Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Archive for the ‘Self Portraiture’ Category

Let it Breathe …

with 7 comments

Let the story breathe. Take out all its clutter and carve its meaning into a single sentence. Then build that into a paragraph. From there a chapter and then another, another and another. Let your reader stop along the way to ponder, move them along with excitement and emotion, but always let them breathe.

I am back in a yoga class and I am pondering the breath. My son has come to the class with me and he too is pondering his rhythm. My son likes to pace, up and down, up and down. He is never still. “Can’t you be still and breathe in and out,” I ask. Perhaps though I need to let him pace. Pacing is a movement where he finds himself, ponders things, unlocks doors I can never really comprehend. He is like a clock ticking and tocking. I have always found a ticking tocking clock difficult to listen to when I am trying to find stillness.

My Mum used to be like a series of ticks and I wondered when she would tock. She was out of rhythm with me. She was a constant beating percussive instrument that I couldn’t find out how to relate to. Maybe it was the distance between us, generations, and cultures (she is Papua New Guinea, Bush Mekeo raised). I tried to understand her, and as time passed it became easier. I found though I had to move away and find a space to breathe. Maybe it was the clutter of three brothers and our Dad and the constant noise and hustle and bustle that is family that made it so hard.

Our instructor tells us its time to move into a cat pose. I move as gently as I can into the shape required. Yet I am waiting for my favourite part of the class. The cool down, the gentle breathe in and out and arms raise and head rolls. I am a relaxation princess. When we arrive at that time of the class I am so proud of myself, my inner karma is realigned. I have to shake my son awake and tell him it is time to go and wait for our lift. He has found a way to settle, and he doesn’t need to pace. He is a relaxation prince.

That was many years ago and my son has begun to pace again. Maybe we both need to go and find a local yoga class or maybe what we need is more space to breathe. More space to find ourselves. Yet also there were times I remember when my Mum gave me just a little too much space and all I wanted was for her to say she cared. I can still hear my mother ticking without tocking and I wonder if that is my problem too. Finally I really breathe out. I have found my stillness.

the thinker

More of June’s Work can be found at Unity’s Garden

Written by June

July 15, 2008 at 2:25 am

Opening Lockfast Places

with 13 comments


Rodney (1)

First voyage
Male convicts on board
Departure Port: Portland (Dorset) Departure Date: 23 Aug 1850
Arrival Port: Hobart Arrival Date: 28 Nov 1850

Convicts landed: 308

Died on board:

Archives Office of Tasmania, Guide to Convict Records by Ship Reference.
Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd 1985.
Broxam, Graeme, Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Tasmania, 1843-1850, Roebuck, 1998, p227.
Phillips, Margaret E., Australian Joint Copying Project, Handbook Part 7, Public Records Office Admiralty Records, National Library of Australia 1993, pp 75-77.
Archives Office of Tasmania, Convict Department, Registers of Convict’s Deaths, 10 Jun 1840-31 Mar 1846, 25 Nov 1845-5 Jul 1874, (Ref: CON 63).

Convicts on board listed by Researchers

ALLEN Charles
BROWN William
EXALL Joseph
ROBSON John Boyd
WADE William
WARE Charles

Non-convicts on board listed by Researchers

MATTHEWS Joseph & Sarah – Military Pensioner
TYNAN Andrew – Military Pensioner
I sit looking at the jigsaw pieces
Studying them
Seeing how they will fit together
To form an impression
make whole
the broken mold
From which I sprang
I am the one
Who carries on the tradition of
Opening Lockfast Places

Identity Poem

with 10 comments

I am from German sauerbraten and Jewish chollah bread, from Easter eggs and matzo, from English roast beef and Russian borscht, from American cheese macaroni and English Yorkshire pudding and French crullers. I am from a diversity of foods from the various cultures crisscrossing in my ancestry.

I am from a home with a white picket fence that I scraped and painted every summer, or so it seems. A home where my mother was always there to love us unconditionally and welcome us home as she was available every day after school to listen; where my father was the only father on the block to play stick ball with all of us kids in the neighborhood, and took me to movies and museums; where the family all went camping, even making our own first tent, stitch by stitch, together. I am from a family that camps and plays and works together and does many things “from scratch.”

I am from lilacs and lilies of the valley and violets in the house yard; from feeding pigeons and squirrels in the park; from ‘don’t make any noise’ in the apartment to run free in the woods at the house; from apple trees and oaks in the woods; from asphalt on the city-apartment roof to playing kick the can in the surburban street; from homemade jelly and pickles and breads and cakes; from handmade finished real-room for me and a schoolhouse for my dolls, and with a fort, a castle and paper-mache dinosaurs for my brothers (and thereby, also for me).

I am from a diverse cultural and religious family with roots through my mother’s mother of German Catholic and her father’s side of Jewish Russian. My father’s side was English, Scotch and French Protestants. My mother’s brother married the daughter of a Baptist minister. My father’s large sibling family later consisted of an atheist, a Christian Scientist, a Catholic, 2 Protestants, and 2 agnostics. I amalgamate all this, and delight in the differences.

From my maternal strong-willed grandmother who in the early 1900’s as a teenager enjoyed being pulled around Central Park in New York City while sitting on a large block of ice, and a maternal retiring grandfather who, in his youth, rode a motorcycle and ran liquor during Prohibition, being shot at by the Coast Guard; from my tiny paternal grandmother the strength to raise 8 children (one died when young of whooping cough) with hardly any help or money, and a paternal grandfather who went out on strike in sympathy with other new subway-railroad employees in the early 1900’s in Manhattan and then stayed out in principal when everyone else returned to work after compromising safety issues, and spent the rest of his days at home being largely ignored by his struggling wife and children.

I am from strong, independent and idealistic stock simmered in a well-seasoned sauce of love. But with a sprinkling of fear also: fears of losing my father in World War II, about my mother, grandfather and I being killed if the Germans won because of our Jewish background, of being bombed by submarines lurking in the waters just off Manhattan; of fears of not having enough money to raise 5 children, of my never being perfect enough to always get 100 on tests, of speaking of that which contradicted the white picket fence image. Strong enough to move away from birth family as my husband and I literally built our house ourselves, nail by nail; strong enough to move to Arkansas to hopefully live off the land and do everything “from scratch” once again; strong enough to leave after 33 years of marriage and create a new spirit-enhancing life for myself even as the fears emerge now and then. I am from tradition, even if diverse, with some eccentricity and individualism for a measure of spice. I have taken these ingredients, re-combined them to make a very untraditional life for myself: a New Yorker now living in Arkansas, a former Catholic now a devotee of a spiritual teacher, a married woman with children into a woman now with children and grandchildren but also with a female soulmate, a stay-at-home mom into a full-time employee, a previously thin, active, athletic person into a heavier, older, grayer, more introspective, more interested in being than in doing, a seeker searching in many directions now a more balanced, well-rounded, individuated person. I am from many and now am becoming One.

Written by thalia

March 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm