Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is Suffering a Private Matter? by Cath Duncan (Wed 16 Feb 2011)

Beautiful Day by U2 (Boston 2001)

You've been all over
And it's been all over you

You're on the road
But you've got no destination

Reach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow


Beautiful Day by U2


Some times you stumble across a post that takes your breath away. This one did for me:
It captures much of what I have felt, thought or had to consider during the last 21 Months and it does feel a bit like the Beautiful Day lyrics above, particularly:
You've been all over
And it's been all over you
Here are the dot points from the article:

Grief needs to be expressed in some way – either privately or with witnesses, in order to heal. [..]

Some people say that suffering is a private matter because..
  • It’s important to avoid embarrassment and rejection by your tribe

  • It’s important to protect the parts of yourself that are most vulnerable

  • It’s important to protect other people from pain

  • It’s important to take your pain to “professionals” who know how to deal with it

  • During grieving, it’s important to tune out external influences and tune into your own inner wisdom

  • It’s important not to focus on your suffering in a public way because what you focus on grows
[..]

On the other hand, some people say that suffering can be more easily negotiated when it’s out in the open because:
  • Keeping your suffering private engenders self-judgment, shame, loneliness and pain

  • Sharing your suffering brings people together

  • Sharing your suffering facilitates healing

  • Sharing your suffering promotes resilience – in yourself and others
[..] the benefits of sharing your suffering with empathic people are incredibly powerful! It’s scary to share about our suffering, but I don’t want to miss out on such powerful benefits and opportunities for healing!


Have come a long way since the first day of the rest of my life back on Wed 01 Jul 2009. Thought I would capture a photo just now so that I can remember this day, which also just happens to be the 21st Anniversary since the first time that Jenny and I went out to dinner together and to see a Movie Look Who's Talking.

Geoff - 21 Months Down the Track - Alexandria (0:16am Wed 30 Mar 2011)

Geoff - "an early start for the first day of the rest of my life - 'where do you start?'" - Alexandria - 7am Wed 01 Jul 2009 (picasa)


Beautiful Day Lyrics

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town

You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere

You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Couple of Random Quotes (Agile Living)

Hard work provides the opportunity to make sure that when that inspiration comes, you’re ready for it. You can build a solid base while you’re waiting, putting you in the position to use your creativity to propel something that’s already good to a level of greatness.

Planning your Creativity by Thursday Bram (18 Jan 2011)


Striving towards meaningful goals can be an important part of finding satisfaction in life. Remember it is the "striving" that is important, not the achievement. If we do not enjoy the daily commitment to bettering ourselves, it is unlikely that achieving the final objective is going to bring any lasting happiness.

The Problem With Goals by John Bardos (13 Nov 2010)


Finally, I am still trying to take the following post in:
Seems rather timely considering I am thinking a lot about why and what I have posted here over the last 21 months.

Note: Found the web site from where the above posts come from via a Google Search for the term make mistakes well, the title of a recent post. Really quite a coincidence and has given me a lot to think about.

Jenny and Geoff - Nelson Bay / Port Stephens (Sun 06 Jul 2003)

Sunset - Cable Beach / Broome (25 May 2001)

Sunset - Cable Beach / Broome (25 May 2001)

Make mistakes well - Jeff Jarvis (WWGD)

We are ashamed to make mistakes - as well we should be, yes? It's our job to get things right, right? So when we make mistakes, our instinct is to shrink into a ball and wish them away. Correcting errors, though necessary is embarrassing.

But the truth about the truth is in itself counterintuitive: Corrections do not diminish credibility. Corrections enhance credibility. Standing up and admitting your errors makes you more believable; it gives your audience faith that you will right your future wrongs.


From What Would Google Do (Amazon) by Jeff Jarvis.


Bought this book in London and read it while traveling around Europe after the 2009 World Dragon Boat Championships in Prague. Enjoyed reading it and I got a lot out of it. I had had a break from the internet for over 8 years and was looking to see what was new. I understood and could relate to much of the book from my elj.com days.

When looking through the book today to find a section that talked about blogging and tweeting and why people do it (in a moment of self-reflection to try and workout why I post what I do here), I found this page earmarked with the above quote.

