As you read this I am on my way to the Merrepen arts and indigenous community in the Northern Territory to participate in their winter festival. Lindsay Whitehouse and myself have been asked to make garments and hats from the fabric they print.
I had big intentions to get this newsletter out to you at the beginning of the month but LIFE was taken up with other things which took my attention. One of those things was that Torb & Reiner welcomed new members to our company and made them feel welcome. Meet them here! Gemma, our new Webmaster, has been busy getting her head around our rather large website and Olivia has joined us front of house to serve you with all your millinery needs. And then there is our new security guard Mr Pierre Button. Well no need to say we LOVE him. Come and make them all welcome.
Having just come back from a New South Wales outback trip and going again to the Northern Territory makes me feel very lucky to travel through my passion for hats. The journeys and meetings of different places and people have taught me so much and they continue to do so. This trip I felt a much deeper connection to the land and the people than ever before; Australia is a vast country full of beauty, colour and challenges just like our lives.
All land to survive connects to its rivers and the sea, as we do through water. The vegetation adapts to the harsh sun and animals like the kangaroo put a pregnancy on hold to wait out bad times, just like we have the ability to mindfully choose when we have reached a limitation. The emu only lays 1 egg if the grass is green and the male raises the young as the female’s job is done, which gives raise to the question of whether we need to carry on with the stereotyping of man and woman. All within nature is connected; one does and can not exist without the other. Farmers and rural people know this well – that death feeds life and life feeds death.
I wonder sometimes how well do we know that about ourselves? Do we know that giving up a dream, letting go of anger, or the simple act of falling asleep after a long day are all little deaths we die every day, and that from there we choose to feed new life, the next day… which can be bright and exiting, full of possibilities to reach out to others with the aim of connectedness in mind. You can not stop bad things from happening to you but you can sure CHOOSE how to react to it.
I felt a deep connection this time to the women who cry sometimes tears for feeling the isolation, for the men who carry the burden of the draught, for the children and youth which in small towns have nowhere to hide as they are trying to grow up and I felt connected to my SELF by noticing how through listening, sharing a joke in laughter and in shedding a shared tear, all that separated me were the stories in my head about people and situations. Each time I noticed THAT hat came off and get replaced with the metaphoric hat of “BE present”. So that is my ethos as I set off for another trip in the unknown, where no doubt new people and new experiences await me once more.