the most heart-full interview I’ve ever given…

Posted on August 31st, 2011

I recently did an interview with Joi Murugavell  who does “oodlies”. Oodlies are cartoon-y embellishments that tell the intimate back stories of people Joi meets online. She cyber stalks people that grab her interest, learning about their quirks from Twitter, FB, blogs and so on and forms an intuitive picture of them. She then sends the quirkiest interview request in Christendom and from the answers she gets back, she “oodlies”.

I was her latest victim. The experience was expansive, real, raw, risky, exhilarating, kind, true. I got super teary typing out my responses because I was so grateful for the depths she’d gone to to ask questions that dug deep.

Oh, how I’d love all journalists to dig like this, to reach for the humanity in a person and share something true and gutsy about the people they meet.

For the full interview go here. She’s also ‘oodlied’ a children’s book which is just gorgeous and has lovely adult lessons for us all throughout.

But I’ve pulled out some of the bits I enjoyed answering the most….

Joi: What do you often think about before the cameras start rolling?

Sarah: I have a phrase that goes around in my head when I’m about to do something big and a bit scary and a bit lonely, “This is serious Mum”. It started when I was a kid and I think I started saying it before TISM. Somehow it reminds me of all the times life has been vast and boundary-less and confronting and I’ve been alone… and all the times I’ve managed to get through it, regardless. It calms me down.

Then I don’t think anything at all and I concentrate on connecting with the person I’m meant to be talking to (a contestant, or to a producer, or to the camera). You have to stop the head stuff and drop your energy into your heart space to do this. Television work can be pretty boring and not always intellectually stimulating. But it can be emotionally fun when you focus on the human connection inherent in it. It’s hard to do and I often forget to do it. Meditating while I’m getting my makeup done helps.

Joi: What would a 15 year old Sarah be thinking about right now?

Sarah:That’s a wonderful question. She’d be fretting, probably. I was an insomniac at 15. And I worried that I was getting life very wrong. I was also into maths. I loved the certainty of it. I would do Lewis Carrol logic puzzles for fun. I’d also be wondering, “when will a great boy notice me”. Not much has changed. Just my perspective and knowing.

Joi: Its time to talk about boys. Would you date spaghetti if it was missing meatballs?

Sarah: Nope. I like the richness of the meatballs. I don’t eat fodder for the sake of putting something in my gut. I seek the full meal.

Joi: I absolutely despise the idea of being on a date and have never been on one. I’d always ‘go out for a movie or a thing’ with someone who is a friend, someone I’ve known for a bit (who’s spaghetti I like). The whole idea of meeting a near stranger and small talk on a date does my head in, its almost like being caught in cheese without any holes. What are your thoughts on the whole dating thing? Some people love it and I can see why, I gas (deliberate typo).

Sarah: I don’t feel awkward in situations which are clearly awkward (which set-up dates are). I quite like the sport of breaking through the awkwardness and acknowledging the awkwardness in each other. It’s a good test – can the other person acknowledge it and laugh at it, too.

Joi: You’re ridiculously busy, I have more questions. What thrills you to bits? and which bits get thrilled the most?

Sarah: I love heights and jumping from them – bungey jumping and sky diving etc. My stomach gets thrilled. It screams out freely. I love falling in love. Sometimes the smell of flowers, or salt spray, reminds me of this feeling. I feel it at the base of my spine.

Joi:  3 questions you’d like me to ask you?

Sarah:

  •       would I send my kids to private or public schools?
  •       would I love to eat dinner with Russell Brand?
  •       do you really think every meal can be improved with frozen peas?

Afterwards, I also asked Joi what this picture above was about:

Joi: When you said (hashimotos has) given you a lot I drew an oodlie that was free, cheekily menacing and determined, above a tea cup (which represents the ‘slowing down’ part). And a figure lying down in that turned over calm/tea cup cave thinking about what was important … Knowing the ambitious free spirit was doing it’s thing above the calm of the tea cup but not being frustrated that it couldn’t join the free spirit/maintain that energy, all the time.

If you were lying in a tea cup you’d hear all the noise outside but it would kinda be a muffled calm knowing it wasn’t dead silent and you could join it again any time.

Out of interest…what three questions would you like to be asked?

 

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  • http://www.fruitionoutdoorfitness.com Brooke

    The full interview… brilliant! Is Joi her real name? For a ‘name’ person I don’t believe there is a better name to have on a sunny day with a smile on your face= PURE JOY! She’s quirky and fun and finds a way to express her introverted self through not only her pictures but her ability to ask real questions. Loved it!

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  • Marie

    Love the interview and the Doodilies so creative x

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  • Jan

    They certainly are creative questions and Joi obviously has an eye for the off-beat.

