“ON LOVE & POLITICS” – A Solo Exhibition on the Sunshine Coast by Artist Mikarla Teague.

This coming Friday evening, the 1st of April 2016, something beautiful is happening. At CQ University Noosa Art Space, it will be opening night of a solo exhibition by Sunshine Coast artist Mikarla Teague.

I’ve known Mikarla Teague for more than eight years, and I’ve watched over time as she and her artwork have slashed away from the expectations and safety of ‘society’ to fight for what she believes in.

Through her artwork, poetry and activism, her heart, soul, tears, and I dare say every dollar she’s ever earned, have spilled from somewhere inside her that is unexplainable to be laid bare to the world. Mikarla was meant to share with us. I don’t often talk about fate, but some people in this world are here to make a difference. Mikarla is one such soul.  Continue reading

Introduction to Naughty Ninjas: Man flesh, a descriptive playground.

I was introduced to “Naught Ninjas” by my dear author friend Lily Malone, who is one sixth of the Naught Ninja collaboration. You are probably wondering what this all is, just like I was. Ninja Love

Here is an intro from their site [link]:

“We decided to see what would happen if all six author brains pulled together in a tandem effort, like a team of eager but easily distracted huskies tied to a giant, mutant sled. This site is our sled. Our ninja sled. Who knew ninjas liked to sled and own huskies, right? Well, we do.”

Continue reading

Book #40: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813

The Great Literature 52 week, 40 book challenge. austen

Book #40: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813.

Overall Summary (in my words):

Eligible bachelors come to a country-town in England in the early 1800’s, and a family of un-wed, middle class sisters of varying beauty and intelligence vie for their attention (along with every other female in town). Or in the case of the second eldest, graced with both handsomeness and a clever mind – reject the attention of one bachelor in particular on the basis of pride and opinion. Elizabeth Bennet makes judgements based on perceived knowledge, not actual, and the discovery of truth leads her to be confronted by her own pride. Will she have the courage to admit to her own misgivings, and even if she does will it be too late? Continue reading

Love is all you need??

Is love all you need? A tricky question.

It was all Romeo and Juliet needed. So much so that they thought life wasn’t worth living without each other, and that they were better off dying together to enter the after-life where their love and each other would be for eternity. The Beatles thought all you need is love. Well they sang it. Part of the beginning of one of my favourite movies, “Love Actually” features the song in a wedding. “All you need is love” echoing down from the balcony of the beautiful church where two people (one being Keira Knightly, whose character was ironically also named Juliet) were married. Later in the movie this Juliet kisses the grooms best mate (sorry for the spoiler). Do you think that the husband would understand that? “But it was love” I hear you cry. Well not really, it was some weird obsession by the best friend and for some reason this girl felt the need to solidify his feelings by kissing him. Either that or she is admitting to her own. Hmm.  Yes, love, actually.

The same movie featured Colin Firth getting his heart ripped out by his live-in girlfriend. However he then retreats to his cabin by the lake,  and falls for another lass, who doesn’t even speak the same language. It is very sweet that although the two of them go off on their separate ways, they learn each others language for the lead up to a romantic spontaneous reunion. Now what do you suppose the likelihood is of their relationship lasting? Is the point of that coupling in the film that you can’t choose who you love? Is it possible that we can’t choose who we love and it is inevitable that we will love them, also to hopefully have that love returned, and love will be all we need?  These two had a bond that was formed by some attraction that a language barrier didn’t stop. But is it all they need? This attraction that has grown into a “love” for one another, is it enough? Well I guess they needed to speak the same language otherwise neither one of them would have tried. Some may argue that it is a further testament to their love that they wanted to speak the same language but is this not further proof that just having love wasn’t enough to keep the tryst going?

I’m a fan of the twilight series as much as the next person. Seriously I loved the books, completely got sucked in. Now, while the series is plugged on the undying and overwhelming love between two…beings, and their love appears to be one without limits, it can conquer all. But eventually we know what happens – being in love just isn’t enough. They have a love that is so powerful it defies all logic, their connection is like magnetism, yet one day she’ll die, and thus decides becoming his kind will mean their love can continue undisturbed. It is still a change from what is to something new based on their love not really being all they need. All they need is love… and for her to die and suck the blood from living beings.

