Rosemary Nissen-Wade: Aussie poet and teacher of metaphysics – a personal view
My bestie nicknamed me SnakyPoet on her blog, and I liked it. (It began as
'the poet of the serpentine Northern Rivers' and became more and more abbreviated.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Best Friend Visits ... Maybe ... Yes!

Seeing Byron Bay was on her bucket list. She flew there from Melbourne on Thursday. On Friday morning I saw a post on Facebook declaring that she was about to walk to the lighthouse. Friday is my busiest day, but I found a minute to text her: 'The lighthouse is a bloody long walk. Get vehicular access.' She replied that she had now realised that, and had hired a car for the day.

At dinner time I got another message, to say that she had got lost on her way back to where she was staying, and been badly scared on dark, unfamiliar country roads. She eventually found her way back, but the stress had brought on her fibromyalgia and she wasn't going to be going anywhere tomorrow (i.e. today, Saturday). I was supposed to go get her and take her to The Crystal Castle, which is beautiful. She was to spend the weekend with me, then go back to Byron, meet up with other friends and see more sights. 

Last I heard, she was seriously contemplating going home instead. She says she will have to assess herself day by day. 

'BB sucks,' she texted. I agreed that it does. Once it was delightful; now it has traffic jams. I stay away from it as much as possible. I guess it would still be good if you wanted a surfing holiday. But we are having a cold, wet winter. Surely not even the tourists would be swimming at present.

I have suggested that I fetch her for a quiet day with me instead, and we see the Castle on Sunday if at all. I hope she managed a good night's rest. I await her phone call.


She has shakes and aches today, so texted an apology and will have a quiet time sitting on the beach or browsing in bookshops, not talking to anyone. 

Perhaps this is the holiday she really needs, rather than sight-seeing.and socialising. (I know how busy she is in Melbourne, with many responsibilities.)

As for me, I've seen both her and the Castle quite recently, so I can be philosophical. I've had a lovely, lazy morning instead, which I probably needed too, enjoying poetry and coffee. Soon I am off to see local friends in their art studio in town (The Sauce Studio) and pick up my new Tupperware which they took delivery of for me.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Later still:

She's feeling much better, and tomorrow will bring a visit from her to my place for the day. We'll have a good catch up, talk Tarot and Reiki, and generally have a great time. She has found another friend to go to Crystal Castle with on Wednesday.  It's all perfect.  *Smile*.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

That's Telling Him!

Not a nice thing to happen to my friend, but oh, what a corker of an insult/threat she came up with when stressed. 

She posted on facebook:

Think I'm going to be ill. Trapped on a tram full of footy fans. Creepy old man groped me all the way from Flinders St to the MCG*, pushed me over as he got off and called me a ' ugly c...'. Pushed to my limits, I yelled: "Touch me once more and I'll break your fingers, rip them off, stuff them up your filthy arse, kick start you and ride you all the way to the MCG, you dirty old sleeze." He didn't think I was talking to him. Ugh. Hot shower when I get home, and a cry on hubby.

Revolting circumstances to be extremely deplored; friend's word power to be highly celebrated. (Yes, she is a writer.)

*Melbourne Cricket Ground, home of football as well as cricket

Sunday, July 14, 2013

shifting the paradigm and telling the truth- wife and mother

(who gave me permission to share it, as I am so impressed by what she says)

I love my son and I am grateful for the experience of mothering, but it must not define me. I am glad that I was so young (23) and that it was such a surprise (a good choice for me) because I was never under the illusion that motherhood or the marriage to his father would complete me.  I'm grateful for the women who truly desired and became really good moms (I know many).  I'm also glad to hear from women who own NOT desiring motherhood, regardless of the fantasy that is pushed on women from the moment they are born.  I'm incredibly grateful that today, men and women can more easily dismiss fantasy based conditioning and define our own paths, fulfill our truly unique purposes. We can love and have fun, choose intense life long commitments or not~ I suppose the choices were always there, but it was considered deviant to stray from "norm".  I hope that as a culture we continue to be more accepting of a variety of life choices.

People who push the concept of all women desiring motherhood and marriage are pushing a fantasy that has little to do with the reality of parenting. Yes, mothering is rewarding and has it's joys, but fantasy pushers neglect to mention the unspeakable pain mothers experience when a child is very sick or dies. The unspeakable frustration when a child grows up to be the antithesis of what the mother thought she was guiding the child to. What worry is like from a mothers POV. What mothering does to selfhood. How many little girls playing with dolls, toy kitchens and other "girl toys" are aware that the most convenient way to control a woman is through a threat (real or imagined) to her child? Do those little girls know what guilt is? That a man can be a politician, director, bus driver, toll taker, anthropologist, minister and no one asks, "but who is taking care of your children?", yet a mother is asked that often. She may be the primary bread winner AND the primary caregiver, all the while being tossed a heap of guilt and being paid less. Once upon a time, an excuse people gave for women being paid less was that the man was the primary financial supporter of the household. We know that is not the case anymore and we know that all humans are worthy of equal pay for equal work- but we still don't have that, do we? I connect that lack of equal pay to the "marriage and baby" fantasy girls are force fed. The story told in film & TV is that women are trapping men, but let's be honest, men tend to make out better than women in the marriage dept. Married men suddenly have a built in support system while married women suddenly de rail their ambitions to support his. Marriage is too often like a trap for women, especially once they have children. While it's pretty uncommon and probably looked down upon for a man to consider his life's purpose being a support system for his wife's dreams and goals -women are still being fed the notion that it is noble to make one's life purpose supporting their husbands dreams and goals. I've witnessed many women who momentarily succumbed to the 'supporting your husband will fulfill you' fantasy, wake up and flea from it or find themselves dismissed after years of service with little to show for the work they did that was not considered "work". I'm gratefully aware that there are more healthy relationships now than ever before- relationships that truly live in the moment and are beneficial to each partner equally. I believe honest storytelling can help shift relationships and allow the vision of equal partners supporting each others life purposes, to come to fruition.

