wisdom and whimsy, clarity and contentment

Contentment has learned how to find out what she needs to know. Last year she went on a major housecleaning spree. First she stood on her head until the extra facts fell out. Then she discarded about half her house…  P37.

My visits to Clarity are soothing now. He never tells me what to think or feel or do but shows me how to find out what I need to know. It was not always like this. I used to visit other people who visited  him. Finally, I summoned the courage to call on him myself. Was I surprised. He lives on a hill in a little house surrounded by red roses… p15.

from The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler.

It’s a thing that happens to you

“What is REAL?” asked the rabbit of the Skin Horse.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” was the answer. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the horse.

“Does it happen all at once, or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once. You BECOME. It takes a long time, that’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to those people who don’t understand.”

                                                                                                                                                  The Velveteen Rabbit.

floating on a sea of tranquility

Over the last few months I have been on my own quest, to cease chasing the big yellow taxi because I had fallen into the habit of not appreciating what I have had until it was gone (aka Joni Mitchell). This quest led to the only New Year’s resolution that I made to myself this year and that was to be authentic in all that I do, and with all the people in my life.

 For me, this has meant really embracing the moment, and having my conscious self come to terms with the world in which I live. This is not always easy, especially when I encounter negative external forces, such as the School Junta, with its attendant pressures and influences, and to be honest these forces were not always originating directly from the Junta, but usually were.

 However, I have slowly come to realise that the degree to which I am true to my own personality, spirit, and character, despite these assorted pressures, the more content, tranquil and resilient I have become.

The depth of my tranquillity has been the most astounding benefit I have received.. My attempt to live my life according to the needs of my own inner being, rather than the demands of my society, or my early conditioning by an anxious mother and the Sisters of No Mercy, has meant that I no longer struggle with the pressure to appear to be a certain kind of person, the pressure to adopt a particular mode of living, the pressure to ignore my own moral and aesthetic objections in order to have what I thought would be a more comfortable existence.  This has led to an overwhelming sense of tranquillity that I have never experienced at any time in my life.

 Now, through my  commitment to be authentic in all the areas of my life, I am freed  from behaving  inauthentically towards my own desires, and no longer obscure the  true reasons for acting.

 The level of tranquillity I now experience gifts me quiet repose and a once troubled disposition more free from stress and negative emotion than ever before. I have accessed a state of peace and quiet that has expanded not only my life, but I think my horizons as well.

 I have to work at maintaining this untroubled state, and I admit that there are times, in every day, when it is impossible to be free from disturbance. Also as Cummings wrote, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  However, I have discovered that approaching each moment with authenticity means that I can finish each day in a more tranquil state of mind.

 Now, each day I remind myself that there is only one life for me to lead – my own. My commitment to authenticity has been my own amazing liberator.

Play Book

I know that as you all crawl through your dreary existences that you wish that you could live the Flamingo Dancer life. Well, weep no more, for I have heard your cries and have put together a little how-to workbook for you to follow.

How to do Saturday, the Flamingo Dancer way:

Embrace the day by rising at sunrise, bright and beautiful as always

Complete a 10 kl run and do thirty minutes of meditation

 

A healthy breakfast

 

Then off to the beauty salon to brighten the tresses

Today we are selecting new frames for our glasses.

a little touch of FD humour for those who know FD has only one eye, which I suppose you all know now!

Maybe a new pair of sunglasses as well.

Then it is time for a little shopping

select a superb original gift for the newest family addition

Home and Mr FD shows how much he missed us

 

Time for domestic issues but not before a good cup of tea

a little dusting and fluffing

a gourmet dinner simmering in the oven

Time for a little drink

Dinner is served

an evening of deep and stimualting conversation with Mr FD

time for bed

 

Definition – Delusion of grandeur : The false belief that one is important or powerful

Natalie Munroe hero and truth sayer.

Natalie Munroe, the American teacher suspened for telling the truth, is my new hero. Number one on my list.

Her comments may have referenced the American education system, but exactly the same thing is happening in Australia. I lay much of the reason for the lazy attitude and non performance of our students at the feet of their parents who refuse to let their children accept responsilibity for their own decisions and actions, or to suffer any consequences.

Teachers are also used as political cannon fodder by all levels of government, instead of governments investing real money in the education system, and parents admitting that they have neglected their parental role in the stupid idea that they need to “buy” their children’s love and need to be their friend rather than their parent.

Anyway, Natalie Munroe is my hero. Tell it like it is, Natalie.

[Thank you to Emjay and Snowy for the alert].

Friday with the Librarian

At desk by 7.40 after a 40 minute drive from home.

