Abandoned Places

(Originally posted 14th May, 2004)

Why is humanity so fascinated with abandoned places? Throughout history, people have been building structures and eventually abandoning them, leaving them to be swallowed up by nature, often leaving few clues about why these things were built and even fewer about why they were just left to rot.

Just about all over the world you can find examples. In the Middle East you have all of the Egyptian temples and monuments of the Ancient Egyptians. In Iraq there is the famous Rose Temple at Petra. In Pakistan, there are the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus valley. In Central and South America there are the remains of the once powerful Aztec and Inca empires, with places like Teotihuacan and Machu Picchu. Then you’ve got the castles and standing stones and the like all through Europe, or the ruins of the Native American populations in the deserts of the Southwestern USA.

Regardless of where these places are, sooner or later, someone stumbles across them and starts to wonder about life there. Excavations begin and scientists start sifting through the remains, trying to piece together what life was really like back when these places were inhabited.

Some people travel halfway round the world to visit the most famous of these places. But normally you don’t have to travel that far to come across abandoned structures. Normally, in any decent size city there are places that have been boarded up and left to rot, simply because it isn’t cost effective to keep these places open any more. Here in Brisbane, I can think of an abandoned power station and an old disused gaol.

In Canberra, around the corner from where I’ve been staying there’s what’s left of the Macquarie Hotel. When I first moved to Canberra, back in 1992, I stayed there for nearly three weeks before I found somewhere more permanent to live. Sometime in the past couple of years, the Macquarie has closed down. There’s a chain link fence all around it and nearly all the windows and window frames have been removed. Fallen leaves have started building up in the doorways now that no one is bothering to keep the place clean. As you walk past, there are noises from inside the building as though someone is in there demolishing the place; whether this is a legitimate demolition or just the work of vandals isn’t obvious.

There’s a certain sadness about the Macquarie now, something that certainly wasn’t there when I stayed there 12 years ago. Every time I go past it, I feel like jumping over the fence an exploring the empty corridors. I don’t expect to actually find anything, but there’s an ambience in an old building that’s has an attraction of its own.

Why do people give up these places and just leave them to rot away? Is it just a matter of economics, or do they fall victim to people’s desires to always have the new and exciting? Do people stop going to these places because they’ve found somewhere else to go that makes them feel better? And given that real estate is becoming so expensive in big cities these days, why is that these sites can often be left abandoned for years at a time without anyone bothering to do anything about reclaiming the site and doing something else with it?

Sometimes I wonder if these abandoned places are a metaphor for the dusty corners of our own minds. Each of us has memories and experiences that we’ve forgotten about. Sometimes it’s because those memories are too painful to look at any more and we’ve walled them up rather than dealing with them; sometimes it’s just because we’ve just moved on and simply forgotten about them. Being in one of these old building can sometimes stir up those memories, which can be useful if you need to deal with something that you’ve suppressed for a long time.

So the next time you’re out and about, keep an eye out for these little abandoned places. They’re all over the place, and most of time we don’t see them because we don’t bother to stop and look. Take the time to soak up the place’s ambience and pay attention to the feelings that being there brings up. Perhaps it could be the past speaking to you.


(Originally posted 2nd May, 2004)

Is there natural value to playing that we as adults have somehow managed to forget? Does it serve some higher function, other than just learning?

Kids seem to figure out play all by themselves. All over the world, young kids will invent games and stuff, playing with whatever they happen to have handy and go at it for hours on end. In the process, they have a lot of fun and happiness, regardless of how crappy the rest of their lives are.

But as adults, we seem to lose that childish spirit and pretty much stop playing games the way we used to when we were kids. If we do play something, it’s often some form of sport, or some other board game that often limits the imagination by having a defined set of rules that has to be followed. More and more these days, people are turning to things like video games, which while they are fun to play, don’t force us to use our imaginations at all.

Kids don’t seem to need to worry about that sort of thing. They’re happy to run around, playing soldiers or cowboys and indians or whatever happens to take their fancy at the time. If they have toy cars, they’ll build elaborate roads and drive the cars around for ages, often with nothing more important than just driving around.

What purpose do these sorts of childish games serve? I think it’s got something to do with developing and using our imaginations. Kids find that creativity comes naturally to them. They’ll build stuff out of whatever happens to be around, or they’ll invent elaborate stories for their games and everything that goes along with that.

Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, talks about his own experiences with play in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. He writes:

As soon as I was through eating, I began playing, and continued to do so until the patients arrived; and if I was finished with my work early enough in the evening, I went back to building. In the course of this activity my thoughts clarified, and I was able to grasp the fantasies whose presence in myself I dimly felt.

Naturally, I thought about the significance of what I was doing, and asked myself, “Now, really, what are you about? You are building a small town, and doing it as if it were a rite!” I had no answer to my question, only the inner certainty that I was on the way to discovering my own myth. For the building game was only a beginning. It released a stream of fantasies which I later carefully wrote down.

This sort of thing has been consistent with me, and at any time in my later life when I came up against a blank wall I painted a picture or hewed stone. Each such experience proved to be a rite d’entrée for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it.

I think what Old Carl here is saying is that the value of play is that it seems to unleash something within our own minds that helps us in our day-to-day existence. It may be that it just fires up our own creativity and helps us be more open to different ways of thinking about things. As adults, we stop doing such things and find our minds closed to new ideas and our creativities hampered by rigid thinking and habits, which is usually to our detriment.

So maybe we should all take some time and do what Jung did: get out and start having fun the way we did when we were kids. Throw away the rules and start inventing stuff again, simply for the sheer joy of it. If nothing else, it might help you relax.

The Seventh Principle – PONO – Effectiveness Is A Measure Of Truth

(Originally posted 30th April, 2004)

Truth is a funny thing. It’s something that a lot of people can get quite bent out of shape over because they believe that they have to defend the “truth”, sometimes to the death. The thing is though, “truth” is a completely relative concept. Whether or not something is true depends entirely on how you look at something.

To give you an example, let’s take the rain. Some people would say that rain is good. It provides the plants with moisture that encourages them to grow. It also allows people to have water to drink they have a way of collecting it. So, you could say that “rain is good” is a true statement.

But what happens when it rains torrentially for days on end and the everything is flooded: buildings are destroyed, roads and other infrastructure are ruined, lives are lost. Is rain still good? Most people would argue that, no, this sort of rain isn’t that crash hot.

Now, even though this was a particularly inane example, I’m hoping that it shows that the truth of a given statement is only valid when it’s taken in comparison to something else. If you look at something in an entirely different way, it might not be true any more.

That’s what this principle is all about. If you want to determine if something is true or not, you need to figure out how effective it is in comparison to your frame of reference. If it answers your hypothesis successfully, then you could say it was true. If it doesn’t then you could say that it was false.

But even “true” and “false” are relative terms. For the past couple of thousand years, mankind has laboured under the belief that things are either true or false. It has to be one or the other and it can’t be both. But this in itself isn’t a particularly effective position to take, because there are a whole range of situations where something is partly true and partly false at the same time, when it’s measured in a particular way.

Aristotelian logic calls these things “paradoxes” and they tend to break systems based on bivalent logic. But in recent years, there is a new field emerging in computer science — the traditional bastion of bivalent logic — fuzzy logic.

Fuzzy logic says that something can be both true and false at the same time (when compared to a particular premise) and it’s the degree of truth that’s what’s important, not whether it’s true or not. Fuzzy logic systems have been able to achieve amazing things that until now have been impossible with traditional programming techniques. Fuzzy logic has been most widely accepted in Asian countries where it is closer to traditional Buddhist and Taoist modes of thinking.

This brings us back to the corollary to the first principle: that all systems are arbitrary. In order for you to measure the truth of something, you need to have some sort of a system or frame of reference to measure it against. But the choice of a measurement system is basically an arbitrary decision at the end of the day. If you arbitrarily choose a completely different frame of reference, then something that was true before might not be so true any more.

This is a bit of a tough concept to come to grips with, because it implies that there is no one Universal Truth. As soon as you define a frame of reference, you’re automatically limiting your scope to make something false.

What it does mean is that if something isn’t working for you, then it’s usually a sign that perhaps your frame of reference isn’t being particularly effective at the moment and you might be better served by looking at the situation from another angle. By being flexible and choosing the most appropriate frame of reference in different situations can make your life a whole lot easier.

There are good and bad aspects to everything, regardless of what it is. Change your viewpoint and you change what is and isn’t true.

