Monday, May 31, 2010

Free Gaza Flotilla Massacre

This is a letter I have just sent to my government in response to the massacre of the Free Gaza Flotilla by Israel. I am so tired of being insignificant and feeling useless to do anything to help. My suffering and frustration is nothing compared to that of the Palestinian people and this makes me feel worse.

Dear Mr Smith and Mr Rudd,

I am demanding that you, as my respresentative, do something in response to the attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla by Israel. It is way past the time that you, and our government, should let the Israeli government know that we Australians are against their brutal seige on Gaza and against their policies of collective punishment, dehumanisation of the Palestinian people and of the arrogant behaviour in the face of International Law. Enough is way too much. Our silence has contributed to this incident and to Israel believing that they have a law unto themselves. I am angry, frustrated and saddened by our lack of committment to the people of Palestine......imagine for one minute how you would survive living in Gaza under the most inhumane me, you wouldn't. Step up and do something that will make us proud of our government and stop the seige of Israel, it affects all people in all countries...the suffering is not just limited to the people of Palestine. It's time to end this.

Davina Johnson

Sunday, May 30, 2010


A Wren, A Swan
A Hand, A Glove
A Stream, A Creek
A Sigh, A Whisper
A Petal, A Leaf
A Wave, A Ripple
A Smile, A Frown
A Breeze, A Wind
A Mound, A Hill
A Shadow, A Mirage
A Difference, A Similarity
A Reason, An Inspiration
A Memory, A Thought
All these things,
So close yet distant
Are my expression that the best friends
Are those who, through their differences,
Evoke thought, compassion and love.

This is my new tattoo. Renae at Alien Art did an incredible job of transposing it from Kakayi's art work onto my arm. When it fully heals the red shading will be a bit more subtle. I love it and I am so honoured to have it as a part of me forever. 
"Freedom Never Die"

I spent last weekend with my sons in Newcastle. It was so beautiful to spend time with them instead of doing a running visit. Every time I see them though it makes me realise how much I miss them.

My mood when I come back home!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Friends I've never met and my next tattoo!!!!

Below is a picture of my next tattoo....this piece of beautiful artwork was specially created for me by a famous master calligrapher, Kakayi. He is a wonderfully generous man who lives in Belgium but originates from Kirkuk, south of Kurdistan. I found his work on the net and asked if I could use one of his pieces for a tattoo. He immediately replied and I explained that I am very passionate about Palestine and human rights. He offered to do a drawing in the diwani style of Arabic script and suggested the words "freedom never die". To me, these are hopeful words and words that echo my feelings for all people who are seeking freedom.
His response was ;
HI Davina i promesd you and i made in one good moment the calligraphy
i sent it in this a ttachment in a large format i hope that you well like it its not easy but but i have a very nice result
it is in diwani scripts ( Al huriyyatu la tamutu ) freedome never die injoy it after that i well loaded up in my own website and in the facebook also for the freedome of people every where greetings kakayi- Belgium

Kakayi is a friend I've never met.
Now I have to find a tattooist that will do this justice.
I am planning a trip to Palestine for my 50th birthday next year. A friend in Nablus has extended a kind hand and heart and said I could stay with her. She is warm, intelligent and very creative. She is the person who inspired me to do jewelry making. Another friend who lives in Jordan has said I can also stay with her and she'll take me to Petra and a few other places. A friend in Kuwait has offered to provide me with a motorbike so I can ride around with him and his friends if I go there. A friend from Australia is in Palestine at the moment and has been sending updates, stories and pictures back here. My friend is Nablus sent me her phone number to pass on to him so they might meet up while he is there. He has assured me that if they do meet he will take a photo of her for me.
These are all friends I've never met and their kindness and generosity makes me more determined to save and get over there to meet them. I know that they are all sincere in their offerings and I am honoured and grateful.
A man in Nigeria saw my necklaces on the net and asked if he could buy one. I told him that if he picked one that I still had I would send it to him as a gift. There were 10 pictures and the necklace he chose was the only one that I actually still had in the house. I thought that was an omen...he was meant to have it. So I posted it to him. Unfortunately I didn't write AIRMAIL on the envelope so it will take ages to get to Nigeria...but it will get there.
Wilfred's necklace

Imagine all the great people and opportunities you miss if you never reach out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things that make me go hmmmmmm

Hmmmmm in any context is desciptive. It has impact, it shows that the thought process has been activated.