    Sarah, you wrote above that “Oh, how I’d love all journalists to dig like this, to reach for the humanity in a person and share something true and gutsy about the people they meet”. Well being a jouralist yourself, why not adopt this approach ? Perhaps it will add a new dimension to your writing.

    Gary Patel?? Now that bit of info could an ice-breaking topic for your next blind date!

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  • Dharma

    Hi Sarah,

    This post today has really moved me, mostly reading the long version of your interview. It feels so rare in my life lately that much has felt truly real and meaningful, there seems to be a lot of going threw the motions.

    More and more it’s unsettling me, more and more I don’t know what to do about it. I feel like you did at 15 – like I might be getting life terribly wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many good things going on and I do appreaciate everything I have, only something doesn’t feel quite right, the meaning I use to feel in some things has just flat left me.

    I know this feeling is telling me I need to change some things but I just am not sure where to start or how to know what is right. It feels like a big change though and – unlike at 15 – one with big consequences for some reason.

    Has anyone else felt like this? Any words of wisdom Sarah? Thanks for continuing to inspire and connect with us xx

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Dharma, my book is about ALL of that!

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    Dharma Reply:

    Perfect, when is it coming out? I for one will be gobbling it up!

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    Monkey Mia Reply:

    I feel you Dharma.

    Only when you get older, its more like – not only am I getting everything wrong, I’ve got it wrong for X number of years, AND I’ve also wasted my life! Ah, the pressure we put on ourselves…

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  • Sam

    Interesting indeed. Most heart-full interview ever (horse meat, vaginas, meatballs, frozen peas)? Not quite sure about that.

    But a good twist on posing questions.

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  • Julie

    Such a weird and wonderful interview. Loved it!!

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  • Alex

    I loved that interview!

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  • http://www.samuelwebster.com Samuel Webster

    I had the pleasure of being one of the first subjects of Joi’s latest exhibition, My 10 Crushes. http://oodlies.com/_blog/The_Oodlies_Journal/post/An_email_interview_with_Samuel_Webster_from_Mood_of_Monk

    The questions were unexpected at the time but she hit the nail on the head. I wonder if people from the outside can see it as clearly as those of us who were interviewed, because she really gets to the heart of the person, but perhaps that is clearest to those who truly know the interviewee. I must say, beyond that, I have made many wonderful friends due to the fact that Joi also introduced them. It became a speaking point and it was soon proved to me that Joi has wonderful taste in people and subject matter (myself aside, perhaps – I think I snuck in on a technicality.)

    Although I hadn’t met Joi when she interviewed me, we have spent time together since and when I describe her to others, I find it hard not to start with ‘she is one of the most intelligent people I know’. She uses that intelligence not to intimidate or even to publicly ruminate upon her own intellect, but rather to be playful, with language and with emotion.

    Lovely to see her name over here.

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    Bambi Reply:

    As another victim…ha…I agree with how both Sarah & Sam found the experience. And Sam – you are right. Joi is incredibly smart. And talented…She uses words as well as she uses images. And it is always a two way exchange…maybe that is why she is so different from the usual interviewer and why folk open up?

    For some of us (and I do know others who just don’t ‘get her’) you immediately expose yourself and settle into total trust. And trusting someone like that (in my case someone I had never met in person, just on twitter, never spoken to, and yet went ahead and created a book with) felt like freedom. Maybe it felt like happiness.

    I’ve learnt a lot about Joi and all those people that she has opened my world too (online and IRL) – but I have learnt more about myself.

    So glad that so many people via this blog will learn about this amazing artist. And… (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) discover our book too.

    Thanks Sarah.

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  • Monkey Mia

    That illustration of the dentist vagina has got to be the greatest thing I have ever seen! Go Joi!

    Incidentally, Sarah – WOULD you love to have dinner with Russell Brand? (I would.) And CAN every meal be improved with frozen peas? (I’m not sure on that one, I’m not as obsessed with peas as I am with broccoli.)

    Three questions I’d like to be asked? Hrm. How about these:
    - If you had a Tardis which time period would you visit?
    - Are you a Beatles person or an Elvis person?
    - What would your superpower be if your life was a comic book and you got powers?

    Much love!! xx

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  • Andrew

    Interesting interview, given the additional insights I gained about you. I found your response about 15 year old Sarah, and your comments about your own looks, particularly endearing. That combination of strength and vulnerability you evince: it’s very appealing. Which is perhaps why I was struck by your answer regarding the kind of guy you are looking for. You see I have always had big question mark over you in this respect – a question which not only relates to you, but many women like you, who seem very progressive and enlightened when it comes to their own personal development, only to be quite conservative when it comes to the men they seek.

    I might be wrong in here; you did after all, in a previous blog, mention your ideal partner being someone you could walk ‘side-by-side’ with (which to me suggests the kind of guy who could switch between masculine and feminine roles like you do, being both protector and cared for/the provider and supporter, depending on the situation). Then there have been posts about men ‘doing quipping humor better than deep conversation’, which, combined with these latest comments (and a few decidedly essentialist blogs), suggest a career oriented provider who is more of a father-figure than soul-mate as your real preference.

