Photography – inspiration – and procrastination

Two years ago I was really beginning to get into water harvesting and I had my focus set on making a documentary about the subject. This way I thought I could raise awareness and funds for the projects I was supporting. So I invested in a really great camera.. the best I could find in a price range I could manage that would fit what I wanted to acheive.

But the best plans change – I headed back to India and there I found my direction moving.. no longer focused on creating a documentary I simply started writing and taking photos. Well frankly it was easier than learning a whole new skill of making a movie.. something I had never done in my life.

Does that usually stop me? Not necessarily I am pretty able to get into stuff I never did before but this time making a movie just felt a wee bit over the top for me.

So with a sigh of relief underneath it all, I chose to move into a different direction.
The legacy of that is I have an excellent and beautiful camera – but I have to say, a half hearted attempt ar being a good photographer!

“Learning Shazar learning”… it comes around to bite me each and every day… things I need to learn – Hindi, photography, css, that new app I just got, iphone photograpy, sketch app, Hindi again, and on top of all that – how to wend my way through the intricacies of Indian political speak and rules and regulations to help my water harvesting friends.

Now back in Australia – for my winter break – and so many things get in the way – Writers Group, walks in the park, cooking, sleeping in, meeting friends for coffee, the Hilton Bowling Club and dancing on Friday nights, movies, sitting around in the winter sunshine, more cooking, wandering around the shops, playing.

Learning?.. oh where did that get to?
And the time is creeping up till I head back to India in early August – and still I procrastinate over my Hindi lessons!

Its an interesting thing seeking the aspects of procrastination and its offshoot – that of berating myself for ‘not doing’ – ah to simply relax and accept the day to day flow – and allow the understanding that I am in the right place and the right time and that its ok not to get everything done on my list.

One thing at a time – the cake smells good, the dinner is cooked, the family gathers. And that beautiful sun rises each and every day. I shall simply have to communicate the way I do best – with a smile.

Its not all about me!

What are the learnings of family relationships?
In fact of all relationships.

Most of the time number one would be “It’s not all about me!”  Its is a refrain that should be imprinted on my brain.

I could delete yesterday’s post – I could say: “Ah this was unkind of me” – or perhaps “Ah this was incorrect and could be hurtful to another”.. and yes that’s true – but once again who is it really about?

Or should I take it down because it shows me in a poor light? That the ‘spiritual me’ that I like to protray is also sometimes very ‘unspiritual’ and stuck in her own mind, unable to confront what is real.

I don’t even know who reads my ‘stuff’ as yesterday’s post was certainly ‘stuff’ dressed up to resemble an exercise in writing. Ha! Caught out Shazar – you who thought of being clever. When there is unresolved angst underneath the words, however plain and undecorated they are – it takes no effort to see the real picture beneath that I was feeling  pissed off and hurt.

But in the ultimate scheme of things it is simply not about me. I hear:  “How often is it not about you?” Always – 99.9% of the time. Its time to wake up and look at what is real, not the surface. Time to let go of the mish mash of emotional charge and ask: “What is really going on here. Whose stuff is this?” – and once it gets a little more clear then do something about it. My stuff, my responsibility, and ultimately my choice about how I feel about my life and what happens in it.
With apologies to my regular readers – I won’t take the post down because that too is a part of who I am and deleting does not change the learning.  I shall leave it there as a reminder.

What was that – the learning?

“Shazar it is not all about you!!”


What do dogs have to do with writing?

Reading James Altucher today he talked about writing – that when he has a problem he explores it – by writing about it – . He says: “Don’t even give me a description – not how you feel about it – just what happened, no flowers or clouds – just tell me.”

So here is my problem of today – it’s my problem .. no one else’s – here is the scraping around to explore it,  here is the telling:

I looked after my sister’s dog for two weeks – it was hard work – the dog was a puppy and needed heaps of attention and a minimum of two long walks a day.. when it wasn’t walking it was sometimes sleeping and otherwise was asking for attention.

dogs playing

‘Pat me, stroke me throw something for me, feed me’.. well you get the picture. I didn’t get much else done in that two weeks while I took care of her dog.
When they came home – I was at her house waiting for them with the dog – which got all the hello when they arrived. I had made soup for them – it was bubbling on the stove – something decent to eat after plane food all day.

There was thank you and hugs and bye bye. I went home – to my other sister’s house – it was dark by then – dinner time – no fire going so a bit cold. Nobody there.
I lit the fire, heated up some soup I left for myself and ate it on my own.

I hadn’t seen my sister – the one with the dog much for a long time – I had been overseas. She didn’t ask me to stay to eat soup with them. She didn’t ask me if I had any food made at home. She didn’t ask me if I was on my own. She just came home to her house and went back to her life in her world.

She sent me a text – to thank me and to say the soup was delicious. I didn’t answer her. Some days later she asked if I had received the text. I said yes.

Now we haven’t really spoken for almost two months. I have invited her for dinner – but she didn’t come – I have seen her at breakfast with my other sister but we didn’t speak much.

Yesterday she asked me if I would still house and dog sit for 5 days while they go to Bali. I said no this time – I am leaving for India the day after they come back and it didn’t suit me.

There is a gap now between her and me – today I am asking how to close that gap and if it is really needed.

Family is important. If I was to die tomorrow would the gap become more important?

wet dog

Dark pine trees in the forest

The Family of Tree

Tonight I am tree
lashed by winds
rain beating through branches
leaves flying
limbs tossed
roots standing firm.

Fortune smiles on me
I live in the forest
the community of trees
grasses, bushes, roots entwined
I am strong in my community

I live
I bend I flow with the storm
My brothers and sisters who stand alone
they stand alone and often fall
no longer in the arms and entanglement of family
falling breaking tearing from the earth

Oh forest hold me dear
roots bound to the earth
wind in my branches and leaves
the friend the storm simply is
no stranger to the tempest
no threat to the lands
winds blow all you might
for in my family I stand upright.

Trees standing in a forest

Creative Cake Making 101

I have decided that I suck at making cakes.  But I keep trying.  What I produced yesterday looks fab.  But taste.. nah sorry failed the really yummy taste test.

Raw cakes are a different story.. I can do them pretty well.. but I know what the problem is – I am just simply a “try it and see” cake maker.. and sometimes “try it and see” method doesn’t quite hit the spot.  Now if you are making soup.. that’s a whole different story.  But a cake has a formula that must be followed it seems and if instead of caster sugar you put coconut sugar – something doesn’t quite work.
My attempt at a lime and almond meal flourless cake sounded great.. looked pretty amazing but taste. Nope.. there was a back flavour of bitter lime – combined with a hint (mm fairly big hint) of burnt taste – I figured “no I had not left it too long in the oven” – something I have been known to do before – but I think it was due to the coconut sugar – that itself was too dark and way back at the beginning of its life somewhere in Java Indonesia – whoever was stirring that pot, left it just a little too long on the fire.

limecakeWell smothered in enough cream the lime cake I am sure will be eaten all up.  But a super hit – no – this one was a little like my lotto tickets of late – “Sorry not a winner!”

Now soup.. that is definitely another story..  I seem to be able to throw many different possibilities into the pot with a soup – and it comes out the other end with that gusto of flavour that makes you go.. YUMMMMMM….

Perhaps its time I gave up on the creative cake making journey and left that to the German friends who seem to produce the most stunning forays into cake heaven.

Hey come over for soup sometime.. and if you would like bring cake.. feel free –