Thursday, 24 January 2013

perhaps not everything

The night I got the call I was cast into a pit the like of which I have never comprehended not do I wish to comprehend (even though I must).

For the longest time I have felt that I lost everything which was important to me. Yet perhaps not quite everything.

From the moment that I heard of her death, I simply fell deeper into that pit. For most of the time I was only able to feel pain, later came the loneliness. The longer time passed the more I realised how far I had fallen. Sometimes I fell further.

As I began to pick my self up and walk through my daily life I feel that I have become what I did not want to become again: alone and lonely.

Some months have passed, and now that my pain is not so all consuming I have time to look around me and see where I have fallen to. My attention is drawn to the others around me in this pit who (like me) are unhappy, alone and lonely.

I feel that I have become no one. A sort of dead-man walking; stripped of what I had, nothing in my life. I only have basic life that keeps me from death. I am surviving.

Having worked towards finding happiness and a sence of sharing my life I feel that I have been cast down to that level again. To be alone and lonely.Empty and without a point without her. Without the family we were working towards, without the goals we were working towards. Without the life we were building.
Apart from the physical possessions and a house to live in, I feel I have nothing.

Gradually, recently, I begin to see that there is something that I have that many of those down here with me, don't seem to have ever had.

The development of the spirit and the uplifting experience of being both truly loved and truly loving. So while we are all sitting around in this pit something tells me that I am not quite yet "bereft of everything".

I have what has formed who I am.

For I know where I have fallen from, I know what I had and how it has imprinted many things on me. I see that many here have never seen the beauty of love and companionship that was once part of my life. What is their dream was my reality.

That has helped shape me to who I am and is something that I would not be had I not had my time with Anita.

This of course makes me weep more for the recognition of that loss. [so don't be thinking I'm some sort of pillar of strength here, I'm just a big cry baby].

One of the techniques of survival is to assay what you have and see what it is that you can use to survive.

Never having been one to place high values on material wealth I have instead worked all my life towards finding exactly what I had, and learning the skills needed to make sure that I was able to foster and grow a loving relationship.

I saw early in my life that my parents had commitment to each other but lacked the skills to make living with each other (or anyone for that matter) something which was a viable long term thing. Being quite unhappy with the life I was leading (and seeing the path they had walked) I wanted to navigate away from that. I knew I would need to learn things I did not know (but would need to know). To understand what I had unconsciously learned, and decide what was counter to my goals and attempt to distance myself from that. I say "distance myself" because I believe you can never deny who you are.

In the many years since then I feel I have come a long way.

At about the time that I met Anita I had begun to give up hope. They say that all good things come to those who wait, but I was beginning to wonder if it would come too late. By an incredible series of completely unlikely events I met the woman of my destiny in South Korea. That she was from Finland and I from Australia only made the probability of such a meeting even more remote.

Could it be billions to one?

It was fortunate for both of us that we met when we did. For at earlier times neither of us would have been ready to have walked the wonderful life we did.

For having that I can only be grateful and feel fortunate.

During our time together I was definitely put to the test. The things I had learned in relationship building were put under the test of daily life. Without doubt I know there were times where I failed to be as I wanted to, but the vast majority of times found us able to overcome our issues and work together. All the while remaining in love with each other. We were well suited to each other. We grew as people and aimed to grow to be together, not to grow apart.

That we continued to be in love with each other when she was taken from me has perhaps made the pain of the fall harder, but strangely has left me with some treasure too.

I can't imagine my future, seeing my past as any guide I simply could not be sure where I will be in the future. Only a fool or an entirely unimaginative person would have an answer to the question: "where do you see yourself in 10 years time?"

Right now I can only see myself loving Anita, it is something I will do all the rest of my life. The rest is completely invisible to me.

People talk about recovery from injury. Its important to know that recovery never brings you back to the point you were before the injury. So I will never be who I was before I fell, but I can try to become someone again.

So now I guess that I have to start planning my climb out of this pit.

