all the trouble of packing hefty cases and lugging them around the world? (If my husband is reading this, now is the part where he’ll be rubbing his hands hopefully, thinking that my wandering days are done)..but no. Quintessentially quite the opposite! That’s like saying I’ll give up eating jellybeans.
The singular, wonderful, awe-inspiring experiences I have, moment by moment, in places I’ve never seen before, with people I’ve never met before.. are worth the miles. Perhaps some do change me a little, but on the whole it’s the joy they bring in that moment that adds to my enjoyment of life.

The shiver at the giddy views from a mountain, the zing of an exotic recipe, the giggle at a silly busker, the understanding as another piece of history’s puzzle makes sense, the surprise in the discovery of a foreign custom, the pleasure of an unexpected kindness..even the fear of losing my way, and the frustration of a rip-off. Everything adds up. I probably don’t even remember them all, but they are special moments.

I have special times at home too of course, but there’s still a lot out there for me to discover. My suitcase is stowed in the closet for now, but I think it knows it won’t have to languish in the dark for long...

Life is a quest.

Quality produce ~ Stresa Italy

Promise me ... that ... smile

on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today's blog is brought to you by the letter.. P. It seems the perfect day for a poem :)

Promise me that smile
The runaway which has
No introduction just an
Unpretentious entry like
Uncle Charlie bursting into the room

Promise me no
Hesitation but just the rush
Of the current over stones
Warm and liquid and

Promise me a crushing
Soothing velveteen couch
Kind of burying embrace
Full of overstuffed cushions
Which we toss out of
The way and timeless like
The moment before the sun
Goes down past the lip
Of the horizon seeming
To wait there burning a
Last cigarette before
Ducking under

Make me a promise
That you cannot fail to keep
A promise picked free of the
Cobwebs and dust of past
Hearts and simple
Like a naked grape
Ready for the roundness of
One mouth

©Julia Zed 2013

Oh I love the way you say it doctor!

on Friday, June 14, 2013

Oscars only ostrich oiled an orange owl today..

If I make a list of the people who most influenced me as a child, it would have to include Dr Seuss. A quick look at wikipedia tells me he was Theodor Geisel, produced 44 children’s books and won a pulitzer prize. What, only 44? I had expected to find hundreds. I must have read the whole lot then. I went to places like Pompelmoose Pass, the island of Gwark and the country of Motta-fa-Potta-fa-Pell, chasiing Poozers, visiting Sneeches, marvelling at the Tufted Mazurka, and Fiffer Feffer Feff. C’mon, what an imagination!

My life is still a little like a Dr Seuss book. A combination of sense and nonsense, a river of words many of which are not found in any dictionary, and a love of funky individualism. If you can learn to recite ‘I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew’ you will not only have done a great deal of excellent exercise with your tongue and lips, but will have learned some fabulously bodacious new words and a sensible life lesson to boot.

Childhood is a long way off now. Can you think of what influenced you way back then? Mum, Dad..sisters, brothers, those are a given. What else? Teachers? A coach? A film star? Friends? Taking a look at the small stitches that knit us up can be a surprising revelation of how just a few hours or few words made a lasting deposit. Who knows what makes certain people or events stick in our minds? Sometimes just a short unexpected connection with someone leaves us impacted right into adulthood. Good or bad. And it never stops. We take new things on board every day.

And that means...yes me, yes you. We’re not Oprah, Orwell or Obama, but we still influence other people, probably without even knowing it. Authors like Dr Seuss are well aware that they make an impact, no doubt they write with that well in mind, but I don’t think most of us are aware that unless you’re a hermit, just about everything we do affects others. Perhaps it seems like a big responsibility to bear. It’s certainly something to think about considering that modern motto: “Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.” ... I’d be happy to change that motto to “Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t affect anybody else.”

Live obstinately or obediently..  or ostentatiously, outrageously, originally, orderly, openly, or outstandingly, or omnivorously... do it your way... but...

