Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Surrender ...

Let me be the broken bread
Separated in Your hands
Given out to feed a hungry world
With you.

Let the jar of my heart be smashed
Broken into fragments
That my secret dreams may be spilled
To become the perfume of Christ.

Let me wrestle with You
Stretching my self-will
To the point of weakness
Till I am lamed into admitting
My utter need of You.

And let me stay there
On the altar
Till Your great work is accomplished
Making room for you in me.

Shy Pelican?

Ok, not really, or it would never have let me get this close. But it does look rather demure, doesn't it?


Taken a couple of weekends ago, down at Shellharbour. You have to humour me, pelicans are my favourite birds.

Monday, May 29, 2006


I chose this poem as a deliberate contrast to these togetherness-y photos. it expresses the flip side, we may look to others to bring the healing we need, but if they don't come through for us, we have the option of choosing between staying locked in helpless pain, or choosing, trusting in God's grace to provide, to embrace healing on our own.


No, these my feet have never danced.
I always stood against the wall,
Dressed bravely in my painted smile,
While the non-dancers came to call.

Some dance out there, upon the floor:
The beautiful, so brave, so strong;
But I must stand against the side
And, tight-eyed, watch the happy throng.

They twirl, they whirl; their laughter rings
Against the music. I am still.
My rigid smile costs all my soul
To hide the tears that must not spill.

Will no one come, will no one see?
Am I so desolately plain
That no one wants to dance with me?
I am condemned by my own pain.

Oh these my feet – they itch to dance,
To tread a song they’ve never known …
My heart commands that I must move,
And I am dancing on my own.

the family connection

and again, the same pickle wedding day, way back when, this is with my 2 younger sisters, who were the bridesmaids.

long time ago

Just because I can ... photo of my wedding day January 1977 .. back when I was a young pickle, with a few less bumps, but very, very green!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

An alternative view

My daughter's opinion of what I should have written on Saturday:

SHE IS: A vegetable of rare talents and surprising sillinesses!
SHE WANTS: To be able to fly and greater heating in Winter.
SHE HATES: Being told how to feel, boring, middle-class Christian culture's social expectations from habit instead of conviction, anything that hurts people
SHE MISSES: A loving family and the freedom of cooking what she wants.
SHE FEARS: Being helpless, being constrained, being unloved.
SHE HEARS: Lots of laughter and the waterfall outside.
SHE WONDERS: Why people are the way that they are.
SHE REGRETS: Not seeing the Family Bible and losing all that history...
SHE IS NOT: Sharp-tongued, aerobic or stupid.
SHE DANCES: In the courts of Heaven (symbolically speaking!)
SHE SINGS: Many songs, very sweetly.
SHE CRIES: At many different movies, books etc. - sad, beautiful or sometimes anything in between!
SHE IS NOT ALWAYS: Sensible or pragmatic.
SHE MAKES WITH HER HANDS: Much good food for the good of many.
SHE WRITES: Better than anyone else in the family!
SHE CONFUSES: some people with her somewhat obscure brand of humour.
SHE NEEDS: Chocolate, cuddles, affirmation and someone to help her manage the little practicalities of life.
SHE SHOULD: Stop worrying about who does the laundry.
SHE STARTS: Most things that she wants to do.
SHE FINISHES: Not as much as what she starts!

5 year old pickle

I think this one was taken either just before or just after I started school. I remember the dress, it was a gorgeous deep peacock blue, probably made by my grandmother, as all my best clothes were. no comments on the hairstyle please, it was all my mother's idea!


My daughter, M, as a one year old. I'll get into trouble if I say how cute she was, but I think you can form your own opinion!

Ten things that say life's good

A challenge from Suzanne, let's see how I go:
1. getting good feedback about a sermon I preached
2. spending quality time with a good friend
3.getting into a prewarmed bad on a cold night (thank you electric blanket)
4. a good hair day
5. chocolate and other yummy treats (tiramisu is pretty good, or mangos)
6. seeing prayer change things in people's lives
7. pelicans (my favourite birds)
8. cuddles
9. seeing what marvellous adults my kids have become
10. rainbows

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another meme

Let's see how I go with this one. And remember, what I answer today is not necessarily what I would say yesterday or tomorrow.

