Saturday, May 31, 2008

Back to the Beach and a farewell for now

I was very fortunate to spend some of Thursday afternoon in this very cosy construction......

.....wherein role play (i'm the mama, YOU'RE the baby now. go to sleep) earned me a 15 minute power nap. Bliss.

Our Friday afternoon; from this...... this, in the blink of an eye. This went down very well with fish and chips and a beer followed by a good run down a small hill.

And today, Saturday, a family day at St Andrews followed by a very un-elaborate but somehow intimate and appropriate farewell to K, who is now on a plane to Chennai via Perth. And my love you will be reading this soon enough, this blog-come-letter. Handy thing. What did we do before the internet? We waited patiently for post cards and handwritten letters and at least week old photographs. It's strange to think that 17 years ago when I left for Europe, there was no email. And now we can talk face to face from a mountain in India. Love it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dresses and Goddesses

In honor of it not being Friday here is an amazing Indian designer who I found through the Sartorlialist .
Anyway I've hardly been committed to regular Friday Frock showings. So have a look at Anamika Khanna and weep with joy.
There's very little in her collections I wouldn't desire had I an appropriately sized disposable income. It's not often I see couture that looks like something I could actually wear. She has some truly gorgeous textiles.

Other than that........ slowly making steps towards moving Westward. Organising some one to take over the choir, getting removal quotes, researching schools and rentals. Even just to tell people that this is what we are doing, is a big step. Beau has started asking on daily basis if this or that toy or item will be accompanying him to Western Australia. It's interesting that as usual, as soon as a firm decision is made, synchronicities appear. Many friends seems to know someone who is moving/has moved to the town we are particularly drawn to, and they all have great things to say about it. In my experience indecision creates chaos Everything shifts and converges when a choice is made and energy is put behind it. Which just supports my theory that ultimately it doesn't really matter what we choose to do (as long as we are acting out of awareness) Life will soon let us know if it isn't going to be possible.

K leaves on Saturday evening. Beau and I might join our friends at their family farm for a few days. I can imagine us mainly just settling into our own rhythm and breaking up the four weeks with visits and excursions. I might even finish the White Tara painting at long last.

I worked on her a little last week and it felt good for so many reasons not least of all because the recipient is due to give birth next month. This will mark three and a half years since she 'commissioned' me to do it! She will be the third Tara I will have painted. The first was Green Tara as a wedding gift for my brother and his wife;

and the second, the White Tara I painted as a kind of meditation leading up to Beau's birth.
I felt a very strong connection to Tara when I began practicing meditation, probably due to Rinpoche's connection to her and due to the amount of times K and I sang her mantras in our first years in Melbourne. For a while we shared a house with like minded friends with whom we did Green Tara practice every morning for a couple of weeks. During this time I had a number of lucid dreams in which I thought to sing her mantra in order to 'see' her. It was a very special time and not unlike the honeymoon period one experiences in the beginning of a relationship. These paintings have been a way of me keeping in contact with Tara at a time where physical practice is rare. She is the Mother of all Buddhas, of everything and for me she is Skeleton Woman too. May she also visit your dreams now and then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Domestic Goddess is Out or It Don't Mean a Thing if it Aint Got That Zing

Ah me I'm bamboozled by this day just gone, in a fog of not-enough-sleep, no homework done, a 24 hour battle with a three and a half year old will (and consequently my own parenting), combined also with what may well be PMT OR pregnancy, these days it's never quite clear (wishful thinking for the most part). This is the to be expected polar opposite day to the post below. Also grappling with the fact that I've given my sincere blessing to K to fly off to India for 4 weeks and that simultaneously I feel all manner of emotions arising at the prospect of him being away for that long, ranging from deep love and understanding, to fear of life changing radically beyond my control as a result of his pilgrimage, to confusion as to how he can so easily do this when I find it so challenging to give myself an hour here and there to catch my breath or have a nap or just be with myself.
I lay in bed for hours last night watching awful thoughts arise and fall, like some morbid soap opera dealing in only fear and loathing. Thoughts that have absolutely no basis in reality but are simply the spawn of an ego desperately trying to assert itself amidst change. After all, we are also planning to leave in a few months and whilst my heart sings at the thought of returning to the Indian Ocean and all that lies close to it, many sly mental tricks are playing themselves out.
A dear friend and I were having lunch together on Saturday (yes I do let myself out now and then), and I found myself referring to my mental habits as the committee of the displeased, who are basically a bunch of all the voices who have ever made me feel guilty about following my heart. We had a good laugh which was extremely therapeutic as I aspire to not taking myself too seriously, especially when I'm hormonally challenged.
Anyway we noted that I am pitting myself against an intolerant and fearful panel and that allies are what are most needed. So I won't be sharing our plans with people who aren't prepared to be open and enthusiastic about the following of a heart. And I won't be the voice of woe to K, as he prepares himself to follow his.
If I look deep into my heart then what I am doing is exactly what it wishes. All the battles and fear and loathing are just part of the challenge of staying on the path. I really need to trust more in my body's wisdom and in the quality and location of the feelings that arise when something needs to be decided. If there's a zing in the chest area it's good thing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Domestic Goddess is In

