Learning to love delay and other stories

Living

The golden theme from last week washed over into this week as well – the second week of the school holidays and the second week of my university degree. The week began with the Bello Winter Music Festival – a gorgeous folk and roots music festival born in Mullumbimby, but visiting Bellingen for the first time. It was a day where I was able to slip out of my mother/wife skin and frolic, clad only in my skin, free to fill up my own cup. A much loved friend with an insatiable appetite for fun, friendship and music suggested we go a couple of months ago, and oh my, I am so glad we did :). A whole day of live music – in 12 hours we saw six full performances – and I could feel a cup, long dry, fill up and overflow as I listened, watched and danced my way through that long, gorgeous winter’s day and night. At midnight when I at last tumbled wearily into bed, the Bear rolled over sleepily and muttered, “When is it, dawn? Bloody students.” 🙂

Lizzy and me.
Lizzy and me.
I loved The Mae Trio so much I bought their album.
I loved The Mae Trio so much I bought their album.
Yeshe was amazing - can't wait to see him when he tours later in the year.
Yeshe was amazing – can’t wait to see him when he tours later in the year.
The magic bus and its disco crew. So fun :)
The magic bus and its disco crew. So fun 🙂

So, after that kind of start to my week, you’d think that I’d be totally inspired and in the flow, wouldn’t you? Well I was, but it appeared that nothing else was. I had heaps of energy, but the Universe kept putting the brakes on which frustrated the hell out of me and gave this week an impatient edge that has been difficult to shift. Example? I ordered a text book for my media subject a week before Uni started, on the 22nd June. I still haven’t received it.

On Tuesday it was returned to the Bunbury store from whence it came, with promises of an express post delivery asap. it's STILL not here. Grrrrrrr.
On Tuesday it was returned to the Bunbury store from whence it came, with promises of an express post delivery asap. it’s STILL not here. Grrrrrrr.

It means that I can’t do my reading for my media subject, which in turn means that next week when the textbook finally comes, I’m going to have to do three weeks of reading in one week. The thought of this stresses me out. So yesterday, I’m hanging out a load of washing, thinking grumpy thoughts, when a question falls into my mind :

So, do you believe that all delay is Divine? Um, yes, I do.

And do you truly believe that everything happens in its own perfect time and that you are being looked after? Yes, I do!

Well then! Stop griping. Huh. I cast my mind back over what I had accomplished that day – instead of watching this week’s lecture, I had decided to push that into next week when hopefully I would have my textbook and instead focus on my assignments for both subjects, making really good progress on both of them. There was no reading set for my writing subject next week, because we have an assignment due – the one that I had just about finished. Hmmm. I don’t know why it’s been set up like this, but I’m prepared to go with it. It’s probably working out just perfect, as life tends to do when you get out of its way. 🙂

So in spite of my cranky, impatient brain it’s been a good week. We’ve spent heaps of time with loved ones, the kids have been kept busy and happy with loads of grandparent and farm time. Despite my missing textbook and the fact that it is school holidays, I have not only been able to keep up with my studies, but have thoroughly enjoyed everything about it.

Is there anything in your life that appears to be an inconvenience but may actually be a blessing?

Loving

  • My new blog layout and logo <3. What do you think? I changed the theme on the spur of the moment last weekend, and like all good changes, wondered why I hadn’t thought to set my blog out like this before. Oh well :). This particular blog theme allows for a logo, and two days later I woke up with an image of my logo imprinted on my eye lids. It seemed simple enough to replicate, and although I am definitely not a graphic designer, I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve noticed from my stats that people are staying longer and having a good look around, which makes me happy 🙂
  • This from Lao Tsu:

Rushing into action, one fails.
Trying to grasp things, we lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
will ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the wise take action
by letting things take their course.
Remain as calm at the end
as at the beginning.
Attached to nothing,
there is nothing to lose.
The wisest desire is non-desire.
Learn to unlearn.
Simply remind people
of who they have always been.
Caring about nothing but the Tao,
one thereby cares for all things.
― Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

So that vision of the world we want to live in…it requires wide awake optimism to create it. Those lives “of service” so many of us are trying to live… Service is being informed. Service is being enraged. Service is keeping your heart open even when you’re enraged. Service is being ruthlessly honest about the facts — and then choosing to be optimistic. Service is fuelling your optimism with action. (And yes, meditation counts as action.)