Parenting is an enormous life altering experience that can be quite fulfilling, but it is not necessary for a fulfilled life. People who claim they don't or wont change when they become parents are probably frightfully bad parents.  Men who play the role of assistant to mom, are not really living up to the role of father as best they can and as would be most appreciated by the children.  In my experience, motherhood has been a great teacher; I have experienced great joy and extreme worry thanks to this role. I had no idea what sacrifice meant previous to parenthood. Thank goodness I was and still am one who allows art to come through me; mothering is not my only purpose in this life.  Still, parenting changed my perception, the art that comes through and the order of my priorities.  Parenting changed how I function and so did my career, my friendships and the communities I belong to. It's usually when a child behaves in a way we wish they wouldn't that we experience the realization ~I am my child's teacher, but I am not my child's only teacher.  That knowledge is easier to digest when the choice of mothering is part of a life's fulfillment, not all of it.

I WISH more women and men who claim they yearn for parenthood would FOSTER humans. Would BABYSIT at a shelter while mom is in a therapy session. Would become a Big Sister or Brother. If you are authentically wishing you were a parent, please volunteer your time and energy to make a child's life better. Being in a paid positon to teach doesn't prepare you as much as committing as a volunteer who cares for children does. If you say you ache to be a parent and you're not doing something to improve the life of a child already here, I suspect you are probably succumbing to a mass fantasy and deep down, you don't really want a child in your life.  Those who say, "I would, but I don't have the time/money/etc." are lying to themselves.  If you really wish to have a child in your life, you can make time and find a way to help any one of the millions of children ACHING to be cared about.  It doesn't cost a penny to hold a crack addicted baby in the NICU. It doesn't cost you more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks to get your ass to a shelter and volunteer. So stop the lies, stop propagating the fantasy of "I wish I was married to a rich man or perfect women and could have children with her/him". Children of rich men and seemingly perfect women can grow up to be addicts, criminals, they too are born with challenges and develop challenges. You don't have to wait for a fantasy to come to life- you can be there for a child now.

The fantasy of a perfect married life and your perfect little children is as real as the prince waking a dead girl in the forest with a kiss.  You don't really want to be that sleeping beauty and you don't really want to be that prince.  Get over that lie and go on to nurture what you really care about.  Yes, fall in love, but don't let that love define you. If you have children, a job, a career, don't let any one of those things define you. Your desire in life can be what you truly, deeply desire and create in that space inside that is beyond conditioning.

We can live beyond fantasy and fulfill our unique life's purpose.

This essay was written by a woman who did not grow up dreaming of a wedding, who does not like shopping, is not the competitive type- prefers collaboration, doesn't get "catty", is straight, enjoys really good sex,  spiritual community and very good friends and family,  is counted on by many, is a leader, works in a male dominated, creative industry in positions that are primarily held by men, is the lead character in her story, not the supporting character in others stories and encourages others to live their greatest purpose. This essay was written by a woman who consciously makes an effort to come from love ~everyday.

Monday, July 08, 2013

How Personal Do You Get In Your Poetry?

I've just been participating in an interesting discussion on this topic, instituted by Brian Miller at dVerse Poets Pub. As usual, Brian raises questions which make me think, and I make discoveries about myself. This is what I said this time, in part responding to things others said:

Fascinating to read everyone’s responses! As for me, it must be clear to anyone who reads my stuff that I’m essentially a confessional poet, letting it all hang out.

I think there are two issues here: what do you write, and what do you post? In the writing, I am committed to being truthful – my truth, the truth of my feelings and observations; not necessarily the same thing as objective fact. When it comes to the possibility of hurting or embarrassing someone, I can choose to refrain from posting something to my blog, or even from submitting to a lit mag or anthology (though that would have less chance of being seen by the wrong eyes, so I might risk it). But I think the original writing must be authentic.

That being said, I do sometimes write fiction in verse too, which I guess can be confusing for readers. And I sometimes write of myself in the third person, as a literary experiment rather than a disguise. What I think I am doing is creating art – so it would be ideal if the poems could be received as themselves, as works of art, without reference to the personal (except insofar as they strike chords in readers relating to their own experiences). That is probably impossible, though, in the blogosphere where we get to know the people along with their poetry – and it’s nice to get the personal comments too. I just have to accept the necessity of sometimes explaining: ‘That’s not about me’.

I don’t think there is any word or subject that is not fair game for poetry. But I do think they must be used for good reason – because the word is the absolutely right one in that context; or the subject is one which demands that you write of it.

People have different ideas on religion and politics. I write from my personal truth in those matters too. I don’t set out to offend anyone, but if anyone is offended simply because I express opinions different from theirs, well as far as I’m concerned that’s their problem.

Above all, I bow to the demands of the poem.