I AM: A pickle of course! Also a middle aged woman, and a child of God with wonder in my soul
I WANT: To be free to live my dreams.
I HATE: Boredom, prejudice, small-mindedness, utilitarianism -- all the things that keep a person safe and dull. Also cruelty and abusiveness, that kill people's freedom.
I MISS: having a loving extended family.
I FEAR: physical helplessness, being at the mercy of someone else's control.
I HEAR: Silence. Birdsong. Background noises of my family at home (it's Saturday)
I WONDER: How different my life might have been if just a couple of decisions had not been made the way they were.
I REGRET: Not getting a degree when I was young.
I AM NOT: physically adventurous or sporty.
I DANCE: In my heart some days.
I SING: Whenever there's no one around to listen.
I CRY: Mainly in secret, but I do get caught out by books or words that are moving and inspirational.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: ready to go to bed when my husband wants to. (in fact, often not)
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: Dinner. I loathe handcrafts and have ten thumbs
I WRITE: Poetry, essays, blog, email ...
I CONFUSE: Loving with having to be a doormat.(But I'm learning)
I NEED: More energy. More encouragement. chocolate
I SHOULD: learn to show my feelings more.
I START: each day slowly.(I hate to be rushed first thing in the morning)
I FINISH: my college assignments on time (a continuous miracle)

Red Rose

There's something about red roses, not just their own beauty, but all the things they symbolise to us, especially love (human or divine) in its full flowering. The dark crimson ones, with their old fashioned perfume, are my favourites, but I loved this one, rejoicing in the sunshine that is blessing it. It was actually in the rose garden of a Tasmanian strawberry farm where we shared a strawberry sundae for afternoon tea.

Just a branch

Ok, it was only a branch lying in the grass, but it looked so like a funny animal, a cross between a platypus and a snake perhaps, that I just had to take a photo!

The Word became Flesh

I've been pondering the last few days about the inadequacies of the doctrine of propositinal revelation -- claiming that God only reveals Himself through words. How can they attach "only" to "God"? He is the Word, who wishes to communicate with us in every possible way, and men want to say that only one form of communication is acceptable!! Then, on another forum, someone talked about how could we better deal with people with disagree with, without both sides condemning each other, and someone else suggested that "the Word became Flesh" was a direction for us. This is what I wrote:

I was thinking only yesterday about the same thing in a very different context, how very much we try to regularise and rationalise and explain the faith, when our first responsibility is to live it. The Word became flesh indeed, yet we we live as if the Word became words — bricks to build our fortresses and arrows to hurl at one another. The hands that serve, the art that inspires, the hearts that suffer, the arms that hold, these, potentially, can express Christ more than any theological formulation (not because the formula is necessarily wrong, it may be very right and very important, but because it is one dimensional). think about it, the word that spoke the universe into being became so limited by our flesh that He had to learn to speak all over again — and how many words did He speak on the cross while doing His greatest work?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lay your love ..

Sometimes we have to die to old dreams, and let go of them before they can be reborn ..

Lay your love beneath a stone
Let it die, and die alone.
Let your heart lie cold and still
No more beating to your will
Every dream and all desire
Now consumed by frozen fire.

Heap the silent earth above
Make a thorough end to love
Let another sing your song
This is not where you belong
Others meet in sweet embrace
You await a different grace.

Someday spring will come again
Not with bitter freezing rain –
Warmth and softness ending cold
Faithful arms that will enfold
Love transcendent will descend
Joy’s beginning in its end.

Deloraine again

And this is another view of the same river, it really was a lovely place!


These are waterlilies on the river at Deloraine. The light on the water was beautiful.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


since I seem to have got on an animal theme today, here's one of a Tasmanian echidna (spiny ant eater) They're not nearly as spiny as the mainland ones, I guess they need the extra fur instead to keep warm in a chillier climate!

Tasmanian Devil

And a Tassie Devil, also from Trowunna. At the moment he/she looks cute, but when they open their mouths and snarl it's another look altogether. Unfortunately they're under threat because of an outbreak of a strange facial tumour disease in certain parts of Tassie. They still have the numbers at the moment, but if this disease takes off ..

Dinner for the babies

I think this is one of my personal favourites of all my Tassie photos: Taken at Trowunna Wildlife park, west of Deloraine http://www.trowunna.com.au/ it shows a baby wombat and two baby wallabies eating dinner together. They're rather irresistible, aren't they?


This morning I've had going through my head the words of an old hymn:

"Father, hear the prayer we offer,
Not for ease that prayer will be,
But for strength that we may ever
Live our lives courageously."

