Tag Archives: flying

Flying Through The Eye…Friday Fictioneers.

As a five year old, Molly’s perspective of their European vacation was very different to her Mum and Dad’s.

While they were engrossed in the minutae of the architectural details, Molly’s gaze wandered upwards, drawn towards the huge eye peering down through the roof. The eye of a friendly giant.

“Molly! Molly!” he beckoned.

Sensing a miraculous adventure, Molly let go of her mother’s hand and started rising higher and higher. “OMG! Mummy! Daddy! I’m flying”

Then, she looked down.There was only blue sky, clouds and teeny weeny rooftops as small as Monopoly houses and the moon lay up ahead.

……

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

When it Takes the Village…Friday Fictioneers.

There was no reason why he couldn’t ski off the edge of Mt Kosciusko. Fly across the valley with the crow. Not even for the smallest nanosecond, did he actually consider his human form. That while his spirit soared, that he was made of flesh and blood and belonged to the Earth.

“Joshua! Joshua!” The crow was calling his name.

“Joshua!” His mother’s scream echoed across the valley. Only the power of prayer could save him now.

The stranger could almost sense his skis mysteriously turning under foot, then spotted the troubled young man and understood. His time had come.

……..

100 Words

This story is dedicated to families who love and cherish children with special needs and the constant vigilance required to keep them safe. An 11 year old autistic boy was run over and killed by a train in Sydney last week after escaping from a care facility.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

Seagull Dreaming.

“He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all”

― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

That seagull is definitely living the dream. It was an amazing thing to step inside in and seize the moment.

xx Rowena

Inspired By A Living Poet.

Tomorrow, the Annual April A2Z Blogging Challenge blasts off and if you’ve read my theme reveal, you’ll already know that I will be writing: Letters to Dead Poets. Well, have been writing them. While my kids think I’ve finally cracked and this theme is plain “weird”, this journey has had so many twists and turns and to be perfectly honest, I think my head is still lost up a drainpipe somewhere along these explorations.

Anyway, I have one last day to switch gears from the Royal Sydney Easter Show and start heading towards the realm of Dead Poets. However, before we get there, we’re off to the land of the living.

Rewinding back to 1986…

The Flight of a Young Poet

Flapping my wings,

I take flight,

soaring through blue skies

white feathers glowing in the sun.

In the blink of an eye,

I flew through some window

dividing now and then.

 

Somehow,

magically mystically,

I am a young woman again.

You soothe my heartstrings

like a maestro

restoring my battered soul.

I now sing like a skylark,

released from its rusty cage.

 

How did you know me so well,

when we have never met?

Do you know?

…………….

My parents had gone away and I was staying with family friends I’d always admired…a flamboyant, debonair entrepreneur and his incredibly beautiful and equally smart and sophisticated wife. There was talk that he’d given her a full-length fur coat. Of course, for someone getting around in clompy black school shoes and a tartan tunic, this sounded very extravagant, luxurious and there was no thought about how many innocent animals had been slaughtered to enable this gesture of love.

I’d never even been overseas and they were part of the jet set…London, Paris, New York and back to Sydney. Me… I just went to school and it was a thrill to hang out at the station. I guess you could very aptly describe my world as a goldfish bowl. Actually, a gold fish bowl is way too calm because although my world was small, it was a tempest having my heart unceremoniously smashed into smithereens in between studying for those all important end of school exams. That’s right. The ones which make or break the rest of your life.

Anyway, while I was staying there, I was introduced to an incredible book of poetry: The Thoughts of Nanushka by Nan Whitcomb.

This was 1986 when home photocopiers weren’t what they are now and her poetry wasn’t easy to find.  So, I jotted down what poems I could in my school diary and I think it was only once I went to university, that a friend finally gave me my very own volume of her poems. It was like being given a radiant beam of pure gold light. I understand that description might initially appear a bit cryptic but what she gave me was insight into myself, clarity of thought and a way to express and let out something of an inner cyclone. That was far more important to me than gold itself!

I know that I am not the only young person to feel consumed by darkness, crippling self-esteem and a sense that you must be an alien from another planet. There are so many of us out there but we simply haven’t met. Moreover, back then, there wasn’t the same capacity to discover like-minded people around the world via the Internet. You could well be stuck on your “Pat Malone”.

I remember how The Thoughts of Nanushka comforted me:

If you dare

To be different

And you do not

Join the crowd –

If they laugh at your honesty

And taunt you

If you’re proud-

When they talk of you

In whispers

And criticise the things

You say and do-

Do not fear them,

But forgive them-

They are more afraid

Than you-

Nan Whitcomb Thoughts of Nanushka Vol VII Love, Tears and Dreams

I was to find out down the track, that the severity of these storms inside my head, was physical rather than emotional. When I was 25, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus or fluid on the brain. My sense of being different and not fitting in or belonging, was more than just a feeling but a fact. I had surgery where a neurosurgeon inserted a shunt into my brain to manage the pressure and give me some kind of equilibrium. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be different or that I’m still not different. However, having a full-blown neurological meltdown ultimately kills you and seeing the horizon bounce up and down when you walk is no picnic.