Had some interesting conversations and posts recently on the topic of mistakes. For me they often represent the fact that I am out there trying something and giving it a go. Feel a little embarrassed when I make mistakes and other people are involved, but I hope they know I will will right [my] future wrongs. Main thing is to learn from the mistakes.

Live and Learn they say.

Pacific Dragon's Long Course Mixed Crew - from front to back - Graeme, Gen, Matt, Eloise, Meising and Geoff - 2011 OC6 State Titles - Cronulla / Sydney - Sat 26 Mar 2011 (Photo by Camocean)

The Warrior of Light has dreams

The Warrior of Light has dreams.

His dreams carry him forward. But he never commits the mistake of thinking that the road is easy and the door wide.

He knows that the Universe works like alchemy: solve et coagula, say the masters. "Concentrate and disperse your energy according to the situation."

There are moments to act and moments to accept.


From the Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho (see here)

Turimetta Beach Sunrise - Northern Beaches / Sydney (Apr 2005)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Midnight Blue - Lou Gramm (youtube)

Midnight Blue by Lou Gramm - Michigan (27 Nov 2009)

Ain't got no regrets
I ain't losin' track of which way I'm going
I ain't gonna double back
Don't want no misplay, put on no display
An angel no, but I know my way, oh yeah, oh

I used to follow, yeah, that's true
But my following days are over
Now I just gotta follow through


Midnight Blue by Lou Gramm



Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jenny and Joanne - Vincentia / Jervis Bay (Mon 24 Mar 2008)

Happy Birthday Jenny and Joanne "Geoff, Leesa, Jo, Helen, Graciela, Hector, Julia, Todd and Jenny" - Vincentia / Jervis Bay (Mon 24 Mar 2008)

In one of the stars I shall be living ..

In one of the stars I shall be living.
In one of them I shall be smiling.
And so it will be as if all the stars were smiling,
when you look at the sky at night.


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - The Little Prince


The story behind the Star named in Jenny's Memory is here. It is located in the Constellation of Vela in the Southern Sky and she looks over us as we continue our adventures in life.

Jenny - Mutton Bird Island / Coffs Harbour (Sun 02 Jan 2005)

Jenny's Star Shining Brightly - Constellation of Vela (24 Mar 2011)

Sydney Observatory - (24 Mar 2011)

Jenny's Star - Sydney Observatory (24 Mar 2011)

Looking into the Southern Sky - Sydney Observatory (24 Mar 2011)

Looking into the Southern Sky - Sydney Observatory (24 Mar 2011)

Geoff, Lynn, Grant, Maureen, Jo, Julie, Jo and David - Sydney Observatory (24 Mar 2011)

Jo and Geoff - Sydney Observatory (24 Mar 2011)

The Climb - Jenny's Amazing Climb (more here)


Happy Birthday Jenny,

Happy Birthday Joanne.

Love .. Geoff xo

Thu 24 Mar 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Igniting the Spark of Change by Durwin Long (21 Mar 2011)

Durwin Long writes in Igniting the Spark of Change (21 Mar 2011):
Change requires a spark that ignites an individual or a team do what is necessary to achieve a goal.

And, that spark can come from anyone at anytime.

The most effective leaders are the change agents who know how and when to light the spark that ignites a team to greatness.
Another great quote found from another Daniel Coyle Google Alert that came through today (and yes I have a copy and have read Daniel Coyle's book The Talent Code - it was the first book I bought and read after Jenny's passing).

The great thing about all my paddling experiences is that I have witnessed and been exposed to much of the insights, posted by other people, that I capture here on this blog, this post just being another instance. As an example, I can remember the exact moments for the Prague 2009 and Macau 2010 campaign's where I have witnessed the leadership to ignite the change needed to achieve our goals. There have been a few others that standout in my mind, including the Port Stephens 2008 OC6 Changes Race and the 2009 AusDBF National Dragon Boat Championships at Kawana/Qld. I hope to experience one of those moments for Tampa 2011. I will write about them all here one day. Funnily enough, I have already posted some thoughts on change and ignition here in Change [Inspiration] by Drew Ginn (11 Jun 2010) back on 16 Sep 2010.