Hmmmm - we all need me time. This weekend my husband and I had separate me times. He went for a 700km Harley ride with his mates to the coast and all around. I stayed home and enjoyed the solitude using it to catch up on 'my things'. I lit lots of incense and the fire, I made some jewelry, I watched some movies, I ate lots of chocolate, I cleaned the house to my liking and spent some quality time spoiling my dogs. I also caught up on what's going on in the world and with some friends.

Hmmmm - "This military order is part of a series of steps implemented by Israel to empty the West Bank of Palestinians, especially by removing them to Gaza. It will cause tens of thousands of Palestinians to be deported from the occupied West Bank. The orders substantively changed the definition of “infiltrator” and in effect apply it to anyone who is present in the West Bank without an Israeli permit. The orders do not define what Israel considers a valid permit. The vast majority of people now living in the West Bank have never been required to hold any sort of permit to be present in their own land and a demand to do so is preposterous."
This is quoted from an article by Nasim Ahmed of the PalestineTelegraph.
The Hmmmm here for me is initially anger that again Israel is behaving like a rogue state disregarding international law, and secondly, it is frustration that again I am left asking "Why is this allowed to happen?"
There is , fortunately, a third Hmmmm. In researching these developments I have discovered that there are alot of Israeli citizens who are as abhored by their governments actions as I am. These people are ordinary citizens who are becoming active and speaking out at the atrocities carried out in Palestine in their names.

Hmmmm - I have met, and chatted with, many interesting people on Facebook. I was chatting with a guy in Kuwait yesterday about Harleys, and bikes in general, and he has invited Todd and myself to ride with him and his friends if we are ever in Kuwait. After telling him that I am hoping to go to the Middle East next year he said that he will arrange bikes for us to use while we are there. Very generous!! I am so keen now to get my bike licence.

Hmmmm - A friend from Australia is currently in Palestine and sending regular updates of his trip. Yesterday he was part of the weekly demonstration at Bil'in and witnessed firsthand the reactions of the IDF soldiers when confronted with non-violent protestors. He copped a dose of tear gas and was present when a cannister thrown by a soldier hit an Israeli protestor in the forehead fracturing his skull and causing a brain haemorrhage. Five protestors were arrested.

Hmmm - I finally received my copy of Ramzy Baroud's book 'My Father Was a Freedom Fighter'. You have to read this book...the emotional ride it takes you on is incredible but what struck me most was the resilience the Palestinian people have. It is a very thought provoking book and should be read to see the human side of the conflict and the affects it has on generations.

Hmmmm - Our friends were married last weekend in Tamworth. The ceremony was beautiful and the rest of the weekend huge. The Crosby Sisters sang at the ceremony and lots of other people sang or played with the band while others with no musical talent (including myself) danced until very very late.

Hmmmm - it says alot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's been goin' on...

