trick of light

If this were a dolphin performing a trick
of light with an arctic pear chandelier,
would mirrors be vases and sunflowers rust
on re-entry or visually similar?

If that were a theatre curtain drawn back
from an ocean wave passing your window,
would safety orange do for the dolphin
or would you prefer it tangelo?

If those were ripples in milk on the wall
and the arctic pear chandelier tinkling,
would force be the window, the window the load,
or the dolphin an armchair to brace in?

I once knew a hornet’s nest intimately
as my own mother’s womb, but the honey-
comb cells held no honey and the hornets,
if that’s what they were, were no Delphic Bee.
 
 
Trick of light


On separation anxiety

Way back in August of 2010 I bought a bromeliad for company. It was very much a pup at the time. 6 months later I sent it away to live with my parents, and I spent the next couple of years living in the bush with my car and a tent.
 
Fast forward to August of 2014 that little pup had had many more pups, was flowering in two places, and despite having seemingly run out of room was immaculate green through and through. I reclaimed it and brought it back home.
 
It was happy enough for a while. I started researching methods online for separating the pups since I was feeling bad about it being so cramped. None of the online methods left me feeling truly confident that I could separate them without doing irreversible harm, so I kept putting it off.
 
One fateful mid-summer morning I tenderly placed it out in the yard for some sunshine before going to work and proceeded to forget about it for a few days, since it was so hot at the ends of the days the only thing on my mind was to turn the air conditioner on and lock myself inside. When I finally thought to bring it back in, half of the leaves had burnt dry.
 
I was devastated, but over the last few months it has bounced back and started to shoot out more pups. Given that it’s just turned to winter down under, now’s not the ideal time to be re-potting but I couldn’t bear leaving it any longer, what with all the worry about how the new pups would fit in to that twee little pot.
 
Less than $20 worth of potting mix and plastic pots later, and only one spider to find a way under my collar!, I’m feeling much better. I hope they are too. Wish them a comfortable winter. It would be a delight if August 2015 brings more flowers.
 

Bromeliads_3


The keyhole passage

“Let us imagine that moved by jealousy, curiosity, or vice I have just glued my ear to the door and looked through a keyhole.”
Jean-Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness; The Look

 

An impression of Sartre's 'keyhole' passage.

An impression of Sartre’s ‘keyhole’ passage.


Definitions and examples #1

A case of caffeine withdrawal
 
An experiment in lateral thought


If Kant was alive today

 If Kant was alive today
 to hear Guthrie Govan
 soloing on Regret #9,
 he’d say “Man!
 That’s what I mean
 by sublime!”
 


Frost crack

 early morning frost
 we need to talk about us
 a stringy gum cracks
 

frost crack

frost crack


 
* image created by databending a credit card sized number 3 and applying edge effects.


Charters Towers, outside hours

If everything had unfolded according to my travel plan, the 6 hour wait at Townsville Airport for the last flight home to Sydney on Wednesday this week could have been easily avoided; I could have booked in for the last Tuesday night flight out. It would have been tight time for check-in, but do-able. As it happened though nothing went wrong, or even slightly awry, to delay my completion of the install I was flown for: I didn’t get lost or take a wrong turn on the drive in to site; the client was fully prepped, present, and had all the necessary personal protection equipment on hand at the ready; no last minute changes required rewiring or hardware adjustments. In short, there was no need to stay late or go back again the next morning. But you don’t get bonus points for being ready to take your flight home a day early. Rather, they’ll keep what you paid in the first place and then make you pay the full price once again. So there was nothing to do but stick to the plan and stay one more night in (beautiful one day, perfect the next) Tropical North Queensland, Charters Towers.
 
I had the rental car back at the airport by 11am the next morning in order to save an extra day’s rent, checked in my tool case, and read the latest issue (#8) of New Philosopher on the theme of travel from cover to cover between numerous coffees until 4:30 boarding. By the time I was home—just on midnight—my reading had left me so deeply in such diverse thoughts on the ethics and utility of travel in general that I couldn’t get myself off to sleep for another 3 hours. Here are a few quotes from Issue #8 of New Philosopher to give you a taste for what’s inside.
 

“[Susan] Sontag argues that taking photos is a way of refusing life, of limiting experience to a search for the photographic.”
(News: Stealing the moment)

 

“Few places today uphold the right to be bored. Even our thoughts are hijacked. “Silent and lifeless, people sit side by side as if their souls were wandering far away,” writes Kracauer.”
(News: Radical boredom)

 

“[Peter] Singer’s is a philosophy that demands the end of travel as we know it, in that it demands that we unpack the special box of experience it represents and instead judge every action by the same criteria. How does what we say and do, every single day, affect the aggregate suffering of the world in which we exist? Where can most good be done – and how can we ensure that we contribute to that good?”
(Travelling with purpose: by Tom Chatfield)

 
I’m not sure that my purpose in Charters Towers – to help make personal protection equipment more accessible and accountable on a gold mining site – would impress Peter Singer, but it’s a step forward from my purpose 10 years ago, which involved servicing cash handling equipment for the gambling and hoteliers industries.
 
In brief response to Kracauer, I can say with some confidence after 6 hours waiting at an airport that airports are one of the few places that still uphold the right to be bored, though they do make the boredom, should you choose to accept it, terribly comfortable.
 
Finally, I haven’t read Sontag’s full argument On Photography for the dismissal of photography from the list of life enhancing experiences, but I have read elsewhere that she changed her mind later in life about some aspects of that argument, and, so, having now, by way of diary entry, at least partially justified using my free travel time between Sydney and Charters Towers to do some photography, I give you some photos of light playing on clouds filmed at a few different heights.
 
p.s. I’m not at all disappointed that I didn’t capture a photo of the iridescent fog that rippled and surged overhead of me like an aurora during my drive back to Townsville, but it wouldn’t have harmed my experience if I’d been able to stop by the highway for just a few moments to capture it without the fear of a truck slamming into me.
 

Brisbane descent

Brisbane descent


 
Townsville descent with solar glory

Townsville descent with solar glory


 
Fog bow at Macrossan camping ground

Fog bow at Macrossan camping ground


 
Pajingo access road at sunrise

Pajingo access road at sunrise


 
Towers Hill Lookout, Charters Towers, with town under fog

Towers Hill Lookout, Charters Towers, with town under fog


 
Towers Hill Lookout, Charters Towers - Sunrise with town under fog

Towers Hill Lookout, Charters Towers – Sunrise with town under fog