Saturday, April 24, 2010


We all know the word, but I've not met anyone who can pronounce it*.  I do know someone whose travel plans were thrown into chaos because of it and happily, I've had my lovely husband home with me for a bonus week! 

We move through life thinking we're so organised and in control, but an unknown Icelandic volcano has reminded us this week that the truth is otherwise.  The illusion of control is so beguiling, but it's only an illusion, that's for sure.  Had Eyjafjallajökull chosen to continue to spew out ash and debris from the bowels of the earth for another few weeks, imagine the consequences!  Workers stranded on vacation would be denied the opportunity to contribute their labour. Should they then, expect to be paid? Airlines dependent on flight schedules filled with paying passengers would rapidly go broke.  People with anxiety disorders would suffer with heightened existential angst.  Icelandic children with asthma and respiratory disorders would have to stay indoors.  Loved ones worldwide would not be able to attend weddings and funerals.  Fruit and vegetables in Scandinavia would be in extremely short supply.  And as for the Stock Exchange...the mind simply boggles!

As we mused about our circumstances earlier this week my husband said, "...and maybe the earth will tilt on its axis 90 degrees tomorrow!"  Maybe it will, but then again, it's far morely likely that it won't!   In the meanwhile however, I'm enjoying my bonus week and thinking more often of Thich Nhat Hahn's wonderful poem:

Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is the only moment.

_____  _____  _____  _____

*For those of you familiar with international phonetics, here's the pronunciation (good luck with the Icelandic accent!) eiːjafjatlajœːkʏtl

Photo free from Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Things to do in Autumn (and more about water)

There seems to be a theme in my blogs.  Water.  Frozen, melting, scarce, packaged and recently, over the Easter holiday, it showed up the form of beautiful waves on a beach not far from Melbourne.

This water-theme-thing hasn't been intentional, but it says a lot about Stockholm (heaps of the stuff, be it liquid or frozen) and Melbourne (not much of it unless you're at the beach).  For me, water is not only life sustaining but it's soul-sustaining too.  Diving through the glassy face of a wave helps me to feel grounded and to breathe a little easier.  Contemplating a frozen droplet that refracts the sunlight into intense rainbow colours reminds me that beauty is all around me.

We went camping for a few days over Easter. I love being cocooned in a tent and getting up (to pee!) in the middle of the night to a brilliant, moonlit landscape.  I love the cool, crisp mornings and the warm, sunny days.  I love the fact that the ocean currents in Bass Strait are still warm.

Tomorrow we're going to the Yarra Valley in search of good wine and tasty food.  I know we will not be disappointed.  We should probably be going for a week, not just a day.  It's autumn and the vines will be turning from green to burnished red, gold and orange.  We're going with special friends and we're going to take turns in the newly restored, red MGA. We'll drive down winding country roads and we'll talk about things both serious and frivilous.  I hope we'll make time to lie on a rug somewhere and find objects in the cumulous clouds. 

Between tastings, we'll be sure to drink plenty of water.