Friday, March 26, 2010

The warrior of light needs time to himself ..

The Warrior and the Soul of the World ..

The warrior of light needs time to himself. And he uses that time for rest, contemplation and contact with the Soul of the World. Even in the midst of a battle, he manages to meditate.

Occasionally, the warrior sits down, relaxes and lets everything that is happening around him continue to happen. He looks at the world as if he were a spectator, he does not try to add to it or take away from it, he merely surrenders unresistingly to the movement of life.

Little by little, everything that seemed complicated begins to become simple. And the warrior is glad.

From the Manual of Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho - (more here).

And so that is that .. Geoff.

'The warrior of light needs time to himself.' - Chippendale - 5 Jan 2010 (picasa)

'And the warrior is glad.' - Newtown - 11 Feb 2010 (picasa)

I have learned (by unknown)

I found the following piece while poking around Paulo Coelho's myspace page (he is on every social media site :-). Anyway, I like this and thought I would put it here to share as well as remember. What I have learned. There is much wisdom here:

I have learned (by author unknown) ..
  • I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

  • I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back;

  • I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

  • I've learned that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts;

  • I've learned that you can get by on charm, for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something;

  • I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.

  • I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

  • I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person that I want to be.

  • I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may b the last time you see them.

  • I've learned that you can keep going long after you can't.

  • I've learned that we are responsible for all we do, no matter how we feel.

  • I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

  • I've learned that no matter how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take it's place.

  • I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

  • I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

  • I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

  • I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're downhill are the ones to help you get back up.

  • I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

  • I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

  • I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean that they don't love you with all they have.

  • I've learned that maturity had more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

  • I've learned that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.

  • I've learned that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

  • I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to forgive yourself.

  • I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

  • I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

  • I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

  • I've learned that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

  • I've learned that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

  • I've learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

  • I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will get hurt in the process.

  • I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

  • I've learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

  • I've learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

  • I've learned that the people you care about the most in life are taken from you too soon.

  • I've learned that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.

'Angel's Hand and Wing' - A Church / Brussels - Europe 2009 - A Second Look - 11 Sep 2009 (picasa)

A Warrior practises a powerful exercise for inner growth ..

A warrior of light practises a powerful exercise for inner growth: he pays attention to the things he does automatically, such as breathing, blinking, or noticing the things around him.

He does this when he feels confused, and in this way he frees himself from tensions and allows his intuition to work more freely, without interference from his fears and desires. Certain problems that appeared to be insoluble are resolved, certain sorrows from which he thought he would never recover vanish naturally.

He uses this technique whenever he is faced with a difficult situation.

From the Manual of Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho - (more here).

Last day of 3 months off work. This and the next few posts might help describe what it has been all about (a future post will talk about the Warrior of Light, how I found it and what it means to me).

I know I have needed this time and I appreciate the help I have had from many people to make it possible and to help achieve what I have done. Thank You to All, as always .. Geoff

'he pays attention to [..] noticing the things around him.' - One Day at a Time - Collage@Global Gossip/Kings Cross - 22 Mar 2010 (picasa)

'He does this when he feels confused, and in this way he frees himself from tensions and allows his intuition to work more freely,' - One Day at a Time - Redfern - 22 Dec 2009 (picasa)

'Jenny with Europe 2009' - One Day at a Time - Alexandria - 19 Mar 2009 (picasa)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jenny and Joanne's Birthday - This Time Last Year

This time last year, we celebrated Jenny and Joanne's Birthday in Cairns.

Jenny had won a trip to Cairns at the 2008 Sutherland Shire Relay for Life and this was the last chance to take it. As usual it was left to the last week the tickets could be used as we had been busy with either paddling committments or Medical and Hospital appointments for Jenny. The trip was for two people and I said to Jenny, early on, that she should take Joanne with her, and that I would come up separately a couple of days later.

On the 11 March 2009, Jenny was diagnosed of multiple tumors in her in Liver and she had already started treatment, which included chemotherapy and another drug called Avastin which worked on the blood system. These treatments were to be every second week. So everything worked out paddling and treatment wise, and we were all able to get to Cairns. I dropped them to the Airport on the Sunday, and I arrived on Tuesday, their Birthday.

We had a great time and Jenny wrote a postcard with a thank you to the lady from RAMS who made the trip possible. The trip will always be special time for Jo and I, and we are particularly grateful to those people who made this special trip possible for us.

