Monday, 29 August 2011

Sometimes I hate laziness. Rant time! [Monday August 22, 2011]

Ok so, this might sound rich coming from me - seeing as [for those of you that have been to my house before] my house and room are usually kept in various stages of disarray and I usually cannot find it within myself to be bothered cleaning it... ahem. But I'm talking about the attitude that seems to consume people today, ESPECIALLY the younger generations, that says, "Yeah, I'll do that eventually" or "Yeah, that looks good. Might go to it" but then never actually do go back and do what they said they'll do, or go to wherever they said they'll go.

A classic example is RSVPing.

Okay. If you RSVP yes to something, then I'm pretty sure the decent thing is to go to it. Obviously notwithstanding death, sickness, disease etc, then of course you have an excuse. But there is this mentality today that says "I'll go if I feel like going on the day". I'm not saying I'm exempt from this, I think we've all done it at least once in our lives. However it struck me just how terribly lazy and just plain rude that can be.

Aside from RSVPing, there's the texting/calling/replying to messages thing.

Now. I take full acceptance of the fact that I am right-royally TERRIBLE at replying a lot of the time (I am slowly trying to rectify this distasteful habit), but it has occurred to me in recent weeks just how prominent it is for people to either ignore messages they receive, or reply a good week after the fact.


Ok sure, sometimes you just don't want to talk to anyone, which I definitely understand. But (and this is where truthfully, it really ticks me off) when you receive a message/call in regards to something important that is happening, i.e. a birthday, get-together, event - THEN YOU SHOULD REPLY STRAIGHT AWAY. It's not rocket science! Call the person if you're feeling lazy and don't want to text them. If you don't have credit, fine - use facebook or some other means to get in touch.

I merely outline these annoyances because I feel it is becoming integrated into society now that it's okay to be lazy. It's okay to be half-arsed with plans, and okay to respond to someone after the fact has occurred. When really, I don't think it is okay.

Am I the only one out there who thinks this?

I can already think of a few friends who will be thinking - "Oh Jayne. You silly little hypocrite. You're terrible at replying." To which I respond - "I KNOW." [in my little sing-songy roll-of-the-eyes way, followed by a chuckle]

And now I guess I will have to up my game.


Okay yes I definitely will lol.

But in all honesty - it is rude. It takes the lazy way out of things. And I feel somewhat saddened by that; that our society has resorted to being this way, and people think it's okay. Well, in my opinion, it's not. Improve your act people! Man/Woman up! Be better than what society expects of you! [mental note to self: Jayne, you included. lol]

Yes, alright. I'm done. Gonna go get some din dins from the KG village now lol.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Thoughts, thoughts. They swim, they collide, they never die.

I have come to the realisation that without the ability to write, I would surely cease to function.
Alright, perhaps not such a dramatic thing would occur.

But as I sit on my bed on a Saturday night, contemplating the world - people, the future, the past and present, I find myself understanding the truest aspect of my own nature - I NEED to write to live.

When my pen touches the paper, or when my fingers find the keyboard, I am home.

I find greater clarity being able to express what is truly inside of me, even if it does not come out as eloquently as I would like.

The moment I detail a thought, or outline an idea, a little rush flows through me. It is as if I have expelled an entity of creative energy. I feel relief. Often I exhale at the sheer magnitude of thought that comes out. It has been bottled so tightly within the walls of my skull that without releasing it, my head might implode.

Truly, it is something of a creative passion, this desire to write constantly. Every minute of the day, every second that ticks by, I feel the urge to write. It moves through me like a current; and after electrifying my soul, it finds an exit point through my fingertips.

I am restless without an anecdote or a muse that might describe my day. I yearn to see more so that I can write more. It is never-ending; even as my head hits the pillow of a night, I toss and turn because my thoughts won't quieten. Every moment they scream to be heard, they envelop my being even as I lay in the darkness.

I only find rest when I exhaust my thoughts on paper.

If I write, the stream of insanity in my mind becomes coherent. At times I wonder if I am mentally ill, the thoughts are so great.

Once, I wondered what it would be like to graft your own imaginary person. To actually believe a person into being - would it be possible? Could you create a separate personality to your own, just by trying to? It seems there is no limit to where my thought processes can go - where they desire to go, they will go.

As I finish this, I feel relief. For the moment, the thoughts are appeased. They have been written, now more are free to build.

"Until tomorrow then" I say to the thoughts that will never end.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

"They Can't" Project

Those of you who know me know the passion that I have for advocating for people with a disability. It's part of my core; now I want it to be part of Brisbane's core.

I have this idea, this project if you will, that if it comes to pass I might just dance a circle in King George Square [haha].

