dirty laundry

edit: change of pace seemed to require a change of scenery. hope its ok! 🙂

now i am a surrender newbie. i had very little idea what i was in for other than knowing that some people that i really respect would have things to say, things that i needed to hear. i had no idea that so much of surrender would focus on our indigenous brothers and sisters, and after 3 days… i feel so ignorant. not knowing, not looking, not having any interest at all. assuming that their situation is normal, better now, assuming that it is fixed… or even that it is ok for the aboriginal community to occupy the country the way they do now. i guess if i’m honest i saw it similar to the way other people groups, even around victoria, occupy certain areas by… almost… default. (seriously, i feel SO foolish writing this, and i do plead ignorance for the past, but, i need to be as transparent as i can). Two hundred years is just SO not a long time… with the way people work i’m surprised ANYTHING can happen in two hundred years. But in two hundred years we have systematically pissed on a culture that is so rich, that we should be so LUCKY as to share the space of these amazing people.

not only have i walked away with an entirely different perspective on indigenous life (world wide to some extent). not only do i now have a thirst to understand what the heck is going on! What is it about this “intervention” thing, why was it initiated, and why has it been allowed to so greatly bring pain and a feeling of disgrace to these proud people. Do the policy writers not understand the people that they are legislating? I feel like i have heard and understood only a fraction of what these guys are about in the three days we had together, but even that long is enough to make me feel utter disbelief that this could still happen. Were these rules just made as a sudden reaction, blanket policy… rather than… i dunno… at least SOMETHING that is well thought out…

if anything here doesn’t make much sense, please understand that i am still investigating what its all about. but then even google isn’t exactly forthcoming with information… ah well. i’ll get there. just need more time.

then there is the issue of real reconciliation… and being able to take on board how not being alive during the peak of the mess, while not making me guilty as such, does not allow me to shirk responsibility entirely either. And even if we are somewhat “innocent”, Graham Paulson knocked it on the head when he illustrated the Father’s process/definition of reconciliation. By our standards, even on a small scale, the party in the wrong, the individual who did the hurting, the SOURCE of the conflict, are to be the ones who recognize the wrongs, who turn around, and who apologize profusely and grovel at the victim’s feet… you know? If you wrong me, I’m not gonna go anywhere near you until you see the error of your ways!

But as Graham pointed out, the Cross tells SUCH a different story. God didn’t wrong us. God didn’t owe us an apology… but HE created a way for us to be reconciled. HE BECAME the way to be reconciled.

“God initiated the reconciliation process”

side note: HECK

That is some big love. I don’t know where this puts me. I don’t know how I’m going to fit into this story. But I am at least going to make myself available any way I can.

The other side of this for me has been finding myself asking all sorts of questions about myself. Who I am has so far been a question of today, my struggles, my victories, my beliefs etc… A product of my own effort, today… what I have found while “finding myself”… how I have become an individual apart from the family that raised me. And look… its clear to me, that this IS part of it… SO much a part of it.

But I have never really taken the time to discover, or even just ask about my history. History is such a vital part of Aboriginal culture, the way, the stories. As is respect… almost reverence… for their elders. And yet, for me, I find myself in the (probably not unique) position where it has taken me nearly 25 years to even bother to commit to memory my own cultural background… I only really found myself asking a matter of months ago. I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t think it is expected… or normal… I don’t know? I don’t even mind if I don’t have a heroic, fascinating, mystical or even sordid family history. If it really is as ordinary… or “normal”… as I have known it to be… but I can’t imagine that to be entirely true. I feel like I’ve got up to so much, and learnt so much in my 25 years… surely others of my clan have got up to more!

Now don’t take my family as people who don’t share. My grandparents have shared plenty! I mean, I used to garden as frequently as weekly with my Poppa (those of you who know me well will still be taken back by the image of me gardening weekly… but stay with me) and he always has stories. But now I recognize their importance, and I want to know more, I want it to go back further, I just don’t know if that kind of information exists anywhere… Ah well… Just means that there are people to see, places to go! (Maybe it’ll have the double edged benefit of allowing me to be a good son/nephew/grandchild who see’s my extended family more frequently than twice annually too! We shall see… the other possibility is that I’ll just make myself MORE busy than I am now… which didn’t seem possible)

I need to finish up again now… please don’t expect this to be a daily-thing either… but I do need to get it out while it is still fresh.

