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I’m dreamer. Always have been. But during exams it seems the dream-o-meter in my mind works overtime.

I think about my summer holidays. Shopping. The beach. Going out. Birthdays. Parties. Work. Cleaning. Fashion. Blogging. Intern-ing. Christmas. Europe. Writing. Secrets.

…and the list goes on. A long way on.

Right now I should be studying or writing my essay. But I missed SkippingStones and writing just for fun. So below I finally updated my review on Let Me In – the first negative review on this blog.

Who knows what my next post will be about, I sure don’t. I’m not short of ideas though! If you have a request for a topic in particular leave a comment and let me know.

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Now for a dose of poetry:

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. If either be broken, you can but toss and drift or else be held at a standstill in the mid-seas.

For reason, running alone is a forced confining. Compassion unattended is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

~ Khalil Gibran

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A bit of cute:

Meet Tess. She is my friend’s Groodle. Isn’t she adorable? A cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle, she’s very energetic with a dose of crazy. I love this picture because it encapsulates her cheekiness and kookiness.

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Last thought for the day: I am thinking of starting a new blog, or transforming this one and putting more of my identity to it. Give myself a name and getting my writing ‘out there’. I haven’t worked on building a readership or creating a niche in the blogging world but it’s something I’m thinking about.

What are your thoughts?

 

Review- coming soon.

(This end of semester truck load of work is relentless!)

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Thursday, 11th November 2010.

To be honest, I didn’t enjoy this film very much. It was the company of my friends which lured me into the cinema seat and in front of a screen playing this horror-romance-vampire-basedonaSwedish-film.

WARNING- May be some spoilers.

A vampire girl and a weird (really weird) boy meet when vampire girl and her guardian move in to the neighbouring apartment. She warns him not to fall in love with her. The boy is 12 years old, but vampire girl has been living for much longer as vampires tend to do.

Guardian of vampire girl hunts people and murders them at night before draining their blood and feeding his little monster. 12 year old boy, Owen, suspects something is up and eventually finds out the truth. But love is blind, and he chooses to run away with vampire-girl.

Owen has also been subjected to extreme bullying by other boys in his grade. Mental and physical abuse which escalates when he tries to fight back.

One of the most brutal scenes in the film – there are a lot of gruesome gory moments – was the final bullying sequence. Throughout the film I would routinely cover my eyes and wait for my friend to nudge me so I could look again. But during this scene where Owen is cornered, trapped, beaten and almost drowned, I couldn’t help but block my ears as well. It was the only scene to ignite true horror and disgust at the base and predatory behaviour of the bullies.

Interesting side-note: The mother’s face is never seen in the film. There are always shots of her out of focus, or close-ups on the back of her head and hands. Is this so we don’t feel a personal attachment to this character? It seemed like a technique blaring out *I am using this filmic-technique to distance you from this character. See?* It was just a bit too obvious.

Perhaps this is not a great film and perhaps I’m just terrible at reviewing it. You can decide for yourself :)

I picked up a tattered, old little book of poems by Clara Webber last year at a book fair. Out of curiosity I did an internet search but I didn’t come up with much information. The book is called Flotsam and Jetsam and it was published in 1905. The themes of her poems are Love, Philosophy, Life, Seasons, Regret, Friendship and Poetry. This is one of her works:

 The Song and the Star
(For Music)

                                              There’s a song for all the ages,
                                                                                         Sung for me,
                                              To a stately measured music,
                                                                                         Solemnly.
                                              Thro’ deep silences that quiver -
                                              Golden sunlight in the river -
                                              I can hear its message stealing,
                                              Life’s deep inner life revealing:
                                              Now it holds me so – and holds me,
                                              Its deep glory now enfolds me
                                              Till I faint with its rich ecstasy
                                                              The sweetness of the song.

                                              There’s a star in yonder heavens
                                                                                          Far too high
                                              To reach down: Earth’s so low.
                                                                                           You and I
                                              Will have grown too sad and weary
                                              With earth noises long and dreary.
                                               Thro’ deep silences that quiver -
                                              - Length’ning shade on shining river -
                                               I can hear its death-note ringing
                                              Thro’ the shadow round us clinging
                                                                                           You and I

                                              Love, the shadow on the river,
                                              Will grow bright in the “Forever,”
                                              And the song that you are singing,
                                              Will grow sweeter in the ringing,
                                              When the thread of life is wasted,
                                               And the bitter herb all tasted -
                                                                          In the Life that is to be !

This is the second in a series of posts of the about my latest attachment to something. Click here to see my first post about the series The Good Wife. As said in the first post, it’s nice to share the good things in life.  

In this installment, I bring to you music by Mumford and Sons.  

  

From their official website:  

Since they formed in December 2007, the members of Mumford & Sons have shared a common purpose: to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously. Four young men from West London in their early twenties, they have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices…  

With each release, the music of Mumford & Sons got brighter, bolder and brawnier, with an increasing focus on their empassioned and intimate lyrics.  “What we write about is real, and we sing and play our instruments more passionately cos we feel like we need to. We love honest music,” says Winston.  

Then came the time to record their debut album…[it] begins with the extraordinary title track, Sigh No More, a statement of intent that references the romantic language of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, as they sing: “Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you / It will set you free / Be more like the man you were made to be.”  

I found their music when someone played me a few of their songs and I saved the name in a draft text message (because that’s what I did with my previous phone). Soon enough the drafts folder had filled up and I finally decided to investigate the songs and bands I had initially stored. I was captivated when I listened to the lyrics and passionate story telling of this folk rock band.  

The members of this band are Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane, and I sincerely hope that when they tour Australia next time (please come back!) I will be able to attend one of their gigs. Unfortunately I missed out earlier in the year. If you want to know more about this band, here is an article by The Herald Sun profiling the band.  

Mumford and Sons in concert at the Dot To Dot Festival, Bristol. 2009.

 

These are some stand-out lyrics and the links will direct you to a YouTube video of the song:  

Oh tell me now, where was my fault/ In loving you with my whole heartWhite Blank Page  

You desired my attention/ but denied my affectionsWhite Blank Page  

Align my heart, my body, my mind,/To face what I’ve done and do my timeDust Bowl Dance  

In these bodies we will live,/ in these bodies we will die/ Where you invest your love,/ you invest your lifeAwake My Soul  

Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams, Cause recently mine have been tearing my seamsThistle and Weeds

It has taken some time to get around to writing about this pocket-sized book, and that is because reading it once isn’t enough. Seeing as it has sold over 12 million copies, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is bound to be in one of your bookshelves. If it is, I highly recommend fishing it out and having a squiz (that’s Australian slang for ‘taking a look’). Otherwise locate a copy in the nearest (online or physical) bookstore and pop it into your shopping basket.

Viktor Frankl chronicles his experiences of surviving in concentration camps during WWII and writes about finding hope and meaning when humanity seems at its worst. He details his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning and explains three psychological phases of the concentration inmate’s reaction to this painful suffering.

The book is divided in two parts with a postscript added in 1984, ‘Experiences in a Concentration Camp,’ ‘Logotheraphy in a Nutshell’ and ‘The Case for a Tragic Optimism.’ I can’t say it was enjoyable reading about the horrors of camp life, the atrocities of the war and the degradation of fellow human beings. Nevertheless, this is an amazing testimony to the strength of human spirit and the tragic optimist who sees hope when utter despair and pain has broken so many others.

Frankl writes using an unusual combination of a personal and clinical style of writing, fostered by his practise as a psychoanalyst. He discusses his idea of meaning and explains his psychotherapeutic theory of logotheraphy.

In brief, according to logotheraphy meaning can be discovered by:
1. creating a work or doing a deed
2. experiencing something or encountering someone (such goodness, beauty, nature, culture, and loving someone)
3. the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering

The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day-to-day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment… One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.

There is so much I can share about this book; the way it made my heart swell sometimes, or choke back tears at other times. The spiritual strength and belief which blossomed despite the repeated attempts to crush it. The reality check and renewed appreciation for my own life. And the feeding of my hunger and longing to search for meaning and becoming a better person.

Life is Art

Maybe art in general – and theatre in particular – is a perfect reflection of our lives. Passionate and central to our experience in the present, quick to evaporate, lingering in spirit as a record of our inner life which is lived in dreams, in the imagination, in memories that form part of our link with other lives and other illusions in some infinite, if elusive, universal continuum.

~Jim Sharman

No Warmth From the Sun

It’s been a while since I have posted, but let me tell you it was worth the wait. I present to you a short story by my gorgeous sister. Next week I will review the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl.

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Layers of time eroded by my hands to reveal a piece of the past. Harsh sunlight exposing two skeletons imprisoned in an embrace. Feeling as though I am intruding on their privacy, I photograph the find. The exact date undiscernible as yet, an estimation of 4,000 years old. Awe lights up my face. To look upon these bones, unscathed by time, fills me with infinite thoughts, feelings, and emotions I cannot identify.

The surface of this land is lifeless. Beneath a blanket of red earth, a treasure trove awaits. It is difficult to comprehend the age of the earth, the millions of years for which life has existed, the millions of years that humans have existed. To grasp the insignificance of the individual gives me freedom. I am a microscopic part of the big picture, one person among the billions who have existed.

I realise sadly they will never be remembered. Their story, their love. Who are they? Imagination does not satisfy. I stare hungrily at the remains, thinking in some strange way that staring at them long enough would tell me what I need to know. The boundaries of time provide barriers almost too large to overcome.

I don’t notice him until he’s right beside me, a presence barely tangible against the attention held in my mind by the skeletons. I remember how to smile. Not a word is spoken, he hands me an object and leaves. I get back to work. Slow, steady work. As the minutes ooze by, I remove more and more dirt from the find, revealing the white bones. The skulls are now completely exposed. I take pleasure in quiet work, the vast openness of the site muffles any sounds.

Looking closely at the bones, searching for answers, I realise there are minuscule threads of fabric wedged into their necks. Leaning closely to investigate, I hear a rustle behind me, and turn around to find my answer. A scroll lies between the feet of the skeletons. I have always been fast at reading, deciphering the hieroglyphics is no problem. Realisation dawns, and I look around frantically to see where he is. But the site is empty, the disturbed dust gently falling back to the earth. He is gone.

I look around once again and see, for the first time, the flowers he gave me before. A cluster of striking red roses, bright against the dull red colour of the earth. Memories re-surface; the endless stares he gave me, his seemingly innocent interest in my work, in carrying my equipment for me… But it is too late. He is gone.

Looking at the scroll lying between the skeletons, I whisper in my mind I will remember you. Looking at these spoils I do what I’ve always done. I continue my treasure hunt.

                                  *                   *                    *

He looked over across the metres of land that separated them. Silence as she works. Two years they have worked together. She has found something, her expression betrays her awe. Hazel eyes devouring up the sight.

Re-focusing on his hands, he realises he has uncovered an object. Hoping to receive that identical look of awe from her, he dusts off the red dirt and a scroll is revealed. His heart sinks; it is nothing of value. Something is recorded on the scroll in a style of hieroglyphs he has studied previously. Knowledge from the past, rusty and unused, strained to comprehend the muddle of pictures and contours filling the scroll. ‘Record of death’ Curiosity awoken, he reads further on… ‘Female and Male. Condemned to death on the 2nd day of the 9th full moon. Found dead in cell. Cause of death: Strangulation’. He discards the scroll from his thoughts, mind turning to the inevitable passing of time. His eyes turning to the gift he bought for her.

The flowers will soon dry up, so will his courage. The walk over is quick, as if the two long years of anticipation meant nothing. On the way, in the split seconds before he arrives by her side, he becomes aware of his surroundings. The sun, high above on its throne of blue, looking down on him with warmth and encouragement. The dusty, silent site divided into taped-off sections, each holding a piece of history. The tranquillity of this world, which can be shattered in one moment.

Unnoticed, he pauses to appreciate this instant which will soon become a memory. But will he treasure that memory? He turns to her, a question in his eyes.

A smile! But her eyes are vacant. He knows, at that point, that she lives in the past. Acceptance stifles the brief moment of anguish and doubt. She stares at the skeletons with a fierce longing he cannot comprehend. Unnerved, he hands her the flowers anyway. She turns away immediately, back to her work. It doesn’t matter. This is the end.

Back turned to her, he begins to walk away when a flash of creamy-white among the red, dusty earth catches his eye. The scroll. Of course. He walks over to her one last time and places the scroll at the skeleton’s feet. By the time she looks around for him he is a speck in the distance, watching, waiting. She returns to her work. She has what she wants.

The sun beat down on the barren land, shrivelling the flowers, forgotten by her side. He shivers. No comfort from the sun. No warmth from the sun.

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*I took this picture of the harbour bridge in one of Sydney’s usual, beautiful sunsets. Enjoy :)

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