Last week I was talking with Artistic Drama Director Clark Crystal, who runs the Blue Roo Theatre Company - an organisation that empowers people with a disability to get involved in arts and theatre. As we were talking, he told me that he had suggested to some people involved in generating the grants for Blue Roo, and Clark said to them, "Oh, I'm thinking of getting the guys to do 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck next year as a new drama project."

To which the men responded - "They can read?"

If you are as shocked as I was by that statement - then please, keep reading.

My idea, partly inspired by my lecturer from Disability Services, and partly inspired by the clueless nature of those men, is to generate a giant slide show presentation, if you will, titled 'They Can't'. It will host an array of images that show people with a disability participating in the arts - whether that's drama, fashion, music, painting, whatever - with some kind of title that reflects the image. i.e. 'They can't read' - and showing that 'they' can.

It would be my dream to have the slideshow broadcast somewhere in the Valley, or Southbank, or the city. Somewhere that is easily seen by lots of people. And when I mentioned this to Clark, he said that it'd be great if it was promoting the Blue Roo's upcoming performance in December - and I think that'd be fabulous too.

But to do this I NEED HELP. I need the help of my fabulously creative friends! I need the help of your friends! I basically just need everyone haha.

So if you are AT ALL interested in helping me with this project - please! Please please join, or please help me promote this page!

Thank you my lovelies!!!!!!!! :)


"Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark -spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror. It's passing, yet I'm the one who's doing all the moving." - Martin Amis.

Martin, I know exactly how you feel.

A friend very dear to my heart just informed me that his grandmother had passed on, and just as he told me my own grandmother walked through my bedroom door. I felt my heart stop in my chest and my breath catch in my throat. She wandered on into my room, looked at the bare section of my lavender-coloured wall and said, "You need a mirror over there, like a big mirror." I laughed, and said, "Yes Noni. But I have a huge mirror on that wall there." And so ensued a conversation that was quite trivial in many ways, but somehow seemed more significant in that moment.

Every so often I take stock of how quickly time moves. It has this way of generating momentum as you get older - where days used to feel like a never-ending hot summer night, they now feel like that cold breath of air on a winters morning - refreshing, sometimes bothersome, but always fleeting.

When I do think of time, I am scared. I am scared I have't done enough, been enough, seen enough. I am scared that I haven't spent enough time with the ones I love, or spoken with those I used to know very well. I am scared that, should my life be cut short, I will know that time has been wasted and I did nothing to rectify that.

But all the same, I don't think it would be right of me to live in fear. Especially when I think of death - where time stands still, where it occurs to you that (depending on whether you believe in time after death), suddenly time has shifted. Moments that were so precious, have suddenly become unforgettable and priceless. And it makes you wonder - is time after death the same? Are moments precious - far and few between - there? Or is it beyond comprehension - and time there stops, becomes one never-ending thread that weaves into the tapestry of forever? A picture of time, a memory in itself?

It is week 4 already, past the halfway point of August, almost Christmas time. I have looked up and all has changed in a matter of moments. I have grown, those around me have aged, and I cannot believe how different it is now.

2012 looms on the horizon, a prediction of death by date alone. But I will not view it that way; I refuse to. If we see the future, see time as only the ticking hands of a clock, waiting to view our own end, then we will not live. We will imagine that living has no point, trying has no value, and find ourselves hiding in the past - re-living memories as though they alone hold the answer to how fast time moves.

Martin Amis sees time as terror. I don't want his terror as my time. I want my time to be love, laughter, generosity, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, redemption. I want it to be more than what I see it as - fear for the future, fear for its momentum, fear for chances and opportunities lost. I want it to allow me to soar - to run if I want to, to weep, to clasp a hand or shoulder, to hug more, to dance to my own music, to see the silliness in life.

I believe if I continue to want time in this way, then it will be this way. And then - what have I to fear? No, not death. Certainly not. Because as I die, I know I will have lived.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ted Dekker - author and legend.

"An invisible cold hand reached out of the darkness and touched Janeal directly over her heart, all five fingers grazing her like feathers yet with the power of a force field." [p. 76]

SUCH a powerful line from a novel I am quickly falling in love with. Ted Dekker is by far one of the greatest authors I have ever come across. This bewitching line comes from one of Ted Dekker's newer creations, a book co-authored with Erin Healy and titled 'Burn'. The heroine of the story - or dare I say, hidden villain? - is a 17-year-old woman named Janeal Mikkado, who lives within a community of gypsies with her father Jason, her boyfriend Robert and best friend Katie. I was taken in quickly by the concept of gypsies anyway, but Dekker and Healy effectively cast Janeal as somewhat of an outcast - a bird trapped in a cage, longing to be free, if you will.

