Toys

It’s the lime green and sky blue that sends me to the dream world whenever I walk up the stairs. I imagine entering the room and seeing nothing but vast grassy hills and fluffy clouds forever. There is no sound just a light breeze flowing in through the space where there is no window, but a square cut out of the wall, rough edges and paint peeling. There is something red but it’s unclear, just an inanimate object, maybe a wooden chair. The room is empty as I stand and place my hands on the windowsill. I desire to jump, to plummet into the tall skinny plants, to feel that goddamn breeze on my face, on my skin. I can breathe. I am relaxed. I am calm.

For reasons unknown, this vision, this dream world, takes me back to my childhood, yet my memory is altered and changed. My surroundings are unfamiliar and my acquaintances peculiar. The Robin Williams movie, Toys, is the only visual example I can compare it to. One day I will find that dream world and roll in the grass for hours. I will eat vitamin sandwiches and become a real life paper doll. I will learn stealthy techniques from L. L. Cool J and I will dance in the snow to Christmas music. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I can still remember the infinite sky, the awkwardness of being a kid and the yearning to be alone to dream about the future. Some things never change.

-Stacey Renberg

20 Grand

I was once lucky enough to have a balcony
It overlooked the sea

My legs would hang off and
my feet would touch the sand

The breeze blew and blew,
but never knocked it down

I would drink tea with seagulls and
shake the hands of fishermen sailing by

The sun and rain would stop by too
They never got along, but I made time for both of them

I collected my ashes in a small tin can,
But my neighbors complained about the low tide

I don’t have a balcony anymore
There was a great storm

It is buried under years of
memories and distance
and what we all thought was love

-Stacey Renberg

Interview: Cara Fox

Cara Pflueger, otherwise known as Fox, is perhaps the most remarkable human being. From being a performer and artist to being an actor and all-around goddess, Fox spreads colorful joy wherever she goes. Her aura and clothing radiate beautiful hues of lavender and purple and when she isn’t parading around Melbourne in the Colour Parade or doing photoshoots for LunaSea Creations, she can be found getting shit done on her blog Consider It Did. Make sure to also check out her Instagram for a daily dose of color and beauty.

What’s your name? Cara “Fox” Pflueger

How old are you? Twenty-four

What makes you feel remarkable? Knowing that I have the opportunity to do anything and be anything that I want to be.

If you are having a sub-par day, what do you do &/or say to make yourself feel good again? 
Be active. Going for a walk, or a swim or having a dance. Movement does wonderful things for the mind.

Where do you think love hides? Inside of every person’s ability to love themselves.

When do you feel most loved? 
When I truly and unconditionally love myself. All other kinds of love flow my way when that happens.

What inspires most of your writing? 
Experiences and people. Life is one big funny poem.

What is your favorite rainy day activity? Staying in bed, drinking tea and cuddling.

What do you think is the most beautiful thing about people? 
Empathy, generosity and kindness.

When you hear the word “beautiful” what image immediately pops up in your mind? 
Vast green landscapes.

When you hear the word “love” what sound resonates in your ears? The breeze in the trees, wind chimes and songbirds.

What makes you feel hope? Knowing that everyone wants the best for themselves and everyone else.

Who do you think is a remarkable person? My mother.

Where do you get your confidence? Knowing that what other people think of me is none of my business, so I should just do whatever I want because I need not worry what anyone else thinks.

What are your favorite things? My cat, but he is hardly a thing, more like a friend. My bed, my journal, and the opal ring my great aunt gave me.

Where do you live? 
Uncle Zane’s, Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Earth, The Milky Way, The Known Universe.

Tell us about your part of the world: There are alleyways behind all of the houses full of overhanging fruit trees, if you walk along them for long enough you can get almost anywhere you’d need to go; cafes, studios, galleries, and the homes of my friends.

What should others do to make the world a better place? Listen to their hearts and speak the loving truth.

How do you deal with failure? Knowing that everything happens for a reason, that if one thing doesn’t work out that it is a lesson or a doorway to my ultimate destiny.

