Monday, February 27, 2006

rainbow warrior 2 : stay out of my jungle

"Stay out of my jungle" ... a member of the Catfish clan on the banks of Lake Murray. Pic on cover of today's Post Courier.

My shh-shh office has a view of the Harbour - a view that overlooks the docks (not so romantic but still very tropical) and there is a 42 meter yacht idling across the bay and it's a little strange because normally I am the one on the street, on the yacht, on the box, being a little grateful I'm not watching the world happen from a 6x4 air-con cell in some towering office block.

Well ... Here I am. Must be a sign of something because I don't feel sososo jealous of the two salty-skinned long beans in torn-offs on deck of the lazy yacht sidling across my wide blue-tinted windows.

Through the same windows this morning I saw the Rainbow Warrior 2 dock at Port Moresby Harbour. There was a bit of fanfare. Greenpeace is here to launch a new plan of action to take on boomerang log royalties and I really want to be the person with that recklessness again, to have the spirt and focus, not to mention the requisite skills ... to be the person to jump onto that ship and take up the crusade.

Aaaaaaaargh - the conflict inside. Because it's always the all-or-nothing, that fearless passion, the total personal committment required and innate, intense sense of preservation needed to invest in a real "cause", the investment, the mark of a driven individual ... it's that person, that makes me green (read:envy) inside.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


The quote of the day on my office desk calender is from Winston Churchil who says "Never, never, never give up." I want to know how come WinC got all the best lines.

And I just wanted to say I think it’s a very very strong piece of advice. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.

So you see … ricebag did drop off the email/phone/communication/blog cliff for a while … 4 months actually … not because I gave up, and not just because I've been travelling through geography without such a luxury as electricity ... but mostly because I was waiting for a day when I could turn around and realise that in the greying uncertainty of it all, all that while, in effect, by just waking up and stepping out even when I didn't know why, just by the act of continuing, I was actually (unconsciously) never never never giving up. And that day of realisation came to me just last week. So now I know - I know that I am making it. And its so good to see that the peaks don’t come without troughs. And that those troughs are the reason simple pleasures are often the greatest.

So hello lovers. And here I am. Ricebag is back. Back in town, back at work, back to the point where she recognises the face in the mirror. And you might not know how good that feels, but I can tell you, it feels sweet. Because its been exhausting being lost. Its been stressful and humiliating and goddamn hard being at a place that feels so far below that you're not sure you could ever care to climb back up. It wasn't so much 'poor me' … more like 'damn me'.

Glancing through some of ricebag's blogs from last year, I feel so sad. Some of that pain and all of that shitty self-esteem. It's strange when youre down and down and only you can do the hard work to start at the bottom of the ditch and crawl back up ... seems to me only you yourself can get up and keep going until you wake up one day, one very fine day, and remember what your bones always knew - that everything isn't about you ... and it is all going to be ok because it is life and it is sweet and it can be sad and it is renewing all the time.

So I jumped ship late last year. Quit my job, left town and my things and went north and for 4 months have been bush lae bush river mountain island coral reef lagoon ocean jungle and bush …and best of all I was cutting out angels with my little nieces who only know that the whole world is the home we've made and inside there its safe and everything works and everyone loves.

So I got out. I slept for weeks. I threw my hip-pack onto ships and pmv's and the back of trucks and one swisho leather-seated helicopter and followed the highways that took me through vallies and ranges and along coastlines to the hearts of the ones who love me for my ricebagging faults, not despite them - my family. I learnt a lot. I remembered more. I listened a lot. I didn't cry. I didn’t dwell and I didn’t hurry. And then I left when the time was right. And returned to the big smoke, Port Moresby, where I am sort of alone and where I don't have my home and my family and all their security, but I have Me again and it's going to be ok. And the reason I feel so fine is because Me doesn’t feel like some kind of liability … because I am sandbagging my right to feel good about myself.

And on Valentines Day I started a new job at a new shh-shh office. And its only the second week but it feels good and I just wanted to feel good again. At least, on the inside.

My policy is not to take too much on. I want to start again in first gear and cruise.

Speaking of cruising … ricebag is taking driving lessons … at a class 2 weeks ago my instructor never turned up and I cursed him. Only to read in the paper the next day that he had been murdered - had his head chopped off with a spade in an argument over 20t (approx US$0.06). Can you imagine?? So bad, and sad.

So even as things continue to happen and swirl, ricebag is once again walking to the beat of her own drum. That's because she's remembered the rhythm. Like Stella, ricebag has her groove back. And it feels smooth and it is natural and I know it can be infectious. And hopefully this time round I can be more loyal to it. I'm hoping so but my insurance policy is that it comes straight from the heart so my body remembers it even when my brain doesn't.