Sunday, May 30, 2010

Belief is a powerful thing.

It's the middle of the night again and I'm pondering all of life's ponderables.

Belief and what people can achieve simply by believing in something is pretty amazing (and scary in some cases).
Certainly all sorts of crimes against humanity can be laid at the feet of people who believe in certain religious or political tenets. The same can be said in the reverse, the various beliefs have saved numerous lives.

I'm all for people believing in something positive, be it faith or science or any other number of things. I think it enriches the world we live in. The more you find out about what other people believe the more amazing the world becomes.

Some situations will leave you gaping open mouthed, when you meet someone with beliefs that are contrary to your own. Keeping an open mind and remembering to ask why they believe something ought to lead to a grater understanding of humanity.

I've been guilty of being confounded by some beliefs. Some that are so foreign to my own that I've been left wondering how we could have grown up in the same world. High school Art History taught me to examine what was going on in the artists life while they were producing pieces of art. Uni taught me to apply it to peoples beliefs. What physical, emotional, political and religious stresses were active in an individuals life, to create the beliefs that they held? There are things that I have trouble wrapping my head around even keeping those things in mind.

I hate not being able to understand. I find it frustrating to the max! I like the world to be a + b = c, even if it's abheiosnd + jnadoifh = jklajdsfighlkanfvihewrn. It's when another culture applies a different set of mathematics that I'm stuck. I suppose simply because I've never been taught anything similar enough to be able to draw a comparison to my own life.

It's a bit like describing a colour to a blind man over the telephone when they speak a different language to yourself. Where do you begin?  Certainly given enough time you might be able to figure something out...but how many people have the time or patience for that?

I've also been confounded by beliefs that have come from a background very similar to my own, and been hurt by my lack of seeing misunderstandings before they happen. Hindsight is all very well, but it certainly doesn't dull the ache of a raw wound. Nor does hindsight necessarily enable the understanding when the system forming the basis of belief is so contrary to your own.

Hmmm, this post has degenerated from what started as a hopeful topic on the power of beliefs into a confused maze tackling the human psyche, and how frustrating I find it when the world doesn't follow along the lines that I've prescribed to it. Obviously my own beliefs fall short of being able to explain the whole world, and finding an answer to it is incredibly frustrating to me. When this happens I'm left wondering if anything that I believe is founded on anything solid...which is a shame because the belief that things will get better if I just hold on long enough, is the glue that keeps me together.

The world is a rich place even though there aren't answers to everything, and I can enjoy that most of the time. Having something to believe in is important, because it keeps you going day to day.
Understanding others beliefs is often frustrating, but rewarding when you manage it. 

Tonight I'm going to bed frustrated though.
Cheers Kate 

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Bonekickers is a fanciful archaeological drama being shown on ABC2 atm. This weeks episode is focused upon a discovered WWI tank that was buried after it's occupants had been shot and then burned.

One of the surviving crew wrote this in his diary -
"What does one do when hope dies,
Not when it is lost,

But when one actually sees hope burn before ones own eyes?
If hope is lost, it can always be found,
When its destroyed........ What then?"
(Bonekickers - The Lines of War : Tom MacRae)

Instead of sticking to what could have been just as good a story, they then proceeded to involve Jean d'Arc (which ties into the series theme of a lost sword with magical powers). Which turns a nice historical murder series into the "Passions" of it's genre, although without the humor which made Passions such a riot to watch.

Anyway, back to the quote...It started out just being the loss of hope by the soldiers and beseiged French, and was turned into a grasp for the mythological being that Jean is seen as. Which I think detracted from the simple power that the quote had. The message would have been more keenly felt if it had been applied to one or the other story line. Much the same way the message about the power of love was achieved in the episode Bonekickers -The Eternal Fire - Matthew Graham.

Taken as an escapist series, I suppose it does very little harm, although it would have every person in the history, archaeology and anthropological fields dancing up and down saying how unrealistic it is :) But how much of what is seen on the screen is based on reality?

The quote above reminds me of a few life changing moments, where at the time, life seemed to freeze and then fracture into a new reality. The moment that you've realised something that changes the way you've understood something about the world. One such moment for me was on a train between Paris and Calais. The sun was setting over snowy fields, with a pond off in the distance surrounded by silhouetted naked trees and two large birds descending to land...the light was so soft and misty, and the colours so unlike what we have here in Australia that I finally grokked the Expresionist painters. It all just fell into place for me. 

That is of course a positive expression of a life changing moment. I suppose a negative example of this same moment, would have to be something like when Nonna died. It was quite a shock for her to really die, even though I knew she'd been having mini-strokes for a while. Maria had called me to say Nonna was nearly dead and I drove back to Ballarat to say goodbye. Maria had just finished cleaning her body when I arrived, and I was closely followed by the rest of the family...we all sat around Nonna's dead body, saying I don't really remember what, then we decided it was time to go. As I walked out the door and into the hallway, I turned to Richard the Man and said "Well that's that then.". It was in that split second, I knew Nonna was gone, and that I'd never see her again. The shock of my world changing so forcefully was evident in my choice of was never going to be the same again.

"...What then?" 
The only thing that happens then, is that life matter what, the sun rises in the east, and sets in the west, and in between we do all the things that keep us alive. We find new things to dream of, and new things to inspire us...there will be more life changing moments both big and small. They say time heals all wounds, perhaps that's not quite the case, but that we change enough that the wounds no longer matter to us the way they once did?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All conquering love


I just googled "All conquering love" to see what the internet had to say about it. On the first page there were three biblical references, one mystic's book on the topic, another mysterious book ad with no blurb, an ancient greek reference, a reference to a personality disorder, an article on a mother's love for her disabled child, one poetry board lamenting lost love, and two pessimistic forums wallowing in the fact that there is no such thing as true love.