  • This:
public education
Nice one, John.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This:

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. – Albert Camus

Learning

  • That I should never automatically assume that people will have the same reaction as I do. In my media tutorial this week, the teacher showed us a clip of four white policemen aggressively arresting a black man, taken by a passerby on their phone. I found it very disturbing and difficult to watch, as did most of the other students. Except for one, who said, “This film clip really didn’t bother me, maybe if the police around here were like that we wouldn’t have so many people hurting children or drug addicted people roaming the street.” I was so shocked that my mouth dropped open, and I just had to sit there for a moment, taking it in. Yes, because America’s police brutality has ensured that they have a safe, crime free country. Obviously. Interestingly, not one person replied directly to her comment except obliquely by saying that like most people on the forum, they were shocked and disturbed by the footage.
  • About the nuts and bolts of crafting a story. We are focusing on travel writing because it gives us an opportunity to write in a non-fiction genre, but using the tools of fiction writing: character development, description, exposition, narrative voice, point of view, causation, story structure and theme. For this subject we have to write a short non-fiction travel story (1500 words) based on our own experiences, but there are two assignments that build up to this task so that we can show our understanding of the elements that make a good story. We also get to read all of these fascinating travel stories for our reading duties. Ha! Fun 🙂
  • About how not to make assumptions about a person or a situation, jump to conclusions and then make decisions and actions based on those conclusions, all without talking to the person in question. I haven’t been guilty of this, at least in this particular week ;), but I have been watching people in my life do this, some who in particular who should know a lot better. This kind of behaviour makes makes me as mad as hell (oops, there’s that irritable frustration again) but like all button pressing things, also serves as a personal reminder. People, if you think a person has wronged you in some way, especially if they are someone important to you, like say, one of your siblings, children or parents, then for goodness sake, pay them the respect of talking to them about it. Never assume – because it makes an ass out of you and me, as a boss once told me 🙂 Odds are, you might find out there is much more depth to the situation then you thought, that you may have misunderstood, or even that there are two sides to every story. You know?
  • In the same vein, just in case, like me, you need an extra reminder:

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As you can see, I’m still feeling my way into how this blog will be looking and feeling. The living, loving, learning theme came to me in a moment of stillness while I was waiting for a friend in a cafe the other day, much like the logo idea. I love these little flashes of inspiration and know to pay attention to them. I have also decided to give what I’m writing a separate blog post during the week so that I can make it a feature. let me know what you like and what you don’t (gently ’cause I’m thin-skinned 🙂 ).

Have a beautiful weekend everyone <3.

17 comments

  1. Plenty of great content, as usual. Lao Tsu is always cryptically thought-provoking.

    I’m glad that your titles are more descriptive. More helpful to tweet and it will help Google to find you. And if people check out your archives it will be easier for them to figure out what to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly 🙂 I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to do that before, but I figured since I was changing everything else, I’d change that too.

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  2. Loved reading and then contemplating Lao Tsu. Resting into those situations that I would wrestle and ‘overwork’ has been a blissful learning – one that I have to re-caputure every now and again. Moving into Term 3 I am trying to be conscious of allowing space for things to unfold. A blessing in disguise of inconvenience for me is a ‘not knowing’ and blurry vision in relation to future vision. The Blessing is the reminder again and again to be in the now, open and rejoice in what is in right here. Tricky at times to answer peoples “welcome back, and what’s your next steps” questions…but a comforting inner truth nonetheless 🙂 So good to see the music festival joy for you!

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    • Oh Kate, me too! Those words from Lao Tsu encapsulated so perfectly my work over the past 5 years (and probably the next 50) that I had to include it. The thing is, it is so restful when we approach life like that. I know what you mean about the hidden blessing of uncertainty. I have found that difficult in the past (and no doubt in the future) but again it’s so restful when we just accept it as it is. Incubation a friend once called it. So important to the birth of anything!