I have been lead, inspired, motivated and trained by some Great Coaches and inspired by many of my fellow paddlers. The following photos representing a snippet of some of the great coaches, teams and people I have paddled with.

Geoff, JT and George - George congratulating his team after winning the National Title - my first Regatta - Masters Open Final 500m - 2005 AusDBF National DB Titles - Yarraluma / Canberra (Fri 8 Apr 2005)

Australian Senior Dragon Boat Open, Womens and Mixed Teams - 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)

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)

Marty, Norm, Christian, Todd and Billy - State Titles OC6 Long Course - Ettalong - Sat 09 May 2009 (picasa)

Todd, Julia and Geoff - "Todd always keeps me calm and was my OC6 Coach 2008 and 2009 - Julia has been my DB Coach since 2005, she is so perceptive and knows exactly what to say when it counts the most" - King Street / Newtown (Wed 18 Nov 2009)

Gav and Geoff - we were pretty happy, I had steered the Men's B Crew who had a great race and Gav was Seat 1 in the A Crew which took out the Long Course Men's Title. Gav has also been my DB Coach since 2005. He is a warrior and a legend. - OC6 State Title - Port Stephens (27 Mar 2010)

Joanne, Serge and Geoff - Serge lead the first Auora's Team to the 2010 Asian Champs in Wujin. It was an amazing and formative experience for all us who embraced the changes and new approach. Will never forget the Team huddle after the last race (the 5km turns race) and he told us we were the first Aurora's - no one can take that from us - he was proud of us. - Wujin/China - Sun 2 May 2010

Some more from Durwin Long's post, which introduces Daniel Coyle's concepts termed Ignition and Deep Practice.
Daniel Coyle writes about change when he introduces the concept of ignition in The Talent Code. Simply put, Coyle’s concept of ignition refers to the exact moment when an individual is captivated by a new idea or experience. In turn, that spark of interest crystallizes a goal and motivates action toward that goal. [..]

The transformational change represented by ignition is the precursor to the "deep practice" that Coyle says is also essential for anyone who seeks to achieve excellence. For once a person is committed to a goal because he or she wholeheartedly believes in it, the work required to achieve the goal is no longer a chore but a source of fulfillment.
The last paragraph reminds me of this post - What matters most is what we believe about ourselves - Alain Briot (Dec 2010).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two Photos to Bookend a Life ..

In putting together yesterday's post, I drew on a photo that has Lynn and I sitting together on top of the Lounge in Tamworth. It was taken just before our brother Tim arrived into our lives - he was born in Tamworth in Dec 1963.

In putting together an earlier post about Tim I came across this photo of Lynn and I, at his house in Canberra, on the day after we said goodbye.

Only really made the connection that the two photos put Lynn and I together in a way that I guess Bookend's Tim's Life and our life with him in between.

Nice to have the photos and the memories ..

Lynn and Geoff at Tim's Place - "the day after we said goodbye to Tim" - Griffith / Canberra (Sat 12 Mar 2005)
A Life in between.


Lynn and Geoff - maybe 1963? (but definitely before Tim arrived in Dec 1963) - "Lynn has this photo: one of my earliest memories - sitting on top of the lounge having our photo taken." - Tamworth (picasa)

To improve, find ways to make mistakes - Jeff Haden (Mon 21 Mar 2011)

From How to Master Any Skill (No Talent Required) by Jeff Haden (Mon 21 Mar 2011) ..

We learn best from making mistakes. To improve, find ways to make mistakes:
  • Slow down. Forcing yourself to go slower breaks habits as well, and is a perfect way to uncover adaptations that weren’t apparent at normal speed.


  • Speed up. Go much faster than normal. Sure, you’ll screw up, but in the process you’ll break up old habits, adapt to new conditions, and find improvements.


  • Break a complex task into component parts. Almost every task includes discreet steps. Pick one, deconstruct it, master it… then put the whole task back together. Then choose another component part.


  • Measure differently. Pick a different measurement than you normally use to analyze performance. Measure speed instead of accuracy, for example, or use video or audio. (A friend taped four initial meetings with prospective customers and identified several bad habits he was unaware of. Watching yourself isn’t particularly fun, but it’s darned objective.)
Stumbled across this today (via one of my google alerts - Daniel Coyle). Makes sense to me, though it is hard to watch yourself in video's.

