Destination: Some Place Else

…to get away for if only a moment


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6. Possibly save a life

Breath gets harder, heat beat races, sweat forms, shivers throughout body, pupils dilate, mind goes elsewhere.

Yes, this could be the intro for some sexy scene, but if I added just one more line…

…..all colour drains from face and that faint, queasy feeling comes on…….

Then this is the description for many people when talking about donating blood.

The idea of being jabbed with a long, sharp needle can turn even the most macho of men into a whimpering mess.  Funny enough, not to pigeonhole an entire gender, but it is often men who can’t handle being pricked, probed or investigated.  Maybe it is because women have to tune into their bodies at least once a month, that we are sometimes just better with this sort of stuff.  I guess for those women that decide to have children, a little pain is just preparation for the big showdown at childbirth.

That being said, there are a huge amount of women & men who couldn’t think of anything worse than seeing their own blood drain out of their nimble bodies for any other reason than a blood test.  For those people, relax I’m not going to come running at you screaming ‘how dare you, you must give blood.’  I also know that not everyone can give blood either.   BUT:  if you have been thinking about it and just never got round to it, then DO!!!  There are so many people in this world who constantly need healthy blood to survive.

These are some of the ways your blood can be used (might have to click on image as this pic looks teeny)

How donated blood is used_web

What spurred me on to write this, is that I’m going to give plasma for the first time next week (apparently I have sick as veins for it) and the other is cause I just witnessed another type of life saved from this very thing.  Though it wasn’t from a human, it was from a dog –for another dog.  My sister’s poor little Labrador Sasha ate some rat poison (we think by eating a rat) and got very sick, very quick.  It has been a really scary week for her family as there was a while, where we honestly didn’t think she was going to pull through.  To be honest, in all the times of donating blood for humans, did I ever stop to think, well shit, animals need blood transfusions too.  So maybe you don’t feel up to the jab, and I know it seems a  little inhumane to make your dog do it instead-but if you have a healthy animal-it is worth chatting to your local vet and seeing how you can help out too. After a blood transfusion this week, Sasha is home and doing better and fingers crossed keeps heading in that direction.

I went along with a friend about 4 years ago to donate blood and together we gave it a go.  Now it’s not to say that the reason you ever donate anything (your time, your money, your blood) is to get a reward from it.  But there is something about sitting at a centre, surrounded by other donors and just knowing that by this small little gesture, you might possible save a life or many.  I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty good feeling, especially when you think, what if this was my friend, family or lover.  You never know what will happen in your lifetime, because one day, you might need it too.

For more information check out:

https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment

Or read this article –there is evidence to prove that donating blood can also be beneficial for the donor.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2333882/Donating-blood-good-YOUR-health-receiver.html

 photo

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5. Walking with another me

I close my eyes and try to drown out the sounds of the voices echoing the room.  He whispers softly to deepen my breathing and relax.  I let myself go and walk down ten steps and find a door.   It is copper and very, very old.  He tells me to enter and immediately, I am in a dark room.  The floor is made of gravel and dirt and I feel trapped and do not like this place.  I want to get out, but the man talking wants to keep me here, he wants more information.  He tells me to look down and tell him what I am wearing.  I see black boots and an old ripped dress.  I want to leave; I want to leave this room that I feel I am going to stay in forever.

 He tells me to breathe and asks me where my home is, he tells me to go to the place where I feel safe.  I am here now, it is warm and a fire burns.  This is where I would prefer to stay but I know I won’t be here for much longer.  I know my children are somewhere near, I know we all eat together at the big brown wooden table that is in the centre of the room. My home is small and I know I am poor. I know that although outside the ground is dirty and the air is cold and grey, it will always be better than the place I do not want to go back to.

 The man asks me what makes me happy and I say when I cook for my family, it gives me a sense of pride.  But I also know it is getting harder to provide. I feel myself tearing between these two places until I am back in the dark room with walls that contain me.  I don’t know who has brought me here but I know it is because I have done something wrong.  I don’t think I have hurt anyone, I think it is because I wanted food for my family. I look down to my dirty dress, this image keep pulling me back. When I look down I feel shame, I feel embarrassed that I am here and can’t look after them all.  He asks me if I think I will leave this room and I feel tears in my eyes.  I don’t think I ever do.