I heard a very good quote today, it fell from the mouth of the upbeat waitress at my local sushi place, she was chatting to a customer and uttered the words: “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”

I like the quote and remembered it instantly as it nicely illustrates ones views on fate, and us having little control over seemingly controllable things in our lives.

I for one fully understand life throwing me a curve ball. It’s not a secret that I was married, although I do try to keep a lot of that stuff out of my public writing (however there is a certain level of relevance here, and creative type folk tend to draw from things around us, within us, from our experiences, and this certainly was an experience). But yes, I was married, almost 5 years ago I got married to a man that I believed was the one, this was no vegas wedding my friends, and a week ago together we filed for divorce. How does it happen? Did we not love each other any more? Anyone who has been truly in love before will be able to tell you it doesn’t just go away. So what happened then? If there was still love, what else could we possibly have needed?

“Stop and smell the roses” he used to say to me, and funnily enough it is what we both forgot to do. We began to do our own things and not take the time to appreciate the little things about each other that we loved, and didn’t do any little things to show appreciation for one another. We didn’t give anything to the relationship. The roses faded, wilted, the sun may still shine but with no tender care or attention the garden slowly dries up. And sometimes it dies.

Another thing I find so important to a relationship is talking to one another. Which I think goes hand-in-hand with being friends with each other. There are delicious moments in a relationship where you realise the sweet simple pleasure of being in the company of the one you love without words and having it be such a blissful time that you can just be, you don’t need to speak or think, when just being near each other exudes happiness from your being. But what about when you don’t really have much to say… you know that you love this person, and have spent years with them, you can’t imagine life without them… but the life you have fallen into with each other lacks spark, you stop being friends, you become roommates, people who share the same living space but have different lives. You still adore them and love them… but will it be enough?

There may even come a point when that love makes your heart hurt. You ache with the burden of an unknowable future, become as such due to the future you had so clearly seen and so vivaciously believed in starting to crumbly and fade beneath the gold band, which at times is a reminder of what you once had, a reminder of what has faded, further fuelling that painful denied knowledge that love may not be enough to keep you together, and if it isn’t enough, can you save it yourselves? Do you have it in your hearts to pull yourselves back together.

Is it worth it?

The answer here is ‘Yes!’ of course. Love is worth working for, fighting for, saving. I found a lovely quote from Erica Jong in a “love quote” book filled with pages of cute couples, I have found the quote online and it’s a little bigger than the picture, it says: “Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

It surprised me that the quote is actually longer, and even more so if that the extra bit actually gives the quote more meaning, to me it does anyway. That little bit at the end: “if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” This line is almost the most powerful part of the quote. It applies to love in more ways than one – taking a chance on love, opening yourself up to it, letting it take over your heart (let’s face it, it really does), then fighting to keep that love and the relationship that has been built on it going, you risk so much by doing nothing.

I digress a little. The main query was not so much whether or not love is real, is worth fighting for, is something we stumble over ourselves for (all of the above!) but if it is all you need.

Is there no effort required to keep your relationship lasting or does it float on a fluffy cloud of love, and is your love all you need? Is the simple fact of having a love between yourselves mean that you will last?

We could look at this from a purely literal basis and say that what a human needs to survive is not just love. No it’s food, air, water, shelter… then love. Well some broken hearted people I’m sure would disagree, Romeo and Juliet would spit at me for sure. What do you think? To survive as a human, do you need love?

I believe in love. I am in love again (it’s delightful). I believe you don’t choose who you love, love chooses them for you. I believe love can last forever, it lives for always in your soul.

But is it all I need? Love? Can I survive just on love? Maybe it’s not all I need, but I NEED it. I believe I need it to survive. Love for myself is the first step (I hope I don’t need to explain to anyone why you need to have love for yourself. Respect, love, and the knowledge you deserve it.) But the love from someone else, well that’s to me one of the greatest gifts in life and makes life worth living. This isn’t just the love between partner and partner, but love, all love, it’s needed. Opening myself up and giving my heart to someone, no matter what the outcome, I need to love, loving makes me human.

Love may not be everything and ALL that I need, and not everything that holds a relationship together (whatever kind of relationship that is) but I need it, what about you?