mordwen: (spiritual)
And finally, a few pictures from the naming ceremony on Friday, first one by me, the rest taken by [livejournal.com profile] persephone20 (turns out there was enough detail to zoom in on for web purposes after all! Thank you for taking these at short notice!).

Four pics )
mordwen: (Default)
I met with Megan from the Merri Creek Management Committee down at the Labyrinth on Wednesday. I walked partway through the labyrinth with her to show her how it was all one path leading to the centre and talked about the various things that I think about when I walk it: how when you seem to be really close to your goal early on, you're actually quite far from it; how when you are on the furthest edge from the centre, you actually don't have far to go; how people who seem to be walking the opposite direction from you can actually be heading towards the same goal.

She thanked me for letting her experience this for herself, reiterated that the MCMC had no idea the labyrinth was there, really, and certainly no idea it was so used in the community; I reiterated that it wasn't just our group and that I had no idea what the extent of usage was, that I was inferring it by the fact it got weeded and that items were put into the gifting bowl I had left there (the irony of that was that while we were there at Harper's naming, a woman on her own and a group of three I'd never met before came to use it). She said the MCMC definitely wasn't weeding it and that she didn't know who had sprayed the fennel either.

She reiterated that there is a longterm plan for a wetlands there and asked again whether we'd be prepared to move the labyrinth. I said it was doubtful after so many years of walking the energy into the ground (it turns out Tracey, the woman I hadn't met until Friday, knows Wendy Rule, who was one of the people who made the labyrinth, and she agreed that moving it wasn't an option). She said that the MCMC had put the big wetlands plan on hold (I think as a result of this discovery, but that wasn't clearly stated) and that they would welcome our input on designing a wetlands plan for the area that incorporated the labyrinth. I said we'd very much like to be involved with that and that we'd like screening plants between the labyrinth and the path. She thought that would make sense. She also mentioned that different groups "adopt" different parts of the creek and surrounding bushland and that we would be very welcome as "custodians of the creek" as they call them.

So, who's up for forming Friends of the Merri Creek Labyrinth?
mordwen: (spiritual)
I rang the Merri Creek Management Committee to enquire about planting a tree for Harper near the labyrinth and was told there are plans for that area and that the labyrinth is "not an official structure". I expressed my surprise and noted that many pagan groups, including ourselves, use the labyrinth on a regular basis. The guy I was talking with asked whether the council knew that and suggested he'd pass my number along to the guy who's handling the plans. (He did say they had no problem in principle with us planting a commemorative tree and they'd just like to meet me on site to discuss its positioning...)

Shortly afterwards, coincidentally, [livejournal.com profile] subtle_eye  texted me saying there were earthworks near the labyrinth and I might want to check them out before Harper's naming ceremony.

I walked down there today and they've removed all the enormous fennel that was in front of the labyrinth (yay) but they've also levelled the mounds that were shielding the labyrinth from the path and removed *all* the rocks, big and small (including that huge one I sat on to do the belly cast). The whole labyrinth is now in clear view of any passersby. Of the little grove next to the labyrinth, only two trees are still standing.

If you are someone who uses the labyrinth or cares for it, you might want to write a letter to the council or phone them so they know it's valuable to the community. If you know someone who does (I know people who aren't our friends regularly weed it...) please let them know. I'm going to call back the Management Committee tomorrow.

mordwen: (Default)
What a wonderful couple of days.

First of all, I didn't have to work yesterday (tutoring is over and marking hasn't started yet) and I wasn't too sick to enjoy it. Instead, we cleaned house while listening to KQED streaming online and slowly built up excitement. (Well, I did. Doug was tired and is a little more cautious; I'm *soppy* right now).

At one point, I was standing in the lounge room holding my pregnant belly and listening to the end of Obama's victory speech ("Yes, we can!"), tears streaming down my face feeling immense hope for the future and my child-to-be. I felt like I was listening to one of our century's great orators and that this must be a little like what it felt like to listen to Martin Luther King.

With beautiful timing, all Doug's packages from the US arrived, sent by his sister, so he had an early birthday present: tons of photography equipment, and the foam mattress layer to stop my hip hurting and squee!! She slipped in a pile of organic cotton burp cloths and a washcloth and the cutest towel with a little hoodie for Harper and squeeeeeeee!!!

Then a few people came over for our Beltaine party. Doug and I built our altar for the season, reds and oranges for passion, male and female for the balance of the season, rose quartz for love, a citrine in the clove heart we were given for our handfasting (no negativity in our hearts), a small stone with a turtle in it and an acorn representing Harper and the protective Mama Bear fetish from the Zuni people that Jill gave us as a parting gift last year. And then we lit 700 or so candles and turned on the soft music and had a lovely, gentle night of friendship and massages and liqueur mead (I only had a sip!).

And then at midnight, it was Doug's birthday, so I gave him his present (I bought him an iPod shuffle). And then we had snuggles and went to sleep...

My day was quite good: I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] blithespirit  and suddenly realised she'd be perfect for the panel on citizen journalism I'm running at Woodford; then I rang Chris Winter at the ABC and talked to him about it and got a great suggestion for the final panel member (and an introduction).

I went to the doctor and got reasonably good news about my plans for Woodford (more info on the maybe baby filter).

And then tonight, Doug made the most heavenly, amazing dinner: salmon steaks baked with olive oil and thyme, lightly grilled asparagus, and fresh mango, cucumber and coriander salsa served on a bed of mixed green. Oh my. Truly restaurant-worthy.

PS: Hi Daniel!

mordwen: (Default)
Well, today is May Day, traditionally a day of worker's rights. There were rallies throughout California for labor issues and I figure it's an appropriate time for me to comment on my observations.

One of the teens around me right now mentioned that his work has started a month-to-month hire and fire policy. Every month, they hire everybody and fire them again at the end of the month. No one has any clarity on whether they will be re-hired. It sneaks around the labor laws designed to protect workers by deliberately keeping them precarious, temporary workers with no guarantees.

I'm also keenly aware that the 8-hour day is non-existent here. All stores close at 9pm every single day, it seems. Many, many people are working those as 12-hour days. Doug says Apple started it. He remembers T-shirts that said "80 hours a week: that's all we ask" worn by Apple employees when he was growing up here.

And I hear Rudd has announced the IR proposal for Australia's opposition party. Haven't had a chance to read much on that and would welcome any brief analyses.

As usual, I'm not planning to celebrate Beltaine today. I go by the cross-quarter and make it solar or make it the full-moon closest to that cross-quarter depending on how I'm feeling. NASA says the full moon is right about now and since it's conveniently May 1, I imagine there are lots of celebrations out there tonight. However, it being a Tuesday today, we're planning on going to FireDrums on the weekend instead, since it's both Cinqo de Mayo and the cross-quarter according to Archaeoastronomy.

Whereever you are and whatever you celebrate, may your wishes come true and your dreams be refreshing and joyous.
mordwen: (Default)
Nine years ago to this day, [livejournal.com profile] hawkeye and I were handfasted in a beautiful ceremony in the park near our house in Angel St, Newtown in Sydney.

We parted a mere three years later but agreed to keep the ties knotted and wear each others' rings until our three times three years had passed.

Tonight I unknotted those ropes from each other and we spoke words to each other undoing our fasting.

Thanks, David, for a wonderful relationship (and what remains the best break-up ever). Here's to the next stage of our friendship.

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