Cringeworthy but in some ways hits the spot…
I’ve always struggled to express my thoughts on religion. Given the role it has and does play in our world though, it is a topic worthy of some discussion. There have been plenty of amazing, selfless things done in the name of religion but also much heartache, destruction and oppression carried out in the same name.
I was raised an Anglican, in a predominately Christian society. While certainly not the central foundation of my upbringing, it has played some significant part. However, I’ve always struggled to reconcile what I see as the fundamental themes of Christianity – love, forgiveness and tolerance – with the intolerant and oppressive contentions of mainstream Christian groups and figures. It’s certainly not unique to Christianity, though these are the example with which I’m most familiar. Male only clergy, opposition to contraception and gay marriage are all issues that have recently been highlighted in an increasingly agnostic mainstream media.
I find it hard to fathom that any higher power would prescribe rules about what women should wear, who should be allowed to marry or which sex is fit to hold positions of power in the church. These all fly in the face of the tolerance and love supposedly preached by these religions. These ideas are human ideas, written down 2000 years ago and reflect the rules of society then. Thankfully, humans have evolved and the world is a lot more tolerant than it used to be, and inevitably, like slavery, these ideas will be consigned to history.
So organised religion is not for me. But what of spirituality? Of themes like love and forgiveness? I believe in the power of reflection and mediation. Call it karma, God or conscience – perhaps the same thing. Taking the time to reflect – to actively forgive, to learn from your mistakes and to attempt to improve are all things common to religion. Maybe they were onto something – it wouldn’t be the first time good intentions have ended not so well. I wonder why in times of trouble, most people turn to prayer. Why so many people need to believe in a higher power. I certainly don’t have the answers but in the meantime will continue to believe and attempt to understand…what more could any higher power ask?
On of my favourite television series is Californication, a fantastic series about a womanising writer named Hank Moody. The series itself deserves to be covered in a separate post, but suffice to say it is worth watching. One of the inspirations for the Hank Moody character is Charles Bukowski, an irreverent American author who by all accounts lived a very colourful life. I decided to get started on Bukowski’s work with Post Office, his first novel.
I’m far from an avid consumer of classic literature but as I’ve stated earlier, one of my goals this year is to become more widely read and for me Bukowski seems like the perfect place to start. Post Office was at times dry and witty, at times hopeless and overall an excellent diatribe on the drudgery of the daily grind. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into more of his work!
If I ever want to get something done – whether work, study or chores – I need to create a list. I lay out the steps in what could almost be described as compulsive precision and find satisfaction in crossing each one off. It turns out that I’m not the only one who does this. For some more interesting lists than mine check out Lists of Note.
For me, and I’m sure many others, the idea of having a cabin in the woods is simply bliss. A place of solitude would be the perfect place to get away and read, write, compose and create. I used to spend a lot of time in the outdoors throughout school and university. Frequently while packed like a sardine into an overheated train carriage or staring out a small window at the concrete jungle that is my workplace, I find myself longing to escape and ‘head bush’. Raw, rustic and real, that’s what I crave. Cool stream water, not bottled spring water. Callouses from roughshod wooden tools rather than ergonomic fucking keyboards.
Anyway, This site keeps the dream alive. A collection of fantastic photos that will stir your loins and perhaps unleash the lost man (or woman) inside you. Also completely safe for work. Get around it friends…
One of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen – absolutely stunning images creatively put together, an absolute inspiration: