I just posted this on the Halls Creek Community Facebook page

To the person who broke into my donga in Billiluna, stole my possessions and trashed the place, and wrote nasty things on my wall:

I forgive you. If you were hungry, I would have fed you. If you needed something I would have tried to help. I am sorry you had to act so badly, but that is on you, not me.

But I am really sorry for what is likely to happen next. You should know that among the spears, bows and arrows and carvings from my family in Solomon Islands, were two genuine antique war clubs that were used in warfare back around 1912 or so. They have a very powerful blood curse on them. Before I became their guardian my brother in law had to make a strong protection charm for me. Anyone who steals, mistreats them or damages them or uses them without protection is likely to have Very Bad Things happen to them. I hope bad things have not already started and you and your family are safe. I would not wish the Solomon hikaluzi on anyone. Please return them to the Shire office before something terrible happens. Tataru nomana Koa goi. (Good wishes to you).

No point appealing to their sense of fair play. Maybe this will work.

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One of my colleagues (my boss) travelled down to my home and started what I could not; cleaning up the mess left by the vandal thieves. He also spoke to the community about why I was not returning yet.

He came back last night with my grandfather’s fob watch (smashed) and my vintage 1978 dive watch that is unharmed and still going. They had not been stolen with everything else, but had been tossed into the trample pile along with my cds, DVDs, books, and other things that the thieves had no use for, so did their best to smash.

The dive watch was robust enough to survive that treatment.

In my mind that dive watch had become a symbol of all I have loved and lost, and all I have done in my travels round the world. Losing it had brought about a despair I could not overcome. Regaining it gave me a new resolve to deal with the other losses and get on with it again. I had not consciously focussed on that one thing in the midst of overwhelming loss of valuables and collected memories but having done so has actually in the end proved beneficial to my mental state. Because I have it again.

I think I can get back on the horse now. I am not sure if there is a life lesson to be drawn from this, and I truly don’t know why, of all things, it was the watch that was the focus of my angst, but having recovered it has made me feel so much better. Since the incident, I have been very ambivalent about returning in spite of my confidence that it was not a community member who had desecrated my home. Now, once the Shire have improved the security there, I am happy to go back and once more try to help the youngsters find their way into the future.

I have to add that I work with awesome people.

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Last night I dreamed a memory; a rare thing.

We were swimming in warm, clear Northland waters near Matauri Bay.

We were nude, save for mask and snorkel.

Dappled light rippled over your form; floating, freed from gravity.

I was thinking you were the most beautiful thing I have ever seen;

Within the water or without.

Then you swam away.

I awoke: salt sea pooling on my pillow.

(C). 2017 ARF

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Here I am still, staying in the Single Person’s Quarters in Halls Creek and turning up daily for work at the Shire.  I am dividing my time currently between helping out my Youth colleagues and standing in as Shire Environmental Health Officer, as they currently don’t have one.  The temptation is to return to that position and give up my new career path. But somehow I am reluctant.

The team is planning to come with me down to Billiluna soon and make an effort at cleaning out my donga and returning it to a habitable state.  I want to do that, and I want to get back with my community kids. But I have to own up to feeling a bit anxious about that too.  I don’t want to be reminded of what is gone, and I don’t want to discover more missing items. On the other hand I have been wondering about some things I did not check on, that might actually still be there.  I am almost afraid to find out.   I want to be resilient and get on with it. I also just want to run away.  If I could afford to.  It would be nice if could actually retire.  I think.

This spell in Halls Creek has confirmed in my mind that I was actually happier as a youth worker than I was as an EHO.  But will I continue to be?

How can I get over the trust issues?  Although I sincerely believe, or at least hope, that it was not community members who did this thing, it is impossible to believe that absolutely no one in the community was aware of what was going on.  At least two adults, probably a couple, stayed at my home for more than just a day and night or two.  They removed enough stuff that they had to leave with a car full of swag.  Even if they were from another community and passing through, they had to have been visiting someone and someone had to know where they were staying.

Apart from this, how am I going to cope without the comfort and satisfaction of my favourite knives and cooking utensils, and those personal things; knickknacks and memorabilia that made the place home, and reminded me who I am, where I have been and the things I have done.  If I go to the expense and trouble of replacing even only the essential things how can I feel secure enough to leave my home for a weekend or a week away?

Judas Thaddeus only knows.  Add a spot of anxiety to my depression diagnosis.

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Things, Only Things.

While I was in Darwin, people broke into my house again.  Despite the massive bolt and lock I put on the door.   I got back to Halls Creek on Sunday morning, which is when I learned of it.  The road had been opened on Friday so I drove straight down to take a look.  The police had resecured the door, but really they need not have bothered.  I was devastated to find that everything of value or of significance to me was gone, or destroyed.

Everything.  My valuables, my artefacts, my documents, my kitchen stuff, food, tools, whatever.  Gone.  What was not taken was wantonly destroyed.  They stabbed holes in my bodhran, they smashed my laptops, trampled any books, cds and DVDs they did not take. They pissed on my clothes and desecrated the bed.  They wrote on the wall but not in ink.

I truly could not handle it.  Once I found my most precious things were not there, I did a perfunctory check of the rest and realised I could not cope and I could not stay.

I did not stay. I just locked the door again and left.  I am back in the SPQ.

I tell myself it is all just things, only things.

But I am grieved and angry.

That is why I wrote the Prozac song.  Humour is my coping mechanism.  Even so, I took a double dose today.


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Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

IMG_3701.JPGIf it wasn’t for fluoxetine where would you be?
You’d be in a mental ward in deep despondency;
Or maybe friends would find you just a-dangling from a tree;
If it wasn’t for the help of your Prozac!

Prozac keeps you stable when the world is spinning round
Prozac gives perspective when the shit is going down
Prozac stops you picking up a gun and going to town
So. Always put your trust in your Prozac!

If it wasn’t for fluoxetine where would you be?
You’d be in a mental ward in deep despondency;
Or maybe friends would find you just a-dangling from a tree;
If it wasn’t for the help of your Prozac!

Prozac it is wonderful. Prozac it is good.
Prozac keeps you doing all the little things you should.
Prozac helps you see the trees and get out of the wood
So. Always put your trust in your Prozac!

If it wasn’t for fluoxetine where would you be?
You’d be in a mental ward in deep despondency;
Or maybe friends would find you just a-dangling from a tree;
If it wasn’t for the help of your Prozac!

(C) 2017 ARF.

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As every blossom fades
and all youth sinks into old age,
so every life’s design, each flower of wisdom,
attains its prime and cannot last forever.
The heart must submit itself courageously
to life’s call without a hint of grief,
A magic dwells in each beginning,
protecting us, telling us how to live.

High purposed we shall traverse realm on realm,
cleaving to none as to a home,
the world of spirit wishes not to fetter us
but raise us higher, step by step.
Scarce in some safe accustomed sphere of life
have we establish a house, then we grow lax;
only he who is ready to journey forth
can throw old habits off.

Maybe death’s hour too will send us out new-born
towards undreamed-lands,
maybe life’s call to us will never find an end
Courage my heart, take leave and fare thee well.

Hermann Hesse

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