I Know I Am Intelligent Because I Know That I Know Nothing .... Socrates

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Ring

The Ring

I took off my ring today and put it safely away
It’s in a place that’s warm and secure
Where it can remain for the rest of its days

It once stood for love and devotion
Between two connected souls
But now it’s tarnished with the pain of age
That just won’t go away

It got tarnished from all the words expressed wrong
It was dented by words unsaid
It was twisted by actions not devoted and true
It was betrayed by the distractions of life

I remember the day you held my hand
And placed the ring on my finger
With a pledge to love till the end of our days
A pledge that I knew we would never surrender

But our love did not stand the test of time
And our souls now pass in the night
Our united world has been ripped apart
And we must now give up the fight

I took off my ring today and put it safely away
But its memory remains in my heart warm and secure
Where it can remain for the rest of its days

Andrew Swansson

© 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Teenager’s life ~ My life

After being asked to write a guest article for Sharni at Sharnanigans I was motivated to ask the one and only " Grub " ( My one and only son Dylan ) to write a piece on being a teenager in today's world. He has been reading all the blogs that I follow and has been really impressed with a lot of the entries and enjoys creative writing, drawing and photography. So without further ado I give you Dylan " Grub" Swansson's first public article....

A Teenager’s life ~ My life

As a teenager I've come across a lot of obstacles such as drugs, drinking, peer group pressure and the growing popularity of gangs etc. Some obstacles are bigger than others to deal with, some just make me want to cry and others some times make me want to laugh. The important thing to always remember though coming into this age is to remember to “ Always stay true to who you are, always live my life as I wish and not as others wish, always respect people and always respect property ”.

When I started to become a teenager I " freaked " literally because I saw my friends around me drinking, doing drugs and joining gangs and I was scared that I was going to be forced into doing these thing but then I thought about how it's my life and how my life is not theirs but mine.

I bet most of you are thinking “ it's not that easy to say no ” but actually it is. I have been through a lot in my life already and the thing I have seen and felt have made me a stronger kid mentally and physically. But keep in mind that all kids aren’t like me, I have been shown both what not to do and what is ok to do by my Mother and Father. A lot of kids feel very confused, left out, neglected and scared and I too have felt this way at times.

This generation can be hell at different times and I believe it is a lot worse now. No offences intended but back in my Fathers day school fights were mainly a push and a shove. But now we are faced with school fights with knives and fists where the winner doesn’t stop once he knocks the other person to the ground they keep going until the victim is brutally hurt.

Being a teenager today scares the life out of me at times, it is a time when every seems hell bent on taking drugs, drinking beer and lieing to their parents ( who they feel do not understand them ). It is a time when a lot of kids are slipping away further and further, more than you probably realise and more than you probably want to know. Rather than criticise our difference, support us let go of us and let us be free to move and learn at our own speed. That doesn’t mean don’t stop loving us or stop baking us cookies just means let us move on and start to make a life of our own choices. Teenagers hide our feelings through the use of drugs, drinking, smoking and more but if you just simple ask them to talk to you, you may actually get a conversation from us.
Remember to tell your kids that you love them before its to late because we do like that, its something we all want to hear.

Dylan " The Grub " Swansson

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Three Deadly Sins ~ Dreams, Fears & Gunna

Been reading a lot of books and blogs of late and so many argue the case for or against my three deadly sins ~

Dreams, Fears or the daddy of them all Mr Gunna.

A lot argue the case for having dreams and goals while just as many argue that unless your living life on the edge with fear chasin ya ass then your not in the race.

And then lets not forget Mr Gunna who never quite manages to get around to anything, be it a dream or a challenge against his fear.

Now I have know Mr Gunna for many~many years, in fact we might be what you call blood brothers. I have known him since my early years and we do so much together that I never seem to have time to focus on anything else.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I have no other interests other than hanging out with me mate Gunna, I have more than my share of dreams such as Swimming with the Great White Sharks down in South Australia, Touring Australia in particular the amazing North of Western Australia, then there is one of my favourite dreams of actually getting my motorbike licence and a big cruiser to bring out on the weekends and to just ride like I'm in Easyrider. Now that I mention it I've always wanted to skydive and scuba dive but I am too overweight for that .... but hang on, I've always planned on loosing that weight and as soon as I can just clear up a few of the distractions in my life I'll be right on it, mark my word I will ! but I could go on for hours about my dreams, I have so many !