Know that it does matter. Ok? ;)

Taken from Dr Seuss's ABC

Would you accept candy from a stranger?

on Thursday, May 9, 2013

N is for naïveté...

At a community picnic last week the crowds were thick and the mood upbeat as we were entertained by various street performers, among them an enthusiastic African drummer. A number of us jiggled and hopped along with the rhythm, flashing smiles and enjoying the common groove. It wasn’t too long before the sun and the exertion had me panting. The woman next to me grinned, fished about in her dilly bag for a bit, and then pulled out a small pillbox. I watched fascinated as she flipped the lid and selected a tablet with long acrylic tipped fingers. “Here,” she said, offering me a tiny pellet, “pop this under your tongue, it’ll give you more energy.” I declined with my kindest grown-up expression. (you know, the one that says “don’t be silly dear”), and thanked her with a smile. Well, would you accept a mystery substance from a stranger who could be a few squares short of the full chocolate bar? ..and what’s that got to do with anything anyhow?

Here we are in the middle of a still accelerating boom of technological advancement. New devices regularly make their entrance onto the market amidst fanfare and excitement -so often that we are dizzy and wide-eyed, hardly knowing which to choose next. The general mood is upbeat as we all tap and click our way to modern community. Are you up with the latest buzz? Is the new iphone better than the competition? How many more months should you wait before upgrading to a better laptop? Do you really know how to get the most out of that gadget?

Even my grandma has a shiny new mobile toy to juggle, reluctantly accepting a device that is as mysterious to her as Egyptian hieroglyphs. Most of her blue-rinse buddies also have a mobile phone stashed in the handbag, and/or a computer blinking and winking on a table next to the wireless at home. I sat next to her when she first got hers, and tried to explain which little boxes on the overcrowded screen were waiting for her input. In the end I sent her on a crash computer course.. don’t let the irony of that one escape you. But even after computing 101, she remains generally confused about the inner workings of the grey box in her home, never deviating from the exact key sequences that will take her to her email.

We are armed to the hilt with the latest microchipped wonders, but an alarming majority of us don’t know how to use the technology properly. Those who do, find themselves in a fools’ paradise of sitting ducks. And it’s duck season. In a move akin to passing out loaded guns to children, we are equipping ourselves with smart technology minus a safety catch. Parents hand their offspring tablets and phones that have cameras, microphones and access to social networks. Sure, the kids are miles ahead of Granny trying to deal with email and dodge spam, but they are still babes in the wood compared to the undercurrent of IT wizards, themselves kids in a candy store of opportunities.

Privacy is the undecorated casualty of this information explosion. Actually, it’s an information war. Ignorance is the ally of our enemy, and we are prisoners of our own materialism. Sorry to say that Grandma found herself cleaned out recently. She fell victim to a telephone scam, giving remote access of her computer to a supposed maintenance firm. And me? I’m not that much more savvy than Grandma really. I have accepted a tablet, one full of cyber-mysteries and security systems that are continually superseded. It lets me run a whole lot of sweet applications... but I have to confess a woefully inadequate knowledge of all its sweet implications.

Whose job is it to make sure we are all fully aware of the capabilities and risks of the products we are buying? Who is responsible for Granny’s misfortune?  Nobody’s putting up their hand.

Somehow Naïveté isn’t so cute anymore. 

mmmm midlife crisis anyone?

on Monday, April 1, 2013

M is for middle. Middle of the road, middle aged, middle of a muddle. It’s a word that should have all kinds of nice balanced overtones, but it seems mediocre somehow. There’s a definite neither here nor there connotation about the middle. Who wants to get stuck in the middle of the stream? Once you’re in the middle, going back would be just as tiresome as just keeping on keeping on until you make it across. So if we take a leaf out of Lady Macbeth’s book, being in the middle means you’ve bloody well committed yourself now!

Alright then, we’re only half done. But it’s been a good first half I think. Middle ground is a good place to rest up for a moment and take stock of the game so far. There have been losses and gains, and there have been some crazy booboos and some flashes of brilliance. Half-way mark is a chance to reassess and perhaps make some changes to the plan.

