92. The miseducation of me.




















She seemed a little bit angry actually.

And bossy. She was definitely bossy. I couldn’t help but wonder if her recent incarceration for tax evasion and her commitment to balancing her books with the state has left her a little grumpy about having to sing for her supper.

Apart from one guy in the front row when she paused to sign his CD just before she left, I didn’t see her make any kind of connection with the hollering fans. And you know that thing they do near the end when they’re all pleased with how the night has gone on and they start thanking the band. No, didn’t do that.

Sang pretty of course. Incredible powerful voice. Has a tongue like a razor, it cut through the stories she had to share. A bloodless battle cry. I loved it.

She was wearing Farrell’s hat. Or a similar one Vivienne Westwood had whipped up on the singer. She had fur shoulders.

And she was beautiful and clever.

And she was under the VIVID canopy of shells called the Opera House. It was projecting joy. She was projecting something else.

And that was the miseducation of Jill for a Wednesday. Thank you and goodnight.

91. Are you using that?

So I’m off to the gym, Fitness First it’s called, a good two minutes power walk from my apartment.

On my way up the stairs, a fit woman falls into step beside me.

“You’re new”

“I am”

“I always notice the new people, if they’re not a gay male. This gym is 95 percent gay male”

“Lucky I wasn’t planning on picking up”

How we laughed.

Until we walked in to this:


The gym was swarming with them. About twenty. The Italian Rugby Team had chosen this location, this day, this hour and this moment to train.

Just for my entertainment.

There was a lot of long hair, glistening muscles, gesticulation and effort. From them.

There was a lot of longing. Not from them.

Everyone in the gym was working out very earnestly. I’m guessing 95 percent more earnestly than on a normal Darlinghurst Tuesday.

I think we’ll all have sore muscles in the morning. Not perhaps the sore muscles we may have created in our Italian Rugby Team fantasies, but something to remember them by after all.




90. Mental Housekeeping.

111113bucks-carl-sketch-articleLargeI’m not a big fan of slow anything. I want to make better friends with it. Even on a break like this I’m scheduling each day so I feel a sense of achievement in embracing my state of exhaustion.

Big achievements happening.

Like I went to bed at 830 last night and was asleep by 835.

High five.

Have now spent 180 minutes  in a room doing absolutely nothing before a golden Buddha. Another 90 this morning.

Woop woop.

Shed a few tears in front of a Francis Bacon yesterday. Quietly. I was sitting in a room with six paintings, a created collection called ‘In the flesh’ with Picasso, Bacon, Freud and Soutine.  I have visited a few times now. Human vulnerability, no matter how much we try to hide it, turn the corner it’s waiting.

Big up.

One yoga class, also 90 minutes, made me realize how spoilt I am by my one on one classes with Suzie. Bloody princess. That’s me not her.

Met a long lost cousin for lunch. Who’d have thought I’d initiate something like that. Or maybe he did. Well I was there wasn’t I?

Mental housekeeping.

To be continued, probably forever.


89. Demon slayer.

Look. I might be imagining it.

But when I walked back from the first 90 minute meditation of the retreat, I was  PRETTY FUCKING CALM.

Like, a lot calmer than I was when I nervously walked towards the place that’s for sure.

I celebrated by dropping into a sake bar round the corner from the apartment. For a sake.

There were three dry sakes so they gave me a taste of all three.

This one I said.

I didn’t know this was its name, but if I had accidental plans to toast my first attempt at true stillness – STILLNESS – this would be it.photo

88. Is meaning the new money?

As this has become my travel blog, I am checking in from Sydney.

There is a writer’s festival on. There is VIVID, the festival of art, music and ideas, and there is a refuge retreat at Mahasiddha Kadampa Meditation Centre. This is the same group I flirt with in Auckland.

Add to this collision of events a sprinkling of intellectual exhaustion, and there you have it: a perfectly plausible reason to clear out for a week.

I do love Sydney. Because of my history with it (which is another story), I attach it to healing. It’s where I run away to regroup, to restore and revalue. It’s where I go to lose myself, to be myself and occasionally to be someone else.

Tomorrow I start a meditation retreat a convenient 20-minute walk from this gorgeous apartment. This is comedy fodder I’m telling you now. 90 Minutes is the first session. I’m hoping there’s a lot of talking that will go on (the monks not me) because 90 minutes wrestling my own thoughts to the ground is not something I presently imagine to be possible.

No matter.

It is the process of searching for meaning, not its attainment, that is most important for me. A little bit of this, a little bit of that; its spiritual cross fit for this girl.

Looking at my social media feed these days, there seems to be a few of us limbering up at the starting line of enlightenment. Is meaning the new money? Is it becoming fashionable to repost someone else’s musings and show off one’s spiritual wealth? images-1

Maybe I’ll know the answer to this, and all my other questions, after a week of Oooom.