Ok I hear ya say'in, what about ya fears though ! Well let me tell you .... I don't have any fears ! Nup that's right not one !

Well maybe just a few small ones such as spiders ! Oh and I also fear being alone, occasionally I fear trying new things because if I don't succeed then I'm worried that people with think I'm a failure.

Oh one other thing I fear .... any movie by Stephen King ~~ pretty silly little stuff hey !

All joking aside, I am one of those people who hates change and I fear anything that rocks my comfort boat.

I fear not achieving my dreams, I fear not having dreams, I fear not being able to conquer my fear, I fear fear !

But most of all I Fear Staying The Same More Than I Fear Change !

Goals and Dreams with out actions are just time wasters, Fear stands for " Fantasised Events Appearing Real " and as for Mr Gunna, well he's no friend, he's just the Devil in disguise trying to stop you acting on your dreams and stop you from conquering your fears.

I guess this is a good time to go back to my blog " Lessons in life " and remind myself about my goals.

Dohi & Thank you for reading my Blog

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I just returned home today after spending the last 3 days at one of the most magical places I have ever visited in my life. I have just spent 3 days in a earthy timber cabin deep within a National Park Rainforest where my front door and verandah overlooked a brisk flowing natural rainforest spring. ( The Mouse House Link )

I was visited each afternoon by the Possums and kept company all day by two scrub bush turkeys.

I woke when I pleased, went to bed when I pleased, ate when nature reminded me to and generally sat back and STOPPED !

I listened to the water flowing softly down the mossy mountain stream, I listened to the trees with their leaves rustling gently around me.

I soaked in the living scents of the forest and opened my heart to its energy and peace.

I allowed myself to listen to my own thoughts, to acknowledge my own feelings and without punishment of judgment I acknowledged my actions and part in my life to date.

I layed in utter darkness and was engulfed by the roar of silence.

And I listened as the Rainforest woke to the day.

I tingled as the cool moist rainforest morning air caressed my skin.
I sat back and read words of wisdom shared with me from a friend.

And wrote poetry because I can.

I connected with myself and I made a new friend.

Searching for my higher self
And feeling the love from thee.
Connecting with the source of life
And listening to her life energy run free.
I ask nothing of thee
But to feel your grace.
To lift my heart
And to free my mind.
Free me from society
And the pressures it asks of me.
Time to Breath
Time to Feel
Time to talk to ME.
Andrew Swansson
Copyright March 2010
Dohi to you all and thank you for reading my Blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lessons In Life

Well it's 11pm on a Thursday night and I can't sleep. Too busy thinking about past life's lessons and how slow I have been to acknowledge them at times.

I am currently reading a book I was given for my 42nd birthday by a friend Kerry who has inspired me more than she probably would know for about 20 years now. The book is called " Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart " by Gordon Livingston.

The chapter I read tonight, just before I tried to unsuccessfully go to sleep was called ~ We Are What We Do.

The crux of the chapter is that so many people these days are so unhappy with their lives, they have trouble sleeping or sleep too much, they have trouble eating and eat too much or too little, they are irritable and having trouble with their memory, have trouble maintaining healthy relationships, many unfortunately wish they were dead .... All have forgotten what it is like to be happy !

The chapter goes on to quite bluntly state that while we have the marvel of modern medicine and certainly medicine can assist with the above depression symptoms, the medicine CAN NOT fix the problem.

" Happiness is not simply the absence of despair. It's an affirmative state in which our lives have both meaning and pleasure."

It goes on to mention that most of us go about our day dreaming about what we want and what we need but these dreams do little to change our state of mood.

" We are not what we think, or what we say, or how we feel. We are what we do ! "

Most of the depression and heartbreak that our lives contains is a result of ignoring the reality that past behaviour is the most reliable predictor of future behaviour. And the reality is that most of us get not what we want out of life but what we EXPECT out of life. We expect a negative result so subconsciously we go about putting set behaviours into place to ensure the results we are expecting. Most of modern society detests change more than they detest the negative results they keep getting.

As humans there are three basic components that will satisfy most people, Having something to do that is worthwhile and personally rewarding, having someone to love and having something to look forward to.