The biggest news to happen is that I am going to be grandmother. My eldest son and his partner, Candace, are expecting at the end of November. I am very excited for them and for myself (because it's still all about me). Their lives will change, their priorities will shift and they will be so grateful for it. I haven't decided if I'll be a nan, grandma or nanny yet but I think the baby will decide that. My friend has told me the Arabic for grandma is teita and I like that alot.
News from Facebook...heaps of people have found myself and my husband, added us as friends and we have been astounded with the whole social network thingy. It has been good to catch up with people we haven't seen in years and find out what they've been up to. How cool is it that you can find people all over the world, have a conversation with them or just read what they are interested in or doing? Fascinating.
We had visitors from home come and stay with us over Easter. That was nice. We hadn't seen them for ages sounds like we live the lives of hermits....It was great to relax, eat lots of food and drink wine and talk and eat more food and drink some more wine on and on and on....
We had a huge weekend a couple of weeks ago in Tamworth. There was a fundraiser for a friend of ours who has motor neurones disease and nearly $10000 was raised. Country Music people are soooo generous. It was a great turnout with over 400 people attending and Kootingal Bowling Club went off..the jam at the end of the night was awesome to hear and see.
I received my copy of the Humans Rights journal that published my poem, "The Burden of Choice". The Goodis Centre have done a wonderful job on its presentation. The eclectic mix of artists, poets, authors, playwrites and intellectuals is amazing. I am so proud to have been invited to be part of the First Edition.

The piece above is my sons thumb print which I moulded in Silver Clay. I love it. It's the first one I did but I think it is such a personal piece. I have since made one for a friends mum and he has ordered two more for his daughters. I just love the idea that you can wear something so intimate and keep it forever handing it down through generations, it's part of the family history.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Everyone has been telling me for ages that I should join Facebook. I did join ages ago but never used seemed to complicated and I'm not that social. But I have renewed enthusiasm now. I went on this morning because my sister added me as a friend, which I thought was nice after only being her sister for 45 years. Then I started looking around and discovered all sorts of interesting things. I added some friends of my own, had a chat with a charming man in Gaza and also chatted to my sister (who was not much help in answering my questions about Facebook). I admit that I am a convert. I promise not to add my son as a friend though...that could be embarrassing for both of us and I respect his privacy. I also promise my niece that I will continue to call it Facebook and not The Facebook - she has this idea that old people call it The Facebook. Getting back to my previous post, I now have another avenue to find people who I can annoy. Yeah for me.....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What are we doing???

I've had a month of very mixed emotions. One of those times when a host of things happen that drag you through sad times, you seem to flit through good times, some more sadness that leaves you wondering why and then a bit of good that lifts you back up. And we have to deal with it, mull it over and find some sense to it all. This all sounds very cryptic....I'll explain.
I started my new job at The Salvation Army - a good thing
My father-in-law has cancer that is invading every part of his body - a very sad thing
A friend of mine has started a University course and is doing great - a good thing
My oldest son hurt himself at work - a bad thing BUT has made a full recovery - a great thing
My youngest son is trying to decide what he wants to do in life - a good thing if he chooses the right path
My father has to have surgery on his cataracts - a bad thing BUT the outcome will be good (he'll get to see mum in focus again - should be a good thing)...just kidding mum!
My poem, 'The Burden of Choice' has been published in a Human Rights journal - a very good thing
My friend, along with all Palestinians in the West Bank have been "sealed in" for 48 hrs - a very bad thing
And that is where my dilemna begins....How do I celebrate something as trivial as having a poem published when I know that the person I wrote it for is being held captive, humiliated and suffering to provide for her family even while I write this. She is ordinary in that her story is no different from anyone else's in The Occupied Territories but she, and everyone else there, are extraordinary in that they survive those conditions. My friend is witty, generous, thoughtful and always has kind words. She hopes that one day she will be able to return to Gaza, where both of her parents are buried, and see the beach where she grew up.
It sounds like a reasonable request, doesn't it? At this point, her request is impossible to achieve. By putting a human face or name to the plight of these people, or by just recognising that they are people like you and me with the same needs and desires, we should realise that they deserve the same respect that we would want for ourselves. Religion and ethnicity aside, they are you.
So when do words stop being just words and become something more? What makes a word into a plan then an action? Anyone can write a poem or a song or a book or a letter but if they don't do anything with it it remains words and nothing comes from it. My passion for the people of Palestine drives me to make words become an action. I have no fear in contacting my government or other governments and world leaders about what I feel are injustices and illegalities. The world is so small now and it is so easy to find contact details for these perpetrators of crime. I know I'm not the only person on this planet who advocates for peace and human rights so I like to imagine thousands of me's sending off emails to foreign leaders letting them know that we are not buying their propaganda or their false statements about security. Peace talks, peace processes and road maps made up by elected officials who have agendas very disparate from those of their constituents bear no fruit. I'm delighted to announce that the time has come for anyone who has ever been desribed as annoying to be just that.....ANNOYING. I will continue to annoy politicians and world figures with my words. This will be my personal protest march and hopefully one day emails from all the annoying me's will reach somebody with an iota of humanity and things will change for the better.And that person will be great.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What's New....