I admire the authors' ability to create such intriguing characters. Chapter 1 introduces you to Salazaar Sanso, a crafty man on the edge of a knife, wanting to escape imprisonment from the DEA for forging money and knowing Janeal's father Jason is planning on setting him up. He selects Janeal as his puppet to betray her father and community (which is taboo in the gypsy realm) and you begin to feel as though he knows her, knows of her selfish thoughts, her longing to leave, her wavering loyalties.

I won't spoil too much, but I am always astounded by Dekker's way of bringing the 'evil' of everyone's persona to the fore. He captures his characters in a way that often leaves me breathless - I feel as though, with his words describing his characters, he is seeing into my very soul and writing my innermost confessions on the page. I applaud his grasp of human nature and being; I believe he writes what other authors are afraid to expose. Where other authors might throw lust into their story, Dekker will throw lust and guilt, or lust and denial. His characters have layers that, frankly, I still spend time mulling about.

The other Ted Dekker novel I recently finished (and adore from cover to cover) is adequately titled 'The Bride Collector'. It tells the story of a deranged yet brilliant killer who suffers from an array of mental illnesses and the curse of an abusive childhood. He is haunted by his history and one memory of a woman who refused to be intimate with him, and therefore carefully plans his revenge (though he does not see it that way at first) for seven years after the fact. His belief is that he is God's messenger; unworthy of being a sacrifice himself, he must go out and take seven of God's most beautiful brides and send them to be with Him.

The most confusing part about the villain's character I felt was his name - Quinton Gauld. At first I thought - Quinton? What an odd choice for the villain's name. But as I read on I was suddenly struck by the innocence stemming from Quinton - he truly felt he was doing God's work, and thus 'Quinton' seemed fitting.

What I love about Dekker's characters is that, villain or not, you end up loving them. In the case of Quinton, you absolutely loathe him at the beginning. You cannot fathom how anyone would be so deluded and be able to murder women thinking you were doing God's work. But Dekker is somehow able to turn even the most vile sinner into someone you feel sorry for, despite using all your energy to try and hate them. At the end of 'The Bride Collector', all I could think was - "Please Quinton, can you just see the light? Please change your ways, you can be forgiven". It was ridiculous! Yet I adored it just the same.

Other than Quinton though, Dekker's other focus was on Paradise - a woman staying in a mental health center, plagued with her own demons and suffering from Schizophrenia and an assortment of phobias - one being her inability to leave the center and the comfort of its walls. She believes herself to be ugly, when truthfully she is beautiful, and fears men due to her past as well. She is the source of Quinton's determined mission, and the object of Special Agent Brad Raines' curiosity, and ultimately, his affection and love. It was amazing how Paradise's beauty began to emerge through Brad's blossoming love for her; she was beautiful all along and could not see it, and neither could Brad. But throughout the story both beauty and love became a realisation for both characters, and Dekker takes you on this journey with them, so you find yourself stunned that you never picked up on the magic and power that both changes and consumes the two as they discover more about each other.

If you do read this book, it will blow your mind. The artful way Dekker describes the other people in the mental health facility enables you to fall into their shoes; allows you to embrace their 'flaws' as fantastic personality traits, and truly sheds a new light on mental illness and how it is often misinterpreted and portrayed in a negative way. I found myself giddy with excitement every time our attention was drawn back to the center - Roudy, Andrea and Cass kept me laughing with their witty banter and crying with the hidden severity of their conditions. I found Dekker had written them in such a way that I could not possibly feel sorry for them, and if I met them (especially Roudy!) in reality I know I would have rushed to become friends with all three.

I have read many of Ted's novels, and own 3/4 of them with the intention of owning all someday (very soon!). I would love to be able to say to him, face-to-face - "Your novels have changed my life". It might sound cheesy and like something out of a movie, but truly, they have. When I first read 'Blink of an Eye', I felt rocked to my very core. Dekker's writing is so powerful in that novel, you find yourself swept in and carried away in the sea of his words. And somehow, you don't want to fight the current. I cannot help but feel challenged as a person, and even as a woman, after I finish one of his books. Whether it's challenged in strength, such as Thomas' journey in the Circle Series; or faith, with Miriam and Seth in 'Blink of an Eye'; or bravery in the face of pursuit by Sterling Red (a seriously scary serial killer!) in 'Skin'; or challenged by self-worth and feeling content with myself, like Paradise did in 'The Bride Collector'; or challenged in love - by far the strongest message in all of Ted's stories - but most especially in The Martyr's Song series.

So a message to anyone who reads this - if you are excited by the thought of fantasy, of adventure, excitement, betrayal, murder, supernatural powers of the mind and body, mystery, intrigue, heart-stopping endings, unforgettable characters, and above all, excited by love (and by love, I mean the real, die-for-someone-else type love) - then you absolutely MUST read a novel by Ted Dekker. Then again, why stop at one? Why not read them all? I surely plan to. Just give me a week or two.