What’s the most recent random act of kindness you’ve witnessed? A few of my friends have been going to a studio almost every day, purely out of kindness and a desire to be helpful, to make sunsets out of old receipts to be the set in a show that is being devised for Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Meditation Monday

We are starting a new weekly column called Meditation Monday by a new contributor Madison. Check back every Monday for some advice on mediation and how it can help you find some calmness in a crazy world.

med·i·tate
ˈmedəˌtāt/
verb

  1. think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
  2. think deeply or carefully about (something).

Meditation, by definition, is very overwhelming to me. I tried to picture myself sitting in full lotus (cross-leg tops of feet on tops of thighs) fingers in OK formation, and chanting. Ridiculous. Not happening. I toned it down a little and just sat quietly on a pillow on my floor. This was nice and all, but my mind was racing. First the conflicts of the day repeated over and over, then the meals I ate (which I felt guilty about), then songs- some I was happy to think about, others I wish never existed-, then more food, and worrying. So much worrying. This meditation shit isn’t working. I only THINK the whole time! Aren’t I supposed to be able to CLEAR my mind so I can focus? This is impossible and definitely not relaxing. So I asked my therapist, “What am I doing wrong!?” What he told me changed everything.

What if I didn’t focus on what the dictionary told me meditation is? What if I sat down and contemplated on what meditation means to me and what I can get out of it?

The mind is one big rolodex of information. When it’s racing and experiencing multiple emotions all in 1 day, the little cards that were once in order are flying all over the place, creating a giant mess. How could anyone make sense of any information that’s there if nothing is where it should be? What if I went home, sat down, and ALLOWED my mind to wander instead of fight it?

I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. My definition of Meditate started like this: to sit in silence for a period of time and let go.

I did just that. I allowed the good and bad songs, allowed the food I ate and wanted to eat, allowed the negativity that was spewed all over me at work, allowed the overdue hospital bills and car insurance bill and whatever other worries I had. I let it all flow freely like evil ooze under the streets of NYC. And to my surprise, they left as quickly as they came. Some of them returned only to be pushed aside by thoughts of my dog as a puppy, my little sister’s Santa-like laugh, my brother playing the Beatles on piano, maple muffins with chocolate ganache sprinkled with bacon. I only sat for 3 min the first time. I knew that if I sat longer I may expect something Disney-esq to happen so I decided that 3 min was a good enough time. I made a commitment to myself that I was going to meditate every day. That didn’t happen at all. I was bummed and felt so much guilt. So I when I did meditate again, I allowed myself to forgive myself.

My mind felt like I just prepared my house for family on Christmas eve.

My definition of meditate changed: to sit in quiet for a period of time, allow, accept, and forgive.

Sometimes I would sit outside and listen to the wind while letting my rolodex re-file itself. Sometimes I would light a candle because I wanted to smell nice things while my rolodex was re-filing itself. Enhancing my senses sometimes brought up things that my mind had filed under Miscellaneous and hid in the proverbial closet. Sometimes I sat for longer and sometimes I cried. But every time, I allowed my thoughts to come forward. I accepted them for what they were, thoughts, and I allowed them to pass. I forgave myself for any negative emotion I had, for anyone who had cast their negativity on me. This meditation thing was really starting to make sense!

One day at a time. Yesterday happened. Tomorrow hasn’t happened. All you can do is allow today, accept what it brings you, forgive yourself, and allow it to pass when you go to sleep.It only takes 3 min.

-M-

Remember Me

I think, too often, of how I wish to be remembered. I want, first, to be remembered in scent seeing that it’s so closely tied to memory. I want a scent of lavender & roses to cause people to take pause & think of me. In that way I’ll be remembered as a summer’s day. I want certain songs to dance across my friend’s eardrums as they think how I used to hum along to such songs. It’s harder for me to think of the lasting impression I will make; the impression those who never met me will have when my name comes up in stories. I want to be remembered as a source of light, that hazy golden time of day that washes troubles away. I want to be remembered as someone unique, a creator of my own realms of reality. I want to be remembered as strong, slaying demons with my words & encouraging others to do the same. I want to be remembered as a hurricane, a force to be reckoned with. Above all I want the sound of my name to cause a warming comfort in those who hear it.

-kc.