About – October 2014 to October 2015

This is the original “About” page for this blog. Please find the updated “About” page HERE.

About the Author

Streams & Desolations is written by a 30-something human from Melbourne, Australia.

For years I have gone by the online names “fikalo” and “Darth Fizuleika” (long stories, and hey, I was pretty young when that started so don’t laugh too hard!). You can call me Fiona Kat, because that’s my name. At least, a portion thereof.

Education: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Sociology Major / Journalism Minor) – Monash University, Australia.

My major sociological interests are in the areas of feminist environmentalism, climate change action, vegetarianism and animal rights. In 1995 I became a vegetarian, while working on the family dairy farm, and I continue to try to live the plant-based lifestyle to this day. I am also interested in social issues like racism and the difficulties faced by migrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.

I am the adoptive mother of two rescue cats, Riker (as in Star Trek) and Odin (as in, the Norse All-Father).

Riker, July 2014 (aged 10 months)

Riker, July 2014 (aged 10 months)

Odin, July 2014 (aged 5 months)

Odin, July 2014 (aged 5 months)

I’m also married with human children.

I love heavy metal and classical music, art, poetry, books and writing. I am trying to learn how to grow my own food. I love sci-fi and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Harry Potter. I am interested in Celtic and Norse mythology. I like dying my hair in odd colours.

This blog intends to be a place for me to share my art, book reviews, music reviews, creative writing, NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo works, photography, and occasional musings about various topics. I will touch on religion from time to time, as it is so central to my worldview, but I hope that I can do so in a way that will not deter or alienate readers who don’t share my spiritual perspectives. It is a strange and challenging path to tread the very secular world of Sociology and the spiritual world of Christianity.

fikalo, circa 2012

fikalo, circa 2012, when I still fit into that particular outfit

March 2015 - attempting to get a happy crazy cat lady portrait with my fur-babies, who weren't interested in co-operating.

March 2015 – attempting to get a happy crazy cat lady portrait with my fur-babies, who weren’t interested in co-operating.

About ‘Streams & Desolations.’

I greatly appreciate all likes and followers. I try to take the time to look at the sites of other wordpress users who have taken the time to “like” my blog. Sometimes that isn’t always possible, though, but I do hope my readers will understand how much I appreciate their support!

Christ Enthroned, Book of Kells

The name of this blog is drawn from my interest in Christian Mysticism and Contemplative Spirituality.

My spiritual journey has taken me in all kinds of directions. At various times in my life I have identified as Roman Catholic, Atheist-Agnostic, UFO believer, and an amalgamation of Wiccan-Asatru-Kemetism, and Pentecostal, and lately I’ve lurked somewhere in between Pentecostal and Charismatic Catholic. These days, when pressed, I identify as plain “Christian”: someone who tries to study and follow the teachings of Jesus – in as simple a form as possible. I try to distance myself from the predominant Christian subculture that tries to dictate every aspect of people’s lives. I also see and acknowledge truth, depth, beauty and goodness in other religions and spiritualities. I am grateful for the goodness I’ve learned in various aspects of my spiritual journey.

I love the ancient Catholic Christian mystic writers and their modern counterparts. I enjoy learning about Celtic Christianity, Taizé style worship and prayer, contemplation, and how Christianity can work towards social and environmental justice. I am particularly inspired by Trappist and Jesuit streams of Catholicism. I was raised and educated in a Josephite Catholic parish in rural Australia, with some wonderful nuns and priests whose influence I am ever grateful for (even if I didn’t show it at the time!).

My current church community is a non-denominational Pentecostal-style church – having married a Pentecostal, who was at the time the more committed believer in Christianity, I felt it would be beneficial to our family cohesion to attend church services together. But once in a while I still get to mass, and find incredible beauty and Grace in the shared celebration of the Eucharist. I volunteer in the life of the Pentecostal church and have met some incredibly kind, compassionate, open-minded, Jesus-centred people in my time there.

I have many wonderful friends drawn from across many denominations and religions and philosophies, and count Catholics, Baptists, denominational Pentecostals, Anglicans, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Wiccans and Heathens (Asatru), as well as people of no defined specific belief system, among my friends and family. (And, in case it wasn’t evident from that list, I live in a particularly multicultural part of Australia, and love it!)

