Melbourne Story

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Boss
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:47 am

Re: Melbourne Story
by Boss on October 5th, 2013, 10:14 pm

For a long time my mum has wanted to give an account of what G-d means to her and what He has done for her. She feels she has something worthy to offer. And I agree with her. This piece was written by us over five nights. It tells of important times in her life and reflects on how G-d was always there, even in the darkest moments. My mother is a beautiful soul and the most honest, courageous person I know. I trust fellow Cohenites won't mind reading the thoughts of such person. Ta Boss

My Loving God
By Alexandra

In November 1944 WW2 still raged. I remember hiding in the countryside in a town called Mariatal. Even at the young age of five, I believed. I prayed to Boch Pambusko (God) that the war would finish soon. I loved going to church on my own, always on my own. Here I found peace and safety. The atmosphere got me. It inspired, it lifted me. I always wanted to go to Palestine - the holy land. I have yet to get there but still have a burning desire. It fascinates me this land of many cultures and traditions.

In the war years God was the only friend I had. He used to soothe my fears and pain so life was not so hard. No one instructed me in my quest to be with him. My parents were indifferent and my two sisters preferred much less spiritual aspects of life. When WW2 ended, I thanked God for answering my prayers.

We settled back down in Bratislava and I attended school. My favorite subject was Religious Instruction; Music and Art followed. The street Ulica Cervenej Armady is where I lived. Around the corner was a beautiful blue stone church. To this day I still have a photo of it in a frame hanging up. It was only a small church but inside was like discovering another world. Each Sunday I would go alone and pray - listening to Latin and Slovak; just loving the sense of ceremony. I don't quite know why I was so taken with spiritual matters but I do know my early faith helped me so much later down the track.

My parents broke up in 1947. My father migrated to America. I never saw him again. My mother partnered with a Jewish man who lost his wife Rose at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Stalin's Communism arrived in Czechoslovakia around 1948. Conditions became difficult and we had to move from our family home to squashy living quarters in a factory my mother and partner owned. I was very lucky that opposite the factory were two churches: both Catholic - one was called St Francis. I attended regularly. Wherever I went God went along with me. I used to say a prayer every night before I went to bed. I still say the same prayer every night. The prayer is this: "Angel my guardian, take care of my soul, take care of me day and night and be there in my time of need. Amen." In 1949 my mum married her partner. We left for Australia and were one of the last families to get out. My sisters and I were very upset and I particularly pined for my old life. We saw Genoa, Venice, Vienna and all the famous cathedrals. On the boat Cerenia my mother informed us that she had married and that we were to call him 'Dad'. I was very upset. I objected and ran off crying. I wanted my Dad. The boat trip was exciting and scary - I was afraid we might sink. It took one month. We saw Aden, Port Said, Columbo and Fremantle. We finally docked in Melbourne.

I must admit I did wonder where the kangaroos were when we drove on the streets the first morning. We settled in a quaint suburban home and the five of us celebrated Christmas for the first two years. I said my prayers and became accustomed to very hot summers. At about the age of thirteen my mother informed us that we would follow Judaism. I wasn't very happy but it grew on me as time went by. It was strange having customs like Pesach and Yom Kippur. I was young and starting to think about boys. But I enjoyed matzoh in coffee, I enjoyed the songs and food. It's funny but all the while I still steadfastly talked to God. It didn't seem to matter where I was, or who I was with, I was always talking to God. I would have talked to him regardless of following any religion. In later life that's exactly what I did.

At this time, in 1952 (I was thirteen), I attended a Jewish social night. I danced and talked and had supper. I was introduced to a young man aged sixteen. He had dark hair, slim and was fairly attractive. We danced a few dances; 'La Mere' and 'Jealousy'. He gave me a goodnight kiss on my cheek. He was doing his National Service. That night I told my mother I had met the man I would marry. She laughed.

I started going to synagogue to learn the Jewish way of life but to me the vital aspects of prayer were the same in both religions. I prayed to an honest, compassionate, loving God. It didn't matter if I was in a church or a synagogue or for that matter lying in the sun; God was there, everywhere.

