Monday, February 2, 2009

Five Questions, five answers

Responding to Kel's challenge to submit to 5 curly, targeted questions that probe the inner most corners of your psyche, I volunteered to give it a go:'The Interview", blogger style.
It works like this:anyone reading this can volunteer to be subjects, then Ill send you five questions by email.
Here are my answers to the five questions Kel asked me:

1) besides children/pets/partner ( all living things) if you had to take one
thing from your home due to emergency circumstances, what would it be? why?

I'm trying to think about this as if I were in emergency circumstances: not thinking too much about it, and the first thing that comes into my mind is that aside from the children/pets/partner, I am not really terribly attached to the objects in my life. I mean I haven't worked to hard on the Zen approach to living, or indeed to Buddhist ideals of non-attachment, but there you have it. I'm just not that into stuff. I suppose that might be as I have had my house burgled three times, and my stuff stolen while traveling. Things (objects) that I have loved, have been taken from me before, so I guess I'm a bit ambivalent about jewelry, photos, favorite clothing items, etc. If I did think to grab something, it would be irreplaceable work files(those on my laptop), and photos therein. Boring, but this is the stuff that would be impossible or time consuming to replace.

2) currently, what are you loving most in life ?
The thing that is giving me the most pleasure in my life right now, apart
from children/pets/partner ;) is my renewed interest in yoga. This (almost) daily practice is allowing me to make some quiet places in my life for navel gazing, contemplating beauty in all things, get to know the limits and capacities of my body, teaching me a deep connectedness of all things. At the end of a good session of yoga, my own life's worries are pretty puny, and that lovely glow of loving kindness can last all day! Better than any drug I know of, or have tried! Im also loving experimenting with my life, shaking things up a little to see if I can break some bad habits, encourage some new life affirming ones, and enjoy a slower pace of living. In the last 12-18 months I have made some significant changes: shifted state (this has nothing to do with yoga
practice!), quit my job as a lecturer, focused my energies less on my career and more on nurturing myself and my children.

3) If you could choose to be someone famous, who would it be?
I have secretly always harboured a desire to be an actor, to be a vehicle for a story, an emotion, to perform and perhaps even entertain. It would be fabulous to have the skill to move between characters, to explore the range of human types by inhabiting a world other than the one you know intimately. Its not the fame and glory thing that inspires me here, its really a kind of Geminian interest in exploring aspects of self in a socially sanctioned way.
Which actor would I like to be? Hmmmm... Ive enjoyed the skills and presence of the great Aussy actors: Judy Davis, Rachel Ward, Cate Blanchett (of course) but especially Judy Davis. I loved her portrayal of Sybilla in 'My Brilliant Career'. She exuded all the passion and fire of a willful 16 year old, which inspired me.

4) the chicken or the egg?
Look, I don't know, you know? I have wondered how to answer this conundrum. I'd like to think up a funny answer, but this isn't my forte! Maybe I could squeeze out a pseudo-philosophical response, but this kinda bores me too. The very first lecture I went to at university was a logic lecture, and this was by mistake! I was meant to be in a biology lecture and I got the room, building, and indeed faculty completely arse up. I panicked, figuring Im just too dumb to even understand basic biology: gee University must be for extremely wise and knowledgeable people, and clearly I wasn't one of them! This experience put me off philosophy! The irony here is that my husband is a philosopher, and yes, I find the preoccupations of the profession irritating. At some level the constant picking apart of semantic understanding undermines the joy of life. Hmmm... but still I have a healthy respect for those that wish to do so. And, to be honest, there are some new braches of philosophy, ecosophy that do really interest me and are challenging my view of my profession.
Chicken? Egg? Both exist: one requires the other. Why is it an either/or

5) Looking at the various life choices you have made, which stand out and how do you feel about them now?

This is a biggie. With almost 40 years of life under my belt, theres alot of decisions there, and some have more resonance than others. The first one was one of those "Sliding doors" moments (terrible Gweneth Paltrow film, dont bother seeing it) where I made a decision to return home after 6 months overseas, just days before Christmas. I was 18, feeling more than a little lonely, out of money, and missing the sun, and my boyfriend at the time who had gone back to Melbourne. So instead of taking a few risks, I took the easy option and used my return flight, when what I really wanted to do was stay in London and work for a while, experience a bit of inner (big)city life. On returning to Australia I spent the summer working hard paying off my debts, but not really wanting to be back in OZ. I was listless, perhaps even depressed. My overseas fling with the melbourne boyfriend went sour. I often wonder what might have eventuated had I ripped up the ticket and stayed in London, even though I was a little scared. I would now have more courage to face my fears I think!

Another big one was filling in my University enrollment form, having received offers for several courses. I ticked "architecture" without really knowing much about the profession, what sort of life it would lead me to, indeed how hard a course it was, as it demanded a different kind of thinking--critical thinking--that secondry schooling really doesnt seem to prepare you for. My brain was dragged kicking and screaming from a world where rote learning was rewarded, to an environment where if you gave the'expected' or standard answer, this was considered banal, ordinary and
really rather boring. Architectural training has given me many things: an aesthetic training, an appreciation for literature/culture/human creative endeavour, a passion for black, and a chance to engage in a profession where you get to buy colour pencils and write them off as a legitimate tax deduction! Hey, not a bad thing at all. Cant do that as a biologist!

(spare question) as an architect, which well known building thats not yours would you most be willing to put your name too or love to claim as your own?

Ill answer this one in another post!

So, please feel free to let me know if you'd like to continue this fine tradition of the Blooger Interview, and Ill email you a set of personalised questions all of your own! Its like a session with your on-line shrink, and it doesnt cost a cent.

Thanks Kel, for some great, thought proviking questions!


  1. nice responses jen. i love this meme, you get to learn about people, possibly things you may have already known ( not in your case) but ertainly the feelings are a little more evident in written form than conversation sometimes. Probably due to lack of ebb and flow, mor considered and therefore possibly more whole. Thanks Jen!

  2. You even find out things you didn't know, or didn't know in any deep sense, about your sister! I didn't realize that you regretted the decision to come home from London, for instance. Or that you just kind of ticked the architecture box! I resonated with your philosophy intro lecture experience - I felt exactly the same. Actually, I think I also was quite arrogant in my second reaction that I decided philsophers had lost the plot entirely! And I was interested to know you have the secret actor desire - which I also have had...mmm...I wonder if there's also a common thread there?... And lastly I was particularly inspired by this aspiration:
    "experimenting with my life, shaking things up a little to see if I can break some bad habits, encourage some new life affirming ones". And your joy in yoga! Thanks for putting it all down....

  3. Thank Kel and Cat. I surprise myself sometimes too with what bubbles up when I start writing about my life, and how im living it!