Peri's Boat - Technique Review - Left (Sun 12 Dec 2010)

More Than a Feeling (Boston) by Igor Presnyakov [YouTube]

More Than a Feeling (Boston) by Igor Presnyakov [Youtube (*)]

More than a feeling
And I begin dreaming



Just amazing!!! Igor's performance, skills and passion are breathtaking. Just love watching his fingers and his face.

Following on from the previous post ..

A Couple of Random Memories: The original Boston version of the song was released in 1976, the year my family moved from Tamworth to Wagga Wagga. Would have been in 4th Form (or Year 10 as it is called now). Just a kid. Remember being very sad to leave Tamworth (we had moved to Tamworth from Goulburn when I was a few weeks short of the age of 2) as it was all I knew (have very few childhood memories before starting school).

Geoff and Lynn - maybe 1963 ? - "Lynn has this photo: one of my earliest memories - sitting on top the lounge having our photo taken." - Tamworth (picasa)

I have always said that while the move was difficult in the initial stages, it was one of best things to happen to me in many ways. It was a quite a formative experience to be separated from everything you had ever known and to have to start all over again. I think it helped me to accept change (particularly when you have no choice - you just have to accept it and make the most of it) and made me more resilent to the impact change can have on you, particular in the early stages of the change (hope that makes sense).

Have been to Boston quite a few times - 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1994. Planning to spend a few days there following Tampa 2011 in August 2011. Been a while, so looking forward to seeing it with another 17 years of life experiences behind me. Had always hoped to run the Boston Marathon which is held on Patriot's Day (3rd Monday of April). I tried to qualify by running the Melbourne Marathon in 1993, but was about 8 mins short of the pre-qualifying time of 3hr 15min (it was a bit easier in those days). Was lucky enough to be in Boston to watch the 1994 Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon - Boston (Patriot's Day - Mon 18 Apr 1994)

Boston Marathon - Boston (Patriot's Day - Mon 18 Apr 1994)

Boston Marathon - Boston (Patriot's Day - Mon 18 Apr 1994)

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Than a Feeling by Boston (youtube)

More Than a Feeling by Boston - Gaints Stadium (17 Jun 1979)

Heard this song while stuck in traffic on the way to training tonight. Had not heard it for years. Made me laugh. Last week I tried to describe a feeling and failed. Would not even know where to start to describe more than a feeling. Let's see what Boston can make of it ..

Some Random Memories to follow in the next post ...

More than a Feeling Lyrics

I woke up this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

It's more than a feeling
More than a feeling
When I hear that old song they used to play
More than a feeling
And I begin dreaming
More than a feeling
'Til I see Mary Ann walk away
I see my Mary Ann walkin' away

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky

It's more than a feeling
More than a feeling
When I hear that old song they used to play
More than a feeling
And I begin dreaming
More than a feeling
'Til I see Mary Ann walk away
I see my Maria Ann walkin' away

When I'm tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away

It's more than a feeling
More than a feeling
When I hear that old song they used to play
More than a feeling
And I begin dreaming
More than a feeling
'Til I see Mary Ann walk away

I woke up this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song


A high quality recording is here ..

More Than a Feeling by Boston

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How You Remind Me by Nickelback (youtube)

How You Remind Me by Nickelback

Are we having fun yet? ..
And this is how you remind me



A song that reminds of a Friend who introduced me to Nickelback and this song when we were collaborating on an internet project (* - wow did we do all that) and we were having so much fun.

The other enduring memory of this song is the time of it's release - September 11, 2001. It (as well as Powderfinger Song which I will track down) will always remind of that day.

How You Remind Me Lyrics

Never made it as a wise man
I couldn't cut it as a poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man
I'm sick of sight without a sense of feeling
And this is how you remind me

This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It's not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I'm mistaken
For handing you a heart worth breaking

And I've been wrong, I've been down
Been to the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream, "Are we having fun yet?"

Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no
Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no

It's not like you didn't know that
I said I love you and I swear I still do
And it must have been so bad?
Cause living with me must have damn near killed you

And this is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It's not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I'm mistaken
For handing you a heart worth breaking

And I've been wrong, I've been down
Been to the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream, "Are we having fun yet?"

Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no
Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no

Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no
Yeah, yeah, yeah
No, no

Never made it as a wise man
I couldn't cut it as a poor man stealing
And this is how you remind me
This is how you remind me

This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It's not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I'm mistaken
For handing you a heart worth breaking

And I've been wrong, I've been down
Been to the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream, "Are we having fun yet?"

Yeah, yeah
Are we having fun yet?
Yeah, yeah
Are we having fun yet?
Yeah, yeah
Are we having fun yet?
Yeah, yeah
No, no

RPM 38 - Track 3 - True Believer by E-Type

RPM 38 - Track 3 - True Believer (w) by E-Type

and another version ..

RPM 38 - Track 3 - True Believer (w) by E-Type (Jorg Schmid Remix)

One of my Favourite RPM Tracks. This one always made me work the hills a little harder than many of the other Track 3 Songs from other RPM Releases. The puddle of sweat below my bike in the studio was well and truly on the way by the end of this track.

RPM 38 (Q108)

1. Pack Ride: Hold On (KT Tunstall)
2. Pace: Bridge Over Troubled Water “Love To Infinity Radio Mix” (Hannah Jones)
3. Hills: True Believer “True Version” (E-Type)
4. Mixed Terrain: Read My Mind (The Killers)
5. Intervals: Runnin’ Wild (Airbourne)
6. Speed Work: Everything (Tiesto feat. Jes)
7. Mountain climb: Behind The Cow (Scooter)
8. Ride Home: Won’t Go Home Without You (Maroon 5)
9. Stretch: Glad You’re Here (Macy Gray feat. Fergie)


RPM 38, Track 3, True Believer, is a hugely motivating song with big contrast and big energy. Riders have to believe in themselves and this song provides inspiration to do so.

True Believer Lyrics

I am here and now because of you
You are the reason I do what I do
Like a phantom when you call me I'll be there
Any time that I'm around you shouldn't fear
Because of you,
That's what I do
Come on, Come on
Because of you
I'm a true Believer

I'm a true believer
I'm with you through the night
You're my inspiration in life
I'm a true believer
So don't give up the fight
You're my inspiration in life

(I'm a true believer
Gimmy Gimmy Gimmy)

Give me, Give me everything you got
You and I can take it to the top
Like the superheroes we can save the day
Let the music take us somewhere far away
Because of you (cause of yoooou)
That's what I do (what I do)
Come on, Come on
Because of you
(I'm a true believer)

I'm a true believer
I'm with you through the night
You're my inspiration in life
I'm a true believer
So don't give up the fight
You're my inspiration in life

I'm a true believer
I'm with you through the night
You're my inspiration in life

I'm a true believer
I'm with you through the night
You're my inspiration in life
I'm a true believer
So don't give up the fight
You're my inspiration in life

I'm a true believer
I'm with you through the night
You're my inspiration in life
I'm a true believer
So don't give up the fight
You're my inspiration in life

I'm a true believer

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hereafter - Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum (Sat 19 Feb 2011)

Hereafter - Sydney Morning Herald (w) - Spectrum (Sat 19 Feb 2011)

Really enjoyed this film (more so than Rabbit Hole). Happy to make my own mind up on this one. Don't really care what the critics or the majority of the viewers say. Will touch people in many different ways and will probably be a function of their own life experiences.

Rabbit Hole - Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum (Sat 19 Feb 2011)

Rabbit Hole - Sydney Morning Herald (w) - Spectrum (Sat 19 Feb 2011)

Gained a couple of insights from watching this movie and then having a look around the web where I found a couple of good reviews written by Grief Counsellors:

Particularly liked what Beth S. Patterson writes in A Grief Therapist’s Film Perspective: The Rabbit Hole:
Change is part of the grief process too.

Grief changes us.

We are never the same after a major loss.

In fact, part of the process of grief is to find one’s “new normal.”

Conversely, as we change, our grief changes.