When I was sixteen I spent a night with my friend Sonia. We went to a dance and I re-met Malcolm. We danced rock and roll, we talked. The next morning Mal picked me up and we went to Brighton Beach to get to know one another. We courted for two years and were married in 1958 in a Jewish temple. A few months before we married I officially became a Jewess. After a time of study, the rabbi took me through a service. I had to understand the role of a Jewish woman and I learnt prayers important in a Jewish household. To this day I still recite the Brocchos every Friday as I light the Shabbat candles. So there I was - nineteen, married and a woman who had a good insight into two religions. But always the oneness of God inside and outside of me. Always this oneness.

Mal and I had six children between August 1959 and October 1970. Our eldest was our darling daughter Esther and then followed five sons; all circumcised according to Jewish tradition. Our early family life was not really so different to young families anywhere - there were pregnancies, illnesses, earning a crust, the good times and the bad. But there was this bringing of new life into the world! The six times I gave birth are easily the happiest moments I have ever had. To me childbirth is an act of God. On three or four occasions I remember seeing a rainbow in the sky after I gave birth. These epiphanies contrasted sharply with the gradual decline of our marriage. Mal was very much taken with the Sixties and early Seventies. He believed the dream, he believed in Cohen and Dylan and Ginsberg. He believed it so much he began to dedicate himself and much of his spare time to poetry and philosophy and so on. He started knocking around with other like minded people. I had to keep house. I enjoyed some aspects of hippydom, I liked the emphasis on love - to me love is God. But it was imperative I care for my very young children. As our relationship slid - amid the infidelity and indifference - I found myself struggling like never before. What would happen if he left? How would I support such a family? It was very difficult. Our marriage did break down a few times but we somehow managed to hold things together for the children.

In early April, 1977 my daughter was killed in a car accident. Her boyfriend died too. My entire world fell in. On the way to her funeral I sat in my seat and talked in a monologue to God. I knew it wasn't his fault. It was Peter who had been drinking. Like all of us, he had 'choice'. I never got over my daughter's death - I never will. Even today I don't know how I've held it together. I cry often to try and fill the void. You never can. Somehow you have to keep going.

More was to come. Mal left in early 1979. We had very little. I worked for three years in a cold factory. I asked my family for support - my elder sister helped a little but no one else. They told me to go to Jewish Welfare. My five sons were growing, needing. Their father remarried. Finally I settled with a Czech man who was never really good with kids but he was generous enough to keep us afloat. My Jewishness was wavering. My eldest three boys had been bar mitzvahed. In early 1980 Adam started his studies. He was against it. In fact all my boys had been against it - they went to state schools and hardly mixed with Jews. Adam was stubborn. One night after I picked him up from his studies he said 'I'm not doing it! Everyone does it for the presents, anyway! I'm not doing it!' We agreed. When he was in his early twenties he thought of going back to do it, but to this day he still hasn't done his bar mitzvah.

My faith was being tested all over the place. My partner was Catholic, my daughter was dead - so many dreams were unravelling. I noticed problems with my kids. My youngest Jeremy (Jez) had neurofibromatosis and had to have a few invasive procedures. My boys started smoking and drinking and keeping late hours. My beautiful son Michael dropped out of his final year of school. He was hostile towards his father. He blamed him for so much of the family's misfortune. In July 1986 Michael suicided. He was twenty two. Something inside me died that morning, too. I asked God, 'Why?' He told me I already knew the answer. I stumbled on. In January 1987 Jez had a malignant tumor in his leg removed. This was followed by rigorous chemotherapy. He lost his hair, he lost so much weight. In May Adam was hospitalised for three weeks with depression. In early 1988 I was hospitalised for about two weeks with depression. People ask me where my God was during those horrific years - I tell them that if I didn't have him as my crutch, I would have died. In the depths of depression, in exasperation and despair, there is a noise, a flicker of hope - that is God. The same God I knew as a young girl in Czechoslovakia. It was him then and it is him right now holding me up. Suffering is part of the road. But God is the road. For some reason unbeknown to Man, he put suffering in.

In March 1993 I met Adam in London. We spent five fabulous weeks seeing Britain and Paris. But for me the absolute highlight was visiting family in Prague and Bratislava. I was fifty four and I retraced my childhood steps. I visited my school, our old homes, the old streets and of course my still standing little blue church. In Bratislava, through a stroke of grace, I discovered my first cousin and his family. It was so very special. For me and Adam there was a touch of the divine all over our travels. A time I will never forget.

