Thursday, February 24, 2011

community spirit

photo by jen hosking

Today as I peddled my bike down the street I thought about a conversation I had been having earlier with a friend about Dharavi & the community spirit that exists in India's largest slum. To a westerner the slums are considered disgusting and filthy and yes they probably are, but it's the sense of community spirit that burns strongly in the hearts of these people that I admire. Whilst Brunswick is nothing like India I still like to feel part of a community. I dislike the thought of arriving home & closing the front door & not being connected with the outside world.

I arrive home to find a cat waiting patiently for me on the front step. The cat happily followed me inside the house & after retrieving the phone number engraved on the disk from around the cat's neck I make a quick call to the owner. I now know, 'Chinard' lives at the end of our street & has been out all night.

Human connection (& the random visit from a local cat), play an incredibly important part of healing process during a time of loss & grief. We have made some amazing connections with people during this time, new friendships have formed, established friendships have grown stronger & some friendships have unfortunately faded into the background. The loss of someone can certainly divide friendships. Unlike my new friend 'Chinard', Sunday can never be returned, but it is the community spirit & the friendships that will continue to see us through.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Grief can be a difficult thing to deal with, its not like an obvious wound that you can observe healing. It's often not openly discussed so it's often misunderstood. It can feel like an enormous storm cloud enveloping your whole self and other times it can feel like a puffy billowing cloud, filled with air and lightness. It has an obvious start but not an obvious end and doesn't necessarily move in a straight line.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

street art

Street art can have a magical way of making life seem better. I find it reassuring that a person creates an artwork for the street, for those who stop to take notice & for no obvious financial benefit. It brings me a smile & reminds me there is much more to life & the human spirit. Here are some wonderful examples, just north of the city.

photo by jen hosking

photo by jen hosking

Monday, February 7, 2011

rice congee

This dish was inspired by Gary's recent trip to see our traditional medicine practitioner, Tracy.

onion, diced
1 cup barley
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup red lentils
mix of ground spices,cumin,coriander,fennel
dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked & sliced
wakame, soaked & chopped
1-2 litres veg stock (massel stock cubes can be used)

soak barley in water overnight, rinse rice & lentils.
cook diced onion in heated oil until transparent,add spices
then add barley,rice & lentils
add stock slowly as required stirring to ensure rice does not stick to pot
soak mushrooms in hot water, rinse & soak wakame in water for 10 mins 
when rice is almost cooked add sliced mushrooms & chopped wakame
served garnished with grated carrot.

serves 4

Saturday, February 5, 2011

looking back to look forward

I want to relive the day we lost Sunday, the conversations that were had, the people present in the room, the wait for the inevitable moment to be told she had died. I revisit that day in order to remember a little girl I will never know. A free spirit unable to be captured in a human soul. Each morning I reflect on my emotions, some days I feel strong & calm with what has been experienced, while on other days I feel the tiredness of the endless thought that goes on with processing a loss such as this.