    This sheds light on why someone so eligible may continue to remain single too (despite indicating this is not you ideal scenario), given the kinds of men you favor quite possibly seek their own natural counterpart instead (i.e. the old fashioned, hyper-feminine girl who doesn’t threaten them like you might).

    Makes me wonder if guys like me (who have traveled the same path as yourself) might be
    opting for personal development at the expense of romantic success too, given even the most evolved women like yourself still appear to prefer the hyper-masculine types.

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    Mia Reply:

    Andrew, you seem to have a strange interest in Sarah’s personal life. Bit creepy to remember such specific details.

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    Mia Reply:

    Forgot to write why I logged on! What a fun interview with Joi. Ooodlies are the best.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Sarah puts up her personal life for all to see and dissect, and invites responses along those lines. Indeed she IS the subject in many instances – an intriguing test case for the ideas and approaches to life she explores – so anyone who has followed her writing will typically have a sense of her biography.

    I have also found Sarah responds very well to this kind of provocation, suggesting room (if not the need) for critical analysis as well as praise (which can at times border on slavish and unthinking in its unconditional approval). This is after all a space Sarah has provided for all of us to ask HER questions, and given your contribution, which is something of a contrast to her open, non-judgemental and exploratory approach – I think it best if you let HER respond.

    Matt Reply:

    Mia…Um…How’s taking an interest in a blogger who’s personal life is the very stuff of her blog “creepy”??? Or isn’t it possible for a guy to display a deeper interest in such stuff without being the subject of a pretty sexist and derogatory label?? Notice this dude has made far fewer posts than you too, so you might wanna hold back on the borderline abuse, given what we dish out tends to come back to us.

    Sarah Reply:

    Joi the interviewer followed Sarah’s romantic life with just as much interest as Andrew. Does this make her strange? And creepy? Do you realize this is toxic terminology, much the same as calling us women sluts when we explore our sexuality. You might want to look at your attitude towards men actually Mia because whilst I have like your posts and the way you have opened up, this unprovoked attack on a man who dared to make himself vulnerable too is sad to see on a normally beautiful, life affirming and accepting site like this.

    mike wilde Reply:

    Andrew, I actually sympathise with you here mate but methinks you’re pushing shit uphill with a fork. Women are always changing their minds. I have a Mum, a Sister, an Ex and a daughter. If I tried to live up to all of their expectations I would have no life at all. Let alone a prospective partner. It’s all about priorites and Trust.
    I’ve been following Sarah’s blog for about 10 months and I’ve seen very little here about how much she would bring to the table in a relationship. I know she’s a honey,(especially in the Spender Blue). She can cook, she’s got a brain. Most men would walk the Nullabor for less, no questions asked. Now, a relationship .. one that lasts .. who knows ???
    Most women are attracted to Money and Power .. that’s the way it is. If you find one that loves you for your sanguine disposition and you like her too .. Well it doesn’t get much better than that. But you might have to wait ..

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    Jenny Reply:

    If I was a guy reading this i’view, I’d run a mile – “…a guy who knows he would have fun taking care of me”. Why Sarah, is there something wrong with you? Are you after a partner or assistant? Would you take care of him also or is this a relationship just about your needs?

    Sarah, I have never met you and could have easily read this the wrong way, but it certainly makes you sound a bit precious.

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    Louisa Reply:

    This was indeed a very interesting Q&A session and oodlies are gorgeous. Just throwing in my two bobs worth here, but I have always thought of Sarah as a free spirit who is spending her time challenging the norm in order to create a better and more exciting life. To then read she is after a study guy, who has a life plan and knows where he’s going, sounds like a contradiction (and extremely boring).

    Sarah, would you really be happy with a guy who is that predictable. I was married to a guy like that (notice I said WAS), and really it was his way or the highway. Very hard work indeed, especially as I am also ambitious and our relationship was very competitive. Not healthy at all. I am now single and loving every minute of it.

    Andrew Reply:

    Interesting thoughts Mike, especially your idea that ‘most women are attracted to money and power’. My question to Sarah centers on this idea, because if women as truly evolved as as her (i.e. someone who embodies the best of feminism) still prefers “retro-sexual” men (a term gleaned from an article in today’s Age, which deals with this very topic), then their isn’t a lot of hope for men who profess to live their lives along these lines. Of course I’d like to think you are wrong; I harbor the fear you are not however; and when guys are labelled stalkers/creeps/nice-guys whatever for not confirming to gender defined behavior, my fears are compounded.

