Category Archives: Meditation

A Different View


On Tuesday I took my brother to hospital on one side of town for a scan, then to the coast to the real deal healer,  who is also a masseuse with the hands of a Goddess.

While he was being massaged, I was at a loss of what to do. I didn’t need a coffee, I couldn’t face the hoards of caravans lining the beach where I had hoped to read my book. Then I found my way to Heronswood on the hill of Dromana, where the air smelled of Frankincense and the spirit of my father called from the hill. My father loved Heronswood so much, as do I, and it isn’t just the view. (See above)

It’s part mediterranean and part gothic horror. I can imagine Flora and Miles from The Turn of The Screw hiding in the garden, or Mrs DeWinter looking out over the sea wondering what really happened to Rebecca.

It was an odd feeling of enjoying myself in the midst of a battle. Finding an oasis in a desert, or a chair in shopping centre sale. The air was thick with humidity, butterflies lazily circled Californian poppy trees and the sea in the distance, sparkled with promise.

There is a sense of peace in a garden that can’t be replicated. Nature knows what it’s doing, so why do we curse it when it does it job? Everything grows, reseeds then dies. Rinse, repeat. We rail against the unfairness of nature. Nature, like the weather, keeps us human, and our hubris in check.

Now my brother is back in hospital for Round Two of chemotherapy. He knows what he needs this time, and Dave and I, as his trusty sidekicks,  took in all the food he wanted, a small bar fridge, his own bedding, wearing a new hoodie that I bought him, and sporting a amazing attitude.

He is one of those gorgeous people who the nurses and doctors love to treat. He is funny, open, brave and never once projects his anger at his cancer at the staff, as many are wont to do.

His doctor told me he is his sickest yet easiest patient. Yesterday he said it was a ‘miracle’ he survived with the cancer for as long as he did. He took a chance to leave hospital the day he was diagnosed to try and see my father before he died. It nearly killed him yet he did it because he loved Dad so much. This is the sort of person he is. This is why he needs to make it through this, because he is a good person, and the world needs more good people right now.

And gardens. More gardens are necessary for refuges in wars, both worldwide and personal.







Growing Up 101 (Part 2)



You know I’ve been thinking of growing out my hair this year? I’m also growing some tomatoes, oh and yeah, I’ve  been working on growing up.

Interestingly enough, this week I read an article in the NY Times (it’s a super grownup daily, I feel older just reading the headlines) where author Pamela Druckerman writes in an OpEd piece that,

•’There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.’

Ain’t that the truth?

My friend Tania, whom I grew up with, recently commented on my blog about growing up and Pema Chödrön,

‘I went back and read Pema’s chapter on growing up. Despite having read it many times, it always seems to slip through my fingers…Buddhist teachings are like that for me! So she talks about clear seeing (of the self particularly), sprinkled with a good dose of kindness. That seems to be key: kindness and compassion. It speaks to aversion and it speaks to the critic, whether it be an external voice or the critical internal self. So kindness and compassion…bring ‘em on! :)’

After talking to my neighbor, who, like is has also a hideous year and many of his friends also, I mentioned that the only good thing that can come out of the pupa of doom is the the imago of compassion.

Compassion for those who are in the darkness, compassion for those who have just emerged, and compassion for those about to enter.

Everybody gets their turn. Ain’t that the truth?

I dined with a dear friend the other night. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and there had been a misunderstanding between us. After a glass of Prosecco, I apologised at the same time as she did, and we both laughed at each others perceptions of the situation and decided we’re flawed but fabulous.

You know apologies are? Grownup! Yep. I’m sorry is the word of the wise, and meaning it is the road to enlightenment, or not being an arsehole.

Let me tell you this. Saying you’re sorry is the most mature, wise, brave, courageous, beautiful thing you can ever say to someone.

Not the passive aggressive, “I’m sorry if you feel this way’ or  ‘I’m sorry if I made you feel this way.’

Jesus, take some responsibility. Saying I’m sorry isn’t conditional. if you said something to offend someone, then say I’m sorry. It’s so simple.

Saying sorry isn’t about being wrong or right, it’s about valuing the relationship and the other person’s feelings more than your ego.

It feels nice to be humble and own your shit. So much easier than hanging onto the fragile silk thread of self-absorbed pride.

At the restaurant, I saw an old friend, who I haven’t seen in a long time. She runs a place called Hagar. It’s a specialist aftercare agency that works with women and children who have survived trafficking and severe abuse in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

That’s a grownup job, yes? Saving girls from adulthood that happen too soon.

‘My friends and family used to call me energetic.

Happy go-lucky.

But my first husband beat the life out of me. I was 13.’

Shukria from Pakistan

So much wrong with that statement. The last line is a punch to the throat, non?

I’m going to lunch with her and work out what I can do to help. Helping is for all ages.

Compassion and helping. If you want to help, donate here. Any amount matters. Thank you.

Peace out.