About your bloggist:
For more years than I remember I've been writing my thoughts into stories. Or painting them onto paper sheets in enamels or lacquers or water colours. As you'll see they are disparate ideas but they can be broadly tied to my observations of the world at different times of my life. I've had what I realise is an unusual life, and a long life. I remember the butcher and the green grocer stopping their horses at the door of our house and my young mother descending the stairs to select her shopping from the trays laid out in their carts. I remember standing at Grafton station and feeling the whole world heave and shake in all directions, with the violent, steaming, snorting, arrival of the steam powered Brisbane Daylight Express. I remember camping holidays with my family when dad had to make our tents by cutting saplings and spreading canvass sheeting, not another soul within a days drive. And I remember the age when driving between major cities took two to three days because the roads were narrow and gravel surfaced, rippled with deep corrugations, and they wound tightly around heavily timbered mountains or through broad pastures with wall to wall merino sheep.
I also remember the last days of the British Empire when, as a white child of 5 or 6, I could stop a black man on the street to say, "Boy, will you fetch me a drink?" and no one would have found any affront. My childhood occurred in an age when white people could expect to have black servants and no one thought to question our implicit superiority in the arrangement of God's universe.
My early years were spent on a remote and tiny Pacific Island. There, I had no knowledge of either evil or danger. I knew only that kind of freedom one wakes with each morning, as the sun wakes with, when it decides to climb by itself up out of the eastern ocean, fiery and red. When my family returned to Australia in the 1960s I was faintly aware that things were not right but I was unable to be more precise. I knew I was now somehow clamped or tethered. Strangely though, my classmates had no sense of their rule bound lives. I recall preferring to walk the three miles home from school because it felt better to be alone than to join the tumult in the bus. Along my way, as I walked, I imagined and resolved all manner of puzzles, from the metaphysical to the moral. It felt good to think. There was no one to watch my thought and there were no rules.
Later, as a young man I was still finding my greatest joy in solitude. My friends were Reflection and Idea. Paintings began to fall onto canvass and board. Poetry began to unwind from my pen through the nights. Problem solving occupied whole days. During a long solo motorcycle journey all over Europe in the early 70s, my ancient Triumph 650 climbed snowy mountains, became impenetrably buried in dark German forests, sparkled against the Mediterranean light, rumbled relentlessly through nameless fogbound regions and all the while my thoughts turned and turned, extracting unities out of the strangeness and the diversities. I noticed, for example, that local names in a region here, bore resemblance to names far, far, away in a region there. And I wondered by what mysterious historical process a great people (as they must then have been) could be divided, or scattered so widely? Patterns also showed me that words have properties of colour and the colours often hold across language walls; Meaning can be extracted from a language by reciting rhyming sounds and, yes, one can follow conversation in a language one has never before heard, by listening carefully for the cues and the patterns.
I suppose my mind still spins around an uncommon axis; not by choice or control, but as a consequence of the way a western education has learned to locate itself onto early years that were unwestern in so many ways.
I hope you find something in these pages to make you smile. Thank you for visiting.