Faces Of the Day

Faces Of the Day

Faces of the day

A glint in an eye

A wan, worried expression

A loving look

Or all pursed and puzzled

Tired tints and tones.

In each face

I see a reflection 

as in a mirror

A sense of common humanity

all one family

And craft of the creator.

Simon C.J. Falk 16 June 2022

RATs n STATs

Apologies to Dr Seuss

These words kept pestering me so I had to exorcise and transfer them. Sorry that you caught the transference!

The RATs n STATS

The RATS n STATs

Inhabit our flats

Where we hang up our hats

So how about that!

When will Omicron

Finally be gone?

It’s getting tough

When we’ve had enough

So today

As we go our way

We smile and say G’day

1.5 metres away

Behind masks for the fray.

We long for the morning

When we need no more warning

As we wake up yawning

When the new hope is dawning.

Simon C.J. Falk 29 January 2021

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Don’t forget to look for the #WATWB. I’ll join in when I get my act together!

#WATWB November 2021 @onfootacrossaustralia for Refugees

Some would know that I did, with a friend, 240kms of the Portuguese Way (aka #CaminoPortugues) of the pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela back in 2018.

Well here is someone who walked further. And he did it for others. For people looking for a home.

Welcome to the We Are The World Blogfest for November 2021 as we share stories. Thanks to SBS News Australia, I bring you Ivor Houston and his @onfootacrossaustralia (that being his Instagram handle). Here he is below, walking along a 90 mile straight road.

Via SBS News Australia.

As SBS News says:

Ivor Houston wanted to make a difference to the lives of refugees, so he packed some essentials and travelled 4,000 km from Perth to Sydney on foot. After six months, he’s now home.

Ivor lived with a family of refugees in the Blue Mountains of NSW (in Eastern Australia). He walked for them. The plight of refugees and asylum seekers has been with humanity for a long time. People seek a safe home.

Wars, genocides, natural disasters and so on, have taken away people’s homes for a long time. Thankfully there are often people who can help. It is an extraordinary time to do so with the Omicron COVID variant on the move, people’s resources stretched from lockdown losses, and countries still housing people from their own internal disasters. In my own country of Australia, some people who lost homes in castrophic fires last summer are still in temporary accommodation.

People like Ivor, and others, can help refugees find houses that become true homes. That is good to hear.

You can check out Ivor’s IG of the trek at @onfootacrossaustralia and the SBS news story here.

Please be on the lookout for other #WATWB posts.

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WATWB – Looking Over Giving in October 2021

I was truly astonished by the number of causes that appeared in my country of Australia during October this year. My astonishment was how, after the financial challenges of COVID lockdowns, that money would be raised. My other source of astonishment was the sheer generosity of people to ‘have a go’ and give their energy, body, heart, and soul to such causes.

This list is not complete. It’s just the ones I came across.

The Heart Foundation’s MyMarathon for research into heart disease and its treatment.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s Frocktober.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk Step Challenge.

The Black Dog Institute’s One Foot Forward Challenge for suicide research and prevention.

I actually did the Black Dog Institute’s One Foot Forward Challenge in memory of my own brother, Joseph, who died by suicide in 1987. My generous sponsors raised $893AUD for my 218kms. On Sunday 31 October I received an email from the organisers saying:

Our incredible One Foot Forward community has raised an astounding $10,461,065 [AUD] for mental health research.

So… THANK YOU! ❤️

That is one of the causes. It is good news, and a tribute to the generosity of the human spirit to galvanise people and raise funds. I can hardly imagine what scale this kind of volunteerism has reached across the globe.

Has the pandemic made people more aware, compassionate and generous? I don’t know.

What I do know is that the experience of each person is a factor. One friend of mine who did Frocktober is herself a cancer survivor. Another friend who did the One Walk has a family member with diabetes. I did the One Foot Forward for my brother. Relationships shape us and help us to reach out with care.

Speaking of generous volunteers, I BIG shoutout to all the We Are World Blogfest WATWB team. Some carried the load alot this year while others of us were less able to commit. A very hearty thank you to them.

On an even more fun note, I observed, thanks to a friend in Glasgow, that The Wombles have returned as stars at COP26 to help clean up our planet. The 5 year old seventies child that I was revelled in such news.

Source https://www.womblesofficial.com. Be sure to look at the video clip on their homepage. 

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WATWB September 2021 – Stories of Now and Ben

This tweet, from a journo whom I went to school with, sent me down an internet rabbit hole.

The tweet is very recent. The story a bit older.

It’s a good news story for at least two people. The fine young Ben and for older Ben at least.

So, welcome to the #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest post for September 2021. Please follow other posts with the #WATWB. And…back to the story.

So Ben Farinazzo is a former Australian Army Officer who did tours of duty in the East Timor peacekeeping operation. He has been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has recovered from a mountain bike accident causing a spinal injury as well.

The bio notes on his webpage tell it better:

I was fighting an internal battle against
post
-traumatic stress disorder, depression
and anxiety. I then broke my neck and back
in a mountain bike accident. It felt like I
was walking through the valley of the
shadow of death.

Three years later I represented Australia in
indoor rowing and powerlifting at Invictus
Games Sydney 2018 and was fortunate to
win two gold medals. Today, I am a proud
Australia Day Ambassador and support
mental health, veterans and sport.

This is a fabulous story about brokenness, reconnection and resilience. You may also want to check Ben’s Youtube channel for footage the like the screenshot of the one featured here.

Source: Ben Farinazzo YouTube Channel

This is a good introduction by Ben Himself.

Since I posted this another chapter emerged on ABC News Australia about how to two Bens were reunited.