The Sixth Principle – MANA – All Power Comes From Within

(Originally posted 29th April, 2004)

A lot of traditions — particularly the New Age ones — have the idea that there is an energy that flows through us all and it can be used to achieve all sorts of things. Some people might call it magic; others might call it the Hand of God.

The principle of Mana is closely related to the first and third principles. If the world is what we think it is and energy flows where attention goes, then Mana is the energy that helps to create the world that we see.

I don’t think that it’s worth arguing that mana is a measurable energy force like electricity or heat. It may just a case that we haven’t actually developed an instrument that you can measure it with yet.

I find it much more useful to think of mana as faith or confidence in something. People who have a lot of faith in their own abilities are able to achieve wonderful things. If someone else is lacking in self-confidence, they will tend to give up before they achieve whatever it was they set out to do.

If you’ve ever met someone who has a lot of passion for something, you can usually sense the energy that they have. They seem to be almost radiate power and confidence, and it’s often infectious. Anthony Robbins is a good example. So is Adolf Hitler, who was a master orator and who’s energy could whip a crowd into a frenzy, albeit with a very negative focus.

This is what I think Serge means when he says that all power comes from within. Faith comes from a revelation that something is possible and the more you believe that, the easier it is to achieve something. It’s faith that sustains you when things aren’t going the way that you want them to.

Faith is not something that can be given; it must come from inside you. Other people might say or do something that triggers that initial realisation that you might be able to do something, but in the end, it’s still all up to you.

What often happens though is that people choose to believe what other people tell them. To the individual, it makes more sense to trust someone else than it does to trust their own intuition and instinct. When this happens, you’re handing the power to someone else, particularly if the influence is negative. One of the meanings of the Hawaiian word “mana” is, after all, authority.

It’s also important to realise that when more that one person believes something — particularly if they all believe it passionately — then it’s even more likely that the goal is going to happen. Look at the Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s. JFK promised the American people that an American would walk on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Enough people believed that message and got to working together and in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin achieved that goal.

So how do you get this confidence and energy? Simple: through choosing to have it. The more you can convince yourself that something is possible, the more likely it is that that thing will eventually come to pass. Your subconscious mind will eventually put all of the right pieces together in the right order to allow you to do something.

Of course, you’re going to run into a whole bunch of other beliefs that are going to make it harder to keep your focus on your goal. Some of those beliefs come from other people who can’t accept that you’re actually going to achieve what you’re setting out to achieve. Some of the limitations are going to come from within your own subconscious mind, as you start to run into your limiting beliefs that have held you back in the past.

The first problem is easier to overcome; be careful who you choose to share your vision with. By listening to the wrong people at the wrong time, you can often strangle your faith before it’s had a chance to take root properly. Overcoming your own doubts and negative self beliefs is a lot harder, and that’s when it’s good to have someone else who is on your side who is willing to offer support and encouragement when you need it the most.

The Fifth Principle – ALOHA – To Love Is To Be Happy With

(Originally posted 28th April, 2004)

Love is a funny word in the English language. Over the years, it’s been used and abused and people using it in the wrong context has hugely diluted its meaning. These days, people talk about loving someone, loving sport, loving a good book (or sometimes even things like a good fight). Basically, what they call love is the good feelings that something fosters within them.

To the Hawaiians, love is far more specific concept, that they sum up with one word: Aloha. Most people thing that Aloha is just a greeting people use in Hawaii, but it’s much more than that. It’s a concept of complete acceptance and the sharing of joy with someone or something.

If you accept someone without judging them at all, then you find that you naturally drop into a state of joy. Sure, there might be things about that person or thing that could normally tick you off, but if you understand that those things are just where that they are at right now, you don’t tend to get bent out of shape.

This acceptance brings about a deep connection with the other person. The more you appreciate the good things in them, the more you will appreciate having them around. On the other hand, if you constantly criticise them, or worry what they think about you, then you focus on the negative aspects and you withdraw from them, decreasing your connection with them. In a relationship, this can be so poisonous that it causes the relationship to collapse.

Unfortunately, this sort of acceptance isn’t something that’s taught much anymore. Instead, people seem to focus on the negative aspects of other people, probably as part of a subconscious defence mechanism. This means that very few of our relationships have any real depth to them.

As fear goes away in a relationship, people tend to open up more to one another, an sharing things that they wouldn’t normally trust other people with. If the people involved truly accept one another, this can be a truly liberating thing, as old pain can be brought out into the open and released, bringing everyone involved even closer together still.

