I came across a new shop in the city today. Morris and Sons. Beautiful range of wools and silks and threads for knitting and embroidery, much, much better than anything else in the city that I know about. They also stock some craft items as well.
The temple I go to a lunchtime is beautiful. The entrance is high and grand. You enter off a small foyer into a very large space. There is a gallery of very beautiful Buddhist art to the left and then a café or tea room in the centre with the temple up some stairs and along to the right. The tables and the kitchen counter are dwarfed by the size of the space. The gallery is slightly more enclosed. There are flowers and gold chinese writing everywhere with the smell of incense and soft chinese music adding to the atmosphere. There are also displays of jewellery and other works around the edge of the space. Maybe there are books too? I will look more closely next time.
I haven’t had a good look at the gallery yet. There is so much to look at and I am usually a little distracted after meditating. I think the current display is called “happy art”. I will go and look next time I am there.
The tea room is very peaceful, the menu is interesting enough. I have eaten vegetable dumplings there which were good. There a very nice looking noodles there too that I have seen being devoured by other people. They also have delicious macaroons that are made in house and at least 8 pages of desserts and cakes. I know the macaroons are delicious because they had some samples that I was urged to try. There is a whole page of different types of tea. They are $3.50 per cup or $7 for a pot. When I have more time I will sit and have a pot of tea. I will choose a tea that promotes tranquillity.
The temple is plainer then the rest of the space. It almost has a feel of an old school gym with the wooden floor and the mats on the benches along the walls. The actual wall with the buddha is quite grand though. Near the entrance, just where you take your shoes off there is a whole wall of hand written signs on card board with chinese names and a grid with stickers marking each square. I think it has to do with a serving roster but I am only guessing.
This is my first week visiting the temple. A friend has started going recently and invited me to go too. I have been everyday this week. Work has been bad, nothing in my control, there are major shake-ups and resulting fallouts, there are lies being told and people being used as pawns for hidden agendas of high up executives. I am sure that meditating at lunchtime has helped me cope with the toxic environment at work. I almost cried when I walked up the stairs today, my whole heart lifted again, knowing I was entering a space of beauty and tranquillity.
It is a good place to meditate in. I find it easier meditating with a group of people and being in a sacred space is also very conducive to finding inner peace. There are never many people – some are chinese. some aren’t. Some people just enter and bow to the buddha and give an offering and they leave again. I think they are only offering incense but once again I’m only guessing.
I went out to dinner last night with a friend I have known for over 20 years. She was sharing a house with me when I was 20/21 with three other girls as well. A huge house right in the heart of St Kilda, right near theatre works on Acland Street. I have great memories of the house, I am still very close friends with two of the girls.
The are also very painful memories for me of this time as well. My mum had a massive stroke in April 1992 - two months before I turned 21. They (the doctors) thought she was going to die and were at the point of discussing organ donation with my dad. She was in a coma like state for about three days and then “woke up” – completely paralysed down the left side.
It was a difficult time for my family and I. Mum was in care for a while before coming home in a wheelchair with partial paralysis and a condition known as left neglect. She had lost most of her ability to communicate although her speech was okay there wasn't a huge amount coming out, she had also lost her ability to walk at this stage. My Dad had recently semi retired to working from home was able to spend a lot of time with her. I went home every weekend for months but resented it. I resented giving up my social life. Before Mum had the stroke things had been very strained. I hadn’t been getting along with either of my parents for years.
The typical pattern for me at this time would be to go back to my parents place on the Friday after work. I would spend the whole weekend with Dad, this usually involved a lot of cleaning as Dad hadn’t figured out what services were available to him as a carer yet. While Mum was in care we would spend time with her in the Old people's home. Dad and I would usually end up fighting as well. If not him then my sister and I would have a fight. I would be cranky and bored and then I would be to get back to Melbourne at around 8.30 pm on the Sunday, go out til 5 or 6 am and struggle into work on the Monday morning with 2 hours sleep still very drunk. After around 4 months of this the visits gradually diminished.
I was also going through a relatively promiscuous time of my life (for me). Around this time, around my 21st birthday I was seeing 4 men. I’d been a late bloomer with boyfriends and sex and I think a combination of the emotional trauma in my family life and my need to make up for lost time resulted in some interesting behaviour. I was very angry at my mum for intruding on my personal life. I was also very sad at losing her. For although she didn’t die she was not the same and for a long time was not my mother. In many ways I felt like I became her's.
