So... after months of it being too cold for camping, off we went on Monday, up to Katarapko Creek near Berri. (Murray River, South Australia.) The first hot days and we chose them. It was seriously hot.
We were trying out our new camping set up, a camper caravan, all very nice, secondhand, excellent condition. etc. We hated it. Hated the little tenty beds. Didn't like cooking in it even for a cup of tea. Didn't like sitting in it. It was like a little house, but you don't go camping to be in a house, do you? We spent the whole time depressed about hating it and trying to smile politely and say, 'It isn't that bad', and so on. A comedy skit could have been written about what went wrong. Not to mention us tiptoeing around each other. We forgot to take the coffee pot. There are times when one shouldn't call one's loved one 'darling'.
I guess we aren't caravan people.
But then the sun lowered behind the trees and it cooled down. We got out the camping chairs, turned out backs on our bad investment, and sat by the river. Warm, calm, and exquisitely beautiful. Swallows, river hawks, pelicans, parrots. Water, reflections and the lowering sun painting everything gently.
We pulled the mattresses out into our screen tent and slept there, in cool, delicious air with a 360 degree view, and the night birds calling.
Spent a lovely morning, wandering and photographing, and only going into The Thing to boil a kettle. And then we packed up and came home because the day was going to be even hotter. And we had to get home to put The Thing on Gumtree.
When I was a kid I couldn't say 's' I said 'h' instead. So here, Dear Viewers, is a picture of a bird and an woman 'hingin' a hong'. I think the bird's song may be more nuanced even though the woman is obviously an opera singer. And is that vine growing from her chin? It reminds me of the long black hair that has begun to sprout from mine. Too much information?
It is quite small and you can buy it from my shop.
...but it looks like there are definite categories in her mind. Not like mine, where everything interacts or is jumbled up together.
challenging your life as if it were a plot
something occasionally surfaces
illusive and without form
it is a space with darkness
a voice in darkness
it is a sound-scape of garble
projected words fading in and out
you have to have a pure heart
you have to expect nothing
it feels like hell
the flow will begin
it’s just biding its time –
thinking what do I want?
it will answer its own needs
free from driven ambition
and I will follow its whim
into the deepest part of the wood
it is the Grand Adventure
it is the sense of having no-path
of two left feet looking for a path
I wrote the above poem by following tangents and free association. Really rather surreal in the end. Hope it gives you some feelings or things to think about. Enjoy!
In the dry riverbed we collect stones, each a jewel
or a small world — my daughter and I — ambling like cattle.
The wide riverbed is bank-to-bank beauty
of red, white, green stones,
black and yellow, veined and ribbed
quartz and sandstone, basalt and granite,
all tumbled smooth by the long time of the world.
I find a few treasures and my daughter, who is five,
comes and stands under my stoop, pounces
on stones at my feet, her eyes scanning, scanning.
If I move sideways, she moves sideways. If I turn, she turns.
All this space and she stands right here, shadowing
my shadow, seeking treasure at her mother’s feet,
seeing through her mother’s eyes, stealing her mother’s vision.
Well, our children do. It’s what we give the world — their greed
for life — and it’s ok that they look through our eyes for a while.
But Daughter, in that far off story of snow and sadness,
the little match-girl died.
She was fiddling with flames, dreaming of mother
when she could have been collecting wood.
Daughter, I am only a dreamt mother. I can’t save you.
I can’t give you the world, though I’d give you
each stone in this riverbed, I’d give enough beauty
to sustain you in your ever-after life.
But in the end, I’m as impotent as the match-girl’s mother.
And you can steal from me, my eyes, my very breath,
but sooner or later, you will have to find
your own stones to whisper your secrets to.
* * * * * * * * *
You can hear me read this poem on my Video Wall. You can access it via the menu or here. Have a listen.