Category Archives: AWARENESS

The Red Flowers – Poem by Nim Lee Red flowers lie on the white cloth like a stain A voice speaks quietly and clearly in the night “Everything is going to be alright.” That’s what they always say, It means exactly the opposite. The snake hisses and slithers half hidden in the folds And he comes home, to the place he belongs, And now we can rest at last. Nim Lee

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Red Flowers On The Native Tree – Poem by Raj Arumugam

the red flowers
on the native tree
in my garden
glowed in the morning sun;
now the curtains are drawn
and the darkness embraces
the red flowers
on the native tree
and she blushes in the embrace
in my garden

Raj Arumugam

Bakuba is far away, no person ever reached it.



Bakuba is an ideal country. This proverb is used as a warning against undue ambition, or as advice to be content with that which is within reach. It is equivalent to our English saying, It is no use building castles in the air.

Look at the stars! Look, look up at the skies! Oh look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air! The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there! Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Sometimes you get there in spite of the route
Losing track of your life and what it’s about
The road seems to know when to straighten right out…
I could wonder if all of it led me to you
I could show you the arrows and circles I drew
I didn’t have a map, it’s the best I could do
On the fly and on the run

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Buddy tried to look as inconspicuous as a human can look if he is accompanying a dwarf with a big horn, an ape, and a troll carrying a piano in a bag. TERRY PRATCHETT

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Doc Childre and Sara Paddison, HeartMath Discovery Program

Love is not automatic. It takes conscious practice and awareness, just like playing the piano or golf. However, you have ample opportunities to practice. Everyone you meet can be your practice session.

“I’ve learned that some memories surprise you and reveal a sharp edge just when you least expect it.” ― Pittacus Lore, Eight’s Origin

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“The first words that are read by seekers of enlightenment in the secret, gong-banging, yeti-haunted valleys near the hub of the world, are when they look into The Life of Wen the Eternally Surprised.

The first question they ask is: ‘Why was he eternally surprised?’

And they are told: ‘Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.’

The first words read by the young Lu-Tze when he sought perplexity in the dark, teeming, rain-soaked city of Ankh-Morpork were: ‘Rooms For Rent, Very Reasonable.’ And he was glad of it.”

― Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.” ― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

iz mask

Death is patiently making my mask as I sleep. Each morning I awake to discover in the corners of my eyes the small tears of his wax.

Philip Dow

foto –izzy foreal at brierfield halloween 2013

Not to have felt pain is not to have been human.

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This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where people go on
missing…. This pain is just to make you more alert–because people
become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds
them. Otherwise they don’t become alert. When life is easy,
comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When
a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you
alone–those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so
much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone.
Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use
them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The
pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware!
And when you are aware, misery disappears.

Osho Take it Easy, Volume 2 Chapter 12

Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone it has to be itself.” Berenice Abbott on Alone.


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But as in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.

– from “Berenice”

Edgar Allan Poe.

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Some people are still unaware that reality contains unparalleled beauties. The fantastic and unexpected, the ever-changing and renewing is nowhere so exemplified as in real life itself.

“Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic

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“Each was anxious to play the part fate had allotted to him, and each was dimly conscious of an inability to remain confined in it, and painfully aware that their secret problems would have been unintelligible to most men of their own class and kind.” 

― Edith WhartonThe Buccaneers

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. Robert Lynd

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Maka’ala ke kanaka kahea manu.

A man who calls birds should always be alert.

The Hawaiian alii (chiefs) wore beautiful capes and headdresses crafted by weaving in thousands of tiny feathers. The Kanaka kahea manu, the  bird-catcher, would imitate bird-calls to attract the birds to catch them, pluck out a small number of tiny feathers and let them go. Once he had called the birds, he had to stay alert and be prepared to catch them quickly when they came near. The saying advises one who wishes to succeed to be alert to any opportunity that should arise.

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A D Hope, “The Death of a Bird”

For every bird there is this last migration;
Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;
With a warm passage to the summer station
Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.

Year after year a speck on the map divided
By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;
Season after season, sure and safely guided,
Going away she is also coming home;

And being home, memory becomes a passion
With which she feeds her brood and straws her nest;
Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart’s possession
And exiled love mourning within the breast.

