Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In My Blood, There is Dust, That Dust is Who I Used To Be, Before The River Swallowed Me...

 We all hope that we are good, do we not, that the things we do in our daily lives amount to a general 'goodness', something more than our tiny transgressions against our past selves and against others, those ethical dilemmas, those decisions we make that hurt for the greater good, of one, of many, of ourselves. Sometimes it is better to walk away, causing injury, than to stay causing carnage, and there is no good explanation. Sometimes there is no good way out. Sometimes life is messy and plans unclear and we all must muddle along, teacups in hand, waiting for the next down-time to come, the new soundtrack, the wind to change and bring with it clarity. A good night's sleep in a clean bed is in order.



Asero Rubra spring from the mulch, stinking starfish growing and disappearing at an alarming rate. Fruiting bodies that colonise the surface for a few days before once again going about their secret, underground business, reminding us that there are many things we do not know, do not notice, never understood.That there is much yet to learn. 



The stewards watch over The Championship, the sheep are wrangled, clipped and turned away, thirty sheep in twenty minutes to win, and the Showgirls here are very different to the ones in the City. The air smells of lanolin, sweat and dung and the hum of shears and skitter of hooves on wooden boards feels like ancestral ground. Shearer's leather boots are always in good knick. Every fleece comes off whole.


The long neglected inks and paints were sorted and made accessible, in hopes that the long winter days will lead to some creative work. If bureaucracy permits. 



And I fish for sentiment among granite and kurrajongs, chase and listen to lichen and moss, notice the tiny changes as they maple keys fly away and the silvereyes twitter in the grass. I have lost a layer of the pyramid, as I do at this time of year. But keep on, keep on, as I say to others, it will come back.


I like to pick apples by the side of the road, and begin a lonely process my grandmother used, and put them in vacola jars, to make pies and stewed fruit to have for times to come. 
                  These feral trees, beside the highway make me wonder why the supermarket fruit needs to be sprayed to death, 
                                 ....their only fault is some spots and irregular size. 


Some rain finally came and with it more fungi, more reminders, and I ate some and admired others, like these, beautiful gilled dancing girls beneath the callistemon.  



It seems the more resignation one feels, the more simple things matter, homemade seed bread and a fancy fresh pulled radish, a new hot water bottle, the growth of pricked out seedlings, bath time, earl grey tea with lots of bergamot. 



Simple home improvement projects like changing the colour of a shelf, because being irritated by your furniture is something that can be changed with a three dollar sample pot of paint, a day at home, soup and a good playlist.


Between flowers, there is foliage to decorate with, and basil seeds to dry, and bay leaves from the pruning to hang up, and a million tiny garden tasks to get the organic matter levels back to where they need to be before a new set of plants go in, 
          Until then, its radishes and silverbeet and the basil which survived the first frost. 
                          Heads to hold up, beds to get out of, even if to migrate to the couch, mail to respond to, calls to make, hot drinks to drink, things to wash, an never ending stream of work to be done, 
                                        We must get on. And will. 
                                                              Because that is the way of things. 
                                                                          Because the battles we fight are fought alone, 
                                                                                          and alongside others simultaneously.



 Frida knew. Keep On Keeping On. 



Sunday, January 4, 2015


A look at the calendar tells all. Six days home last month. 
Oh, the places these feet went. 
                                     Were rained on, in five suburbs in one day,
                                                                                                    Sunburned in.

From places we felt outofplace, 
                                          where things were just a little too neat, a touch too trendy, 
                                                                                                                          but the wine was crisp as the ocean air



to surprising places, oasis', we didn't know before
                                                                    where we felt calm, and ate the dianella berries, 
                                                                                                                                 and watched the leaves in their dance, 
                                                                                                                                                                                and the angophoras splendid in their new orange skins. 


This week, I welcome a new baby into my life, and am overjoyed in spite of myself.



A wedding, a wedding, secret and sacred. 
                                                       We country girls, even myself, do love a wedding. 
                                                                                             We feel most useful, cooking and calming and fluffing and organising.
Introduced to Stanwell Tops, I am a little in love myself. 
                                                            Where the new fern leaves grow pink, and the cat birds come and eat from your plate.


Then, in Manly, the weather caused the beach to become weed, 
                                                                                        as high as my  knees
                                                                                                                     and only Shelley Beach was saved.
And I made collections in my box of light, and pressed samples as though I had never seen seaweed before. 

Hot chips on the beach, seaweeds in a plastic bottle, talented buskers.


Christmas Eve brought the most beautiful light over the harbour, as I watched some near ones fall further in love.


And I spent time with my church, of flowers, wind and waves, after the obligatory Christmas Eve service.


I am always sorry to leave the sea...


But just as glad to see my country come into view on the long drive home. 

And moreso to see the bouquet of herbs that have not died in the heat and garden of neglect this month. 
Such bounty made a beautiful meal or three.

Monday, December 1, 2014

On Technology

I can't help but think... 
                              That all of this;
                                                   Internet
                                                              and 
                                                                    social media, 
                                                                                       tweets 
                                                                                                 and 
                                                                                                        tags,
                                                                                                                  Is our spiritual training wheels. 