Last night, Joanne showed me a small Photo Album of that day in Cairns, their last Birthday together. I have just put them in my Picasaweb Album - here.

Jenny, Geoff and Joanne - Birthday Cake Photo - Tue 24 Mar 2009 (picasa)

Joanne and Jenny - Cairns - Tue 24 Mar 2009 (picasa)

Collage of Jenny and Joanne's Birthday - Cairns - Tue 24 Mar 2009 (picasa)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photographer: Murray Fredericks

Murray Fredericks is an Australian Photographer. I was aware of him and his works from my foray into large format photography. I had bought a 4x5 inch large format camera in Shanghai in November 2004 (that's another story) and I needed to learn how to use it. Murray was offering a weekend workshop at a rural location in western NSW, near Oberon, and I had considered attending. With assistance of my friend Leigh Perry, I was able to work it all out and did not need to take Murray's workshop in the end. Some scans of my initial transparencies, by an Epson 4990 scanner, are here

I follow news regarding photography and photography exhibitions in Sydney - typically article written by Robert McFarlane who writes occasionally for the Sydney Morning Herald (just found he has a blog at I have known of Murray since the time his work was exhibited at the Point Light Gallery in 2003. His initial SALT work was also reviewed by Robert McFarlane

When flying to Prague, on the flight to Prague from Helsinki on FinnAir, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to read an English Newspaper (The Financial Times) that had a review of Murray's exhibition in London at the Hamiltons Gallery in Mayfair. I pulled out the page inflight and put it away with a mental note to make sure I would find the Gallery and view the Salt Exhibition when in London a few weeks later. Was very impressed to read that his photos were being compared to Turner paintings and that the largest and most expensive photo was being sold for 30,000 Pounds - pretty impressive for a humble landscape photographer who started his career as an Economist from Sydney University.

Blue Sky Thinking - Murray Fredericks - SALT II - A Newspaper Article found inflight between Helsinki and Prague - Sat 22 Aug 2009 - (picasa)

The day before the Great River Race, I had organised our seats on boats and I had time to do some sight seeing in London. I found the Gallery using Google Maps and made my way there on the Tube. I found the Gallery easily and chatted with the Gallery guy, who gave my a DVD of the SALT Documentary of his trip to Lake Eyre. Managed to sneak in a few photos before I left for the Photographers Gallery (yet another story), which was walking distance away (well maybe at least a couple hours rambling through the back streets of London).

Murray Fredericks: Salt Exhibition - Hamiltons Gallery / London - Fri 04 Sep 2009 (picasa)

Murray Fredericks: Salt Exhibition - Hamiltons Gallery / London - Fri 04 Sep 2009 (picasa)

Murray Fredericks: Salt Exhibition - Hamiltons Gallery / London - Fri 04 Sep 2009 (picasa)

SALT37 by Murray Fredericks - Sep 2009 (

Self Portrait in Lake Eyre - Hamiltons Gallery / London - Fri 04 Sep 2009 (picasa)

The ABC are showing his SALT Documentary tonight. There was a review in yesterdays Sydney Morning Herald titled - Searching for infinite space in extreme locations. An extract follows:

Murray Fredericks - Sydney Morning Herald 22 Mar 2010 - Searching for infinite space in extreme locations - Tue 23 Mar 2010 (picasa)

Having been "the guy with a camera" at high school who took pictures of sports teams, Fredericks was a serious photographer with commercial and artistic ambitions in his mid-twenties. He shot what he calls traditional coffee table-style photos until he realised he wanted more from his work.

"I reached the point where I went through everything and went 'there's nothing new here'. All I'm doing is finding new angles and new locations but the message itself - and the way the message is delivered - isn't changing'," he says.

"So I went through everything again and I thought 'which images affect me differently?' and they were the images that conveyed a sense of space."

That discovery has taken Fredericks 14 times to Lake Eyre in outback South Australia in the past six years. His aim was to photograph the flat salt plain with its low horizon and lack of distinctive features.

Hauling his gear to the location by bicycle, he spent up to five weeks by himself trying to capture the nothingness. And when things changed, he wanted to capture that too.

"Everything happens on the cusp, on the change,'' he says. ''It's the transition periods that are interesting because that's when the stuff you can't imagine or you can't expect happens."

Fredericks's shots of land and sky have proven so popular there are three galleries - in Sydney, Melbourne and London - waiting for his new work.