I remember C S Lewis said, I think it was in Mere Christianity, that courage is the most important virtue because without it we wouldn't be able to practise any of the others for very long. It's true: love, generosity, humility, gentleness, self-control, patience, faith etc etc .. at some point they all require courage to keep walking in them. And courage means different things to different people, what for one person is an easy thing, for another will mean wrestling with their deepest fear. Courage isn't about not feeling afraid (Heck., there are some situations where that should be called stupidity, or at least lack of imagination) courage is about following through with what you have purposed to do (because you believe you should) irrespective of how afraid you feel. Which brings me to a quote from another hymn. This one I've never heard sung, but this verse was in a little book I was given for my confirmation, and I've treasured it ever since:

Where'er the gentle heart
Finds courage from above
Where'er the heart forsook
Warms to the breath of love
Where faith bids fear depart
City of God thou art.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The letter J

Suzanne has challenged me to find 10 words beginning with J to write about that reflect back on my life and interests, this is going to be a challenge!! Please note, these are in random order, it doesn't indicate their real importance.
1. Journey I really believe that my life is a journey on many levels: from immaturity to maturity; from abuse and victimhood to freedom and strength, from pain to joy, from desolation to joy, from brokenness to God, from isolation to love, from ignorance and assumptions to understanding ... I have no idea how far along any of those paths I have come, I know that I have moved forward from where I once was, and, please God, will continue to do so.
2. Justice I care passionately about justice and fairness and integrity. I hate to see the top dogs get away with exploiting those beneath them. This world should not be about every man for himself, it is about servanthood and sharing, and doing what is right even when it costs something. It is about standing up for those who are too hurt to be able to stand up for themselves. I don't want to get into a political rant, but there is much going on in my own country and my ownchurch that I am not happy about: refugees, war, injustice to women .. I'd better move on to my next point!!
3. Joining I don't mean clubs and activities, I'm not much into organised stuff, this is just the closest J word I could find for connectedness. Next to God, friends are the most important thing in my life. I have lots of warm relationships and a couple of really close friends that I can trust my heart to. Without them I would have thrown the towel in long ago.
4. Jesus I didn't want to put Him first on the list because I didn't want the whole thing to look oppressively pious, besides, I don't throw His name around lightly, and I hate the way His name is used to justify all kinds of church and public stances which I don't think represent His heart at all. but anyone who really knows me knows that my faith in Him is the absolute centre of who I am.
5. Jokes OK my sense of humour is another core part of me. Somebody once said that life is a tragedy to the one who feels and a comedy to the one who thinks. I know both halves of that, and seeing the absurd and the ironic in everyday life is one way of staying empowered to deal with the tough stuff. Besides, it IS really funny. I especially love verbal humour, people's careless expressions conjure up amazing pictures in my head! Laughter is one of those gifts we should squander, the more we use it the more we have .. And I can actually tell jokes properly, even my husband admits I can do that and he can't ..
6. Judgementalism another passion of mine (as mentioned before in this blog) is my detestation of all legalism. I hate the way so many people have to promote their own self-righteousness by picking on some minor virtue that they've really got on top of, and making that the measure of everyone, so that they always come out on top. It's pathetic, and very damaging, and when they do it in God's name it comes perilously close to blasphemy, since in his eyes we've all got it wrong and it's His grace in Jesus that is our only way home, and that's for anyone who wants it. That's why my favourite parable is the Prodigal Son.
7. Jewellery (Aussie spelling please!) I always wear a watch and my rings (left hand wedding and engagement rings; right hand my 50th birthday ring, and when i go out I add the 21st ring I got from my grandfather made from the diamond in my grandmother's engagement ring). Around my neck I normally wear a small gold cross on a longish chain, occasionally for dress up i will wear something else instead. And when I go out I wear earrings, I didn't get my ears pierced till I was 38, and wearing earrings symbolises liberation and being my own woman. As you can see, i'm into decoration (I always wear a bit of makeup too, don't feel dressed without it. But I hate heavy makeup)
8. Jabberwocky (!!!) Now I've got you curious, I picked this one because it symbolises my love of words, they have so much power and can bring so much fun as well. I'm into crossword puzzles and poetry, and I love a good pun. words are both tools and toys. And of course, I want to be a preacher, again because I love finding the words that will touch people's hearts and speak grace into them.
9. Jonah I stuck him in because I've been asked to lead a bible study in our church for the next 4 weeks and I've chosen to do it on Jonah. It's flattering that people are looking forward to my doing this, but scary, I don't want to let them down. And yes, just for the record I do believe there was a real jonah who was swallowed by a real fish. Why not? Life's pretty boring if we take out the miraculous! But if you disagree, that's cool, nothing rests on it.
10. Jumble as in I like things just a little untidy. I've never understood "a place for everything and everything in it's place" it's just twice as much work to keep putting it back there. I thrive in what I call creative chaos - just enough mess that I can lay immediate hands on whatever I want to use.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

