Loca’s Little Secrets











{November 26, 2014}   Feelings and Clothes

So yesterday I found out I didn’t get into this business course I really wanted to get into to help me with my clothing business. They said I wasn’t ready. I was really disappointed when I found out and basically went home and crawled into bed and felt crappy. No one likes rejection. Anyway I was lying in bed thinking do I really want to do this business thing? How do i know it is going to work? Even if it does work it will still only supplement another source of income. I suppose that is ok, supplementing an income. The fear is it won’t work at all and that I’ll end up feeling kind of bad when people don’t really like it. So I’m lying there with all these negative type thoughts in my head and decided well if it is not going to go ahead anyway I might as well wear the clothes I have bought. I also thought it will be interesting to see how it feels to wear a beautifully crafted outfit worth $500. So I put it on and went out. I felt great. I really did. I went from lying around feeling crappy to feeling awesome. For me I like to wear beautiful things and when they are ethically produced and expensive it just adds to the whole experience and the fun. I realised Liquid is going to be an experience. It is not just about practicality although there is that aspect because we all wear clothes. But there is the added extra of the experience of being able to wear a $500 outfit at the fraction of the price. I just went to dinner at Sushi Ya but it was a more amazing night because I had the fun of a great new outfit. I looked great, I felt great and just to add to it the clothes were not made in China or by workers being labour trafficked. They come from brands who care about their ethical practices and their staff. Anyway to help you understand my feelings here are words by Eric Bibb. “New Pair of Shoes.” Should I slip in Liquid members will get new clothes every month. Two new outfits. Anyway this song is about shoes, but same kind of feeling.

Bought me a new pair of shoes

Got buckles on the side

Bought me a new pair of shoes

Got buckles on the side

I got a brand new way of walkin’

Got a new glide in my stride 

Now my rent’s overdue

An’ my landlord’s fit to fight

Now my rent’s overdue

An’ my landlord’s fit to fight

I’m not too concerned

‘Cos my new shoes fit just right

 If my landlord evicts me

I won’t break down an’ cry

I’ll just keep on walkin’

With my head up in the sky

 

New shoes shinin’ with the buckles on the side

Best fit I ever had –

Not too tight an’ not too wide

 

Bought me a new pair of shoes

Feel like I’m walkin’ on a cloud

With my new buckle shoes I’m dancin’

You know I’m proud –

Make a hard-workin’ man like me

Stand out in any crowd



{September 29, 2014}   Half Marathon

I ran a half marathon last weekend. I didn’t do it for charity, I didn’t do it with anyone else or for anyone else. I just did it for me. Just to know that I can. It was hard but pretty exhilarating. I did it in 2hours and 3mins. The guy who won the Marathon did it in 2 hour and 10 mins. So in an extra 7 mins he ran a whole extra 21km. I found that somewhat hard to comprehend really. He must be so strong. Running long distances is a paradox because it feels so good but at the same time it is painful. Having felt the pain of spending 2 hours running 21km it almost feels like a miracle. 42km in just over 2hours. Unbelievable. Now lame life metaphor. Life is like a marathon. People have said that before because it really really is. So hard, so painful and yet there must be a paradox in all of that because there is an exhilarating joy here somewhere. I remember it.



{September 17, 2014}   Liquid

So I am starting a clothes library / share and wear business. I am not going to divulge all of how I envision it to work because hey this is the internet, but my idea is great and I am going for it. The business will be all designer labels, all fashionable, all ethical and environmentally sustainable. Anyway one of the plans is to start a blog or at least a twitter feed about what is being talked about in the world of ethical fashion. So I thought I might start to get a little practice here. This is not the start of that blog. Just a little practice. And I feel inspired today because yesterday I was having one of those horrible, I feel like crap days but by beautiful coincidence I bumped into one of my favourite big issue vendors. He was my glimmer of hope in the day. We had a great chat and he is so socially minded so I told him about my business plan and he said “you should read a book called Overdressed by somebody aahh I can’t remember their name ah Cline I think.” So I went to Sydney Uni library and looked up this book and it was Cline. The book was really interesting, so I’m going to write a little about it. I won’t write all of what I am writing here on my official blog as I’ll need to speak more fashion language, but this it is certainly food for thought.

The book starts out with the author writing about her wardrobe. She pulled all her clothes out of her cupboard and found that in total she owned 364 articles of clothing but acknowledged she knew nothing about this huge pile of stuff she owned. What is was made of by whom and for how much. She paid about $10-40/item. Not only that the massive pile of 364 items of clothing sitting on her floor was giving her an overwhelming feeling of waste. Speaking of a huge overwhelming pile of clothes – according to our researcher Americans are hoarding 20 billion garments/year as they participate in the fast fashion industry that “behaves with embarrassingly little regard for the environment or human rights.”