The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;
The palm-tree casts a shadow not its own;
Down the long architrave of temple or palace
Blows a cool air from moorland scraps of stone.

And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger,
That delicate voice, more urgent with despair,
Custom and fear constraining her no longer,
Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.

A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,
Single and frail, uncertain of her place.
Alone in the bright host of her companions,
Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space.

She feels it close now, the appointed season:
The invisible thread is broken as she flies;
Suddenly, without warning, without reason,
The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.

Try as she will the trackless world delivers
No way, the wilderness of light no sign,
The immense and complex map of hills and rivers
Mocks her small wisdom with its vast design.

And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
And the great earth, with neither grief nor malice,
Receives the tiny burden of her death.

– A. D. Hope (1907-2000)

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 8 January 1949,

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O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli.



Only the blind gropes in the darkness.

If you have no direction in life, you’ll get nowhere or another way to put it is, “If you’re going nowhere, you’re guarenteed to get there.”

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“I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that man’s supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain’s capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilisation, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.”

― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

Kayakers roll over and do it again … swimmers just sink.

“The ocean has always been a salve to my soul…the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land.”   Jimmy Buffett

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THE SWIMMER by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 – 1870)

With short, sharp, violent lights made vivid, 
   To southward far as the sight can roam, 
Only the swirl of the surges livid, 
   The seas that climb and the surfs that comb. 
Only the crag and the cliff to nor'ward, 
And the rocks receding, and reefs flung forward, 
And waifs wreck'd seaward and wasted shoreward 
   On shallows sheeted with flaming foam. 

A grim, grey coast and a seaboard ghastly, 
   And shores trod seldom by feet of men -- 
Where the batter'd hull and the broken mast lie, 
   They have lain embedded these long years ten. 
Love! when we wander'd here together, 
Hand in hand through the sparkling weather, 
From the heights and hollows of fern and heather, 
   God surely loved us a little then. 

The skies were fairer and shores were firmer -- 
   The blue sea over the bright sand roll'd; 
Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur, 
   Sheen of silver and glamour of gold -- 
And the sunset bath'd in the gulf to lend her 
A garland of pinks and of purples tender, 
A tinge of the sun-god's rosy splendour, 
   A tithe of his glories manifold. 

Man's works are graven, cunning, and skilful 
   On earth, where his tabernacles are; 
But the sea is wanton, the sea is wilful, 
   And who shall mend her and who shall mar? 
Shall we carve success or record disaster 
On the bosom of her heaving alabaster? 
Will her purple pulse beat fainter or faster 
   For fallen sparrow or fallen star? 

I would that with sleepy, soft embraces 
   The sea would fold me -- would find me rest, 
In luminous shades of her secret places, 
   In depths where her marvels are manifest; 
So the earth beneath her should not discover 
My hidden couch -- nor the heaven above her -- 
As a strong love shielding a weary lover, 
   I would have her shield me with shining breast. 

When light in the realms of space lay hidden, 
   When life was yet in the womb of time, 
Ere flesh was fettered to fruits forbidden, 
   And souls were wedded to care and crime, 
Was the course foreshaped for the future spirit -- 
A burden of folly, a void of merit -- 
That would fain the wisdom of stars inherit, 
   And cannot fathom the seas sublime? 

Under the sea or the soil (what matter? 
   The sea and the soil are under the sun), 
As in the former days in the latter, 
   The sleeping or waking is known of none. 
Surely the sleeper shall not awaken 
To griefs forgotten or joys forsaken, 
For the price of all things given and taken, 
   The sum of all things done and undone. 

Shall we count offences or coin excuses, 
   Or weigh with scales the soul of a man, 
Whom a strong hand binds and a sure hand looses, 
   Whose light is a spark and his life a span? 
The seed he sow'd or the soil he cumber'd, 
The time he served or the space he slumber'd, 
Will it profit a man when his days are number'd, 
   Or his deeds since the days of his life began? 

