Yale found a beautiful image earlier this week and I went looking for the artist – her name is Stasia Burrlington, and there was an entire series of work in this style. I love her beautiful use of the bodyscape as landscape and the gently erotic nature of these images – the beauty of the bodies combined with the beauty of the flowers… makes me want to go cover my limbs in chrysanthemum tattoos! 🙂
As many of you know, my Dad passed away from MND (Motor Neurone Disease) which is also known in the US, as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gherig’s Disease. He was diagnosed just before Christmas in 2003 and passed away in January 2007. My Dad did not fight MND, he did not battle MND, he just suffered from MND and he died from MND. Unfortunately, there is no battling or fighting involved when it comes to this insidious disease, as there is no cure, there are only limited and ineffective treatment and no one ever beats it. Ever.
I’ve been watching the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge social media storm with mixed emotions. On one hand, it seems many of those empty ice buckets lost the whole, ‘raising awareness’ bit, and turned into people getting soaked for no reason other than a laugh… and on the other hand, some have brilliantly hijacked screen time, media time, and brought much needed donations and discussion to a largely hidden, rarely talked about disease.
Watch this video – it’s not some celebrity, it’s not some hot shirtless college guy who thinks dumping a bucket of ice water over yourself in the middle of summer is a cool trend to follow… This is Anthony Carbajal, he is a 26 year old man who has been diagnosed with ALS and who is scared shitless of the fate he knows lays in front of him – and quite frankly, I don’t blame him one bit.
My father described it like being buried alive in your own body. He found out he had it because he had started tripping over his feet occasionally when he walked. Eventually he lost the use of his legs, which was about the time his hands really started to play up. By the time he was in a wheelchair, he could still use a mouse on the computer but definitely couldn’t dress himself or comb his own hair. Eventually his ability to use his mouse deteriorated too, about the time he needed a PIC feeding line to get enough nutrition, because he could no longer safely swallow his food because the risk he might choke was too high, as his oesophageal reflexes deteriorated. At this stage due to being so sedentary, his resting heart rate was 130-140bpm all day, every day, as his strong (and oh so huge and generous) heart desperately worked to keep his blood flowing around his inert body. Eventually his speech left him, and he had to resort to blinking to communicate when he was thirsty, when he was hungry, when he needed to go to the toilet… and the whole time he was in still in there, still mentally as sharp as a tack and still slowly watching his body continue to degenerate.
Throughout his entire illness, his biggest concern was not for his own fate, but rather the effect it was having on us – on my Mum, on my sisters and myself. He was mostly worried how his disease was impacting on us… and he was the one that was dying.
If you’d like to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, by all means be my guest… I have decided that while this is a somewhat disturbing and painful thing for me personally, the absurdity of this Ice Bucket Challenge, when combined with the gravity of MND/ALS has somehow gripped the attention of the entire globe – no easy task when fighting for attention with such things as Gaza/Israel, ISIS, MH17, Abbott and Co, Baby Gammy and god knows what else. So more power to it, if it’s going to continue the dialogue.
But if you do – please donate as well… even a little bit. If you want to donate in Australia, you can go here to the MND Australia donations page. Every little bit helps research to try and find a treatment for MND and maybe one day a reversal or a cure.
I entered my name (or a version thereof) and date and place of birth, into a ‘free astrology chart‘ website for shits and giggles… and this is what it spat out in milliseconds. I don’t know whether to be impressed or alarmed!
Rising Sign is in 19 Degrees Scorpio
You tend to be quiet, reserved, secretive and, at times, quite difficult to understand. Others notice your deep emotions and feelings and wonder how to draw you out. Stubborn and tough, you fight for any position you believe in. You are very resourceful and formidable when you become angered or upset about something. You enjoy living life at the cutting edge – for you life must be experienced intensely and totally. Quite courageous, you are willing to take calculated risks. Easily hurt by others, you often strike back with bitter sarcasm. Sensitive and curious, you are concerned with the deeper mysteries of human psychology. Once you have become interested in any subject, you pursue it with total fanaticism.
Sun is in 19 Degrees Capricorn.
