Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Archive for January 2010

In honour of friendship

with 4 comments

You know who you are – the people who send me those cute and kitschy hugging kitten and adorable puppy emails – telling me how special I am and how much you love me. I know, I know, you can’t help it, they are just so cute and you know they’ll make me smile… Okay – I used to get a bit huffy and wonder what sort of taste you thought I had that such sweetness would be my thing. I’m over that. Yes, I open them and read and even smile from time to time. I’d rather have you think of me fondly than not think of me at all. So really, it’s all good.

Except… I received three (count them, yes three PowerPoint shows sharing F R I E N D S H I P W E E K with me, this last week of January. In an effort to get all these declarations of undying affection, goodwill and warmth to manageable levels, I did a little research. Here is what I learned:

  • National Friendship Day is on the first Sunday in August.
  • Women’s Friendship Day is on the third Sunday in August
  • International Friendship Month is February
  • Old Friends, New Friends Week is the third week of May
  • There is NO Friendship week.

    Therefore – there is no reason to go around declaring your undying friendship to your friends in the last week of January. It steals the thunder from the impending International Friendship Month which commences on Monday the 1st of February.

    During February, you will be permitted to acknowledge international friendships only – any domestic or same-nationality friendships will be celebrated on National Friendship Day the 1st Sunday in August.

    The 3rd week of May is Old Friends, New Friends Week – you may acknowledge old or new friends, regardless of sex or nationality. However, you may not acknowledge those you have been friends with for more than one year, but less than 10 (7 for those under 30.)

    Women may acknowledge their friendships with either men or women on National Women’s Friendship Day, the 3rd Sunday in August. Men – please be advised that as it is Women’s friendship day, you must wait for acknowledgement from a women – you may NOT initiate acknowledgement on your own and you should not, for any reason, engage in acknowledgement or celebration of your friendships with other men. Attempts by men to initiate acknowledgements will be viewed as signs of aggressive male behaviour. Men-men friendship acknowledgement will be recognised as yet another male attempt to usurp the little recognition paid to women in our culture and will not be tolerated.

    I do hope I have clarified and cleared up any confusion and misplaced, misguided sentiment instigated by these well-meaning emails. For whose who are easily confused, I suggest they print and laminate the appropriate recognition dates as above and hang by your computer both at the office and at home.

    Kind regards (a friendly, but not friendship acknowledging closure),

    The Titirangi Storyteller

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    30/01/2010 at 3:55 pm

    Both Sides Now

    with 3 comments

    So I’m sitting on the bus into town, mostly awake, but not awake enough, sipping my coffee, strangely perfect in it’s shiny blue thermos travel mug. I don’t really mind the ride into work. I sometimes mean to read, but usually the waking up world is far more fascinating.

    The light is gentle on the old ladies dashing to the mailbox to collect the morning paper in their comfy old bathrobes and fluffy slippers, thinking somehow the thousands of people travelling down Great North Road won’t notice them. Maybe, just maybe I’m the only one that does. I must find out.

    Morning clouds, clouds on the safe side

    This morning the light was soft on the clouds, illuminating them, so they glowed. And as I was admiring them, the radio playing over the bus’ sound system played “Both Sides Now,”  Judy Collins’ version of the Joni Mitchell song. I sang along softly, hoping no one could hear. They are not all wearing Ipods. I thought about this photo as I mouthed the words:

    Bows and floes of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
    And feather canyons ev’rywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way
    But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on ev’ryone
    So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way
    I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    It’s cloud illusions I recall
    I really don’t know clouds at all

    The other side of clouds

    Those clouds looked nothing like these clouds. I think these are the other side of clouds. Evening clouds, full of heaven clouds, spicy cotton candy clouds. It occurs to me clouds are probably my favourite subject, so photogenic – and they never complain.

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    25/01/2010 at 10:18 pm

    Posted in Writing

    Tagged with ,

    The Sutton Clock Shop

    with 2 comments

    I am unequivocally certain that should I have entered this shop I would have found myself in the Twilight Zone. Instead I dashed past on my way to something urgent I have long forgotten.