Totally accepting where someone or something is at right doesn’t mean that things have to stay the way they are though. Not everything is in a perfect condition – you only really have to watch the news to realise that. But before you can change something for the better, you have to acknowledge the place where that thing is now, so that you can determine the best course of action to take. Trying to pretend that something is different from the way it really is only causes confusion and pain, because you resist the truth.

It’s the same with people and relationships. If you want to improve your relationship with someone, you have to accept the condition of the relationship as it is now. Once you do that, ways to actually improve the relationship will normally become obvious. If you then start taking action on those things, you’re reinforcing the good in it, which increases your sense of connection and things will get better and your feelings of love will increase by themselves.

Criticism in itself can be a destructive thing. Because criticising something decreases your connection with it, it also closes down your own mind to the good that is in it. What happens on the subconscious level is that you start to tense up whenever you encounter something like that, which your mind starts to think of as pain. People naturally pull away from painful situations, so you immediately start to focus on the negative and you just head into an ever-tightening death spiral.

If, on the other hand, you look for the good in something, your mind connects that thing with pleasure and will relax and start to generate all the good chemicals that it needs to create sense of wellbeing.

This is important to realise, because your subconscious mind doesn’t realise the difference between criticising yourself and criticising someone or something else. It just takes everything personally. The more time you spend looking for the negative in things, the more depressed and upset you will become, quite often for no apparent reason. On the other hand, if you praise something, your body takes that personally as well and beings to relax and feel better.

All of this is true for our relationships with ourselves as well. The more we criticise ourselves, the more depressed we will come. This can be a real problem because there’s no way to get away from yourself, which means the source of pain is going to be with you 24/7. But if you can start to accept where you are at now and look for the positives in your current situation, then life will start to get much better, all by itself.

The Fourth Principle – MANAWA – Now Is The Moment Of Power

(Originally posted 27th April, 2004)

Very few of us live our lives in the current moment. Most of us a constantly dwelling on mistakes that we have made in the past, or worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. Because of this, we forget to look for the opportunities that come along that will take us to whatever it is in life that we are aiming for.

The problem with dwelling on something that isn’t right here and now is that it takes away our power. We tend to become fixated on something else and because of their first and third principles, will bring whatever it is we are dwelling on into being.

The thing is though, if you stop and actually take stock of where you are right now, it’s usually never as bad as you happen to think it is. But even if it is that bad, you’re at least aware of the situation as it really is. Once you understand that, you can start to take steps that will lead you to a better place,

That’s what the fourth principle is all about. If you live in the moment and you’re aware of what’s going on both inside and outside you at any given moment, you can make decisions that are going to lead you to whatever it is that you are trying to achieve.

There is a lot of power in making a decision and then following through on it. It builds confidence and faith, two things that are essential to changing the world as you perceive it. Your world isn’t going to change by itself and a fairy godmother isn’t going to wave a magic wand and everything’s going to be different.

Although the decision to do something is powerful in itself, the real power comes from following that decision up in the current moment by taking some form of action.

The strange thing that Serge Kahili King points out in one of his corollaries is that everything is relative. What is “now”? Basically, if you accept the first principle, “now” is whatever you happen to define it as. It might be only a fraction of second. It may be a minute, or a day, or the current week or the current month. For some people, it might even by the whole of their current lifetime. The thing is, the longer the period you define as “now”, the greater your focus is going to have to be. Most people have the attention span of a goldfish with ADD, so trying to deal with too big a span is going to render them powerless.

The key to using this principle is to realise that you need to have focus on what you’re doing. You need to pay attention to what your senses are telling you. You also need to start picking up on some of the more subtle things that your intuition and subconscious mind are picking up on, and to be able to act on that information at the appropriate time with the right amount of faith and confidence.

The Second Principle – KALA – There Are No Limits

(Originally posted 23rd April, 2004)

Understanding the concept that there are no limits is perhaps one of the hardest concepts of all the seven principles. After all, we can only perceive so much and there are things that fall outside the realms of natural human experience.

But every day, science is pushing back the barriers of human understanding, developing more and more sensitive instruments to measure things and give people a better picture of what the real world is all about.

What people believe puts limits on their thinking and what they can achieve. If you listen to world-class athletes, they are forever pushing their thinking into new realms, in areas that people had previously thought to be impossible.