Then again, I’m not so sure nowadays, where the middle is supposed to start. Middle age used to be the forties, but I’ll bet your average forty year old in this Invincible Modern Western World would flatly deny that. Forty is mature youth. So I suppose fifty must be the magic mark. Then again, life expectancy has increased, and anti-ageing strategies promising health and virility despite the tally of years are leading us to believe that we are going to make it to immortality one day soon. And then there would be no middle....

Until then, let’s peg it at fifty. My condolences/congratulations to those who have crossed the line ante immortality. Never reaching the end could get old...just how many re-runs of I Love Lucy can any person stand? I am all prepped and ready to enter those golden gates of middle age myself next birthday. So is my favourite cousin. We are planning a celebratory escapade commensurate with the bodacity of such an auspicious anniversary.

Looking around, I needn’t worry. The local papers are advertising activities for fifty-somethings like rock climbing, pub jiving and parachuting. Facebook keeps flashing pictures at me of topless, ripped, greying dudes in dating sites that warn young women not to apply. The middle is already being swept neatly under the carpet. Fifty is senior youth. I’m cool with that, going to keep on rowing, in fact I’ll put my name down for some white water rafting.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily... life is but a dream...
Mmmm, being stuck in the middle of a dream ain’t so bad..

Trippin over the Line..

on Saturday, March 9, 2013

L is for line. Not the one you wait in, but the one drawn between yes and no.

Whether it is a figurative line in the sand or fence of barbed wire, the line exists to forbid crossing. Would it were a concrete vision! Would it were touchable and clearly marked with yellow crime scene tape. But often the line is no black stripe of permanent ink. It snakes somewhere between the unstated and understated, shifting and elusive as the borealis, and yet...should foot or finger cross it, a resulting electrified jolt leaves an intruder in no doubt of its reality.

‘Boundaries’ was the catch word of the nineties on the psychological self help shelves. “Build thy emotional fences and signpost them well with keep out warnings” was the solid advice. The lines in the sand were already there, it seemed practical to erect a fearsome wall upon them just in case. The resultant, exultant Me/Myself/I enshrined in castle and determined to defend all rights to the death could then peer at another over the battlement wall and perhaps wave sometimes.

Tip-toeing along the line is an art-form of diplomacy. Hopefully your rights and my rights mesh neatly at the border. But what if they don’t . Wherever they overlap, someone’s toe has toed past the line.

Where is the line in our relationship? Am I dependant upon you or free? Do you need me or tolerate me? Is a relationship a crutch or a support? Where is the line? At what point does interest become obsession? At what junction does expectation cross responsibility?...

Perhaps what we need is a small office on the border that will issue leave-passes – permission to cross the line without fear of ending up in no-mans land. Perhaps we need to construct a safety net underneath that long thin line. Perhaps instead of keeping it so taut and uptight...we could give each other a little slack. After all being an island is no fun, and nor is sitting arms crossed on the bottom line.

Looking for loopholes.
Long live love.

image from

How about a tune..? This one jumped into my head and I kinda like it.

K then..

on Thursday, February 21, 2013

I couldn't make up my mind between two extra special K if you don't mind...if it's not too much..I will include them both. Firstly, K is for kindness. I smiled big when the judges announced the winner of this year's Tropfest Short Film Festival in Sydney this week,  because it is a beautiful and deserving little movie..about kindness. It is called 'We've All Been There'.. CLICK HERE  to take a look if you like :)

The milk of human kindness, so unique to humanity, so hard to find sometimes in a harsh modern world where we seem more to resemble members of the animal kingdom slaying the weak so the fittest can survive.

It's hard to be kind sometimes, when the kids are driving us crazy, when the odds are stacked against us and nothing seems to go right, when he forgets your anniversary..again, when some selfish sob takes your parking spot....... temptation to pay all the agro forward is huge. But kindness is some kind of magic oil that greases the wheels of goodness and peace and harmony...and all those other things we wish the world would be. Do it. Shake your fist at the whole dumb lot of rotten unjust unbelievable frustration by shaking out a little kindness. What goes around....comes around...right back at you.

