Anzac Day – an alternate view

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Ravages of war,
                                the tears of the fallen
                                     staining the soil.

Today in Australia it is Anzac Day – the day when those who served in World War 1 are honoured.  Ceremonies are held across the country in commemoration.  The main focus of attention is the terrible suffering experienced by Australian soldiers at Anzac Cove, Turkey.

I have been to Anzac Cove.   I have stood beneath the Lone Pine Tree and heard in my mind the haunted echoes of the anguished cries of the young men dying there on the beaches in 1915.  What many people here in Australia do not know is that the Aussie diggers at Anzac Cove did not actually defeat the Turks at Galliopli.   For years the two sides battled it out.  Both armies lived in appalling conditions and the casualties were high for both sides.   Eventually our troops were recalled when the government realised it was an unwinnable battle.   It took many months of petitioning the government before they accepted this was the case.  AnzacStory.htmhttp://www.anzacs.net/

I am a pacifist.   I have heard the stories of from WW1 and from many other wars.   I decided when I was in my teens that I do not condone war at all.  I have not come across any information since that has made me change my mind.

Strangely I learned a few years ago that my grandfather was also a pacifist.   More than that, he was a conscientious objector in WW1 and did not go to the war.    This fact was hidden from me by for many years.   ‘Grandpa was too young to fight in that war,’ my father said. There was also some improbable story about how my grandfather, a keen home gardener, had somehow kept the neighbourhood supplied in vegetables for the duration of the war.  It was only when my father neared the end of his life that he told his children what had actually happened.

The truth is my grandfather refused to fight.   He was a devout Christian with Socialist leanings.  Although it is now forgotten history, there was a huge anti-war movement in Australia during WW1.  At that time free thinkers wanted to establish Australia as an independent nation no longer ruled by Britain.  The war was seen as furthering the  cause of Empire.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/worldwarone/what-happened-to-conscientious-objectors-during-ww1/5553002

My father was so ashamed of grandpa’s action he lied about it for most of his adult life.   It is only now that Australia is even beginning to recognise that conscientious objection to war is a valid stance.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-23/noone-conscientious-objectors-deserve-our-recognition/6415166

As the world teeters on the brink of another catastrophic global war I am inspired by the position my grandfather took.    There are alternatives to war.  Peacemaking, peace-building, mediation and non-violent conflict resolution are all alternatives that work.

Articles on non violent alternatives to war can be found on –

 http://hastingsnonviolence.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/alternatives-to-war.html  

http://www.vernalproject.org/papers/understanding/NonviolentAlternatives.html

http://www.alternet.org/world/alternatives-military-strikes-syria

I used a flat bed scanner to create the image on this post,  I then added the text in photoshop – image prompt –https://lensandpensbysally.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-portrait-of-orchids/

poetry prompt – https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/25/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-31-peace-tear/

Blogging as an INFP

This post was one of the most popular on my old blog, Art and Life.  I am reblogging an edited version here for I find it’s still relevant.

I love online personality tests and often do them when I’m feeling stuck creatively.   In September 2013 I did a condensed version of the Myer Briggs Personality Test. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

I did an depth version of this test when I was at uni.  It was supposed to help us work out how to position ourselves as artists.   I wondered if the result would still be the same years later.   It was.  Both results declared I am an INFP (introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving) type.

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There weren’t many other INFP’s in the group at uni and the others were even more introverted than me so we didn’t  discuss it. (INFP’s are a minority group in the general population – 3-4%). Everyone else in the group  was more extroverted and/or more of a thinking, analytical type so they dominated the discussion. Being an INFP seemed to me then to be something of a failure. I pushed the findings of the test aside and attempted to be more like the dominant group.

It is only now that I come back to the test results and re-assess them. I found the commentary on INFP’s on http://www.humanmetrics.com/ to be deeply accurate. One sentence that jumped out at me on first reading was – ‘As INTPs tend to have a sense of failed competence, INFPs struggle with the issue of their own ethical perfection.’ – well that explains what happened the first time I took the test.

I then read: ‘INFPs can even masquerade in their ESTJ (Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) business suit, but not without expending considerable energy.’ Aaha – that explains many of the problems I’ve been having these past few years. The gap between how I instinctively want to function and how I think I should function in order to be employed and successful in the world widened so much I succumbed to illness –

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Skinned

Now that I have largely recovered I find the gap has become an abyss I can no longer bridge.

It is time to reclaim my identity as an INFP.            20110219_3

‘natural inclination toward absent- mindedness and other-worldliness’

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‘INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It’s as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities.’

INFPs direct their energy inward. They are energized by spending time alone. They are private and internally aware. INFPs are independent and keep to themselves most of the time. INFPs are Intuitive. They are imaginative, idealistic and creative people. They generate endless possibilities and ideas. Their thought process is profound and abstract. INFPs live in the future. (INFP personality type) .

writing

INFPs can easily speak in metaphors and parables, and they also have an amazing gift of creating and interpreting symbols – for this reason, INFPs often find it natural to write and enjoy poetry…Generally speaking, people with this personality type are extremely creative, innovative and goal-oriented – they can be great advocates for causes they truly believe in. http://www.16personalities.com/INFP-personality

INFPs may also often retreat into their “hermit” state (this personality type can easily switch between the two states), withdrawing from the world and getting lost in their deep thoughts.

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From http://www.infpblog.com/infp/infp-description/ An INFP lives in a constant state of Becoming. We exist in flux between who we are at this moment and our vision of our Ideal Self

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