I'm sure it won't be an easy climb.
Perhaps I'll fall a few times.
Perhaps I'll die trying.

Better to die trying than plan to rot at the bottom.

Monday, 21 January 2013


its something which allows people to understand how others are feeling. Mostly I guess that its based on shared experience. If you've experienced the same thing (kicked your toe, burnt yourself, lost your wallet) you can really empathise with another.

Research suggests that parts of the brain that experience pain are ignited in similar ways in the empathic person (although not as intensely) as they are in the brain of the person experiencing the pain.

The reduction of activitity suggests that there are limits to the intensity of the experience of this. Which I actually think that is a good thing. I think its a sort of self defence mechanism, as some things are just too painful to go through if you don't have to.

I can't really explain how I've felt over this last few months. I also know that it is not over yet and I'm not entirely sure that its got any better or if I'm just better at coping with the pain. Often the moments are hours and there hours of those moments.

So to my friends who say they can't imagine how I'm feeling I'd just like you all to know that I'm glad of that.

Please don't be worried that you're not helping, simply because you don't feel you can understand what I am going though. I don't want you to really understand ... because of what that would mean for you.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Appreciation of the finer things

If I had been younger, could I have got over it easier?

If I had been older would I have just slipped into a reverie and drifted away?

Being younger I may never have grasped what I lost. That in itself would be a tragedy, as she was such a rewarding person to know, to have loved, to have been loved by.

To have had that pass through your life unnoticed and unlamented would be like an ignorant fool disposing of a gift of fine art. Because they didn't understand or appreciate its worth.

I feel I am in the middle where neither is possible and I must somehow cope with it. It certainly isnt easy, but what choice do I have?

Every day, you are missed my love

Silloin on marrasku minulla ... ikuisesti

my God theory

I have always seen myself as a spiritual person.

I was raised under a Catholic roof and attended Catholic schools. I guess by about grade 3 I was having conversations / debates with the Nuns about what I saw as illogical and contradictory assertions and actions with respect to what was written in the bible and the new testament. Over the years since then I have studied a variety of religious faiths and come away with some useful techniques of philosophy and views of morality.

You'll notice that I didn't say theology.

You see I have come to feel that while there may be such a thing as God I believe strongly that such a concept is beyond the true comprehension of humans. Thus anyone who tells me that "they know god" is in my view really telling me they have lost sight of this.

I don't know god any better than the next person, so if you were looking for that sort of answer then you're reading the wrong blog post. Today I just wanted to make a point on my view on the origins of god in the minds of humans. People believe that god created them. I'm not saying that's wrong, but I am of the view that the situational reality of people shapes how we can attempt to comprehend such a thing as god.

My view is that if there is a thing we can think of as God then god does not really interact with our lives in the way that people like to think. Personally I have seen nothing to make me sure that there is a god at all. I neither deny the existence of god nor preach that god is [insert your personal faith ideology here].

For some reason the most common notion of god is of a being who helps and probably also who punishes.

God is there to nurture you when you are weak, support and nourish your soul and protect you from harm. Perhaps also god will punish you when you stray from "the true path".

People around the world seem to have an amount of commonality in this perception and it is often used as evidence that there must be god because so many peoples independently created the same concepts.

Its an interesting argument and one which has lead me to my philosophy of where the ideas of god come from.

God is from our memories

We all have memories of things. Many of us can remember things in the past with clarity, others with less clarity. Often the less clear the memory and the more emotive it is the less able we are to recall it without some "memory cue".

If as an adult you walk into a shop selling a food that smells just like something your grandmother made as a kid, you may have sudden flashes of memory. Sounds, smells and long forgotten things (or so you thought) come flooding back to your mind. You remember.

Humans are always forming memories. From the youngest times in our lives we are piecing together the world and coming to terms with it. At our earliest developmental stages we have no concept of language, yet we feel and experience things. We learn and remember things without knowing what to call them. This makes recalling them almost impossible.

From the earliest times in their lives all humans experience discomfort, hunger and frustration. A decent parent knows the sounds their baby makes to identify the "bored cry" from the "wet nappy cry", and go to help their child.