sunlit sea

by way of contrast, here is a scene down at port Arthur, taken in brilliant sunshine. It's trite to say that the mood is transformed by the light (after all, sea, looming hills and stark rocks are constants in both, but it's still true. Even in everday life, the light by which we see things (in the metaphorical sense) affects deeply the meaning which we give to them.

lonely sea

This one was taken somewhere on the north east coast of Tasmania while we were at St Helens. There is something powerfully emotive about that desolate greyness ..


hard to explain this poem -- I guess you've either been there or you haven't. For me it is the heart cry that I would not give in, I would not conform to being just another robot that my abusers wanted me to be and deny the glory and the pain and the truth and the wonder of really living.


We will not confine ourselves to the dark brown moss of silence,
Wending our speechless way through the closed grid of conformity.
We will go and buy white birds in wicker cages.
And set them free to sing upon the wind,
And where they go, our souls will surely follow.

We have eaten the cardboard bread of our refusal,
Its gritty tastelessness has made us choke;
Now, in some hidden corner of the heart,
(Where our repeated dying makes the soil so deep)
We cherish a hidden harvest from surprising seeds,
The grain that must be crushed to make the living bread.

I can follow the steps of men, there is a concrete path,
But I must fleet as the deer fleets, slipping through shadows;
Or fly as the owl flies, sliding through my darkness,
In the swift interior places where words do not grow.
(Or wolf-like, lean with single passion in the hungry season,
Running as the heart runs, bitterly intense.)

We do not speak the soul’s dark agony
In the civilised places, clinking with correctness.
We have a laugh, a smile trained to the purpose,,
Dancing impossible steps on the rim of emotion
Each faux pas tingling with so vast a risk.
Blank-eyed we must deny it or admit the pain:
Like paper dolls swept up into the fire –
The conflagration of our trumpery.

It is time to throw out worthless souvenirs ....

Friday, May 19, 2006

Further along

This is another view of the same river on the same troutfarm, just further along the walk into an area that was the original bushland (they had made the wetlands on an area that was previously cleared for farming)


This photo is of the little river that wound through a troutfarm we visited near deloraine in Tasmania. It was a lovely place, after a quick lunch of smoked trout and salad sandwiches we bought there, for a small fee we walked around the farm, and saw the wetlands they had established to make the troutfarming totally ecofriendly. At one point the walk wound by this river, the ultimate water source for the whole venture.

Responsive Lord's Prayer

Came across this, loved it, and wanted to share it. It reminds me of what C S Lewis said about "festooning" his prayers:

A Responsive Lord's Prayer
Our Father in Heaven
Remind us constantly that you are parent to all your children,Whoever, or wherever they are or come from.

Hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come,
Establishing peace and justice, hope and life for all peoples.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread.
Disturb us into awareness of the needs of others.

Forgive us our sins,
Our pride and our prejudices.

As we forgive those who sin against us.Lead us not into temptation,
Especially keep our hearts and minds open To see the good in others.

Deliver us from evil.For the kingdom,
Just and true,

The power,
Gentle and fair,

And the glory,
Shot through with the colours of love,

Are yours for ever and ever.Amen.
[From: From Shore to Shore. A new resource of liturgies, litanies and prayers from around the world. Pub. by USPG and SPCK. Used with permission.]

Thursday, May 18, 2006


This was a view of the river running through the middle of the town of Deloraine, taken under one bridge and focussed on another. It sounds silly to talk about a pretty river in a pretty town, but I don't know how else to say it ..

alpine bog

Back to some more Tassie photos. This was taken on the drive from Hobart to Deloraine, up through the mountains and lakes of central tasmania. This was from a boardwalk we took through a boggy area down to the lake. It was a lovely, isolated place, altitude about 1,000 metres. This photo was taken beside the path.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

more from my daughter

This is what M emailed me from uni today .. what do you think?