It’s a totally different, different scenario.

However, when it came to understanding the broken heart, Nanushka understood so well. Instead of simply telling me that there were “more fish in the sea”, she said:

FALLING in love
is a recurring illness –
the heady nights
and dizzy days,
the raging fever
and the pain –
recovery –
slow convalescence
with the uncertainty
of where and when or if
this wondrous sickness
will strike again . . .

 

However, Nanushka wasn’t just about heartbreak. She also rode the wave of passion. That intensity of falling in love and put those feelings into words too. I remember when I was so much younger falling in love with a young surfer and looking out over Sydney’s Whale Beach and seeing the surfers tackle a wave known as The Wedge and this poem travelled straight through me:

We sat on top of the world

watching the mist

roll in from the sea-

and far below,

the surfers floated there

like drowning bees-

I looked across at you

and lost my senses

in your dear blue eyes

and knew those surfers

well could drown –

and so might I –

 Nan Whitcomb Thoughts of Nanushka Vol VII Love, Tears and Dreams.

Perhaps, as you read her poems, you might wonder why you haven’t heard of Nanushka. It’s not that she’s been hiding under a rock. Indeed, this poem was read out at the funeral of INXS frontman, Michael Hutchence:

TO mourn too long
for those we love
is self indulgent –
but to honour their memory
with a promise
to live a little better
for having known them,
gives purpose to their life –
and some reason
for their death . . . . .

Nan Whitcomb Thoughts of Nanushka Vol This Moment is Forever

It can be hard for Australians to get their work out there and not everybody longs to belong to the cult of celebrity. Sell their soul just to fly straight into the candle flame and burn. Integrity and being able to live with your self matter to some of us.

Nan’s philosophy on life is to put her heart and soul into the present, never regret the past, but keep the experience and memories to enrich the future.

Beyond the ugliness

In this world,

Is the incredible beauty

Of love and friendship-

That is where I live-

Nan Whitcomb: The Thoughts of Nanushka Introduction.

 

I was initially going to include Nan Whitcomb in my letters to dead poets. However, an email revealed that she is very much alive. So, I decided to write this on the eve of the challenge instead. Although her poetry would have inspired some of these poets who seemingly slashed their wrists with the pen, I thought I’d keep dead poets with dead poets.

So, on that note, I’m off for one last sleep before heading off to Hades tomorrow.

Have you ever read: The Thoughts of Nanushka? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts and you could reference your favourite as well.

By the way, here is a link to her website: http://users.senet.com.au/~nanushka/index.htm

On that note, I leave with one last gem:

A SOLITARY seagull
rides home
on a shaft of golden sun –
our beautiful day
is melting into dusk –
pink clouds
fade back to sombre grey
and your dear face
is touched with gold –
why should we mourn
the passing of our day
because we know
the night
belongs to us –

Nan Whitcomb Thoughts of Nanushka Vol VII Love, Tears and Dreams

xx Rowena

Learning to Fly:The 3 Day Quote Challenge.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
Come to the edge,” he said.
They came.
He pushed them…and they flew.”

― Guillaume Apollinaire

Earlier this week, my daughter and I attended an open day for what is called an Opportunity Class. Kids sit a test in year 4 for these classes which are held in Years 5-6 before starting high school. My daughter is currently on a waiting list but we were still invited to the introduction session and tour of the school.

For these students and their families, deciding whether to attend these classes can be a huge decision as it usually means leaving their current, local school and their friends, community and convenience to travel often quite a distance and starting from scratch. So, indeed, it can feel like sitting on the edge of a great precipice with your toes curled over the edge wondering if you’re going to make it.

Skiing down the mountain at Perisher in August 2013.

Skiing down the mountain at Perisher in August 2013.

These words deeply resonated with me too and remind me of my epic ski down the Front Valley, Perisher a few years ago, which was a huge thing to do given my disability and chronic health status. You can read the full sage here: Turning My Mountain Around https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/turning-my-mountain-around/

“The edge” doesn’t need to be so dramatic either. Just in our ordinary, everyday lives, we confront things we don’t want to do. Would rather avoid or even inspire incredible fear. That could be a spider in the house, driving someone out of your comfort zone. Difficulties with the family of some sort. In so many, many ways, many of us are everyday heroes who fly off that proverbial edge, usually without so much as a selfie to celebrate our triumph, let alone a film crew. I’m with you.