My youngest son, Matt, and his girlfriend Zarah came for a visit this week. They'd flown to Brisbane for a few days, picked up a car and drove back to Newcastle. They stayed for a few nights and although Matt was pretty sick with a throat infection it was great to see him. His sense of humour is so out there and he's quick witted, which I've really missed. It was great to talk to him and see him.
I am no longer involved with wine, lavender or eucalyptus. The job just didn't pan out the way I'd hoped it would. The people who worked there were lovely and it was gorgeous driving through the property to my office every day but I couldn't see myself being there until I retired. I start a new job on Monday in the office of the Salvation Army. I'm looking forward to it because it will be nice to be working in an environment where everyone shares the same beliefs in human rights as I do. It will be good.....
My husband has a few friends up visiting this weekend, doing men things, so I've been busy doing some jewelry making. My mother-in-law, Kay, wanted a pair of garnet earrings. You can't just have earrings without the necklace so I made her that too and used a Swarovski crystal as the focal piece. I was happy with the way they turned out.
A friend wears a lovely amethyst necklace so I made her a bracelet to match using sterling silver chain and wire, crystals and gems.
Then I played around with some nickel silver wire and unakite...nice!
My dad sent me some old pennies the other day. I was so excited because he found one for for each of us with the year of our birth. So mum, dad, myself and my two sisters will all be getting copper wrapped coin sounds like something from The Brady Bunch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ACT ON IT by The Brothahood

I received an email from the AFOPA the other day and the link below was in it. It is a hip-hop song by The Brothahood called Act on It. The Brothahood are a group of Australian Muslim emcees and their lyrics are honest, wonderful, thought provoking, articulate, passionate and true. The music behind the lyrics is fantastic, the changes go with the words to punctuate them and bring them home and the chorus is melodic and chanting. When you listen to it I guarantee the chorus will stick in your head and you'll want to listen again and again so that you pick up everything they are saying in the verses.
They should be proud of themselves and of their is truly inciteful.

