Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On Peace and Gratitude

So, the other day I'm on the bus, going to work. It was about a week and a half ago, so it was a sunny (note, it's raining now, but I'm over the fact that Melbourne seems to be exporting its wierd weather tendencies) and golden morning. But I was feeling a bit jangled, I was on public transport - you know the kind of thing. Woe is me, the hobby horse is forgot, etc etc.

So, I was listening to Hardcore History by Dan Carlin (great show, btw), and he was talking about The First World War, and how different it was from anything that came before, and how shocking it was to people's worldviews and that kind of thing. So he was describing it, and everything I've ever heard about the First World War, and some about the second, just all seemed to gel into my brain. Dan was talking about the experience of the common soldier, or something along those lines, and I realised, suddenly, that peace was, in fact, a wonderful thing.

Photo taken by me at Womadelaide

For someone who's grown up in a peaceful, accepting world, it's hard to imagine the way things are when war comes into your life. The woman I sit with at reception here at work is Bosnian, and I forget all the time that she didn't leave her country because she thought that Australia sounded nice. She left, with a young family and half a law degree, because she was afraid that horrible things would happen to her and her loved ones. I personally think it's wrong that we can be 'at war', and the most it affects us is that occasionally we hear a news bulletin, or there's a media scrum because someone was mucking around with his rifle in his barracks and shot himself. But I don't certainly don't want to live in the alternative - in a world or a circumstance where everything is filtered through the fact of War.

But I didn't think about that then. What I thought about was how golden the light was, and how peaceful and quiet the morning was, despite being on public transport. And how the day would continue to be peaceful, no matter how busy or stressful work was. How, at no stage during the day, was I likely to be blown up or otherwise injured. But it wasn't about the physicality of it. It was about the mental and emotional peace of my world. And how, so often, I just don't see it because I'm too busy inflating my own importance by making trivial events seem huge.

I suppose you could call it an epiphany, I suppose that's what it was. Suddenly I could feel the coty around me, people quietly on their way to work, living their lives. It was peaceful. Calm. Serene, even.

I realised, for the first time, what is really meant when people say that the soldiers fought for this. Fought for the world in which I live, more than the country that that world exists in. A world in which, after the war, they couldn't live, because of the things they had seen and done.

It's a world worth fighting for, and I can't tell you how grateful I am that someone did, and that that someone didn't have to be me.

Photo taken by me at my parent's place in the Adelaide Hills

Next post: back to your regularly scheduled levity!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Toilet Seat Covers- a follow up

telfair said...
Oh. My. GOD. It makes me so sad to think about all the time and energy that went into those.

I mean, don't people have better things to do? Like, you know, sleep. And read blogs?

Becca said...
Wow...those are amazing. I accidentally set my room on fire when I was six with a toilet seat cover...they've scared me ever since.

How do you do that? Or maybe I don't want to know. My dad set fire to the chook shed with a candle in a wicker pram when he was little...

When I was little, I was staying at my Grandma's and my cousin who lived there wanted sparklers. I hated sparklers, but we had them anyway. Grandma lit my cousin's first, then mine. One of the sparks got me, and I dropped/threw it away from me - and it landed on my Grandma's foot. She was very nice about it, but I can still see the wretched thing landing on her foot - I can picture her shoes and everything. Needless to say, I am still not a fan of sparklers.

jac said...
Aieee! Fox Collection! I had no idea they still existed! ...I mean, um, what are you talking about?Man, I should pull out all the heinous and tacky needlepoints and embroideries I have, half finished (or not even that), that I thought were just the coolest when I was 14 years old. I'm pretty sure there's a sad teddy in a lamplit window. Oh the humanity...

You know, some of the stuff they have is actually pretty nice. The trouble is that there is so much dreck to sift through - and it's expensive crap, too. Also, while I quite like some of the things, there is no way I woudl spend hours stitching them, let alone hang them on my walls, let alone pay $100 or more for the privelage.

I used to be an avid cross-stitcher. But oh, the saccharine ickyiness. I realised as I looked at that catalouge the reason that people look at me askance when they find out that I knit and craft...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Apropos of nothing

I was interested to read this post on 'another knitting blog' (btw, did you know that Jap pumpkins are not, in fact, racist. It stands for 'just another pumpkin' I love it.)

I haven't watched TV for ages. That's a lie. I have watched it over my sister's shoulder on occasion. This is partly because it elicits the sort of reaction that brings joy to the heart of an older sibling (lost of squealing to go away and even, on occasion, some flailing) but mostly because I come from a family where, if the TV was on, it was because something good was on. I remember standing at my door in the dark, watching 'The Late Show' on the directly-opposite TV through the hole in the door where the handle should be. I can still produce a convincingly-sprawled appearance of sleep in 3 seconds, from door to bed. So now, when the TV is on, basically my brain shuts down and I am but a helpless zombie to its irradiated glow.

It's not a feeling I like much these days.

On the other hand, I love listening to podcasts, and I do so at every opportunity. Podcasting saved my sanity, I am sure of it, the year that I was in China. I exaggerate not. China was hard.

When I came back I found that, when flicking through one of the many 'women's' magazines' I recognised not one of the people whose frocks we were supposedly approving or disapproving of. I was thrilled. On the other hand, I can tell you all about Kevin Rose and Leo Laporte, who Brenda Dayne and Sage Tyrtle are, and I get extraordinarily excited when either of them have guest appearances on, for example, Chub Creek. (Darkspeed is HILARIOUS) Almost no one of my acquaintance understands this. Never mind. They don't usually understand the knitting, either, although they are more supportive of that, as long as I don't talk about it for too long together.

In other news, I would like to send a few curses along to Jac, who informed me that David Jones was having a sale on some items I was in the market for, so that I left said store $120 dollars lighter and four bras the richer. Then again, I am feeling very supported today, which is a nice feeling, so maybe it should be thanks instead. I thought all of you could do with an update on the state of my bosom...

Also, my friend who works cataloguing books to be sent out to libraries (or something) sent me the link to this the other day:

I loved that, as soon of she saw this, she thought of me. This may be because one day, when I had just discovered that I was a Knitter, I dragged her to Dymocks and made her look at knitting with me, all the while telling her about Nancy Bush and Elizabeth Zimmerman (two other people who make up my personal galaxy of stars) I also had the pleasure of telling her that I read Alison's blog and that she was very pregnant (she has now had her beautiful baby girl, and it's all very exciting.) I'm not sure what it is about pregnant craft-bloggers, but there seem to be a lot of them...

Lastly, for those of you who do not listen to 'Cast On', or who otherwise have not heard this, you just have to have to check out this link and listen to 'I want to be a Republican' I've never laughed so hard at a bus stop in my life...