All I know is that now, I find myself still feeling ignorant and yet frustrated by a lack of information about some really important stuff. I find myself intrigued by and hopefully more respectful of history, (which is a big deal for a “man of science” like me [read: HUGE NERD]) I had already been coming to terms with the importance of the input of other generations, but now the scope is seemingly infinitely larger… there are SO MANY generations after all… and all of them can be learnt from. I find myself part welsh, part scottish, a little bit french, and not even remotely dutch, and asking questions that I never have before. What is my ancestry? What are our stories? What are MY stories? What were our victories? What is our burden/shame? Are there skeletons in the closet? Does anybody know? Will I ever know? I have no idea…

Catch ya soon.

change of pace

this is a space that has been under-used for some time. recently exploring tumblr and spending enough time on my regular favourite blogs leaves spamming this place with miscellaneous *cool* things just seems redundant now. it seems more likely now that if I’m gonna post anything here its going to hopefully be of some substance (if not for you then at least for me).

that being said. I’m freshly home from the surrender conference (see http://surrender.org.au/ and be there in 2012) and i need to open the valve on this vent in an attempt at processing some of this stuff. here we go eh!

now i don’t know where to start


lets start with where i’ve been. i’m going to try to summarize some things that i don’t know if i have really been able to put into words, or even realize before this weekend. THIS is part of the journey, and for me is huge, and it has very little to do with the message…

I had… we had… gah… there were some hard decisions to be made, about young adults mostly… it was hard. really hard. but the goal was always more, something bigger, something that made sense. People were hurt, and even in the process leading up to it, things were said to me, about me etc. that left me in a weird state of numbness. It’s hard hey, no matter what kind of place or set of “intentions” that it comes out of, it’s just been so apparent to me that the thing you learn about the power of words and what they do to people. I had the privilege of being able to listen to some monks (yeah, freaking monks! holy heck! it’s a thing, local, baptist, monks! and they were amazing), and I’ll probably return to what they said again (continuously), but for the relevant, pertinent part here, these monks talked about some studies that showed the following:

“intense focus
changes matter”

i knew it to be true already, but the way they presented it was refreshing. by “matter” they’re talking about the world, about stuff, and this includes you and me, it includes our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. this is a big deal. negativity is unbelievably dangerous, and positivity is so valuable.

(apologies, as i realize i haven’t got anyway with here… this helps to shake off the uncommitted anyway, so I don’t mind. for those of you tl;dr-ers… give up, turn back, right now)

so anyway, whatever the words were, that doesn’t matter to you, but they took hold in some way.

it wasn’t just this… i have become aware that i am ever so much my own worst critic. it is so much easier to believe the things that are said when you have this mindset. this is something i think the monk’s teachings will help me out with as well, as i really investigate what it is to love who i am… what i am… even the hard stuff…

so yeah… anyway… i felt stale, stagnant, and as though i was disappointing everybody. turns out… keeping everybody happy… can’t be my responsibility hey. hard though. it’s hard to care so much about so many people, and not be in a position to do that justice. to show them. to be there for them.

anyway. so to some degrees i’m a few-relationships-down at the moment. it has been interesting because i’ve been well looked after and well loved by a few that stick close and seem to be closer especially when i didn’t even know that i needed them. be it the love of my amazing woman, meaningful interactions or weird moments with friends at uni, especially when it’s not necessarily their turf, or just some good folks that will let me vent, rave, jabber on, or just abide, even when i didn’t really know what it was about yet.

these folks, are my mob. these are my brethren. these are my family. their importance has never been so apparent as it is after spending time in community at surrender, if only through having my eyes opened by the elders, by the more mature commune-rs, and those monks.