I can't get over what we are told about Aboriginal communities and their problems, mainly from alcoholism. It is just heartbreaking. I don't want to think about it, but I can't think of anything else. It's like the image is in my head and it will not go away.And they have rights to live like this. That is the real problem. They have a right to alcohol, if they have rights as citizens at all. And it would be inhumane of us not to grant to them such basic human rights. They have been so mistreated and abused, by our actions and our policies, and we can't now come in and deny them things that we have rights to, if we claim that all is well, all is forgotten, and there are no more problems. They are equal to us and they have the same rights.They have the right to live in the community without discrimination. They have the right to have education. They have the right to have health services. They have the right to housing. They have the right to make their own choices.They have the right to destroy themselves.What can we do? We cannot forbid them to drink. That would invoke cries of paternalism and dominance. The policy now is that of self-determination.They choose for themselves how they will live. And some communities have themselves banned alcohol. Others have not.
It gives me the smallest, smallest picture of what it is like for God. He knows what is bad for us. But He will not remove it. It is our choice, our right. We have self-determination, we have free will. And surely it breaks His heart to see how we abuse it.

Ten rules for knowing you're wrong

came across this out in web-land and thought it was a keeper. Then again ... I could be wrong ....

10 Rules for Knowing You're Wrong
If you're not talking about Jesus, you're wrong.
If you define a sin in such a way that it can't possibly apply to you, you're wrong.
If your doctrine leads you to cut yourself off from everyone but like 9 others, you're wrong.
If your theology excuses you from doing something God commanded, you're wrong.
If you believe in a way that allows you to inflict or ignore others' suffering, you're wrong.
If you're talking about how thankful you are that you're better than those jerks, you're wrong.
If your case relies entirely on citation of authority, you're wrong.
If you can't defend your belief without lying about what it is, you're wrong.
If you say you believe something and qualify the hell out of it, you're wrong.
If your version of the Gospel isn't actually good news, you're wrong.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

no legalism

I think this poem is self-explanatory. One of the things I'm passionate about is my detestation of legalism, and the self-righteousness that would rather condemn than understand ..

Grim Sabbatarians may claim
Damnation at the thought of it
But I, who wish a fairer name,
Would not walk as a hypocrite.

The log in my eye is immense
I know it, and do own it so
The pain is absolute, intense;
But I must hurt until it go.

I will not build a resting place
In my own self along the way
But I will learn to rest on grace
Whilst on the battlefield I stay.

My brothers are my heart’s delight
In all their fumbling brokenness
For they are holy in my sight
Despite their present dirtiness.

And we will in the lamplight sit
And wash each other from the day
And all the muddy hurt of it
And help each other on the way.

And not by shock or moral pride
Will we disown our circumstance
But hold the doors of mercy wide
And call each other to the dance.

And we shall dance with singing joy
Our lame and broken toes shall spin
To tread the measure of His love
Our only remedy for sin.

magnolia flower

And this one I took last August when our magnolia, alongside our drive, was in flower. The warm spicy scent of magnolia is second only to jasmine, in my mind as being the most wonderful scent of spring.

noisy miner

This little fellow is a native bird who lives up to his name .. he is very noisy! One year we had a pair of them nesting outside our bedroom window. No sleeping in for a few weeks, they were rowdy! This one I photographed in our lilli pilli bush out the front. You can see the lilli pilli flowers in the background.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I lay my life

And a poem, an oldie of mine, written about the healing journey. One of the curly questions that was thrown at me yesterday when I was interviewed in the church in Canberra was "How do you keep walking in your healing?" I gave quite a reasonable answer (especially considering I had about 5 seconds thinking time) but it's something to keep thinking about ..


I lay my life in the hands of Life, for I cannot walk alone
I give these selves to become a self, until selflessness is known
And I give my tears to water truth, till I harvest what I’ve sown.

I give my heart, in its shattered state, smashed in by heartlessness
To beat in time with the Heart of things, timed into timelessness,
All of its fragments taken in, His great love to express.

I stretch my hands, fumbling, hesitant, to reach towards my goal
I know I cannot touch the prize beyond my small control
But I am held, and carried there, and someday I’ll be whole.

I lay my life in the arms of Life, for there is no other way
I have no solid ground to tread, no days except today
Yet in the dark I trust the light to heal and hold and stay.

