Escapism

Sunset  over New York City 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, United Sates, romantic cityLife can be so stressful that at times it does us good to see some movies that classify as codependent drivel. For women otherwise known as romantic comedies where ‘boy meets girl, they fight, then they end up together and live happily ever after’ and we leave the theatre smiling. This is often called a ‘chick flick’. For men the unbelievable action story where they dodge bullets and explosions and still live through, only to have sex with the perfect female star. As long as we remain aware that these movies are purely a form of escapism, then it is harmless codependent drivel.

my friend, Elizabeth, and I went to the movies
and as we considered which film to see
we spoke of our emotional state
I said I felt like watching something light
perhaps some codependent drivel
and we chuckled thinking about it
to this day I don’t remember what we saw
but I do remember us laughing
and leaving with uplifted spirits

sunset over New York city 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, USA, romantic city

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Same sex relationships

Ballroom, photo by Lioness65, Frankfurt, Germany, gay couplesWhen I write about relationships it is important to understand that the same applies to same sex relationships except for marriage, which is not legally permitted in this country, yet. A gay couple who wishes to make a relationship commitment can do this in a ceremony which is similar to a marriage. Any civil celebrant can perform such a celebration and I have not come across one who would not be happy to do so. One day in this country, we will progress to the point when we can have legal marriages between same sex couples, and I as a celebrant look forward to that day.

They came to me to be married and
I explained that in this country
same sex marriages were not permitted
I felt so sorry that I was the messenger of
such an antiquated way of thinking
nevertheless, we planned a beautiful ceremony
which involved everything that a
heterosexual couple would experience
the only difference was that there were
no State documents signed
yet the moment was captured in
a sentimental ceremony which will
provide an exceptional memory
to all those who were at the ceremony

Ballroom, photo by Lioness65, Frankfurt, Germany, gay couples

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Birthday celebration

Circle of Love, photo by Lioness 65, Frankfurt, Germany, family meetingWhen a family meets for the birthday celebration of another family member it is, indeed, a special day. The food is familiar, the presents are enjoyable and everyone enjoys touching base with family. In this day and age everyone is so busy and it is days like this that brings everyone together. For a few hours there is a circle of love, usually, together with laughter and fun.

today was my 13 year old granddaughter’s birthday
and Gaby had requested that it be a
birthday celebration with her extended family
so there were 20 people present and
there was laughter and fun and delicious food
on another day she will celebrate with her friends
how enjoyable it was today as we all came together
and spent a lighthearted celebration with her
she loved opening her gifts and especially
playing with her cousins all at once

Circle of Love, photo by Lioness 65, Frankfurt, Germany, family meeting

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Belonging to your community

Figures earth, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, community activitiesA natural need of a human being is to belong to another and to a community. Belonging to your community is far more important than people realise. Without that we can be tempted into isolation. The community can be your family and friends sharing similar interests, or your church group, or your self help group. Some of the those interests can be doing voluntary work for charitable and benevolent projects, or hobbies and sports. The learning community is another powerful area involvement. Even if your community is not a church group, belonging to a community is another form of spirituality.

how wonderful a project to see schools promoting
a marathon walk or something similar where the students
collect sponsor signatures to raise money for a charity
the excitement experienced by
the participant and the supporters
with the outcome of raising funds
or other donations which benefit
people, animals or the environment
ultimately the process rippling out globally
such a simple beginning with a profound ending
which can be duplicated over and over everywhere

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New Year resolutions for 2007

Happy New Year - 2007, photo by Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, big celebrationAs we wish everyone Happy New Year and fill our hearts with love many of us have made New Year resolutions for 2007. Some are realistic and some are just wishful thinking. Nevertheless, both types are useful for our personal and professional development because the process makes us visualise our dreams. Visualisation is an effective tool for achieving our goals because it means we prime ourselves for taking up opportunities as they arise, otherwise we miss them. They say ‘when Opportunity knocks, open the door first and ask questions later”. When New Year resolutions crumble then find another way of achieving them. Don’t quit searching for a way to succeed.

the year before last, feeling guilty for her behaviour
she made her New Year resolutions
and then felt hopeful but that didn’t last long
because she knew how hard it was to
stay away from the trigger foods that
were the cause of most of her ill health
she was overweight, had diabetes and
what’s more she spent her money easily
which always left her broke
then she remembered to try something new
for her carbohydrate addiction
success followed and her health improved
this year’s resolutions were more joyful to list
because she had achieved some of last year’s ones

Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678548

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Bringing in the New Year

Fireworks, photo by Randall Chacon, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica, important celebrationsTonight, everyone the world over is attending a major celebration in their own city, usually involving fireworks, to bring in the New Year. It’s a beautiful event and can include different rituals in different cultures. In Sydney people gather at Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and celebrate watching a firework display for children at 9pm and another more spectacular at midnight. Those who stay at home watch the fireworks on their TVs which means we see celebrations in other parts of the world too.

