As a New Year approaches it is tradition to evaluate the year past and plan the one ahead. The problem is I find it hard enough to distinguish between a week ago and a month ago, let alone ten months ago from two years ago. This blog keeps track of my life for me. It’s my therapy. It’s my timeline. It’s the closest access I have to how I have felt in my past. It tracks my stories, however I wanted to tell them at the time. So, when it comes to evaluating a year gone by, this blog is where I Read more [...]
What are you looking for? What do you want? If you don't know, how will you know when you have it?
This was a problem faced after eating a mushroom in Amsterdam. We were walking around aimlessly. We didn't know what we were looking for! My friend through up her arms, "How are we going to get anywhere if we don't know where we want to go?!"
A bridge pose wasn't much of a solution...
I think I've been facing a similar problem with my life: how do bridge toward a future without knowing where that Read more [...]
"No single life story is pure tragedy or pure comedy. Rather, there are narrative mixes."  I don't know about yours, but that's certainly true for mine.
Aristotle, a Greek philosopher of the 4th century BC, wrote in Poetics that tragedies are enactments whereby human suffering brings about the audience's pleasure, or a catharsis - a purging of emotions - through the pity and fear felt during a tragedy that relieves the audience of such emotions.
When I embarked on what turned into quite Read more [...]
These last few weeks I disappeared in more ways than from this blog. I've tried to put my finger on how it happened. It happened so slowly that like a frog in hot water, I came to realise it only at boiling point. It was too late. Some essential part of my "self" had gone.
Was it the incident in Krakow that led me to question my job in America? Did the massive cloud of uncertainty change everything I thought, felt and did?
Was it travelling with my best friend from high school? Did I return Read more [...]
I love Barcelona. I love it, love it, love it! The arts, the energy, the colours, cerveza, cops on scooters, the boys, the beaches, the bumble-bee taxis, tapas, the sunshine, the shopping, the street music, the dancing, the people, paella, pick & mix candy shops, live statues, the language, the list could go on.
Last time I visited I wanted to live there, and this time I had the same feeling.
“Dos noches es muy pochito. Barcelona es mas grande. Minimum tres noches,” insisted the passionate Read more [...]
It was my 4th visit to Paris. The city of lights. Allegedly a city of love. Just not my love.
On my first visit, as 2006 opened, my five-year relationship ended. In front of the Arc de Triompf. Champs de Elise will always carry memories of that moment.
My second time in Paris, a few weeks later, carries the opposite type of memories: new beginnings, “finding myself”, feeling naked and exposed with my shaved head I magically found my dreams found myself living in a model flat in the 16th Read more [...]
Amsterdam greeted us with wide-open arms. The sun was shining, the people smiling, “coffee shops” inviting.
I immediately felt a sense of belonging. I guess because my mum is Dutch. Elderly women reminded my of my Oma, elderly men reminded me of Opa, and the language – while I don’t understand a word – reminded me of home.
Of all the destinations we had been this was the first I was visiting for my second time. Last time it was a last-minute decision inspired by Frank, a fellow Aussie Read more [...]
Student life in Germany is another world to student life in Sydney: free travel, small fees, and for the most part a rent and allowance paid by one’s parents. At least that was life for my friend and his student friends. No part-time job and no living at home – lots of time to and party. Sounds good to me…
More benefits of being a student in this part of Germany include legal drinking on the street, go to a nightclub in the castle basement university’s library, and the free October-Fest-like-event-in-July Read more [...]
I hadn’t heard of a “micro-nation” until I got to Dresden. As you probably guessed, a micronation is a miniature nation within a bigger nation. Apparently I’d visited one – Cristiania back in Copenhagen. And "New Town" in Dresden was my second - well had I been there 20 years ago it would have been.
On a pub-crawl "night-tour" of what's known as the "new town" of Dresden with Danilo, a slightly odd but insightful and entertaining who taught us about the town's crazy past:
Mickey mouse Read more [...]
Even in Europe I seem to be drawn to South American cultures. Some hippies from Bolivia and Venezuela, as well as the Canary Islands, were selling jewelry on the street. Before long we were playing music, drinking beer, and joining the hippies and a crazy American family on an adventure to the anarchist town of Christiania.
Part of me is drawn to the idea of anarchy. Not anarchy that lets people steal, vandalize other’s property, murder, or do whatever they want to do. But I am attracted to Read more [...]
“What is Life?” Ho hum, where does one start to answer this question? The What is Life? conference in Krakow, 24-28th June, which aimed to bridge philosophical, theological and scientific insights to this question.
I started with what I see to be at the roots of our understanding of life: our stories.
We understand life ‘by locating ourselves with the larger narratives and metanarratives that we hear and tell, and that constitute what is for us real and significant.’
Philosophy, Read more [...]
I hate the word “evil” for two reasons: (1) because of its religious connotations and (2) because its definition is relative and constantly changing. Same goes with “sin”. Two words with definitions that change depending who is in power.
Every culture, every civilization, every person, defines evil in different ways. Evil is whatever the people in power decide is bad for the whole, or for themselves.
That being said, sometimes no other word can be used in its place. I don’t think Read more [...]
"Give yourself time to scratch your head," advised Prof Stuart Rees on one of our CPACS sailing trips down in Jervis Bay. These last few months I did not listen to this advice.
I have lived the last few months in a mad rush. I have packed up my life and put it in my grandma's garage. Now I'm in Stockholm, on route to a conference in Krakow, Poland, and (after holiday in Europe) onto work at a university in North Carolina, USA, for the next 4 months.
Sitting in the airport awaiting my Read more [...]
Daisy chains and love hearts are great and all, but most of us love a little conflict. Our books, movies, politics, religions, and even our conversations, are based on conflict. The stories we live and tell are based on the contradictions, the tensions, the heroes and villains, the differences of opinion, stories about the good times and the bad. How can we reconcile a love of conflict, with a desire for peace?
A student of Peace and Conflict Studies, preparing to present at a conference to theologians, Read more [...]
Imagine a world where being 180cm, 60kg, with long blonde hair, makes you AVERAGE. In Scandinavia, for the first time in my life, I felt short. It was a strange feeling. Used to towering over people and always kind-of standing out because of my height, blending into the crowd provoked a new stream of thought.
It got me thinking about my identity, and the definitions of “self” in relation to “other”. While we tend to be drawn to people that are similar to ourselves, we tend to define ourselves Read more [...]
Soon I am off to Europe followed by the United States, with a very big question mark surrounding my return date. I'm booked to leave 9 weeks from yesterday and be home just in time for Christmas... but I really have no idea what my future holds. Exciting as this sounds, when it comes the details, life in the 21st century can make preparations and decisions surrounding uncertainties a massive anxiety-filled pain in the butt.
From getting my scooter Provisional-license (if I don't I have to do a Read more [...]
Hmmmm….. I feel like a capitalist. How this reconciles with my hate for what capitalism does to the world I’m not quite sure. Yachting on the Cote de Azur was pretty frickin cool…