Recently Martin and I have switched roles. He is Nina’s main caregiver and I am the main worker. I think it’s good for Nina and I get a bit of a break from each otehr and for Martin to spend more time with her. it’s a bit full on though. I am working at the a school tutoring teh ESL students Mon – Fri 8.20am -12.20pm. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday night I am teaching at AMEP which is 4pm-9pm including some preparation time. And then on Friday I work from 12.30 to 4.30 doing admin stuff for the AMEP enrollment etc. Not to mention there is still caring for Nina in between times and getting up to her once or twice a night. Lucky there are so many great people around to help.
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer
A few months ago a Quaker from Adelaide came up to Alice to speak to our group about different Quaker practices, thoughts etc. In our group everyone is pretty new to it so it was quite a helpful weekend. Anyway, he spoke a lot about Parker Palmer as he is a bit of a Quaker guru so I thought I would read this book. He talks a lot about how most of live fairly divided lives in that who we are publicly and who we are privately is often quite different. What we actually do is often at odds with who we are or what we really believe. He believes that many of us have lost touch with our souls. This book is about how to create spaces to listen to your soul, your inner teacher and/or God when wrestling with life’s question or callings. Doing this will obviously be of benefit to us personally but he also talks about the implications of doing this on social issues. One of my favourite bits was about learning to sit with tension, learning to sit in what he called “the tragic gap” between reality and our deepest hopes eg the reality of war versus our hopes for peace. There was a lot in it about a particular process called “circles of trust” in which people are enabled to do this and I found some of that a bit tedious at times in its detail but there were some really gem thoughts in there as well that I am still pondering. I would like to feel less divided.
Waterhole of Hope by Annie Patterson.
This book is about Sue Woods. Sue Woods is a friend of mine in Alice who started the House of Prayer in Goulbourn and now runs Campfire in the Heart in Alice Springs. To be honest I didn’t think I would be that into this book but I picked it up a month or two ago and I have really enjoyed it. It is a story of a faith, about a woman who had tried to live every day according to what she believes God is calling her to. It is a story of the ups and downs of doing this. It is a story of a very ordinary woman who followed her vision and has done some pretty amazing things. Although, there were some slow bits I found it pretty inspiring.
I haven’t really listened to that much of the whole carbon tax coverage, I just find it all pretty depressing. Not because I have a problem with paying the tax but because it continues to highlight how hard by Australians think they are when we are so privileged. So I could be wrong in my next statement and correct me if I am but I haven’t heard anyone say, “this will not cost you anything if you decide to use less carbon”. They keep going over and over the figure of about $10 a week increase in cost of living expenses and how they are going to compensate it but no has made any suggestion for how people can use less. For example put on jumper instead of a heater, get rid of your electric blanket, turn off the TV or computer, ride a bike instead of drive, don’t eat meat etc etc. We have to remember that these things are actually privileges not rights.
And while I am having a rant I watched a documentary the other night about an island in Italy called Lampedusa. As a result of the current conflicts in the middle east they had more refugees come to their island in a week than Australia has got all year. It really showed the fear mongering here for what it was.
Nina is the coolest dancer ever. She just loves dancing and she is so cute when she does it. Sometimes she tries to sing along as well. Her other new love is creating chaos, she just loves to pull everything she can down from the shelf, out of the cupboard or out of the box but she hasn’t learnt to put it back yet. She has even discovered how to pull everything out of my wallet, interestingly enough the money and the credit card always come first. She also likes going to the park and crawling around on the grass or having a little swing. She has totally mastered crawling now although she continues to prefer to pull herself up. She really is an inquisitive little person and I love her so so much.
As part of my doula course I have to attend two births. Wednesday was my first one. It was long and exhausting but amazing. I feel a bit embarrassed saying this as it is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot but it was a truly humbling experience. When she gave birth I really felt so unworthy to be part of such a sacred experience. I truly wanted to take my shoes off as I was standing on holy ground.
I think women are truly amazing. The way that they sacrifice themselves so totally for their children. Towards the end the birthing woman was completely exhausted and she found that by lying down she could reduce the intensity of the contractions as well as get a much needed rest. However, reducing the intensity of the contractions means slowing the birth down. She knew she had to stand up but nothing in her wanted to this at all. However she did it. Watching her pull herself up and brace against the pain was one of the most courageous things I have ever seen.
I still really want to be a doula. While I am conscious that I still have so much to learn I think it fits pretty well with who I am. I am fairly aware of people and I am pretty level headed in very stressful situations. I totally believe in empowering women and ensuring they have the kind of births they want to have. It is also a job that requires one to totally forget themselves and focus on another person. This may not be naturally me but I would like to get better at that. However, I am a little unsure about how much time it will probably end up taking. Time away from my own family. Not to mention the emotional and physical energy requires. Things to think about I suppose.