So here I am, now midnight contemplating my three basic needs and the ways that I have ignored past actions and results and therefore continued to get the same result time after time.

Now for the part that hurts ~~ The Truth !

I just turned 42, I am morbidly obese and had a heart attack just prior to my 40th birthday, I am currently a single dad due to my 13 year marriage ( 16 year relationship ) recently ending and I am finding it near impossible to get motivated in my current job although it is a good challenging job.

Now I can sit here all day and acknowledge my flaws, I can sit here all day and TALK about what changes I want in my life, but at the end of the day talk is cheap and as stated earlier, we are the sum of our actions and not what we say, think or feel.

Time to change people ... " I do not fear change ~ I fear staying the same "

Now I am strangely compelled at the moment to make myself three promises to start my journey to a better, happier life. One for each of my 3 basic needs. I don't know exactly where to from here but I do believe it's " Now or never ".

Having something that is worthwhile and personally rewarding

To me this is the hardest one, I have been a father & husband that long that I have largely forgotten who I am and what I find rewarding.

While sitting here I think back to my poetry and painting, both of which I haven't done in years as well as my Massaging and Reiki practices both of which have also ceased in recent years.

I am also reminded that unless I live a healthier life I will not have to be concerned with the future, so at least one health goal is a must.

All four tasks listed above have always brought me great personal pleasure and self satisfaction so my first step on this journey is to start my poetry and painting once again and to restart my Holistic Therapies Practice, get back into my Massage & Reiki.

With the health goal, I simply commit to ceasing the consumption of soft drinks and to restrict myself to good old fashion H2O as a starting point.

Having Someone To Love

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love my son to bits, but I take this more as an adult relationship as well as my love and tollerance for mankind as a whole.

I commit working towards an open and committed relationship, founded on trust ~ respect and commitment while at the same time I commit to developing a more open non-judgemental, loving and accepting attitude to those around me.

Having Something To Look Forward To

I simply wish to travel once again, preferably overseas but at the very least to within Australia to Tasmania or WA both of which I have never seen.

As stated above goals without actions are but dreams and wishes and they do nothing to better out lives if not acted upon.

So here is to a new day literally

Dohi and thanks for reading my Blog.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Watch Out For Those Potholes !

Have you ever noticed how you get days when everyone is bouncing off the walls or everyone drags themselves around like a flat tyre ? While that in itself would be a interesting topic to Blog about and an interesting topic to hear everyone's opinion as to why and how this occures, it is not the topic of this particular Blog.

What I'd like to chat about today is more about those individual potholes that seem to pop up out of nowhere and send us crashing off course when we hit them.

How do you handle yourself when you hit one of life's potholes ?

Are you the type of person who slows life right down and ensures their focus is not in the distance on the destination but directly infront of you to ensure that you see all the potholes before crashing into them, and then when you do see the potholes you slow down even more to carefully navigate your way through the potholes all the time ensuring that everything gets through unscratched and dust free ?

Or are you the type of person that come hell or high water you keep your eyes on the destination and the foot flat to the floor crashing over and through any potholes in your way. Your not worried if you collect a few scratches along the way or for that matter you don't worry if you get bounced off course because your eyes have never left the destination and you can make whatever adjustment is needed and just start down a new road to your original destination. To you it dosn't matter how you get there as long as you get there.

Me, well I tend to be a mixture of both at times. I primarily tend to be foot flat to the floor and I just adjust the Life GPS as needed and get back on track to my destination. To me the journey is the adventure, the destination is a motivator that stops me going around in circles. I cherish the scratches, the dents and the detours as I believe they all add flavour to what outherwise could be a very bland and tasteless life.

Now having said all of that, sometimes you hit a pothole that is so deep and so wide that it rattles your nerves, damages the undercarriage and maybe even blows a tyre or two. We've all his potholes like those before and while we all try and swerve and miss them, unfortunately some are just so large you can't avoid hitting them head on and on the other occasions they come out of the left field and unsighted you slam head first into them.

It's when you hit these big potholes that you get to see what your vehicle is really made of. Is your chassis made of steel or aluminium ?

Now we all know that that things were built stronger and more reliable in the " Good Old Days ", things were made to last and they could take a solid knock and keep going. The newer stuff is more Hi-Tec and a fair bit more sensitive but at the same time it's loaded with more safety features that stop injuries when you hit those big potholes.

