Coffee anyone?

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Photo: Gina (c)

 

The cafe had just opened.

I’m the first customer there.

I sat behind that table, under the shade of a tree.

My dog Pixi resting on the ground beneath me, panting.

The staff are busily setting up shop.

A waitress takes my order,

a flat white, and a scone with cream and jam.

Immersed in the splendour of my view.

Lots of vivid green, everywhere, it’s nature at its best.

I breathed in the damp morning air.

My order is served.

My taste buds are tantalised by a combination of bitter and sweet.

My view viscerally absorbed through my eyes and within me.

There is beauty everywhere.

Indeed, life is a miracle.

I’m so grateful.

 

Gina (c)

 

 

 

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A book review

Book Cover

I finished reading this book today.

What did I think of this book?
I gave it a 3/5 rating.

From the onset, I immediately liked what I was reading, but as I progressed further and further into the book, I started losing interest. This is not to discount the author and his superior knowledge on this subject, with all due respect, but more about my mindset at the time of reading this book.

Let me explain.

I’m by no means an expert on meditation or on any science around the philosophy of meditation and enlightenment, so my boredom came about because I felt like I’d acquired this knowledge before, either through having read similar, or from having explored meditation in my earlier life (this sounds arrogant of me, but I promise you, it’s not intended to sound like that at all), and because the author tended to sermonise too much, in my opinion, which I found very annoying.

I think that the minute I realised this about the book, is about the time that I simply switched off and lost interest, but regardless, I still read it to the end, because I don’t like leaving books unfinished and at least wanted to give the author the due respect to read his book to the end.

Having said this, there were bits in the book that resonated with me, especially because it seemed ‘common core’ as the author puts it.  The bits where he speaks of questioning an emotion and getting an answer, and suddenly the emotion is gone! I’ve done this many times before in the course of my entire life, and I was thrilled that the author had also had this experience.  An example of this experience would be in which I’d suddenly be in a situation where I’d placed a judgement call (be it subconsciously) of someone new to me, and because of that judgement call, I’d find myself feeling aggravated, only to then realise in an instant that I’m feeling this way and to check-in with myself and ask the magic question, why? Why am I feeling this way about that person? And as soon as I’d get my answer, it’s like an epiphany and the sky opens up and the angels in the universe are all suddenly playing a harp together, and instantly, whatever feelings and thoughts I had of that person,  positive or negative, it’s gone.

Other than that, the other stuff in his book, was ‘common core,’ stuff that you may already know and may have tried before, such as; meditate.  Still the mind.  Feel the emptiness.  Know you are nothing and simultaneously know that you are something, that is in the here and now, forever more. Easy done for some of us, but not so easy for some of us.  For me.  What can I say? I’m here, right now.  My mind is actively active, but can be a blank as I focus on my breath or focus on simply being.

You get the gist.

2018 – A new year begins again

And so we reign into 2018. Each new year brings with it hope for a better future for our little planet Earth, and for nature, and for all people and all living things, everywhere. It’s hard not to look back at the past either, at what once was, at what once transpired.

It’s hot today in Canberra. We’re currently sitting on 37 degrees. I’m not a fan of the heat or anything past 30 degrees, I find it unbearable. I’ve stayed indoors today, keeping my vertical blinds partially closed, keeping my place shaded from the hot sun. I’ve watched some TV, I’ve had something to eat and drink, and I’ve heard the comings and goings of my neighbours. My phone has not sounded once, and my dog has just about slept all day on every cool floor surface she could find. It’s funny watching her get up between sleeps and move to yet another spot only to fall asleep again. There’s nothing much to do in this heat and venturing outside does not appeal to me one bit. I’ve no intention on getting roasted, and my dog’s black fur coat is sure to attract the sun on her tiny little body. We shall stay put.

Can you believe it’s the 6th day of the year already? I’m not wishing my life away, BUT before we all know it, it’ll be Xmas and NYE again! Is it just me, or are you also noticing time moving faster as each year transpires?

In this past week I’ve come back home from Perth, after having visited my family over there. I’ve picked up my dog from her house sitter and I’ve had dinner out with friends followed by a game of trivia. Now that was fun! I’ve also been called by my employment agency asking me if I’m ready to start working again. When she asked me, I held a long pause, and then said, ‘Not until the end of this month…’ So she’s going to line up some interviews that will land me a job by end of this month. Good-o. This is what I call, ‘life-work-balance.’ Suits me perfectly fine. I work to live, and not live to work. That’s my philosophy for now and into the future, unless the sun stops shining and the earth stops turning, and if that ever happened, we’d all be stuffed, hey?

Here are some pics I took from my Xmas Perth vacation. (c)Gina

A short note about books

Books.  They draw me in and capture my focus and attention.  When I come across a book that effortlessly takes me on a journey of splendid imagination, I’m there! So what is this lure I have to a book? When and where did it all start? I think it began at story time in primary school. The teacher’s voice read the story and I discovered my imagination, I could see the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

And after it was read…

I wanted to hold that book, I wanted to see for myself if those words I’d heard from my teacher were real. Curiosity was hungry and it needed feeding. And of course, I got ample opportunities to find out, to feed the hunger, and yes those words were in that book, my teacher did not make them up as she went.  Oh suspicious mind! Where did you come from?

And so, the love of books was born early and has remained with me ever since.  I can’t remember the title of the first book I ever heard, but if it hadn’t been for the way in which the teacher had read that book out loud to her class, about how she delivered it, with all her inflections, tone, and animation, my curiosity may have fallen asleep and missed out.

Since then there have been many, many books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and unfortunately, not many stories stick with me, it’s as if they get into my mind while I’m reading with interest, and then when I’m done, it’s all gone.  What?

Thankfully, this isn’t true of all the books that I’ve read.  Sometimes authors like, Elena Ferrante, Elizabeth Gilbert, Andy Weir, and Nick Alexander, just to name a few, keep me glued to their books, unable to put it down because I just have to see what happens next, and it’s simply a way they have with words that capture my focus and interest like nothing else that I will read the book in one full sitting! Crazy stuff.  I just love it when authors write their words seamlessly, and each page is turned without a glitch.

What were your favourite books for 2017?  I think mine were; The Martian by Andy Weir and Elena Ferrante’s; My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, and Those Who Leave, and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child (the last two books I’ve yet to read…)

Check out some of my favourites on Goodreads