Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kerferd Road Pier

One of my friends posted this.

What would I give to be there right now. I'm homesick for the smell of spring, gelati and that ineffable sense of well being that rises from the St Kilda sidewalks on warm spring days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On friendship


This sermon led to so much thinking and reflection. It's such a basic issue: who are your friends? what does it mean to be a friend?

It's the kind of sermon I wish I'd listened to at age 18, before I made so many mistakes. Friend mistakes, bad friend mistakes, boyfriend mistakes....

I wish I'd recognized toxicity earlier - before the damage set in. But then this is the kind of toxin you don't realize is in your system until your legs get numb. (Of course, for me, my fingers turned black and gangrene had almost set in before I realized what was happening....)

This sermon made me realize how few friends i have - but so grateful that I have any at all and also so grateful that the ones I have are so wholesomely good.

In fact, thinking of the friends i DO have, I realize that I'm so rich in friendship which is the best kind of rich there is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Against all sound judgment

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:15


Reading through Proverbs this year.

Wisdom takes a lifetime. It is amazing how rich and full of meaning even a few verses can be.

I'm meditating on Proverbs 18:1 this week and all other attendant verses on seeking good counsel, keeping the company of wise friends and seeking the Lord.

There are so many applicable areas and so many myriad ways in which Prov 18:1 is true but here are a couple of thoughts that stand out:

1. This is one of the chief reasons for church (Rom 12:5) - so that we may form one body and guard each other.

2. God did not ever intend for man to be alone. Later in Proverbs 18, this little verse jumped out - (He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD). Hundreds of other verses in the bible of which Proverbs 12:5 is one, about seeking wise counsel, keeping good company, fleeing bad company also jumped to mind.

3.ultimately, the company we need to keep .... the person to stay close to is God. (Gen 1:27) and in Him alone can we find rest.

4. Drawing close to God is only possible through Christ. (Matt 11:27, John 3:35 - 36)


There is so much more to unpack. But mainly I think on reading that verse, anyone who is even a little bit honest with himself or herself must immediately think - how true!

When alone or isolated, we will only seek to gratify ourselves, think our own selfish thoughts and fall into a cycle of loneliness and selfishness.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rambling walks and things

During the Sunday evening walk with Mr Grey, it came to me today that life is starting to feel good again. The gladness of living and breathing and being is coming back. And it also occurred to me that sometimes, trying to tough things out and not admit grief or sadness or loneliness is the worst possible way of dealing with things.

Somewhere around the time 2009 ticked over to 2010, a bunch of things changed and I didn't cope very well with the changes. People moved away from here, I moved away from my old church, I met Mr Grey and for awhile in 2010, I went back to school. So life was just kind of crazy I guess. Filled with the strain of change, of what had been and no longer was, worry of what was to come, of what could come...

It's now 2011 and life is finally achieving a kind of peaceful equilibrium. It's not perfect but at least I'm no longer grieving as much...

The walks helped. Mr Grey helped lots and lots and God was and is very patient and forgiving. So in all, I'm very grateful.

In a very random way, the sermon today about Ephesians and the church brought a kind of clarity. The visiting pastor told an anecdote (as they do) about a grieving widower who attended church one easter sunday and was unable to rejoice in hymn and song with the rest of the congregation. As he sat there grieving silently, it came to him that even while he could not rejoice and sing, his congregation rejoiced for him and sang for him and would go on rejoicing for him until he could join them once more.

I realized that during the time I could not rejoice fully and sing, people in church rejoiced for me, served in church and sang for me. And it came to me also that while I grouchily sat in a corner nursing my wounds, the other people in church had gone on serving, doing things that helped and overall tugging everyone else along.

The thought of that really helped and I thought of lots of people in church who quietly do their bit and was just thankful for them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Tree at my Window

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the books that make men

From here, the reading list that shaped Obama:

* The Bible
* “Parting the Waters,” Taylor Branch
* “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
* Gandhi’s autobiography
* “Team of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin
* “The Golden Notebook,” Doris Lessing
* Lincoln’s collected writings
* “Moby-Dick,” Herman Melville
* “Song of Solomon,” Toni Morrison
* Works of Reinhold Niebuhr
* “Gilead,” Marilynne Robinson
* Shakespeare’s tragedies

George Yeo's reading list from his FB page:-

Dao De Jing by Lao Zi
A Study of History by Arnold Toynbee
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
The Art of War by Sun Zi
The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong


In one of my favourite books (Busman's Honeymoon - read it, it has everything), there's this police inspector character who doesn't seem like the especially educated type.

Nonetheless, he astounds the protagonists with his confident familiarity with the 'greats' of the western canon of literature - Milton, Bacon, Shakespeare, Donne etc. They spend a great part of the rest of the book trading quotes but not before the police inspector is asked why - why read these books? Books irrelevant to his daily life and definitely irrelevant to his job.

I'll never forget his answer, he said in effect - that ihe found it important at the end of terrible or mundane days at work, to put his mind in contact with 'great minds'.

Not that Obama is a police inspector but I found this observation to be accurate of him and of people whose lives have been shaped by books:

"Mr. Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father” (which surely stands as the most evocative, lyrical and candid autobiography written by a future president), suggests that throughout his life he has turned to books as a way of acquiring insights and information from others — as a means of breaking out of the bubble of self-hood and, more recently, the bubble of power and fame."

From here,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thank you

and love and hugs and kisses to everyone who called, texted, sent cards, emailed, messaged, facebooked and found some way to send me birthday wishes :)

I had an awesome and restful weekend which was exactly what I longed for.

Special THANK YOU (in caps!) to the following:

-the sister who sent me a MONSTER PINK AND FURRY birthday card - who wouldn't love that? it filled a hole in my life I didn't even know existed. I mean, there was this pink furry monster birthday card hole in my life and I AM SO GRATEFUL IT IS FILLED :)

- Yv who dedicated a whole post! to wishing me happy birthday!*shocked and touched*

- the family - just for being them

- Eilonwy - for remembering me at HER birthday party :)and for throwing a really fun birthday party every year.

- Hf - because she listened to me freaking out about a very important growing up process and then had enough sense to make me go to bed and get some rest and sleep on it.

- Mr Grey - just for being him :)