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Love’s Gamble

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A Valentine Day’s Post: This is in special honour of J & A and all those who fear the courtship ritual of making the first move. It took J ten years (yes, you’ve read it correctly) before he plucked up the courage to even ask the beautiful A out.

I personally found it endearing and touching that it took J (who sang bass in the same choir as A) so long to pluck up the courage to ask her on a date.

 

We tend to say less when we need to say more

Talk about the mundane until it starts to bore

All that is hidden, all that’s left unsaid

The latency hides heartache, the fear, the dread

 

The weather then becomes the discussion du jour

Or the latest travel plans where it’s safe and secure

Our hearts in the meantime beat onwards regardless

Hiding unseen heartache and unfathomable stress

 

Do we bite the bullet, say all that’s in the heart

How do we find the strength, when do we start

Perhaps today, maybe tomorrow, or could it be never

One has to make the first move before a line is severed.

 

(C) Wendy Robinson All rights reserved

 

I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear. ~ Nelson Mandela

 

I hope you enjoy Kyle Richard Hudson’s  ‘Lost For Words‘ which compliments this post.

Kyle: I wrote this one about the experience we’ve all had of not being able to articulate the way we feel.

Please express your appreciation of Kyle’s work, either in the comments or on his video or better yet, subscribe to or share his video.

Thank you Kyle for sharing your song with us.

Disclaimer: My thanks go to the anonymous photographer, who has generously shared his/her online photography for gratis.

The Padaung Women

Nowhere else in the world will you find women with brass and gold alloy coils around their necks!* The Padaung or long-necked women, hail from Kayah state, in the southern part of the 6b3d54225e44609d50136cfa68b68e0enortheast region of Myanmar.

Beginning from the tender age of five, when their bones are pliable and soft, the young girls wear the coils, with additional coils added every few years. The neck coils can weigh over img_791820 pounds, while the leg loops can weigh around 30 pounds. The coils near the neck are smaller and narrower before widening towards the shoulders. A cushion type of material protects the chin from the coils.

Contrary to wide-held perceptions, the neck is not stretched. The weight of the brass coils push the collar bones down instead and compress the rib cage, and this results in a shorter rib region. The coils are usually changed when a longer coil is needed.

The Padaung prefer to be referred to as Kayan and the name, ‘giraffe women’ is quite derogatory. I prefer to say, ‘swan-necked’ instead of ‘long-necked’ as they appear quite graceful when the coils are removed.

cf8013e9b809a87d3233bdef5a5dc4d8By the time a Padaung woman reaches maturity, she can end up with a full set of 25 coils. Generally, their costume consists of a head scarf that winds gracefully around the head; a short, coat over a loose, embroider-edged, white tunic, a mini, dark blue skirt and dark leggings (perhaps they were the precursor of the western leggings).

Having no historical records, theories abound as to the reasons behind the practice of coiling. They range from: protecting the neck from tiger bites; deterring slave traders from capturing the women, who may hopefully appear unattractive with their elongated necks; to preventing men from other tribes or regions from kidnapping the women.img_7974-cropped

img_7963It was a wonderful experience, seeing these lovely, gentle women but the weight of the coils they wear, were astonishingly heavy. These unique and distinct brass coils identify these Kayan or Padaung women, their culture and their ethnicity.

(C) Wendy Robinson All rights reserved

Being different is like being called ‘Limited Edition.’ Meaning you’re something people don’t see that often. Remember that! ~ http://www.livelifehappy.com/

All photographs are my own except for two: the little Kayan girl and the young women with the coils removed. They are from the internet and my thanks go to the photographer.

Footnote: *For those interested in facts, the Southern Ndebele women in South Africa wear rings as opposed to coils, around their neck and they do so after their marriage.

myowncalcuttablog.com

Street Life

I dream of soft sheets fragrant with sunshinehouse_sleeping

Enfolding me in a warm embrace

Life was safe and happy and endless

But now I am afraid to live and face

Another day of scrounging for food

young girls on the streets of the city

young girls on the streets of the city

Or fighting for the spot that is safe

From the wind, rain, rats and roaches

How did I get to be in this place?