In April 2001, my darling Jez succumbed to cancer. He had fought a remarkable fight. Twenty seven operations, bouts of radiation and chemo, spinal reconstruction, a partially paralysed leg; so very much pain. He was thirty. Since his passing, my life has been relatively peaceful. I have tended my garden and spent quality time with my family. I do follow world events closely. I am a bit of a recluse and I like it that way. I love our world but am saddened there is so much pain in individuals and in our culture as a whole. I firmly believe faith would bring much needed relief.

I have lost three young-adult children, I have never really been in a stable harmonious relationship. And I had problems with my mother. I have been tested by Life. Still, I love God now more than I ever could. I don't blame him for my pain - he alleviates it, he helps me understand it. With him, I sometimes even transcend it. He is sustenance, he is creation, and he is love.

Today with my three remaining children, my five grandchildren and my three great grandchildren I say to you 'peace and love'.

May God be with you,

Alexandra
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Boss
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:33 am

by Boss on January 25th, 2011, 10:55 am

I’m stranded here
I have no lover
Haven’t held a woman
In years
It’s difficult in the rain
Everything out of focus
Or cold
Or missing
I swim in an ocean
At night
There is no island
No boat or pier
Just deep black water
Some memory faded
A smile
Her old hippy top
A weatherboard house
A cocker spaniel
A tom cat
I lay with her
But I appreciated nothing
I was lost in a dream
Even before Cohen
Long before that
I read everything
From Meher Baba
To Joseph Campbell
Alice Miller
To The Qu’ran
I had to know
Truth was imperative
And I forgot her
She was a stranger
Someone to talk to
Not with
She’s been gone
Such a long time
I have lived alone
In my heart
I’ve paid a heavy price
If it be your will
Did you have to punish
So emphatically
So completely?
I hold up a flame
On Friday nights
I pray the very few
Hebrew prayers I know
But nothing happens
If it be your will
How I once fought it
How I once fought
But now I am weak
Tender
Almost broken
There is no war in here
Not even a shadow
Just a sad man
Lonely and lost
And stranded

---

I tried to tell you along the way. If I didn't, I'll have to leave it for now.

In peace forever,
Adam
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mat james
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by mat james » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:49 pm

You are not alone Boss.
How I love the last 3 lines of this poem, by Les Murray.
I think your mum would love that line too.

The Last Hellos
by Les Murray

Don't die, Dad —
but they die.
This last year he was wandery:
took off a new chainsaw blade
and cobbled a spare from bits.
Perhaps if I lay down
my head'll come better again.
His left shoulder kept rising
higher in his cardigan.
He could see death in a face.
Family used to call him in
to look at sick ones and say.
At his own time, he was told.
The knob found in his head
was duck-egg size. Never hurt.
Two to six months, Cecil.
I'll be right, he boomed
to his poor sister on the phone
I'll do that when I finish dyin.
*****
Don't die, Cecil.
But they do.
Going for last drives
in the bush, odd massive
board-slotted stumps bony white
in whipstick second growth.
I could chop all day.
I could always cash
a cheque, in Sydney or anywhere.
Any of the shops.
Eating, still at the head
of the table, he now missed
food on his knife side.
Sorry, Dad, but like
have you forgiven your enemies?
Your father and all of them?
All his lifetime of hurt.
I must have (grin). I don't
think about that now.
*****
People can't say goodbye
any more. They say last hellos.
Going fast, over Christmas,
he'd still stumble out
of his room, where his photos
hang over the other furniture,
and play host to his mourners.
The courage of his bluster
firm big voice of his confusion.
Two last days in the hospital:
his long forearms were still
red mahogany. His hands
gripped steel frame. I'm dyin.
On the second day:
You're bustin to talk but
I'm too busy dyin.
*****
Grief ended when he died,
the widower like soldiers who
won't live life their mates missed.
Good boy Cecil! No more Bluey dog.
No more cowtime. No more stories.
We're still using your imagination,
it was stronger than all ours.
Your grave's got littler
somehow, in the three months.
More pointy as the clay's shrivelled,
like a stuck zip in a coat.
Your cricket boots are in
the State museum! Odd letters
still come. Two more's died since you:
Annie, and Stewart. Old Stewart.
On your day there was a good crowd,
family, and people from away.
But of course a lot had gone
to their own funerals first.
Snobs mind us off religion
nowadays, if they can.
Fuck thém. I wish you God.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:17 am