As Leah’s mother eloquently describes it, grief is like a brick in one’s pocket – we always feel it, but over time it feels less heavy. After some time, we can actually forget that it’s there sometimes, but memories come back, and we feel the brick again.
Had kind of worked this out for myself (i.e. in order to move forward, you need to adapt, otherwise you can get stuck) and was actually going to write about it to mark the 2nd anniversary of this little Blog, which passed quietly while I was in Auckland for the Takapuna Cup. In the end I did not get around to posting (happens a lot - only a fraction of what I would like to post makes it here - have started so many posts that never quite get finished).

Anyway, what I had thought I would write about for that unwritten 2nd Anniversay Post was how my life (and is some ways my identity) had changed since that first post on the Wed 25 Feb 2009 and how I thought the blog might give some indication to what I am passionate about, who I was , the transition to who I have become and where I am heading, at least in the short-term.

I have enjoyed the Blogging. It has given me a creative outlet and has kept my mind stimulated. It is fun to look over what I have written. Like a photograph, I can remember the feelings and the reasons why I might have written the post.

Finally, as Ken Burns said at the 2004 Commencement Yale Class Day Speech (as pdf):
Write: write letters. Keep journals. Besides your children, there is no surer way of achieving immortality. Remember, too, there is nothing more incredible than being a witness to history.
Keep on Blogging.

Regards .. Geoff

Togetherness: A Significant Driver of Performance - Drew Ginn (Thu 17 Mar 2011)

[T]he sensation of working together is a wonderful one. [..]

When I think back [..] togetherness comes back to me as a significant driver of performance. With out it, or with less than a great level of togetherness it all becomes hard, heavy and simply sluggish or slow.

Being together in something requires:
  • understanding of what you aiming for,

  • willingness to commit to the action and

  • the capacity to stay the course with your intentions.
Racing Reflections: Together by Drew Ginn.

Had a couple of sessions recently where I know exactly what he means. In a way I think it was a blessing as you learn more from when things are not going so well, than when everything is perfect. The purpose of this post is to remember the insights that can and should be drawn from the times when things are not going so well.

Dragon Boat Session (Sun 13 Mar 2011)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Lives are Moulded and Shaped by Pivotal Experiences - Jeremy Rolleston (Mon 14 Mar 2011)

Whether triumphs or tragedies, our lives are moulded and shaped by pivotal experiences.

Perhaps we receive a long-awaited promotion or we’re suddenly let go from a job. Perhaps a loved one passes away, or a newborn baby enters our lives.

These experiences immerse us in emotions and challenge our convictions.

Oftentimes, we’re defined not so much in the moment of experience itself as in our response to the experience.

Do we quit or rebound? Do we harbour bitterness or choose to forgive? Do we blame or improve?

Whatever the case, the experiences in our lives profoundly touch us.


From So what is ‘A Life That Counts’ anyway ? by Jeremy Rolleston.

Great Southern Land - Icehouse - Australia Day Live Concert / Canberra (Tue 25 Jan 2005)

Great Southern Land - Icehouse - Australia Day Live 2005 / Canberra (Tue 25 Jan 2005)

City on a rainy day, down in the harbor
Watching as the gray clouds shadow the bay


Great Southern Land - Icehouse


A pretty random post, but it has put a smile on my face and was fun to put together.

Heard this song on the radio on the way to training yesterday evening. It's a song you will often hear on the radio on a stormy afternoon or evening.

The storm clouds were looming as we got closer to Bank Street and it had started to lightly rain. The wind came up and the air became colder, and in combination with the songs haunting lyrics, driving beat of the bass and drums, and the memories it evoked, it made me tingle and I was covered in goose bumps.

The music and lyrics seem to capture the feelings and mental images that I carry with me, to be and feel Australian.

Australian Parliament House - Canberra - eight years ago today (Sun 17 Mar 2002)

I guess that's all reasonably vague, but feelings for me are difficult to describe - much in the same way Dennis Denuto demonstrates so passionately, yet unconvincingly, in the classic Australian Movie The Castle:

It's the vibe of the thing, your Honour.

