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watching thoughts

July 17, 2013


Yesterday’s storms across Perth brought down our red pepper tree beside the drive along with a neighbour’s fence.

Our problem was easier to fix; the chainsaw-wielding, tree-prune squad released our car from bondage this morning before I could finish clearing the shed of stored-teacher-clutter. Grand day – contents of the last removal carton from a relocation I undertook over two years ago are finally sorted into useful/ recycled material piles. Can now tick off a clear shed diary notation.

Change can be a slow business.

Perth train station

Sometimes it’s easier adopting a waitandsee approach.

Disruption to Perth train station, for example, is outside the bounds of my control or influence. While I’m looking forward to the improved train trip from Bassendean to Fremantle, this work-in-progress  is best observed from a vantage point.

Like this:


As a reflective practitioner of the teaching arts, however, viewfromthebridge distancing can be difficult to achieve. Mindful practice requires cultivation, and habits – especially those resistant to change – are difficult to overcome.

Cue wise words credited to Frank Outlaw, late president of Bi-Lo stores:

Destiny - Frank Outlaw

I copied these words from Shih-Ern’s Literature journal in 1997.

The buried Buddha head is a relic from our more recent garden makeover which caused devastation and a temporarily barren front yard [fig trees, palm trees, a long disused children’s sandpit, and statues all gone].

New possibilities emerge: Light; space; renewal.

I am left contemplating

How easy it is for people to change their lives

And yet how hard.

We say – look what the world has done to me,

It is all their fault.

And we say – if only, if only –

We spend our whole lives making excuses and blaming others,

Creating and believing the grand illusion

That what happens to us has nothing to do with us.

How much harder it is

To see how we have very carefully made our lives

Exactly as they are,

That we are the authors of these messy tales

And we alone can change the story

If we will (Parry & Pizer, 1982).

Momentarily, as I type these words, looking out from my study window, the sounds of our neighbour working on fence-reconstruction roar across the street.  Dust spirals from the drilling/sawing. His industry is marked by equipment trails pulled from utes left parked on grassy verges.

Despite yesterday’s storm, perceived difficulties, thoughts becoming words, then actions, habits and character in fatal, lockstep turn, to pause a moment… watch … and noticing this becomes an opportunity to reflect.

Outside – spooky – the noise stops.

Selected reference

Parry, A.S. & Pizer, M. (1982). Below the surface: Reflections on life and living. Australia: Pinchgut Press.

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