And will you believe it..? I have to have a second crack at the letter K...because I just can't not blog about Kisses. It was said F Scott Fitzgerald actually..that the kiss "originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before".. it seems this most lovely of human activities has been around for a long time..

Kiss Contract

During this time, we agree not to speak
Save for sounds which cannot be called words.
Our pact we seal with warm palms pressed upon flesh,
And enter into a solemn contract to be carried out
By the soft messengers of our mouths;
Lips forsworn to faithfully divulge
Secret longings and hidden passions,
Tongues given leave to search for ways to portray desire.
The sanctity of the undertaking is understood
And respected with circumspection and deference.
Our hearts the scribes of all proceedings
Flurry to take down every nuance,
Aching with the responsibility of recording what cannot be uttered.
Here in a tiny arena of armless wrestlers,
Our two souls lock in tender combat,
Duelling to the death of strangeness.

©Julia Zed Feb 2013

Flamenco Dancer Sealed With a Kiss

J for....

on Friday, February 1, 2013

J is for Joker.

Everyone likes to crack a joke or two. Whether they are as simple as a riddle, or an epic story with twists, jokes are the Smarties on life’s cookie..

But crack one open and you’ll find that even the most innocuous little pun is full of complicated machinery. The psychology of humour is no laughing matter. Why do we laugh at funnies portraying misfortune, bigotry, injustice? Is it true that jokes contain a yolk of truth? Doesn’t “I’m just joking..” usually mean.. “I’m perfectly serious but I’m hoping you won’t notice if I giggle while I say it?..”

Jokes are the armoured tanks of immunity that plough headlong into the serious business of life. Where are we without a sterling sense of humour to provide the silver in the cloud lining? Funnies force us to consider our prejudices and foibles. It’s a healthy psyche that can laugh at its own quirks. That said….let’s have a chuckle about death, religion and disease...among other things..

A man is at the doctor’s office.
 The doctor says to the man, “I’ve got some bad news, and I’ve got some terrible news…”
“Oh no!” says the man, “What’s the bad news?”
“You’ve only got 24 hours to live.”
“What’s the terrible news?”
“I should have told you yesterday.”

Paddy went into the bar and ordered three drinks. He took a sip from each in turn, continuing until he had drunk them all. The barman commented, “If you order them one at a time they’re less likely to go flat.” Paddy explained that he and his two best mates used to drink together every night. When they had to go their separate ways in life, they agreed that they would each drink this way in memory of their friendship. The barman was touched.
After some months, Paddy came into the bar and only ordered two drinks. Silence fell over the place, as the regulars had come to know his habit. The barman murmured, “My condolences mate..” Paddy said, “It’s OK, everyone’s fine. I just became a Mormon, and I have to give up drinking.”

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlour and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.
The waitress asked kindly, “Crushed nuts?”
“No,” he replied, “Arthritis.”

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.
Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.
"Careful," he said, "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! LOOK OUT! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh no! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"
The wife stared at him, "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"
The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

Laughter is essential for good health..mental and physical, since it gives both the grey matter and a good many muscles a nice shake up…not to mention the endorphins and beneficial chemicals like serotonin that it releases into our sea of angst. So I’ll end with a peck of puns to bolster your RDI of humour J

Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.

A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumour.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

When you dream in colour, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.

What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)

A backwards poet writes inverse.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show you a flat minor.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.

Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

When an actress saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

It Is I

on Monday, January 21, 2013

I is And you. I is for identity. Pull out the Freud books, here we go... no, actually let’s not. Because I’m thinking along a few lines other than philosophy and psychology. For such a small word, ‘i’ is jam-packed with intent. From idiot to illuminati..we all has an I.

