Monthly Archives: October 2011

Rites of Passage

In cultures throughout history the journey through age has been marked by the rites of passage.

Wikipedia defines it as: “a rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person’s progress from one status to another.”

Vanuatu rite of passageFrom the tribes of Africa to the Australian Aborigines the journey from boy to man is marked by a whole host of trials, tests and rites of passage. Some of the most extraordinary are captured on 10 Bizarre Rites of Passage. Including the Vanuatu land divers, who as an act of manhood climb rickety old structures and dive headfirst to the ground – it’s bungee jumping Vanuatu style! As the boy gets older he climbs higher and plummets headlong towards the ground.

From Boy to Man

So too in modern Western society the rites of passage are marked by key events in a young man’s life.

My son is encountering one of his earlier rites of passage. Unlike other cultures he doesn’t have to confront lions, leap off rickety structures or be isolated with groups of men. No, my son’s rite of passage is much worse, more confronting – he’s embarking on the modern day rites of passage! It deserves a heading …

The Modern Rites of Passage

Blue tooth fairyThe modern rite of passage my son is confronted with is the dreaded tooth fairy! That’s right, no lions, no fearful leaps off towers, Fletch has a wobbly tooth and is awaiting its release so he can receive the fabled stash from the tooth fairy.

But our modern rites of passage go beyond just the tooth fairy, there are others, so here’s my top 10 list of modern rites of passage:

Top 10 Rites of Passage

  • The move from The Wiggles to Ben 10
  • Standing up to go to the loo
  • Sitting in the front seat of the car
  • Owning your first DSi or numerous other i devices
  • Money for the canteen
  • Tying up your own shoelaces
  • Pocket money!!!
  • Learning the mantra “no, I can do it”
  • First day of big school (kindergarten)
  • The art of deception – at 12 asking “what is Santa bringing this year?”

I’m guessing there are a few Westernised rites of passage I’ve missed, they may only be geographically limited to Australia … any others?

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The Scents of Church

When you think of Church what comes to mind?

Church PewsFor some it may conjure images of the traditional Catholic or Anglican cathedrals associated with Europe – stone buildings with wooden pews, stained glass windows and an organist plugging out traditional hymns. Pillars of the Earth sort of stuff steeped in tradition and dogma.

Or maybe it’s of a priest or minister stood atop a dais preaching at their congregation messages of doom and gloom. Or long drawn out sermons delivered in a monotone and the ensuing dread of falling asleep.

So when you think about church or religion, what are the senses that come to mind? What are the smells, the tastes, what do you see or hear when you think of Church?

To get in the mood check out Kana’s blog on a modern day collection plate!

Whale Watching

Recently we went on a short holiday to Port Macquarie. One of the highlights of the trip was going whale watching.

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I admit when I first booked it at $30 per head I was thinking gees bit pricey – there were 5 of us. No guarantees we would even see anything!

Sure enough, off we sped out a few kilometres into the Pacific Ocean and started the search.

Meeting the Largest Mammal on Earth

Before long we’d encountered a mother and calf just gracefully cruising South. These enormous mammals, the largest species left on Earth and we’d not only got to see them up close but to appreciate the sheer size. We literally floated along with them within metres of our boat.

The true highlight however didn’t come until we got back to shore when my 7 year old turned and said “daddy, I’ll remember that for the rest of my life” – awesome.

What a Job

Now back in the swing of things, on the train and off to work I can’t help ponder what sort of lifestyle the skipper leads. Cruising his boat out into the ocean a dozen times a day to watch whales for a living … how awful it must be!

20111021-083001.jpgWe got the chance a number of times to encounter nature, including surfing dolphins, lounging lizards and much more.

Pretty spectacular and a chance to slow down.

Watching whales glide through the ocean, dolphins surfing the waves, lizards lounging in the sun … I have to ponder are we truly the most intelligent species?