Now I can hear you all asking the question or arguing the case as to which one is better. Mordern, comfitable and loaded with safety features or good old solid dependability ?

I personally think that while the newer Hi-Tec keeps you safer with it's crumple zones, air bags and such, when you actually hit a pothole, there is damage everytime and the repair and maintenance never ending. Therefore I would definitely choose the good old days, lets face it you may get shaken around a bit more and collect a few more cuts and bruises along the way but nine out of ten times when you hit a pothole you can still drive out the other side even if it was a big pothole that made you slow down a bit. I guess things were just simpler in the good old days.

Whats that old say'n about " If it dosn't kill ya it will just make you stronger " I also think that it's the cuts, bruises and grime collected along the way that makes us who we are, it's the flavour in our soul and the story in our eyes.

As I mentioned above, I believe the journey is what it's all about. It's not about the beginning or who you are at birth, it's not about the end or what you have achieved or accumulated at the end. It's about the journey in between the two, how you carried yourself on your journey and the degree to which you have touched this world you live in. It's how you handled the potholes.

Years ago at the funeral of a friend a poem was read. I have never forgotten this poem and I am amazed at how well it captures the essence of an existence in such a simple straight forward way.

So here is to our Dash, lets make it all count !

The Dash
I watched a man who stood to speak.
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates to be placed on their tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that the first came the day of their birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said that mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represented all the time
That they spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little dash is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own
The cars, the house the cash
What matters is how we lived and loved
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard
Are there things you'd like to change ?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a while.
So when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spend your dash ?
Unknown Author.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've been watching my boy grow up in leaps and bounds latley and I have to be honest, at times I wish the whole process could slow down a bit. Dylan ( Alias " Grub " ) turnes 13 this year and at a time when a lot of parents start to cringe at the thought of those teenage years I honestly find myself excited at watching this young man continue to grow in confidence and take on the world.

I do not fear him getting caught up with the wrong crowd or rebelling against the world. I don't fear him being disrespectful to myself or any other person he deals with. I don't fear him feeling like he has to " Find Himself " and experiment with drugs or alcohol.

Now I can hear you all laughing and saying that you thought that too or good luck with that or warning me not to talk too soon, but I know my boy is ready to take on the world be it good, bad or indifferent and you know why. Because he has been shown respect and shown how to respect.

From the moment I could communicate with Grub I have explained that all you need in life is R.E.S.P.E.C.T respect for yourself, respect for all living creatures on this earth and respect for all property.

I also have constantly discussed with him that every action in your life is a " Personal Choice " and every action has a appropriate reaction. Therefore if you choose the reaction that you desire it's very easy to then choose the desired action required.

But most of all ( while not always successful ) I have tried to live a life of example.

At the end of the day irrespective of what else I achieve or not in life, I can feel rightly proud of my influence in Grub's life. I choose the reaction I desired and went about putting in place the appropriate action to get that reaction.

Now I have to be honest, I had a great teacher and all I had to do was to replicate his actions. I never had to think about what I had to do because he had so patiently shown me over many many years all the secret tricks to the trade. And the funny thing is he didn't even know he was showing me most of the time. Of course I am talking about my father " Norman Swansson ", a man who never complained, never walked away from the job, who never gave up.

And most of all he believed. When you have someone who believes it's very easy to dream goals that you would have otherwise believed to lofty or challenging.

I am very much reminded of an amazing poem I read on another Blog site ( Lessons from the monk I married ) just the other day which I'd like to share.

Listen to the Mustn'ts

Listen to the Mustn'ts, child,
Listen to the Don'ts
Listen to the Shouldn'ts
The Impossibiles, the Won'ts
Listen to the Never Haves
Then Listen To Me
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.

Shel Silverstein

Just as, if we don't believe in ourselves we will always struggle for success. If we don't believe in our children how will they ever learn to succeed and dream.

Anything can happen, child.

Anything can be !

Sunday, March 7, 2010


What does it mean " To be loved " or " To love "

After all there are many different types of love, " Loving the taste of you all time favorite food ","The love that a mother has for her new born child "," The love of the trill "," That first true love ", " The love of a couple that have been married for 50 years through the good times and the bad times "," The love of the smell of the fresh rain on a summer day ", or " The love of hearing the songs of the birds overhead as the sun rises ", just to name a few.

