Keep your chin up! Go Running with the Wolves…

After a hiatus from the blog and several other things, to make it through my first semester at university, I thought it would be timely to tackle ways to keep your chin up as we head into another snap lock down.

Maybe everyone around you wants to discuss the sorry state of the world’s health, or maybe they just want to forget it all, and are seeming a little uncaring. Ah the balance.

What can we do you think?

I am heading into the following list!

1.If you haven’t watched it yet, watch Wolf Walkers!

And learn the song, ‘Running with the Wolves.’ And even better sing it! IF you want some extension maybe read some Fairy Tales for children or adults, or read some deep stuff, Clarissa’s, Women Who Run with Wolves.

2. Work on that unfinished poem or story!

No time like the present. Pull out your notebooks, or look up old files. If you are feeling inspired by a recent poetry workshop that you may have done online revisit it and do the exercises again.

A variation if you feel a bit isolated, lonely or sad, zoom or email a friend, and collaborate on a poem or song, or something.

Then listen to the song ‘Speechless’ also from Wolf Walkers! And read your work out loud!

3. Precious Pet time

If you have pets, spend time with them. Chatting, comforting them, and being amused by them.

Something about these beloveds that is super for stress relief, plus they don’t talk about the state of the world! If you have a pet bird like we do, you could find out what their favourite music is by playing it and seeing what they sing along to. I love to do this, and our bird loves Adele! And songs with whistling riffs.

4. Board games with house mates, family … pets?

Rediscover the joy of games away from the computer. There are some really interesting ones out there, and don’t forget to ask friends for recommendations.

5. Karoke

Crank up your own versions, youtube has a lot of songs with words on them, and create your family/friend list. For those with a guitarist or musician in the house that can play everything under the sun you can go full round the loungeroom sing along without youtube.

6. Get in that daily exercise

Mask and all, go to the spots you can, within the rules. But in your mind, you’re singing ‘Running with the Wolves’ okay!

7. Create a care pack for friends/ family/ neighbours

Make this from stuff you randomly have around your house, but you just don’t feel the need to hold onto. Maybe on that daily walk you can post it or drop it on the doorstep.

Giving others surprises and joy that makes me happy, maybe that will work for you too.

8. Record a song on your phone

Maybe you made it up, whilst walking. Maybe a melody popped into your head, and you thought let’s be hope walkers! If your friends are organising musical collaborations participate!

9. Book into the vaccination waiting list

And if you feel this is going to be one way you can contribute to the world’s efforts and happy with the research do it.

10. Say some prayers or meditate

And think how this prayer might lead to any caring action. Make a plan to do something positive. It might be super small, but it will bring you a feeling of making a difference.

Neighbourhood

Playful cockatoos as the sun sets

My neighbourhood is full of birds, cockatoos, ibis, magpies and pigeons.

The magpie song, will be one I can never forget

It has people who care about others in the street.

Who might even lay down their lives for each other.

The listener on the doorstep, who feeds all the birds, and takes our bins in and out.

A neighbour full of stories and care.

It has people who left who come back to check on people in the street

because their Nana told them too.

It now has claimed my life for nearly seven years.

It is an old tumbledown house, fixed up rental, made a loving at it can be.

The people inside are more important than the walls surrounding them.

It is a backyard full of songs and stories, and people watching the stars.

It is a place where the broken hearted gather in their search to be strong.

It is Ridvan stories written on the pavements in multicoloured chalk.

It is walking with writing friends and their dogs

praying in the park with friends.

It is the place where two books are born and created.

It is the last place my eldest son will live with us before heading off into the world.

It is a place where we discuss world unity, and what will cure COVID 19 and all the other world’s ills.

It is the place of visiting musicians from around the globe, filling our hearts with stories.

My neighbourhood is

A place where people leave shimmers in each other’s lives.

But how can it be closer?

How can it be a hub of unity in diversity?

3/06/2021

Mother’s Day and the Mountain

Following the Crow Song

For mother’s day we made a late afternoon trip up Mount Cootha to see the sunset. It was my first mother’s day without my eldest son at home.

