Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

“ELVIS, MY FATHER” by ‘Donna Williams’ 2016


Read the rest of this entry »

Which world do you live in?


My World = One’s Own World. This is our first world. Before all of its later cladding and contortions, it is at first a place of sensing, beingness, the preconscious mind and unknown knowing. It is the place where we understand self in others and others in self through the skill of mergence.

The External World = The physical world known through our sensory experiences as processed through our bodies/brains and experienced as sensations, thoughts, emotions, connections. This is a directly hands on world where sensing and beingness may be relatively strongly intact.

The Interpretive World = the world of applied (visual/verbal/kinesthetic) meaning to incoming experiences that progressively builds mental structures and frameworks that ultimately filter our direct sensed experiences of the physical world and develops conscious mind as the primary guide.

Ego World = Ego contortion that further clads, alters and filters the logical meaning we get from experiences of the physical world and further buries our original capacity for sensing and beingness. This can be indoctrination, culture, economics, identifications, rewards, honed addictions and competition for social, economic, cultural ‘currency’. Read the rest of this entry »

Dying With Dignity – nothing about us without us


Polly and Chris Samuel Before anyone self righteously takes a stand against right to a dignified death, keep in mind dying with dignity has strong clear guidelines… the person must have no more than 6 mths to live and this must be confirmed by two doctors and the person must be living with unendurable suffering…. then consider this… Read the rest of this entry »

On living, dying and metastatic breast cancer


Consequence by Donna Williams I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in Sept 2016. It had metastasised to my liver with innumerable tumors and no chance at resection. This is expected to most likely be my last year. I have made this video to explain to people how I feel about it all, why I have no bitterness and no regrets. Read the rest of this entry »

Facing death with positivity


Transition by Donna Williams Facing death… I keep hearing how brave, how positive I am. But is it all about positivity, or is it broader? I’ve been trying to understand what has shaped my perspective to see if it really all came down to positivity… or something else. I wanted to know this because facing death is so hard for many people, so why was this transition relatively ‘easier’ for me? Read the rest of this entry »

The Language Of Death


Polly and Chris Samuel As a person with metastatic breast cancer facing what is expected to be my last year with a body, I wanted to explore the language surrounding death, dying and end of life… Are we ‘the body’… do we end when we lose conscious awareness of our thoughts, feelings, experiences….Is it possible part of us doesn’t die, somehow lives on…
This is what I explore here, as a Taoist, as a humanist. Read the rest of this entry »

The Incidental Mirror


Circus Hoops by Donna Williams The battle between those who see humanity, dignity, equality, inclusion and those who see preservation of a self interested status quo is the age old battle between change and resistance to change, flow and stagnation, openness and self righteous certainty, a clear mind and one boxed and limited by fiercely defended (often culturally inherited) dogma.

And this battle has some ugly faces, for defensive people self righteously protecting self interests can be as soul-ugly as any Nazi. But eventually even everyday Nazi’s protected by their own self righteousness, narcissism and whitewashed history and self image, nevertheless catch an undeniable glimpse of their ugliness in a mirror. So, without hatred, without judgement of the Nazism you cannot imagine being your guide, strive in your art, in your writing, in your living, to be the incidental mirror.

Polly Samuel (aka ‘Donna Williams‘)
Author, artist, consultant and presenter.

I acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners of this country throughout Australia, and their connection to land and community.

Yesterday’s Hero


Donna Williams aged 12 Remember the song, Yesterday’s Hero by John Paul Young… It was a hit here in Australia in 1975. I was 12 years old at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Throwing a living wake


Donna Williams October 2016 It was my 53rd birthday mid October. I was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer in mid September and the week of my birthday had just done my fourth palliative chemo. The weekly chemos had been shrinking the innumerable tumors in my liver and the one in my spine wonderfully and even though I know this drug Cinderella tends to work for only 8-12 months before the cancer cells mutate again and become resistant to it and all the tumors return, I get to ‘go to the ball’… Read the rest of this entry »

CHEMO LOVE by Donna Williams


I was 47 years old in June 2011 when I found a lump in my left breast. It was the size of an almond and I felt certain it was just another cyst like the other two lumps which had already made homes in my breast. Chris was in hospital dealing with a gall bladder catastrophe for three grueling weeks. I was so busy worrying whether and when he’d be home again, snuggling with my man with his drain tubes and urine bottles, his bare body in the hospital gowns I found so frightening, that I didn’t tell him about the lump. Mostly, I couldn’t even really tell me yet. It was once he came home, rehabilitating, the last of his drain tubes out, clear he was going to be safe. Then I said ‘can you feel this?’ The following Monday I was at the GP. Within a week I was having a mammogram. A week later a biopsy. A week later mastectomy. Three weeks later chemo. Three months later Chris and I emerged from the chemo journey and I had my second mastectomy. This is a telling of that 2011 tale. I hope it gives readers hope and belonging. Read the rest of this entry »

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »