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Month: August 2016

These children may be wild

It’s the relentless intensity and monotony.
Its the constant flow of broken things, destroyed things, melted things, lost things.
Every day a battle to clean and tidy, always losing.
They say you cant have a happy family and a clean home, but its hard to settle for a messy home and only infrequently pleasant humans who reach their peak pleasantness when they are sleeping.
Yelling. Screaming. Crying like your life depends on it. Fighting reality at every turn.
Remain calm, remind yourself these moments will soon be a distant memory.
Though true, the thought offers scant comfort.
So I reread the mindful parenting tips, stick the A4 print on the wall of all the positive reinforcements to use instead of yelling stop’s and don’ts and put my head between my knees instead of shaking the kitchen knife I’m using to make salad with in the direction of a jelly crystal covered pantless 4 year old retaliating with projectiles at his brother who just smacked him in the head with the mop.

Raising wilful children comes with a cost.
Accept this, I try. I try my best not to break their spirits while teaching them to be respectful human beings.

My grandmother believed children should be outside from morning to twilight. Outside was the domain of the children of the past. The home was kept clean by being childfree, the home was to sleep, to cook and to eat. The kitchen was no place for children, the dining table was practically a religious alter.
These days I send my children outside, go I say, the yard is yours, kids are supposed to want to be outside.
Inevitably despite my best attempt at prevention, they will come back covered head to toe in mud or dirt. They will come back spray paint on their grubby hands from graffiting the walls. I will find them having raided the recycling bin smashing glass jars with a hammer in the driveway. The laundry is pulled off the line and turned into a fort. The bath tub is filled with every single bottle of liquid they could find.
They are wild when they are in their domain.
Wild children, wilful children, my children.

Sometimes I lose my shit, and I look around at the lego covered carpet, the skirting boards that haven’t been scrubbed and the walls that need painting and I wish I had a magazine worthy home, obedient grateful kids.

Then I remember who I am, where I came from.
Everything is perfectly in its place.

When murder isn’t murder

Yesterday in a regional area of remote western Australia, a 14 year old boy riding a motorbike was run down by a 55 year old man driving a 4 WD vehicle.
This child was run down, allegedly run over and left to die alone on dusty bush track.
The boys name was Elijah and he was Aboriginal and local to the area Kalgoorlie.
The tensions between Aboriginal people and non Aboriginal people have been high for some time now in Kalgoorlie, with some citizens openly calling for culling of Aborginals and self proclaimed white supremacists holding meetings where non whites are denigrated and ridiculed.
After the discovery of the dead boy and his injured friends, the alleged defendant who left scene of the crime, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.
As a result of this charge, the aboriginal community decided to protest. To get together in the streets and make it known that they are angry and tired of the inherent and systemic racism that brings charges of manslaughter when the crime is a perpetrated by a white man against a black.
The protest soon turned to a riot, as police in riot gear were called, presumably because a sea of angry black faces is automatically cause for a heavy handed and violent response.
When a peaceful protest is met by a riot squad, its easy to see how things can turn violent.
People who want their voices to be heard can become aggressive when met with hostility and heavy handedness.
According to the media statements a courthouse window was smashed, police were injured.
White australis response has been to condemn the protesters actions. Worried about who will pay of the broken window, people saying that its the boys fault for allegedly stealing the motorbike, there are closed Facebook groups where commenters call for aboriginals to be run down, for the mine shafts to be filled with dead bodies.
Still white Australia are upset at the protesters, why cant they just leave it in the hands of the justice system they ask. Why do those aboriginals have to riot they ask, don’t they have jobs they should be at.
White Australia doesn’t know why because white Australia has no reason they can see to protest anything.
White Australia is on the receiving end of justice every second of every day, while black Australia is left to die in police in cells ( https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/30/ms-dhus-pain-how-to-hurt-an-aboriginal-family-without-even-really-trying/).
Their white murderers are let off lightly because even the judge provides character references for defendants that they are “good blokes”(https://overland.org.au/2010/05/top-blokes-totally-out-of-character-when-five-white-men-beat-an-aboriginal-man-to-death/comment-page-1/ )
Drug affected hit and run drivers that kill 8 year old boys are given 6 month home detention sentences (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-21/man-gets-home-detention-after-fatal-hit-run-of-eight-year-old/6636102).

This why I stand in solidarity with my aboriginal brothers and sisters. There is no end in sight for the abolishment of the racist justice system that continues to create this divide based on the level of melanin in a persons skin, based on where they are from and who their family is.
The judges, the juries, the media, the people at home in their armchairs, they all continually tell a story that everything matters more then black lives.

On the subject of the torture of children

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In our home we have a TV, though for much my life I have never had one in the house. Upon having kids I conceded to having a TV in the house, and find it useful for watching documentaries and movies and cartoons are also a good distraction on rainy days. I never watch the daily news, in fact we don’t actually get any TV channels, we watch netflix or DVDs.
The biggest concern I had in my children watching TV has always been the viewing of gratuitous fictional violence and the real broadcast violence. Particularly the TV news programs, which I always felt were depressing, full of the anger and violence that comprises the lives of much of the world on a daily basis. I thought that I should strive to keep their innocence from the often grim and dangerous world we live in for as long as was possible.

