Monday, April 30, 2007

only boring people get bored

following the north coast road : madang : last saturday

hola peeps.

where i been? madang-tang-lang. lovely lovely. so so good to get out of moresby and into the place of my childhood memories. most new years eves of my childhood were spent here with family and various welcome-welcome blow-ins.

so i blew in for the weekend and was taken in by the lovely miss diver. such a goodie good host. what ensued were coastwatchers and plantations and catholic mass by a dripping statute of the virgin mary. 3 days of bilbil chicken, american beans and the most amazing chocolate cake ever(!!), pot-luck pizza, home-made yoghurt a la casa divine word, barramundi by an estuary and drinking kulau on the lip of a black sand coast. best of all was the relax. relax.

softest black sand beach : malolo plantation : yesterday

as soon as i got down from the balus my nagging doubts ran away and i sunk back into myself. with miss diver behind the wheel we managed to travel from one feeding/snorkelling/swimming place to the next. and in between i met the people that fill the life of miss diver in madang ... old people never left; new people never going to leave; some people leaving soon; some people kicking in for another holler. you get all kinds in the tropics. and by providence or fate people kind of make their families where they lay.

and we talked long and long. mostly about mutual friends and experiences. mostly about us. you know - girl talk.

so all the people who know both miss diver and i - your time is running. you best pack your bags and come quick!!

sundowner : jais aben : last saturday

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

other heroes

It's ANZAC Day again. Always is always a strange day for me. I feel moved. Every year. And it is strange to me because I have never professed to care to anyone else as much as I really feel in private.

It's all that LOSS.

I made it out to Bomana War Cemetary for the dawn service and I am so glad I did. Where have all the flowers gone.

And this year I Remember. I remember those who fought with the ANZACs and remain unacknowledged by many. Specifically the Australian Aboriginal veterans and from my corner of the world, the 55,000 fuzzy wuzzy angels and the 4000 Papuans and New Guinean soliders who fought in all but one of the allied campaigns in this, my country.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

schwing batta batta

hey lovers

some of you think i am dropping off the email cliff but i am not. been busy. as in BUSY!! mostly workity work work but also family famfam stuff.

i am trying not to get freaked out by the work stuff on my plate because what is the scariest thing is that my mind seems to be in Slow Motion ever since india. but i can feel the starter motor kicking over and so just know i will back to the grind any minute now.

so how was india? india was FullOn. she was fierce and unabiding and she was Take Me or Leave Me. india was a kind of serious and exhausting experience and completely inspiring. I met some lovely lovely and some funny funny and some smarti smart and some sad and some different and some ignorant and some fearless and some doers and some sayers and some lovers and some fighters kind of people over there.

and I even kissed a boy - shhhhhhhhhhhh. don't tell anyone. only he is an industry which i would find hard to live with because success for him means there must be War In The World. also has way too much money and just too much everything really. funny. but likes Nice Things. and Nice Girls. who are a bit dirrrty too. you know the type.

returned to png and news of a tsunami that struck the solomon islands hard and also touched our shores in bouganville and milne bay and this gave me HUGE impetus to get off my toosh and begin the Campaign Of Giving Away Half of Everything Ricebag Owns to the tsunami relief effort. which i did. wow. my house is a LOT emptier and so is my wardrobe. it took me 3 days to sort and sort so i sorted and then i gave it away now.

i feel good because i made a serious attempt to remove EXCESS - of just Too Much Having-Of-Things For One Baby. i feel good because shedding and sloughing all that Unnescessary was therapeutic. i feel good because i let go of sentimental schtuff which would be more use to someone else than to continue its life as a memento for me. i feel good because some things which had a life with me will continue their story in someone elses home. i feel good because being weighed down by less Belongings, means i am freer, i am easier, i am calmer.

and i felt so good that on the weekend i conned my cousins into coming over and scrubbing my house from top to bottom. and scrub we did. and then we bbq'd and drove around and around and around and hung with mamas and pappas and did the things that cousins do in this town - talk. and play k5 basketball mini-comps on the sandy courts of the ela beach flats. and then talk some more. and then played pool on the faded lean-to billyards table under the fluro lights stationed beneath my aunty dee's house. and then we ate. and talked. after we had cooked and talked.

so i had a cruisy w/end. especially when jaybird came to play with me on sunday. we shared church and then raisin buns on the verandah. miss 21soon came over and the afternoon was spent not doing very much at all except shandies.

so thats my run-down fellas.

loving and leaving.

as ever - ricebag

Friday, April 13, 2007

stardust memory

I love you sons of bitches. You’re all I read any more. You're the only ones who’ll talk all about the really terrific changes going on, the only ones crazy enough to know that life is a space voyage, and not a short one, either, but one that’ll last for billions of years. You’re the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to us, what tremendous misunderstanding, mistakes, accidents, catastrophes do to us. You're the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distance without limit, over mysteries that will never die, over the fact that we are right now determining whether the space voyage for the next billion years or so is going to be Heaven or Hell.

Eliot Rosewater to a group of science fiction writers(!!) in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "God Bless You, Mr Rosewater" (1965)

Kurt Vonnegut is dead. His dark comic talent and urgent moral vision caught our imaginations, made our conscience listen. As someone who has had the privilege to read Vonnegut, I tip my hat to the voice of America's counter-culture, a literary idol, and say adieu and of course, thankyou. Thankyou for your writing and your words and thankyou for the dog-eared copies of your novels tucked in the back pockets of my faded jeans at university.

RIP mr. vonnegut, you will be greatly missed.

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be. "Mother Night" (1961)

a poem by Kurt Vonnegut


When the last living thing

has died on account of us,

how poetical it would be

if Earth could say,

in a voice floating up


from the floor

vof the Grand Canyon,

“It is done.”

People did not like it here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

stop look listen

I wish I could say that the above isn't true right now for ricebag but I really can't. Coming back from India I have felt raw and sensitive and ... just crap really. Bit tired of ME. Of being me. Not in a my-life-is-crap kind of way because my life is definitely not crap. But in a kind of sick-of-the-sound-of-my-own-voice kind of way. Bit over myself. Over me. Wouldn't mind entering some cone of silence for like a month and just not do or say a thing. What I am learning again (because the first 15 times obviously isn't enough for this turtle) is that everyone needs quiet time. To quiet their heads and their mouths and their ears and just be still. And it's my time for that quiet time again - but because I am now on the worker bee treadmill, I am going to have to figure out another way to do that because repeating the historical ricebag litany of literally dropping life and running solo to the blanketed hills of some no-name 'other' country, just isn't going to cut it this time.

On Saturday as I was driving home from my cousin's wedding the loveliest Jaybird rang me and we discussed a separate and quiet melancholy both of us seem are experiencing right now and I said something which I know to be true - we, all of us, need these pensive, somber and dispirited funks - they are the stones at the other end of the fulcrum and their weight helps to balance us so that we can understand and appreciate joy, hope and cheer. But much more than that, feeling low (NOT depressed or despondent but just out-of-your-own-skin) acts like a lever for triggering remorse - for a particular thing or no particular thing at all. And that can mean, at the very least, an examination of your own conscience. It's that old Newtonian thing - every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

So I accept my funk. I don't relish it because examining my weaknesses is an uncomfortable exercise - but I am grateful for it. It's my own body's way of telling me to stop, look and listen. And learn. So I am. And I am shutting up. And I am closing up shop. For a while. In a way.