Thursday, July 27, 2006

Photo Friday

It's time for a challenge fellow blobbers oops bloggers. The
Photo Friday challenge. The theme for this week is 'common' . Who's up for the challenge?

The One Book Meme

OK I've been tagged. Though I feel my responses will seem a little naf in comparison to Byron and co....

1. One Book that changed your life

The History of Sexuality- Michel Foucoult ( mainly because It assisted me in understanding discourse for the first time ) that and Borderline by Pater Mares that I used as a resource for refugee forums that I was running oh and You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Darcy. Oh no the whole exercise was about ONE book, oh well...

2. One book you've read more than once

Women Who Run With the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

3. One book you would want on a desert island.

Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy

4. One book that made you laugh

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

5. One book that made you cry

Would you believe the only book I actually cried reading was The Power of One (Bryce Courtney) that I read when I was 15 - and that was when they killed his chicken?

6. One book you wish had never been written

I don't know what it's called but I found a very right-winged American book at the back of my church once about George Bush's spiritual life/leadership. I secretly hid it - but it's been burnt with the rest of the poor church now anyway.

7. One book you wish had been written

An Australian Indigenous Persons's guide to colonisation - 1787

8. One book you are currently reading

A Trial Separation: Australia and the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea- Donald Denoon

9. One book you've been meaning to read

Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Paulo Friere

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

God, Women, Church.

"God is a misogynist. When you really spend time and look at things God said, if you have a brain on you, you've got to raise an eyebrow and say this God is a macho pig. I mean, if Sylvester Stallone said this stuff we'd be giving him a very hard time and he has said some of this stuff and we have given him a hard time -- he deserved it. But the point is the Christian god hasn't honored women. Sorry, the cat's out of the bag and it's just not cool so it's something we have to address..."
-Tori Amos
Painting - Willem De Kooning -Woman l
I have a heap of friends that have left church citing similar reasons. And It's hard to know what to say. I know God isn't a macho Pig. But sometimes I feel uneasy bordering on embarrassed about the way women are portrayed/spoken of in The Bible. Perhaps I feel even more embarrassed about how they are treated in the church today. I don't think of Jesus as a particularly macho sports loving, rugby jersey wearing man- though he was a carpenter so he may well have been on the macho side (in my mind John the Baptist was the macho one) . I don't often think of his maleness, neither do I think of God as male. Yet it just feels weird and somehow sacrilegious to say 'She' instead of 'He'. But if the trinity is gendered that does alienate me somewhat.
In another quote of Tori Amos that I have not included she states that she is frustrated that Jesus never married and that to her it seems that if he married he would have no longer been perfect, in her words "he would have been tarnished by a woman". Yet Jesus made it clear that women were/are important to his ministry.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yikes Nukes

I love the way politics works (note a strong tone of sarcasm). When climate change is finally put on the agenda it is suddenly synonymous with nuclear power and the need to export Australia's large uranium deposits to countries with great track records of human rights advocacy like China and India. (note Downers' comments re the new export policy of uranium to China "they (China) will be held accountable". Mmmmm China, accountable?

The answer to climate change is not nuclear energy (no matter how many times I hear how safe it is now- methinks the lady protests too much perhaps?) neither is the answer as simple as buying energy efficient light bulbs and white goods. The answer is hard to stomach for many but exciting and hopeful for others. It is radical and a huge societal shift. I think that when people realize that they may have to step out of a positivist epoch and come to terms with the fact that technology 'ain't goona save you' they may be ready to face the New Order. What is this New Order? Well take a look at Ted Trainer . It is about a society not fiscally driven, about simplifying, about the rejection of an affluent/consumer lifestyle on the grounds that such a lifestyle is immoral/ unethical on a global scale. It is also about being fulfilled by living more simply. About finding satisfaction in growing one's own food and being part of a community.
Check these out...

Christian Ecology Link
Friends of The Earth

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The days are long

Many a thing is not spoken regarding what it is to be a mother. Perhaps the negative is too scary a thing to embrace or uncover. I felt many things those first five months and perhaps the most overwhelming was the sheer sparse loneliness. In my diary in those early days I described that loneliness… “ it first creeps; then it lingers. It is not an absence- if only it was! No, it has a presence. An incumbent fat-arsed presence. it has moved in and will stay so far as the days are long.”