One, glad because of the light, saith, "Shall not 
   The righteous Judge of all the earth do right, 
For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not 
   Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?" 
And this man's joy shall have no abiding, 
Through lights departing and lives dividing, 
He is soon as one in the darkness hiding, 
   One loving darkness rather than light. 

A little season of love and laughter, 
   Of light and life, and pleasure and pain, 
And a horror of outer darkness after, 
   And dust returneth to dust again. 
Then the lesser life shall be as the greater, 
And the lover of life shall join the hater, 
And the one thing cometh sooner or later, 
   And no one knoweth the loss or gain. 

Love of my life! we had lights in season -- 
   Hard to part from, harder to keep -- 
We had strength to labour and souls to reason, 
   And seed to scatter and fruits to reap. 
Though time estranges and fate disperses, 
We have had our loves and our loving mercies; 
Though the gifts of the light in the end are curses, 
   Yet bides the gift of the darkness -- sleep! 

See! girt with tempest and wing'd with thunder, 
   And clad with lightning and shod with sleet, 
The strong winds treading the swift waves sunder 
   The flying rollers with frothy feet. 
One gleam like a bloodshot sword-blade swims on 
The sky-line, staining the green gulf crimson, 
A death stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun, 
   That strikes through his stormy winding-sheet. 

Oh! brave white horses! you gather and gallop, 
   The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins; 
Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop 
   In your hollow backs, or your high arch'd manes. 
I would ride as never a man has ridden 
In your sleepy, swirling surges hidden, 
To gulfs foreshadow'd through straits forbidden, 
   Where no light wearies and no love wanes.

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Lee Emmett, Australia
SWIMMERS’ STROKES (Alliterative Onomatopoeia)

silently slipstreaming, Simon’s swim
huffing heavily Harry hurries him
Pete plods, pants, pushes, paddles past
Luke languidly lashes, lumbering last

spluttering Stevie sideways strokes
Barry backstrokes, beating blokes
sniggering Stevie swishes, splash
Davey darts, dodges during dash

wallowing waves wash white water
anaphylactic, aching arteries and aorta
swirling subterranean swimmer surfs
stonkered Stevie sinks, Simon swerves

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I thought of what you’d written in faint ink, Your journal with the sawn-off lock, that stayed behind With other things you left, all without use

Five Bells
Ken Slessor


foto izzy foreal at bilambil nsw aust

“Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu:  “I have a big stinktree in my garden.   The trunk is so bent and knotty that nobody can get a good straight plank out of it.  The branches are so crooked you can’t cut them up in any way that makes sense.  There it stands beside the road and no carpenter will even look at it.   Such is your teaching, Chuang – big and useless.”
Chuang Tzu replied: “Have you ever watched the wildcat crouching, watching its prey?   This way it leaps, and that way,
high and low, and at last – it lands in the trap.  Have you ever seen the yak?   It is great as a thundercloud, standing in his might.
Big?  Sure.  But, he can’t catch mice!  So for your big tree.  No use?   Then plant it in the wasteland – in emptiness.  Walk idly around it and rest under it’s shadow.  No axe or saw prepares its end.  No one will ever cut it down.   Useless?  You should worry!”

–  Chuang Tzu, The Useless Tree, circa 200 B.C.

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

~Kimberly Johnson

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The spot check inventory. Steps one through nine have sensitized us to see the truth about our own behaviour and the manner in which the rest of the world, especially people, respond to our actions. Having developed this awareness, we come to see, during each moment of each day, what is really going on. In other words, we are living in the truth of the moment. We have, in addition to a new awareness, also developed some measure of ability to actually control our actions. No longer are we simply sleep-walking under the direction of old habits—habits, the way we think and act when we are not thinking about what we are doing, and our elaborate delusions. The process of exchanging good habits for destructive old habits is, unfortunately, laborious.

Seperti katak di bawah tempurung – Like frog underneath coconut shell.

Meaning: A frog which leaves under a cocunut shell will think that the shell is the world.  So, one who is like the frog will have no knowledge of
things/events/places outside his ‘world’.  He refuses to venture out into the world-he remains ignorant but is happy with it.

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“He who plants a coconut tree plants food and drink, vessels and clothing, a home for himself and a heritage for his children”

South Seas saying