The vibe or the gist are terms I use a lot to cover for my inability to express my feelings or what I am thinking :-) Dennis is my hero. Here he is at his definitive best:

The Castle - in the Federal and High Courts (youtube)

Some random memories. The song goes back to 1982, which would have been my last year of full-time uni. I did see The Flowers (Iva Davies predecessor to Icehouse) at the University Union in the 2nd Term of 1980 and then a few weeks later back in Wagga Wagga for the University Holidays. Was excited to have some friends, from my school days in Wagga Wagga, to be the local supporting act. For some reason I asked Jenny whether we could have the song played at our Wedding Reception. She liked it and it was played during the night and as a filler as we said our farewells at the end of the evening. It was put on repeat as I we took a lot longer than we had planned.

Great Southern Land Lyrics

Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
Stranded like a runaway, lost at sea
City on a rainy day, down in the harbor
Watching as the gray clouds shadow the bay

Looking everywhere 'cause I had to find you
This is not the way that I remember it here
Anyone will tell you, it's a prisoner island
Hidden in the summer for a million years

Great southern land
Burned you black

So you look into the land and it will tell you a story
Story 'bout a journey ended long ago
If you listen to the motion of the wind in the mountains
Maybe you can hear them talking like I do
"They're gonna betray you, they're gonna forget you
Are you gonna let them take you over that way"

Great southern land, great southern land
You walk alone like a primitive man
And they make it work with sticks and bones
See their hungry eyes, it's a hungry home

I hear the sound of the stranger's voices
I see their hungry eyes, their hungry eyes
Great southern land, great southern land
They burned you black, black against the ground

Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
Stranded like a runaway, lost at sea
City on a rainy day, down in the harbor
Watching as the gray clouds shadow the bay

Looking everywhere 'cause I had to find you
This is not the way that I remember it here
Anyone will tell you, it's a prisoner island
Hidden in the summer for a million years

Great southern land, in the sleeping sun
You walk alone with the ghost of time
They then burned you black, black against the ground
And they make it work with rocks and sand

I hear the sound of the stranger's voices
I see their hungry eyes, their hungry eyes
Great southern land, great southern land
You walk alone, like a primitive man

You walk alone with the ghost of time
And they burned you black
Yeah, they burned you black
Great southern land
Great southern land
Great southern land
Great southern land


You might be able to guess why I picked this particular youtube clip of Great Southern Land. Two weeks to Nationals. Canberra here we come .. really looking forward to the racing with my team mates and catching up with all our friends from right across Australia.

Lake Burley Griffin Sunset - Black - Canberra (02 Aug 2002 *)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

surrender .. give yourself up to the journey .. see where you are arriving ..

"You have an illusion that the next one will be easier, but it's just a mind trick that we play on ourselves to find the motivation to keep going.

But it never is easy. Feelings or emotions emerge, things that you can't plan, suddenly a film begins to take a life and path of its own. You have to surrender and give yourself up to the journey and see where you are arriving.


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu on his his new film Biutiful.


He pities the poor immigrant / The Australian (Wed 16 Mar 2011)

Ponte dell'Accademia Grey (Water) - Grand Canal / Venice (Wed 16 Sep 2009)


Ponte dell'Accademia (w) Grey (Water) - Grand Canal (w) / Venice (Wed 16 Sep 2009)

Cinque Terre Blue (Water) - Jenny and Joanne - Cinque Terre / Italy (Fri 12 Aug 2005)

Cinque Terre Blue (Water) - Jenny and Joanne - Cinque Terre (w) / Italy (Fri 12 Aug 2005 - *)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Loch Etive Black (Water) - Connel Bridge / Connel / Scotland (Sun 04 Sep 2005)

Loch Etive Black (Water) - Connel Bridge / Connel / Scotland (Sun 04 Sep 2005)

Game-day performance is a manifestation of training and preparation - Phil Gould (14 Mar 2011)

Game-day performance is a manifestation of training and preparation.

It is a test of attitude and the ability to control your attitude under the pressure of challenge.


Timely advice from Phil Gould (Thanks to Steve for finding this quote).

