A deeper look

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Has the notion of vanity become a bit quaint? We are in the age of selfies and botox, of bling and bottom implants. This is strange. Don’t you think? That we do such things.Excessive belief in one’s own greatness used to be frowned upon.

Or is vanity so intrinsic to the human experience that in our carnal age we barely notice it anymore?

The Greeks warned about vanity in the myth of Narcissus. So gorgeous was Narcissus that when the nymph Echo first ‘sees’ Narcissus she falls in love with him ‘at first sight.’

But Narcissus rudely dismisses Echo rejecting her love offer. Nemesis, the goddess of retribution punishes Narcissus for his callousness by cursing him to fall in love with himself. Or rather, the image of himself, reflected in the river’s water. Narcissus is so distraught after discovering this is not another person, but the illusion of a person, that he kills himself. …


Dealing with climate change

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Photo by Alex Grodkiewicz on Unsplash

Professor Jem Bendell, a strategist on social and organisational change, published a paper: Deep Adaptation. An expert in sustainability, Jem acknowledges the current model of infinite growth on a finite planet has already taken its toll. Climate change has gotten so out of hand that ambulances at the bottom of the cliff are in demand. He says it is up to the people to organise and create a new way of living in the face of overwhelming calamities. We must face the predicament honestly and bravely — and prepare.

Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity is advising resilience - citing eight forms of capital. Categories for you to get sorted: Intellectual, spiritual, material, financial, living, cultural, experiential, and social. In the event of economic, societal, and environmental collapse having resiliency in these areas is wise. …


We are the stuff of legends

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Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Prophecies present two paths. Do this or else. One path leads to salvation and the other to destruction. You take the high road or the low road. High vibe or low vibe. It’s the hero’s decision. But there is always a choice.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
- Joseph Campbell

Monomyth

Joseph Campbell wrote The Hero’s Journey in 1949. He explores the concept of the monomyth pervading myths, legends, and religious tales. That all stories are offshoots of the one universal story.

The universal theme of a hero having a need; spurring him away from the ordinary every-day, out into the world to fulfil a quest. He meets conflict and obstacles and eventually returns changed in some way. …


Doing it for the long haul

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Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

One thing is for sure, no one gets out of here alive. Life demands so much of us. The last words from my dying gran were, “life is a series of challenges to be overcome.” At the time I thought, what an odd and slightly negative thing to say — but it is true.

You don’t have to accept the challenge. Maybe it is not for you like ballet or climbing mountains, yet just like the ballerina and the mountaineer, you are going to need a measure of grit and grace.

Grit. I like the word. It represents resiliency and tenacity. Staying on the horse and getting back on when you’re bucked off. It’s endurance and going the extra mile, refusing to back down and choosing to delay gratification, for the greater good. It reminds me of honour and being forged in the fire. For the people who have grit, persevere against all odds. They’re not quitters. They cross the desert with a child on their back. …


A timely reminder to fill up your cup

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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Do you know how the flight attendant says put your oxygen mask on first? There’s a reason for that. In the unlikely event of an accident if you’re dead to the world; if you’re slumped unconscious who will save the metaphorical baby?

You may not realise it but you’re running on empty. Not just air — but love. I get it: you’re a mother, sister, brother, husband, boss, friend. And everyone needs your attention. They deserve attention. In some cases, you’re all they’ve got. You take your responsibilities seriously and you’re there with a bucket of water to put out the fire. …


Balancing on your pedestal

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Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Growing one’s self-esteem is like sorting the wheat from the chaff. A sieving system where beliefs and actions and habits are brought to light to be examined and queried. Does this empower me or disempower me?

Do I want this or not?

Perhaps it is maturity but lately, I’ve been more discerning. I’ve been questioning the very atmosphere of expectations — social and personal — and whether I need to obey or not.

I’m cherry-picking.

When I look at the expectations in my hands I realise they don’t belong to me — they disintegrate in my calloused palms as if nothing more than powdery ash. Like little delusions. …


Unflappable joy and independence

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I don’t know how it happened — but I am a spinster. Still beautiful, mind you. I still turn heads in the supermarket. In the right light I can pass for ten years younger — but attracting a partner has little to do with looks. It is more about vibe and I guess I must give off a not-on-your-nelly vibe. For years, no one has asked me if I have a boyfriend. They assume I do not. No one questions my spinster status. It has now solidified.

I’ve had long relationships. And marriage proposals, but I turned them down. One wanted to go immediately to Stewart Island and get the captain of the tugboat to marry us. One phoned me in Sydney and said he was looking at buying wedding rings in Pascoes. One was after a residency visa to escape the worst of climate change. And another was a drunk french-speaking concert pianist that ended in tears before bedtime. …


Notes on writing dangerously

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Photo by Christopher Ott on Unsplash

Write until you bleed. Written in blood.

I can’t even find the right sentence to start this article. The underlying danger is tensing my gut. I daren’t write about the taboos, the secrets, the skeletons in the closet. I daren’t bare the gore of the ugly abandoned and scorned. The narcissists and drunkards, the sex addicts and drug lords the mental torture and children destroyed. I cannot tell you the truth about people I loved or how little, in truth, I was loved.

But when I read scary writing from the wounded; brave enough to stand up and be counted — it takes my breath away. I kind of gasp at their cross between audacity and foolishness. Aren’t they embarrassed, humiliated? Not from me — I think they’re heroes — but don’t they feel exposed and naked smeared with tar and feathers and blood and association-shame? Not from me. Those writers are safe with me. I respect them. Knowing their truths, makes me want to read them more. Applaud them. …


It’ll only get fat

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Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

Oh yes. Who doesn’t like a good grudge? So nice to nurse on lonely nights when everyone else in the whole entire world is at a party and you’re not invited. At least you have your grudge. Feed him wee morsels of dead flies and worms. Keep him snuggled right up close to your heart.

I’m joking. But I sometimes think of grudges as little monsters. Like a badly made stuffed toy. A little gremlin or creature from myth. A breathing hungry wee mite that delights in misery.

But those grudges bite. They can take whole mouthfuls out of your leg. They can chew off your ear and chomp your throat, right on the jugular. Some grudges leave hickies, you know, suck marks on your neck. …


Confidence hacks

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Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.”
- Dolly Parton

It ain’t all roses and ice cream. Not all the time. We all come a-cropper, fall off our pedestal, encounter wolves in the woods, have bad hair days. We get grief-struck, love-struck, lose our nerve and look at that sharp snow-topped mountain and wonder — how will I ever climb that monstrosity?

Life can wear you down. A couple of hard knocks and you’re in need of reviving with some smelling salts. You’ve fainted in your long white lacy dress, at the foot of the staircase. It’s your nerves. You’re frail and delicate. Sometimes you don’t want to go to the supermarket alone. Sometimes you don’t even want to answer the phone. …

About

Louise Moulin

I write about the Earthling journey. novelist/essayist/poetess/fabulist NZ https://www.penguin.co.nz/books/saltskin-9781869792374

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