“We are only what we remember of ourselves.”

Monday, 03 September, 2007

Saturday Brett the curtain man was supposed to come with samples and to do measurements. Ben and I have been thinking for a while that we don't need a bedroom that's as large as the one we have, and that it's probably better to swap the study and the bedroom around because the bedroom gets more sun and it's much nicer to work in. My computer's in the bedroom anyway so that will stay the same, but it would be good to move Ben's computer in here as well so that we both get quick broadband and can work side by side. The problem with the study is that it only has a very thin curtain that I bought from Haven & Space in Berry some time ago. It stops people from seeing in (not that you can from street level) but it doesn't keep out the light or the cold from the 3m high windows. So when Cathy told me about the curtains she'd had made by Brett, I thought it would be a good idea to go with him because I've seen his curtains and they look really nice. I figured it was a good investment to make, and Brett said that, because we are renting, he'd make the curtains in such a way that we can take them with us when we leave, and then he can get them re-sized for our new place.

But at the last minute Brett rang up to say he couldn't come and could he come on Sunday instead? That was fine with me as I had gone to bed at 2 am the night before (following Katie Noonan) and Ben had gone to bed at 4 am (he was out playing putt putt golf with Fish and Judith, and driving around Avoca). So we slept in.

Even though it was Saturday, I still had to do MM work—that is, I knew that if I didn't do it on Saturday (having missed Thursday because I was sick and therefore being a day behind), I would be seriously screwed on Monday. So I put in the hours in the afternoon to edit the last feature piece for the next Briefing (which is on money, by the way, and we have some excellent articles in it, as always!). It never ceases to amaze me how each editing job is different. For this one, the author had originally submitted the full text of a sermon he had given at his church. It came to 5,000 words. We liked it but we also asked him to re-write it to 3,200 words to make it a four-page article. He did as we requested, but somewhere between version 1 and version 2, something was lost—some sort of spark that made the piece interesting. Obviously not all preachers are writers, nor should we expect them to be! So when it came to editing the article, I tried to put back more of the original while still retaining the structure of the shorter version and sticking to the word length. It was an interesting challenge and I think the author was happy with the results!

Here's one of the big lessons I've learned from working at MM: writers and editors can serve the rest of the church by working with preachers to turn what they say into things that work as written pieces. The advantage of writing is that it endures long after it is first produced. Just recently a friend told me that she was going through all her old stuff and she had found this piece I had written back in 2004 for The Page. She hadn't read it back then but because her circumstances had changed, all of sudden the subject matter was really relevant to her, so she sat down to read it. “Writing is words that stay,” says Jen in The Dark Crystal. Preaching is words that are heard, but if they are not digested, they are forgotten. Tony said to me at the very beginning of my employment that there are many people out there who have excellent ideas and who have thought long and hard about various issues, but who can't write to save their lives, and there are people out there who know how to work with text and communicate well, but who don't think great thoughts. If the two work together in partnership, great things often result. So the next time your pastor preaches an excellent sermon, ask him for the notes (or for a recording) and see if you can turn it into an article that can be used somewhere.

PEC were having a games night but unfortunately before I had heard about it, I'd promised my school friends that we'd have a steamboat dinner together. I was working on the article for longer than intended, but I did manage to finish it and we ended up leaving half an hour late. There were seven of us for dinner—five ex-St Georgians and two partners/husbands—and we sat around and ate and ate (and ate!) and talked and talked and talked. Even though it's been 12 years since we finished school, when we get together, it often feels like we're no different to when we were teenagers in those geeky blue uniforms. Zhen pointed out that we've known each other for over half our lifetimes (two of us are turning 30 this year, and then next year the rest of us will be 30 too!) Mel and I have known each other for even longer—we met when we were seven! That's a long time. But it was odd that as we were sitting there reminiscing about high school and whatever else we used to do “back in the day”, I found I could not remember certain things. It was as if I'd blocked them out. Obviously their experience is not going to be the same as my experience, but it still felt odd that certain things were still as clear as a bell for them, whereas for me, that almost felt divorced from my life experience. I can barely remember who I was, then, and what I was like, or even how my friends experienced me. I didn't like that feeling of slowly forgetting. I wish I could remember. But then I have the kind of memory that usually only retains what is necessary and relies on external mnemonics for everything else. It's probably all there—it's probably in the letters that Liwen and I used to exchange every day ...

We had intended to watch a DVD but we just liked talking, so we continued to eat and chat until midnight when we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of our chairs, said goodbye and went home. I really love those girls, and thankfully it's only two more weeks until I get to see them again at Mel's 30th.

Brett the curtain man came today at 9 am, and I woke up early especially to meet him and let him in. He measured and gave me a quote, and I made him tea (it's always a bit nerve-wracking making people tea as I don't drink normal tea and have no idea if I'm stuffing it up) and we had a very interesting conversation about Buddhism (he's a Buddhist). Then he left, and I did the laundry and ended up watching the rest of Aeon Flux—the animated series, not the movie. Simon lent it to me back in July. I have to say, it's the strangest thing I've ever seen and it put me in a rather odd frame of mind. I watched all the special features, the shorts and the episode of Liquid Television that was on the third disc (while knitting—thankfully I'm now up to the flat part of the shrug I'm making because it's taking so long!), and then found that Sunday Arts was on on the ABC and watched that until I had to leave for band practice (this lady named Yuka Oyama would make “jewellery” out of stuff she collected from Reverse Garbage which was tailor made to suit the person's personality—as if it were an extension of them, and this story about a housing development of 189 houses which are all individually designed by different architects was fascinating).

I had to lead singing and operate the PowerPoint by myself at church. Malcolm preached very well on Acts 11:18-12:25, talking about prayer throughout the whole thing. Unfortunately I was very tired so I found myself nodding off in places. And then our Bible study group was on wash-up so we didn't get to finish until fairly late ...

Posted in: Writing

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That title quote is both cool and creepy.

It’s Aeon Flux smile

I believe we are echoes of ourselves recreated over and over again, everything is there but a collective sum, which constitutes all of those memories, dreams, faith and love.

Posted by Adam on 06 September, 2007 5:13 AM

i was just browsing my family’s apartment in HK,(mount haven) looking for pics to show my fds, and the only place i could find was urs. I was wondering if u have any more pics of Mount Haven, u could send them to me?

it would be so great if u have the time to do so:)

i was just browsing my family’s apartment in HK,(mount haven) looking for pics to show my fds, and the only place i could find was urs. I was wondering if u have any more pics of Mount Haven, u could send them to me?

it would be so great if u have the time to do so:)


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