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    mike wilde Reply:

    Smart, ambitious women have always worked.. often needing to. They just didn’t get the cash or the credit before. Now that feeling their way around the ” men’s room ” and by this term I mean the professional world traditionally inhabited by men, poking into us and eachother .. trying to work out what’s real and what they have to give up. Meanwhile some of us men have gone the other way and ended afloat on a sea of feeling, wise but disconnected, vaguely emasculated by this new found femininity, which isn’t sitting squarely on our shoulders yet. Nor does it sit well with many women.
    My point Andrew is that the premise of your argument is that Sarah is ‘truly evolved.’
    Bit of a pedestal right there ..
    Maybe she doesn’t feel ‘truly evolved’ or heaven forbid … excuse me Sarah .. maybe she isn’t ‘ truly evolved.’ Maybe she’s just like the rest of us.

    Terry Reply:

    @ mike: See the link below (at least she’s honest!!! ;) )

    http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2011%2F9%2F6%2Fnation%2F9430242&sec=nation

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    Terry Reply:

    Brutally so……

    mike wilde Reply:

    For the sake of balance …

    A wise man once said to me …

    Some men hunt women as prey
    Some men hunt prey to take back to their woman

    Either way Terry, it’s a jungle out there.

    Terry Reply:

    @ mike: Hahahahaha….. True that. Wise man indeed!

    ….and sometimes the Hunter(S’pore men) becomes the Hunted……

    Also, in the words of the Eurythmics (something a little different):
    “Sweet Dreams are made of this…..Some of them want to use you….Some of them want to get used by you…..”

    I suppose, in the end, we can only hope to find that “Heart of Gold” as the song goes….

    annemarie Reply:

    Andrew- you are right about women (most of us) still wanting men who embody certain traits which are, well, manly. the word “manly,” however, is a little misleading, so allow me to explain a bit.

    i used to attend lots of workshops and retreats on various kinds of spiritual development, and the men i encountered at them seemed way too needy, precious, and took themselves far too seriously. in contrast, the women i met at things like this tended to be strong, fearless, and the work they did on themselves seemed focused on cultivating the ability to laugh at themselves.

    i don’t know why this is and i will refrain from offering any bio-essentialist theory. but i think it’s GENERALLY true to say that most people who sign up for things like this are damaged in some way or have experienced periods of intense sadness whereby they felt that they needed help in learning how to live.

    perhaps it’s less of a stigma for a woman to arrive at that place than it is for a man. perhaps for a man, this admission to feeling deeply broken induces a certain crisis in their sense of masculinity.

    i actively try to cultivate feelings openness, vulnerability, and softness, because those are qualities that i never allowed myself to feel before. But i didn’t realize until RIGHT NOW, that those qualities, according to conventional wisdom (ie. stereotypes) are essentially feminine.

    i don’t know where this leaves men who want to follow similar trajectories of personal development and also have a heterosexual relationship, and i didn’t know where i was going exactly when i started writing this comment, but yeah…you’re onto something Andrew.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Agree qualities like openness, vulnerability, and softness are essentially feminine annemarie. My argument – and cheers for your reply because it helps refine what I was trying to say – is that men too can possess feminine qualities, and not to the exclusion of their masculinity. Indeed this has been one of the greatest legacies of feminism – allowing women to develop their masculine side. Yes, some may have forsaken their femininity in the process, but just as many have become more more rounded people. I think the same is possible for men too. Some may, as you have described, embrace their feminine side in ways that reflects weakness. There is greater possibility, however for men to be strong AND sensitive, embodying the full array of personality traits available to all humans. Indeed, psychological tests have show that self-actualized people of both sexes are typically high in BOTH masculine and feminine traits, demonstrating that these are neither sex linked characteristics, or mutually exclusive. But where women have made great strides in this respect, I think there are still barriers regarding men following the same path – and most of these concern the way you will appear to woman in romantic terms.

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    Terry Reply:

    I think most women wld like their men to display feminine
    traits such as emotional vunerability & better communication
    skills, but wld not respect a man who cries at the drop of a hat
    or who breaks down & cries too easily in the face of physical
    danger. Hard to overcome thousands of years of evolution…

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I’ve read all these comments and love them all. To clarify, I’m not evolved (but I commit to heading there), I wanted to be cared for (but not financially etc…in a side-by-side caring way), yes I do want a masculine man (as in, sturdy, anchoring, has a plan…which might be to surf and build a mudhouse and learn sanskrit…I don’t have a “mould” in mind) and I don’t mind my comments or what I share being the springboard to discussion. THAT’S precisely the point of why I do this darn blog. I relish the feedback. I grow from it.
    So thank you.

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    Andrew Reply:

    [This is meant to be a reply to Terry's post, but can't do that, so I will reply to yours instead Sarah.]

    Interesting thoughts Terry. They echo what annemarie was saying too. The way I might sum it up: many women seem to want their men to display ‘mor’e feminine characteristics, but in the end, masculine traits must form the centerpiece.

