Thursday, February 28, 2008

This made my night last night.!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Dance

imprisoned in my body
jailer and liberator
all knowledge is here
I am a vessel
the container of knowing
a path to ecstacy lies within
beyond the cortex
into my core
my heart beats the rhythm
my body knows the rhythm
to unlock the pain
to unleash chaos
so ecstacy can stream in
orange and gold
free and dramatic
my truth
i dance
therefore I am

past present and future colliding
the place of sensuality
the unction of my
intimacy and sexuality
a place of safety
of insight
I dance
therefore I am

I sweat
I cry
my chest heaves
my soul takes flight
ecstasy in the moment
freedom lives here
this is my truth
I am authentic
I dance
I am

Written at the Lightning in the Blood Dance workshop
Sunday 17th February 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Pegasus Revelation

This Week’s Theme: Insert this song lyric into your fiction: 'We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after a year.'

In the shade of the narrow eves of the building she lay her sweaty cheek against the wall of the building. She had never been religious and spirituality was a concept she was only just beginning to explore, yet this building held a sacred place in her heart. In this incarnation the building was painted livid green on the bottom half and eye scorching purple at the top. In the fledgling light of the day the paintwork was faded and beginning to lift in several places. A smattering of graffiti now studded the walls.

She stood at the far end of the building, at the entrance that had always been the Pegasus Bar – until now that was. Above the wide doorway, there was an obvious shadow on the paintwork where the neon sign had once held pride of place, accompanied by the telltale rivet holes, now empty. It had always been bright and working, unlike the Cherry Blossom sign – until that New Years night.

From the small cloth shoulder bag she took out a brand new thick black marker pen, she’d bought at a newsagents on her way there - connecting with the civil disobedient she had never been. Throughout her life she had held the highest regard for both private and personal property – having a high regard for herself though was another matter all together. She had never written graffiti on anything, even on the back of the toilet door as a teenager. She did once write Stephen de Jong’s name on her pencil case and then had to go with the crush all year, lest she have to scribble it out. With a rush of defiant adrenalin, she pulled off the lid and in shakey script wrote;

“Long live the Pegasus Bar. Gone but not forgotten.”

It had been an absolute fluke that she had been in town on the day that the building was scheduled for demolition, much less known that it was going to happen. Everyone from those halcyon days, including herself, had moved on, yet she was back to see the changing of the guard. She had picked up the local paper in the lobby while waiting for the courtesy coach for the hot air balloon adventure, when saw the article buried somewhere on Page 10.

“Pegasus flies on new wings”

She had cancelled her balloon flight and walked the few blocks, as the sun was coming up, to where the monolithic building stood. It had been a holy place to her and Tex, of Dionysian proportions, but its era, just like Dionysius’s had come to a close. It was about to be a whole lot holier when the demolition ball ripped through it.

Across the road, she sat on the edge of a concrete garden box, the one out the front of the Port Authority compound. She tried to remember what building had been there before, knowing that even ten years ago, when she regularly pulled her battered red Mazda 323 up infront of it, she couldn’t remember. Was that what would become of the Pegasus Bar now? Would the locals forget what was there? Would the tourist assume that it had always been a multistoried holiday apartment block with boutique shopping and cafes in the lobby? It seemed a travesty of history. Would all her stories die too if this place was forgotten?

Taking her camera from her bag she went back across the street and took a photo of her piece of graffit. She’d send it to Tex and tell him that she’d enacted her first piece of civil obedience – perhaps that’s what divorces did to you? Turned you into a delinquent at 31. No time like the present huh?

She wondered if she hung around long enough, they demolition team would let her take home a chunk of the smashed outer wall – like taking home a piece of the Berlin Wall. Would she even be able to find the piece where she had written her tribute?

At 21 she was a long standing regular at the Pegasus. She didn’t wait in line, she never did. With a confidence born of youthful enthusiasm and arrogance she would stride up the line, and cross the threshold with a well executed kiss on the check to the bouncer, as the red rope gating off the crowd graciously opened for her. She as like a rabid sexual bride seeking out her next conquest.

Yet there were more nights than not, when it was in Tex’s company she arrived. Wednesday night through to Saturday Tex would follow her into the faux Grecian interior and they’d pay homage to life, love and fuck ups at the long black marble bar. Sitting back on the concrete garden bed, she remembered the first time she’d taken Tex in there – his initiation into her life behind the walls. He’d got drunk in record time. He had slammed down the Liquid Ecstasy shooters as fast as the guys behind the bar could serve them up, as she had wooed the exotic Soiux Indian backpacker over the rim of her long black coffee. He hadn’t made it to the toilet in time when his stomach finally turned, and his vomit found the mark of a girl sitting at one of the high cocktail tables near the toilet door. Radioactive green vomit meeting white linen, it hadn’t been pleasant. Then he’d disappeared. The only thing that had remained was his shirt in the same garden bed that she now sat on. A fifty dollar taxi fare bought him to the general store the next morning because he couldn't remember her address and she’d left the backpacker in her bed, as she’d slipped down to pick him up.

The night of Tex’s 21st had been a seminal night of partying. She could still see herself carefully carrying his present through the Pegasus door and presenting the neatly wrapped box to him. At the bar he’d torn the wrapping off and, opened the box and taken out the small glass fish bowl. His eyes twinkled in the dim light faux Grecian interior.

“Look carefully,” was all she had said.

Scanning the bowl he had finally come across the intricately engraved words…
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after a year.
“You bet,” was all he had said, putting it down carefully on the already sticky marble and hugging her tight to him. Closing her eyes she could still feel his taunt young body pressed against hers.

As the heat of the day began to seep into the humidity, she squeezed her eyes shut as tight as they would go, afraid that tears would flow where there had been none for months. She picked up her mobile and sent a message to Tex.
Wish you were here

As always when it got tough, when her life was upside down and her insides were on the outside it was Tex that she wanted to be with. Her phone sounded a gong, letting her know that a new message had arrived.
Thanks for reminding me that I need to dust my fish bowl. How goes it Jos?

