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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Must See Clip

Nature !
How amazing it is, just when you think you understand you get to see something like this !

EMBED-Leopard Kills Baboon But Saves Its Baby - Watch more free videos

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Few Of My Latest

Hope you enjoy, all are from my back yard except the wattle flower !

True Love

Sulpher Crested Cockatoos ( Cacatua galerita ) as part of my " Urban Wildlife " Collection. My aim is to try and capture all the species of wildlife that visit my yard !

A Rainbow Lorikeet

( Trichoglossus haematodus )as part of my " Urban Wildlife " Collection.

Some type of Australian Bush Wattle

Monday, September 20, 2010

Is Love Enough ?

Most who read my Blog would be aware that my marriage went through some interesting times over the last four years which resulted in me now being separating permanently from my ex-wife and best friend of 17 plus years.

In more recent times I have watched another best friend’s marriage disintegrate into a bitter, hateful situation when both sides are always defensive and looking to get the next point over their partner. Their relationship has descended into a win at all cost “ War of the Roses ” and both parties have resorted to using their 3 kids as cannon fodder against each other ( even if they are unaware of what they are doing ).

Another friend is currently going through a domestic abuse hell from her partner that has resulted in criminal charges against her ex-husband and she is now living 24/7 with the fear of him turning up and finishing the job he had started.

And then last night I was talking to a another ( 20 year plus ) friends wife only to be told in secrecy that her marriage is a complete sham and that from the moment she walked down the aisle she knew it was the wrong thing to do but felt trapped and unable to get out of the marriage. She informed me that her wedding day tears walking down the aisle were not tears of happiness but tears of sadness and regret of what was happening.

The sad truth is I’ve only listed four marriages above but in reality I could run off a list of twenty or more friends and associates who’s marriage did not stand the test of time.

Yes, I too know people who have been married for very long periods, including my parents who have been married 50 years and my sister who this week is celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary, but they are the minority, an ever decreasing group who have to date stood strong against all that time, marriage and life has thrown at them. Some are still there out of genuine love, some out of long formed habit and some out of fear of being alone.

How does this happen between two people who once loved each other openly and unconditionally ?

I have many thoughts about relationships but since my marriage did not survive you may not want to put too much weight onto my beliefs, many are probably off the mark but all are qualified by real relationships that I have either been a part of or have observed first hand.

I think the first big killer of any relationship is the fight for control within a relationship, I have not yet seen a relationship that is 100% amicable where both parties agree on everything all the time. That I think most would agree is impossible and a fantasy world saved for day time sitcoms.

Every couple will have disagreements, every couple will attempt to “ Negotiate ” a compromise and every couple over time will feel like “ They ” are the ones that ALWAYS have to compromise, every couple will start to resent the inability to have it their own way and will feel more and more like “ Their opinion doesn’t matter anymore to anyone ”, individuals start to feel dis-empowered, lost and without a voice. The power battles start and suddenly the decision over which show you both watch or the colour of the new blinds takes on an illogical level of importance that is more deeply rooted in the need of each individual to be heard than it is about the actual topic.

Another big issue I feel is an ever growing phenomenon in marriage for the need to “ Change ” or “ Fix ” those silly little flaws in our partners. Just about, actually ALL relationships that I have observed have started independent, but before long at least one side of the relationship ( if not both ) attempt to change the other half, to “ Mould ” them into a mirror of themselves. While opposites attract it makes for hard work to constantly negotiate a compromise and inevitably one will attempt to conform the other so that the day to day existence of a relationship becomes less work and easier.

Can you remember when you first moved in with your partner ? Can you remember the small insignificant things that shouldn’t have mattered but in reality drove you mad with frustration. Did they leave the toothpaste lid off ? Did they not close the wardrobe doors when they were finished ? Did they want to watch their shows all the time instead of your shows ?

I believe that in most relationships this is natural and one side will always be willing to give that slight bit more than the other. The issues come into a relationship when one side feels that they have paid their dues and given more than their share of ground for the relationship but are constantly asked to give yet more.

Finally I think the third big killer of marriages is “ Jealousy ”, unless it was an arranged marriage ( which is a whole other story ) we all would have met our partners at some type of social gathering, be it Church, the Pub, Through Friends ect .. we as humans are social creatures, we thrive on connecting with others, in fact we cannot survive in isolation.

Yet despite our partners having multiple friends of both sexes when we met them it is amazing how many partners don’t TRUST their partners to remain social outside of the marriage. I ask you this question, “ Would you allow your partner to go out to dinner and a movie with a member of the opposite sex alone ? ”.

If your answer is no I would ask YOU why ? Do you not trust them ? Do you not trust the other person ? Do you not trust yourself in the same situation ?

Without trust in any relationship you have nothing.

It is YOUR issue that YOU need to deal with and carry the burden of. It is not for your partner to carry your insecurities for you or to resolve. You do not own your partner and therefore have no rights to restrict or control their life.

On a lighter side, I have a young nephew about to marry one of the most beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, they really do seem to be the real deal, a couple that will stand the test of time. Everyone is excited about their wedding day which is such a refreshing feeling in today’s cynical world.

