Allan Lake in Italy – one of the places that inspires his poetry
Today’s guest poet is Allan Lake. I’ve known Allan since I was in my teens growing up in Tasmania. He was one of my poetry mentors and I occasionally looked after his vibrant daughters.
All of them have grown up into beautiful and talented women.
During his 13 years in Tasmania Lake published his first collection of poems called Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (1988) which was followed by a small volume of 4 poems called Grandparents:Portraits of Strain (1994). * Both currently out of print. He also edited 11 volumes of Traks, the poetry annual by Tasmanian high school students.
Traks was one of the first places to publish my poetry when I was in highschool and it gave me that writerly buzz of being published which has ever since been one of my greatest joys (apart…
When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.
Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us. Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.
Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.
Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.
‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’
We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.
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It’s early days in the fast, but I have just had a set back and found out I am not allowed to do the fluid part. I will have to drink water due to my psoriasis still being an issue even though it is vastly improved.
It’s in remission and so much better but it still lurks and so this is the advice I have been given by my health professional. She does think fasts can be very good for the body and if done correctly are a great idea – so I am allowed to do the food part.
To compensate for not being able to fully participate in the fast I’ve given myself an extra challenge which is to try and fast from my social media – and not facebook during the day light hours of the fast.
However that was challenged a little this morning as I was chatting with both my mother and a close friend from childhood this morning and thought it would be rude to just suddenly end our conversations.
It’s been a special time, trying to focus more spiritually and not let the busyness of life take the soul out of things I do is important at the moment. So I keep reflecting on why I am doing something. Do I need to do it now? Could I do it later? Where is it leading me?
What should my priorities in life be?
This week I have been giving special effort to supporting other people who have dedicated themselves to the power of story, poetry and health and am preparing a series of blogs that that are interviews. I’ve submitted some articles to other sites, and entered two picture book competitions with work that I have polished and polished. I’ve also read a huge stack of writing by other people (and still have a book I need to read).
I’ve been polishing a poetry film and working on a format that reflects who I am as an artist.
Another thing I’ve been making a big effort with, has been trying to visit those bloggers that really inspire me with what they do. I try and check in on the ones that have had the most impact on me and leave a thoughtful message.
I was delighted to be added to the Nineteen Months Photography team, and am now once a month sending a photograph in for that site with a quotation. You can check out my first contribution by Clicking Here. Mine is right down the bottom of some profound and touching photographs. How I long to travel!
This weekend I am off to writing group – how I love to see them all. One day I’ll have to write about it. We’re reading and writing some very exciting stories and following each other’s work like serials. They’re all so different, but that’s all I can tell you because one day some of them are going to be published, in my opinion.
Keep well and if you too are fasting all the best in your journey.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it due to some major health issues I have just overcome with my psoriasis, but I so want to do it.
This is because the fast is one of the greatest spiritual obligations of a Baha’i.
There are exemptions to the fast, under 15 and over 70 don’t do it.
Also nursing mothers, those engaged in heavy labour, woman who are pregnant or menstruating ‘instead they perform an ablution and recite the verse Glorified be God, the Lord of Splendour and Beauty 95 times a day), ‘ and those who are unwell (so hoping I am not in this category.)
There are further exemptions for travel, 2 hours by foot and 9 hours by other forms of transport.
No one checks if you do the fast, it is between you and God.
My first day was pretty tough – lots of headaches – and I will have to watch my psoriasis and maybe give my specialist a call and check I’ll be okay doing it – as well as listen to my body’s wellness barometer. Usually I don’t feel like this until a few days into the Fast.
But hopefully I will be able to have the bounty of the Fast. It is such a special time for the individuals and the Baha’i community who during this time between sunrise and sunset focus more on the spiritual and less on the needs of their physical selves.
All the best to everyone undertaking the Fast, or supporting someone doing it.
As an additional element of the fast I have decided this year to fast from my facebook, twitter and blogging, during the day as well. Because I feel I am spending far too much time there. Hopefully the fast will help me create a new habit of minimising my social media to a healthier level.
I probably still need to check my email once a day for urgent messages and answer the phone, but if I could I’d forego those two things as well I would.
I’ll check in with a post here now and again on how I am feeling during this special time heading for Baha’i New Year and learning more about spiritual wellness.