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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another wall?

I heard yesterday that the local council Public Housing Liaison Officer is keen to continue with our community mural project. The council has funded local community barbecues and our one was postponed because of the weather.

It'll now go ahead as a gathering to discuss the mural.

The most prolific local tagger "Torn" is an influential figure and getting him involved will be crucial. A neighbourhood poet, novelist and academic is a supporter of Torn's work and some talk of the respect some of the older, straighter locals have for one of the younger lost boys is filtering through.

This morning walking to Broadway I saw several police vehicles, lots of uniforms, detectives and a large taped off area. Small groups of animated people had congregated on corners and I overheard the words "dead" "body" and "neighbour" as I passed a couple of clusters of interested onlookers.

I've lived in Glebe long enough to know that these incidents can fade away quickly and that the stories that circulate about them usually only tell you about the storytellers and their audiences.

I remember seeing or reading some some southern gothic English detective story where a less loquacious local told a detective "Them's that say don't know and them as know won't say".

Glebe's a village or a cluster of small villages. Just as in Europe it doesn't pay to travel too far from home as they're not like us over there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life and death in Glebe

The small corner of Glebe I call home has lost two of our elders recently. Both of them with their quiet strong gentle presence gave the area a solidity and feeling of continuity that is lesser with their deaths.

A whispering emptiness drifts around the streets until the local lost boys scream through on their powered scooters their raucous "I am" filling any empty spaces.

I've heard it said that every time an older person dies it is as if a library goes up in flames. We have lost two. It is too much in four months.

How has this disconnect between the local lost boys, their fringe dwelling sisters and the elders been allowed to become our normal? And what do we, in between, do to bridge the gap?