 He hands me something soft and says if this were the woman, if this was you, what would you do. I reply I would hug her, so I do.  I am here hugging this small piece of material and he tells me it is ok and to let go of her and make peace with her guilt, she only wanted to provide and be loved.  I feel a slow release of anxiety and I float up and beyond that other time till I am free.

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Yesterday I visited the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival at the exhibition centre.  Some of you may be skeptics of it all, or maybe there are bits you find intriguing.  I must say there is a lot that I find mind boggling and way out of my realm, but visiting places like these are such an interesting lesson in life and people.  There are just so many different alternative therapies and ways of healing your inner and outer self that doesn’t mean visiting your local GP or shrink.  The festival had personal trainers to tarot readers, tables covered in crystals and candles, even a stand where you could get an eyeball massage.  It is obviously a huge industry and it is also good to know that people genuinely care about their wellbeing.

Lewy and I walked through the stands, buying some healing herbal tea, some black rice high in antioxidants and watched a seminar on finding your inner clairvoyant and meeting your spirit guide.  I was really not sure about this one, but came away really enlightened-largely because Belinda Grace was just so intriguing and her no bullshit approach was really refreshing.  Even for just learning to connect with your intuition that little bit more was worth it.

I have always been interested in reincarnation and thought in spirit of trying new things I would meet with Paul Williamson, past life therapist. What I described above was my first experience with learning about my past lives and to be honest I am still unsure how I really feel about it all.  I mean if this was one of my lives, it brutally sucked.  I was a woman living in maybe London or Paris or at the height of a depression, extremely lower class and pushed to the point of stealing food.  Maybe it was my surroundings or because I have a cold, but wow, the image was so vivid that it has also shaken me.  He could have also lead me to those images, I really don’t know.  But I write this to make sense of it and maybe share some insight to others interested.  I am all for living in the present and looking forward to the future, but sometimes looking back at the past can make you stop reoccurring mistakes or grievances.  Either way, it would be interesting to revisit in a quiet room with no distractions to see what happens.

Who knows maybe because that possible life was bound with such hardship is a reason why I am just so damned grateful for this one.  I guess you never really know what’s on the other side.

http://www.mbsfestival.com.au/index.htm

http://www.belindagrace.com/

http://vimeo.com/43101922  (A talk on past life therapy with Paul Williamsom)


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4. Happy Endings

Everyone loves a good happy ending.  I love them in a fairytale, or when you hear that something really good has happened to someone deserving, or maybe it’s at the end of a film and you just know they are going to get together and life will be all hunky-dory.  But let me just testify right now, that when it comes to massages, I feel really uncomfortable with happy endings.

So this is where I tell you about my ‘oh god liv it could only happen to you moment’ (which there are more than I can count on my fingers and toes).  This story began on Friday when I left work early, having a half-day off up my sleeve.  I had been feeling really average for most of the week, so thought hey, a massage may just be what the doctor ordered.  I had recently walked past one in my area and thought today was the day to try it out.

Now let me just say for the record, I am NOT intending to have any business closed as these places are there to service people in a safe and harm free environment…it’s just I wasn’t quite prepared to be entering this type of establishment unknowingly.  I can’t also say I am 100% sure it was one of ‘those places’ but there were lots of signs, signs that should have told me-this place is not for you little lady, time to turn around and try your usual one.

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’ll break it down for you with points of difference to your regular run of the mill massage centre:

A)    There is no phone number on the front of this building, it is off a side road

B)    When I enter, there are no female clients inside.  There is a silver headed man who looks surprised to see me.  He gives me a cheeky smile then hides his face behind a newspaper as if not to have been seen

C)     I am greeted with an equally as surprised employee with the expression of ‘are you lost, the nail salon is just up the road’

**right here is where I should have politely declined and left.  But no- I really wanted my massage straight away and maybe my writer’s intrigue got the better of me**

D)  The masseuse asks do I want to keep my underwear on  ….huh? So I chose undies on thanks

Now massages in general are not for everyone.  The idea of having a complete stranger rub their hands over you can sound intimate and is unbearable for some. Though for me, you could poke me with a stick and I’d love it. Maybe it’s a sign of too many years of partying and working hard, but my tired body could literally be massaged for an entire day and I could still go back next day for more.  I am happy to be tugged, stretched, turned upside down, manipulated, the harder the better please.

BUT- here I come back to points of difference of where I think the line just has to be drawn in the sand for me.