SALT 8 by Murray Fredericks

Found a nice review by Rebecca Wolkenstein who writes:

.. it wasn’t until I viewed his film SALT, that I decided my roster couldn’t live without him. The film and the work had a spiritual element I had never really understood before then. It sounds rather dramatic to be speaking this way, doesn’t it? When the film comes out [..], I highly recommend that you immerse yourself in the landscape. It’s full of surprises.

SALT 5 by Murray Fredericks

My friend Leigh Perry shoots very similar photos, but typically from the shore of Sydney's coastline - see his portfolios: Invariance and Peripheral Vision. Beautiful photos ..

Invariance #116011 - Reef by Leigh Perry

Invariance #332 - Lake. by Leigh Perry

Monday, March 22, 2010

my iPhone Photos

A new toy and a new picasa Album - my iPhone Photos. Just worked out how to do emails. A few of the first photos which were emailed to picasa from the phone. Lots of fun ..

my iPhone Wallpaper - Newtown - Sat 20 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

me and my iPhone Wallpaper - Newtown - Sat 20 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

Jo and my iPhone Wallpaper - Newtown - Sat 20 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

Go the Bunnies - Redfern - Mon 22 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

Rust and Paint - Redfern - Mon 22 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

Green - Milk Crate - Newtown - Mon 22 Mar 2010 - (picasa)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vertigo - U2

Vertigo by U2

Always liked this song and in particular the video (embedded above). Makes me think of my brother Tim. I had given him the CD (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) for Xmas 2004, a few months before he died.

Apart from grief and despair, vertigo is probably how I felt. I arranged for the song to be played just before the beginning of his Funeral Service. Also played another U2 song - Where the Streets Have No Name. Finished with I Can See Clearly Now.

Vertigo - Flame Tree Flowers - Hyde Park / Sydney - Nov 2002 (picasa)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favourite Photos - Fowey Cornwall UK 2009 - Bookends of Fowey

Bookends of Fowey - Blue - Fowey / Cornwall (UK) - 09 Sep 2009 (picasa)

One my favourite photos from the trip to Europe in Aug/Sep 2009. Just a really simple photo that uses colour. I could not get my camera out fast enough when I saw the dog and it's blue vest with the blue walls of the Bookends of Fowey Bookshop.

Colour photographs have often been derided by the artists of the photographic community. A real photographer sees and shoots in black and white and the greyscales between (with a quick search I found this excellent blog post - Color Vs. Black and White by Do do doo Art Critique - yes there is more to it all than you think).

To me this photo shows the beauty and simplicity of colour photography. I also like the green fern pots in the top right and the image conforms to an old saying of my Grandmother - 'blue and green can't been without some white in between'

I love using my camera when traveling. After a few days you start to see as your camera would. You are the one who pushes the shutter. Scenes come and go - decisions are made in an instant or sometimes over a longer period - some situations and scenes you miss and some will be captured. Your eye is trained from all your past experiences using a camera as well as the knowledge you have gained from viewing other people's photos and paintings, as well as your readings on all things about photography. After a while you develop your own style and your eye is trained for the present moment to capture a photo using your photographic vision. The photo then becomes part of your future - this post being just one part of it for this particular photograph.

The theme of the past, present and future has come up a few times in the last 4 days. One from a quote from a photographer Nan Goldin from a TV Series titled The Genius Of Photography (better details here). A quote from Nan Goldin's experiences follows:

'As the memory of her sister started to become hazy, Goldin began to take pictures to preserve the present, and thus her fading memories of the past. She photographed her friends so she would never lose the memory of them, as had happened with her sister. Her photographs were her way of documenting their lives, and, in turn, her own.'

The other is from a blog post by Paul Coelho announcing the completion of his new book to be titled The Aleph (the title being inspired by a short story of the same name by Jorge Borges - English translation here). Paul Coelho writes about the book:

'Why did I take so long to write about this pilgrimage? Because it took me three full years to understand it. It is not a travel guide. Of course I describe what does it mean such a long trip in a train, but the main goal is the long trip to my soul, past, present and future.'

Definitely look forward to reading it when it is published here next year.

