Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Story - Mary Queen of Scots


I went to the movies and saw the latest movie adaptation of Mary Queen of Scots. It’s magnificent.

It took me back to when I first became interested in the history of these times when I was in Year 8 at high school and history turned to Tudor England. I don’t think history ever captured me like that period did. I was ravenous for information. I read everything I could about Henry VIII and then branched out further and further.

I think Jean Plaidy made me love Mary Queen of Scots. This movie made me love her even more.

This movie (and this period in history) fills me with hope and hopelessness. It tugs me from one extreme to the other, and I don’t know how to reconcile that.

On the hope side: Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth I, were incredible women. Strong, fierce, intelligent, born to rule (even if they were women) and they must have commanded such a presence. Elizabeth did so much to change society, and yet, there was so much more these two women could have achieved.

And here’s where the hopelessness comes in. Men did everything they could to bring these women to a halt. The savage politics of the time, the greed and lust for power, the lies and fabrications that were woven to halt changes in society were incredible. If two Queens cannot fight that, what hope do we have?

Mary and Elizabeth, were incredibly tolerant and open-minded in a society where civil wars had been fought over religion for years. They both seemed to want to rule with compassion. Neither wanted war. Both wanted cohesion, less division, more merging and blending. They were after a world where people mattered.

And they couldn’t achieve it.

Elizabeth could not allow herself to believe that Mary wasn’t trying to take her throne. They hardly knew each other, so it was a fair assumption, but was it fuelled by the men surrounding Elizabeth who wanted power and to rule beneath the skirts of a lowly woman?

Mary wanted to love and be loved. She was fooled by men who used that need to further their own political agenda.

Elizabeth resisted marriage, fearing for her rule. Mary married hoping for love, only to find herself manipulated just as Elizabeth had always feared.

Women, once again, came so close to changing the power, politics, patriarchal structures of the world. Yet men fought against any change. They banded together and used every tactic they could to stop any change. To stop peace. To stop compassion. To stop open-mindedness. To stop people being allowed to be themselves. They fought to keep their closed-minded world.

If only…

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fearless Friday - women changing the world

SheEO


Have you heard of this?

I hadn't until it came up in an email from a writing course I'd done. It blew my mind.

It's a new way of supporting women in the business world. It's in Australia and NZ as well as Canada and the US.

The Australian businesses who are short-listed for support are introduced here.

What type of businesses do women run/own that focus on positive changes in the world?

  • online marketing of skills
  • helping kids play and develop skills for work (coding), sport, and life
  • recycling of plastics, rubbish, clothing, goods
  • agricultural health
  • help for homeless
  • indigenous storytelling and fashion
  • job support
  • healthcare tech
  • fashion
  • remote sensing
  • business services
  • healthy drinks
  • environmentally conscious sunscreen
  • menstrual products
  • food

The organisational structure of SheEO sounds incredible. It makes me so optimstic that there might be a way forward to a future with hope, helping, less greed, more power to all.

Are you interested in this?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday - isopods

I had a win, I think. I took photos on the river the other day of tiny holes in the sand and as I was down there taking the shot, I realised that there were 'bugs' running around too. I called them isopods, but I'm never confident with what I call things! So I Googled, and today I'm on a winner and doesn't that make me happy!

These were such tiny critters, maybe only the size of a pinhead. I noticed them only because of their movement. Picking them out in the photo took a bit of an effort too! And I haven't quite got them in focus either, but see how tiny they are, they make the sand grains look big!

You might remember the bugs from a huge media ruckus a couple of years ago after a person was 'attacked' by them. The Australian Museum blog has an article about Isopods that references the biting incidence. You can read it here.

Let me assure you, that even though I have these photos, and saw lots of the scurrying around on the sand, I left with all my skin intact! I might be too old and tough for these little mouth parts :)


Friday, February 1, 2019

Fearless Friday - Passion

I may be an erotic writer, but in today's blog 'passion' is not about the erotic.

Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion. Most often it is used in a romantic/sexual sense, but today, I'm using it for a more general life purpose term.

Have you had those questions thrown at you? The ones something like:
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What's your passion in life?
  • What makes you get up in the mornings?

I've had those thrown at me over the last year or more...and they've kind of had me stumped.

I like lots and lots of things. I love some things too. But passion left me kind of lost.

Then yesterday, I read an interview that had my body tingling, my mind firing on a thousand different ideas, my heart racing, and everything in me jumping up and down. It was an interview by Mark McGuiness of Vicki Saunders, which you can find here.

I did a Creativity/Productivity course online with Mark McGuiness, and his emails keep coming to my inbox. If I'm busy, I don't get a chance to read them, but yesterday I read this one (and I'm not sure why - fate poked me, I guess).

Vicki Saunders spoke to and for me. I felt every word she said. I vibrated with energy as I read what she said, had experienced, and I was incredibly inspired by what she had created SheEO.

My passion awakened as I read. My mind engaged. My body was excited. These were signs of passion. I knew it right away.

And then a strange thing happened. A tiny bit of practical advice from a friend shut me down. It was as if a light turned off and everything went dark. I gave it no thought. I went to work.

This morning, as I wrote about yesterday, I had almost finished when I remembered the interview. I wrote how I'd felt reading it. I got those bubbles again. Then I wrote about the advice. And I realised how disproportionate my reaction was to a practical response. My friend didn't laugh at me. There was no scoffing. No abuse, or discouragement. In fact, my friend acknowledged the idea I presented, and encouraged me to keep thinking.

Yet, I didn't.

Why?

I'm scared of passion.

I've always been a firey, passionate person. I'd have an idea and I'd run with it. I'd push shit uphill if I thought it had a worthwhile purpose. I'm not afraid of hardwork, so long as it has purpose and I'm passionate about it.

So often through life people laughed or scoffed at my ideas. Usually it didn't bother me. Often I didn't listen and went ahead anyway. Sometimes I listened and stopped. Other times I gave my ideas away to see them used by others later. And these were fine.

But... I can pinpoint the event where my passion died. Where the fire inside me was extinguished. Where everything I was passionate about, everything I'd worked for, everything that made me who I was, was snuffed.

It's a time in my life that almost killed me. I think if I wasn't such a tenacious, pig-headed, stubborn person, I wouldn't have made it through.

Since then I've steered well clear of passion. I've made myself into a cautious, controlled, contained, shut off person. Nothing I do is all-consuming because there is no way in god's earth I will go through the completely gut-wrenching, demoralising, soul destroying, horror of having my passion torn away from me.

And that's not right.

That's not who I am.

That's not who I am meant to be.

But it's terrifying to be reduced to nothing. It's terrifying to have everything torn away. It's terrifying to completely lose control of your life. I hate being terrified.

I want to be passionate. I want my fire. I want to feel that energy bursting through me.

So, today I have a dilemma. How fearless can I be?

I don't know the answer to that.