So who are you anyway? (Someone asked me that once, and I only had to think a moment before I had a choice of fifty answers. I chose one, and that is the version of me that they were introduced to.) Fact is, even if you have a nice pat answer to give anyone who asks, you are a whole lot more than you could ever tell them. a delightful irony the smallest word possible..with the largest meaning.

So if we are all that and more..what is identity? A lot has been said about our human need to put labels on ourselves. We like labels. It’s handy to be able to call oneself mother, or daughter, or student or handy that labels are insisted upon. Who are you?, demands the official document, and you faithfully fill out all the neat identifiers; sex, race, creed, age, marital status, religion. And there we are, all summed up and rubber stamped. And if that weren’t enough, polite conversation will soon inquire as to your line of work, so that you can fit nicely into the social and economic category that your occupation implies.
Ah but I am so much more. So are you. I am quite cross that the official forms don’t have a space for Imaginary Occupation. I would very much like to fill in ‘Pirate Queen’.

Here in Australia, we are well known for a cosmopolitan, multicultural outlook. We don’t tend to go overboard paddling our patriotic canoe, though our national identity is hardcore mateship. We seem to know who we are. The struggle for identity thrashes itself out between our many immigrants faced with having to build a new life far from the very things that make them feel at home.

So boiled down to it, what makes If you had to describe yourself without using any of the usual government sanctioned tags..what would you choose? Would you feel confident enough to isolate yourself from the safety of a bland category, and be the individual you are? Ok then... a challenge. Describe yourself with ten identifiers without any of the usual labels.

Here’s me: cupcake muncher, cryptic crossword hater, shell collector, cloud appreciator, watch wrecker, morning swimmer, gecko rescuer, shoe buyer, small toe stubber, password forgetter, bible thumber.

Identity is individual.

Saint Alvere, France

H is for Honey!

on Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I’m convinced that there are a certain few special substances which are a divine gift to mankind. Like honey. What can compare to honey? What can rival its texture and colour, its smell and taste? If we had the ears to hear it, I just know it would sound like sweet seduction. Honey is a feast for the senses, the perfect ingredient, perfect accompaniment, and to top it all off, it’s actually good for you!

What other food is so exquisitely prepared by its makers; from ingredients found in vessels of perfumed beauty? It is mixed into a heavenly amber concoction by faithful workers whose sole ambition and focus is its production; created in an atmosphere of dance and humming, and stored in perfect little handmade containers, pure and practical as such a delicacy should demand. Honey never spoils.

Honey is all about love. Devotion gleams from its warm soft depths. No wonder it is held in such high esteem by minds spiritual and scientific alike. Gurus cite it as an aphrodisiac, healing agent and purifier. Nutritionists list it as an excellent cholesterol-free source of energy and vitamins (including B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids and minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc…wow huh?), dermatologists will tell you it is good for the skin, and I … place it top of my list of potions that bring the world into balance.

Have you ever contemplated the patterns made by honey on your toast..or on your tummy? Have you ever dipped the spoon in and wound the tail around and around as though it were momentarily a sticky ball of yarn? Have you closed your eyes while you put that honey spoon into your mouth and paused your busy schedule for the seconds it takes the golden mass to melt into you? Have you tried honey on your carrots, on your yoghurt, with your chicken, in your tea? Why ever not?

Hey…health tip for a sweeter universe: don’t forget the honey!

G is for..

on Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Emotions are the elements of our lives. We float on the ceaseless tide, sometimes bobbing happily, and more often than not, swept underneath the current until the world is obscured by bubbles and debris. Elation, sadness, anxiety, contentment.. they are all necessary shades of our experience.

And sometimes, grief descends, dragging with it a host of other emotions which must be endured as a stream of visitors just at the time when we’d rather be left alone. I have witnessed grief in my loved ones, staring inward through its bulletproof glass, seeing lips move without producing words, feeling the chill of helplessness. What I saw was simply the frost, a herald of the great winter storm inside, never truly understood.. until my own loss enveloped me.