What pulled me out of this loneliness? My garden. Oscar ate dirt and I put my hands in earth and hoped to grow things that we could eat. I gardened by day and by night dreamed of gardens. It was a beautiful existence. When you have a garden things fade into that little niche under your armpit that I call Unimportant. The days weren’t long enough. When my garden started to take flight I felt the most serene contentment I have ever felt. I also felt the closest to the Great Gardener that I have ever felt. I was reliant on Him in a way that I never have before- I asked for contentment and He gave me a garden.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ok some time to indulge me in a little Oscar showing off!

Mrs Booker and the Tea Ladies

"The country he had broken out of was all unknown to them. Even in full sunlight it was impenetrably dark"

I am in a brilliant book club with some wonderful ladies (I love the word ladies and think it should be used a tad more...) We call ourselves Mrs Booker and the Tea Ladies and we read a wide variety of books. The talk is complex, the food finger-like and the tea always tasty!

Remembering Babylon is the latest book we will be discussing. I have just finished it and was very taken with its themes and beautiful evocations of this strange country we live and what it can and does bring out in our humanity (or lack of it).

It reminds me of one of my favorite movie - Dogville. and also reminds me of some of the themes in The House of Sand and Fog.


So after reading Byron's post and the subsequent comments I was inspired to think about a couple of things...

Mainly I was inspired to think about jobs/work etc in light of whether it is futile in the scheme of everything. So I have a middle-class degree or two and a middle-class job- am I simply a product of modern day middle class theology whereby I get to keep the job and the God too? More pressing a question regards my role as an activist. Is this futile? Should I just stop protesting and hand out bibles at rallies instead?

No, I believe that taking a stand about matters regarding the environment and social justice hold more intrinsic value than simply as a means of stewardship.

I approached a church minister once about a church assisting some refugee friends of mine in a detention centre, his response was "Aren't they mostly Muslim? I don't hear much of the Muslim church helping them out? Maybe we could just help the Christian refugees?"

What I dislike most about Christianity is 'christian' culture. A push towards middle-class jobs and middle class values. Basically equating to mediocrity. Reminding me of a quote I heard by one of my indigenous lecturers " John Howard does not inspire in us the extraordinary but rather encourages us to be comfortable in our ordinariness." But Jesus was radical. Said radical things, did radical things - he was both outside and inside politics often positing views that could be aligned with communism and anarchy... What we often have today is a far cry from the Christianity Jesus spoke of. The Hillsongs that appeal to modern youth culture, the Anglicans that appeal to conservative educated culture, the Catholics that appeal to traditional culture, the cafe/home churches that appeal to alternative culture... Is it possible to sit outside these cultures? I wonder if we could, if we would find the radical Christianity that Jesus lived?

Check these out as these two radical chriatian organisations.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'll be reading this!

Characterising the trickle-down economics of the Reagan-Bush era as advocating feeding the horse more oats because some would pass through to the road for the sparrows.
-JK Galbrath
I used this quote in a recent paper I wrote on Australia's International Aid policy with a focus on PNG. Trickle down economics doesn't work. never has. never will. It is almost lnfantile that such an ideology forms the basis of many of the Liberal party politics.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

the movies and the moon. sublime.

My first evening to myself. No baby. No husband. No driver. Just me and the unfathomable edible full moon that surfaced. I drove listening to Iron and Wine and Calexico. the music of adventures. and the moon the moon the moon.
It was a strange and surreal experience walking the streets of a suburb I used to know so well. No pram. no baby on hip. felt like an important piece of my body had been left behind. The movie and company were spectacular, but it was perhaps the moon and the night walk that made it all worth while.
If I ever had an edginess I've sadly lost it. I had to ask if it was safe to walk back to my car! Me, who used to walk those same streets all night in an insomniac haze, scarred of nothing but my dark self that refused to rest.

Walking I whiffed the detergenty smell of share-houses washing up, heard music escaping through crevices, and
saw lights dimming. and I could nearly live there again, be that caffeine fuelled frantic again but then there's the moon the moon the moon. and i'm reminded of my insignificance but reminded of His significance. and all there is is the moon and the possibilities and the drive home.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Inspiration # 1

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has his foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Birth of my Blue-Earth Brown- Sky Blog

The Blog baby is here! My second significant birth. What shall become? Let us see Let us see...

Let me introduce Oscar Patrick Neary McClean as he has decided to jump on the journey of life with me and therefore will feature a mention or two...