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A blog about life, death and dying
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The Final Word: Writing My Own Obituary

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‘Why?’ People ask me all the time. ‘Why would you want to write your own obituary? Isn’t it morbid, scary, depressing?’ No. It’s exactly the opposite.   David Bowie’s death earlier this week pushed the subject of mortality to the forefront of many peoples’ minds. We’re all going to die….

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My Love Affair with Sydney’s Ocean Pools

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At Whale Beach the waves come over the rock shelf into the ocean pool like metallic fireworks. Palm Beach pool is the coldest in winter – an icy 12 degrees. North Narrabeen, looking toward the craggy silhouette of the headland, reminds me of the Turkish Aegean coast. Manly’s Fairy Bower…

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Getting My Ego Out of My Art

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Today I'm flying low and I'm not saying a word. I'm letting all of the voodoos of ambition sleep.− Mary Oliver When I told my husband about the title for this blog post, he made the obvious joke. Yep. Getting my ego out of my art also means getting it...
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My Dog the Guru

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My dog was a gift. Roxy was offered to me a year ago by friends who couldn’t keep her any longer, and she’s been the strangest, most unwieldy and challenging boon I’ve ever been given. Subsequently, she is not mine, I’m hers. I feel as if she chose my family...
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Why I Stopped Hiding My Grey Hair

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All wanting - especially wanting to be a certain way - is centred on ego and fear. When we experience ourselves as we are, then out of that death of the ego, out of that withering, the flower blooms.− Joko Beck I started going grey when I was barely out...
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One Precious Human Life

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If man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live− Martin Luther King The photographs of the three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, drowned and washed up on a Turkish beach en route to Greece, humanized and symbolized the plight of refugees in Europe. His limp...
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Death Is Not A Dirty Word

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I hardly move though really I'm travelling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.− Mary Oliver Death is not a dirty word. Nor is it something we should fear, ignore or steep in mystery. I often see people at funerals or memorials struggle to speak freely...
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Transformation Dance Called Dying

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Are you looking for the Holy One? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours.− Kabir We call it Passing Away, or Kicking the Bucket. Casting off this Mortal Coil. Biting the Dust. Meeting your Maker. Facing the Void. Going Home. Ram Dass, the Western spiritual teacher,...
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What is a ‘Good’ Death?

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What is a ‘good death’? Does it mean there’s no pain or emotional suffering? Or does it mean we’ve arrived at some acceptance of all that, and of the inevitable impermanence of life? I’ve often wondered how to make sense of death. How to make peace with it. How to…

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Denial of Death

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The temple bell stops But the sound keeps coming out of the flowers − Basho There is a denial of death in our culture. In our postmodern, affluent West, we don’t see people die, wash their bodies, dress them lovingly, and watch over them for a day and night in...
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