From my perspective that is some of the fashion industry. There are Australian Made Designer brands who are thinking about this stuff and are trying to behave ethically and who have met the ethical clothing standards award. These are the clothes I am investing in and that members of liquid clothing will share among themselves. So far I have purchased 7 pieces and I have spent $1750. But the clothes are gorgeous. Simple but beautifully sown together by brands who are steering away from the traps of the fast fashion industry which is about producing as much as you can for as cheap as you can without consideration to durability, quality, the environment and good pay for workers.



{July 28, 2014}   Glimmers

SO i started today a bit angsty. A night of bad dreams filled with all the things I am worried about right now. I tell Jane about my dreams and she tells me a little story about a client of her that would try to find glimmers of hope in a days. We called them glimmers of God. And to the best of my ability I get on with my day and the things I needed to do. I found myself in the State Library of NSW. I am trying to finish off my thesis and one of my last tasks is the referencing as I have not been that good at doing as I go along. So I went back to the State Library to get a book from there. Anyway I get my book and all the referencing details but while I am there I start reading one of the random articles in this book about the Scrolls and it reminds me of all the moments I had while writing my thesis and sitting in libraries reading about the scrolls. It all felt rather nice so I write on a little piece of paper, an envelope in fact:-
Dear God. Help me to remember the beautiful feelings I have had sitting in libraries. Help me to see the glimmers of you. What will it be today?
So I write this and then I go off to St Johns because I need to get a letter from them that says I am no longer in a permanent role with them. It is all pretty painful and by the time I leave I feel like crap. I am sitting on the train feeling bad and wondering what all this God stuff is anyway. Yesterday I had heard a conversation with Richard Feidler and Lawrence Krauss and Lawrence is a scientist who seems to think he has scientifically shown something can come from nothing. And having recently been hurt and abandoned so utterly entirely and horribly by the minister of the Church and with Lawrence Krauss ringing in my head my prayer in the library felt light years away.
But then I get off the train and I look up at the sky and find my self staring at the most beautiful sky I have seen for a long time. It was literally like the whole sky was glimmering. It was so stunning that there are many people standing at the station taking photos of the sky. A couple asked me to take a photo of them. There were so many different shades pink and purple and orange and the clouds on the light just glimmered for kilometre after kilometre. And I pulled my envelope out of my bag and looked at my prayer that said – “Help me to see the glimmers of you. What will it be today?



{June 21, 2014}   Leaving Israel

It is 1:00 here now. I did my last shift today and at dusk went for my run in the valley. And as I got myself to the top of a 10min climb back up and came through the gate as the sun was setting I said my goodbye to Israel. I did that thing where i lay on the soil and kissed the ground. I can’t even begin to explain what Israel now means to me. It is just kind of where would I start? So with a heart that kind of breaks I write now. I am leaving tomorrow for my final stint in Africa, then home to Australia.  But the pain I feel, I know it good. It means that I found something I don’t want to leave behind.

The passage from scripture I meditated on at the end of the run, while i sat on the top of the hill was “weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” I have done my share of weeping in this life I think, but I did find joy in my travels. There were moments where I found a pure joy. One where the leaves of the trees felt magic and the music playing in my ears uplifting and the wind on my skin felt soft.  And I did not feel like I needed anything else. Sometimes in the past, especially the last few years there has been an anxiety which has stopped me from being present to the wonder of the world. But my trip bought back to me anxiety free moments. Especially Neve Shalom / Wahat Al Salam. Maybe it is in the name. When I first came here I commented on the every day nature of things. Life here continued to be the everyday nature of things. But somehow somewhere, through God I found some peace. free of my anxiety. It is not because of the political stand they are making. Really it not that. Mostly my life here has consisted of cleaning and running and hanging out talking nonsense. I don’t know where exactly the peace has come from. But is has come and it is lovely and I hope I can take it home with me. “Weeping may last for a night. But joy comes in the morning.”  And can I just reiterate – God has been so unbelievably and magically good. I have never being so aware of the blessings. I have wanted for nothing and received so much even. Honestly I could not have done this alone. But i have not been alone.



{June 9, 2014}   Venice

I arrived in Venice yesterday. Obviously seeing j at the airport was a bit special. Anyway he is obsessed with stationary so yesterday we ended up in this beautiful stationary shop and he really wanted to buy this very expensive but totally lovely journal. He didn’t buy it but has been dreaming about it since (literally he dreamt about it last night in his sleep) so we are going to go back and get it. But in amongst it all we have been talking about – what would you write in such a beautiful journal? Obviously poetry came up. And it has inspired me to want to write a poem about Venice. I have about 5mins to do it in while j is off doing something – so it is going to be lame. But hey it will be a poem about Venice. 

I look around me. Spinning.

Each direction.

I can’t work it out. It is hard fathom. 

Normally a city. Normally a life. 

There are the bits and pieces of perfection. 

That scatter themselves around in the mess.

But Venice, you seem so perfect. 

We stumble around in the laneways and up the bridges and into the squares. 

I can’t find it. I can’t find the flaws. Each moment something else stunning.  

Maybe Venice I am in love with you?

Or maybe I’m just in love.  

 



{June 2, 2014}   photos

I’m not sure if this will work but i have been slowly but surely uploading photos to flickr. No facebook. But it would be nice to have them saved somewhere in the cloud. 

Try this link if you are interested. I just finished putting up the Africa photos up and I have everything pre then. Including mum, mil and I’s trip. Just nothing after Africa. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/117771092@N04/?deleted=14319805671

If this doesn’t work it is because flickr are stupid and probably want you to join before you can look. But I thought I would try. 

 

 



{May 11, 2014}   Everyday life

Nothing is ever as good as our expectations and never as bad as we fear. 

I heard this saying recently and then I said it to someone. This someone seemed to think it was depressing but I love it. I find it liberating. I do often have expectations about things and being a bit of an idealist and optimist I sometimes have this idea about things that they are going to be so amazing. Life is amazing, but the way our lives unfold in everyday moments is often a bit more ordinary.  

So I arrived at Neve Shalom. And it is pretty much everyday life. I wake up at 6:30 to start work at 7am and I work as a cleaner in the hotel until abut 2 or 3 and then I go home, I’m exhausted because cleaning for 7-8 hours is pretty full on. So I don’t do all that much in the afternoon, just hang out, and then I get up and do it again the next day. Because I’m a bit of a dreamer in my head being here it was going to be like it’s name and like living in an oasis of peace and everyone was going to love each other and share meals where they would have all these deep and meaningful conversations about God and peace and people would encourage each other. I would feel like I am making a difference.(yes I admit it, I can be a bit driven by wanting to get that feeling). The reality is I do cleaning and I talk to people and one person who lives in the village and works at the hotel tells me that she would never stay in this hotel and that she only likes staying in 5 star hotels. She was being totally serious. Her family only ever stay in 5 star hotels when they travel. The village is wealthy. And then so and so doesn’t like so and so, but so and so does really like so and so because she is hot.

But look I am really not complaining. Everyday life is not something to complain about. It just is and always is. I’m relaxed here. I don’t have to pay for accommodation or food. And the volunteers house is great. I love the people I am living with. They are all warm and friendly and we shop together and share food and cook and watch TV series. I really like the other volunteers here. They are totally the highlight. And last night we had people from the village over and we just kind of sat around, but we sat around till about 2:00 in the morning. The languages switched between English, Arabic, Hebrew and German. The conversations were mainly just everyday stuff but we did talk about the village (because I asked) and there is definitely an acknowledgement from all of us that Neve Shalom / Wahat Al Salem is different from the rest of the country. Less racist, less divided, less tense. But for the people that live here, it is just their everyday life. It is not an ideal to be lived or some dream to achieve, it is everyday life. And it is the everyday life that I am now a part of. It is a bit weird when you dream about something for so long and then it happens. It is hard to know what to do with that when it is so ordinary. But it is a good ordinary. I like free rent and meeting people and staying up late. I do think the other thing is that even if I’m not really doing anything all that much, I think we can say something by where we choose to put ourselves. Anyway, nothing is ever as good as our expectations, but never as bad as we fear.   



{May 1, 2014}   travel

I should write a blog about Uganda, Nairobi, Africa. I need to so I will always have some words on paper about Africa.  But I don’t really know what to say or where to start. 

Africa is another place in the world. Yep, there you go, that is what I want to say. Africa is another place in the world. It is a poorer place in the world. I paid 50,000 shillings for something and it cost me all of 21 dollars. That took me awhile to get my head around. I really did feel quite rich there and many of you know I’m quite anxious about money so it was interesting, but I really don’t want to write one of those posts about white girl going to Africa and feeling rich. And yet here I am writing it. Change of tone and subject. 