Will I ever forget the hard reproaches?

Or the beatings he mercilessly rains

And I’m not even his child but yours681b5a8aa699a740d4474eb363281471

How could you allow him to treat me in vain?

To wrench me from you my only haven

And cast me adrift in a sea of maelstrom

Now I’m free, yet not with you

Life is passing, I feel old and abused080815_young_girl_homeless

Lost, searching in fear and blind view

Hope has ceased, there is no more wonder

Instead, needles, pain and soulful hunger

Oh where are you who was once my mother.

(C) Wendy Robinson May 2015 All rights reserved

I wrote this poem back in May 2015. It is to honour those who face the streets on a daily basis.

According to Homelessness Australia, over 105,000 people experience homelessness every single day/night in Australia and the major cause of homelessness is family and domestic violence, followed closely by financial difficulties.

Homelessness Week in Australia, which raises awareness of all those who experience this plight, was held between 1 to 7 August this year.

World Homeless Day was on 10 October 2016.

Sometimes things happen that makes no sense at all, you ask yourself how can another person wilfully hurt another. It is more a statement of disbelief than a question.

All we can hope for is that our collective voice against the inhumanity of the few and our universal desire to live in a compassionate filled world extinguish the fire of hatred others have spawned. Let us not forsake our humanity. ~ Dodinsky (In the Garden of Thoughts)

Disclaimer: All the above from photos have been garnered from the internet. My thanks go to the respective photographers.

 

 

Incy Wincy

He (maybe it was a ‘she’) appeared out of nowhere and dangled off the dashboard. The girly me gave a silent scream while being acutely aware that I was driving in traffic.

Fear begets more fear and the fact that he was waving a dozen (I know spiders only have eight legs but at that close proximity, it looked like double the amount) or so legs in all directions, captured my undivided attention.

Despite the mesmerizing rap dance, I had the foresight or was it fore-wisdom to glance up as the traffic had just come to a halt. Dread and rising fear drew my eyes back to the gargantuan arachnid, who had by this stage, decided to move up on to the top of the dashboard.

‘Kill it,’ my brain screamed.

‘With what?’ was my response, while frantically glancing around to find a weapon.img_6149

‘Why is there no hammer when you need one?’ I bemoaned.

It was launching forward and moving fast and was pretty much in sync with the traffic that began to move at a rush.

‘I can’t watch it and the traffic,’ my brain cried!

‘I’ve got to put a stop to this!’ I firmly decided.

Before you could say, ‘Charlotte,’ I hit it with my bare errr … gloved hand.

The body arched a little and the legs quivered as though it was doing sit-ups on a mirror, and then it stopped.

I had to refocus on the traffic although the feeling of dread remained.

At the lights, I glanced down again and realised he hadn’t moved. Although it was no comfort, I managed to get to my destination without further huntsmandrama.

Shuddering visibly, I then stared in fascination at the spider. I thought about a friend who hysterically abandoned her car in traffic when a huntsman crawled out from under her visor. To this day we marvel that she escaped being killed on that freeway.

imagesz1y4cklbA family member emptied almost two entire cans of pest spray at a spider that had the audacity to take up residence across the corner of the entryway door to her garage. After the adrenalin rush of that marathon effort, she frantically called for her husband. She found him lying on the lounge deeply engrossed in a book.

In between gasps, she related the entire, terrifying episode to her patient spouse. She repeated the drama just in case he missed the absolute horror of it all and then implored him to come and check if it was dead.

He managed to pry his eyes away from the book and quietly told her she needn’t have used one can, let alone two cans on the spider. All she had to do was to ‘nag it to death!’

Although all these true-life stories appear to be centred on the fairer sex, our tough male counterparts can be equally as vulnerable. A male relative has a deep-seated fear of spiders. Whenever he sees one, he quickly retreats to safety while calling for his wife to get rid of the pest.

imagesabjpxp6gA burly friend confessed that there was no way he could spend a second in the same room as a spider! This gentle giant calls on his petite spouse to eradicate the offending hairy, creature whenever he spies one.