And that was when she got it. The fish bowl, the lost souls – they were the lost souls in the fish bowl, the fish bowl of the Pegasus. The bar had held all their souls for so long, each of them coming there, lost in their own ways, seeking connection with others. When she was too afraid, too worn out, or too over seeking connection with new people she would take Tex with her. The connection had never died between the two of them. And they had swum, in somewhat epileptic circles on the dance floor together to Easy Like a Sunday Morning, tossing down bourbon at the bar, shooting pool expertly at the table – partners in crime. She was his Twubacca and he her Han Solo. Because everyman needed a good wookie by his side to navigate life's travails.

But the Pegasus was a fish bowl of life contradictions. Rick the solo pianist and vocalist who wouldn’t play ‘Piano Man’, Dammo the bartender who was on the wagon, Dan the guitarist who loved women but didn’t do monogamy, desperate people looking for love and getting a fuck instead, and her and Tex, just friends.

“I don’t understand why you and Tex don’t just get it on together,” Simmo the bar
manager had once commented to her, on one of her lone trips.
“Because he’s like a brother to me. You can have all the fucks in the world, but true friends are hard to find,” she replied back, feeling a bit odd about it though.
What if?

It wasn’t the first time someone had suggested Tex as a suitable partner. And not just those close to them. Guests in a restaurant she once worked in commented that he sounded like her soul mate when she was telling them about him coming to live up there. She’d scoffed, and they’d never gone there.

They had been content to be adrift on the sea of 20 something humanity together, but apart, only to wash on the beach of 30 something just as screwed up, heart broken, alone and disillusioned. Still together, but apart.

“Hiya Tex. Are you busy tomorrow?” she asked, standing to move under the one
shady tree in the street, as the demolition team began to arrive.
“I’ve got clients until 6pm.”
“Do you drive any better than you used to?”
“No, but I have a car that isn’t falling apart.”
“How come?”
“I was trying to decide the safest route to your place – by taxi or with Han Solo.”
“You’re coming to visit - here.”
“I think it's time,” was all she said and began the walk back to her hotel.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Simple Luxury: Part One

There is something decadent about the word luxury. It's too often equated with life in the fast last, the rich and famous - 'luxury items'. In 2001 when the Howard Government introduced the Goods and Services Tax here in Australia women's hygiene products were considered 'luxury items' and were thus slugged with the new 10% across the board tax. As any woman will attest - sanitary pads and tampons might be considered luxury items to the male population, but to women they are essentials items.

Which brings me to luxury as essential dimension in living our daily life - especially if you strive to live a life of creative abundance. Luxury is however so bound up with ideas about money, success and status, we've created an erroneous belief system around luxury - it something that we're too 'poor' to have, something that is too 'big' for us to share in or even worse something we're 'not good enough' to enjoy.

What we've lost sight of is that luxury is actually a very simple concept,and without making a conscious effort to have luxury in our lives, we are actually become 'poor' and 'deprived' - both at the every day level, as well as at the soul level. Julia Cameron, author of 'The Artist's Way' says that the practise of luxury is actually a shift in consciousness, and that when we begin to acknowledge and invite what feels luxurious to us into our lives, we may indeed discover that there is a new flow of abundance into our lives. Cameron calls it 'authentic luxury' the things we do to pamper ourselves, the things that we love. Even though its my year of authenticity - I instead coined it 'simple luxury' - because it doesn't have to be exalted or complicated.

As I sat reading the section of luxury again, with my hunger sated, I began to ponder what it was that gives me true joy in life, the simple pleasures. Cameron says this is where the root of luxury lie. When it comes to this type of introspection I often get stuck and I can't think of anything that is appropriate. In this case its obvilus the block, my ideas and beliefs around luxury are so deeply embedded in the consumerist notions of luxury=money that its difficult to get beyond them. Unlike the examples given in the book, buying a second hand pair of tweed pants didn't seem terribly luxurious, or fresh raspberries. This made me frustrated. Just when I think I'm back in contact with myself, I feel that I am no closer to being in touch and connected with the 'real me' than I was six months ago.

My omlete arrived as I struggled with connecting with the part of my in which my notions of 'authentic luxury' are held, trying to find my simply joys. I ate the lovely vegetarian omlete that had been bought out, and continued to read and reflect.

After I had finished my late brekky I continued with my note taking, and as I did, I became aware of a beautiful scent lingering on the air. At first I thought that it was the very subtle and sensual perfume of one of the women who had recently wandered past where I sat. But it soon was apparent that it wasn't perfume. It had a fresh earthly quality to it. I looked about where I sat alfresco but no flowers came into sight.

Giving up my search and instead drinking in the small wafts of scent as they came my way, I kept writing, reading and thinking. Then I reached for my tea cup, which was now half cold and the most amazing realisation hit me. The beautiful perfume was coming from my tea cup. Not only did my tea smell divine, it tasted bloody good too. And there was an 'a-huh' moment for me ... and then all the simply luxuries came flooding back to me.

I love to be surrounded by fresh flowers - even if it is a handful of jasmine flowers that I have collected on my morning walk ...

And if I can't have fresh flowers, I make sure that I keep a collection of dried flowers (as I took this photo it reminded me how much I love the cool and sensual feel of clay in my hands - as the strange leaf shaped bowl holding these flowers was made by me last year!)

I love to be encircled in beautiful scents - my oil burners now has a place on my writer's altar above my desk with a couple of bottles of essential oils close by (there's also Bob down the front who came out of a Kinder Surprise egg - he reminds me that life is meant to be fun!)

As I drank my tea and revelled in the beauty of my senses revitalised and my memories evoked, I was thankful for the abundance of the Universe and the eternal flow. I also got brave and asked the young waitress what the name of the tea was. She bought out the packet and gave me the details on the back so I could order my own, only to come back less than a minute later and tell me that they did sell the tea in small pouches and you guessed it ....

