Posts in category Adventure

New life: reflections on being a new mum

Every year I seem to have less and less time for blogging. This year has the record for the least number of entries, but for a very good reason: motherhood! Oh. My. Gosh. What a new appreciation I have for all the mothers of the world. Maternity leave is not a holiday by any stretch of the imagination. There is no time for reading. I certainly did not get ahead on my PhD... Motherhood is joy-filled work. Joy-filled, sleep-deprived, under-acknowledged, completely-exhausting work. Read more [...]

Havana: Aesthetics of an old city in changing Communist Cuba

My partner and I recently spent a week in Cuba in June, mostly in the apocalyptic-like old city of Havana. My research supervisor asked if we speak at a "soiree" at his house, and in preparation I gathered some of my thoughts here. While I reveled in the history and politics, my partner is an artist and conversationalist, leading him to engage with the multi-layered city in a different way than I did. Two of the most striking aspects of Havana are photographic wall murals in the making... First Read more [...]

Retreat from the city: Watts’ mountain cabins and old ferry-boats

My partner, a sculptural artist, and I, with my love of writing, have been thinking about ways we might create some sort of retreat from the city. As I read Alan Watts' biographies I have been curiously uncovering his two most unusual abodes: a communal mountain retreat with Gary Snyder, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Elsa Gidlow and others at Druid Heights, and an old ferry-boat named SS Vallejo with artist Jean Varda and other party-goers in San Fransisco Bay. Druid Heights, Mount Tamalpais "What Read more [...]

Japan – a poem

An experiment with experiential learning Brought me back Seven years had passed Since I called Tokyo my home Like an ex-lover Familiar but different A flood of memories In the streets, big and small The love and the hate I once felt for the city, for the culture and for a boy Fused, buried A different self, many life times ago Filled with paradoxes Racism to extremes Celebritised or despised Aliens swimming in a foreign sea of manicured faces Designer top to toe Toy cars, Read more [...]

Blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

On Tuesday 18 June, I shook hands and looked into the eyes of the man who seems to be the happiest man in the world—His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. More than meeting him, at the end of our event I received a blessing from him. It was very real but also surreal. As one might imagine, it takes a lot of work and preparation, and a bit of stress. Ok, a lot of stress. Every detail must be taken care of. Every person must have a seat, but no seat should be empty. This Read more [...]

One Drum: A film about a road trip from New York City to Rio De Janeiro

On 7th day of the 7th month, 2007, I met a person who would inspire a change in my life. He lit a spark of creativity inside me, and pointed to the possibilities that exist if you just fucking go. Soon after our chance encounter (and kiss), I stumbled across his blog On September 13th, 2007 we’re driving out of New York City on an adventure through Central and South America, en-route to Rio De Janeiro. Aside from making it there in one piece, our journey is about the experience Read more [...]

Honouring Outrage: Celebrating Courage in Paris

On 2 May 2013, in Paris, my colleagues and I represented the Sydney Peace Foundation at the Australian Ambassador's Residence in Paris, where we awarded a posthumous Gold Medal for Human Rights to Stéphane Hessel for his life-long contribution to building a more peaceful and just society. Stéphane Hessel was a German born Jew whose family fled to France who became a fighter in the French Resistance where he was captured, tortured and escaped execution by the Nazis. On returning to Paris Read more [...]

In the “flow” in Cambodia

"If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current... Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you."—Men Who Stare At Goats. Nicola's comment on my 2010 blog post on Optimal Trajectory  reminded me of this philosophy. As I blogged last week, there are times in life where you are "in the flow", and times when you are swimming against the tide. When your destiny is carrying you, it can feel as if there are green lights all Read more [...]

Living authentically, and its anxieties

I am far too aware of my being-towards-death. While Heidegger calls this "authenticity", I call it "frick'n annoying" and a "tad bit depressing". But it's too late now. My ignorance is gone and like when you see a huge zit on someone's face, it's hard to then go back to ignoring it. For all it's frustrations there may be something to it: an awareness of death leads to more conscious decisions in the way you live life. Awareness of death makes you reflect on what you care about, and encourages Read more [...]