I feel that it is this act which starts the memories off for there "must be something out there that picks me up when I am down, feeds me and nurtures me".

Yep it was mum or dad.

I feel that this totally common thing, common to almost all humans, forms the basis of why we believe so strongly that there must be a god out there to look after us.

For those who believe in god, when god does not look after us we seek to explain this in reasons like:
  • it must be punishment
  • it must be an opportunity to learn
  • god is testing me
  • god wants me to be stronger
  • I am clueless on this one, so it must be part of gods greater plan that I don't understand
When in fact its probably just shit bad luck.

There have been many things which have "gone wrong" in my life. I could seek explanation for them, search for reasons for them or turn to religion to have someone tell me the reasons for them. The death of my most beautiful Anita was the real test of my views in this respect. There was no plan, there was no greater good, it was just shit. I think it had nothing to do with god. God was not punishing me, giving me any guidance or testing me. If you can see that then ... well good for you, I can't.

However as a human I can either be destroyed by it (such as by killing myself with the grief or perhaps by dropping my bundle and going gaga) or I can pull myself together and move forward. I am trying the latter.

It has been the wisdom of the writings of humans that have gone before me which has gifted me with the insight and experience with which to cope with my personal tragedy. It has not been "god holding me in his hands" (which I would have been happy for let me tell you) which has seen me through and is seeing me through this.

This is not to say that I am against the view that there is an afterlife, its just that we can know so little about it that all that we can do is speculate. Then it comes down to "who wins the speculation arguments" ... in my experience that has got little to do with faith and lots to do with politics and power.


Friday, 18 January 2013

the camera you have with you

Is of course the best camera you have.

Old saying I know, but always true.

On my last blog post 'h' made the point about people having capable phones with them and then using things like Instagrams to turn that into a grungy image. This got me thinking about how good phone cameras are today (which is a point I've already blogged about over here, where I've compared my phone to my wifes compact digital camera).

Today I'd like to do a quick compare of the latest phone cam in the Samsung Galaxy 3 with my now 4 year old Nokia -72. Just to see how far things have come (or how far the opposition has caught up with what was the crown prince of phone quality).

First the overviews

Nokia E72

then the Samsung Galaxy 3 (SG3)

The first thing which I noticed looking at the image from the SG3 is that the cam it a little wider angle than my Nokia is. Not a bucket load, but perhaps enough for some situations.

Interestingly the Nokia E72 is a 5MP camera (2592x1994) while the Samsung G3 is an 8MP (3264x2448) camera. The interesting thing which came from this examination (to me) was that the extra width of the SG3 angle of view ends up producing exactly the same pixel feature size as the Nokia. So the extra pixels don't get used to make a higher quality image, so much as to give you that extra around the edges.

Some overviews. A crop from the shadow areas:



... and from some highlight areas



These are all 100% pixel crops, so you can get down to the nitty gritty of what they make up.

Aside from some colour balance issues, the E72 handles the shadows a wee bit better (suggesting it has a better dynamic range). So there's not really a lot in it.

Which is interesting because I often read about how good the camera is on the SG3, but it was hardly mentioned about how good the camera was on the E72 back in 2009 when it was released (over 3 years ago). Oh well I blame marketing and bloggers who get paid by companies to shrill up a product but often haven't got a clue.

None the less either camera would make a great camera for casual photography. I haven't extensively tested the macro ability of either camera, but I know that if I'd had a camera like the E72 as my digital camera back in 2000 when I was living in Japan I'd have been rapped.

With that in mind I thought I'd finish off with a shot I took yesterday while out doing some errands on my scooter of a really cool bike.

I've done a quick n dirty photoshop job to add some blur to the background to make the bike stand out more from the background (cos small sensors don't do that very well), but none the less its a cool BSA.