Chinese Gardens

And this one is from the Chinese gardens in Darling Harbour, a tourist precinct right in the city. Note the ibis on the rock, those birds are common in all the city parks and gardens -- they nest at the zoo and fly across the harbour to the city to feed in the daytime.

Up the coast

Another scene from New year's Day. This one, also on the North side of Sydney, is looking up the coast towards Barrenjoey. And you wonder why I think I live in one of the world's beautiful places?

Beach scene

After a busy weekend with our ministry trip to Canberra (which went fabulously, I now know I can design and run a 3 1/2 hour workshop on "listening to God" .. the trick is that God has to show up and do most of the talking, the last thing I'd want is to produce a workshop on "listening to Lynne". Hard to assess something like that, but I do have a sense that people were encouraged and empowered, which was the aim of the whole thing.) I am "back on deck". this means finishing my essay on the History of Biblical Interpretation, going to the back specialist this afternoon (finally!! it took 6 months wait!) and of course, giving my poor neglected little blog a bit of TLC. Since this is a "back to Sydney" day, I thought I'd post some Sydney photos. Here's one I took on New Year's Day (in record breaking heat) of a typical beach on the north side of Sydney.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

wrestling with Pharisees

Sydney Anglicans have now decided to attack the emergent church movement. Their whole article, which was in the Southern Cross, which is handed out in all parishes of the diocese can be found online here: http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/mission/true_confessions_of_the_emerging_church/

This was my response to the article on another forum:

well, to be quite honest, I think the cultishness is in the other direction. Time was when being an Anglican was in itself a celebration of theological diversity (unfortunately not cultural diversity — but in the white bread Australia I grew up in, what did we know of that?). Not any more, at least not in the Jensen’s Sydney. Having read the whole article in Southern cross (where it is followed a couple of pages later with an incredibly insensitive article on how not to waste your “blessing”of cancer), two things struck me on first reading.One was the incredible stupidity of being taken in by an April Fool’s joke as representative of what the latest “enemy” are doing (nude evangelism in the chilly Welsh mountains in early spring? yeah, that would really have mass appeal!!). In our desire to demonise the enemy, it’s always dangerously easy to suspend critical thinking and believe any absurdity that makes them look bad.The second was the equating of incense and candles with idolatry. Huh? I’ve yet to see anyone actually worshipping a candle (though of course someone .. somewhere …). These people have no notion of the power of symbolism to connect human beings to God. Their theology is ultra-rationalist, Moore College actually teaches that God only communicates to man through propositional revelation. Sad, really, they miss out on so much (and would deny it to others). they are afraid of symbolism, they see it as unreliable (probably because it’s much harder to control how people understand it .. again, how sad!) And they cannot see the glaring idolatry of believing that they are the only ones who understand the bible correctly, and that anyone who studies the text and sees something else is automatically denying the authority of scripture. While some of us see the biblical mandate as being to distinguish between true and false shepherds (by their fruit, not their textbooks, I believe) these guys have a mission to discern true sheep from false, and if we do not baa with their accents we are not of the true flock ..Sorry to make this long, but I go to an anglican church (it is therapeutic to confess, yes?) and have had many encounters with these people.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Something different

Since, with such diversions as essays, plumbers, groceries and what-have-you, I haven't had time to get creative with any more of via crucis, I thought I'd put up this poem (dated September 99). It's a bit different in tone, I was only a few months out of a very abusive house church situation and just beginning to process it all. this is about one person there in particular, who really hurt me. I never gave it a title ...

Too long you played your games inside my head
Made me the scapegoat of your brokeness
Milked my raw pain to cream your comforting
Named your needs mine then blamed my neediness.

You took the meek of my fragility
As your strength’s proof, let loose to hold my heart
You scorned the naked shape of what I am
While silk-shot ego dressed your every part.

I was the target of displaced self-hate
While you swam, swan-like, forwards toward day
Trapped in your shade, I cowered in the dark
While your voice mocked me, “Come on out to play!”

O, how your callous laughter broke on me
Like acid waves, to etch into my mind
My stark unloveliness, proved by unlove.
And, all the while, you told me you were kind.

Was this your mercy? Mercy to yourself,
Dismembering my trust to patch your soul,
So that the mirror of your self-regard
Could show yourself exquisite, clean and whole.


