The magic of wishing

When I wrote my poem ‘Make a Wish’ last week, it got me thinking about the different traditions of wish making, and I thought it might be interesting to look at a few of those, including where they happen and their origins, if known. Wishing Trees can be found in many parts of the world.…

A Fireburnt country

The world knows that my country is currently being devastated by severe fires, beyond what has been experienced before. Man-made climate change seems responsible – temperatures are getting hotter and hotter, much of the country has been in prolonged drought, so the bush is ready and waiting to burn at a single spark. Millions of…

Prosperity preaching – why it’s wrong

The idea of so-called prosperity preaching within the Christian Church is not as new as you might imagine. It started to creep into church teaching in the USA as far back as late nineteenth to early twentieth century. The basic idea is as follows: God will bless those who have faith in a material way,…

The origins of Easter

It’s that time of the year when shops are selling chocolate eggs, bunnies, and various other chocolate animals. (You can get an Easter Bilby in Australia.) Churches hold special services, and nominal church goers make one of their twice-yearly visits. At this time also, the internet gremlins come out to shout that Easter is a…

A look at Origami

In the course of my (mostly inept) attempts at basic Origami lately, I became curious about the origins and history of the art. So after a journey around the internet, I’ve discovered a few interesting things. Origami is itself a Japanese term, which means ‘folding paper’ (from ‘oru’, meaning fold, and ‘kami’ meaning paper). However…

The dilemma of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who opposed Nazism before and during the second world war. He spoke out against the treatment of Jews and was very concerned about the influence of Nazism on the German church, leading to what was known as the Deutsche Christen church. Opposition to Nazi infiltration of German churches led…

A world of terror

Last Friday in New Zealand, a man entered two separate places of worship with a semi-automatic weapon, and opened fire. Fifty people are dead, with many more injured, while they were praying. Three men have been arrested. The gunman has faced court, making white supremacist gestures. He filmed at least part of the attack, streaming…

Land of dreams

Land of dreams, dream realm, dream world, dreamscape, etc. These are all imaginative ways of referring to the images we see when asleep. From ancient times, dreams have been a source of mystery and magic. They have been considered as prophetic. Their occurrence has been ascribed to gods or spirits. Cultures world-wide have myths and…

Public hospitals and other weirdness

Over the last few weeks I have been experiencing (as a concerned onlooker) the wonderful public health system in Australia. What I have taken away from this is the determination to hang on to my private health cover no matter what. First – how to find the patient in the public health system. Shouldn’t be…

To market

On most Sunday mornings I visit a local farmers market, coming away with fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, fresh bread, free range eggs, and honey. I tend to come home from these visits feeling rather good about myself, for several reasons. Firstly, it saves money, as the vendors’ prices are nearly always cheaper than the…