You now those days when you feel on top of it all? (rare here but they DO happen), the washing is done, folded, put away, the house isn't completely feral, everyone managed a shower, a load of dishes has been cleared, AND wholesome soup and cake are to be had for lunch rather than hurried cheese sandwiches that only get half eaten.....I am having one today, a Domestic Goddess, patting myself on the back, hoping there will be enough left overs to have this feeling last until tomorrow evening.

The Rhubarb and apple cake is based on a recipe on which I have improvised to make it more gluten free and butter free, but it is still fluffy and moist and so damn good that last week I made it three days in a row, well on the third day I broke free and used the mix to make muffins. Wooo! It's all breath-taking excitement around here ! Cake recipe below.

Rhubarb and Apple Cake
small bunch of rhubarb washed and cut into 2cm pieces
2 medium apples peeled and grated
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup yogurt
2 and 1/4 cups flour (I use spelt mainly, which you can also mix with other flours)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (this was my substitute for butter and it rocks!)

  • Cream coconut oil and sugar
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • beat in yogurt
  • stir in the apple
  • fold in the flour and baking powder
  • stir in rhubarb
  • place mix into round, greased cake tin and cook for 35 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until golden brown on top and fork comes out clean from centre.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

market day and softened by the sea

Collingwood Children's Farm market on Saturday. Wonderful place, animals to pat and feed and milk, good produce to taste and buy, lots of happy's hard to believe one is in the city. Beau took the goat photo. I would love a goat. A goat loves a goat.

Had a very relaxed, slow Mama's Day. Had a great urge to be by the sea in the afternoon so we rugged up and went forth. How glorious. The treasures I found! I love to collect shells and glass all softened by the sea as we too felt. It's what I miss about the west. That Indian Ocean that I saw every single day for the first half of my life. The smell , the light, the waves, the sky. The eyes can rest on endless blue. We are planning to head back to the West in a couple of months. A long slow decision involving the extraction of ourselves from a pretty special community of people. The pull is so strong we have to follow it. So K will go to India for a few weeks and then we will start preparing to leave. It feels good. Big. Sad. Long awaited. Well timed. Good.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

skeleton woman begs for audience

What an autumn this is. Shedding more than leaves around here. Autumn has got me all topsy turvy. My head has been full to overflowing. Let go let go let go is my mantra. I hold my drawing pen and hover over white paper. We talk about where to go after winter. Freedom brings fears. Let go let go let go. She's in the cave putting new flesh on rattling rattling telling me to stay with it and watch and wait. Don't bolt. There's a winter yet and then a spring. Life is living us all whatever move we make.
This is the bit I always forget. Whenever I have big decisions to make (at least they always seem big) I feel like I have to do everything I can to bring a good outcome. And along the way there are many people to please and many factors to consider. Exhausting. Something good happened at Amma's feet. A pause long enough to show us what it might be like to just be.

So I'm feeling very emotional and open. Beau and I have spent many days at home talking, making things, dancing and singing, walking in between rain showers. We all spent last weekend driving around the country looking at property which was great research but rather exhausting. It was a little charged for me with the feeling that we have to buy a house now. I've been holding a vision of a family home, a place where we put down roots, unpack completely, and where our kids love to come back to years from now. Lurking beneath that has been the feeling that it's wrong to wish for it, a kind of spiritual guilt that I adopted somewhere along the way to fit in with my conditioning! So I'm again reminded that true freedom is of the mind and that it doesn't matter to pure awareness what we do or where we go. The most important thing is to BE present and aware and then whatever we do is the right thing.

K is planning a trip to India to sit at Arunachala where Ramana Maharshi spent most of his life. Perhaps we will all visit there together some time. K has never been out of the country and given that we are hoping to have another baby, this may be his last chance for a while. More importantly it's something he needs to do, he is compelled, which is a beautiful thing.

I've started a short course Writing and Illustrating a Children's story book. Something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Beau is watching Charlotte's Web, gorgeous story, and shaking off the last bit of a temperature from the weekend. Another slow day at home for us. Yay.