Ok, I admit I have a soft spot for seals. They're so cute! (from the appropriate distance!) These Australian fur seals were photographed from a boat trip we made around Port Arthur, in the bottom right hand corner of Tasmania. We really were that close.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What kind of artist?

Ok, couldn't resist just one quiz .. and laughed at the result! I think they're a bit flattering, but maybe these things are occasionally accurate after all ..
You Should Be a Poet
You have a way with words... and a talent for drawing the pure emotions out of experiences.Your poetry has the potential to make people laugh and cry at the same time. You just need to write it!
What Sort of Artist Should You Be?

climbing path

Just one photo tonight, I've been busy with other things all day, including over 500 words of my essay on the history of exegesis (good pickle!!). This is another photo from Freycinet, showing the steep path around the lighthouse that led to the lookout on top of the cliff. hard on the back, but the view was magnificent! (and that sounds awfully like some kind of spiritual analogy)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

seagull at St Helen's

St Helen's is up in the NE corner of Tassie. Most of the time we were there it was brilliantly sunny, we just had one grey day. This was it. I am always ambivalent about seagulls. Our Aussie silver gulls are beautiful birds, but their behaviour -- raucous, squabbling, disgustingly self-absorbed -- rather repels me.

via crucis -- sixth posting

You step across my walls and mock them
In the spirit of Sanballat, decrying my defences
Kicking a crumbled edge.

Further, you challenge the plans
Saying they are mis-drawn,
And the ground is really yours.

And furthermore, and so on (while the arguments continue)
You question why I should need walls at all
What’s yours is mine and (so much more important)
What’s mine is always, absolutely yours.

Lines on the sand?
Waves of your strength erase them.
Property rights? But I am property!
If you will hold me, why should I claim self-space?
If I have you, then why do I need me?
My walls fall down at your cacophony!

And the laughter of the Horonite is heard throughout my kingdom ..

I will arise and go where living waters flow
Over the desert sands, walking the empty lands
I will arise and go where living waters flow.

I will go forth to be all you have summoned me
Empty, alone, afraid, terrified and dismayed
I will go forth to be what you have summoned me.

I will arise and go where living waters flow
Thirsty, I sink, I fall, yet all your rivers call
I will arise and go where living waters flow.

I will go forth to be all you have summoned me
I have no self, no voice your glory calls “Rejoice!”
I will go forth to be all you have summoned me.

Protect yourselves, oh sheep, against a lamb
A wounded bleeding lamb who bleats in pain
And says the shepherds beat her, turn away
And run back to your guardian wolves again.

Let no blood fall upon your meadows fair
Let no sheep’s cry disturb the music sweet
Of lulling pipes by some false shepherd played
Do not be burdened by despair’s harsh bleat.

Let her limp slowly, over stony ground
Turned from the fold because her wounds were real
Fear of the shepherds dulls her longing eyes
There is no mercy, there is no appeal.

Old church

This one was of an old church in a little one horse country town on the road to Hobart. What was remarkable is that they had imported an old stained glass window from England, which, because of unique stylistic features, can be confidently dated to about 1350!!

At a tree

came across this great quote from someone called Peter Leithart:

Adam fell at a tree, and by a tree he was saved. At a tree Eve was seduced, and through a tree the bride was restored to her husband. At a tree, Satan defeated Adam; on a tree Jesus destroyed the works of the devil. At a tree man died, but by Jesus' death we live. At a tree God cursed, and through a tree that curse gave way to blessing. God exiled Adam from the tree of life; on a tree the Last Adam endured exile so that we might inherit the earth."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

tree fern

This tree fern was in dense forest. A lot of the forest was too dark for photos, but this one just caught enough sun.

Bicheno again

This one is looking down the bay at Bicheno. It was a grey day, which rather suits the rich greens and harsh rocks of this place. After drought-y Sydney, I really enjoyed the rich greeness of Tassie

Friday, May 05, 2006


This is a close up of a ro0se, from one of the many gardens we went to. Trying to get good flower photos tests my skills, since my camera only has 3x zoom. But, since I love flowers, it's a challenge I can't resist. (grin). And tasmania, being a much cooler climate than Sydney, really goes berserk with a summer display of flowers (both native and cultivated) to make up for having less at other times of year.


This is one of the photos I took at Freycinet (pronounce it as if it were in French, it's named after a French explorer). It's a lovely peninsula, jutting out half way down the east coast of Tassie, and mostly National Park. We went on a boat trip down the peninsula (walking it is for the VERY fit) This is one of the shots I took from the boat. It really shows the gorgeous colours.