The permanence of loss needs a champion. Grief comes as a tide to sweep us into an acknowledgment of all that was. Feared emotion, yet it is a grey-blanketed saviour from indifference. Scribe of significance, grief records the loss of loves, granting a soul left a little lonelier the balm of recognition.

Death in all its forms is no surprise. Even oblivious in happiness it is understood that an end waits. Our fickle hearts must move and change, never lying in the arms of any emotion too long. Grief must leave its scars beside the imprints of feet and fingers and the exquisite carvings of joy. In this life I shoulder my humanity, and you yours, and we may nod, knowing, at one another walking on the mortal road, since we neither of us have the wings of angels.

G is for grief.

May we grow in grace.


on Sunday, January 6, 2013

Feelings.. those inclinations that have bypassed the brain and emerge like the weather, sometimes knocking us right off the horse. They say that thinking is where we get to engage the brain; feelings engage the heart. Are they at opposite ends of a scale? Or parallel channels on the mixer? Is it possible to operate both at the same time?

Perhaps that is a bit like rubbing your tummy while patting your head. It probably requires a good deal of concentration, and a split screen somewhere in the consciousness to monitor both simultaneously..are feelings just a different kind of thought?

I’ve done one of those personality type tests, and am told that I most often favour feeling over thinking. That’s well and good so long as I am sitting next to a feely type. If I end up sharing a bench with a thinkin person, I find myself using all kinds of hand gestures to try and weave my feelings into some kind of logical arrangement. It’s tricky. It’s practicality versus ascetics, physics versus fantasy.

It’s hard enough to put thoughts into words. Trying to jam the pillow-like forms of various feelings into little word boxes is exhausting! ...And this is why we are gifted with more than one method of communication! Body language for instance. Do they teach us to read that in school? They should! Even the extreme thinkers of this world often proclaim the way they are feeling  in posture and mannerism..

For those of us who rely on feelings, perhaps we should take up’s great for expressing oneself, since facial expressions also come into play..and it’s less noisy.

So how do I feel today? Pretty good, thank you.. well alright, a little frustrated. If communication is a science, I feel I’m still trying to fathom 101.  But here I am, still at it, pulling thoughts like loose threads from the fabric of my mind and stitching up little blog samplers...thinking it through.. but more often than not...just feeling my way.

A Love Poem

I wanted to write the most unromantic love poem I could;
Something gutsy and gory.
Why is it you feel so much in your gut? 
Shouldn’t feeling be in the heart? ..or the head maybe, since feelings are thoughts too. 
But no. It’s the tummy that twists with fear when you realize you missed the last bus. 
And your guts squirm with indescribable pangs when that one you love to be with leaves. 
You’d think love would make its home in a heart, 
but here we are losing our appetite and feeling weird in the pit of the stomach.
I wanted to write the most unromantic love poem I could, 
because sometimes love is ugly, spilling your innards all over the floor. 

©Julia Zed

Fleur de lis in France...

E is for..

on Tuesday, January 1, 2013

E is for evolve. No, not from an ape to an android, I just mean ‘change’ pure and simple; positive change, change for the better.

The new year is rearing to go, snorting resolutions and expectations, pawing at the starting gate and urging us to lay our bets. It’s the time when many of us take a good hard look at the things we’d like to change in our lives, some of us actually making lists, a couple of us actually serious about doing something to bring those changes about... Let’s be honest. The lists are often just last year’s wishful thinks revamped. It can seem as though we’re stuck in a rut. Confession time.. my bad habits have been doing reruns on my resolution list for ...well...decades?

But the truth is that where there is life there is change. Take a closer look and there have been changes, perhaps not all of them so obvious as the new baby in the house, or the five kilos gained. Little by little we change as we meet new people, see new things, try new things. Change is a given. Stagnation equals death.

Logically then, it’s the agents of change that will determine whether our life changes are positive or not. What will you watch? What angle will you take? Who will you listen to? Who will you talk to? What will you make of the new challenges life throws your way in 2013? Will they be stepping stones or bridge breakers? Snakes or ladders? 

Examine every experience.

I think, therefore I evolve.