One day they will all be winging their way into their lives and so these times are even more precious, to still be a family with children at home.

We looked at the lights of the city make their journey from pink to navy.

Then headed home for a cheesecake made by my daughter. Youngest gave me a Paddington Bear, he had discovered in an op shop, knowing this was one of my favourite childhood characters.

My children took a liking to Paddington after seeing the movies as teenagers!

Embracing the possibilities of the future, I reflect on this quote.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
–Anaïs Nin

My Eldest son rings once a week. He…

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Back to University

So there may not be too much going on my blog, but behind the scenes is another story.

I recently made the monumental decision to return to university to study a masters of teaching!

My goal is to become a high school teacher of humanities and literature, and or work in curriculum design and education innovation and to continue to write for youth and children.

This week I will hand my first year essay in on the topic of ‘behaviour management. ‘We have been learning about the movement from traditional discipline to management to engagement, and the power of evidence based research to inform teacher practice, amongst other things, over the last few weeks.

I love popping into the class discussions online, and attending our collaborates as well. Some brilliant people are changing their professions, and will be taking some amazing life experiences and a diversity of cultural backgrounds into classrooms. Wish us all well will you!

University writing of the academic kind is a different kind of writing from my poetry and creative blogs. Involving, introduction – body- conclusion type structures and TEELS (topic sentences, examples, explanations and links) and the joys of APA referencing, and peer reviewed citation. Every assertion needs professional substantiation.

Reading peer review articles on topics of ‘antibullying’, ‘teaching pedagogies of social justice’ and the power and disempowerment from discourses at first was feeling difficult, but then it became more and more interesting.

I am loving it!

My novel is about to move into its third draft, and I will be back onto that soon. I went to a brilliant masterclass with Karen Foxlee, and rest assured inspired by authors like Karen, I will ever give up on my writing dreams. I will carve out ‘a fortress of time’ to work on my books as well.

Many authors have more than one job, and writing isn’t always the paying one.

Whilst I may miss having a day I fully control what I do in terms of reading and writing, the new horizons of educational research are just brilliant!

This week one goal is to write some poetry inspired by the power of the research in education and the amazing people who are revolutionizing this field, and creating brilliant teachers through their work.

And to make it back into the world of my novel and have a daily meeting time with that novel!

I’ve managed to book myself into a writing conference in July, and also have a poem inspired by guinea pigs and nursery rhymes that has made its way into an anthology.

And whilst all this is going on I have also managed to catch up with some friends, and see some amazing Indian dance at a friends dance school concert, and say prayers in the park for strength and humanity. Nature is such a solace and our neighbourhood is full of magpie bird song. So pretty!

I am aware that many people in the world are suffering, and think of how the power of stories and education can make a difference.

I have a special project under wraps at moment, which I hope will be part of this process.

Time to go, have another essay to work on! The life of a student!

Be well, keep writing, keep dreaming, and caring.

Yours Truly,

June

Hand of Many Colours

(c) June Perkins

The girl on the sand
shifts it to where she is now.
She thinks, ‘it’s so many colours
even though it’s said to be yellow.’

She shifts the sunlight
with a subtle tilt of her head
her laughter echoing as
she’s saying, ‘this will be what I remember.

No baggage for me
I’m no outsider to this place
I’m a proud member of the human race.’

Girl in the sand
with the hands of so many colours
even though they look olive
shifting the world with a tilt of her hands
and a simple upturn of her smile.

Echoing grandmother’s drive
passing on mother’s wisdom
catching the light of father’s jokes
drawn from Pacific and Indian Oceans.

He knows laughter is a potion
to the loneliness she sometimes feels
when her gem is not seen by the people around her.

He knows she can find that shining within
she can be that shining beyond.

Fire in her belly for all she cares for
father, mother, brothers
sky, art, sand, and dolphins.

She is shifting the world
with a tilt of her head
and hands of so many colours.

By June Perkins, originally appeared in Under One Sky (2010)

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