Streams speak to me of Living Water, of a place of life and growth.

Desolations speak to me of the Dark Night of the Soul, of the spiritual wilderness that is both difficult and necessary, of learning to have faith in God even when it seems He cannot be found.

I hope that this blog will appeal to a broad range of readers. Though I may touch on spirituality here, I do not intend it to be an exclusivist or judgemental space.

Ye Olde Blogs

Some of the content on this blog may sometimes be from my other blogs and websites:

A Humble Art Folio – 2006-2008 (fikalo.blogspot.com.au);

Fizuleika Of The Swamp – 2007-2013 (www.flickr.com/photos/fizuleikaoftheswamp);

The Amalgamation – 2008-2011 (darthmaulmakesmesmile.wordpress.com);

Sunrise Over Swamps – 2011-2014 (sunriseoverswamps.wordpress.com);

The Night Is As Bright As The Day – 2013-2014 (deepseastarryheaven.wordpress.com);

Instagram – (instagram.com/darth_fizuleika); and

F. Lokot at RedBubble – 2008- Present (flokot.redbubble.com).

When material is drawn from these sites I will reference their original date and make a note of where I first shared them. At the time of writing, these sites still exist but I intend to delete them at a point in the future.

I’ve also got a Disqus.Com account – fikalo_au. My avatar on there is one of my drawings from 2011, “Ocean Clown holds aloft his trident and rides a mighty wave horse.”

clownillustration

Ocean Clown holds aloft his trident and rides a mighty wave horse. Ink on paper, drawn by me, October 2011. Available for purchase as an art print at flokot.redbubble.com.

Random fact: In the early 2000s, prior to blogging, I used Geocities to run Animal Rights and Wicca websites.

This content first published: 5 October 2014.

Last updated: 29 October 2015.

This is the original “About” page for this blog. The new “About” page can be found HERE.

5 comments

  1. Wicca, eh? I worked closely with the Wiccan and Pagan communities in England when I was the Senior Base Chaplain. My job was to provide for the Constitutionally protected Free Exercise of Religion as a Chaplain. I took it seriously throughout my career. I often had more support from my pagan friends (including two senior officers who were themselves Wiccan and sponsored the group) than I did at times from the “christians” (lower case intentional).

    I can see us having some fascinating conversations over a glass of wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I can imagine it would be an interesting conversation! I was a serious practitioner of Wicca, with a Norse (Asatru) influence for a number of years. That was before I realised that there were other pagans scattered through my family, and over a decade before I found out about our family’s Viking ancestry – funny how those things can be passed down through families without individuals knowing.

      But most of my life I’ve been Christian in various styles/denominations.
      I can agree with you, freedom of religion is so important. Our laws surrounding that in Australia are very different to the USA, and differ by state. I believe that my home state, Victoria, is on the more strict end of the scale. The laws forbid religious and racial vilification. A lot of Christians (well, as you put it, “christians”!) were the most vocally opposed to the laws when they were introduced. In practice it’s meant that religious groups can’t go and preach against other religious groups. The only people I know of sued for it were a notorious Pentecostal group here in Victoria who are rabidly anti-Islam and anti-immigration (though ironically headed up by migrants, go figure). My own current church (also Pentecostal) was subjected to this groups picketing and protests a few years ago. Aussies are fairly reserved – we tend to not enjoy public displays of religiosity. So it was very odd to have angry protestors complain that our church was too lax in our beliefs. The funny thing being that in comparison to the highly progressive Catholic parish of my childhood, with our priest who vocally welcomed anyone and everyone to mass (he said atheists and LGBT people would be welcome), the Pentecostal church’s culture here often feels a bit too stifling for my tastes!

      But that’s really cool what you’re saying, and I can imagine Wiccans being verbal supporters of any religious representative who protected their own faith freedoms. While I’m not personally involved in Wicca anymore, I have some old friends and distant family who are still connected to that worldview. They are often very concerned with social justice and freedom of religion. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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