    Week after week I wrestle with time’s infinity and terrible finiteness. Time I spend, time I waste, time I wish I had more of – like money, except I can’t borrow more (though I have tried!) and there are no refunds for misspent time that didn’t deliver on its promise. No guarantees.

    I must consider this more closely. Spend more time on time.

    Monday approaches, Mondays piling high, reminders (like crescent moons) that it passes. No time to waste.

    Crossroads time

    Crossroads time

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    24/01/2010 at 9:47 pm

    Posted in dreams, time

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    Caravan with bull calf

    with 4 comments

    Lately  I’ve been craving more than a getaway… I want to languish in the woods and stumble into a decrepit caravan and cavort with a stray Highland cattle bull calf. Yes, that is what I want.

    Caravan with bull calf

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    21/01/2010 at 10:53 pm

    Posted in Writing

    Tagged with , , ,

    Ran into Camus and bumped my head

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    Accidentally bumped into Camus the other day, a dangerous thing to do on a balmy summer night. But he was sitting there with nothing else to do but open up to me.

    Egad.  Camus.  Nope, can’t say the conversation went well.  He began by telling me that all life springs from the absurd – a brilliant idea conceived in the movement through a revolving door.  Can’t say I was compelled to throw myself into any revolving doors, but he wasn’t there to listen to me. In fact, he reminded me that he was sitting there minding his own business when I came along and I should listen to him.

    He told me the root of all philosophy was based on the question of whether or not one should commit suicide. That was the determining factor as to whether life is worth living. My head began to spin, but he took no notice and carried on.

    Those who do commit suicide do it for the most mundane of reasons, he stated, seldom for the major tragedies that are later attached to them. I shook my head and he explained further. It goes something like this.

    You experience a tragedy, depression, whatever, but you cope.  You go on, even though you are hanging on by your fingernails.  But then, it is the small thing, a perceived rudeness or dismissal by a friend, even casually is what does it.  That’s the small slight which tells us that life is not worth living.  We know we will get over the big things.  We know we will go on, no matter how tragic the circumstances.  But the small things, the day to day minutiae of our lives, that we can not cope with.

    I asked him if he wouldn’t mind if we stopped there. I had to think a while and get back to him. He seemed a bit dismissive, but I let it go. After all – he is Camus and I am not.

    So, what does that mean to me? He’s right – life is absurd. Everywhere I turn I am confounded by a revolving blur of absurdity. I suspect the reality of the rational world around me ended the moment I reached adulthood. It defined that moment – a rational world had only existed because I was told it did.

    Sincethe fifteen minutes of rage over being lied to ended, it’s been a non-stop process of managing the absurd. I’m quite good at it now. Doesn’t bother me at all.

    We manage the absurdity. We manage the tragedy. So I go back to the minutiae that ultimately does us in. And I’ve got it! I’ve known it all along and maybe Camus deserves the credit. But it seems to me  (dare I whisper it???  so low Camus can’t hear??) the small stuff can’t do you in – if you don’t sweat the small stuff. Doh!

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    14/01/2010 at 8:33 pm

    Posted in dreams, Photography

    Tagged with ,

    New Year’s Dreaming, Year 2

    with 2 comments

    September sunset

    September sunset in Auckland

    It was last year around this time I opted to give up resolutions in favour of dreams. New Year’s Dreaming for 2009. The idea was instead of giving up something, do something I really wanted to do.

    Reviewing my list, I discover that out of my list of 100 dreams, I have done or am in progress with 37 of them. Pretty damned good. Have not begun lessons to speak Italian, Estonian or Mandarin, but I took several courses at University of Auckland, taken my photography up a few notches, learned photoshop, got over my fear of speaking in public (and made a few speeches) – and… finally watched Season 6 of The Sopranos! All in all, a bloody good year.

    I’m advocating dreaming for everyone. Go ahead – make a list of 100 dreams. The first 25 are hard, but once you break through that barrier, they pretty much flow. And once you’ve liberated your mind and let yourself dream of something, you’re partly there…  Gotta run – I got some dreaming to do…

    Sunset in Goa, India

    Written by Titirangi Storyteller

    02/01/2010 at 11:30 pm

    Posted in dreams, Photography, Writing

    Tagged with , ,

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