Over the next few days I will upload a few of the photos I took on our trip to Tasmania last january. My camera is only a very simple little digital, but it takes great photos. A has a camera with all the bells and whistles, apart from the fact that it's too heavy for me to carry, I don't really understand all the technical stuff. But my little Nikon Coolpix and I have a great relationship! This photo was taken at Bicheno, a little seaside town we drove through. I think it's a lobster pot (but I don't know much about fishing)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dates and pictures

He he! It helps to read all the FAQs. Now I have my whole blog republished to Sydney time, and no longer feel a day out of synch.
I've also figured out how to add photos. This is baby pickle, less than 18 months old. I have no idea who the dog was, I suspect it belonged to the photography studio and wasn't mine at all!

via crucis --fifth posting

Toiling painfully
Up the hill
Knowing the burden intolerable
But there is no other way.

At the summit
The thing that I most fear
Shall come upon me

And after that the morning
And the arms that hold

I have sought refuge within your gates
And they opened wide for me.
From the icy rain to the warmth inside
I come in my confusion ..
Should I bring gifts?

Strange that there should be oxen here
And donkeys braying to shatter my quiet.
Men ooze sores and no one tends them
Holey instead of holy
My eyes sting
Perhaps these acid tears will wash the filthy floor?

I would be wholly yours, but find instead
Their clamouring needs, and must give up my bed.

While the anger rages
Noisy in these walls
Underneath its clamour
Silence that appals.

Waiting for an answer
To my desperate need
Silencing all voices
For one voice I plead.

Kicking raging screaming
Locked within this space
Here the truth must find me
And no other place.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Personality test

Hmm ... I wonder how much those who actually know me would agree with this??
Your Five Factor Personality Profile
You have medium extroversion.You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."
You have medium conscientiousness.You're generally good at balancing work and play.When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.
You have high agreeableness.You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.
You have low neuroticism.You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is high.In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.
The Five Factor Personality Test

Monday, May 01, 2006

via crucis -- fourth posting

It's been a while, but, just like the ads say, "there's more!"

Oh Hammer Thrower
Do not shatter
In lustful strength
My only mirror.

How can I know the truth of me
When you blot out every reflection?
Though you sanctify your motions
I am still the one destroyed –
Why should I consent?
Your lightning bolts are much admired
But I cannot survive them
Unless I flow like water
In a way that goes only down.

Hammer thrower
You bestride the centuries
And they name you as a god
As they match them to your image
(Let the feminine beware!)
God of the crass ones
The warriors of pride
The boundary breakers
Resplendent in their strength
Seeking to prove
That they take no joy in softness.

Yet in grace I shelter me

I sought me shelter in the body of your people
Where the word love sings so sweetly
I was sure it was for me …

Here we have no continuing city

Here the wolves gather, to feast upon the sheep
And the sheep fight over pasture, already sparse and grey.
Where my still waters?
Where is the Shepherd? Where the lives laid down?
Where is the Life, the life for which we die?
Why is love harsh, condemning, casting out
The very sheep for whom the Shepherd died?

And the rain is very cold.

Let me crawl under
The shadow of Your wings.
There is no other shelter, there is no other home ..
Through the cracks in stained glass windows, the wind is very cruel,
And you are not in the building, but outside
In the sleeting rain
In the whiteout pain
Where the saints disdain
Are you.

I am dancing very slowly in the moonlight on the grass
With the whisper of a hope within my heart
I’ve no partner but the moonlight and the shadows that it casts
And the knowledge of a love that won’t depart.

Yesterday was its own prison in the tears that could not fall
And tomorrow is unknown in the night
Yet right now I know that overarching love controls it all
And I trust the benediction of the light.

The holy words fall from unholy lips
Seductive as the snake, cold as its breath
Confusing sense and thought, “love” hard as ice
That which pertains to life and tastes of death.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing, white as driven snow,
Guardians of the gate, who lock sheep in
The better to devour them, weaving spells
Till righteousness is the new name for sin.

Sheep in confusion, sitting timidly
Under the rain of words, afraid to bleat
Lest they reveal themselves unspiritual
Cracking their teeth on stones that they must eat.

Thunderous the pulpit, hammering with blame
Grace is the special portion of the few
There is no succour for the halt and lame
They have made old the promise ever new.