The violence is not new I know, humanity has been killing each other, terrorising each other and dehumanising each other as long as recorded history, I know this. What is new is that the violence is available on a screen for us to consume 24/7 should we so choose. Actual real dead bodies, wounded and terrified people, starving people, marginalised people, people fleeing terror and war and death and famine. By keeping my children from seeing all this in flashing picture and stark words I thought I could protect them from feeling unnecessary anxiety at the harshness of the world they are yet to experience.

I do however use my laptop to keep up with current affairs and the other day my 6 year old sneaked up behind me and saw the photo of the little syrian boy in an ambulance. Many questions were asked as a result of that one shocking image and I answered them truthfully. How do you explain to a 6 year whom one is constantly reminding to be kind, to not respond with aggression toward his brother, that grownups are allowed to maim and kill little children just like him? How can you justify killing with more killing in a way that makes sense to a child? All I could hope for is for my children to grow up with kind hearts and compassionate natures, to know that violence only begets violence and serves no one but the people at the very top.

What concerns me is how so many children with innocent hearts and kind loving parents just like me have grown up to fight in wars, to bomb innocent civilians, to go to a factory every day to aid in the manufacture of bombs and weapons, to advise on policy that commit violent acts against innocent people. I wonder where did those parents go wrong? Did they go wrong, or are some humans essentially incapable of choosing the peaceful path over a stable income, a powerful job title?

I simply cannot fathom how so many Australians are able to participate in jobs that directly or indirectly enable a place such as Nauru and Manus Island detention centres to operate. Isn’t it as easy as all of those to people to say no?
No I will not do the banking for a company that profits of the torture of children. No I will not make screws that go into furnishings of a place that profits off the illegal incarceration of innocent civilians. No I will not send the food I have grown or manufactured to a place that violates human rights every day. Can’t we as a nation stop paying tax until our government shuts down the illegal offshore detention centres?

Are Australian people able to go about their daily lives knowingly contributing to this continuing torture, abuse and illegal activity because they have been desensitised to the fact that those people are actually people, despite them having brown skin and hard to pronounce names. Can they ignore the pleas for help and the international condemnation because to them, those people are just pictures on a screen with the words illegal and and queue jumpers bandied about. How is it possible that the majority of Australians feel threatened by the prospect of refugees coming here when the post World War Two migration saw an influx of eastern european migrants come to these shores and prosper?

Has everyone forgotten the words to our national anthem
“For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share”

Could it be because most people consume their news though these cleverly manufactured programs they are blind to the truth? The solution may be to not just “watch” all the atrocities in the world unfold and then switch over to the latest entertainment program, but sit down with our children and explain to hem exactly what they are seeing. Give the people the recognition as fellow human beings. Explain that those people are just like you and me, they just happened to born on a different part of the earth. That every single human being born on this planet is born where they are purely by luck of the draw. nothing differentiates us but our self imposed conditions and judgements. That is could happen to us, and very will likely happen to us.

In Syria and many other countries right now, families are faced with a choice, stay and risk being killed or go and risk dying and being illegal detained and placed in torture camps with no end date in sight.

So I think I will start to show my children the realities the horrors of the world now, maybe that way they will know that all these children being tortured are human beings just like them.

Make sure our children know that 5 year Omar Daqneesh has a family and a brother and he is loved by many.

Find your passion and go for it!

As I grow older, I find myself wishing more often that I had just one thing I was passionate about. As long as I can remember I have always been interested in everything, mediocre at everything and not particularly outstanding at anything. I’m envious when I speak to or read about people who decide to follow their passion, giving up up their ho hum job/existence to pursue what they are truly passionate about, wishing I could throw myself 100 % into something that I loved.

Recently I sat down and attempted writing my manifesto to try and work out what my talents, skills and passions are. Basically, I came to nothing aside from my intense desire to see human rights in practice and my stubborn tenacity in arguments and concluded that I should study Law, so naturally I rushed straight in to enrolling in a Bachelor of Laws.

This lasted 7 weeks. Firstly it was a lot harder then I imagined, and secondly I felt like as my interest is human rights it is a waste of time at my age to have 3 years of study on things like taxation law, family law, corporate law that I will never use.

So I am back to the beginning.
What do I really want, what is my life purpose?

They say to ask yourself, what would you be doing with your life if money was no object. If I answer that honestly it would be music. Music was my first love and has been my constant obsession and companion. To pursue a career in music scares me though because as a single mother, I need an income, I need to be able to provide solely for the upbringing of my two boys. Music is the closest thing i have to a passion but I don’t actually play any instruments (thanks to my short attention span when learning them). I live in the countryside so working in the music industry in any capacity is pretty much out of the question. Photography has always been another great love, I just get put off by the fact that it seems like everyone is a photographer and/or yoga teacher these days, plus the equipment is so expensive.

So again, back to square one. How do I spend the rest of my life? How do I make money to support myself and my kids until I die? We will be working till we fall over dead unless we make quite a few million in gold bullion to retire on, the bleak liberal future holds no old age pension and no security in superannuation etc.

I love writing, but I’m also not particularly good at that either.After speaking to a few close friends I have been convinced that one can learn to be a good writer, so I guess its time I threw myself into it and give it my best shot.
If you are one of those people who followed your passion, did you just know that it was it, or did you have competing passions and have to choose?