Monday, May 31, 2010

Caught in the act

I've enjoyed many of the lane ways in Melbourne that have been cheered up with graffiti art.  Saturday morning I was delighted to catch some of these artists at work. Here they are:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where the streets are paved with gold

We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.
Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
To love what is plentiful
as much as
what's scarce.

(Alice Walker, in Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, pub. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovitch, 1984)

Monday, May 17, 2010

last days of autumn

I've got the lovely Jess staying for a few days.  Seeing that the sun was shining we went for a walk at lunch time.  The autumn leaves, whether on the ground or on the tree, are glorious

It is clear that winter is near, though.

No wonder the buzzy bee was very slow moving.

Good ol' gum blossom doesnt wait for it to be spring to do its blooming

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Nature of Dreams

Disappointment is the nature of dreams...
"If you compare Israel to the magnitude of its dreams, it is a disappointment. But this is not about the nature of Israel; it's about the nature of dreams. Israel is a dream come true, and is such it is destined to taste sour - because it is fulfilled."
So says Amos Oz in the documentary The Nature of Dreams, based on his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Masha Zur Glozman and Yonathon Zur.  Oz is one of Israel's most esteemed writers; he is also known for his controversial political views.  The man portrayed in the documentary matches the one who shines through his poetry and prose; humane, compassionate, insightful.  A beautiful, beautiful man.  The documentary follows Oz on an International lecture tour, reveals aspects of his family life, growing up in Jerusalem in the 1940's and later, living in a Kibbutz.  It explores his hopes for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, particularly through a very moving conversation with a Palestinian man.  As in his writing, Oz seeks the common ground, the self in the other, the other in the self, the naming of polarity as destructive.
The part of the film that I enjoyed the most was when there was a voice over of a piece of Oz's writing.  Disappointing, then, was that the film did not really delve into Oz's creative, imaginative life.  It had a much more political focus.  I remember a wonderful interview that Oz gave with Radio National's Ramona Koval a number of years ago, where he spoke about the Hebrew language. I was captivated by the poetry, the mystery and the history of it.  Guess you cant do everything in 100 minutes (or so). Several times the camera scanned the view of Jerusalem from the surrounding hills, an image that affected me for reasons I dont really understand.  The shining gold  Temple of the Rock dome against the sameness of the rest of the city; rows on rows of cream buildings. The harshness of the hills; dry, rocky, treeless.  I'm glad I saw the film; it made me want to read the memoir. I also appreciated understanding just a tincy bit more about Jewish history and about Israel and Palestine.  I also feel like I gained a little more insight into Albert and Rico, loved characters from The Same Sea
Promised lands are a lie. There is no wondrous snowman in the mountain ravines. Only in the sea there awaits her what never was and has gone. - from The Same Sea
Evening. Rain falls on the empty desert hills. Chalk and flint and the smell of dust being wetted after an arid summer. A wish stirs: to be what I would have been had I not known what is known. To be before knowledge. Like the hills. Like a stone on the surface of the moon. Simply there, motionless and trusting in the length of its shelflife. - The Same Sea 
 Isn't that beautiful!

The Nature of Dreams is showing at the Nova

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who lives here

 Each time I walk along Collins Street in the city, I marvel at this nest, way up high in one of the trees.  I'd love to know what sort of bird calls this tree home, and how they cope living on a busy city street (see photo below)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

river walk

Beautiful day to be out in the fresh air.  Went for a walk along the Yarra just near where I live.  Hard to believe such a peaceful valley exists only a few km's from the CBD

Then before coming home went to visit the bats (Grey Headed Flying Foxes) who fly over my home each night and morning, in their home.  They were fast asleep and not receiving visitors

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What to do if you are lost in the forest

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

poem written by David Wagoner and found in his book "Travelling Light"

What shall I do if I am lost in the amount of work I have to get done before next Saturday, or my sad little bank balance, or the growing mound of washing, not to mention the ironing,  or house cleaning.  What then?  Loose myself in the forest, I reckon.  What a tree or bush does will not be lost on me!  And if David Wagoner is right, then I wont be lost at all because the trees and bushes will know where I am.  There's comfort in that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day

How about that!  We are now one third of the way through the year and two thirds of the way through autumn.  I love this time of year, the softness of light and abundance of cloud. I love walking at dusk, invigorated by the chill in the air and the promise of a long night in a warm and cosy house.  This month I am looking forward to:
  • going to the cinema to see the documentary about Amos Oz 
  • digging and preparing a bed in which to plant tomatoes in the spring
  • having Jess come to stay again

  • checking out the sculptures at Toorak Village
  • Breath at Bookclub
  • 2010 VCE Art Exhibition, Top Arts, at the Ian Potter Gallery
  • dinner with friends
  • a visit to Ballarat
  • begin a compost heap using all our leaf litter
  • plant some veggies in the garden
Yah!  It's May!