Though we have not yet gotten our U.S.A. shipment of furniture, kitchen items, bed linens, etc., my wife and I have now been living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia since early November in the apartment that Agnes owns. We moved from a four bedroom two-floor colonial with a exercise room in the basement and a one-car garage and two cars, to a two bedroom two-floor apartment with no cars, just a great public transportation system and a willingness to walk and walk and walk. Most notable is the move from a large kitchen that could accommodate easily two people working separately, to a small one-person kitchen. Though, that’s only a small part of the differences between where we were and where we are: cultural differences probably are the most significant change for me.
I’ve never lived in another country. I came to Australia twice for two weeks each time. I’ve also been to London, Paris, Copenhagen, Munich, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, but never for any more than a few days. I’ve now been living in Australia for six weeks, and I have the realization that I’m here for good. Yes, we’ll be traveling back to the U.S.A., and probably elsewhere in the world, but Australia is now my home, and I’m in the process of absorbing that realization.
For the last 18 years I have been active in the Mankind Project wherever I found myself: Southwest Virginia, Bethesda, MD, Northern Virginia, Chapel Hill, NC, Albany, NY and lastly, Boston, MA. So I have quickly made contacts and started to become integrated in the activities of the MKP Queensland organization and two Brisbane circles. My first effort to connect with this community was to attend the celebration of New Warriors during the New Warrior Training Adventure that Queensland had in mid-November. Thanks to the welcoming elders of the community, and the general warmth of the men here, I quickly knew I was in the right place.
Since then I have attended two circles with many men who I had previously met at the New Warrior Training Adventure in November. It appears that an unusually large percentage of men in these circles staff the NWTAs. I’m planning on alternating between these circles:
- I visited one of these circles twice (to which I go by train). To my surprise, it has 44 members on two WhatsApp lists – one for I-Group check-in’s and other business, and one for social interaction. Somewhere between 10 and 15 members show up weekly. Some men come early to eat together for dinner at a bar only a few meters from the meeting place. Its senior leadership is from the Elder community, and I’d say it’s composition is similar to circle composition in the U.S., though there is a larger percentage of men in their 40’s – and I’d say 70% completed their NWTA since 2018. One of the leaders of this circle told me that this circle has a lot of lover energy, and I judge that is accurate though there is also plenty of magician and sovereign energy as well.
- The other circle that I visited once with a participating Co-Leader Candidate (a leader track designation) offered to give me a ride. This circle also has WhatsApp lists, which I am told include approximately 70 men, though maybe only half show up with some regularity. Since the Pandemic, they have continued to meet with numbers of between 10 and 15 attending. Most notable about this circle is that the leadership includes younger men, and many more are part of the Queensland Leader Body. At the meeting that I attended, which I was told was somewhat unusual, included one Co-Leader, 2 Co-Leader Candidates, and at least three Leaders in Training. This circle clearly has more warrior and magician energy, and less lover energy.
This activity has not taken up more than one weekday night per week, leaving my weekdays wide open – an opportunity for me to get bored with all my free time. So far I have a couple things I am doing:
- Staying in touch with my son and brothers via text and phone at times that are convenient for both of us (usually my daytime and their evening).
- Continuing meditation with a group of meditators in the U.S.A. from 5:30 PM ET (8:30 AM AEST) over Zoom.
- Meeting in my late evening (their early morning) with a two close friends who I have been meeting with for several years prior to my move.
- Attending MKP Queensland Council meetings so I can get up to speed about the needs of this community and what they are doing that interests me.
- Reaching out to leaders in MKP Queensland to see how I might be able to be of assistance, and take on some roles that will fulfill me.
- Trying to find time for walking, though the high sun from about 7 AM to 3:30 PM means I either find a time to walk later in the day, since earlier is not an option, or find places with shade and put on sunblock to protect myself from the UV radiation.
- Connecting with an MKP elder who (1) is helping my wife and I think about where we would best buy property and build our forever house, and (2) has an interest in both rugby and cricket, and maybe I’ll go with him to some games in the future.
Even with all this, I still find myself with plenty of time on my own as my wife works at usual hours. For instance last night she was on calls from 11 PM to 2:30 AM. It’s not unusual that she also has early morning calls with time off in the middle of the day to do things with me, or get tasks done including planning for renovations of our apartment.