[Today - Saint Patrick's Day is my 30th Anniversary of employment. Like most anniversaries, I guess it is a day of reflecting on the past, present and future. I have been with the same company all that time - though it's name has changed 4 or 5 time and has become significantly smaller (gone from 13,000 to around 800 employee's). Obviously seen a lot of changes. I have learnt a lot and look forward to getting back to work in a week and a half, after a 3 month break.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Favourite Photos - Sydney Town Hall 2003 - Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2003

Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2003 - Town Hall / Sydney 2003 - Sun 16 Mar 2003 (picasa and

This is a photo from the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Sydney in 2003. The parade was held on the Sunday 16 Mar 2003 (7 years ago today - time does fly!!), being a few days before the actual day. I had gone into work for the day as Jenny and Joanne were in New Zealand on a Dragons Abreast Dragon Boat Tour which took place on consecutive weekends for Regattas in Auckland and then Wellington. I remember the time well as they were away when George Bush declared War on Iraq and was concerned that they were away from Australia.

I had just came across the early stages of the Saint Patrick's Day parade in Sydney. I like this photo for the following reasons:

  1. I like how I captured how the scene unfolded (see below).

  2. How I was able to photograph the photographer. I wonder how his photo turned out and whether they ever look at it. I just assumed, from the medal around the neck of one of the men, that they were official visitors from Ireland - who knows ?

  3. I particularly liked the lady in the Green Dress and Hat. It was a little bit amusing that she is looking at my camera and not the one for which she is supposed to be posing for :-)

For the photo below I wrote the following on

Moments before - Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2003 - Town Hall / Sydney 2003 - Sun 16 Mar 2003 (picasa and

I just took a quick look at this photo again and then decided to look at the originals from that day. Interestingly enough a crop (see image with this comment) of my first photo from the five I took in the minute or so I waited for the lights to change, gives an insight as to how the scene unfolded. Has made me realise how difficult street photography is, or maybe there is a bit of luck involved?

For the next photo I wrote the following on

Smiling Faces of Ireland - Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2003 - Town Hall / Sydney 2003 - Sun 16 Mar 2003 (picasa and

As the two men swapped places, I was foiled by a passing pedestrain in getting a clear shot. Anyway, I think their smiling faces say it all ..

This photo was taken 7 years ago today. Time flys.

Favourite Photos - Newtown 2007 - King Street - 'Communication'

Communication - King Street, Newtown, Sydney - Wed 14 Mar 2007 (picasa)

Second photo from a collection of favourite photos.

I had been to the Dendy Cinema to see a movie a few days earlier and was struck by the light and this scene when I left around 6pm. The late afternoon light in Sydney is beautiful this time of the year - interestingly enough it is almost 3 years ago to the day this photo was taken. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me at this time, so I made a mental note to come back at some stage in the near future - which would turn out to be just a few days later.

On the day this photo was captured, I had taken a half day off work, in the afternoon, so that I could attend one of Jenny's medical appointments at St George Hospital. I was in my car on the way to meet Jenny and Joanne for the appointment when Jenny called to say that the appointment had been cancelled due to unforseen circumstances and that we should meet at Dragon Boat training that night back in the City.

I had a few hours to spare, so I thought I would go back to Newtown and have a coffee at Urban Bites (a favourite haunt for me, but the opposite end of King Street to the Dendy) for a coffee. When I was there I remembered the photo I wanted to take and I realised I had my camera. Decided to take the 10 min walk back to the Dendy to take this photo which had similar lighting to what I had seen a few days earlier.

I guess what I like about this particular photo is the composition. I only took a couple of photos and really did not look at it closely until I downloaded it to my computer. There I could see all the detail - things I really had not noticed when I took it.

I saw all the signs - things telling us what to do (the "No Stopping" and "No Entry" signs [1], "One Way" and parking signs), and the signs that identify things. For instance the Map of Africa and all the countries identified, the graffiti tag and the nice frame around the Map, the number plates that identify the motor bikes and scooters, etc.

A couple of other things I liked were the:
  1. Pole Poster where you see the word "Pixels" - the smallest element of each digital photo - you can see it between the "No Entry" Sign and the white pillar (might have to look at the large version to notice).

  2. Person in the centre of the photo - particularly his position and the shadow area of the background he fills as well his position between the foreground shadows. I also love the tattoos on his arms and legs, and the fact that he is communicating with someone using his Mobile Phone. His T-Shirt and bag have some text and logos on them. Also like how the shadow of the Bike Rack just catches his foot - I did get lucky [2] in many ways, as there is no way I could have planned all of this.
As you can see, many things can found in a simple photo that is captured in a fraction of a section. It is also interesting how circumstances sometime conspire to allow a photo to be taken.