The Last Word

As the world press laments the death of Dan Wheldon, two time winner of the Indianapolis 500, I’ve pondered the last words posted by Dan.

Dan Wheldon

Now, I don’t profess to knowing anything about Dan Wheldon, nor do I know much about Indy 500 and IndyCar racing … so if you stumbled here on that basis – sorry! But a post came up in my feed and I followed it to see who he was.

The thing that stood out to me was his Twitter feed … right up until the 17th October 2011 Dan Wheldon was tweeting and carrying on his life and living without any thought of what was about to happen to him, his family, the racing world, the press, his friends, his fans, his followers.

@DanWheldon, the official Twitter of IndyCar and two time Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon … and with his last tweet that simply stated “Green!!!!”.

The Last Post

As Dan tweeted that post he was in high spirits about the potential of winning, an earlier post “Big day today, $5,000,000.00 at stake!!! Heading to the track.”

There were no doubts in his mind of returning to his wife and children, there was no doubts about tweeting his result after the race – probably even anticipating a win. But for Dan the tragedy of death struck and has rippled throughout his life circles … his family, friends, the racing fraternity and beyond.

For Dan Wheldon, there were no profound last words, no farewell speech, no chance for goodbyes or kisses for his children – for Dan Wheldon his last post was simply “Green!!!!”.

What will your last post be? What will your final words be? Who will be let down? Who will be upset? Who will feel unfulfilled? Who will be left angry? How will you be remembered?

For Each Moment

There are 1000’s of self help lessons on living for the moment, the “carpe diem” life! There are many that spend all their time chasing trinkets and novelties … but for Dan Wheldon, if given the chance, would he have chosen to miss that race and spend the day with his kids? To sit with his mum and dad? His siblings?

This obviously has nothing to do with Dan Wheldon, I didn’t know him, I know nothing about him … but it did get me thinking if it were to happen so suddenly to me what is left unfinished? Who have I treated the wrong way? Or left disappointed? Have I spent the time with my kids and left treasures in their hearts? My family? My wife? My friends?

Have I invested my time living in things worthwhile? Have I sown seeds that were worth harvesting? Or am I just leaving lots of weeds?

Well that was my train of thought … I’d literally never heard of Dan Wheldon until today, but his legacy left something for me that far outweighs any Indy championship.

The World Game

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Great chance to see the opening game of Australia’s A League with Sydney’s first home game against Brisbane Roar.

Good time with my dad and brother – albeit watching a loss!

Cracker game, 0 – 2 score.

Musical Momentum

Music makes a scene. It creates the atmosphere.

Great Soundtracks

We are moved by music it’s deep in our culture and our psyche. It stretches the limits, it elicits memories, it’s our favorite song, it’s the first time when … a song can recall all sorts of memories and feelings.

Some of the most successful movies have the best soundtracks. Running a questionnaire on our FB page and enjoying the responses.

How could you get the Sound of Music without The Hills are Alive. Or Saturday Night Fever without Stayin’ Alive, and come on, 2001 The Space Odyssey – it connected aliens with humans.

The list is endless, great soundtracks that just a few notes bring back the whole feeling, like The Godfather, The Mission, The Sting … I know I’m showing my vintage!

Music creates the emotion, it can lead us into fear, joy, passion, laughter, even aggression – think of Rocky. It was hard not to leave the cinema throwing punches at the biggest bloke you could find!

Top Movie Soundtracks

When I think of great movies most include a great soundtrack … a few of my picks

  • Good Morning Vietnam
  • Remember the Titans
  • Shawshank Redemption – oh the opera!
  • Maybe not GREAT, but Footloose 🙂
  • Grease!
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou
  • Once
  • Happy Feet!!!
  • Lion King (yes, I have kids)

I’m sure I’ve missed some great one’s … any others that just have to be there?

The Simple Life

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There’s something to be said for simplicity.

The simple pleasure of a cup cake that makes the day of my children – how cool would it be to still find immense joy in something like a cupcake.