i also feel that my time at surrender has hopefully begun to expand the mob further, be it a planted seed, a surprise friendship or just space to network with people who have so much to impart. not really ready to have left because i can tell that there is still SO much knowledge that i want to grab on to. just soaking in what it is that these folks are equipped with and carry with them, just through proximity, I feel, has been transformative. whether they feel like they know me well enough or not to read this entry, I don’t really mind, but I have loved coming home from stuff like this and then chasing up all the people I can find on facebook (whose names i can remember or whose details i have enough of to ACTUALLY find them), because as silly as that sounds, i hope it encourages them or at least causes a smile. (also I hope it’s a little bit different to the alternative of… “BLOODY STALKERS, LEAVE ME ALONE”… but still a viable outcome in the mind of a hyper-self-critical person)

so as you can see… i’m actually feeling pretty pretty positive. i feel this is an achievement when i survey the average state of “the mob”… sure, some of the introverts were a foregone conclusion, but still! (much love anyway btw! don’t worry you exhaustible folk, process things your way! i’m just teasing!). This is partially my personality but also a lot to do with a melting of the melancholy that has been persistently sticking around. one of the things that tipped me off was that i actually found myself excited by and getting into worship music that, even at my best, probably wouldn’t meet my unreasonable and silly “high standards”… (i use the term loosely) i was taken back on the first day, after only a few sessions, my outlook changed. i forgot what it felt like to have something to give, and i forgot how to receive. but in a day, it was back, at least some of it, was back. makes a difference to just not even feeling compulsion, let alone connection. yay for connection. but more than connection. a challenge too. revelation. of things i already knew. it’s not about quality, but when you’re down it is so easy to blame the quality – the musos, the organizers… you know? i wish i could say never again… but i can’t promise that.

anyway. enough about pre-surrender… i just wanted to illustrate how much change occurred outside of the what you would expect at surrender. expectations definitely aren’t everything, but having them and more met, is a blessing

so i guess while other parts of the time might still come back to my own *stuff*, there was plenty that just wasn’t about me. i guess that’s what surrender, “the beauty of surrender” (which is something that has REALLY stuck with me, even if it’s been said before and undervalued), both the conference and the personal act.

look, this is getting crazy. i don’t write this much in an entire semester of university, but i need to stop. i thought i’d get it all out in one shot. no dice. i didn’t plan this, but i’m gonna have to make at least another entry.

the other thing is guys, if this is gonna get a little bit more serious, then i’m thinking i’ll remove the facebook connectivity of this blog after this post. I’m still happy if you want to come and read, and subscribing will always be an option. But this isn’t the sort of stuff that is easy to plaster all over facebook. there is only so much sleeve time that the average heart is meant to have, at least at this time.

God bless. talk to you soon?

self blog-blocking

contentquality x activity = dedicatedreaders.
if activity = 0 OR contentquality = 0, regardless of the other… dedicatedreaders ALSO = 0.
dang… in this equation… even if I made it up… I still lose because funnily enough 0 x 0 does not equal infinity.
IF dedicatedreaders = 0


ALSO… this is amazing

i’m excited.

so i leart html this semester for uni… which means the “hr” thing is no longer a challenge… question is… i didn’t want to know! (good questions are ALWAYS their own answer. problem?)

in the last few months i’ve discovered some cool websites, watched some amazing movies & tv shows, played some fun games and done some “achievement whoring” (google it before you denounce me), read some good books, loved some new music & gigs, tried some good beers, and have done some cool stuff with my friends… but i’m not going to tell you about ANY of them. ooh snap.
i did uni and exams and i worked… and that is SO not worth talking about.
young adults has had its awesome times and its hard moments… but I won’t go into that
family is good.
i injured myself. and had some dumb arguments.
my perspective on communion & the “loaves & fishes thing” has been adjusted thanks to Richard Rohr (get his podcast!), and have also been challenged about the attention I pay to and my perspective on the Jairus story and loving how much “good news” there actually is.
let me know below what your last few months have been like
and by now i’ve boxed myself OUT of smalltalk… ftw! thats boring… once you finish with smalltalk you can get to the interesting, deep, philosophical conversation.

sanity == 100;
anger == -sanity + 50;
while (moronicquestion != 0)
sanity –;
if anger > 0
{ punch(questionasker); }
{ frustratedat(questionasker); }
do facepalm;
if sanity > 0
{ smile; }
{ gopostal();}

see how lame being a student makes me.
i even sometimes want to end sentences with “;”
mostly because i’m drafting in notepad;

now i’m struggling for content in order to maintain my previous silence.
and keep adding stuff above that i won’t talk about in order to force my hand… to be interesting… so handS if i’m typing.

that’ll learn me to blog-block myself… over it… and now I have a title