Anna brought up my mum’s stroke last night. She mentioned how when I had found out it had happened I’d come into the living room and told my four housemates and they barely turned around from the tv. I don’t remember resenting this at all or thinking that was odd but I do remember being very scared and feeling very alone and having no clue what to do. I watched tv with the others til everybody else went to bed and then I went to my bedroom and cried for hours – too upset and too scared to sleep. I went to work the next day because it was a Thursday and the pays needed to be done. Then I caught the train back to the country and went straight to the hospital.
I don’t think Anna was apologising for not being able to say anything, I really don’t expect her to apologise either. She said “you were the first to have that sort of thing happen. You were the first.” The other girls were a bit older than me but still at that age most people don't have the skills to deal with tragedy and death or major sickness in other people's lives. I do find it weird that she brought it up after 17 years though. I haven’t thought about that time in my life for a while. I'd forgotten the girls reaction or lack of reaction.
I now have a really good relationship with my Mum and my Dad. My Mum will never be fully recovered but she has pretty good quality of life and she is now my friend. Sometimes I think we are better friends for her having the stroke. I think maybe I wouldn’t have worked so hard to become her friend if it hadn’t of happened. I think maybe I would have kept on being selfish for a lot longer.
Well i'm sitting here at my desk wearing runners. white, normal looking runners. I NEVER do that. I don't OWN a pair. Even walking to work I have never worn white runners.... There is reason for me wearing runners though. One of my staff who works in my team here is leaving to go to another job, she found out she has an interview this afternoon and she wore runners in today. So we swapped shoes as we have the same size feet. It's a bit odd for me and I hope she is coping with my black boots with the wedge heels. They're old but I polished them last night and they looked okay under her suit pants. Lucky I polished them hey?
Then the office manager/administrator has borrowed my grey wool coat with the hood which is lined with stars..... She's cold today. Her yoghurt and fruit is making her cold.
I'm wondering what's next? I am wearing a very nice navy and green striped wool top and a wool, size 12 country road pencil skirt if anybody else has a clothing need.
Friday had a friends birthday drinks at the Lambsgo bar and then a work colleagues party in north fitzroy. I met a couple of cute single men and one of them asked my friend for my number on sunday, we'll see. :-)
Saturday I painted in the morning then had my pagan group in the afternoon, it was a nice session on lucid dreaming and a meditation that is supposed to help lucid dreaming. (I had VERY mundane dreams on Saturday night though). Saturday evening I painted a bit more, then i ate pizza and watched a dvd.
Sunday I got up and did homework (Yoga Chi Gung theory) and housework and painted some more. Sunday arvo was spent at a friends place for lunch. We had asian style soup with prawns and noodles. She's a very old friend who i don't see enough of. She has a two year old boy and doesn't get out much these days. Her husband is away at the moment so it was a good opportunity to have a good chat and gossip. I miss hanging out with her.
Sunday night I did more painting, i'm finding it easier to spend and hour or two here and there to paint. I'm very glad I can do this as it's hard to find huge blocks of time. When I first started painting I need that full immersion for hours to really get into it, this doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.
The move is going reasonably well. I have everything booked and i've started packing. Some stuff has already gone across to my new place thanks to friends with cars. Power and electricity and phone is all organised. Ditto mail redirection. I have a cleaner booked, for the first time i'm going to fork out to get my old place professionally cleaned.
Stef has been booked in to help get the last stuff down from the roof space. Thanks Stef!
My new place is spotless! It looks so good with new carpets and freshly painted walls. I'm so happy to be moving there.
A strange thing happened when I called Yarra Water to let them know I was moving out. I have spent over 4 years paying for water that I shouldn't have been paying for. The office downstairs and my apartment are on the same metre. When I moved in the landlord had transferred the whole lot to my name when in fact he is legally responsible for it. So not only have I been paying for the office downstairs, but i have been paying non-domestic rates and paying for my water when i'm not legally responsible for that either. The lovely water people are refunding me the whole amount and sending him a bill.
I haven't got my bond back yet so hears hoping he doesn't turn nasty. I have told him over the phone about my discussion with Yarra Water he said he'd discuss it with them. Fingers crossed he doesn't do anything stupid regarding my bond. We never completed a condition report so I don't think he'll be able to do much.