Try that with Instagram
happy snapping

Thursday, 17 January 2013

interested in photography? (he asked him knowingly)

nudge nudge ... wink wink

well any reader of my blog knows that I am :-)

Tonight I was looking around Farcebook and notice an image use to sell up some real estate.

no doubt taken with a digital camera, and (looking at the shadow in the top middle of the frame) not a very big sensor one either. That bit of 'dust' is classic small camera stuff.

I thought it would be interesting to compare this with the image I got from a pinhole camera I use of my house. Now this is using box brownie 120 roll film which dates from 1901.

The Pinhole Camera dates from much earlier than that. So looking at what sort of image we get from more than century old technology ...

I don't think I see a shit load of development in that time.

As always the advantage of digital comes down to:
  • rapid delivery of product
  • convenience
  • no skill needed
Now that is not to say that skilled photographers don't use digital cameras, rather it is to say that users without skills can't use film cameras.

There is of course no point to this post (that is if you haven't already found it in examining the image)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Confession Forgiveness and Redemption

I was feeling a little down earlier and wished that I could talk to Anita about my feelings.

It occurred to me that why I wanted to do that was because it was that in the sharing of things with her that her acceptance of my problems not only gave me guidance and opportunity to flesh out my problems at a conscious level, it also gave me a sense of forgiveness and redemption in her acceptance. In her arms I felt at peace.

This too is something I have lost and yet another pillar I will have to build for supporting my soul in her absence.

Learning and pain so often seem to go together. Or is it pain and learning?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Beauty and Humanity

Today I was down at the seaway again taking photographs for the 365 project I am in (take a photo a day every day).

I was struck by the amount of lazy asshole fishermen out there stuffing plastic bags in between the rocks or reeling off meters of fishing line.

I can't imagine in this day and age that these shitheads don't know the damage caused to marine life by just this behavior!

Shaking my head I toddle home.

On the way up a quiet street in my neighborhood I see a strange sight. It becomes clearer as I get closer.

It is a man leading a woman who is standing on a skateboard up the road. They are both in their 30's or 40's I guess.

As I pass them I think I recognise them, for I have seen a man walking around these parts with a woman who seems to suffer from a disease such as cerebral paulsy or something debilitating.

My wife and I often saw them crossing the road near this point and we often discussed his dedication to her and giving her quality of life by taking her outside for both exercise and health.

So when I saw them again, I think, yes there are lovely people in the human race to balance out the ignorant.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

no lens to envy

I have been wanting to get my Holga pinhole camera out for a while and just re-acquaint myself with what it does. While I was waiting I took a shot with my digital camera to 'get an idea' of the conditions. As I have said before, digital just doesn't cope with high contrast situations like sunlight.

So today I got the film developed and scanned it, not bad and perhaps I need to fiddle with the colours more if I wanted to have it mounted, but as its just an experiment, I left it a bit 'cyan'.

Not bad considering all things.

I like that the sun can be seen in the clouds and isn't just a wash out. Actually there is more shadow details there too.

Its quite wide angle too, especially when you compare it to the digital.

There is a lot of 'flare' in the image, which clearly can't be lens flare (it is a pinhole camera after all) so I put that down to internal reflections in the camera (of which on inspection of the plastic interior seems to be a reasonable guess).

Not bad for a bit of fun

Friday, 4 January 2013

An evening alone at the beach

Despite growing up here, somehow this area feels like our area rather than mine. Anita loved splashing around in the waves close to the shore and riding a wave in on the belly board. Being down here without her somehow feels unnatural.

Yet the timeless feeling of the surf and the sand here gently and relentlessly reminds me that we are all just travellers through this landscape. Even the ones who have never left will one day leave.

Perhaps my travels through so many lands and coming to be familiar with them too helps me to accept the fact that she isn't here.

That is not to say I no longer feel her loss from my life, but rather that I accept we must all move on.

That day in January 2006 when she left me at Incheon airport to return to Finland (and me to Australia) I knew that my life led in her direction. The month we were apart before I left Australia for Finland was long and hard. Every day was an eternity and a long wait. Yet now it seems like a blink.

Perhaps the time between now and our reunification will one day too seem like a blink