If the world is what you think it is, then anything that you can possibly dream up you are capable of achieving. Of course, it might take you a lifetime to achieve that goal or it might take someone using your experience as a jumping off point to achieve your goal long after you are gone.

Serge King gives three corollaries for the second principle. The first corollary is that everything is connected. On a metaphysical level, everything is connected to everything else. Of course, the influence of one thing on another might be so insignificant that it might be completely undetectable.

One thing I have come to realise about this corollary is that everything that you experience and think about is directly connected to what you currently think and believe. I’ve lost track of the number of times within my own life where I have been wondering about a particular subject, only to have a chance encounter with something that has either given me the answer directly, or it has provided me with something else to think about which has caused the revelation that I needed. This inspiration can come in just about any form. You might read something in a book or see something on TV or in a movie. In more extreme cases, you can see something in nature that stands out and causes you to think about something in a new way. Skeptics may scoff and put the whole thing down to coincidence, but because you’re filtering things through your own beliefs, the connection that you make becomes significant to you.

Serge’s second corollary is that anything is possible. Again, you can see this idea in action when you look at athletes who break world records, or inventors who come up with an invention that others have said could never be done. Persistence of belief is the key here. It also sometimes helps if you have other people who believe the same things that you do, because their belief reinforces your own giving your confidence a boost.

The last corollary is separation is a useful illusion. If you believe that everything is connected, and there are no limits, then it can be overwhelming when you realise that everything you do has an effect on the world around you. It can cause some people to freeze up, unsure about what to do in case they do something. The thing is thought that just because we’re connected to everything doesn’t mean we’re joined at the hip. The level of influence we have over something varies and if we’re aware of that it, sometimes that separation can be used to provide some much-needed perspective. Often when we find ourselves most overwhelmed with a problem, the ability to disconnect and look at it from a distance usually allows us to find a way around our immediate problem and to make our lives better in the long run.

I have to admit that the second principle is perhaps the one I understand the least, because it is the one that I have probably spent the least amount of time thinking about. It makes sense to me, but I’m sure that there are certain ramifications of it that I need to still need to grasp. So, I’m hoping that this hasn’t been too confusing a description.

The First Principle – IKE – The World Is What You Think It Is

(Originally posted 21st April, 2004)

Everyone perceives the world in our own way. There are no two people on this planet who think in exactly the same way. Each of us have had a different set of experiences that have guided our thinking and established our set of preferences and beliefs And it’s through these things that we come to see and understand the world around us.

Every day, each of us makes decisions about the things that we experience, tings like is a particular occurrence good or bad? The basis of these decisions come from the things we have learned in the past. As we are growing up, different things are emphasised, so we begin to see those things as being good or worthwhile spending time and energy on. We are discouraged in other areas – either through active discouragement through punishment, or through sheer apathy.

When we’re young, we lack the general knowledge and experience to determine for ourselves whether something is good or bad. So we tend to adopt the beliefs of those around us that we look up to. In the very early days, this is our parents and as we get older we learn from teachers, friends and a whole swag of other people. It doesn’t matter if the beliefs that we take on board are actually useful to us or not.

Serge Kahili King gives a couple of corollaries to the first principle. The first is that every thing in a dream. Everything that we perceive or experience actually happens inside our heads. Our senses just feed electrical impulses into our brains, and it’s in our minds that we interpret and filter those sensory inputs. And something that we experience only in our heads is normally referred to as a dream. It’s like Peter Gabriel says in his song Mercy Street: “All of the buildings, all of the cars, were once just a dream in somebody’s head.”

It’s a strange concept, but it can help to teach us that if we want to change our reality, we just have to change the way we think. By consciously making decisions to look at things in a new way, we can often radically alter our lives and have experiences that are much more beneficial to us.

Serge’s second corollary is that all systems are arbitrary. I always find that this point really floors me. Despite what we may think, any system of thoughts or beliefs started with one person trying to figure something out. They selectively filtered their experience and worked it out into a series of premises that they then shared with someone else. Over time, that system becomes accepted as the “truth” by the world at large and the general monkeymass tends to punish those who challenge the consensus.

The thing is though that the only real basis for the validity of a system is whether or not it is effective for us. Does the acceptance of the system lead to a better quality of life for us and those around us? If the answer is yes, then you could consider the system to be worthwhile. If it doesn’t lead to those things, then you would normally reject it. But you’ll also find someone else who thinks that the system that you’ve rejected to be the one for them and there is nothing you can do to convince them otherwise.