I met some really intelligent people there. Probably the most intelligent being the minister of the Church Sally and Ian are part of. He really knew how to give a sermon. Not a sermon full of Christian cliches and pausing for impact, but one that was relevant to people’s lives. While I was there he was preaching about woman and to close he had all the woman stand together out the front of a Church and have the men in the Church apologising to us for all the painful things men have done to us. And it was especially powerful because it was not like the minister had been beating up the men the whole sermon and woman were just the victims now being apologised too, no it was not like that at all. He was too intelligent for that. The sermon had more been trying to challenge or break or name the conflict between men and woman so that it could be healed. Anyway there was heaps more to it, but that will do for now. 

But on a personal note who would have thought that I would go to Africa and have a group of men apologise from themselves and on behalf of other men for the way I have been treated. It was quite powerful really. I have been wondering if some how it provided me a crucial key for healing. Who ever really knows in this life when we are dealing with sources of emotions and stuff like that, but I’ve been feeling quite good over the last few weeks.   

It is funny I have been living in the Holy Land since January and I visit holy sites and they are really great to go to and all that, but in lots of ways I am sorry to say, God is no more present at holy sites than in the rest of the world. I suppose I am sorry to say because I would be so holy right now if all that was required was to go to a holy site. And I would be so close to God right now. But it is not visiting those sites that make one holy or close to God. More and more the only thing I can think that makes us close to God is spending time with God and stepping out with courage when he whispers to you that maybe you should. And if visiting a holy site helps a person to spend time with God then that helps but God was certainly no more present to me in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified, as he was in this tiny little completely broke Church in a tiny little school in a tiny little country in Africa.    

That is not a criticism of Jerusalem. It is actually really great to be back here. It is nice to be back in a world I understand. There were times in Uganda when I had this overwhelming feeling of having no idea what was going on. I just followed along behind and did what I was instructed. Here in Jerusalem I’m in control of what I am doing, I get to make the decisions about where I am going and what I am doing next, and it is just me. No one else to consider. I love that I can wander the streets at night by myself again. I love wandering streets at night and in Africa you can’t do that. I’m not entirely sure why you can’t because I never felt harassed in Uganda. The men were always very polite (not always the case in Israel). But apparently it is not safe and I wouldn’t try it.

So I’m back in Israel from Uganda. I am starting to feel like this travelling thing is stretching my concept of myself and the world but it is hard to pinpoint how. Maybe later musings. 



{April 2, 2014}   Jerusalem Old City Walls

Ok so sue wrote and said I hope you are keeping a journal. I have not been. I so much want to keep a journal, because so much happens, and one day so much of it will all fade. Never everything. But little things will. Anyway I guess it is never too late to start a bit of a journal here. Although knowing my discipline it will be sporadic. But here goes. On the internet forever for my memories.

 

Jerusalem Old City Walls.

 

oh how I loved you when I first saw you. Thick old stones to make up the walls and the pavements of this old city found beside a new city. You gave me the feeling I was walking inside an ancient land.

Then I moved inside the Old City, and my enchantment faded for a time. You made me feel claustrophobic.  And so cold. I was so glad to be inside you, inside the walls and yet it was dark. And all the men in the days were yelling  and wanting me to buy this from them and wanting me to buy that from them. Everyone always “lady where are you from.” Your main streets bustled with all of this. And I would be constantly retreating into your back streets.

But the old city and the walls are quieter at night. And sometimes when it rained I would venture out. And the stream of rain through the lights at night  and the back drop of the stone would again transported me back. And I would play and pretend I was in a different time.

Then morning would come and I would wander again through the walls. And I would see the divisions. In lots of ways it is a miracle that everyone is there together. Christain, Muslim, Jew. It is a miracle that does not go unnoticed. But I also see the cracks. I see the divides. I see the pain and frustration and judgement and guilt and the unknowing. Jerusalem old city walls I know you see them too. And I know you cry.

Jerusalem walls in you is the via delerosa. The via delerosa is the path that Jesus walked to his death at golgotha. But I walk the path and I walk it quick. If I slow down again I get “lady lady you want to see my shop?.”

Jerusalem walls there was a time even that i hated you. I hated you because of the shops and because I struggled to connect to the history and I hated you because I felt cold and alone. I loved you, I hated you. I deeply wanted to connect with you and you were not there.

But tonight dear city walls I walked again. And it was late and it was dark and it was like I saw you again for the first time. I loved you. For the thick old stone, for your connection to history, for the cracks and divides that somehow hold together. Jerusalem walls I love you more now. Your story is now intertwined with my story.

 

 

 

 



et cetera