... I bought some of my very own. Synchronicity and serendipity strike again.

Now perhaps on my artist's date this weekend I can take myself off to the thrift stores to find a special cup and saucer in which to enjoy my new tea in. Some more beautiful and inexpensive things to call 'mine.' Pampering ourselves is how we practise luxury in our lives, how we open ourselves to the abundance in the universe. It doesn't have to be elaborate, cost lots of money or time (which is important for the mothers among us) - it just has to be meaningful to you and something that you can do once a day, to treat yourself. It's a great way to tell yourself practically 'I love you.'

What simple luxury have you enjoyed today? What will you enjoy tomorrow? I know I'm looking forward to my cup of green tea tomorrow morning as I write my morning pages - the wonderful combination of health giving antioxidants and the decadent scent of jasmine flowers. Simple luxury at its best.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Procrastination - with a capital "P"

I'm here. I'm right where I have been longing to be - alone in the house with my music, my lap top and my thoughts. I'm here to write - apparently!! I feel like the bird who wanted the worm, and then choked on it.

I'd love to pass it off as a bad dose of writers block, but that's not it. I wish I could say that there were so many other things to do today, I just didn't get time. But for once, that's not the case. I'm here, I'm equipped, yet my heart isn't in it today. It's like Janie wrote for Write Stuff last week - what do you do when your every fibre screams 'I dont want to write today'. I dont think that it's that I dont want to write today - I'm listless - what do I want to write today.

Simple solutions to this problem (I thought) - was to go and check out the Fiction Friday prompt for the week. It always gets the creative juices flowing. Problem is, this week's prompt is one of the prompts that I submitted earlier on in January. I thought it was pretty creative at the time, now I baulk at it and go 'what the hell am I going to write about that?' So first solution was anything but. Trusty Plan B goes to '3am Epiphany - uncommon writing exercises that transform your writing' ... turned to a page about interrorgation. Not my scene today.

Julia Cameron in the Artist Way says that it's ego to not create - because creativity is at the core of our nature as artists. To be resistent, defiant is to go against the natural flow. I went to singing group earlier on today - which was quite creative and amazing soul food. I whipped up a groovy red library bag, with a pocket on the front in black and white pirate material when I got home - all from scratch and amazingly all int he right dimensions ... and later on tonight I'm off to belly dancing. Singing, dancing, sewing - all things that Ilove. Writing, for today at least, is on the outer? Or is it?

Like Janie wrote last week, just the act of writing down the little foot stamping is not just cathartic it gets you writing. With fifteen minutes to spare until its time to head for Kindy - not a huge amount of time to compose anything, but I have written something - here just now. Reminds me of our old flat mate who would procrastinate from his PhD studies with his hobby of painting. Only I discovered him one day procrastinating from painting the picture he had been working on - to take up sign writing on his window door, reminding my partner it was his turn to cook. It was Dave's turn to cook until the day before we moved out when the paint was finally removed from the window. I've written on my cyber wall to remind me of my motto 'Just Write' and the rest will fall into place!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Adam and Eve: The Story so Far

Here is the story to date, including the promised ending....

The screech of the hinges opening on the small door snapped her back into reality. Her body became instantly and instinctively alert, as she waited for the rough grasp of the guards hands on her bruised shoulders. In the sensory deprivation of the visual and auditory abyss surrounding her, the visceral smell of fear and blood was her only navigation point. With the door open again, she smelt it with a terror that allowed her to centre herself in the moment and prepare for what lay ahead. A body was thrust into the tiny room and crumpled at her feet.

The door closed shut with a deafening finality and all was again silent. Her chest heaved in a relief that came on the wave of the adrenalin surge. Tears stung in her eyes but never fell. It was all over in less than fifteen seconds but it seemed like an eternity.

With a nervous hand she reached out to touch the body, warm but barely breathing, crumpled on the floor at her toes. It was a vivid and tangible reminder of what she was here for and she knew it was the first instalment of her torture.
“Is that you Eve?” a voice rasped.

Her stomach lurched at the sound of his voice, but she kept her composure.

“Shhhhh,” she soothed instinctively rather than consciously, running her hand down the cool clammy skin of the face she knew was looking up to her in the darkness.
“I –“
“Shhhh!” she hissed with insistence this time. “They will be listening.”

Stretching her legs that were cramping in the confined space, she adjusted herself to take his head in her lap. She didn’t know why, but it was comforting to have him close to her. From deep within, a saying rose up from the times before Mother.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

A tactile examination of his head and body found no external wounds or signs of torture which left her shuddering. It was known that those who tortured in the name of Mother never left a calling card but now the urban legend was reality. No one ever left the clutches of Mother alive to say whether it was true or not.

“Eve …”
“My name’s not Eve. That was my code name.”
“Someone in your ranks has a sense of humour,” he wheezed.
“I doubt it. You were a last minute substitute.”
“No I wasn’t.”

She withdrew her attention and focused on each vertebrae of her back pressed against the cold hard metal wall. She didn’t want to think what his words meant.

Outside of the unnatural darkness that contained them, she knew that a full and glorious moon burned in the sky above. Mother could subvert and control all that was natural within the human body, she could be the Mother of inhumanity with the power, the propaganda and the technology all at her finger tips – but she couldn’t undermine la luna high in the skies above them. As long as the moon rose in her celestial magnificence each evening all those below were reminded that there was once a natural rhythm of life that was beyond human manipulation.

But it was the moon that had been her undoing. With her rhythms in total harmony with the moon, as she snuck into the Closed City her own biological undercurrents were dragging her in a direction that she had been totally unaware of. The rendezvous had been the only thing in her mind as she had crept but her own natural cycles had a rendezvous of their own. She had forgotten the venomous arguments in the Caves, that the full moon was a dangerous time for any woman to be in the Closed City. It was only now that she understood so completely the implications of this.