You can see this all the time in the “real” world – capitalism vs communism, differences in political ideology, even computer operating systems (the dreaded Macs vs Windows debate). There is no one universal truth that humans can express. I think that Lao Tsu sums this up beautifully in the first verse of the Tao Te Ching: “The Tao that can be written down is not the true Tao.”

If you can come to grips with this concept, it becomes possible to take a step back and examine which elements of a system work for us and which elements limit our thinking. Once you can do that, you’re free to change systems depending on the situation, so that you can come out on top all the time.

The Seven Principles of Huna – An Introduction

(Originally posted 20th April, 2004)

Have you ever read something and found that it’s changed your life forever? It might be funny, or poignant, or it might just give you a framework for understanding everything that you’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Back in 1995, when my life was going through a fairly serious upheaval, I came across a book called Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King, Ph.D. It’s a book describing some of the principles and techniques of Huna, the shamanic tradition of the native Hawaiians.

The first few chapters of this book struck me as being incredibly profound. They gave me an understanding of how my mind worked in simple and practical terms. I don’t think I’ve ever come across something that resonated with me quite as much as this information.

I can’t say that I use much of the stuff in the rest of the book any more, but I find that I periodically come back to the opening chapters to reread and get insights into where I have been going wrong with the ways that I have been thinking and the decisions that I have been making.

Chapter three of Urban Shaman talks about the Seven Fundamental Principles, a series of ideas that form a basic foundation that just about everything else that the rest of the book goes on to talk about. The ideas themselves are rather simple, but they are also quite profound if you stop and think about them for a while.

Over the next week or so, I’m going to be going through each of them in turn and trying to briefly explain what Serge has said about them, and what I’ve come to realise about them in the nearly ten years since I first encountered them.

It doesn’t really matter if you agree with them or not. They’re not something that have to be defended as the one and only truth. Instead, they’re just a series of guidelines that can be useful at times to help understand where you’re going wrong – or perhaps even where you are going right. It’s like Serge says, if they’re useful to you, then use them. If they’re not, then use whatever works for you.

The Modern Day Gypsy

(Originally posted 14th April, 2004)

What is that makes someone put down roots and settle in one location? Or perhaps more interestingly, what makes a person pull up their roots and spend their lives on the road?

The reason I ask is an old guy I saw in the park on Sunday morning. By the look of him, he was probably in his fifties or sixties, and of eastern Mediterranean descent (or maybe eastern European). He had an old red Toyota Lite Ace van parked by the side of the road, with the side door up and the tailgate open.

When I first saw him, he had a small hand mirror balanced on the gutter above the sliding door and he was having a shave. Clothes on hangers were dangling from the open tailgate and he had a stack of cast iron pots spread out on the picnic table nearby.

It was about that point I realised that he was, perhaps, a modern day gypsy. His van was filled with metal racks, and they looked packed full of everything this old guy needed to get by in his daily life. It was full, but in an orderly sort of way. He seemed to know where everything was.

What makes someone decide to just pack up their life in a van and head around the countryside? Me, I’ve always been a settle in one place kinda guy, liking the stability of having a place to call my own that I can go back to at the end of the working day.

The problem with that idea is that you quite often start taking where you live for granted and stop appreciating all the things that it has going for it. I guess at the moment, with me spending more time away from home than I spent at home, this is perhaps a little more obvious to me than it would have been a few months ago.

When was the last time you bothered to stop and appreciate the fact that you have a roof over your head, and saw all the good things that it has to offer? Every house – even the old run down ones – have a certain charm all of their own that you can find if you actually bother look for it.

Houses – or vans I guess – could be interpreted as a symbol of our internal lives. What does the place we live say about us? Do we want the big, modern palace with all the mod cons, or is an older, smaller place more suitable? So, do we look after it or do we let it get run down through neglect? Just about everything that we surround ourselves with is a reflection of the way that we think and the things that we believe. Sometimes looking at the external world can give surprising insights into what’s actually going on inside.

So, here’s a big shout out to the modern day gypsy of Telopea Park. My thanks for opening my eyes to something that I had perhaps forgotten about. God speed, my friend and may your days on the road be safe and enjoyable.