Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Returning of a Child


The Returning of a Child

The old man sat alone by hearth, hunched toward the ground,
While his voice softly rumbled and his forehead deep and frowned
"Where are all the children? Why don't they come and see?
I've been all alone for years- what has become of me?"

"For I know I am a simple man, but still I would have thought
That an old man is a father, and a father's love is wrought
Through years and tears of guidance, and is not turned away
By an easily made decision - 'Oh, we'll go another day.' "

"I know I love this country and they have moved far on
The city, it has called them, and now I am forlorn
They've traded in their bushman's blood and it has served them well
But still I wish they'd ride these tracks and help me trees to fell."

But on the fire crackled, and no one did reply
Only the old sheepdog raised its head and gave a sigh
And the wind, it howled harshly and rattled through the pane
While the old man kept on sitting and the clouds began to rain.

The hours ticked by slowly, and hope began to fade
So the old man rose up slowly and on the pillow his head laid
"Lord, if you be listening, please send one home tonight
I've never asked you much - I beg, look upon my plight."

It wasn't till the morning when the cock began to crow
That hoof prints quickly thudded and packed the falling snow
And through the morning glow, a horse came into sight
Carrying a man, crouched in the morning light.

Bleary-eyed and weary, the man now struggled down
Dressed in garb and grime of a man about the town,
And as he thudded on the door, hope showed on his face
And when the father opened it, the son began his piece.

"Father, please don't spurn me, I know I don't deserve
You to help me out, I know I've got a nerve,
But you see, I've lost the business and I've nowhere else to go
You are my last hope; help me though my woe.

I don't wish for charity, I know you've none to give,
But I ask to live with you, the way we used to live
I know it's been a long time since I've worked this land,
But heart to heart I'm like you - I bear the bushman's brand.

But the old man did not listen, to the speech so carefully planned,
He pulled the boy toward him in his strong and gnarled hands, 
And as his son stood hesitant, unsure to stay or fly,
His father pulled him closer, and then began to cry.

"My boy, how long I've waited to hear you say those words!
Wishing, praying, hoping as I rode among my herds.
'I do not ask for charity'! I am your father, son!
You know I'll always care for you, no matter what you've done.

Your mother is not here but this is your childhood home,
And always will remain so, though the city you did rome.
It was my greatest dream, that we be reconciled
I have always wished to see the returning of a child."

And so they stood together, locked in an embrace
As tears of joy and happiness washed the toil from each face
Two bushmen reunited, a father and a son,
A child returned home, and a new beginning won.

Sarah Downes

Monday, 3 October 2016

I have learnt


I have learnt so much this year. Now I know the why and what and when of what I never needed to know, as well as the deepest hidden secrets of the world that every human being should have to chance to understand. 

How the colours of the wind are written in the sound of silent words as people hold deep conversations without even saying a word.

Why eyes really are the windows to the souls.

What it means to be finally complete after years of unawareness as to who you really were, who you really could be when you thought yourself complete.

How a whisper to the ear can be the lifeblood of a thousand humming heart-beats.

What it means to read for pain and not for pleasure except the pleasure of saying that you know what you never needed to know.

Why people think that they really matter when we all know they are only kidding themselves into a sense having to belong, somewhere, somehow.

That often life catches you in the middle of a epic plot twist and throws you in the air and then catches you, giddy and breathless on the way down, while you try to understand how and why and where.

I have learnt what it means to take control of what you decide with your life, while still remaining within the boundaries of commitment.

That to be a lover of people does not mean that you have to love people themselves, do not have to condone the wilful stupidity that they drown themselves in. You only have to understand why, or at least try to.

Why children make a house dirty and a home sing.

How it is possible to have a thousand memories carried on the single scent of a long reaching dream that has come true on your doorstep.

How to cry in silence when your feet are ripped out from under you and you still have to go on, press onward on your bleeding stumps of self doubt, while the smile plasters onto your face until it becomes your true expression.

