Thursday, 5 July 2012

peaks & troughs

my life has taken on a new rhythm these days. there is a rush to get everyone fed and out the door in the morning, i settle into my chosen pace for school hours (usually slow) and after school i drive the kids to their various activities, do dinner, shop or whatever needs to be done. it's a peak and trough kind of existence and i'm happy with that.
on a different level, i have some troughs wondering whether i will ever work again because as much as i loved my doula studies, love watching birth videos, love reading birthy books and am dead sure i will be a great doula, i have to get some clients. i have had a couple of leads but pregnant women seem not to answer their phones very consistently. then again, i dont answer the phone consistently and i have no distracting hormones or nursery make-overs to blame.
spending a lot of time at home is a peakish thing, i am delighted to be available to deliver forgotten lunches or  assignments, visit the lost property department at the bus station, shop for fresh fruit and veg at the markets rather than the supermarket and generally have a relaxed and rich kind of a life away from the sense of desperation i felt when i was trying to please bosses who couldnt be pleased. i miss the social contact of a regular working life but that small trough is a minor price to pay balanced against the psychic pain of being disapproved of every single day.
in a strange little twist my facebook feed has become full of human rights posts relating either to refugee issues or to freedom of choice in birth. i have always been a supporter in theory of human rights but not had any active involvement. i still dont have active involvement  but i am surprisingly a step closer. it's not something i ever imagined for myself and it has all come about in a short period of time.
i continue to visit the detention centre and feel comfortable there. one of "my guys" cooks lunch and a few of us eat together. i feel it a privilege to break bread with them, even more so when i realise that the menu is set well in advance. prawn curry was last week's offering and this week will be chicken biriani.
one detainee always calls me "sister" i'm not sure whether that's to save him trying to remember an unfamiliar name or if it's a mark of respect but i have to say i really like it. i feel that i am really trusted and i am honored  to have such a position but i discovered, too, the responsibility of that trust when one of those men admitted to me a history of domestic violence. he was unapologetic about his actions and his manner of explaining triggered some uncomfortable feelings for me, for a  moment i imagined that i could never visit him again but just as quickly as i thought it, i realised that i could not abandon this man who obviously knew nothing better.

the peaks and troughs of my daily life have changed from a meaningless, extreme roller coaster ride to an exploration of faith and personal values and it all feels so much more fruitful....or potentially fruitful.....or some other poetic and worthy statement.

if you have time to take the slow road, please do. everyone should try it.

a portrait of our chef in detention, as displayed on the refugee art website. this man, a stateless, minority rohingya  from myanmar  has spent three years in villawood and a total of six years of his life in immigration detention. he is now very concerned for the welfare of his people as the rohingya people face a new wave of genocide in the violence that is sweeping western burma.


  1. I think it is a privelege for you to be actually doing something with meaning, a small contribution of time in your eyes means a whole different thing to the detainees. A regular face is somewhat comforting to them, making them realise that people beyond their walled boundaries actually care.
    I have said it before Kylie but I will say it again : Well done to you for actually acting on the compassion and sense of human nature you feel. So many of us feel it but relating back to your post : are in top speed through every day.
    Hope family are well.. Fee xoxo

  2. thanks fee!

    how are you? i keep meaning to drop by but then the urge subsides! :)

    enjoying school holidays?

  3. I'm sure the doula clients will turn up eventually, I guess you just have to keep spreading you name around (maybe by accompanying other doulas on their visits?)

    Your commitment to the detention centre seems a really worthwhile thing to be doing, you're giving them something positive in what must be a very bleak existence.

    As a part-time worker, I can now take the slow road most of the week and it's very liberating!

  4. hi nick!
    i had some feedback today i need to learn from quick smart. it was rather gutting but nobody made anything who didnt make a mistake.....

    i will get there.

    you seem to have most things in balance, good for you :)


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