A New Day
3rd April '15

Hi. I am not a learned expert, no critic of any acclaim. Not even a renowned poet. But my niece said something today that sort of blew me away. She, like me, has bipolar and is on a cacophony of psychotropics to ease the blow. Her life, like mine, has been perilous. A great deal of hurt. She said that it was not her that was defective, it was the world. For some time I have known that my broken state was the result of family drama and the constant lack of her. But I'm beginning to see more clearly now that this pain I feel is also a result of a defective culture. You see, how does a sensitive soul develop in a world whose leaders plan to kill, to murder other leaders and their people? How does such a soul flourish when his culture just about exclusively elevates wealth as its primary objective? Who emphatically advertises this fact day in and day out. Who betrays marriage, who betrays children, who betrays Creation. Who uses themes such as democracy or communism or religion as a cover to confuse its constituents into thinking they live for a noble cause. A cause they sometimes must die for. This culture I am talking of is eight billion strong. A culture where a couple of thousand men hold the reins on what you may think and believe and even dream. A culture that is flailing in a glut of broken promise and lie. This gutless culture so sickly ingrained yet so sure of itself. This dollar bent culture that will soon die. A mighty storm moves in, all the detritus swept away. Eternity open. And we all stop pretending.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Gullivor » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:51 pm

A lot of people don't know the purpose of life, Boss. Some believe all the propaganda, all the commercials, the politicians, our "education" system (boy they start on us at an early age don't they?), some religious institutions, our bank account and the "Joneses".

Personally I am not to happy with this world but one thing I know for sure is it could be a hell of a lot worse then it already is. I guess that's where I find some comfort. Some peace.

The whole world has been bullshitted, lied to, and the masses love it! (At least in America we do).

https://youtu.be/D_JervNGyD0?t=5s

Boss,
I really loved what your Mom had to say about G_d and what he means to her.
Really good stuff!

Peace
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:07 am

"I've seen the future brother, it is murder"
Personally I am not to happy with this world but one thing I know for sure is it could be a hell of a lot worse then it already is. I guess that's where I find some comfort. Some peace.
Today is but an introduction, a litmus test for tomorrow, a juncture. Today we prepare for the onslaught, for the war. When indeed things will be 'a hell of a lot worse'. It will be so very ugly.

And then the day after tomorrow we will know a peace we can only dream of. A time of caring and sharing. A time we acknowledge the Sacred in all its colour. A time when love and justice are true. A time where marriage works and children sing. And a time of non-attachment - where we don't own a solitary thing.

For this day has been longed for, Gullivor. The ancient ones wrote of it, the slaves sang it, the very young soldiers bled for it. G-d intimated it, He ordained it. And this day comes to you my friend as it comes to me. A day when every single soul on our planet shall sing out, "I am free!"
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Gullivor » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:03 pm

10313829_796026147074452_7234745737955862167_n.jpg
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Boss
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:09 am

Dear Gully,

My Mum says, "Thank you for enjoying my story. God has led me all through my life. He has this power that flows to my heart. Without Him I am nothing. May He be with you always. The picture is remarkable - it shows the future is coming. I hope you have a big role to play in it. Much love, Alexandra x"
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:31 am

I woke up. The clock read 7:17am. The date was the 4th of May, 2025. I remembered. Every bank and financial institution was to be dissolved today. Money, gold, shares all redundant, all gone. A horrible memory. I leant over my wife, kissed her forehead and proceeded to make Vegemite toast and tea. We won. We had won.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:32 am

No gun had resounded anywhere. There had been Peace for nigh on a year. Still they were in the field mopping up, resurrecting lives, rebuilding, replenishing. Science was free to develop new energy systems, religion had smouldered and melded into a workable mix, we were all just settling down. There was an 'open vote' on Monday. National and international anthems were to be determined. There was only one proviso - the international anthem had to be an English language song. The Roman and British empires still left their vestiges, the man thought. Anyone on the planet, regardless of age, could vote - via the internet, by going to a polling booth, by mail. No one worried about voting multiple times or fraud; we didn't do that anymore. We trusted one another, we'd grown up.