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  3. I am loving the updated blog theme and logo as well. Not that the old one wasn’t good but this makes everything look cleaner, crisper, and more professional. What can I say, I’m a very visual person so I always appreciate good-looking blogs (and things….and people…and…you get the idea). 😉
    At the risk of being cliche, I’ve learned that learning is always a learning process. As soon as you think you’re done learning, the universe will throw you a bunch of obstacles to not only test that new-found knowledge but also tell you, in its typical snarky way, “I don’t think so. You’re far from done.” It can be frustrating but from another (more optimistic angle), it’s also liberating in a way because mistakes are part of the process and therefore every bit as legitimate and important as the successes. At least that’s what I’ve been learning anyway. Cheers to a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lillian! I’m with you, I love beautiful things too :).
      What you said about the process of learning is so, so true. Life is always checking to see that you really have learned something, from every angle it seems. And then when it’s satisfied that you have, it peels the next layer off…and there’s a whole new aspect that had never occurred to you. We just have to accept that we’ve come here to learn, and that’s that!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shipping debacles happen often in my job, and that feeling of having no control drives me nuts– both in work stuff and in my personal life. But as you write, it’s having trust that it’s all unfolding at the right time. I believe this for the most part, however I also believe that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, or in this case –> a shipping debacle is just a pain in the ass. 🙂 x x

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    • Yes…I can imagine that shipping issues would be a job hazard for you. If it had been delayed for a week, or even 10 days, it just would have been a delay. But 3 weeks and counting? I’ve had to go to the Divine on this one, it’s just my way of making sense of it and being able to accept it. I’ve chased it, made phone calls to both Australia Post and the booksellers, and they’ve chased it as well. Still, it doesn’t come! So I need to look for the deeper meaning behind it or I’ll go crazy 🙂

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  5. Yes, the new theme seems a very good one to wrap a blog around! Our daughter did three of her four undergraduate years at distance and the number of times her books arrived on time was about two. It was horrible for her, but that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. She just got a wonderful promotion and raise and bonus at her work because she is a very smart woman and hard working, and she knows how to persevere! Best to you! xx

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    • Really! Right. Heads up. Order books a month in advance!
      It has never occurred to me that it would be a problem – I order things by mail all the time, and I swear I have never had a problem. Oh well 🙂

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      • I tried to reply to your comment last week but the host or Telstra must have been having a slight meltdown and it wouldn’t work. I wanted to add that our daughter’s problems with books were twofold; sometimes the instructors would delay releasing their book choice, but also the book store seemed to be quite inefficient with their ordering. This happened both with her undergrad courses at CDU, and her Masters Degree course in Adelaide at Adelaide Uni. My husband who is an academic, says there are some delivery flaws for distance education, that are still being worked out, this being one of them. Anyway, I hope you have no more problems and that you love your course. (It really does sound tailor made for you!)

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      • Hi Ardys,
        It seems odd that there would be problems like this, because ordering books from afar is so common these days. It wasn’t the University’s fault – UNE is renowned for its distance education, plus I didn’t order the book from their bookshop, I ordered it online from the coop bookshop…and as it turned out, when I finally did get the book, on Tuesday, it turned out it had been with Australia Post all this time. Just going back and forth, around and around. I had ended up buying a digital copy as well, so now I have two copies…lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the new format and logo. Really love the layout of the home page. It’s clean but bright and friendly. I know how much work goes into putting together a blog post… that you are doing all that you do day-to-day, and sharing its gems & wisdom -beautifully written and crafted- in the blogging community as well really speaks to, your dedication and talent 🙂
    I get a bit stretched for time some weeks to take it all in but what needs to sticks and I go back to it. I added Shark Net to my Goodreads list, and thought “Our bodies may be made of stardust but our souls are made of stories” was wonderful. So even though I may not comment on every little thing… which would then match your post in length if not readability, I find it relevant, interesting, and generously shared.
    I find many things go awry with everyday logistics (sometimes incredibly so) -maybe just a numbers game as life seems to more involved than ever- but when things go better than to plan and people are really helpful and pleasant it just restores my faith, I put the other behind me, and keep my expectations up where I want them rather than dumbed down where because feeling defeated simply doesn’t help anything. I love the idea that it’s a divine lesson rather than human failing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dale, I love your beautiful, in depth and thoughtful comments – they are one of the highlights of my blogging week <3. Of course, you don't need to comment on everything, or indeed anything! I am glad you like the new format – it does look clean but bright, I agree.
      I can't help but see things as a divine lesson – in a way, I have trained myself to be like that, but I also think I am that way inclined as well. I like the bigger picture. Maybe it's because I am a fire dragon; it suits me to fly far above the fray and try to see the patterns from a distance. Anyway, I hope you're keeping warm this week – it's cold here, but I can imagine that it's freezing in Sydney. Have a good week Dale xo

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