Where has She Gone?

The Tram’s window reflection

Is a face wrinkled and old.

It can’t be her.

Cycling to Brighton Baths

Jumping off the end of the pier

Up the ladder, and doing it all again and again.

Now, no stairs without bannisters

Watching pavement cracks

One step at a time off the tram.

It can’t be her; but it is.  She remembers.

Just a Few Details, please

From the moment we leave that safe, warm and secret place our life becomes one invasion of privacy after another. The doctor’s name, date, time of birth and our vital statistics are conscientiously recorded by the hospital. As required by law our family name and historical details are supplied to the Registrar of Births.
 
During our first five years data on us grows prodigiously.  Doctor, health centre, kindergarten, primary school enrollment all open files from details supplied by parents and others.  For the next twelve and more years our mental, physical, social, sexual, spiritual and any other ‘uals’ are recorded. A determination exists between all relevant authorities to lay bare every tidbit of information concerning Person No. 19,768,500 and 1.
 
You apply for a job. The Personnel Form JS106/7d requires ASIO documentation. Each year the Taxation Commissioner demands all of the above plus details of every penny you’ve ever earned.  But wait - there’s more. The Census Form has just arrived.
 
Marriage, credit cards, home loan, passport - even the dog license, all require ‘just a few details.’  Babies, and the circle continues where it began.
 
An exception but no less revealing - social media - where users voluntarily submit terribly interesting details of their own and others’ personal details.
 
Privacy?  Thousands of people you don’t know have access to sections of your life.  Next time you’re asked to supply just a few details you seriously consider lying outrageously and bugger-up the system.
 
The years roll on and pensioners must form-fill.  Frailty and the District Nurse requires every skerrick of intimate detail.
 
Finally, as you quietly slip away, you come face-to-face with the One who needs no details.  He knows.
 
Thank God!

The Tie

The Spring Racing Carnival has arrived and ‘the race that stops a nation’ will be attended by the rich and famous - and the rest of us.  Our leader (who prefers lycra next to his skin or suit- jacketless attire) will, hopefully, wear a new tie.  The ‘blue-tie brigade’ has been done and dusted.  Enough is enough.  Whether spotted, striped, paisley - Anything:  just not another blue tie.  Surely his virginal offspring (whose fashion sense is deplorable) could combine their pocket-money and buy their father a brand new tie - before the cameras roll.

DILEMMA

Australians go to their polling booths on September 7 to elect a Prime Minister.  Could their choice be more difficult;  more of a dilemma.  I doubt it.  On the 27th of June 2013 we lost the first woman Prime Minister of Australia.  I still remember the absolute joy, the cheers, the warmth felt in homes, factories, offices, on-line and elsewhere at her elevation to the highest office in the land.  By the way, shouldn’t we and future generations have a permanent and visible reminder of this woman’s achievement after ll0 years of male political leadership?

The dilemma is this:  on the one hand we have a candidate (generally disliked) who treated this Prime Minister (our Prime Minister) with disrespect and vitriol; aided by an American newspaper proprietor (who might as well call his papers ‘The Liberal Party Bugle’ and a campaign by the richest woman in the world earning an estimated $50,000/minute.  Now that’s power.

On the other hand, we have a candidate who throughout the former Prime Minister’s term was not adverse and did not discourage the treachery and machinations of his supporters and others to destroy her leadership.

So.  Mindful of voters who follow a party throughout all their life and those who are swayed by goodies held out as a reward for their endorsement - who do we vote for?  It’s a dilemma.

FACE TO FACE

I believe everyone, without exception, wears a face to face those we meet veiling our true feelings.  It is not a deceit but a convention we instinctively adopt to avoid worrying others, appear relaxed, attractive, or give the appearance of success.

We ‘save face’     ‘face up to the music’   Tell ‘bare-faced lies’   Do ‘an about face’   Some are accused of being ‘two-faced’

It has been said, ‘her face is her fortune’ and some people ‘never forget a face’.  The ‘smile on the face of a tiger’ is metaphorically an ominous sign.

A baby nearly always smiles at a smiling face.  A child’s face is transparent in an atmosphere of anger, sadness or tension.  The ability to wear a public face is learnt when the purity of childhood is diluted; then finally dissolved.

A mother reassures her frightened child by smiling even if she too is afraid.  ‘Smile and the whole world smiles with you’ is only a good idea.  It doesn’t always work. 

At school we ‘face expulsion’.  If insolvent ‘face bankruptcy.  If poor ‘face eviction’.  We are taxed to the utmost to wear the face of normalcy when confronted with devastation or horrific injuries, the obscene, the threatening or outrageous.

Apart from those who obey a religious custom, we seldom cover our face (unless you’re a robber or terrorist.)  Yet, like the phantom of the opera we wear a mask.  At times, caught unawares, our faces reflect the living, loving and unloving experienced.  We are all guilty - although there is no guilt - of showing the face which is not in tune with our heart.

With feelings of anger, fear or sorrow, you may be blessed to be able to turn to the one in whose comforting arms you show the face denied to all others.