    From your reply this sounds true for you too Sarah (i.e., not sure about the walking side by side bit. From what you have written, I suspect that for all your terrific feminist ideals, when it comes to pairing off, you’d probably prefer the man to walk a little ahead).

    Interesting article in Today’s Age along these line actually. (Funny how in the last three days, three major articles in Melb’s broadsheet have tackled this very subject – of women preferring old school men):

    http://www.theage.com.au/executive-style/culture/blogs/all-men-are-liars/number-one-20110901-1jn6s.html.

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    Mark Reply:

    I’ve enjoyed your insights and thoughts Andrew but I wonder whether you’ve unwittingly or unconsciously fallen into, what you call, ‘slavish and unthinking unconditional approval’ by using language as ‘truly evolved’ in describing Sarah.

    I feel that we, I include myself, get unconsciously drawn into trying to ‘work out’ Sarah and this is no co-incidence I believe in how the author draws us in via the articles that are posted. It has become a sort of dance that I have watched being played out for some time and I unfortunately believe that it’s essence is born from some narcissistic urge. An urge that requires pleasure, reward, attention from the environment, from outside, like a small child requiring purely narcisstic supplies in order to maintain its equilibrium. Problem is it never lasts. Alot of this is probably born from upbringing and dances that were played out growing up in the family dynamic that we will never, or should we, necessarily know about.

    I see someone looking, looking, looking as opposed to just living, living, living. The looking is being done with what you call a ‘slavish and unthinking unconditional approval’ in order to maintain that internal equilibrium. That makes me a bit sad you know because for all the looking that Sarah does in the name of a better and sweeter life I hope that she doesn’t miss out on what’s real. The beauty and (somewhat) optional pain that is an intimate loving sexual relationship and having a family that I believe Sarah has alluded to ‘wanting’. Maybe I’m very wrong on that last point.

    Terry Reply:

    Maybe that’s why many women find men in uniform (be it soldier,police,firefighter) irresistible?

    Terry Reply:

    Sorry,replied to wrong post.

    Maybe that’s why many women find men in uniform (be it soldier,police,firefighter) irresistible?

    Teha Reply:

    Guys, why not all get together and invite Sarah out for drink/lunch/dinner/whatever. You all seem very keen on her and perhaps one of you might be a potential match. And don’t you think you may be over analysing her just a bit here? zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    p.s..sure she’s loving the attention though

    Terry Reply:

    Maybe at some instinctive level, women know that the civilised society we live in is
    only 1 disaster away from the chaos & danger of basic survival, such as in cases of
    bush fire, hurricanes, tsunami, nuclear war or even something as recent as the London
    riots where societal protective setups such as police etc disappear & it all comes back to
    personal physical & mental strength to ensure survivability….. metrosexual attributes become attractive in times perceived to be “safe”- much like Maslow’s heirarchy of needs- once personal safety is taken as a given, other more “feminine” qualities such as emotional vulnerability become sought after…

    Terry Reply:

    Teha, It’s natural to analyse someone who puts their thoughts out there in the public forum. That’s why I think it’s a pretty gutsy thing to do. It’s a fair bet if you were to
    do the same, you wld also be under the spotlight – if you dare! :)

    Teha Reply:

    Terry, I’m not the least bit interested in profiling myself for public interest. Nothing gutsy about it. It’s Sarah’s choice what she shares about herself. I think it’s an ego driven thing.

    Teha Reply:

    And I think Sarah has a very healthy ego, despite coming across as vunerable etc.. Not a criticism, just an opinion.

    Terry Reply:

    What I meant was: Sarah writes abt herself as a platform or springboard in order for various issues to be raised & discussed in this public forum & not bcos of a tendency
    to satisfy her ego…..& to do so for the sake of generating discussion is a gutsy thing to do, not unlike artists who “suffer” for their art.

    Teha Reply:

    This certainly is one way to fill in time waiting for a delayed flight!

    Yes, I agree Sarah positions herself as a platform and from that stems many ideas/debates. But I also believe that ego is at play here in a big way. This is the same for lots of bloggers (but more so for those with a public profile). It’s almost like asking ‘would the real Sarah Wilson stand up’. Perhaps we need to agree to disagree! :)

    Terry Reply:

    Perhaps there is ego involved, but that need not be a bad thing.

    It takes a lot to “perform” on a public stage (whether in the performing arts or otherwise), & to be able to keep taking on criticisms & still be able to bounce back & keep doing it. Without a healthy ego, at the first sign of disapproval from the audience, they wld be licking their wounds & seeking refuge in a dark corner….& the world wld be the poorer by being deprived off all those wonderful individuals who make all our lives richer.

    My thinking is that as long as the ego assists or enables an individual to do good and/or make the world a better place for the rest of us, & does not seek to belittle or put others down in order to satisfy itself, then it cannot be such a bad thing….