She had worn an olfactory scrambler as she crept through the back lanes looking for the theatre and the small door in the rear of the building. The small device acted like a cloak of invisibility that allowed her to walk the street of the Closed City without drawing attention to herself. If no one could detect her own cocktail of pheromones then she was just like any other woman on the streets – hormonally chaste. It was the only protection she had bought with her into the vipers nest. The rest lay before her, hidden within the official precinct.

“Will you tell me your real name?” he asked, his breathing more measured and stable than it had been earlier.
“Does it really matter?”
“It does to me – though it doesn’t matter to them. When they strap the electrodes onto your skull - they’ll know everything then.”

She thought for a moment, remembering the passion and ecstasy that swamped her when he had first touched her in his house. She was already reeling from the extravagance of running water and electricity – and a television. Such luxury!

She remembered the speed and voracity with which they had fallen on each other and within the chaos of discarded clothes on the tattered lino fall, they had quickly consummated the controllable fervour within. The natural state of a woman made her both powerful and weak.

“My name is Brigit,” she answered quietly.
“Brigit,” he repeated. “As in the Celtic Goddess.”
“Who apparently rode into battle with both her lover and husband at her side. Yes, one and the same.”
“You have a husband?”
“No just a lover it seems,” she answered absentmindedly, stroking his damp hair. “All I ever wanted was a husband and a child. A simple but full life.”
“Your mother must have known you were destined for great things to have named you Brigit.”

“From a simple dream I was born a revolutionary, gifted with the name of a woman who refused to submit, for whom the cycles of life are more important than anything else in the world. My rage is at a system that has stolen my dream - destroyed what it means to be a woman and a man. A country that pretends it’s Utopian, that it’s rich and peaceful. No one at the mercy of the uncontrollable ravages of natural ebbs and flows of biology – women don’t bleed, women don’t bare children, men and women who no longer have sex. People just live to consume.”

“Humanity has been stripped of everything that makes it human. I thought my life long dream was a simple desire when I was a teenage – my friend would laugh that I would aspire to something so mundane.”

Her cynical laugh was interrupted by the sound of the security pad being activated and the locking mechanism being accessed from beyond the cell.

The sound bought back the moment, as she stood with Adam, as he punched the security code into a door to give her access to the explosives. The door swung open and there were Mother’s secret police waiting for her.

“You betrayed me,” she screamed as they had seized her by her arm and pressed a sedative into the side of her neck..

The door opened and the audio of protesting steel kicked in for ambience sake. There were no rusting hinges in Mother’s high tech detention centres.

A muscular arm reached in for her.
“You betrayed me Adam,” she spat, as the fingers dug into the flesh of her upper arm. “You betrayed all of us.”
“No I didn’t Brigit. This is just the beginning.”

The air lock of the cell hissed as the door shut. The guards shoved her quickly against the wall beside the door and clamped handcuffs onto her, pulling her arms upwards and outwards, forcing her to bend down. All the time she kept her eyes tightly shut, the fluorescent lighting of the corridor burning her eyes, after the indefinite time inside the darkness of the cell.

She took a gulping breathe of air and tried desperately to centre and ground herself, invoking an old relaxation exercise. In her minds eye she saw three gently glowing orbs, but before she could discipline her mind to draw the orbs together into a line and then down into the one golden glowing orb, she was roughly and awkwardly pulled away from the wall and pushed viciously down the hall.

Her legs, felt like jelly and she fell heavily on her face, as they failed to respond and carry her forwards with the momentum of the push. Blood gushed from a cut in the top of her lip or perhaps it was her nose. She was unsure, too disorientated with her own body to work out what hurt, what was numb and what felt OK enough to work for her..

“Get up!” commanded a voice from behind her.

Before she could attempt to get herself back onto her knees, she was dragged back onto her feet. A small scream escaped her lips as the shoulder joints and the scar tissue on the right, threatened to release as all her weight hung on the triangulation of her bound arms. Her feet touched the ground and the pressure released.


Placing one tentative foot out she felt the feeling return to her legs. Squinting out her eyes, they began to slowly adjust, until she realised there was nothing to see. Just a long endless corridor of piercing white, punctuated by a door every few metres, that blended in so well it only became apparent as you came to the extact point of it in the wall.

At the end of the corridor she was told to stop, a code was punched into the security pad and she was thrust into a room and told to sit.

“Wait,” the taller of the two guards ordered her, “and don’t move. Whatever you do, do not move.”

She remained seated for what seemed time eternal until she realised that the feeling had gone in her hands. Left with only her thoughts, and a terror that rose in a jaggered chunk up her throat, she surrendered all of the fiery rebellion that had fuelled her for years. This time she had left everyone down.

When she left The Caves she understood the dangers that awaited her within the Gated City. Over the years she had devised a meditation technique in which she would predict, envisage and then overcome all the dangers and obstacles for each assignment before she left the safety of where she was staying. She had learnt the hard way, with her first scrap with danger what would happen if you were not prepared.

She was leaving Brisbane in the days before it had become the Gated City and was heading south for the Coast. Despite her urgency to leave, knowing it was a matter of time before someone from the Government knew she had been there and came searching for her on the open road, she had pulled over for a hitch hiker. She was a young girl, not much younger than herself, with untidy auburn hair and a sunburnt face. Ten kilometres down the road the hitchhiker had pulled a knife on her. In the ensuing struggled the four wheel drive had veered sharply off the road, through the guard rails and down into a culvert before ploughing into the embankment on the other side. Her first instinct at the sight of the knife had been to fight back. It had surprised her as everything until that point in time in her life, had been passive aggressive. But what had surprised her more was the lack of remorse she felt walking away from the body of the young girl in the long grass, her head twisted at an unnatural angle. A huge blood spattered hole in the windscreen on the passenger side gave away the fact that someone else had been in the car.

