Tag: reflection

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Doing it for life

I swam in horrible conditions the other day. It was not long after dawn on a mucky Monday morning and big, unpredictable swell, with huge surges of cold, dirty water, was moving me around like so much flotsam. I tried to use my usual landmarks to keep my bearings while at the same time avoiding being swept on to them.…

Liver complaint

I wanted to write about Prometheus, but I couldn’t find the right peg to hang him on, so I just ended up feeling pretentious, as if I was secretly aspiring to be outed in Pseuds Corner. I was going to propose that we are all somehow in defiance of the gods, that the wars that rage within us are analogous…

A little, not a lot

The change of seasons is upon us. The gasfire-warmed mornings of a couple of weeks ago have given way to more temperate conditions. Indoors, for my early-morning writing routine, I am no longer wearing a scarf or chunky neck-warmer, nor am I double-socking. (Yes, Melbourne homes really are that cold in winter and I have much anecdotal evidence to support…

Listen!

Listen. It is night moving in the streets, the processional salt slow musical wind in Coronation Street and Cockle Row, it is the grass growing on Llaregyb Hill, dewfall, starfall, the sleep of birds in Milk Wood.   Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in bonnet and brooch and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow,…

It’s only natural!

“We shape the earth to suit us. Dolphins were land animals once and they went down into the sea and they said to the ocean – ‘shape me to suit you‘. I was in Connemara recently and I saw a dolphin and, oh, the curve of it was as beautiful as any two bars of Mozart. It was so beautiful.…

Getting back in the ring

Lappeenranta, Finland. November 2004. I stood in the shadows of a darkened stairwell, another man standing close to me, nervous energy hanging in the air around and between us. He bristled with anger and intent while my mind raced over what was about to happen. I concentrated on my breathing, willing myself to be loose and limber and receptive. I…

Someone call security…

Relationships. They’re important. They define and guide us. They provoke and becalm us. They diminish and inspire us. They enchant and destroy us. They can as easily be razing fire as empowering foundation. And so much store is set in those primary relationships in our lives: parents, siblings, confidantes, teachers and various others. And from about eighteen months of age…

Up with this I shall not put!

In his brilliantly disturbing novella, The Testament of Mary (ostensibly about the mother of Christ but arguably about the inevitable unhappiness of mother-love), Colm Toibin articulates very well the dilemma of choosing between a righteous course of action and the more pressing demands of self-preservation: I watched in horror, but I did not move or make a sound. Nothing would…

Make way!

Would it be fair to say that we all have good days and bad days? Surely the odds dictate that, to quote the song, into each life a little rain must fall. Nobody walks through life without getting at least a little wet. Nobody spends every single day basking in the glories of Creation (well, some do, but that’s a…