Pacific Dragons Premier Women 500m Team - 2009 Australian Dragon Boat Championships - Kawana / Qld (Fri 24 Apr 2009)

Pacific Dragons Premier Open 500m Team - 2009 Australian Dragon Boat Championships - Kawana / Qld (Fri 24 Apr 2009)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kafka Ripples (Water) - Vltava River / Prague (Wed 31 Aug 2005)

Kafka Ripples (Water) - Vltava River / Prague (Wed 31 Aug 2005)

We would return to Prague 4 years later and place some of Jenny's Ashes on the water at this very spot (on the Vltava River between the Manes and Charles Bridge just down from the Kafka Museum).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Will Dance for Money - King Street / Newtown (Mon 07 Mar 2011)

Will Dance for Money - King Street / Newtown (Mon 07 Mar 2011)

Just popped up where the Penguins were last year (Thu 04 Mar 2010).

Takapuna Beach Cup 2011 from Ocean Sports Media on Vimeo (Sat 26 Feb 2011)

Takapuna Beach Cup 2011 from Ocean Sports Media on Vimeo.

Done the training and the race. Now the Video. Fantastic Event. Let's do it again next year.

Great Southern Blue (Water) - Loch Ard Gorge - Great Ocean Road / Victoria (Thu 20 Apr 2006)


Great Southern Blue (Water) - Loch Ard Gorge - Great Ocean Road / Victoria (Thu 20 Apr 2006)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thames Blackfriars (Water) - Blackfriars Bridge - River Thames / London (Sun 28 Aug 2005)

Thames Blackfriars (Water) - Blackfriars Bridge - River Thames / London (Sun 28 Aug 2005)

You're on your own .. you know what you know .. YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. (Dr. Zeuss)

Dare to dream
Dare to fly
Dare to be the ever chosen one to touch the sky
Dare to reach
Dare to rise
Find the strength to set my spirit free
Find the strength to do what I believe


Fingal Beach / Fingal Bay (Sun 25 Aug 2002)


Reading a book today (more at some stage) and came across the phrase Dare to Dream as one of the chapter names.

In the Dare to Dream Chapter, there was a nice quote from a Dr. Zeuss book titled Oh, the Places You'll Go!. Here it is ..

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.


Was in the previous post but I thought I would make it a separate post. Just seems really appropriate - who would have thought changing a Facebook Profile Photo would have been so hard to do. I am on my own now and I know what I know which will help me decide where to go.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dare to Dream - Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham - Sydney 2000 (Fri 15 Sep 2000)

Dare to Dream - Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham - Openning Ceremony / Sydney 2000 Olympics (Fri 15 Sep 2000)

Reading a book recently (more at some stage) and came across the phrase Dare to Dream as one of the chapter names.

In the Dare to Dream Chapter, there was a nice quote from a Dr. Zeuss book titled Oh, the Places You'll Go!. Here it is ..

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.


The Dare to Dream phrase made me immediately think of these moments from the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Heard this song so many times while we were out Homebush during the Olympics. Brings back some great memories. Here are the lyrics (and a high quality recording here).

Dare to Dream Lyrics

I am my own believer
In my heart the reason
I will follow the light from within
I'm not afraid of weakness
I'm gonna taste the sweetness
Of the power not to give in
Oh I will see it through
I believe this is my moment of truth

Dare to dream
Dare to fly
Dare to be the ever chosen one to touch the sky
Dare to reach
Dare to rise
Find the strength to set my spirit free
Dare to dream

I will go the distance
Embrace resistance
I will lay my soul on the line
When the wait is over
And the hunger has spoken
If I give my all, I will shine
Oh I will see it through
I believe, this is my moment of truth

Dare to dream
Dare to fly
Dare to be the ever chosen one to touch the sky
Dare to reach
Dare to rise
Find the strength to set my spirit free
Dare to dream, Oh

And the heart will shine like the sun
A million voices together as one
I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe

Dare to dream
Dare to fly
Dare to be the ever chosen one to touch the sky
Dare to reach
Dare to rise
Find the strength to set my spirit free

Dare to dream
Dare to fly
Dare to be the ever chosen one to touch the sky
Dare to reach
Dare to rise
Find the strength to set my spirit free
(Find the strength to set my spirit free)
Find the strength to do what I believe
(I believe)
Dare To dream
Dare To dream

Pacific Blue - Byron Bay (Fri 05 Oct 2007)

Pacific Blue (Water) - Byron Bay / NSW (Fri 05 Oct 2007)