They really do stand as a beacon of hope for us all and of what is right about this world.
So please raise your glasses and toast with me to “ Mathew & Lilly ” as a reminder to us all of what it was once like and of how it should always be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Evolution Of My Blog

I’ve noticed that many of the Blogs that I follow have declined significantly in their regularity of posts. It seems like most Blogs ebb and flow in regularity like the tide, my Blog “The Soap Box Truth” is certainly one such Blog.

I have been finding it harder and harder to express my message and or stories that I have to share. It’s not that I have any less to say it’s just that I tend to find my best written contributions, be them Poems or Articles, come from a very personal place within, a place that more times than not is a place of personal pain or to a lesser degree, depression or painful self-reflection.

I guess it’s these moments that allow me to connect most intimately and honestly with my emotions and inner self which then I have the luxury to convey to those who share my Blog.

However after my initial purge of built up emotions and my almost animalistic urge to express myself and to be heard I find myself in a much more peaceful place and find that I openly resist going back to the place where I write best from.

I have also for the first time in my life found a path to express myself in a more positive less personally intense method. I have finally taken up a lifelong ( hobby ) ambition of freelance photography and now find myself spending every free moment walking with my camera looking for the beauty in this world and trying to capture it emotion and all, to share with the world. For the first time in my life I am solely focused on the beauty in this world and not the analysing of its pain and negativity.

I have been spending up to 4 hours at a time gently strolling through parklands, cities and functions looking for that elusive emotion or memory and trying to paint it’s picture in light with my camera for all to see. I have at times sat on the grass for hours ( almost in a state of meditation ) waiting for two small wrens to sit together on just the right branch and look at me in just the right way so that I could share the innocent beauty of these magnificent little birds. I have sat in the reeds of a pond quietly and in peace long enough for the proud parents of signet swans to feel safe enough to share their young openly with me.
I have walked the streets of my beautiful home city of Brisbane to share its warmth and youthfulness with all that care to see. I live in a vibrant young city that has a story to tell ever corner that you turn, so I keep turning the corners in an effort to capture it’s feelings and beauty to show those that have not yet had the pleasure of visiting our fair city.
I have created a FlickR account ( at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51977793@N07/ or you can search the FlickR home page for ( Persons ) Andrew.Swansson ) to share my best efforts and I also find more and more I am posting my photographs here on my Blog page. I am very interested in any comments or suggestions that anyone has and hope to continue to improve my ability to share life as I see it and feel it through my lenses.

Having said all of that, I still have things I need to say and things that will make me want to step up once again onto my soap box but hopefully that will actually be less and less as I become more and more comfortable remaining on the positive side of life.

I am also interested in any suggestions that people may have for photographic topics and or places. I am also looking for any model volunteers in the South East Queensland area if anyone is willing or knows anyone, especially any heavily pregnant ladies.

So until next post, please enjoy the following shots which I took recently.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bucket List Focus Time

Went for a bit of a drive today to get out of the house and clear the head and emotions a bit, headed back up into the mountains and got a couple of good shots for my effort so I thought I'd share.
Don't forget that you can see the rest of my photographs that I'm willing to share on FlickR.
I hope you enjoy the following photographs.

Superb Fairy Wren ( Female )

Superb Fairy Wren ( Male )

Grey Headed Flying Fox Bat

Monday, September 6, 2010

Expectations - A comment From The Soap Box

How much should we expect from our kids ?

Is it unrealistic to try and encourage and motivate your kids to put in 100% effort, 100% of the time ?

I’ve had a few “ Disagreements ” with my son of late about his focus and motivation towards what I see as golden opportunities that he has in his life and his constant “ Just Enough ” effort that he puts forward as his “ Best Effort ”.
I know that generalisation is a dangerous thing but it would appear to me that most of the “ Now Generation ” ( below 25 years ) consider that any effort is a good effort and that as a society we are pandering to a generation of delicate personalities which we are not allowed to tell that they are wrong, failed, lazy or simply that they are dragging the chain.
We now have education systems that are not allowed to mark incorrect answers with a Red Cross because it might upset the kids and damage their self-esteem. We have universities that simply mark as competent or not competent so that we don’t discriminate. But in do so we manage to the lowest common denominator and take away any motivation for our youth to strive for that 99% on the exam, to push themselves to achieve their best. Why would anyone strive to achieve 99% when the person who gets 51% is acknowledged exactly the same, with a “ Competent ” grade.

We even have unfair dismissal laws in industrial relations that require us to give big warm hugs to non performing employees, to ask if they have home issues that you can help with and then you are still required to give them 3 written warnings before you can dismiss them. Crazy, keep your home issues at home, focus on work at work and give 100% effort 100% of the time.
What ever happened to someone’s “ Best Effort ”, when did it become acceptable to acknowledge mediocrity as your Best Effort.

Good, Better, Best
Never Let It Rest
Until Your Good Is Better
And Your Betters Best.

I don’t think we as parents are doing our children any favours by allowing them to believe that average is acceptable, that as long as you cross the line that you have won.

If we don’t push ourselves and our children to reach for the stars, to dare to try and try again till you fail then how will we know just how far we could have gone and just how much we could have achieved.

We need to teach our children that failure is not loosing !

That they need to reach for the stars and not fear the fall.
Thank you for reading my blog and please leave your opinion, comment or simply a greeting.