I have seen the fire, held the hands, cried the tears and beamed the smiles.

I have lived this year.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Man on the Bus


I can't help but stare. As I wait in line for my bus, he shuffled past and asks the lady first in line if she minds if he cuts in. She nods ok, and he gratefully positions himself in front, his vivid blue hair peeping out from under his greasy cap. Like ancient leather, his face tells the tale of a harsh life tainted by constant drug use, while self-neglect and anger are written in the hollows of his cheeks and a scraggly beard tufting out from his chin is a sharp contrast to the Bahamas blue on his head. He looks like the kind of man who wanders the streets, muttering to himself while greedily burning tax payer's wages into cigarette smoke. I quickly turn my eyes away, as feelings of pity and slight horror rush over me, but mostly because I remember that day when I was a tender child on the way home from church. Out of my car window, I watched two policemen struggle to pull a man across the hot tarmac towards the station, his wiry arms shackled behind his back. A child never forgets their first brush with the cruelness of the real world, and the drug-torn figure in front of me is an uncomfortable reminder of a memory I thought long crushed into silence.

We board the bus, and I resolve to try and hide myself in a deep corner of carpeted chair, safe in my biases and ink free skin - but fate has other ideas and he is sitting diagonally in front of me. Perfectly in my line of sight. Now, with nothing left but music to play and quiet contemplation, I find my eyes wandering over his strange, dark clothing choices. He really is the epitome of the man that our parents would tell us never to talk to. His skin is tattooed in random places, with the blurred pen of the inexperienced, and his right lower arm is completely encased in a studded leather cuff, while grease and grime seem to be slowly glossing over his pores. If cruelty could be expressed in clothing choices, it would be screaming it's heart out through the leather clad rags he is dressed in and the dark glasses covering his eyes.

The bus pulls off and rumbles down the highway. And every now and then I get a mutter of the complaining rumble of his voice cracking over the volume of my light pop ballades that sing of a world so very different to the earthy reality around me. He's half talking to the bus driver and half talking to himself. At one point, his phone is called by an insurance company trying to market a policy to him, and he spends the next five minutes abusing them to the indiferent  bus driver.

We reach the next town and pull into the stop. Standing at the front of the line is Lucy*, who I see riding the buses all the time. She's obviously stuck with the boundaries of her assumed social class, but always has a smile on her face. Her teeth are narrow yet wide and point slightly out above her lower lip, while her dark blonde blonde hair is unimaginatively styled in its' regular long wispy cut. She drags her comfortable body up the coach stairs and greets the driver cheerfully, before easing her flannel shirted frame into the seat in front of me, right across from the ocean-haired man.

They obviously know one another. He greets her by name and she returns likewise, and I am strangely sorry that I missed his name. Conversation springs up easily between them all, flowing, comfortable. They know how to talk and be friends and care. I switch off my music but keep the headphones in as I absorb every word.

He shows her his new electric guitar which he has been clasping to himself ever since he boarded the bus. It's a surprising shade of red, and they both exclaim over the price, even though he proudly states he was able to find it second hand. He's clearly excited to take it home and place it with his other instruments, and spends a long time elaborating on how it feels to play it, while Lucy listens and admires patiently.

 They ask after one another's health. Like they mean it, but like it is an important everyday factor, making up the small pieces of their lives. There is no point in asking about work, family or holidays, no point in asking about things that they don't have. There's an invisible social compass, constraint, that keeps their questions simply and general. Lucy knows it well. But the ocean haired man begins to stray.

"You never married, did you?" he asks. It's an innocent enough comment, something that has simply arisen in their conversation, a piece of thought debris caught in this section of his mind's river. They were talking about his child and this was the next logical step. But she uncomfortably shakes her head 'no' and does not venture any comment. "Never interested, eh?" he follows up, jumping to conclusions that I as another woman, can immediately tell are wrong by simply looking at the back of her head. Lucy mutters something in agreement, but still doesn't make any effort to start a conversation about this topic. There's a sense of bitterness, longing for something that never happened that is evident through her demeanour, yet he still continues.

"I'm afraid of men."

This jerks me out of my seat and has me on the edge, listening intensely to what he has to add. A man like this? Stained and tattooed and dark and studded and worn? Afraid of other men?

"I've told you what they did to me, didn't I?" he asks Lucy. If she was uncomfortable before, it's nothing compared to now. She almost squirms and looks away.

He clarifies, "...when I was young."

"That's why I dress like this. I dress and act all big and tough so that they leave me alone, but I'm not really like that. I'm like a big, squishy marshmallow inside."

And my heart breaks. A window's opened onto something that I'll never be able to see and understand. His tone is so even, measured, calm. It could have been the most mundane of everyday comments by his tone, and yet those words hold a lifetime of fear, a lost childhood. And my heart breaks that I could judge him.

How could I shrink from him in distain? How could I ever begin to understand what this man has been through, what has brought him to this place. My Saviour ate and talked and laughed with the whores and the tax collectors and the poor. But I could not see past one man's appearance to see beyond, into the soul behind, scarred and broken and harshened by the years.

H and Lucy are talking again. They are on safer ground now, safe within the comfortable, constraining dimensions of what they've always talked about. But when the bus pulls over for me to descend the stairs and open my gate, I resolve never to forget. Never to forget that I learnt about myself and most of humanity that day. Never forget by writing it out, even if it would trickle out as distant memories over the course of several weeks while I juggled life and study. Never forget that I will fail, and fail again. But most of all, never forget what an un-knowing man on a bus taught me that day.

*Names have been changed to protect identity 

Friday, 7 August 2015

July Favourites

Source: Google Images

Gosh, has it really been this long since I posted? It's crazy how life leaves you empty-spinning, locked into the everyday chores and duties. It's not like I'm planning a wedding or anything though. ;)

Anyway, what do I have to share with you this month?

How about starting off with some logical, ethical article which is branded as 'controversial' right now? This article, written by Matt Walsh (who I think is awesome - he always takes the bull by the horns, and is not afraid to employ a good dose of sarcasm), discusses the attitudes of people regarding the death of poor Cecil the lion and the murder and selling of thousands of innocent children.

This is an interesting short article on the Christian concept of 'The One', and how that's not biblical.  I had to take it with a pinch of salt though. You see, I spent my teen-aged years completely disbelieving in 'The One', and then I met a man who could only be described as my soulmate. Whoops. You win, God.

How about lowering the intellectual standards greatly with this Buzzfeed article, 21 insanely simple and delicious snacks that even lazy people can make? I wouldn't recommend Buzzfeed as a daily source of edifying information, but they occasionally have a worthwhile article.

This (16 Minion DIY Projects You Won't Believe Exist) one's for Kitkat Kababs. (My sister and friend) They started their dual youtube channel not that long ago, so head round and say g'day.

My Pale Skin is a blog that I've come across only recently, but I've seen her youtube channel and absolutely love her work. She's a true artist when it come to re-creating her face, and as she has problem skin too, it's really inspiring to see her courage in creating these videos for thousands of people. Plus, she has an awesome British accent. ;)

More Buzzfeed... I do feel like I'm letting myself down right now. But this article on 53 Books You Won't be Able to Put Down sounds good, and I REALLY like this info piece about an 'Insanely Effective Leg Workout'.

Now, back to serious. Interested in how conformity is used to normalise 'same-sex marriage', and the guilt trapping attitude employed? Have a read of this. Very thought provoking.

Another VERY thought provoking article. (Perhaps Feminism is not the Enemy) Now, let me get this clear - I am not a feminist, and I am very well aware as to how my peers who are seem to claim dominance of the the male sex, and the extremely negative aspects that has on our culture. But I'd never thought about it this way. And I think the passive, often dismissive attitude of the church need to be challenged. Check it out

Now perhaps for my FAVOURITE article in the last few months! I shared this on Facebook and got a whole stream of people telling me how 'I should do what makes me happy and it's nobody else's business', but that's not the point. The point of this article (and the reason I shared it) is that you don't have to wait until you are a bitter old 28 year old, had all your adventures, got a steady job, and already seen the world before you get married. Commit to love, honour and cherish through whatever you might experience. Grow and experience life together, as a team!!!! Anyway, have a read.

That's all for now.
Toodle pip and all that jazz!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Passenger - a poem


Rhythmic clicks of wheels on tracks
Beat against a heart of painted black
Un-aware of what it lacks,
Numb in silence, unable to turn back.

Days and worlds flash by them,
A passenger alone in an empty car
No meaning left to condemn,
Their identity lost in a journey far.

A dirty window displays the world,
Locked above in a realm of blazing stars,
Bound away like a sail furled
Far from this hell scented of old cigars.

The journey holds no joy
When the destination is but a nowhere
Now devoid of youthful ploy,
The harsh and bitter end to a brief affair.

So they sit in acceptance,
Silent and sure in their hidden pain,
A passenger in penance,
For there is nothing to lose, nothing to gain.

Written by me very quickly on 16/6/15, as the result of too much Coldplay and half an hour of free time.
Image source: http://farm9.staticflickr.com

Monday, 15 June 2015

Because there is no such thing as too many books...

So head over here if you feel that your bookshelves could do with a little re-stocking. This lovely blog has 20 books available to be won, from poetry (there is classic Keat's that I'm eyeing up), to westerns, to classics, and to even blank journals. It's open internationally, and you are able to enter without needing to have a blog - it just helps if do, if you want further entries. :)
Pop over and indulge!

Friday, 12 June 2015

What I Wore - 1920's vintage attempt

Source: http://indulgy.com

Finally I am getting to the fashion inspiration that I mentioned several months ago! I LOVE to put outfits together and style them with complimenting hair and make-up, with a particular bent towards vintage-inspired fashion. I think that when you can see someone perfectly styled in vintage fashion, people can lose sight of how easy and affordable it is for anyone to source and style vintage pieces! As a predominately op-shop buyer, I find numerous pieces of clothing and accessories for relatively cheap prices, without needing to source expensive specialty stores.

The outfit below was put together a few weeks ago for a day in the town with the girls, shopping for stationary and good coffee. I'll have to apologise for the phone photos but I was rather pleased with easily it came together and how comfortable it was to spend the whole day in.

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Millar's, gift
Blue Cardigan (under coat): River's, Op-shopped (OPS)
Coat: CKM?, OPS
Scarf: unknown brand, hand-me-down 
Shoes: River's, OPS
Handbag: Capezio, OPS
Hat: unknown brand, OPS (I brought it for a short film we were filming, then gifted it to my younger sister. But she was happy for me to pinch it occasionally :p )

Hair and Make-up: 
'scuse the phone selfie frantically taken before rushing to catch the bus :)

I have super long hair, down to my hips, so I have to be extra creative to achieve that 'vintage' look. The brim for this hat sits very low, so there was no way that I could fit my massive roll of hair underneath it without having the brim over my eyes like some second-grade gangster. So, I curled a few pieces around my face so that they fell sort-of like a short bob, and then bobby pinned them in place (the pins were hidden by the hat). Then, I took all of my hair and wound it, as flat as possible, on top of my head, pinning it as small and flat as I could. Topped it off with the hat, with all my hair now inside the crown of the hair, and voila!

For make-up, I barely strayed from my everyday look. It's the usual mix of foundation, powder, blush and then some light lashings of mascara on my top lashes. The only difference is that I used a lip balm mixed with a tiny amount of red lipstick to give a moisturising lip tint, and more powder to cover my good aussie tan. Simple!