Brigit’s shoulder ached. Broken in the accident it had been set late by a healer with a little knowledge of bones and never healed properly. Years of yoga, of stretching and building up the muscle had never compensated for the break in judgement that day.The similarities between the hitchhiker and Adam struck her like a blow to the stomach. He was another break with her better judgement, after all these years of being so damn careful.

She had made peace with the fact that circumstances may call for her to detonate the explosives before she herself could leave the building. It had taken a month or more to come to a space within herself where she could unequivocally say she was ready to die. In all the exploration of the possible problems with this assignment had not she seen Adam, or anything like Adam. So firm was her belief in the Sisterhood and their city cousins in the Underground that she didn’t factor in betrayal. Not simply his betrayal of her, but her betrayal of those pinning their hopes on the success of this assignment, betrayal by the weakness of her own flesh.

Disregarding the orders given to her by the guards, she got up off the chair worked her body back through the loop made by her bound arms, until her arms were again in front of her, and her shoulders in a more comfortable position. Doing this engaged her mind and kept her from falling victim to the apathy and desire to just give in that was threatening to overwhelm her. Instead she tapped into the rawness of the anger that was building within her.

She placed her hands on the table and studied the handcuffs. She had never seen a pair of handcuffs, let alone worn a pair. She pushed them back down her arms towards her wrist until they hung like a sloppy masochist’s jewellery. Sliding her wrists out she held them in her hands and wondered what sort of guards cuffed someone’s forearms?

Before she could ponder further, the door slid open and Adam walked in alone.

“You bastard,” she swore, hurling herself towards him, her wrists still loosely cuffs.
“Sit down,” he commanded curtly, pushing her back into the seat she had just launched herself out of. “Have you moved since they put you in here?”
“What’s it to you – traitor!” she spat.
“I’m not a traitor – this was the only way to get us both inside here.”
“I don’t understand.”
“There’s not time to explain now,” concluded Adam, taking the cuffs off Brigit quickly. “Get out the way.”

Brigit jumped to her feet as Adam pushed the table across the room, knocking over the chair that she’d just been sitting on. He climbed onto it and reached up to what looked to be a barely detectable manhole in the roof.
“What about the Genesis Network?” Brigit asked, looking up at Adam fumbling with what looked to be an old fashioned allen key.

Adam squatted down to look her directly in the eye.
“I am the Genesis Network,” he stated bluntly. “There are no others. Just me. Now tell me – how long before you moved when you were in here.”
“I don’t know – five minutes, ten minutes. I can’t really tell. Aren’t there Genesis people here?”
“No – just a couple of sympathisers, but they can only help out in minute ways, like with those cuffs. There will be more time later to explain everything, I promise Brigit.”

He stood again and began working on opening the manhole with key.
“And the bomb – the explosives. Where are they?”
The manhole unlocked and Adam slid it to one side.
“We’re going up.”

She watched him pull himself up into the manhole and then offer a hand to help her up too. Ignoring the hand and the pain in her shoulder, she deftly got up into the airconditioning ducts. Adam pulled from his pocket a tiny disc in a plastic protective cover.

“This is the bomb. Binary Override Mechanism.”
“And the second ‘b’?”
“This is the second version of it.”
“Of course!”
“We need to make it through to the central computing junction and insert this in the operating system.”
“It’s that easy?”
Adam raised his eyebrows at her.
“It’s that easy to topple Mother?”

“I wish it was Brigit – this will give us 24 hours grace. It will act like a virus in the system, to disrupt the functioning of the chips. We then have to gather up the 11 people that I have earmarked for the Genesis Network, and get out of the Gated City before we’re discovered.”
“What if they don’t want to go?”
“We’ll have to use the best of our persuasion to get them out of here. We’re wasting time, let’s go,” he urged and began crawling quickly down the duct.

Interstate Love Song

This Week’s Theme: Tell the story of a physical scar a characater has.

For those of you wishing to know the story to date (including the long promised ending to the first two installments) see above post.

Leavin on a southern train
Only yesterday you lied,
Promises of what I seemed to be
Only watched the time go by,
All of these things you said to me.

‘Interstate Love Song’
Stone Temple Pilots

Adam sat uncomfortably in the passenger seat. He found stretching each leg slowly and then shifting his weight in the tattered seat alleviated the worst of his physical discomfort. He tried not to look directly out the mottled windscreen. The road now stretched out in an unnerving foreverness in front of them. This was the first time he had seen what was really beyond the Gated City.

Looking out the window, what lay to either side of the damaged road was vast and inhospitable. He still felt confused and confronted by it all – not just the desolation but the destruction. The gentle tangerine blush on the horizon had turned the inky darkness dirty, and he’d seen it all for the first time a few hours earlier. Brigit had explained it all to him simply, as the dawn passed and heat of the early morning warmed up the cab of the four wheel drive.

Mother had lured all those living in the country to the city with propaganda. The entire rural population had arrived in the metropolises over the space of a few years, willing to assist in the construction effort to secure borders of the newly formed Economic Federal of Australia. The efforts were in return for an implant – the chip that promised to stop the aging process. After the Cleansing there was no need for what was left out in the country. Less than ten percent of the entire population was left, yet Mother had called out the Airforce and they had bombed the countryside into nothingness.

He had never been in a car until now, much less driven one, which left him stuck as passenger for the entire trip. Brigit kept the music going continuously on the stereo so there was nothing to do but look out the window. He glanced over at her, clenching the wheel between her long fingers. The blood on the makeshift bandage around her upper arm was drying and turning the same colour as the parched ground outside. The wound troubled him. Not just the fact that she had taken the hit for him, but the scar that he had found on the inside of her arm as he had bandaged it.

When the sun was high in the sky Brigit finally slowed as they approached a tiny town. She turned off the main highway and into a side street, pulling up alongside a children’s part.

“Breakfast stop,” she stated, pulling on the handbrake with her good arm.