While these plucky ladies DO rescue their men, I have one final story to relate. My usually calm girlfriend raced into the house when a huntsman (what’s with these huntsman or is it huntsmen?) rushed across the interior car roof TOWARDS her and nano-seconds after she got in the driver’s seat. She frantically grabbed the spray can from the kitchen and raced back out to the car. She was already late for an appointment and that spider needed to be dispatched to spider heaven quick-smart.

Peering into the open car door, she searched the interior roof with dread. With mounting fear, she wildly scanned the back seat and the floor area but there was no evidence of the creature. In desperation, she waved the spray can all around the car and shut the door. ‘Hope you DIE an agonising death,’ she panted in anger.

The toxic smell and the fear of meeting it face to face again was enough for her to ring for a taxi. It took her an entire week before she could get back into her car. She never did find a shriveled-up corpse of the huntsman.

Thank heaven my spider was only a daddy-long-leg and not a huntsman but as far as I’m concerned, a spider is still a spider.

 

(C) Wendy Robinson All rights reserved

September 2016

Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget everything and run,’ or ‘Face everything and rise.’ The choice is yours. ~Zig Ziglar

Is it incongruous that we, who are relatively large compared to an insect that is generally the size of the palm of a hand, can be reduced to quaking jelly when we see these creatures? Please feel free to share your ‘spider’ adventures with me.

3anniversary

It’s great when you’ve reached a milestone, albeit a small one! It turns out, it is the third anniversary of my blog AND I’ve also, just yesterday, had another person following me. That makes (little drum roll) 71 followers to date (yay!) and this is my (ta dah!!) 65th post. Not bad for a writer who has been quite slack and only posts once in a while.

When I ventured into uploading my very first post, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to perfect it and finally ended up posting it towards midnight. I woke the next morning and was astounded to learn that I had two ‘followers’ – one a published author and the other an outstanding and expressive writer. I was nevertheless stumped as I had no idea what a ‘follower’ meant. I soon learnt and began to ‘follow’ writers whose works I admire.

For me personally, I feel blessed and lucky that I’ve met some unique, blog-pencil1outstanding and inspiring fellow bloggers and writers and in some cases, developed online friendships with them. I don’t think I need to name them as I’m more than sure, they know how much I value and appreciate their friendship and their talent and more importantly, they know who they are.

I can state without any reservation, that I have no regrets and in fact, still get excited and enthused about web blogging!

All I have to do now is to be more-disciplined in posting regularly!6dd36c464cfff57e57398342fccd676c

Thank you ‘WordPress’ for the anniversary reminder!

(C) Wendy Robinson September 2016

To me, art’s highest purpose is to entertain, to enlighten, to inspire, to evoke emotion and to change an audience in some way, big or small.

~ Charity Sunshine Tilleman-Dick

Meant To Be

I wrote this poem to honour my brother and his bride on their wedding day. They have said often that they were ‘meant to be’ together so I entitled this poem, ‘Meant To Be.’

 

This new day dawns in glorious majesty

Is this possible, to love so magically

Nothing dampens the singing heart beatswedding-rings-wallpaper1

It beats faster whenever we meet

I never knew that loves sacred gift

Is to give my life this momentous lift

I’m happy, carefree, in constant heaven

You’ve the cause and my safe haven

From all eternity, we were meant to be

I found you as you were promised to meHeartHands

 

Through eons and ages and in between

I knew you and you always knew me

We had to meet, it was long overdue

Universally conspired, the scene on cue

Lost in a vortex of the unknown or unseen

All’s right with the heavens and our dream

I am always yours and you are ever minesunset-hands-love-woman

In spirit and body and all things divine

We are now together and always will be

Pledged to be one for all eternity

 

(C) Wendy Robinson June 2016

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.

~James C. Dobson

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