    Andrew Reply:

    These are some of the more thought-provoking replies I have read on this forum – from the point of view of my own interest anyway. You see, as a nascent psychologist, Sarah’s ‘struggle’ represents pretty much everything which fascinates me in my field (and ordinarily you wouldn’t be able to speak about gender, the new media, spirituality, cult-dynamics and psychopathology in the same sentence!). Yes Mark (and Terry) – there may indeed be a bit of idealization going with me. I have a great affinity for the kinds of things Sarah is most interested in, and given she is female as well – whilst I do not seek her romantically, I’d like to see more women like her. There is however, this skeptical side of me too, that seeks more information regarding whether a certain grandiosity might be tangled up in this quest for truth and self-knowledge. It is perhaps what makes her so interesting to ‘study’. Same for Sarah’s followers, who, in some cases reflect and form part of this process, given their own quest for truth – and needs.

    Lisa Reply:

    OMG…there are 28 comments here trying to ‘unravel’ Sarah! Isn’t this now bordering on obsession?

    Like someone else said, ask her out if you’re that keen. And Andrew, if you are a psychologist aren’t there more interesting people in the real world to case study? Yes, Sarah can come across as a nice, down to earth person just wanting to live a better life but I would also say very egotistical, needy, manipulative and likes taking the piss out of people. Oh & I bet she’s the first to check the newspapers for photos of herself.

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Hi Lisa,
    I initiially sent this as a direct email, but it bounced….
    I do hope this reaches you. I’ve only had cause to reply to a reader on my blog directly twice. The last time, the email was bogus.
    I’ve chosen not to reply publicly because on this occasion my feelings are hurt at a personal level and I don’t use my blog to air personal grievances. I don’t wish to add oxygen to any animosity you feel towards me as a human, but I feel compelled to reach out and let you know that your comments have upset me deeply. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this when you write what you do but I think it’s important for people to know. Online it’s very easy to hide and remain unaware of where poison ends up, where it burns another.
    Regards,
    Sarah

    Terry Reply:

    As Sarah mentioned, one of the reasons she writes this blog is so that it becomes like a mirror to her psyche & I believe all feedback comments(good or otherwise) are taken in
    & contemplated in her quest for personal development.
    Maybe I’m naive, but I enjoy the topics thrown up in her blog, & I have no problems with
    her motivations for doing so as I tend to go with the outcome or merits of her writing, & will continue to do so unless provided with evidence to the contrary….

    Terry Reply:

    Sarah,
    Yes, I thought that post from Lisa was pretty hurtful & the only explanation I can come up with is that we all see the world thru the eyes of our personal experiences.

    Just as a physically abused dog sees the world as a dangerous place & lashes out at the slightest provocation, whether real or imagined, people who have been hard done by & bear psychological scars also tend to lash out at others in the same way. (In fact, the tone & content of their response is a dead giveaway).

    As I’ve mentioned before, happy people do not act in a mean way towards others
    eg Who in their right mind wld be able to disparage others when in a happy mood???

    That’s why, when I’m at the receiving end of unwarranted attack like you have been, I try to remind myself that the person must be really unhappy in their life in order to lash out in that way, & I then realise that the person therefore deserves my pity more than anything else.

    Also, when you operate in a public forum such as this, there is bound to be individuals who will dislike what you have to say no matter how good yr intentions – much like politics I wld say, where even the most beloved politician, such as JFK, had his detractors (there’s always the lunatic fringe :) ).

    So try not to take it too much to heart as its always the vocal minority who make the loudest noise wheras the Silent Majority is really the one that counts…

    [Reply]

    Just asking Reply:

    Andrew – is this your comment from a blog earlier this year? YOu’re not interested romantically but yearn for a woman just like her????

    Andrew says:
    Dear Sarah,

    (Firstly, my apologies. I posted on this thread previously, but feel this entry better addresses your questions and in lieu of being able to delete that contribution I have just reposted.)

    [b]* What topic or theme (e.g. whimsy or “inside people”) or post or reader comment explored on this blog really connected for you? [/b]

    I’m most impressed by the way you freely admit to your (supposed) flaws and the issues you are battling with. It reminds me we are all struggling, and how, when we recognize this in others – and better still, when we try to help them – we can discover a profound beauty in this struggle. This was best encapsulated in your Sunday Life article “This Week I Get Over Myself”, my favourite blog of yours. As John Keats says in my favourite quote: “How necessary a world of pain and sorrow is to school an intelligence and make it a soul” – an idea you really seemed to have locked into.

    [b]* Or perhaps there’s a question you’d like to ask me…[/b]

    You are clearly an attractive woman, highly intelligent, and caring. Hard to fault really, which makes me wonder why you are single or have ever been single for long. Of course many good looking women are also a little narcissistic, posing numerous obstacles for men, and you did mention how Hashimotto’s disease taught you to be more humble. Has vanity (or any form of egoism, since you also mentioned being attracted to prestige) ever been a barrier for you?