(JEHAD sings)
Occupation - do you know what that means?
Military force crushing hopes and dreams
It's a noun; you have the right to resist
Against your occupier and you must persist
Under international law and since time began
the right resist was known throughout the lands
Germany in World War 2 occupied the Jew
in Europe atrocities - were sad but true
They didn't sit down like a bunch of chumps
They fought right down to the very last crunch ah
(HESHAM sings)
Now let's bring it back to the present situation--
New Years Eve 09 ain't NO celebration
In just 2 days over 400 dead
Gaza Strip, Palestine, Genocide, War crime
Israel -- at the hands of all this
In my eyes the country don't exist
(JEHAD sings)
It was born on injustice, theft and murder
Driving Palestinians out further and further
Now don't get me wrong Judaism ain't to blame
But we must understand that Zionism ain't the same
Now I know you're mad at me, blunt brutality,
The Z ain't got no links to Jewish spirituality
Huh, now you wanna twist, call me terrorist,
Yes, I'm anti Zionist, Expect me to resist.
(Timur) You got civilian hitlists
(Jehad) So who's the terrorist?
If you're with me, throw up a fist LIKE THIS!
(TIMUR sings)
If you see an injustice act on it
If you cant do that then speak on it
And if you can't do that then feel it in your heart
It's the weakest form of faith but at least that’s a start
(MOUSTAFA sings)
2 - 0 - 0 - 9
I was looking forward to the Aussie summertime
but how can I think of fun
when I know my my people looking down the barrel of a gun
Po-liti-cal interests in the way
I watch my people struggling day after day
Women and Children UN schools and hospitals
Deliberate attacks they ain’t caught in the middle
(JEHAD & TIMUR sing)
Why do we let this holocaust
Continue 21st century thought you knew -
Sippin’ at ya brew starbukkin’ looking mad
No idea about the issues but you out there burning flags
(TIMUR sings)
If you see an injustice act on it
If you cant do that then speak on it
And if you can't do that then feel it in your heart
It's the weakest form of faith but at least that’s a start
(HESH sings)
Palestine, before 1948
Before Israel was known as a state
Before Adolph Hitler met his final fate
Arabs and Jews lived together NO hate
Side by Side, co-operating with respect
It's a shame our history we seem to neglect
If it worked back then it can work once again
But Zionism, friend must come to an end
All is justified in times of war
but a war has two sides which they seem to ignore
(MOUSTAFA sings)
This ain't a war it's a massacred attack
18 months under siege eating scraps
Formation of resistance to finally fight back
Media claims terrorist now they trapped
People of the world talking their mouths confused
The word anti-Semite is used and abused
It's an excuse when pressured on the spot
I hope they can't sleep while the dead bodies rot
If you see an injustice act on it
If you cant do that then speak on it
And if you can't do that then feel it in your heart
It's the weakest form of faith but at least that’s a start

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Year

We started renovating a few rooms in our house, well my husband did. He has torn down two chimneys which formed a wall between our loungeroom and dining area. The house is filthy,everything is covered in dust. There are shattered bricks and bits of concrete all over the floor, a hole in the ceiling and scaffolding and tools littering both rooms. I hope with all my heart that no-one decides to visits us in the next couple of weeks, especially people with little kids. WE LIVE IN A CONSTRUCTION SITE!!
I found this 1956 penny in the wall cavity and decided to clean it up and wrap it in copper wire to use as a pendant. Pity I don't know anyone who was born in '56! It would have been great to have found a 1961 coin for myself (it's still all about me) or one for my sisters ('59 or '64). It will look nice though as a focal on a necklace with more copper beads and serpentine or torquoise. On second thought, rose quartz would look great.
My Christmas was spent with our families. I travelled down the week before Xmas for a party with my family. All the nephews (bare one) and nieces were there - some with their partners, my sisters, my parents and an aunty I hadn't seen in years & years. It was good to catch up with them all. My oldest son, Brad, was given a sky-dive for Xmas from his girlfriend and I went to watch that. I had never envisioned watching my first born hurl himself from a plane and plummet to earth. It was exciting and I was grateful that I didn't know any statistics of people crashing to their death on their first jumps. He loved it and swears he is going to do it again. Todd and I drove down on Xmas day to spend the night with his family. It was very relaxing once we got out of all the holiday traffic. I'm not used to driving bumper to bumper anymore and I was over it by the time we got there. A nice glass of wine soon calmed me back down.
New Years eve was very peaceful for me. I thought about the year gone past and the new one coming and what may be in store for us all. I wrote the poem "The Burden of Choice" for a dear friend who lives in Palestine because I was thinking about new year resolutions we make and how we can choose to do or not do something. We take our ability to choose for granted. Todd's band played in town and going on experiences from past years I knew it would be a very late night (or early morning) so I stayed at home watching movies and eating junk kind of night!! Brad went to Byron Bay to celebrate and Matt went to Sydney. Both of them had a ball. Matt rang at midnight but I could barely hear what he was saying...I made out Happy New Year then a chorus of what seemed like 1000 females started screaming and I wished for a second that I was there too.
I hope you all have a great year in 2010 and are successful in whatever it is you want to be successful in.