Is love a feeling ? an emotion ? or is love a thought that we convince ourselves to believe in ?

Can you learn to love something or is true love a gift from above that you have no control over, after all they say that " Love is blind " & Love can be found at first sight.

Can love fade over time ? Or is it more the case that it was never true love that you had and only true love endures.

Can a person truely die from a broken heart ?

And can two people in love combine the essence of who they are to be greater than the some of each individually ?

No matter what love is to the individual, one thing is sure, love would appear to be elusive to the vast majority of the human race or at least the understanding and acceptance of true love would appear to be elusive.

Love Is Elusive

Love is elusive
Love is a dream
Love is always there but rarely seen
Our eyes are closed to the simplest of things
Of what love is and what it means.
Love is seeing the sun set red
The morning songs of the birds overhead
A gentle cool breeze on a hot humid day
Of watching the waves roll in all day.
Love is touching your new born child
With tears of pride and joy in your eyes.
Love is teaching them to grow strong and free,
And having the courage to teach them to dream.
Love is having you lay next to me,
The smell of your hair the touch of your skin.
The sparkle in your eyes so deep,
And holding you tightly as we sleep.
When I look deep into your eyes,
It's then that I realise much to my suprise.
That love to me can never be complete,
Without you in my life.
Love is elusive,
Love is a dream.
Love is always there but rarely seen.
Our eyes are closed to the simplest of things,
Of what love is and what it means.
Andrew Swansson
Copyright 2007

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Truth @ 4am

Morning All or at least to any of the silly people who are up at 4am in the morning on Saturday like me !

I guess this is more a reflection than a statement .... Why are the best moments of clarity and reflection at 4am in the morning ?

Oh well, while I am up and talking to you all I may as well share a poem that I wrote not too long ago. Once again I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about it.

Cheers & Remember ... " There Are No Orginary Moments "

Make It Go Away

I turned on the TV to watch the evening news
It was all about the evil things that we say and do
Wars in foreign lands, assults next door
And all about political greed
I just couldn't take it anymore.
I couldn't take it
Oh No
It had to go away,
So I turned off my TV and went about my day.
I turned on my radio to hear some happy tunes.
To lift my spirit and free the mind
It seemed a smart thing to do.
But all the tunes were about disrespect
They were about racism, sex and doom
They brought me down with a hard brutal thud
And I just couldn't take it anymore.
I couldn't take it
Oh No
It had to go away,
So I turned of the radio and went about my day
I decided to take a walk
Under the bright southern stars
To feel a breeze against my cheeks
And to breath in deep the freshness of the night air.
I decided to forget the horrors of the TV news,
I decided to forget the disrespecting radio tunes
I decided I couldn't take it anymore.
I couldn't take it
Oh No
It had to go away
So I turned off and went about my day.
But the wars were still fought in the foreign lands
And the assults still happened next door
The radio still spread the word of disrespect and doom
I had had enough
I had made it go away.
I had turned my back on humanity
And gone about my day.
Rwanda, Bosnia, Timor, Zimbabwe
It didn't go away.
Andrew Swansson

Copyright 2008

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Beginning

Well, I have to admit I'm not really sure what to write in this Blog now that I have started it !

I am tempted to take a walk on the more philosophical side of life and to talk to anyone who is interested about my spiritual beliefs and ethical beliefs.

I have always cherished a good philosophical debate that questions the very foundations in which modern society builds itself on.

I find myself drawn to quoting the words to a song from the movie " Into The Wild " which is the true life story of a young man by the name of Christopher McCandless who dared to question everything in his life including his own very existence.


Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed ...
and you think you have to want more than you need ...
until you have it all, you won't be free.
Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
When you want more than you have, you think you need ...
and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place ...
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.
Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed ...
I hope you're not lonely without me.
There are those thinkin more is less, less is more,
but if less is more, how you keepin score ?
It means for every point you make, your level drops.
Kinda like you're startin from the top ...
and you can't do that.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed ...
I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, have mercy on me.
I hope you're not angry, if I disagree.
Society, crazy indeed.
I hope you're not lonely ....
Without Me.

Jerry Hannan

I'd love to know YOUR thoughts ...