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Archive for April, 2009

calling

While musing on ‘calling’ consider Gothgirl.

She started drawing like most kids when she was a toddler. She hasn’t stopped. She sits in the lounge room (drawing room?) and draws. Just as she has all her life.

It’s not that she decided to draw, drawing decided her. Yes, it’s all that cliched and more.

She’s thirteen, and becoming a manga kinda kid. gothgirls-goth

Neither Husband nor I can draw like this.

I remember the day when Gothgirl started drawing better than me. Husband came home from work and admired a drawing. “Nice drawing, JodieOdie.”

No. Gothgirl had drawn it.

She was three.

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summer school

What do we make of ‘vocation’ or ‘calling’?

Goldenboy has been sick this week, so we’ve been screening the Lord of the Rings. These fantasy heroes have their ‘path’ and if they lose their way, they get dream visitations from spunky, kissy elves to remind them of their destiny.

I have had a sense of destiny three times in my life.

When I first met husband, within a couple of weeks, I knew that however long we travelled together, I would have more to learn from him.

When I finished my degree. I ran away from Canberra and stayed in Newtown Sydney for a few months. Being a wee fish in a big pond. And it felt like I was walking with the Angel. (I don’t know how that figures in a non believer’s life, but there it is. Angels aren’t accountable to me.)

In January this year, I had my feet on the path again. At music summer school. No Angel, or Elf. Not even time then to reflect on the experience – to think ‘oh look, it’s that destiny thing again’. Just total immersion in music and teaching skill development. Summer School workload is masochistic – it’s not pleasant. It is exhilarating. Like climbing a mountain.

And humbling – to stumble across Kodaly and realise for all my decades of musical pursuits, I am illiterate.

My ‘path’ leads up a mountain each summer.  I can see it through my window. Waiting. Always. And knowing it’s there has become part of how I live my life.

I don’t know if other attendees feel this way. It’s an extreme and foolish reaction.

The next bit is hard…Summer School is part of a university and even universities change. There has been a staffing change and summer school may be no more, or may be offered in some altered form.

But I don’t know. I wont know for months. I can’t see my mountain. I don’t know if it’s there.

How am I going to follow my path if it disapears. Dream elf? Help?

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A haphazard, intermittent apprenticeship has been going on in this house over the holidays. Goldenboy has officially crossed the line between game player and game maker. Thanks partly to MIT Scratch – open source game making language designed for children, and partly to excellent tutelage from a proud father.

This introduction to coding has included keeping coders hours – last night father and son were coding side by side into the night. Game making.

And I’m ashamed to admit – It took some effort not to chase atleast the younger one off to bed. I had to have a stern talk with myself about what an extraordinary educational experience this was, how it was a weekend night anyway, I really needed to get the whole thing into perspective and appreciate the beauty of this and on and on. Thankfully the stern talk worked, and I kept bedtime nagging to myself.

Their shared joy  adds to the quiet hope for the 21st century. Maybe we can alleviate the alienation Marx complained about. (If I can recall any information from those beery/dopey undergrad hazy days)  alienation comes from taking away the whole process of making from an artisan. Which certainly makes products appear more quickly, but workers are alienated from the full process.

I think Clay Shirkey’s book Here Comes Everybody will help me understand what the 21st century is unfolding before us. I’ll let you know.

And Douglas Adams wrote beautifully on the theme of 20th century passivity versus 21st century interactivity. I wish he could see how his Restoration is going now. Doug if they have the internet where you are, and for some unlikely reason you’re reading my blog – good one! It’s all happening here.

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Sunday Reflection

Let it go, let it out, let it all unravel
Let it free and it can be
A path on which to travel

Michael Leunig

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my imaginary friend

It’s funny being a brand new blogger, and having a rather tiny readership (Hi Mum, Hi Hubby).

The chatty familiar writing about minutiae to no one in particular is like sharing life with an imaginary friend.

I didn’t have one, but I did often act out that I was on an imaginary talent show. As a youngun walking home from school I would sing, dance a little, maybe recite poems. When I passed someone – there would be a zone of about ten steps either direction of them, where silence was necessary. I didn’t want people to know and think I was weird.

Despite my precautions, surely people heard me. If anything, they  probably thought a child singing to themselves was sweet and innocuous enough.

Times change.  Now,  sometimes  driving alone, I imagine being interviewed by a documentary crew.  I chat about the minutiae of my life. It’s calming, sometimes clarifying and often rather lovely that someone cares enough to make a documentary. even an imaginary one. And I don’t have to worry about stopping for passers by.

In real life neither a talent show nor a documentary crew has manifest.

But the tubes are a way to take my imaginary world into the real world.  I can document my own life. cool. What’s more I can metadocument, document about documenting.

Hello World. There’s magic in you yet.

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Status Oriented

A time ago, I flirted with a sensible career in marketing. Of course I was drunk, it was sordid, and I slunk off at dawn sorer and wiser. I don’t know if the other party even remembers – hope not!

I retain a few memories. Vals2 Typology divides people up into useful categories, to best extract money from them. The best people for money extraction are the STATUS ORIENTED. Their compulsion to oneupsmanship means they are suckers for a high price tag, exclusive looking packaging and a hoighty toighty brand name.

Yes and it’s all very well to snigger at their folly while you put $1.73 of x into their fancy packaging and sell it to them for $63.95.  And feel clever because of the profit you extract.

Except now, every morning I wake up to the radio, and it’s gloom. We’re going down the gurgler it seems.  I guess all those $62.22 of nothing start to add up after a while.

Turns out life isn’t a computer game, where profit is the score. Oopsies.

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struth ruth

struth means to express surprise. Ruth is there cause she rhymes and isn’t it important to weave some poetry into one’s life?

I am surprised that in the years since I was last a confident computer user, things have been going on in my absence. Crumbs internet, just wait up there a minute.

Sorry that the site is all a bit generic at the moment. Still it’s a pretty bridge isn’t it? Even if it all it points to is my floundering with computers.

Please bear with me while I push back the envelope.

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