Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Loss and the sea

Does the sky weep tears for the earth and the sea knowing what humans do to the three of them? My friend Peter is a man of the sea, a writer and a mark maker. He gives me permission to be better at being all three. Here I write to him about the business of living:

The large part of me that is cliche likes the moment in 'Strictly Ballroom' where the Roma grandmother says "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived" and she dances a Passo Doble (?) that makes a short, stout slow moving older woman into an elegant graceful passionate beauty - her son transforms from a Gypsy bum into a matador the instant his heels stamp on the floor and a cluttered backyard in working class Melbourne becomes a bullring, the stage at a grand opera house - in a hand gesture, a glance, a foot movement we are reminded of all that is noble and passionate about being human, about working out what it is to be human, to risk loving and risk being loved

now I've gone off - I'm thinking about your marriage and how very very lucky you were and how very very unlucky - I'm thinking also of my friend Richard where similar kinds of luck applies
you'll surf again and it may not be in the sea but you are surfing, it is you, you write on a sea of words and you draw on and of a sea of images and words - I realise you're not a painter you're a mark maker and sometimes brushes and paints are the medium that chooses you and sometimes not - and the possiblity arises that even if you were not physically capable of moving you'd still be drawing, carving a track through the sea, on the page, on the canvas, on the wall and in the marks left - maybe a wake, maybe a poem, maybe an image - we'd read "Peter was here - and it was good" and if he was here, and good so too can I be, can we all be - and the world of possibility of all the good that humans do and all the good they can do gets larger and more expansive - and the world of hurt and pain and damage gets smaller and less powerful - the dark creatures become less threatening - they are muzzled by glory, chained by possiblity, their dark bad balanced by a shimmering good

and when I go to Coogee and am mystified by the movement of the waves and the changing shape of the beach and I see the distant dawn breaking I feel you there and the people we have loved and lost there too and it is very sad and very good and beneath the tears there is a warm glow, a celestial humming that comforts the bestial howling and we sob and laugh and throw our heads back in the wind and our tears are flicked away to wet the ground and we are not alone and we howl as if the moon is our mother or a memory of an older mother as we sit and the sky and the sea and the earth are our mother and our father both and we lie back and look at the sky anger and pain drain from us into the cold sand and hot tears flow into our ears and we're very sad and very happy and poems and paintings hover around us like bats or butterflies waiting to be plucked from the air and pinned to the page and we are not alone

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July steaming to a close

Things are steaming along - the new pottery tutor is great - I'm encountering some excellent music some creative projects and family life is purring along - fingers crossed.

The shop is settling down into a routine though volunteer staffing is stretched thin.

I've been invited to talk about my friend and mentor Richard Quinn at an exhibition in Auckland later this year. The show is based around a small portion of a large research collection he'd amassed while trying to record a history of fired clay in New Zealand. There are also ancillary collections of popular areas of Crown Lynn collecting - something that has blossomed over the last ten or so years. Richard's Crown Lynn collection, now under the custodianship of the Portage Ceramic Heritage Trust, should allow informed reasearchers the chance to balance some of the dubious claims made about Crown Lynn over the last quarter of a century - let the objects speak I say.