E) Hearing a man and woman giggling in the room next door is weird

F) When turning onto my back (like you do in some massages and yes there is always the awkward moment where you think is the masseuse getting a gander at my knockers) I expect to have my ladies covered, which there were not.  So I lie there in my undies thinking thank god I’ve had a wax, but probably should have worn a pair not so 4th grader

G) I do not expect to have my breasts massaged, though now that they have, I realized they were actually quite sore (lots of yoga and boot camp) and it does feel nice. But next time will leave that for my boyfriend

H) hands going too high

I) oh god too high

Now before you think, here I am with a smile on my face leaving the place, I will correct you.  I am red faced yes, but more from embarrassment…..

…..but phew I can safely say that the lady chose to save her unusual skill set to the men flocking to the place weirdly at 3pm on a Friday afternoon.

I will not be swayed though, I am a keen advocate to go out and treat yourself to a massage cause they feel good and relax you.  It can be a way to ease aches and pains, or to reconnect with your body.  So for anyone who doesn’t ‘do’ massages, try it out.  There are so many talented therapists.

I just think from now on I’ll keep my happy endings to the storybooks and not in massage parlours is all.


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3. To be or not to be a voyeur….

Transit

I sit in silence, tired by travels,

And watch us waiting to leave.

A destination we seek out-

A place for new air, fresh starts.

A way to shed old skin.

They say goodbye to their loved ones, tears fall.

Some tired in transit, others excited for their journey to begin.

Desire for the unknown, anxiety for the unknown.

No face the same, but we are not so different.

I search for myself and create myself every time.

 27/06/08 5.12pm (Ho Chi Minh City)

 

Now I’m not insinuating you should pull out some binoculars and stare at your neighbor like in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and this is definitely not about watching porn.  It’s about going outside or to a desired place and watching people go about their day.  People watching quite simply, can be greatly fulfilling.  It’s a way to hold a mirror up to life and immerse yourself in culture.  It’s a way to see how different every single person is and take note how lucky we are for that fact.  If you don’t feel that way about people, then shame on you, don’t be so close minded.  Yes, there are horrible people in the world, but there are also incredibly amazing ones too-they have different religions and upbringings, sexuality and gender preferences, some have disabilities or illnesses, some are from the far reaches of the globe or right in your own backyard.  Embrace that and take the time to step back and watch them all pass by.

JUST A NOTE: There is a difference between you being a freaky stalker, completely eyeballing someone or just watching as if you were glancing over a page.  The latter is the preferred method.

When I was travelling on my own overseas, it’s was a great pastime and often my savior.  When I was feeling lonely or wanted to be alone, I’d pull up a chair; sit in a park, lean against a wall and just watch.  It was not to be a perve, it was to be a voyeur.  I was watching my very own documentary about life, starring life.   I mean isn’t that how we learn.  As children we watch our parents or friends, and imitate.  Kids are like sponges, soaking up images and dialogue, learning and shaping themselves.  We watch films, sport, theatre, dance, go to galleries, see sunsets, sunrises and people can be present every time.  You can experience intimacy with a complete stranger without ever knowing them, you can be witness to a fight that may end a relationship, you can see love, bewilderment, a stolen glance, hurt, a spectrum of emotions. 

What got me thinking about all this was my trip to the airport last week.  I do wish I was actually getting on a plane to go somewhere but I was picking up some discs for work.  It did look a little like I was waiting to do a drug deal, but I assure you, it was work.  So I got there early and sat there looking at all these people who had just arrived from someplace else. It could have been a stopover, it could have been their last stop after travelling from overseas or it could have been from the end of a long work day.  Whatever the reason, they had arrived.  Airports are like prime real estate for people watchers, millions of stories floating in and out.  It’s no wonder the TV series Airport rated well, cause those places make people feel stuff.  Families are reunited or torn apart, people are excited or tired or angry. I once got a little teary watching an old man hug his daughter (I think it was) for what looked like the last time.

Whatever the place that you choose to watch, sometimes it is important to watch people to realize that we all have our baggage, even when we are not at the airport (sorry -bad pun).   It’s good to remember that and maybe take that on board when you see someone having a bad day.  By watching others, you may actually walk a mile in their shoes and understand humanity that little bit more.

 Here are some snaps that I took from some of my travels to demonstrate:ImageImageImageImageImage

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