Turn on laptop, empty yesterday’s dregs from coffee cup into plant outside office door. Fill with more coffee. Go back to desk.

Go to admin building to sign all photocopy requests and check no naughty teacher breaking copyright – not today, hurrah.

Join with senior school for weekly assembly. Watch stirring video about sports champions that is suppose to motivate students. The soundtrack sounds like a song Russians hummed on the way to Gulag and I feel like I to0 could ride like Lance Armstrong and kick a football like Pele. Then I remember I am Flamingo Dancer and I don’t do exercise, and I am already a hugely successful Goddess and so do not require further motivation, so leave assemble early (still too damn hot) and go back to library.

Air conditioning in the computer room is still not working and so contact head of college who tells me he is still waiting on the quote. Decide this is his “cheque is in the mail” story and so use FD wiles on head groundsmean to obtain fans for computer room. Damn I must be good, because within minutes he arrives with two industrial fans for the room. Just about blew some of the little grade 7 girls off their chairs but did little to lessen the heat.

Library team is rostered on to provide staff morning tea, so we shut the library for morning tea break and set up for the hordes. I took wurst which I notice was the first things to disappear. I know my meats.

Year 2 class fails to show with their teacher so go back to admin and pass Head of Senior School aand 4 of the senior boys cooking hundreds of sausages. Sausage sizzle to raise money for the flood victims is being held at lunch time. Stop and tell the men that the secret to a fine sausage is all in the wrist action, but from the laughs of the teenage boys I soon realise that they took it quite a different way than I meant it, but so is the mind of the male teenager.

Take Year 7 class for library skills and show them a video about boolean operators that makes them giggle like little children and then realise they are little children. Student asks to go to bathroom and comes back and tells me there is a snake outside the boys toilets. Call groundsman and ask him to seek and destroy. Need no feminine wiles this time.

Get hug and a happy dance from male teacher when I tell him I have authorised a new mobile phone for him to take on school camp, as old one appears to not function. Some men are a push over.

Usual playground duty in the computer room. The year twelve learning disability student not only gives me a hug today, but also grabs my usb to sniff and then gives me a high 5. She is always so happy, unlike the two year two students who come to the circulation desk, one about to cry and the other to rip my throat out asking when they will be allowed to return to the library. I have good news as just been told that I can up the number of students from each class allowed in the library to 8 from each class, which is about all that would want to come most days. They go away happy to find their teacher and get their pass. One for the librarian.

Tutor 4  year twelve music students who need help researching and writing their research assignments and who have a  music teacher who has privately confessed to me that he is crap at such things, so I have one lesson a week with them to support their research. Set them tasks to complete by Monday and set them on their way. Three boys appear motivated but fear the sole girl is not.

ASD student arrives early for library skills lesson in final period and when questioned he tells me he has had two stress outs that day and had actually been in student welfare until he walked out to come to me. I set him to work but can see he is agitated and upset by some imagined virus on his usb and having been locked out of his classroom for some reason.

Students arrive and they tell me the Head is looking for ASD student and so sent child to tell him he is found and safe with me. He is no problem compared to the three little devils in the back row, who I take aside and lecture about decisions and consequences while they smile at me like the idiots they are. Learning support teacher arrives to work with ASD student which has never happened before and between her presence, two fans blowing students off chairs and sounding like jet engines, the heat, and the fact that it is last period on Friday, I battle on, wondering why the hell I didn’t marry rich…sigh.

Go back to office and write email to music teacher to update him on class. Check classes for Monday and prepare lessons for them. Find coffee cup filled with the coffee I made in the morning, and am too tired to care, and the plant seems to much of an effort to walk to, so drink cold coffee so that I can take dirty cup home to put through dishwasher.

Library Assistant tells me one of the readers for year 2 has to be pulled because a parent was upset that a story family went for a meal in a cafe and didn’t say grace before eating. Once again am left to wonder what planet these people come from, but hold back my words. I remind myself again to keep the inside words in. Remind self to update resume and send to Fanny and Maude’s just in case their librarian dies before she retires at the end of the year.

4pm closing time, so throw children out of library and explain once again that we shut earlier on Fridays and think to self that if  parents think I am going to babysit their darlings for free on a Friday afternoon they must be more stupid than I thought.

Drive 40 minutes home. Mr FD asks about my day, and am too tired to put into words and so reply “Same as usual.” And it was.

dearly beloved

I could not be parted from my beloved laptop another day, and even though the new keyboard is to arrive soon, I have taken my dearly beloved from its repair spot to stroke its keys one last time.

The problem is that the exclamation key won’t work and how can a person be expected to blog without an EXCLAMATION mark? I have no way to exclaim, alas and alack.

I feel naked… and mute.