Archive for April, 2008



Posted by Comments Off on Pestilence

The pestilence has returned. I thought rather naively that I would be immune to a second bout of this accursed condition but I am now riding it out for an encore performance. Once again microbes have usurped or perhaps deceived the apathetic antibodies that swirl through the arteries of my inner being. The torture of getting sick is not the sickness but the moral dichotomy that comes with it. Extra baggage that reinforces my conviction that I am but a mere slave in the wheels of this machine. Maybe it is just my cynical eye that forces me to view the place I find myself in, in the super organism of humanity as less than flattering. But what other option do I have when the first thing that happens when I become ill is to have to decide if I am sick enough to have a day off from work.

I want nothing more than to stay home tomorrow and lay in bed and hope that this bug will be duped into believing that I am not a worthy host, however because I only just had a three day sick leave binge the other week I am now faced with the question of soldiering on like the Codral ad says we ought to do. This moral dilemma is a constant cause for anxiety in times of illness and in my arrogant mind I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t expend my sick leave when I’m sick but there also is this sort of shame in doing so. Maybe the dilemma is a dysfunction in me but the feeling that taking leave is unacceptable behaviour and one that only the weak partake in is not without at least some foundation. Case in point being a colleague commenting in a humorous way that women are much stronger and can work when they are sick when I returned to work from my last bout of sickness. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a sense of humor and get that the comment was said in jest but jokes can disguise half truths and in my paranoia I could also imagine that by having leave I was somehow not strong or of weak character or some other blight on my personality.

However, after all is said and done, I’m sitting here writing this blog post and one has to wonder how sick I really am? Well it’s a question I’m struggling with but I think if I had the option of a guilt free exit from work today I would’ve taken it. I still have the option to take a sickie tomorrow but without a doubt it won’t be entirely free of guilt if I do. Am I free? or am I slave? Maybe the question is do I have the courage to be free or will I be enslaved and imprisoned by my mind’s eye?

Category : Journal | Blog

Winter Chill

Posted by Comments Off on Winter Chill

Winter has visited us in a splendid manner, I think it has been the coldest April day in 50 years or so the news informed me or maybe that was just my imagination. But it is such a pleasant surprise, the biting chill numbing my cheeks and arms as I went out to grab some lunch. I was caught offside without a jumper and only a short sleeved polo shirt but inwardly I was glowing with the endorphins that the howl of antarctic ghosts wailing up Van Diemen’s Land onto the shores mainland Oz release.

Winter Monster

I love the way the winter bite invigorates the senses, awakening the dead cells of summer languish, opening old pores clogged with sweat and smog that the brazen heat of summer bakes into the skin. I no longer have to trudge through the sweat on my way to work. The chilly air will snap my dreary eyes awake, welling them with moisture from stinging icy fingers poking at them as the wind lashes through frigid air.

It’s funny how the weather changes so dramatically, Saturday was really quite warm and then suddenly it gets snap frozen. But I do prefer the a cooler climate, my body doesn’t handle the heat very well.

Category : Journal | Blog

Happiness – Friend or Foe?

Posted by Comments Off on Happiness – Friend or Foe?

I’ve seen them. so dark. Black. And yet fine.
The flower they carry had once been mine.
Get away from me, man of stories. Robe of lies.
Stay far from me. I lie to myself (it’s not
hurting). I need help, but not from you or
yor father. No! Jesus Christ. Who’s my
saviour? Lose myself in gods death. No! I can’t
bear all this pain. I had watched the snow
all day. Falling. It never lets up. All day
falling. I lifted my voice and wept out loud,
“So this is life?”.
My Dying Bride : Turn Loose the Swans – The Snow in my Hands

Happiness – that age old question: Are you happy? It’s a question that was recently asked of me along with another; Are you fed up? Two serious and poignant questions which simply can be answered with a No and a Yes. However, can they so easily be dismissed with yes and no answers? In many ways they can but they almost certainly demand some level of justification or rationale.

Happiness is seemingly the state of being that we agonise over, wondering if we are happy or if something other can enhance or bring us closer to it, constantly luring us with pining for its sweet embrace. It’s an obsession for many and I’m sure all of us have pondered at some time or other whether we have achieved happiness. I have and when I do I almost always conclude that I have not, hence why I squirm when someone asks me if I’m happy. I sense it’s a trick question only because of the uncertainty, of not knowing what it actually means to be happy or rather in what context am I to answer if I’m happy or not. That I think is what’s so disconcerting about the question. Happiness to me is a fleeting feeling, moments can be happy but to have extended happiness as a whole sum of life experience seems to me an unattainable goal, although admittedly even that is not entirely honest. Lasting happiness is attainable but it requires concerted effort in achieving or finding it and it is this effort, the enduring battle with the forces that conspire against it, that forbids my passage onto the shores of happiness. I don’t doubt that some people or maybe even a vast majority can find wholly a sense of happiness but I don’t believe that I can, well not in the current mindscape I envelope myself in.

Again it seems to me a contextual question, happiness in what form? The quote from the Turn Loose the Swans album by My Dying Bride that I started this post with, sums up the quest for happiness; insofar as, for the most part, happiness is something which all too often is sought from the outside and from where I stand it most definitely is an internal dialogue more than anything else. I could give a dozen reasons why I am not happy and conversely I could give a dozen more why I am. There is truth in people choosing to be happy even if it sounds silly and counter intuitive.

I fall prey to externalisation and as a consequence there is always something better or something I don’t have that will quell the sense of contentment and fulfillment that happiness promises. Looking for this next thing automatically gives rise to the fed up feeling. Like a pendulum it swings back to wanting something else, to and fro it swings and it may not be a bad thing if one can use the momentum to drive or affect some course of action or change but for the most part it just hypnotises me and I do nothing.

Happiness I think begins with the belief that one has enough, if that belief can be sustained then it can form a base for gratitude which is a fundamental ingredient in happiness. The rest of the happiness equation is community and giving or service. Participating in community and feeling a sense of purpose and belonging is pretty much the core of who we are and it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to envisage that giving will be natural in such an environment. The formula seems easy and simple, although I should hasten to add that it isn’t something I’ve invented, but the way society is structured it has become difficult to establish an environment where the key ingredients to happiness – gratitude, community (friendships) and service are easily attained if it was ever easy.

Somewhere along the way the simple formula has been lost. It’s not something that was ever taught me by anyone in my family circle, nor at school or anywhere apart from coming across it myself along the way. But it is also something which I don’t necessarily follow, although I have the sense or feeling that if I was genuinely in search for happiness it would be a starting point. Perhaps it seems odd that I should not be searching for happiness but I get the sense that it is not foremost on my mind. Maybe it is this culture, this time or my pessimism, I don’t know but too much happiness revolts and at the same time attracts me. Weird but sometimes I think happiness is blinding to the point where everything becomes too rosy. Also, I think it too hard, the thought of examining every thought to detect the negative impulse and converting it into a positive polarity is daunting, however it could be just as difficult maintaining a negative mindset. To get gratitude takes practice for someone with a morbid bent like me and I’m lazy. At the end of the day, I don’t necessarily believe everything ought to be positive and rosy, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. 😛

Consumerism and feeding the machine has replaced the tribe to large extent, or driven it to something to fit in if you have the time. Happiness is now commercial and I think we’re sold to the idea that chasing the next thing is in fact what happiness is. Like the marshmallow above, it can kinda be happiness, in a happy meal type of way.

Category : Rants | Blog

Responsibilty and other musings

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Responsibility. One word that brings so much discomfort. As time marches on so too does this one word, becoming larger and fatter, growing in direct proportion with time spent. Time narrows with each annual performance appraisal, yet the tasks and functions that need completing on the daily grind list, expand. Like squeezing a hose, gripping time around its neck while the pressure of a thousand little nuances bulge in the bottle neck of a recessive tick and tock. Age is the precursor for this whip bearer who is constantly in need of some extra sustenance. Ah well I’m sure it’s all for the best and alls I can do is grin and bear the added burden of life’s riches and feel flattered by having reached a level of prestige in slavery.

Placing responsibilities to one side, I must apologise for the ongoing haphazardness in appearance of this blog, I’m attempting to give it a face lift; although it’s not entirely of my own creation but in due course I will be able to claim the aesthetics however sad it may look until the time I eventually settle on something I like. The coding of the theme I may have foolishly purchased from WP Remix, thinking it would be easier than starting from scratch and admittedly it is better than trying to do it all from the ground up given my limited knowledge in these things but I could just be justifying the outlay of 50 odd hard earned dollars. Hopefully in time I’ll get to a level I’m happy with.

ANZAC day is one of those days that seems to drag on with continuous ceremonial pomposity, not too far removed from the likes of a religious public holiday. In fact the whole ANZAC day thing seems to have been infected with religious fervour, more than I think it warrants. I remember when I was in High School when I was green behind the ears and not nearly as cynical  as I am now, that ANZAC day was just a day off but it has somehow morphed into public consciousness as something bigger and better than in years passed. There has to be a correlation between September 11 and the way national symbolism is being shaped.  ho knows but tomorrow we can forget yesteryears warriors and concern ourselves with the responsibilities and distractions at hand.

Category : Journal | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Friday

One more day to get through and then the sweet salvation of the blessed weekend. It never ceases to amaze me or rather confound me that living in the twenty first century has a lot to be desired. We hear the virtues of freedom being espoused by foreign world leaders and home grown leaders alike, yet this freedom that we feel so compelled to protect and defend can certainly feel like slavery. I understand the meritorious notions and equality that each of us in this society is purportedly given, but still at the end of the day it all too often seems as if the gods that condemned Sisyphus to rock and roll as it were, have also mistakenly condemned the rest of humanity to roll that boulder up and down for no apparent meaningful reason. What else can this waking at an ungodly hour, scuffling with thousands of other drones in overcrowded infrastructure doing the same tasks again and again be? If not a sick joke then what?

Certainly given the position I find myself in I ought to be grateful for having this slavish freedom, however increasingly I find myself feeling resentful and disillusioned. The problem seems to lie in the falsity of it all. The happiness that seems to be on sale just doesn’t seem to stem from accomplishing the feat of getting the boulder to the top of the hill, because tomorrow there will be another hill and the day after, another.

Finding some meaningful existence in all this rolling becomes quite a challenge. Sure there are these catch phrases and marketing hype like work-life balance but who out there ever achieves this elusive balance? Is it merely a carrot that is perpetually out of reach or do some lucky individuals find this nirvana? I for one feel somewhat duped by this “happiness” that we should feel grateful in pursuing, when it is just Sisyphus’s legacy that has been repackaged and sexed up.

Well one thing I can be grateful for and in a minor way it countenances the work-life manifesto with a level of genuineness and that is the two days away from the overcrowded rail network and the pile of drawings that never seem to disappear from the cross hairs of the AutoCAD cursor.

Hail the Sabbath for man can not live on boulders alone. Blessed be the man who hath made two days worth living for.

Category : Rants | Blog

Insalubrious times

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A viral heat is pulsing through my veins and I wish that I could curl up and expel this demon from my inflamed nostrils but it is adamant that it remain in its final resting place. I am doomed with this disease and it may yet even kill me. I feel like death warmed up and I have no hope that the morrow will bring forth a glimmer of a ray of the last of summers sunshine. I am left cold and embittered by this microbe. Beat. I ought to bow down before this formidable foe and commit my allegiance to this all powerful deity crawling inside my cellular membranes oozing its vile mucus while it claims victory over this powerless soul.

It is one of natures wonders, these tiny microscopic organisms that reek havoc while they rape and pillage healthy cells, their mutable face only seeking to replicate in as many hosts that permit entry. Ever evolving and advancing, pursuant to dominance and mocking our intelligence with taunts about how easily it could eradicate our presence from this earth with a mere folding in of itself, reinventing its make up and as it does annihilating thousands of years human endurance.

The bug is coming, its only a matter of time, insalubrious as it may be. Perhaps all it takes is to be in the wrong place at the right time. What if right now as I sit here blowing my nose for the millionth time today, a solar blast from the perimeter sends its cosmic rays into the molecules and cells of my infected body and gives the burst of energy for the tiny organism to fold and create the right protein or enzyme to become a far more nastier version of bug than has been seen before. Its a fantasy but stranger things have happened. It may be why not many dinosaurs are roaming around in our backyards these days.

I’m bugged out. The best I can hope for right now is for the snot in my nose to dry up. And the best we can hope for as a race, the human race is a few more years and some new inspiration in our age old battle with our tiny little foes.

Category : Journal | Blog