when my children were small
we watched the fireworks from
our homes in the suburbs and then
after midnight played a friendly card game of 21
this is when we determined our luck for the year
it was thought that if you win it will be
a prosperous year for investments
however, if you lose then it was considered
in your best interests not to take risks
nevertheless, we had fun playing with
family and friends

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Family gatherings

Paper family, photo by Brian S, Jakarta, Indonesia,  family reunionsAt the end of the year, for the festivities there are many family gatherings. Relatives get together to celebrate and have fun. Sometimes this is a wonderful experience and at other times the unintended happens with arguments and hurt feelings. The success of family gatherings depends on the members of each family and how important it is for them to strengthen family ties. When people can put principles above personalities they can enjoy fulfilling relationships in their families and can spend enjoyable get togethers. Instead of becoming offended about something it’s better to ask “how important is it?” and let go of the hurt.

each year her family comes together
and it’s an enjoyable event that she
looks forward to each time
kids grow up and have their own families
so the family gatherings that parents
can depend on taking place
become fewer and therefore
even more special
she thought herself fortunate
that her family continues to value
attending these yearly events with her
which brings them all together for some fun

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City Christmas decorations

Christmas Tree, photo by Martin Boose, Dresden, Germany, Christmas EveRemembering our history and that we are a country which has its foundation in the Christian faith, means that Christmas has been a huge festive event. Now that our society is multi-cultural it’s important that community education raises awareness to other cultures’ festive days too. Government claiming fairer treatment across all religions and rationalising expenses need not have reduced the city Christmas decorations. Such action is not good for our reputation here and overseas. Even if a portion of the community is secular there still needs to be a splash at Christmas especially in each major city, as in the past. So government funds need to be allocated accordingly.

I met with my family to celebrate Christmas Eve
tomorrow it’s their turn in their own homes and
then at the homes of the other side of the family
as the family grows so do the in-laws!
on the way home we drove through the city
to see the Christmas lights and decorations
even though I am not religious it’s
the time of the year I enjoy because of
its festivities and people’s joy
to our disappointment the city was almost bare
gone were the beautiful decorations at Sydney Town Hall
earlier today some tourists witnessed the
lack of decorations and perhaps this explanation sufficed
that government want to spend the minimum on a
Christian celebration so that the rest of the community
would find it fairer and so that money is not wasted!
then why did government not just increase their spending
for other cultural festivities and continue with the
usual Christmas festival?
government certainly spends a lot more on war, moreso
peaceful festivities warrant a larger chunk of the budget

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Loving and caring at Christmas

Christmas ornament, photo by Kinki Chew, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, cc.1asphost/mydreamsland, Chrismas timeChristmas time can be exciting or upsetting or both. When there is enough money to pay the bills and to spend on presents and holiday activities most people find it exciting. On the other hand, a shortage of money to do those things can be somewhat depressing. Yet, regardless of their circumstances, people generally have managed to enjoy themselves at this time of the year. A deciding factor is also how a person experienced Christmas in their childhood. Some families with limited finances had a wonderful time at Christmas and learnt to laugh and enjoy the festivities which created happy memories for them. Others who were fortunate enough to have the money to shop and to perhaps go on holidays too, also have good memories. Then again those people who were unhappy as children remember the pain at Christmas, so for them it is an unhappy time which hopefully they try to grow out of in time. It’s heartening though to remember that there are many people who work together to make life better at Christmas for those who are not as fortunate as others and who need all the loving and caring they can get – financially and emotionally.

she remembered how sad her childhood was
as her family was so poor that they ate
bread and dripping as a treat but
at Christmas time it was a happy time
no matter how little money they had
although her father gambled his pension away
there was always some sort of presents
for her and her brother and sister
as she got older she realised that
her mother created that miracle
it was so important to them having
something to look forward to every year
they even got to go on holidays to the
town her father came from where they visited
their grandparents who gave them more presents
no wonder it is so important to her
that her children enjoy Christmas time

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Thought becomes reality

picture market, photo by Ronald Schuster, Dresden, Germany, think positiveWe can talk ourselves into negativity or out of it, because thought becomes reality. Sports events are preceded by pep talks for the contestants and this an expected practice with professionals whose primary role is to boost the motivation of the team members. The same applies in life for everyone, children, adults men, women, young and old. We all need a pep talk sometimes and better still is our belief in the power of positive thinking.

I was learning to paint landscapes in oils
my friend and teacher used to finish off each one
just a little black stroke here and there
made the piece look more professional and saleable
I promised the next one to a charity function
and as I began my work my teacher had to go
leaving me high and dry
at first I saw my work go from bad to worse in minutes
as the function was on the next day I was desperate
then I realised that thought becomes reality so
I began saying “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it”
as I continued on with my painting
again before my very eyes my work transformed
and by the time I finished I had produced
an Australian bush landscape that I was
not only surprised with but also
extremely proud of because of
my thought processes

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