Extremely serious and mature, you are capable of accepting responsibilities and do so willingly. Others expect you to be dutiful as a matter of course. You tend to get angry when people get rewards after not having worked anywhere near as hard as you. You are goal-oriented and an achiever by nature – you’re a hard worker and are justifiably proud of the tangible results of your efforts. You tend to have “tunnel-vision” – this allows you to block out extraneous matters that might distract others and to concentrate totally on the matter at hand. As such, you are the ideal one to manage or administrate any ongoing project and to be practical and efficient at it. You are not a fast worker, but you are quite thorough. You are known for being totally persistent, tenacious and tireless in reaching your goals.
Moon is in 11 Degrees Scorpio.
Your feelings are very intense, never superficial. You tend to be either very angry or very sad or completely and totally happy. Your moods are deep, extreme and not always completely understood by yourself or by those with whom you have to deal. Emotionally, you tend to live at the cutting edge of life, pushing your reactions to the ultimate extremes, even if the results are dangerous or upsetting. You are easily suspicious – you require a great deal of emotional reassurance. A good detective, you are very curious about deep and mysterious things, especially human nature and motivations. Be careful not to be ruthless, tactless or too overly frank or you will meet with much resistance from others.
Mercury is in 28 Degrees Sagittarius.
Your mind is very curious and inquisitive, always seeking information on a wide variety of topics. The broader the subject matter (philosophy, science, religion, metaphysics), the more it will appeal to you. You prefer to deal with abstractions — the small but important details associated with any subject tend to slip your grasp. You are known for being blunt, honest and truthful.
Venus is in 22 Degrees Aquarius.
You are a friendly and outgoing individual, but close relationships are difficult for you to maintain due to your fear that they will cause you to lose your freedom. You attract friends and associates who are exciting, different and sometimes a bit odd. You are popular with others and enjoy working within a group toward group goals.
Mars is in 09 Degrees Aries.
You are very independent and self-assertive, and you have lots of physical energy. You are not satisfied unless you can be the first to do something. As such, you are more comfortable in leadership positions than you are as an underling. When you are challenged by anyone for anything, you delight in the competitive process and will fight long and hard for your beliefs. You are bold and courageous but rarely act without thinking. At times, in your zeal to get ahead, you can be are tactless and offensive – learn that cooperation with others can often bring you nearer to your goals quicker because of the support you will get.
Jupiter is in 24 Degrees Sagittarius.
You have a very strong sense of ethics and morality. You are widely read and may also be widely traveled because you are sincerely interested in expanding your knowledge of the world about you. At times, you have an annoying tendency to be self-righteous and preachy about your belief system. You are usually quite idealistic and you demand the right to be able to explore the entire world of experiences yourself. Remember to grant others the similar right – be tolerant, not dogmatic.
Saturn is in 29 Degrees Taurus.
Complete freedom of choice makes you ill at ease. You must have a firm, ordered, secure foundation in your life in order to feel comfortable. You do not adapt easily and tend to fear the new and untried. You constantly fear that you do not have enough (love, property, material things, etc.) and this makes you tend toward being selfish, withdrawn or stingy. If you try to surround yourself with supportive people in your environment, you will become more emotionally self-supporting.
Uranus is in 18 Degrees Libra.
You, as well as your entire peer group, have a very free, unstable and unconventional approach to relationships and emotional commitments. You will be attracted to experiments in marriage and shared lifestyles. Personal freedom is more important to you than entangling emotional bonds. In the realm of art and aesthetics, you are attracted to the bizarre, shocking and unusual.
Neptune is in 04 Degrees Sagittarius.
You, and your entire generation, are heavily involved in investigating and idealizing foreign and exotic intellectual systems and religious philosophies. The most extreme ideals will be pursued with gusto. You will be at the forefront of humanitarian attempts to improve the lot of those who are in need of assistance. You will be comfortable with the concept of the “global village.”
Pluto is in 02 Degrees Libra.
For your entire generation, this is a time of radical changes in society’s attitude toward marriage and interpersonal relationships. There is a general fear and awe at the power inherent in making emotional or contractual commitments – they will not be entered into lightly.
N. Node is in 05 Degrees Aquarius.
As long as someone else (or a group or organization) appeals to your intellectual sensibilities, you’ll try to ally yourself with them in some way. You may find that you always seem to get involved with many wide-ranging groups – so much so that you find it difficult to fit them all into your busy schedule. Your many friends and acquaintances provide you with needed stimulation. You’re loyal and fair-minded – you try to spend time equally with all your friends, never concentrating on just one or two for any length of time. Although probably quite conservative yourself, you’re attracted to those who are a bit offbeat or eccentric – you enjoy watching their minds work.