I entered this photo in the 2007 Sydney Life Competition (unfortunately can't find an archive of the official page though I found a media release here). I always try each year to make an entry to the competition as it is open to all photographers, though it is virtually impossible for non-established photographers to make the final 22-26 images. Will keep trying though :-)

There is another story about this location which will come in another favourite photo at a later date.

[1] I would always say to Jenny a good photo always has a little bit of red in it and this is a theme you will see in many of my photos.

[2] Also would often tell Jenny, there was a lot of luck in taking photos (though like all things involving luck, you often make you own luck) and that if you take enough photos you are bound to end up with a few your like (i.e. keepers).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Favourite Photos - Berlin 2005 - Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders Haus

Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Hau - 'Betty, Jenny, Joanne and David' - Berlin - 09 Aug 2005 (picasa)

Just starting a collection of favourite photos.

It was our first free day after the IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Berlin. We were staying near the race course and it was our first chance to explore the City on our own. It was a beautiful late summers day and we stumbled across this scene just behind the Reichstag. While we all stopped to rest a little late in the day, I got up and walked back a few steps. Loved the architecture, and was taken by the scene and glass reflections - I was careful to line up the reflections on the right windows. I just like the light, colours and the way everything fell in this composition. I have this photo as my Wallpaper on my PC at work.

Some more details about the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders Haus from here follow:

'The Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders Haus is home to the parliamentary library and was named in honor of a leading representative of the women’s movement. It is part of the overall urban design concept for the new parliamentary buildings in Berlin, that lie along the River Spree north of the Reichstag. The Marie-Elisabeth-Luders and the Paul-Löbe Haus are connected by a bridge above the river and were completed at the same time in 2001 under the direction of German architect Stephan Braunsfeld.'

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for ..

A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for.

He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.

His companions [and himself] say [and think]: 'He's so lucky!' And the warrior does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.

That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.

His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.

A warrior does not need to be reminded of the help given him by others; he is the first to remember and makes sure to share with them any rewards he receives.

Another page from the Manual of Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho.

Senior Mixed 500m Final - World Champs - Racice / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009
'And the warrior does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.' - Senior Mixed 500m Final - World Champs - Racice / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Joanne, Gav and Geoff - Racice/Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009
Joanne, Gav and Geoff - 'Thank You Gav' - Racice/Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Geoff, George (with one of Joanne's Dangles pinned on the right of his shirt - all the Girls were given one before Prague - first time I have noticed this!') and Joanne - 'Thank You George' - Hotel Duo / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Geoff, Amanda and Joanne - Hotel Duo / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009
Geoff, Amanda and Joanne - 'Thank You Amanda' - Racice / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Geoff, Rob and Joanne - Hotel Duo / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009
Geoff, Rob and Joanne - 'Thank You Rob' - Hotel Duo / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Geoff, George, Amanda, Rob and Joanne - 'Thank You All' - Hotel Duo / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Senior Mixed 500m Final - 'Thank You Guys - Geoff and Jo' - 'As I came across the line I glanced upward and I pointed to the heavens (more here)' Lance A - (F-B, R-L) Deb Cooper, Jo Petterson, George Dimech, Rick Lambe, Helen Hudson, Amanda Wyllie, Geoff Eldridge, Rachel Mosen, Steve McKeogh, Matt Spies, Rob Turnbull, Willy Paku, Gio Cercone, Richard Thomson, Leon Paap, Graeme Bacon, Kristin McKechie, Sharyn Whitton, Karen Hall, Lynne Donohoe, Di Dent and George Louie - 'final seating was a little different to that which was planned as we moved the weight more from the front to the back' - Racice / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Geoff, Joanne, Rachel, Gav, Graeme, Helen, Amanda and Matt - 'Thanks Pacific Dragons Team Mates' - Racice / Prague - Sat 29 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Australian Senior Dragon Boat Open, Womens and Mixed Teams 'Thank You Everyone .. - George Dimech, Deb Hirst, Eileen McKechie, Sharyn Whitton, Donna Hughes, Joanne O'Brien, Jo Petterson, Ewen McDonald, Anne Weber, Geoff Eldridge, Ian George, Deb Cooper, Lisa Mills, David Barber, Leon Paap, Rick Lambe, Diana Dent, Lynne Donohoe, Peter McAlister, Gio Cercone, Frank Calcara, Lisa Fairfull, Kristin McKechie, Ashur Barutha, Rob Turnbull, Pam Jeffery, Kaizer Austin, Matt Spies, Ray Debono, Graeme Bacon, Richard Thomson, Murray Pellicciaro, Becky Bose, Willy Paku, Vince Giannetto, Amanda Wyllie, Mark Pendergast, Danny Monga, Charlotte Richards, Helen Hudson, George Louie, Rachel Mosen, Jane Perkins, Rosemary Riley, Fiona Gray, Linda Collins, Rachel Giang, Steve McKeogh, Doreen MacGillivray, Karen Hall (missing) - Racice / Prague - Tue 25 Aug 2009 (picasa)