Almost telepathically, we 
                                    s e n d  m e s s a g e s 
To the furthest flung places. 
We understand intention, finally, 
                                             As we press return and send
                                                                                 And receive little words and pictures in return, 
To our pockets, 
                   our bedside tables, 
                                               our living rooms. 

When we learn to ride a bike, 
we fall off and injure ourselves

And as we wade through these new technologies
                                                                We hurt ourselves and each other 
By getting too big...
                        ...for our boots
                                              or travelling....
                                                                   further than we should
Or forgetting that sometimes we can't speak our minds
For the benefit of all involved. 
                                           ...We learn to be diplomatic
                                                                                  as we edit and censor and chronicle our lives
But we learn it is best to be just as we are, 
                                                           in this world, 
                                                                            in screen world. 
With all our scars and interests, 
                                            With all our dreams and tunes. 
We lean into it, we  l e a r n  into it, 
We mutate.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Risk Is Worth It If You Fly....

Again, time has flown by and busyness makes me neglectful of my writings to nothing.



Projects, projects and prints. Making for market, unusual to have a financially minded venture. 



But the process is progress, 

 

The work is satisfying, scented of hot lino and ink and spirits...

 

The garden grows


And grows


And we build things from mud and straw


December will be busy again, and life predictably does not let up until April. Three weddings and two babies to celebrate. 



New lives beginning, new seeds to plant. 

And beautiful music from a human I know... 



















Wednesday, August 27, 2014

As I Walk The Streets Armed With The Faith That These Boots Will Be Enough To Get Me Home In One Piece


My how I travel these days. 
A shrunken wardrobe and a suitcase, 
                                         A moleskine and a sensible handbag, 
                                                                         A bed on the floor, with a friend, with family. 



Home is becoming magical, 
Something made up of a fridge to call my own, 
Where it smells of all my things, 
And  the pollens don't make me sneeze and itch.
And the washing machine thumps and spins
And the sheets smell of sunshine. 





The push into Spring is met with a moss carpet
And lilies of the valley poke their tips through soil


And buses and trains and high rise buildings are to be kept far away
For eight weeks! 
The longest time this year so far.



My return is met by a still growing gathering
of pot plants
and happy faces from my housemate. 
Just at the time before the last frost
When seeds are sown indoors for observation
And to promote tenacity. 




And just before my loved ones leave
For far away and ancient lands, 
of saffron, indigo, art and incense. 
A little jealous, 
I will tend their garden. And have fun playing homesteader
And watching the Spring progress up the mountains, 
In wattle 
and
Eucalyptus 
blossom.


Home is where my books are, 
And where I can observe the slowest of things. 
Sip black coffee and red wine and make.
Without interruption or bed-time
And rejuvenate. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I've Got A Heavy Heart To Carry But A Very Strong Will

Precious magnolias of the Inner West, stayed somewhere different and strayed to new places. 
The kids these days love a bar with no name on the door that serves fried chicken and craft brew, and I have grown old and turned to whiskey and wine, to seed and twine.

 Projects continue all the time, little things here and there, the ever continuing curation of life, which is at the end of the day about what you allow into your head. 
The weeks run fast and cold, and time is spent with those of the like mind. 
Something b r e w i n g



 Agnes De Mille speaks truth, words from a dancer of the past and the words come thick and fast from my hart to my hands, can write, but not read for great lengths of time, and wake in the night with ideas. In the best possible way. 


Pegs and thread and shearling hides, waiting for the deer to arrive. Scrubbing and glycerin. 


 There are rainbows in the paddocks above the tropical grasses and the rosellas leave their feathers in the machinery sheds for me to collect,



 Persimmons, jelly fruit of winter, with their pretty flowered tops and clouded bodies give delight with Whiskey in the Kitchen. 



And a good treatment for the old boots,to get them through the frost

 One of the chickens believes itself to be a quail, and lays tiny eggs. 
And finally it is Winter.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Need A Fix, Bitter and Sick


This Summer is dry and never ending.Good for basil pesto, bad for Winter vegetables. 
                                                                                                                        But mushrooms are encouraged fourth everywhere.
                                       


Two days of wet, combined with sickness have put me up to another writing... 
                                                                                                              My major lesson for the year:
                                                      that givers must set boundaries, because takers will not. 

This is why I have had no time, no money, and no fuse for five months.  

Feels good to tend my roots again.

  
There is not much better than camping, and it is taken very seriously in these parts. 
                                                                                                                      Treasures are collected....


Feet are bathed in new bays,
                                          and with new waves each moment  



 Canvas castles are constructed and lit for evening games of balderdash with dip and Riesling.



Shorelines inspected for signs of alien life


 And mapped out at later dates in the imagination



And when we get home again, the lichen is still growing slowly on the fence posts, 
                                                                                                                   forgotten fencing wire sitting shiva.


And at last, in May, the leaves drop, tannins marking wood, 
                                                                                   turning to humus, 
                                                                                                            enriching the earth again.