    [b]* In my life, I yearn for…[/b]

    A loving relationship with a woman much like yourself! (You have been very candid, so you deserve the same in kind.)

    Andrew.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    Yep, that was my post. And no, I really am not after Sarah. (Just the thought of anonymous fan pursuing a semi-celebrity makes me cringe). Granted, the distinction becomes blurred when I refer to wanting to meet ‘someone like her’. The (at times a little too effusive) praise I have directed her way might also lead one in this direction. In truth though, I’d be wary of the Sarah I (barely) know – mostly for the reasons people have mentioned, but also because the author can be quite different from the person. I haven’t wanted to too excoriating though, so have tried to soften my probing questions with positive words. I do think Sarah exhibits some admirable qualities too. But when I think about it, there would be plenty of women like her. Just haven’t met one yet, at least not one where there is a mutual attraction. PS Suggesting someone is ‘evolved’ is not to supposed to sound too fawning. Anyone – man or woman – who displays a combination of leadership and relational attributes is ‘evolved’ in my book. I would describe myself this way.

    [Reply]

  • James

    What’s with the vagina obsession? I wonder how females would react to a male artist equivalent drawing huge knobs over most of their artwork??

    [Reply]

    Lou Reply:

    Maybe Gary can answer that question for you!

    [Reply]

    Monkey Mia Reply:

    Salvador Dali frequently featured exposed penises in his work, and he is one of history’s most reknowned surrealist painters. Genlitalia in artwork, especially scultpure, isn’t uncommon. Michaelangelo’s David is a full frontal nude. Females, as with males, tend to have a variety of different reactions, as art rarely makes everyone feel the same way. If it did, it wouldnt be art would it?

    If you watch the documentary My Penis and Everyone Else’s, you can see not only an entire art exhibit of candid penis photos (Nothing else! Just knob shots!) but a woman who made her career making plaster casts of men’s bits. It’s worth a look just for Jimi Hendricks’ penis, which is still on display. Oh my, is all I’ll say!

    [Reply]

    Samuel Webster Reply:

    I think it’s funny that you think Joi isn’t equal with her representation of genitalia. Also, I think ‘most’ is an overstatement.

    [Reply]

    Joi Murugavell Reply:

    Btw all, I also draw penises (http://oodlies.com/Andy-forthedickinus-Prints) not just vaginas and also cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, all sorts really.

    [Reply]

  • Sash

    Must say the spaghetti question was cute.

    Maybe I have misinterpreted your answer Sarah, but are you a relationship between 2 women isn’t fulfilling because the ‘meatballs’ are missing? I know you’re straight but, believe me, a same sex relationship can be very rich and satisfying, regardless of what dangles below.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I love that! I interpreted the question gastronomically, not sexually! Ha.

    [Reply]

    Sash Reply:

    Well I feel very stupid now writing that. In my defense (!), I’d just read about your “dentist” so that’s why I interpreted your response that way. But that’s what made it a fun interview.

    [Reply]

  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I read the interview when Jo (I think) retweeted it on twitter and loved it.

    Joi’s interviewing style is really inspiring. I think that a lot of journalists use a celebrity’s desire for privacy as an excuse for posing dull, shallow questions… yet there is a way to be totally open and truthful without divulging private details about our lives. The way we think, what is in our hearts, how we find meaning… these things are fascinating to discover about people without being invasive or tabloid-y.

    Thank you for sharing Sarah. xx

    [Reply]

  • Stephanie

    I was truly touched by the depth of the emotional intelligence expressed here. What a different world it would be if most interviewing followed this road. Thanks for sharing and kudos to Joi on her marvellous talent! I don’t have any particular three questions, but I do believe that three thoughtful questions can reveal the keys to a person. Right now, I think I’d liked to be asked, “What will you regret you have not done when you reach the end of your life (if you do not do it)?” followed by…”What are you waiting for?” and maybe “What have you learned is the most important skill/trait to nurture in life?” (Compassion).

    [Reply]

  • Anon

    Gary Patel – classic! Do you spend much time together?? LOL

    [Reply]

    Anon Reply:

    Sorry, but if you put stupid thing like that out there what kind of comments do you expect!

    [Reply]

    You asked for it Reply:

    I heard Dr Patel now operates as a solo practitioner. It is a bit of a tight squeeze getting in, but fantastic for oral work. Another fact, he’s also Brazillian!

    [Reply]

    Forex Reply:

    Sounds like he could do with a helping hand

  • Terry

    “Its time to talk about boys. Would you date spaghetti if it was missing meatballs”

    That sounds like a really interesting question.