Stepping out and exploring the world on foot...Miss 2008 aged 2.

Stepping out and exploring the world on foot…Miss 2008 aged 2.

Many thanks to our friend Melinda from purpleslobinrecovery, who has nominated us for this Challenge. Melinda blogs about her journey from slob to clean queen, and her ongoing battle with the Clutter Fairies, who we think must be related to the Slapstyx Goblins!

Thank you to Annabelle Franklin from https://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com/ who nominated me for the challenge.

Rules of the Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days on your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
  • Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavour

I would like to nominate:

  1. Geoff Le Pard from Tangental: http://geofflepard.com/
  2. Derek J Knight http://derrickjknight.com/
  3. Monika at Tails Around the Ranch https://tailsaroundtheranch.wordpress.com/

I hope you are having a great week. My cough seems to be settling down again (phew!) and Bilbo is looking so much better. Of course, we don’t have everything sorted but definitely an improvement.

xx Rowena

Paper Planes: Having A Happy Birthday Party at the Movies.

On Sunday, we had a truly fabulous day celebrating our son’s 11th birthday and we even managed to pull off a party!! Given the amount of effort that went into making the cake and the thought that went into the presents, it’s a miracle that I had any energy left for the party.I must have had a second wind because on reflection, I should have needed CPR.

However, that’s where having a party at the movies was fabulous. We just had to turn up and indeed, they would have done the cake too if I hadn’t  been so set in my ways.

With his birthday being on Sunday, I thought we should have his party on the actual day but time was rapidly running away from me and I’d planned nothing. Nothing at all. I usually like to give about a month’s notice for a party but with less than a week to go I found out the Australian Movie, Paper Planes, was showing and then I was madly emailing the cinema and we had a party, guest. and then it was all lights, camera, action!

Phew!

Paper Planes

Paper Planes  was a great movie and the kids loved it. The plot was very loosely based on a 2009 episode of Australian Story called “Fly With Me” which tells the story of paper plane enthusiasts, Dylan Parker and James Norton. Here’s a link through to “Fly With Me”: http://www.abccommercial.com/librarysales/program/australian-story-fly-me-dylan-parker

In the movie, Dylan, a  young boy living in a small, West Australian country town, dreams of attending the Australian Paper Plane Throwing Championships in Sydney. In the process, his interest becomes an all-consuming, passionate obsession as he methodically reworks his designs to make them fly further and further…especially as he goes on to attend the world championships in Japan.

“This is a film that celebrates the idea that one sheet of A4 paper, and your imagination, can be a great source of entertainment.”

Robert Connolly, Director

This quest forms the backbone of the movie but the tragic death of Dylan’s mother in a car accident five months beforehand and his father’s inability to come to terms with it and function at even a very basic level, weaves its way throughout the movie.

Paper Planes not only looks at the hurdles you need to overcome to reach success on the world stage, it also looks at relationships under strain and in particular the relationship between father and son. On one hand, there’s Dylan’s relationship with his dad, which is awkward and strained as his father succumbs to grief and depression and is unable to father his son. On the other hand, there’s the strained relationship between his competitor, Jason,  and his pro-golfer Dad, Patrick.  In this instance, the father is incredibly supportive but the son, Jason, distances himself from his father and persistently calls him by his first name, despite his father’s repeated requests to call him “Dad”.

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I live with an ongoing life-threatening auto-immune disease and we have had numerous very close calls and it has been a very real possibility that our kids would lose their Mum and this would be an issue with the movie.

Therefore, it was quite a shock to realise that we’d taken our 11 year old son to see a movie where the main character was a boy about his age who has lost his mum…especially for his birthday party. Not only that but the Dad was understandably not coping and they were surviving on tinned spaghetti. As if that wasn’t hard enough, there was even a heartbreaking song. I was naturally quite upset by all of this although Mister said he loved the movie and this darker sub-plot seemed to pass him by. Thank goodness!

Of course, I didn’t miss it.

Nothing about the death of the mother was mentioned in the movie trailers or the press and I do think that’s a bit remiss. For me, there were some pretty heart-wrenching moments which I could have done without, especially at our son’s birthday party which was supposed to be all about fun and happiness, not revisiting shadows I’ve been trying to put behind me.

But as I said, those darker aspects of the movie didn’t seem to impact Jonathon. He was as proud as punch sitting in the cinema eating popcorn with his family and friends.

Happy Birthday Mister!

Happy Birthday Mister!

Then, it was off to the courtyard outside to have everyone sing him “Happy Birthday” and two of his friends even gave a speech. Then the kids were bowing bubbles, running around and just having fun.

He said it was the best birthday he had ever had and all the trials and tribulations making and patching up sloshy birthday cakes, stressing out over presents and organising a birthday party at the last minute were well and truly worth it.