The dry Rice Bubbles did little to quell the aching in his stomach but he dared not ask if there was more. This was no land of milk and honey. He had left that far behind him.

“How’s you’re arm?” he asked, looking down at the fading graffiti on the picnic table.
“It’ll be fine. I’ve got some antibiotics in the back and some herbs as well. Just another scar really – it just hasn’t pretended to heal yet.”

Adam picked at the flaking green paint, trying to decide if he should ask her about the scar.
“What’s on your mind Adam?” Brigit asked, as she took the small billy off the butane cooker. “There can’t be anything kept between us now. It’s just the two of us out here. I need to know that I can trust you.”
“Because I’m brooding you can assume I’m suspicious. Shit you’ve got a hide
Brigit,” he stormed, the morning’s anxiety erupting into anger. “I was thinking about the scar on the inside of your arm.”
“Would it have made any difference if you had have known before hand?”

He stood and walked away, wondering if it really would have made a difference if he had known the myth of Eve was flawed. As he walked, further and further from where Brigit stood staring after him, the lyrics of a song from the car trip came back to him.

Too much walkin', shoes worn thin
too much trippin' and my soul's worn thin
time to catch a ride
it leaves today, her name is what it means
to much walkin', shoe's worn thin

Somewhere in this, the myth of Eve and the reality of Brigit collided. It was bigger than a name, bigger than legend. Only the here and now mattered. If Brigit had gone to the Gated City with the others from the country and if she had once had an implant, that was her personal story, it was none of his business. Brigit was not the Eve - no woman could be. He turned and walked back.

“You saw the scar on my arm when you patched me up last night, didn’t you?” she said quietly, as he sat back down opposite her.
“It’s your business.”
“It’s yours too now.”
“How did you get it?” he finally asked, when she failed to disclose anything else.

“I rebelled like all teenagers did. Fed up with being holed up in the hills, I left and went to Brisbane – in the days before it became the Gated City. I couldn’t believe that it was all really that bad – even if my own mother had died because of it. I was rash and immature. So I showed up with a false ID that I had procured on the trip there, signed in for an implant and a Government job.”

“It never really worked on me though. My cycles somehow continued and my dreams remained vividly prophetic. The only thing was the numbing of my thoughts and action during the day. I felt my uniqueness ebb away and I started to conform, stopped questioning, but I only knew it happening at a deeper intuitive level.”

“I woke up one night at bathroom mirror with a bloodied razorblade in one hand and the chip implant in my other. I had cut it out in my sleep. For two weeks I kept up the charade of going to work as I hacked into areas of the information system I wasn’t meant to go. Then I left.”

Overhead a cockatoo squawked shrilling and flew overhead. Brigit took a long drink of the cooled tea and stared at Adam who was again picking the paint off the table.

“A myth creates itself, takes on a life of its own Adam. I make the best of what life has thrown up. Myths keep my heart from breaking in the middle of the night too."

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Year of the Rat

Happy New Year ...

Yes - I know that I am a little late to be declaring a new year. Last Thursday was the Chinese New Year (second new moon after the Nth Hemisphere Winter Solstice) and the beginning of the 12 year Chinese astrological cycle. It was also a solar eclipse.

Stupidly I was awaiting something HUGE to happen on Thursday - then on Friday and Saturday as the eclipse energy hung around. But there was nothing. Big anticlimax- or was it?

I spent the five weeks between the calendar New Year and the Chinese New Year getting 'my house in order' so to speak. I pulled down my office space, cleansed it all on planes and then bit by bit went about re-building it into a creative space. The curtains are still to be hemmed and hung, and my Goddess calendar is awaiting a new nail in the wall - but it feels much more like a creative space. I can't wait to add the final embellishment, the flashing purple lights from IKEA - bought months ago but were obviously waiting for some renovating to happen first! This is really an area that I feel I can create in now.

There was also the family flare up that made me re-evaluate who I am, where I fit into my family picture, who I want to be, what I want to aspire to and what is my Truth. I feel more in touch with me now - and I believe, as foretold my Truth, like a sword as been put through the forge, hardened and ready to go to work.

Then there's the magazine. I pulled together the last magazine, with all manner of hitches and glitches along the way (thank you Dan for sharing last minute artwork to fill spaces that appeared at the last moment!) but on Wednesday night the final copy was printed off, sitting on my desk awaiting hand over. I even managed to work out to coax my burner into working and have been in the process of burning off all the files for a complete transfer (and for a thorough deleting of all the files from my computer) It was the end of an era for me - I've been working on the magazine for three years, and have been at the editorial helm for two and a half of those years. I'm viewing the letting go of the magazine as a composting process. I need to share the skills and short cuts, my network and ideas with the new magazine team, and rather than feeling suffocated by this responsiblity, I'm viewing it as a gracious decaying process - whereby I transfer all my fertile ideas onto the next crew so the magazine can continue to blossom in their guardianship. I can live with that.

And then Thursday - there was the first day of kindy. After months of worry (on my part - not Dylan's!) it was an easy good bye - not tears, no tantrums just a simple 'bye Mum' and my heart tore asunder! Did I want tears and tantrums? On one level yes, but on the practical level no! And feeling strangely free and light I got in the car and came home - put on my Max Sharam CD which would not have been listened to in years (I doubt in the five and a half years that Dave and I have been together). The house seemed empty and full at the same time.

I also finally feel like I am up to the energy and insight of blogging after a hiatus of two or more weeks. I decided that creating limits like 'I must blog every day' weren't going to serve my needs. A holiday is always welcomed and after what was a really intense month of January, was glad not to be up at the computer late at night ... instead enjoying being horizontal.

