Australia votes for the anti-change – Abbott v Rudd, Spring election 2013

Words

This morning I woke up to the seedy undertow of the final days before our federal election. Politicians are scrambling from left, right, and everywhere but centre to form a positive imprint in the minds of the viewers/listeners/readers that constitute the “swinging vote”. It feels cheap. It feels transparent. It feels like a tacky insult to our collective intelligence. But we know better than to be appalled because it’s what we pay them for.

This particular election comes at an interesting time. The fresh optimism that ebbs its way into the atmosphere when spring arrives has left me with feelings of reserved hope – not for either party, or for the election to swing either way. My hope lies in the standards of humanity. I hope that regardless of the outcome, our nation can find a way to release the loathing and guilt it feels. I hope that our people can put aside the party games of the government and find a common ground on relevant issues.

I hope that people will see the power in their own voices, and turn their back on a system of politicians. I hope that we can begin to renew our society into a nation that beats the drum of humanity and equality, minus the greed and spite that infects it.

I will cast my vote tomorrow. I will probably vote Independent. And regardless of the outcome (assuming it won’t be apocalyptic) I will wake up on Sunday morning and carry on with my own journey.

Life goes on.

First flowers of an unidentified fruit tree in the backyard.

First flowers of an unidentified fruit tree in the backyard.

R.

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From the sketchbook: For the love of mandalas

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This year, I had planned to master my drawing skills. It was my ‘thing’ (the one that sat snugly among a crowd of many other things) for 2013. It’s now September, and I’m being realistic. No, I won’t have a sketchbook filled by the end of the year with progressive sketches. But hope prevails and inspiration is everywhere, and I’m due for a time handicap from the Universe any day now…

Earlier in the year, when I still had Uni to keep me on track, I was researching stop animations and videos about drawing for an assignment, generally just waiting for The Big Idea to reveal itself to me. Somewhere along the way I came across an instructional clip on YouTube called How to grow a mandala

I was instantly drawn to the method of ‘planting a seed’ and ‘growing’ an illustration as unique as a snowflake. It’s the kind of art practice you can get drawn into (…ahem, sorry), engaging in instantaneous creative practice with a degree of focus that borderlines a meditative state. Getting lost in the creative moment can quickly and quietly become Art Therapy, as the mind puts down the inner monologue and gets caught up in the free-flow of artistic practise, but it can be so hard to achieve that level of focus if you have anxiety, creative block, a time-consuming lifestyle, etc. I now approach mandala drawing (and variations of it) as a shortcut to “the zone”; that place in my mind where I can create freely, and without judgement.