However, the birthday wasn’t over yet.

There’s now cupcakes for school tomorrow but this time from the shop!

xx Rowena

Sources

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-15/paper-plane-makers-unexpected-foray-into-film/6017176

When The New Yorker Came To Sydney.

Last week, I was absolutely stoked when I found a copy of the New Yorker when I took our daughter to her doctor’s appointment, instead of the usual trashy magazines. For a New Yorker, this would be hardly surprising but when you’re in Sydney, Australia, finding a copy of The New Yorker is a rare treat. It was time to celebrate!

Who hasn’t experienced the joy of being camped at the doctor’s waiting so long you’re putting down roots and all you have is a stack of trashy magazines for entertainment?  I’m sure the world over there are those familiar looking piles of trashy magazines, which should have been pulped long before publication. You know the sort of stuff I’m talking about where those flashy, glossy pages are smothered in the latest “Kardashian Krisis” and other celebrity crap. If you’re really lucky, there might also be some token National Geographics but don’t hold your breath!!

Knowing what to expect, I always BYO. Whenever I head down to Sydney for my specialist appointments, I usually take a choice of two books, a handful of pens and a writing pad to capture fleeting threads of inspiration. I must say that on some occasions, I’ve been bunkering down to write what seems like my entire life story, while I wait. It is nothing to wait for 1-2 hours for an appointment and indeed, there is a sign telling you to allow half a day. All this endless interminable waiting is all for a fleeting 15-30 minute appointment. While this might sound pretty dreadful, especially if you are seeing multiple specialists, it is what it is. I see my specialists for free so I’m not complaining. I just come prepared.

However, I can sure pick the newbies turning various shades of red and emitting shots of steam through their beetroot red ears while they openly complain that “being sick is a full time job”. Most of them could well be transferred to Emergency for immediate anger management. That said, being diagnosed with a serious disease is hard enough. Being forced to spend those precious, rapidly ticking away last minutes of your imminently evaporating life in the bland boredom of a doctor’s waiting room staring at white walls camouflaged by fancy prints, is enough to push even the most mild-mannered Clark Kent over the edge!! Trust me! I know!

I don't think hospital was on Dr Suess's list.

I don’t think hospital was on Dr Suess’s list.

Of course, nobody includes being stuck in a doctor’s waiting room on their bucket list when they have 24 hours to live! Not on your life!!!

However, all my expectations of waiting room literature were turned around last week when I took our daughter to her specialist appointment. Much to my delighted amazement, I found a copy of The New Yorker on the very top of the pile. Wow! I was thrilled. Indeed, “I had chills.  They’re multiplying and I’m losing control…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J01QPxZFlw4

A cartoon from the New Yorker, which  I photographed on my phone.

A cartoon from the New Yorker, which I photographed on my phone.

The New Yorker is a rare breed in Australia so I was almost thankful that the doctor was late. I was glued to the pages and really had to peel myself away. Indeed, I was even taking photos of the funnies with my phone and seriously hoping the doctor didn’t catch me in the act. Of course, I was doing this in the name of serious journalism…snapping gourmet morsels to feed my blog!

The Statue of Liberty welcomes this adventurous Aussie Dreamer to the Big Apple.

The Statue of Liberty welcomes this adventurous Aussie Dreamer to the Big Apple.

For a few fantastic moments there, I felt myself being transported over the Pacific Ocean touching down for a refueling stopover in Hawaii to meet Max the Dog and indulge in a bit of Hula. Then, I was on a bit of a stop start journey through LA, New Orleans, Washington and finally touching down in New York in such a manner that I didn’t get my Wonder Woman cape caught on one of those spiky bits on the Statue of Liberty.

Just as well I didn't start singing and dancing in the waiting room! I have absolutely no shame!

Just as well I didn’t start singing and dancing in the waiting room! I have absolutely no shame!

I’m in New York and I can even hear Frank Sinatra singing New York New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-0nNWOKK2Q

Though still sitting in the waiting room, I’m a  real New Yorker or at least a New Yorker with an Australian accent. Well, make that a sedated New Yorker with an Australian accent. Being a rather slow walker who doesn’t wake up before midday without intravenous caffeine infusions, I’d look like a comatose zombie among the fast-paced New Yorkers.

But then the dream shatters…

The door swings open and all my fantasies of New York are put on hold. The doctor is ready and it’s now time to discuss why my daughter doesn’t eat.

Humph! No more New York…New York…New York!

I’ve touched down with a painful thump and it’s time for a brutal reality check!!

New York…LA,Honolulu,Sydney, Wahroonga….Can’t keep the doctor waiting!

The door closes.

Have you ever been to New York and have any stories to tell? I am learning the fine art of living vicariously.

xx Rowena