So Thursday, the New Year and the solar eclipse did herald major events, ends and beginnings - it was just that they were part of an ongoing process, endings and beginnings I had been planning for a long time. Because they didn't come out of the blue and suprise me - shouldn't not detract from their value. And perhaps I should be incredibly grateful for this. I think it means that I am getting my act together, knowing the path that I should be on, the one that makes me happy - and walking it. I know this is going to be a big year and I feel that I am ready for it. Bring it on ....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fiction Friday: Valentines Tails

This Week’s Theme: Flip a coin. Heads, and your characters hates Valentines Day, Tails, and they love it. Now come up with the reason your character feels the way they do.

“Yeah it is too gross. And besides you’re too old Mum to so love Valentines Day.”
“I’d watch your mouth Makayla!” snapped Makayla’s Mum, good humouredly trying to emulate the raising of the right eyebrow. “And remind me why you’re not going anywhere tonight?’
“Oh please! I told you, its all just rubbish. Why aren’t you calling this one a Hallmark Holiday like all the rest?”
“Because this one is meaningful Miss Mac.”

“Yeah – whatever,” Makyla tossed off and slid from the stool at the kitchen bench and opened up the fridge door, staring aimlessly inside.
“I’ve asked you to decide what you want before you open the door Makayla. The power bill?”
“Yeah whatever,” repeated Makayla grabbing a tub of yoghurt from the second shelf. “Anyway – tell me then, why Valentines Day is so meaningful.”

She pulled the top off the yoghurt and dug into the contents hungrily awaiting her mother’s answer.

“I won your Dad in a lottery on Valentines day.”

“You what!” exclaimed Makayla, half choking and half spitting her mouthful of yoghurt all over the kitchen bench.
“What’s going on here?”
“Mum’s just telling me how she won Dad in a lotto on Valentines Day Aiden,” Makayla informed her younger brother, wiping the yoghurt from her chin, thankful that it wasn’t another ‘lemonade out of the nose job’. “And can you leave those stinky soccer boots downstairs like Mum told you last week.”

“Yeah whatever,” Aiden tossed off, having picked up his older sister annoying teenragerism.
“Please, can we please not use ‘yeah whatever’ and attempt to exercise the ample vocabularies that I know you both have.”
“Yeah whatever,” they replied in unison.

Ignoring both, their Mum returned to putting the groceries away in the walk in pantry.
“So did you win Dad in a chook raffle?” asked Aiden, innocently enough, eyeing his sister’s yoghurt hungrily.
“No I did not win you Dad in a chook raffle Aiden, it wasn’t like that.”
“Well what was it like then Mum?” queried Aiden, climbing onto the stool beside his sister, dropping his sweaty soccer boots below.

“All this stuff about Valentines isn’t about some guy or Saint called Valentine – or foofy satin and lace cards. It has its roots in a Roman festival honouring Lupercus, the God of fertility. A young man would in Roman times, would run through the street whipping women with a very light leather whip.”
“Sounds kinda kinky Mum,” commented Makayla cheekily with a raised eye brow.
“It wasn’t anything like that Miss Mak and I will pretend that I didn’t hear that come out of your mouth.

“The women would gather in the streets to be whipped. They believed it would make them fertile and help them to have an easy birth. The following day, to honour Juno Februata, men and women would gather and they would place their names in a lotto and whoever they drew would be their lovers for a day or longer depending on how things panned out. This was in the days before the Christian Church ended all the fun and created the abstaining St Valentine.”

“I’m lost Mum,” interrupted Aiden, still eyeing his sister’s yoghurt.
“You would be dip shit,” snarked Makayla, eating another mouthful of yoghurt with dramatic aplomb, well aware that Aiden had been watching her eat.
“I’m not a dip shit Mak,” argued back Aiden, threatening to blow his auburn top.

“Enough!” yelled their Mum, loud enough that both of them sat back down in their seats and stared at her.
“This is ancient history Mum – what’s it got to do with you and Dad?” asked Makayla, her interest waning at the thought she was being subjected to an impromptu history lesson.

Going to the fridge their Mum took out yoghurt and then got Aiden a spoon, before any potential incidents blew up.

“When I was at uni, I went to a party with a guy I was really keen on, called Bert.”
“Bert,” spat out Makayla, threatening another yoghurt incident.
“His real name was Antony, but he was into minimalism so everyone called him Bert. Don’t ask! Anyway – we went to this Juno Februata party together. The idea was everyone put their car keys in a big bowl and the girls drew a partner for the night, by picking a set of keys. I was meant to pick Bert’s keys.”

“And …”
“Well it turned out that your Dad also had a Datson 180B, with a VB key ring - just like Bert. I pulled out the keys but they were actually your Dad’s. I was devastated.”
“And Bert?”
“Some Blonde Arts student drew his keys the turn after me and off they went, without a backwards glance.”

“But I thought you said that you’d organised to get Bert’s keys and go with him.”
“Well so I thought,” their Mum answered, bending down to put two cans of cat food in the bottom of the pantry. “I think I dug him more than he dug me.”
“And Dad?” asked Aiden, his attention now equalling that to his devotion to his latest PlayStation game.

“Well he felt sorry for me and offered to take me out for a burger at Fast Eddies in the City. It turned out his flatmate, a wild chick by the name of Crazy Lucy wanted to go but couldn’t go unless she bought a bloke, so he felt sorry and lonely, and went with her. And that’s how I met your Dad.”

“I’m guessing that you didn’t tell them how I also offered you a jacket from my car because you were wearing that leather thing,” Aiden heard his Dad say later that evening as he was getting ready to go out to dinner, “or how sexy you looked in it.”
“What do you mean looked,” he heard his mother say saucily, laughing lightly.

Aiden glanced over to where his sister was sitting.
“Yeah whatever!” they chirped pretending that they hadn’t heard a thing, nor admit that they had ever poked into the back of their parent’s wardrobe.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Secret Life of School Girls

This Week’s Theme: [Fiction] Friday Challenge for February 1, 2008:
Your character was lost in her own thoughts. When she snaps back to reality, she realizes she was singing out loud. Unfortunately, she wasn’t somewhere private. How embarrassing… Take it from there. Prompt provided by Jeff.