The man cast his vote. For national anthem he chose 'Waltzing Matilda'. And for him at least, the important one, the international anthem, 'All You Need Is Love', by the Beatles. He smiled.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:16 pm

The man climbed out from under his torn blankets, his old mattress. Long grey beard, stained pyjamas, gnarled fingers. He pondered breakfast - eggs from Maisy and Daph, milk from Matilda. He fried three eggs on the gas stove. He'd wondered often about his gas bills. They had stopped coming about three years ago. No explanation. Yet he continued to receive gas. "That'll teach the bastards," he muttered. He sat at his rickety table and gulped the protein down. Willy hadn't been to town in four or five years. He had no need, he had all that he needed. A stream out back, timber, a vegetable patch, his chooks, and cow. He had the sun and the rain. Human beings had only hurt him. Teased him at school, left him in marriage, stole from him. He was a hermit. He'd kept the date. He made it out to be the 13th of April, 2028. After collecting some carrots and parsnips for tea and milking Matilda - she was in a frisky mood this morning - he went inside and peered into his extensive library. He had read each book more than once but still he found them gratifying. He glanced the Fromm collection. He was in the mood for Erich Fromm. He spied two books. "The Art of Loving" and "To Have or to Be?" He looked to the floor. After half a minute he reached for the second book. He opened the first page. In it inscribed the name of his step mother. He remembered he'd stolen it in 1992. He didn't have the heart to give it back. The man smiled. He often smiled. He remembered his step mother. A professional woman, great artist and a mean cook. She made a beautiful tuna casserole. He could taste it now. A side salad. How the man would love a tuna casserole. He fished from his stream but alas he craved deep sea tuna. He sat down, closed his eyes. The convenience store was a half hour walk away. Should he break his self imposed aloneness just for some tuna? He had money. He could buy some Toblerone chocolate for dessert.

He locked up. And set off in his finest clothes - an old check shirt and some Levi jeans. Ten minutes on he hit Highway 19. He walked in a southerly direction. Eventually he arrived in Knopfler, a town of some 380 people. He passed a young man. "How do you do, sir?" the teenager asked. Willy was shocked. No one had ever been so kind. He mumbled out, "I am well. And you?" "I am well, too. Good day." The man was a little confused. Youngsters used to make fun of him, taunt him. "One off," he thought. He found the convenience store and went inside. It was the same as five years ago except for one thing. There were no checkouts. It was all open. Sure there were attendants but they were all busy on the floor. Also, not one item had a price. Not one. He gingerly approached a young lass. "Excuse me dear, how much are these three tins of tuna?" She turned and with a look of exclamation asked, "Do you mean how much do they weigh?" Confused, the man asked, "No. I mean how much do they cost?" "Why they don't cost anything, sir. We haven't used money for three or so years. No one does anymore." Willy bagged up his tuna and Toblerone and a little cordial and just walked out of the store. And about halfway back he started laughing and it went on until he got home. Where he lit a candle and prayed ever so deeply. For the first time since he was a tot, he had hope.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:11 am

GRU - Russia
BND - Germany
ASIO - Australia
RAW - India
ISI - Pakistan
MI6 - UK
Mossad - Israel
CIA - USA
MSS - China
DGSE - France

Guess who's spying on you?









G-d
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:22 am

I've got 'Did I Ever Love You' on repeat. A sweet tune. We had an old antique table. We ate roast chicken and vegetables on it. Played 500 with the neighbours. Signed forms. She put out flowers; never from me to her. Fuck, I lived with her five years and wasn't sure of her birthday. I wonder if I ever loved her. She was a part of the scenery. My head out of the sky. I paid her no time. I was formulating, tabulating, reading Nostradamus and Isaiah. She was wishing for marriage and babies. I never left her. Only at the airport and by then the game was up. We had tender moments, I was always in someone else's bed. We both agreed if we ever had a girl we'd call her Beth. She was very competitive - I think I liked that. She was industrious, imaginative, she was funny. She rescued me from mania, depression, my family. She was loyal. In a sense she understood my quest, my vision. But I don't think she ever thought I was completely serious. I can't take back my indiscretions, my bad ways. I tried so hard to win her back; pleaded, begged, went on national radio ten times. All to no avail. I just want a chance to make it up to her, to love her forever, to need her again. Without the shackles of some mission, or a womanising ego, in the way. I want the two of us to explore, to make love again. I want to marry her. I really do.
Last edited by Boss on Thu May 14, 2015 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:37 am

1989
1989
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Re: Melbourne Story

Post by Boss » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:01 am

You passed on 14 years ago today. You hardly saw the sun rise, barely had a lover. But you knew courage and all her difficulty, her pain. You graced this fair planet 30 years and I'm so glad you liked 'The Future'. It's my favourite song. You liked many things through your aura of discomfort, your body's war. I love you little brother. You so gallant and full of love. My little mate.
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