Posts tagged ‘AUSTRALIA’

DREAMS THAT YOU DARE TO DREAM. 

Not much stuck from my childhood. Actually, that’s not quite true; LOTS of it stuck but there’s not much I choose to hold onto. This week though one thing has resonated. 
As I child I was taught that if you feel like saying something you should ask yourself three things – Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? This ridiculous, non binding, divisive, resource wasting postal plebiscite has exceeded the fearful expectations of those who opposed it and the climate is ugly out there. It is being used as a platform for sinister untruths and as a license to spew hate. On a daily basis, on a deep level, people are being attacked for who they love. 

Of course, this is nothing new. The LGBTI+ community has never been immune to persecution. It is the openness of the hatred at the moment that appals me. That we are being compelled to choose a side and that an actual campaign is being waged to validate bigotry. More resources wasted to generate and perpetuate hate. 

I am a Sagittatarian, it’s kind of mandatory for me to be blunt and I value honesty highly. But I come back to those three questions; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? The thing about opinions is that everyone has one and I’m not going to argue that you aren’t entitled to yours, even if it opposes mine. What I am sure about though, is the neither of us should take our opinions and use them as the basis of acts that damage other people. 

If you do feel you have something to say then be thoughtful around how you express yourself. Check your facts. Make sure they are, in fact, facts. Decide if you really need to say anything. Will you actually be contributing? If so, express yourself respectfully. There’s a school of thought that asserts that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. I don’t agree with that. Lots of the things I speak about here aren’t nice but I feel like I have something to contribute by not staying silent. I hope I am respectful. I try to be. 
Daughter Number One’s best friend was gay. Well, to the best of my knowledge he still is! She loved him dearly. She had been to several Mardi Gras parades in Sydney before she died at 14. Son Number Two, my tall, nineteen year old, straight son, also has friends who fall outside of heterosexual norms. So do I. Dearly loved friends, some I have had for decades, some who have walked with me through the darkest of nights. Even Daughter Number Two has a best friend who shows signs of growing up to walk the road less travelled. He’s young, so who knows? My point is that whoever her friend grows up to be my Daughter will not judge him on who he loves. Because she loves him. Just as he is. 

I have been so sad about this postal plebiscite. The stories both from mainstream media and people I know are heartbreaking. I go to rallys when I can. I posted off my yes vote. I write about marriage equality here and I share things on facebook. But this issue has been going on for so long now in Australia that I am able to share facebook memories from three years ago that are still sadly relevant. And, in the face of the sea of hatred that is tsunami-ing over us, it doesn’t seem enough. 
So tomorrow I am going to a PFLAG meeting. PFLAG stands for ‘Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays’. When I rang up today to register my interest in attending tomorrow the lady on the phone asked me for my story. She asked where I heard about PFLAG. I’ve seen them march behind their banner in Mardi Gras. I’ve watched Debbie represent in Queer as Folk. I’ve heard them speak at rallys. What’s my story? “Do you have a gay child?” she asked. And I don’t. But I could. And that would be perfectly fine with me, because love is love. 
I believe in love. With so much ugliness in this world I believe in love. I know and love many beautiful people and I believe they all should be allowed to make the choices they feel are right for themselves, in their own relationships. I don’t believe ‘different’ should equal ‘lesser under law’. So, I’ll go to the PFLAG meeting tomorrow and I’ll go to the marriage equality rally next week and I’ll keep writing here about things that matter. 

This article here gives some insight into why straight allies are important and this link will point you in a practical direction if you have time and energy to share. PFLAG can be found here and there are many groups and events you can make contact with in your state. 

Travel safe x 

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WE’VE BEEN POISONED BY THESE FAIRY TALES. 


All we have to do, at any given moment, is take the next step. Sometimes they are big steps and sometimes they are baby steps. Sometimes they are sidesteps and sometimes we take a step back. But all we have to do, at any given moment, is take the next step. 
Last week I had the most lovely day with friends. We took my friend’s two year old, The Best Boy, to the park. Actually we took him to two parks! At the second we met a dog, named Milo, who was swinging on a swing. Chill as you please. Milo was so relaxed he even let The Best Boy push him on the swing. It was very cool to watch. Unexpected and entertaining. Milo, you are a legend. 
I watched The Best Boy navigating both the parks we took him to. His sturdy little legs and boundless enthusiasm taking him further and higher, one step at a time. His Mum was there to offer a steadying hand when he needed it; it’s good to have support around you. 

Incredibly, to me, Australia is still debating Marriage Equality. I am waiting for us to take the next step. 
Change isn’t always easy, even when it is necessary. Even when it is the right thing. Even when we know it will be the best thing. It is difficult to step out of our comfort zones and into the unknown. But if we do we can be Milo the dog, swinging at the park, sun in our face and wind in our hair. Loving life! 

Someone special gave me a little cactus plant. It had grown quite a lot and I was worried that it was getting too crowded in it’s little pot. I don’t have a green thumb and I thought that I might kill it if I tried to repot it. What I knew for sure though, was that it had outgrown it’s little pot. To keep living and thriving I would need to find it a new place to be. It wouldn’t look the same. It would have to adjust to it’s changed environment. But it couldn’t stay where it was. 
So I found a white pot, with ‘Grow! Grow! Grow!’ painted up the side. I found some lush soil and I replanted the little cactus. I gave it a little bit of water and let it have a little bit of sun. I don’t know exactly how it will work out but I know that I have given it the best chance to survive and flourish. 
There are no guarantees in life. Sometimes you just have to make your move and take the next step. Talk to a stranger, climb up a mountain, go to the theatre, walk out the door, open your arms.  Live your life. Grow and flourish. One step at a time. 
❤️💛💚💙💜
Safe onward travel x 

FIGHT SONG.