9:05am Maths
Dear Mish,
Please tell me that I am dreaming? It’s not really Monday morning Maths with Mr Matthews. Was it you that told me that he threw a duster and a bin at a kid at St Pat’s. Shit! He just thumped the ruler down on someone’s desk. Had better pretend to do some work.

:o) Heidi

9:54am Maths still
All done and I’ve even written my homework in my diary.

Anything interesting happen on the way to school this morning? Had my bag stepped on – think my lunch is squashed again. Bus soooooo packed. Think I should start walking to the city stop again.

:) Heidi

10:30am English
Dear Heidi,
Yup – I told ya about Matthews. Some guys I know had him a few years ago and he threw a bin across the room because some dude was talking. Freaky huh? Lucky he only uses the ruler here.

I just had typing – got the carbon thingie round the wrong way and typed my exercises onto the front and back of the paper. Remind me why I thought it would be a good idea to do typing? And it wasn’t coz I almost set the home ec room on fire last year.

I’m bored …. I hate Picnic at Hanging Rock. I’m BORED … We’re supposed to be acting out a few pages from it and Mel wants to do the bit where Miranda goes missing so we can all get freaky. Wish you were in my class. But you got brains huh?

Nothing interesting – but someone said they saw Adam down the street on the weekend. Get this – he was wearing a denim jacket with a furry collar. That’s so last winter. Must have escaped from the boarding house.

What movie do you want to see this weekend? Do you reckon we could sneak in to see Top Gun?

Xxx Mish Xxxx

11:57am Social Education
The word is HYSTERICAL – not freaky! That’s reserved for Michael Jackson.

I told you that my lunch was squashed again. Going to have to ditch the cheese and go back to the chocolate sprinkles if this keeps up – can handle them mashed into the bread – but cheese???

Didn’t make it down to the common room for morning tea – had to go the library and get books for an assignment. Got choir at lunch time so won’t have a chance to see you all day. Had to get the books so I can start my research tonight. You should come and join the choir – even if you sing off key.

Is it really true that Adam had a sheep skin lined denim jacket on? Maybe he’s a Kiwi? I don’t think that I like him anymore. Never going to see him if he’s locked up in the boarding house.

Dad said he’d take us to see Top Gun if you want to come. It was so much fun seeing Girls Just Want to Have Fun on the weekend – even if you did eat all the pop corn and wouldn’t share the Coke.

We’re going to watch the caribou movie next week – the one where they reckon they drink their blood. ARGH!! Could you imagine drinking blood. Still Mum eats black pudding and that’s meant to be congealed pigs blood. Vomit!!

Love and kisses
:) Heidi

12:12pm R.E.
Remember last year when we made the poster about the Pope coming to Australia?

I’ve got cheese and alfalfa sandwiches on white – and NO! I am not in love. I just felt like cheese and alfalfa this morning. You should eat something better for lunch. Chocolate ant sandwiches ARE good though and I guess they’re not really fattening if you put it one wholemeal. Mum wont buy them any more because the other kids want them in their lunch too.

Choir – no way. Choir is not cool. You should stop going right now. You’ll never get a boyfriend if you sing in the choir. And if you always wear short socks!

Let’s get your Dad to take us to see Top Gun. What’s he got playing in his car at the moment?

Xxxx Mish Xxxxx

1:30am English
Ground open up and swallow me whole. OH MY GOD!! I’m sooooooooooooo embarrassed.

Get this – I’m standing there in the music room and Sr Morph is banging on about harmonies etc and I’m imaging that I’m Helen Hunt (because I think she’s cooler even if she’s got a smaller part) – blonde rebel and all of that.

Next thing Morph’s in my face yelling at me – spit flying everywhere, ugly yellow teeth and the smell of moth balls making it hard to breathe. And I’ve been singing Day-O outloud, just like in the movie and she thinks that I’m being a smart arse – but of course she can’t say that because she’s a Sister and all of that. So she says that I’m purposely disrupting the choir session and sends me down to see Mrs Leishman, but she’s busy doing her nut at someone else, in her office and the bell rings and I decide to go to class instead. All I can think of is at least I wear the right socks – I’m the only student in the whole school who wears the regulation short socks.

Shit – shit shit shit!! Did I do the right thing?? I’ve never been sent to Mrs Leishman. Do you think that I should go see Morph and remember to call her Sr Mary Murphy – but then again she probably doesn’t know about the little clay man dude on TV – or do they let the nuns watch TV? And if they do what do they watch? Anyway – should I go and see her and apologise? It really was an accident. I think I make a really pathetic Helen Hunt.

Petrified …
:( Heidi

PS: Dad’s playing a tape with John Cougar Mellencamp on one side and Bruce Springsteen on the other side. I think he lost the one with Hugey Lewis and the News.

2:48pm Maths
You are bent! I used to think that ya were straight – but ya bent girl.

I don’t know what nuns watch? Ya reckon Morph and her mates sit around getting hot and bothered about Don Johnson down in the convent? Don’t think so. You’ve been down there – ever seen a TV?

As far as I’ve ever seen – Jesus only gets around looking like he’s skipped out in his O Week toga – never seen him in one of those hot white suits and pink shirt – and not the sunnies.

Does this mean I have to confess? How many Hail Mary’s will I need to say?
Love and kisses
Xxxx Mish Xxxx

3:15pm R.E.
You’re going to hell Mish – so wouldn’t worry too much about confessing. And its OK – I’ll be going too – Morph will have reported me to St Peter.

Sure they’ll be having a better party down there anyway … besides I don’t think I really believe in God and the Devil and all of that. And I think Don Johnson and Johnny Depp will be going to Hell too – if its exists. Do you think I should put my hand up and ask if Jesus is a Virgin – seeings I’m already in the shit today? I’ve always wanted to. Maybe today’s the day …..

:) Mish

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