That is a very sad state of affairs. Only one story of true love.
I'm sure the mystic and the Christian's believe that the love they have for their gods and fellow man is the same all conquering love, but how many of them would really put their lives on the line just to maintain that relationship?

Hmmm, not that I really believe that wanting to die for someone should be the test of true love. That would be rather pointless, the minute you find someone you truly care for, one or other of you would have to step in front of a bus to prove it...oh and don't forget to put clean underwear on before you do so, otherwise  your poor mother might die of embarrassment thinking that she didn't raise you properly.

What brought about this train of thought was another film I've just watched "Gods and Monsters" . Fairly wooden acting, but Brendan Fraser is generally pretty ordinary, however the theme of the movie was lovely. It came down to the love for an eccentric old gent who was determined to stir the possum, and hopefully provoke his own death. He did his best to dehumanise his friends, to twist them into monsters from his movies, so that he could escape the monsters of his past...yet it was the love that spared them that fate, and in the end it was also love that enabled him to take his own life...a life that ended with dignity and love, rather than hatred and the corruptness. So basically a story about love conquering all.

I know you're wondering how love conquered all if the old guy still topped himself? He'd lived a full life, and now that he was at the end of it all, he was suffering from almost daily strokes, and slowly his mind was being corrupted from within. So a fairly dignified death, whilst he still had his faculties, was surely the better option.

I was talking to Maria the other day about novels, and we were comparing fantasy and sci-fi to romance novels, saying that basically they are just a bit of fluff and nonsense...but that they still had a role to play in literature simply because they filled a certain need within the reader. Now, I ought to qualify that statement by also stating that I like reading all of those much as I do crime, mystery or historical novels...I even throw in the odd classic, just so that I can roll about laughing at how badly written the trash is that I normally read.  That being said, all of those novels are purely written so that you can escape into a wonderous life that is not your own.

You may be seeking a true love, or a puzzle to solve, a quest to turn you into a hero or heroine, or some other impossible thing to make your world seem less real. At least that's generally what I do when I read. I want a world to immerse myself into, I'm not all that fussed with how badly it's written, as long as the lead is someone that I want to be. I feel much the same about movies or even tv. Perhaps that's a problem? That I'm too busy escaping from this world that I don't see the wonders around me?

A recent sci-fi I read was "The Host", and the aliens who'd taken over Earth and inhabited human bodies, had removed the violence from the world. They showed bland television programs, because nothing ever happened, and everyone was nice to each other, sport was played so fairly that for every goal that one team scored the opposing team was also allowed to score one. There was no drama left to write or talk about, but there was also a lack of passion. The few Earthling's who remained in control of their bodies, found tv too boring to watch...and the aliens to inhuman to relate to. The book was about the juxtaposition between the gain of society being so peaceful against the loss of passions that made us human. Eventually the humans won in a alien who'd experienced the passion of a human who's mind would not be subdued, turned against her own kind opting to live as a human would.

I suppose that I am the alien, who choses to forgo the company of my own species, for that of a more exciting life in the make believe world. Perhaps I just feel so dead inside, that any opportunity to feel an extreme emotion, is like using electro shock panels upon my empty chest?

LOL, or perhaps I'm just a romantic, wanting to be swept off my feet and carried into a world more real than this one?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

House not a home (a very depressed and teary rant)

I'm sick of my house not being mine...there are so many things about it that irritate me. Some of which I should just get to and fix myself, but I would just like some company while I'm working.

Some of which irritate me because I just don't like what's been chosen before me, and I can't justify the extra cost of turning into something I actually like.

Then there are all the things that I would like my space to have, which I can't have...which drives me up the wall. Personally i think i'd be happier in a shed, because then I could do whatever i wanted to the place an no-one would care, or have an opinion. I could put a wood stove in the kitchen because it's all one level. I could have no walls, or curtains to divide the space up...or maybe just movable walls for when I want to adjust things. Basically I want a blank space to create what I want not what other people think i should have, or what would work for them. 

I'm a little fed up with working from other peoples plans. I want some help doing what I want, not always helping other people do what they want.

Right, I'm angry and teary now. I'm fed up being pushed and pulled into what other people want, friends and family alike. It's hardly any wonder that I don't want to talk to or interact with anyone, when I feel like there is nothing that I do which achieves anything that I want. "Go to bed, get up now. Live your live this way, live your life that way. Come here, go there. Fill in this form. Look this way. No, it has to be my way." I'm sick of hearing all of that. If I could be different then I wouldn't be living here. Do any of you ever think that perhaps this isn't how I want my life??? That perhaps I'm doing the best I can with the crap that I have??? Don't any of you realise that given a different brain or set of circumstances, i'd be a long long way from Ballarat, and actually doing things that I love, rather than stuck here with crap, and a brain that doesn't work well enough for me to actually achieve anything that I've always dreamed of???

It makes me so angry and sad, that this is all I can look forward to...and that day after day I have to get up and smile and pretend that I like this life. I don't! If I was given the option of giving up the use of my arms or legs, just so that my brain would work right I'd do it in a heart beat. Frankly suicide is the easier option, than going through the motions pretending that this half life is ok. Certainly it would upset people if I wasn't here, but they'd get over it. But don't worry I'm not going to do anything which anyone else would consider a stupid option...because I'm still bloody well trying to please all of you! A quality that I hate about myself right now.

So please excuse me if I decide not to talk to anyone, I'm depressed and I have a damn good reason.

All I want to improve this crap is a space that is mine, and has a few simple things that can be salvaged from my dreams from how my life should have been.

Kate :(