Images from the Rally for Marriage Equality, Perth, Western Australia, Australia – 25th June 2016. 

CARRY ME ON THE WAVES.

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The other night I was talking to a friend who had relocated for love. It hadn’t worked out the way that they had hoped because sometimes things don’t. I fervently believe that it is better to know than to wonder. As a general rule I don’t do things by halves. If something is worth doing it it worth doing fully and I throw myself into things, heart and soul. Even if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped there are always opportunities for learning and growth. You can never go back anyway, only forwards, so what use are regrets? Carry the good things with you and move on.

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For a while now Son Number Two has been telling me about a place he visited with My Young Friend and his Lovely Fiancée, extolling the virtues and the photographic potential of the vibrant turquoise water. The catch was that it would be a 4WD trip to get there. Monday was Australia Day here which meant the young people had the day off work. They asked me to come along for the ride and, this time, I agreed. It was, indeed, an amazingly beautiful place. The whole day was quite triggering for me for very many dull reasons but I allowed myself to breathe through it and soak up the beauty. When we first arrived I noted that the place had the same name as another stunningly beautiful place where I have spent many happy times with Daughter Number One. It is where my favourite photo of her was taken. To be honest, if I’d known this place had the same name I’m not sure I would have agreed to go. Since I was there already I just had to deal. And I did. Staying present in the moment. Go me! Carry the good things with you and move on.maya_angelou_love

Each day is the first day of the rest of your life! If you don’t like where you are then move on. You can only work with what you’ve got but if that’s not enough to work with then go and find yourself more. I’d be the last one to tell you it’s easy but one thing I know for sure? It’s possible! Live, laugh, love. Life is short.

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Safe onward travel lovelies x

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THE LAST PLANE OUT OF SYDNEY’S ALMOST GONE.

Yesterday was a good day. Time spent with a dear friend who I haven’t seen for ages and her beautiful Danes.  Khe Sanh on the radio as we drove home. A glorious sunset.

I’ve seen lots of sunsets lately.

I’m ready for the sunrise!

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ~Stephen King

Safe onward travel x

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COPPERHEAD ROAD.

Today, the day of Malcolm’s birthday, the day after writing the last post, we made the same journey. As we drove my young friend flicked through the radio stations looking for music. To my joy, and not complete surprise, the song Copperhead Road came on and I recognised it immediately. It was one of Malcolm’s favourite songs and it was played at his funeral.

So, on his birthday he sent me a gift! How cool is that?

Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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Mr Bojangles

It was late in this city that I’ve grown to love and I walked to the neon lit strip of fast food establishments and decided on KFC for dinner. As I paid for my order Graham appeared at my shoulder and struggled to read the menu. He’d lost his glasses he said, although I wondered briefly if he could read. I asked what he was in the mood for, read him a few options and left him to place his order.

As I sat eating Graham asked to join me, saying ‘I’ll sit as far away from you as possible’ which made me laugh. I asked him to be my guest and he sat down diagonally opposite me. Wiry of build, close-cropped hair, a sculptured goatee and eyes that sparkled in a handsome face. As we ate dinner we talked, Graham and I. He charmed me with self penned poetry; tales of a young girl lost to an overdose in an alley in Kings Cross. He convincingly, and repeatedly, expressed surprise over my age which made me laugh again. Graham spoke of his children, of his life lived on the streets since the age of twelve, in and out of gaol. Back to his children who don’t know he lives on the streets. The son, who works the mines, doesn’t know, and the daughter is sworn to secrecy on the bits she does know because ‘Why would you want to worry them Kate? Every time they hear a body’s been found in the city? What right do I have to put that image in their heads?’ He spoke of his mother who left him aged 10. She’s in her eighties now and he rings her every week to tell her that he loves her. ‘Why do I ring her, when she left when I was ten? Because from birth to three she was there for me and I knew that I was loved. I knew that I was loved, Kate, and that was the main thing.’ His father, who was a bit of a dick but ‘you know Kate, he was just being the way men were meant to be.’ We talked, Graham my charming dinner companion and I, with a lifetime of admitted abuse belied by his intelligent conversation and quick wit.

When we had finished eating we adjourned to the bus stop outside so Graham could smoke his rolly. He looked at the office building across the road and told me of living there. When it was under construction he’d found a way past the scaffolding, around behind the church and he slept there, many levels up, safe and dry with views across the city. 

As we sat and talked we were joined by Sally, in her wheelchair, her man Russ and their daughter Jessica. Sally spoke of her seizures, that kept her in the chair, her breast cancer, her lesions on the brain. She told of Jessica witnessing tubes being shoved down her mother’s throat only the other week – ‘She’s a tough one, that one!’ They said they were sleeping rough tonight and unlike my well presented Graham they wore the grime of days and nights on the streets. I took Jessica into the McDonald’s for ice cream and asked her how old she was and she said eleven. She said eleven. Graham gave them details of a friend who had rooms available. Then Graham and I, we watched them walk away into the drizzling rain, into the night. In Australia, the lucky country.

Ever the gentleman, Graham insisted on walking me back to my room, despite an injured leg that left him limping. As we walked he gestured casually to someone sleeping in a doorway. Someone I would not have even seen had he not pointed them out. A man with mad professor hair, wearing pyjamas, a bandage on one bare foot and a hospital bracelet encircling his arm, rolled up on his mobility scooter and begged Graham for a smoke. Graham gave him his second last paper and enough tobacco to fill it from the little he had left and we walked on.  We came to my building and parted ways. Graham asked me to look after myself and left me with a handshake. I walked inside, and upstairs to my bed.

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