It’s cold .. need a beach!

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I’m calling it quits on proposed blog exploring alchemy, insight and emergence as expressions of ontology. It just isn’t happening. Each day I fiddle with words and then stare at the screen.

This blog has definitely not emerged as planned! Is emergence able to be planned?

Light bulbs are just not going off. But then, it is cold, brain is sluggish and I would rather be at the beach.

It’s hard being in the southern wintry hemisphere when close friends are in assorted balmy northern hemisphere places. I check through my photo albums and look for flash of insight shots and linger longingly at beaches. O dear – go with it – emergence says think about the beach, toes in sand, sun on skin, goggles and snorkel on.

Alchemy will be back.

PS. It’s cold – how is hat? Remember, the hat. Well, it fell off today, somewhere on the street. I took it off to feel a shimmer of thin sun and dropped it – how does that happen.

PPS. Beaches I have loved – East Timor, PNG, Broome, Fiji Islands, South Gippsland.


What is it about Paris I


It must be a Musing Monday for me to even venture this question. Is there an answer and how many instalments will there be in this new series?

“Magic” was the word when I asked around at my favourite arty hat and jewellery shop the other day, a shop owned by women who are delightfully chic and encourage me in my Parisian adventures.

Paris is magic.  I live by my senses here as I do nowhere else. I am happy in Paris as nowhere else. Moments are memories sinking deep beneath my skin. I sit and drink it all in with a smile that goes no further than Mona Lisa. I am satisfied here as nowhere else. And beautifully satisfied is a magical place to be.

Soft warm sun; a colour palette that constantly delights; simple foods that fill me with respect, indeed awe; everyday experiences that never feel merely everyday; a language with which I struggle and find help along the way; gentle encounters everywhere; crazy encounters that delight and linger.  I have never felt lonely in Paris. The space between everything seems to hold me. As if beauty stretches beyond the things, the people, as if beauty holds it all together. It does not reside merely in a collection of things, a group of people. It is in the misty air, the blue of the doors, the flow of the Seine. In the curve of the cobble, the spread of the butter, the break of the bread. In Paris I drink in the in-between. In Paris I am nourished as nowhere else. I live simply and I am simply me.

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Why I dwell in the green

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 You ask me why I dwell in the green mountains;

I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care,

as the peach blossom flows downstream and is gone into the unknown.

Conversation in the mountain by Li Bai (AD 701-762)

Poem spotted in the National Gallery of Victoria.

Photos of my version of dwelling in the Australian green, taken while lingering in the grass in Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne looking up and looking along; at Narara Ecovillage, Central Coast NSW and an Impressionist favourite from the Art Gallery of NSW.


Monet refuses the operation

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Doctor, you say, there are no haloes

around the streetlights in Paris

and what I see is an aberration

caused by old age, an affliction.

I tell you it has taken me all my life

to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,

to soften and blur and finally banish

the edges you regret I don’t see,

to learn that the line I called the horizon

does not exist and sky and water,

so long apart, are the same state of being.

Fifty-four years before I could see

Rouen cathedral is built

of parallel shafts of sun,

and now you want to restore

my youthful errors: fixed

notions of top and bottom,

the illusion of three-dimensional space,

wisteria separate from the bridge it covers.

What can I say to convince you

the Houses of Parliament dissolve

night after night to become the fluid dream of the Thames?

I will not return to a universe

of objects that don’t know each other,

as if islands were not the lost children

of one great continent.


The world is flux, and light becomes what it touches,

becomes water, lilies on water,

above and below water,

becomes lilac and mauve and yellow

and white and cerulean lamps,

small fists passing sunlight

so quickly to one another

that it would take long, streaming hair

inside my brush to catch it.

To paint the speed of light!

Our weighted shapes, these verticals,

born to mix with air

and change our bones, skin, clothes

to gases. Doctor,

if you could see

how heaven pulls earth into its arms

and how infinitely the heart expands

to claim this world, blue vapour without end.

Monet refuses the operation by Lisa Mueller

and my photos of lilies becoming at Giverny; lamps in London, in Paris?

In a rubberized bag …

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There is a theme in my blogs emerging – travel, wandering, musing, poems – scattered thoughts and images of an ontological nature – perhaps best summed up as luggage and baggage!

And this leads me to be reminded of Journeys of Simplicity, a (very) charming book by Philip Harnden, noting the lists of different travellers on their journeys. John Muir, a Civil War activist, on his thousand mile walk to the Gulf in the late 1800s, packed lightly. I never do.

In a rubberized bag





     change of undercothing

     copy of Burn’s poems

     Milton’s paradise Lost

     Wood’s Botany

     small New Testament



A plant press

Now that is light (though I wonder if he should have packed a copy of ‘When there is no doctor, or dentist)’! He travels light to be sure, to be sure but maybe not as light as those among us who wish to live like a leaf on the water.

And to that last thought, Philip says that, only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness.

Mmmm .. I may need to ditch upwards of 20 kilos.

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Last seen (or photographed) at Addis Ababa airport.

I missed my blog

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Work called, life issues called – I had little time for my blog. Only a handful of days missed in my new blogging habit, but I noticed, and I missed it.

It would seem that my journey of writing craves connection. And in blogging, we tell the story together, for as Brenda Walker muses, the “storyteller doesn’t have a monopoly on the exercise of the imagination; the reader is a storyteller in waiting.”

This then is our conversation. We are thus pilgrims together, searching for deeper connection.  In blogging we are all makers and as “makers (we) shape into being ..” (Alberto Manguel).

“The world is the text I write on my skin”, says Vandana Shiva. The world is the text and I write on my blog.

We make, we write and read together and reading I have learned from Brenda Walker, “is a temporary loosening of the ego, when we read we move away from ourselves. .. we dissolve, just a little: we’re pleasurably lost”.

I missed being lost .. away from moorings, that frission of floating in the flow.

My blogging lamp is brought to you from a special time in Le Marais, Paris.