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04 December 2015

And We're Back

A couple of weeks ago, Jon and woke up with plans to go to Charlie's for more smoothies (because it is seriously an addiction at this point). I flipped on the tv while Jon was in the shower and turned to the news. Because of the time difference, I was watching the attack in Paris unfold in real time. The news anchors were scrabbling around trying to find information... then Obama spoke... then President Hollande announced a national state of emergency.

As the death toll ticked up higher and higher through the day my heart hurt so badly-- not just for the people of Paris, but those in Kenya and Beirut and elsewhere that were attacked.

Still, if I'm being honest, ISIS feels like a scary fairy tale. I know I am not fully conceptualizing what's going on or that there are people just like me being raped and tortured and killed daily. I suspect most Westerners-- especially Americans feel the same.

It is the only reason I can understand the fear and vitriol that was spewed across Facebook in those days after the attacks. It was enough to make a girl go, "I'm outta here!" and take a break from blogging for a little bit. There was too much negativity and straight up stupidity, and I just could deal with adding to the noise.

But, now I'm back!

So, Australia.... things here for the past two weeks have been good, although pretty uneventful. We've had a few adventures, though Jon has been working crazy hard and pulling several all-nighters to try to get things done. Good news is, he LOVES his job. Bad news is, I've sort of been on my own, which makes adventuring a less exciting.

Still, there is too much to share! Let's take a look at the hood...

 This is out side our back porch (above)... and this is what it looks like outside the front (below)

Here are a few shots from around the neighborhood:

Like London, most of the museums are free here, which is awesome. I hoped off the bus the other day to go to the art contemporary art museum, and I turned down a path to find these guys hanging from the ceiling! The best part is that there were whale noises coming from a speaker overhead. 

I LOVE aboriginal art. So. Much. When I was in high school, I had some of my own work at an charity auction and there were some massive aboriginal paintings went up for bid. I think they only went for $150-- and I still regret not being able to buy them. 

Its not just the aesthetic, which is gorgeous all on its own, but the sacred nature of the art. Traditionally, sacred stories and dreams would be drawn in the dirt  and then covered up. In the 70s, a man named Geoffrey Bardon went to a rural aboriginal village in Papunya and encouraged the people to put the stories down with paint. Because those stories revealed so much of their sacred heritage, the people used a system of dots to obscure the under painting. 

Below you can see paintings hanging on the wall in the background at the Brisbane Contemporary Art Museum, but in the foreground you can see funeral poles. These poles are hallow and painted with the same design that is put on the deceased body during the burial rite.  The painting pattern is meant to give a "singing quality" to it, to evoke ancestral power. I can't even express how completely quieting and reverent this art feels. 

We also had Thanksgiving! It was a little sad... our Tahitian friends had to cancel last minute, so we had a massive turkey to eat all by ourselves. But thanks to our appetites and the 'You've Got Mail' special on TV, we had a pretty festive evening anyway.

Jon surprised me by taking me to the Mocking Jay part 2 the other night as well. We rarely go to the movies (because in London it practically costs your first born child just to get in the door), so it was really fun. The best part was walking down to the pier for Cali-Mex food and stroll with this view...

Otherwise, I've mostly been working on (yet again) my grad school applications. I am so determined to FINALLY go this year, nothing short of a nuclear bomb is going to stop me. I've gotten my head back into the scholarship game and have amassed a list of £34,000 worth of scholarship money that I can apply to. I've realised/remembered a lot of really helpful information regarding getting money for school and will probably write a series of posts on that if there is interest (let me know!).

Anyway, lots more to share in the next couple of days. I promise I'll be better about posting more regularly!

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