Sixth Blog

TASK: Write a letter by Alf Dubbo declaring what he thinks true Christianity is.

My friend,

So often I have wondered at what true Christianity is. So often I have wondered what it means to be a Christian and who God is. So often I have wondered what to believe.

You know that I was raised by white people and was brought up to believe in what they do: the Church and its sanctity. I did believe for a while, you know this too, but my experiences with Mr Calderon left me scarred and forever untrusting of white men and anything they believe in.

So for a long time, I have been on my own, both wandering and wondering. I have muddled my way through the world and now find myself among people I seem to fit in with and, more importantly, whom I like.

But it still leaves the question of what I believe in and where I place my faith. being Indigenous, my ancestors had their own beliefs, which are so unique to the Indigenous Australian culture. However, I have never believed in it nor have I ever really identified with it because of my white upbringing. Honestly? I do still believe in God, Christianity and all it teaches and preaches but now that I’m so much older, I like to put my own perspective on it and interpret it the way I see Christianity.

I see Christianity as forgiveness. Grace. Kindness. Humility. Faith. All the core values that decent people have and the values that every person should have. But that is not the way the world works, is it? So I must have something else to believe in, something greater than humans and even greater than the men who wear the garments and robes that proclaim they know God better than anyone and that they are every believer’s salvation. I must believe in something, or someone, beyond this life who we only get to glimpse every now and then in this life through things like forgiveness, grace, kindness, humility and most importantly, faith.

This, my friend, is what I believe true Christianity to be.

Alf

 

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Fourth Blog

TASK: Describe a totally ordinary person in such a way that you reveal their inner humanity, totally different from what their exterior appearance might suggest.

Walking down the street in any major city, you see a whole array of people from all walks of life and from all types of backgrounds who have all had different experiences in life.

For instance, when I was in high school, I caught the same train as this woman every morning from Monday to Friday. Our paths would intersect at the bottom of my street and we would take the same route to the train station. I never spoke to this woman, nor do I see her anymore but I often wondered about her; her life, her character, where she takes our train to every morning. She had straight red hair that was normally tied back in a ponytail, she wore casual yet professional clothes and she wore sneakers. Her face was normally quite severe, her skin tanned and she had dark eyes that looked like she could see right through you if she looked at you. Sometimes she was on the phone and sometimes, she would smile.

It was the loveliest smile I could remember seeing. When she smiled, you could see her white, perfect and shining teeth. It was then that my perception of her started to change. I had always seen a rather cold woman whenever I saw her but now I imagined her as someone else. Maybe she was someone with someone else waiting at home for her. Maybe she had a family. Maybe she was closer with her best friend than she was with anyone else. Maybe she had a very close relationship with her siblings or cousins or parents. But someone had put this dazzling smile on this woman’s face and I thought they were lucky to see her smile more often than I did, a total stranger who thought her cold, haughty and no nonsense. I saw a glimmer into this lady’s heart that showed me that she was loving, caring and devoted. It was a warming glimmer indeed.

First Blog

TASK: In a poem or short prose piece describe a situation where you have either seen or experienced a dramatic difference in theĀ state of a human being and its impact on the world around.

I was lying on my stomach in the spare room of my grandmother’s townhouse, desperately trying to complete a mathematics workbook for school. I was surrounded by several sheets of working out paper, various rubber shavings, my worn calculator and pens and pencils spread as far as the eye can see. I could hear my grandmother moving around downstairs, along with the radio playing classical music. It was a very tranquil Saturday evening.

Until the phone rang and the peace was disturbed. My grandmother quickly answered it to find one of my cousins on the other end. She had been away in Tasmania so I assumed she was calling to tell my grandmother all about her trip until I heard a huge gasp from my grandmother. I raced downstairs in case something was wrong but the scene I arrived on was anything but. My grandmother had the biggest smile on her face and her eyes absolutely sparkled – it turned out my cousin had become engaged on the top of Cradle Mountain.

The news’ effect on my grandmother was instantaneous – after all, this was my eldest cousin; her eldest grandchild who had been through a rough childhood estranged from the rest of our family. My grandmother looked like everything had fallen into place and that all the stars had aligned for her. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders and in that moment, I saw just what pure and unadulterated joy looked like and the effect it could have on people. My grandmother looked years younger and all the pieces of the puzzle fit. It was absolute and total bliss – all was right with the world.