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#WATWB August 2021 Afghani Paralympians

Welcome to the We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest for August and thanks to our co-hosts, participants and readers once more. I missed out last month and am delighted to scrape in this time around.

Some of us have watched in horror as the Afghanistan human rights disaster unfolds. But then I saw this story on the Tokyo Paralympics from SBS News Australia:

Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli arrived in the Japanese capital after a week-long stay in Paris, where they had been housed after fleeing their homeland following the Taliban takeover.

They are now set to be resettled in Australia, according to former Socceroo and refugee advocate Craig Foster and a lawyer assisting the efforts. 

Source SBS News Australia https://www.sbs.com.au/news/afghan-paralympians-evacuated-to-tokyo-given-australian-humanitarian-visas accessed 30 August 2021

As the story continues….

Zakia will be the first female Afghan to compete at the Games since 2004 in Athens when she takes part in the women’s K44 -49kg taekwondo event on Thursday.

Hossain will line up in the heats of the men’s 400m T47 athletics event on Friday.

Lawyer Alison Battisson from Human Rights for All was involved in the efforts to evacuate scores of athletes out of Afghanistan.

She told SBS News she worked with an intern lawyer at her firm to assist Zakia and Hossain escape Afghanistan.

“I have this amazing legal intern who works as a plasterer two days a week so he can then work at my firm three days a week, Eric Zhang, he did [Zakia’s] application.

You can play along with more of the story here. Some may argue what about the many, many other Afghanis still trapped? Indeed. Stories like this might inspire other sports and organisations to get involved. That may save some other lives.

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Want more good news stories. You which hashtag to follow #WATWB

Lockdown Letdown or Variations on Mark 5:1-20

Lockdown Letdown or Variations on Mark 5. 1-20

The pandemic has gone on for a long time now. People are tired. Bone tired. Resilience has run down. Some have lost work or are living in the fear of doing so. Although we know that many of the issues are complex and cannot be solved rapidly or easily, we still lose patience. In addition to our own struggles, we go online only to see the struggles of others. Their frustrations and angst are expressed or even ranted, looking for a home. Some of their angst gets transferred on to the accumulation of our own. While walking I caught this transfer happening to me. Then this happened.

Why do you want to heal me?

Who am I?

Legion

There are many of us

Faces like mine

Mirrored here

And there

And everywhere.

We are isolated and locked down

Nowhere to go

Let us out!

We can only walk or run

Around the same blocks

So many times.

We want to go to

The footy

The club

The gym

The church.

We want to hoon around

In our cars

Like bloody bogans

Terrorising old ladies

And little children

And the frazzled nerves

Of sequestered parents

Invigilating “online learning”.

We want to be out in the streets

Bawling and shouting

“My rights! My rights!”

We don’t care if we get the virus

As we’re dying in here anyhow.

Don’t try to make us feel bad

By talking of Afghanis who

Dream of being able to exercise rights

Or of earthquake affected Haitians

Who don’t have homes to have a lockdown.

We can’t fix them!

We want to be keyboard warriors

Or serve salvos of the seething stew

Boiling in our bile.

Give us our vaccination yesterday!

We are programmed consumers

And we want our product already!

Give us those police and politicians.

Let us hurl our hate at them.

How dare they do not show up to the press

Every. Single. Day.

Why should they rest?

We don’t!

Or aren’t!

Or can’t!

Let us release all our hate

On them!

Let them be

Our scapegoats

Our herd of swine

Cast into the drowning foment.

Take our torment!

Take it!

Take….

It’s … It’s… Gone?

It’s gone!

I’m free

I don’t have to lockdown

My heart

My reason

My soul

I’m free.

Simon C.J Falk      23 August 2021.

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Looking for some good news. Follow the #WATWB

#WATWB June 2021 – A Place To Vaccinate Indigenous Australians

Welcome to another post of the We Are The World Blogfest where I’m just sneaking in before the clock ticks over to July. Please show your support to other #WATWB bloggers.

Australians are entering NAIDOC Week 2021. With the COVID Delta on the move, many Indigenous have opted out of in person and public events. But the memories and still there and the culture and stories are to be told. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are highly vulnerable to exotic viruses and particularly to the Corona virus.

But, there is this news from our state of South Australia:

Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Health Clinic worker Adrian Coulthard getting vaccinated in one of the dedicated bays Source: Supplied. Accessed from SBS News 30 June 2021 9.40pm

‘Until recently Ngarrindjeri elder Stephanie Gollan had reservations about getting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

But her feelings about the shot changed when she joined a program in Adelaide that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through the process.

The Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service has reserved two cubicles at a vaccine hub in Playford in Adelaide’s north to create a supportive and culturally appropriate environment for Indigenous Australians.’

As reported by SBS News Australia. You can read more about it here. It is great to know, as we enter NAIDOC Week, that some people are looking out for our vulnerable Indigenous peoples.

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He Spoke Into the Vacancy

He Spoke Into the Vacancy

He spoke

Into the vacancy

Slow, low

Spoken words

Not at all

Like the chit-chat

We began with

Now words are

Paced

Not raced but

Placed

Like offerings to

The air

And ear

That listens

Listens

First the back-story

Listens

Ah, now

Now

Here

The pain

The poverty

Of the soul

Laid bare

Kind

Of him to

Share

And share we do

The silence

The space

The questions

Again?

Yes!

Simon C.J. Falk 26 June 2021

As Ponds Reflect

As Ponds Reflect

As ponds reflect

The trees and sky

So do we

Reflect

People and places

Around and

Held

Within ourselves.

Simon C.J. Falk 24 May 2021

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More #WATWB coming soon!

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