'Thanks Pacific Dragons - (l-b-f-r) Rachel, Anne, Norm, Kaizer, Jo, Toby, Helen, Gav, Matt, Annett, Di, Dave, Charlotte, Amanda, Becky, Linda, Lisa, Joanne, Michelle, Geoff, Adam, Darren, Graeme, Billy (and Eugene missing)' - Racice / Prague - Thu 27 Aug 2009 (picasa)

'Thank You Pacific Dragons Family' - (l-b-f-r) Geoff, Graeme, Kaizer, Norm, Lisa, Christian, Darren, Adam, Mark, Todd, Jo, Dave, Matt, Helen, Jenny, Gav, John, Eugene, Kristen, Christoph, PaulC, Mandy, Julia, Craig, Dean, Phil, Toby, Andrew, Shell, Becky, Jo, Bonny, Mel, Kath, Phil, Charlotte, Nicola, Lucy, Di, Dave, Leesa, Rachel, Michelle, PaulS, Suzy, Amanda, Linda, Annett, Billy. - AusDBF 2009 National Dragon Boat Titles - Kawana / Qld - Sun 26 Apr 2009 (picasa)

Thank you - Geoff, Marty, Norm, Christian, Todd and Billy - Had just done a successful Individual Time Trial for Prague that morning at Penrith - just made it to the start and we had a great race all things considered. - State Titles OC6 Long Course - Ettalong - Sat 09 May 2009 (picasa)

'That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.' - Joanne and Geoff scattering some of Jenny's Ashes at Sunset - Racice / Prague - Sun 30 Aug 2009 (picasa)

Jenny - Thank You Jenny - Our Guiding Light and Inspiration - 'Jenny and Joanne had just handed out their 2008 NSW Team Dangles' - Blackwattle Bay / Sydney - Sun 31 Aug 2008 (picasa)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The night before brain surgery ..

Another extract from Lance Armstrong's book entitled "Its not about the bike". Some parts of the book really connected with me. Here is the one that resonates the most ..

How do you confront your own death? Sometimes I think the blood-brain barrier is more than just physical, it's emotional, too. Maybe there's a protective mechanism in our psyche that prevents us from accepting our mortality unless we absolutely have to.

Jenny - 'A little tidy up of Jenny's hair - it was always my job to do this.' - Kirrawee - 16 Jun 2009 (picasa)

The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better—but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.

Jenny and Geoff - 'off we head to the Hospital' - Tue 16 Jun 2009 (picasa)

I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. [..]

I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries — I believed in that. [..]

Jenny Collage - The Night Before Brain Surgery - The White Markers were placed on Jenny's head before an MRI - they would be used by the Nuerosurgeon to assist in precisely locating the Tumor from a digital scan of the MRI. - St George Hospital - Tue 16 Jun 2009 (picasa)

Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe— what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.

Jenny with the Flowers from Julia and Todd (photo to come), and Pacific Dragons - St George Hospital - Tue 16 Jun 2009 (picasa)

To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.

Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.

Jenny, Joanne, David and Geoff - "Jenny takes a photo of us all just before she heads out to have a 4cm brain tumor removed. She had no fear and looked forward to quickly recovering to resume the treatment of the tumors in her liver." - St George - 6:30am Wed 17 Jun 2009 (picasa)

Will try add some more photos (partly done now - Geoff 10 Mar 2009) and maybe some of my own recollections and thoughts on Jenny's Night before brain surgery. There is a bit of story here if I can find the strength to write about it.

The night before brain surgery
Jenny - 'Just before heading out for surgery.' - St George Hospital - 7am Wed 17 Jun 2009 (picasa)