    Plse forgive my ignorance, but is this a question of dating a guy with brains without brawn, or is it abt a guy who is more in touch with his feminine side rather than his
    masculine side (surely not referring to a gay man as that wld not qualify strictly to the
    definition of a date?)

    She did mention “boys”, so that rules out females?

    [Reply]

    Jan Reply:

    Terry, you got it in your last sentence! A piece of spaghetti is a human body and the “meatballs”, or lack of, make it either male or female. What Joi was asking is whether Sarah would date a woman or not. The answer was no.

    [Reply]

    Jan Reply:

    Well that’s my understanding. Anyone else have a different idea?

    [Reply]

    Terry Reply:

    I thought “spaghetti” (a kind of noodle) is a metaphor for “brainy” &
    “meatballs” a metaphor for “body” (as in “hunk” of meat)…

  • Terry

    “Its time to talk about boys. Would you date spaghetti if it was missing meatballs”

    Interesting question, but plse forgive my ignorance:

    Is Joi talking abt dating a guy who has more brains than brawn,
    or a guy who is more in touch with his feminine side than his
    masculine side? Surely she’s not talking abt a gay man as that wld
    not strictly qualify to the definition of a date?

    3 questions:
    1. Why are we here?
    2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
    3. Is this all there is to it?

    [Reply]

    Terry Reply:

    Sorry guys, I thought my first post did not go through

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Terry, I took spaghetti to mean “just the basics”, for the sake of eating something/getting a bloke/husband. I took meatballs to mean “flavour and depth and guts and complications and garlicness”. Which is more elusive and you have to wait for it…and let the spaghetti go cold sometimes while you do. And go hungry.

    [Reply]

    Joi Murugavell Reply:

    I love that you climbed into my head and knew exactly what I meant by that. xo

    guts and garlicness would make a fab oodlie. So would cabbage and peanuts. i.e. would you eat cabbage and peanuts if you knew together they would give you the worst gas but would also be the most exciting partners in flatulence crime.

    [Reply]

    mike wilde Reply:

    It would depend on if I had anything more pressing to do that day …

    Terry Reply:

    Thanks Sarah, yr reply to the spaghetti question makes more sense now, altho’ I will never look at Spag & Balls in the same way ever again thanks to all the various interpretations thrown up in this forum! :)

    [Reply]

    Terry Reply:

    ….& thanks, Joi, for the confirmation…..

    [Reply]

  • Matt

    This is one helluva interviewer. She seems to have knack of getting to the heart of the matter and I reckon part of that has to do with the stream of consciousness way she looks and talks to people, which cuts through intellectual barriers.

    [Reply]

  • Monkey Mia

    See, that is the cool thing about Joi. These questions are so freaking random and left of centre, that nobody really knows what they mean, so they open up a great discussion!

    I actually read the spaghetti question as, would you date someone who was disabled. You know, missing a leg or something. Perhaps thats a little too literal an interpretation! Thinking about it as lesbianism seems just wrong to me – cos you are implying that women are simply men who are missing testicles. We’re a whole different plate of pasta I reckon.

    [Reply]

  • Matt

    I took the spaghetti and meatballs question as a reference to intimacy and sex Like, would you date a guy you were fond of [the spag part] if there wasn’t lust as well [the meat part]. Pretty cool approach actually, like those inkblot tests shrinks use, only in a verbal form…although now I think of it, her pictures are kind of like that too.

    [Reply]

  • Rosa

    Great interview…. My new mantra is: “Stop the head stuff and drop your energy into your heart space”.

    [Reply]

  • lotus bee

    so Sarah, where would you send your kids to school?

    ps great reading btw people, thanks for the thought triggers.

    [Reply]

    Teha Reply:

    Hey Lotus, Sarah wrote an article about this earlier this year. Check out her previous blogs

    [Reply]

  • http://www.tudou.com/ luoluo123

    Hi there. I need to to inquire 1 thingis the following a wordpress webpage as we are planning to be transferring across to WP. Additionally did you make this design your self? Cheers.

    [Reply]

  • Terry

    One question I wld’ve liked to see was:
    “Of all the interesting & varied people you have met up till now, or even
    just read about, who is the one person who impressed you the
    most & who you wld use as a role model & why?”

    [Reply]

  • http://www.mikewilde.com mike wilde

    I wish I had not learnt this to be true.

    “It’s a sad irony that the only people who can really teach us about life on the edge .. long since drove over it.” – mike wilde

    [Reply]

    mike wilde Reply:

    Ooops ! Wrong thread. Meant this for the Thelma and Louise one.

    Feel free to delete ..
    xoxmw

    [Reply]

  • http://www.kisslifestyle.blogspot.com April

    This is fantastic, I love the oodlies theya re beautiful, all the clean lines and block colour and meaning behind them. The teacup oodlie is a dream!! Love the ‘real’ questions as well. xx

    [Reply]