My place. Monday, 11am The view through my window is lovely. Sure, the grass is way too high, and the bush turkey has dug up the paw paw seedling, but everything is lush. The wallabies have so much green pick to nibble on they hardly move, just the occasional tummy scratch.
The view through my window is lovely. Sure, the grass is way too high, and the bush turkey has dug up the paw paw seedling, but everything is lush. The wallabies have so much green pick to nibble on they hardly move, just the occasional tummy scratch.
So, there I was: happy to be home after a weekend in Surfers Paradise, lugging my overnight bag and shopping supplies up the steps from the Superoo, anticipating a cold beer in the pleasant surrounds of my shack under the cliffs. Great to be home.
The young bloke has no shirt and is wearing pants so low, the bush of his pubic hair sits above the belt-line like a desert plant burnt brown by a still-fierce autumnal sun and tenuously rooted in the pot of his shorts.
Cobargo. Saturday, 11.15pm: My self-inflating mattress is also self-deflating. What goes up, must come down: Newton's law of gravity. I can feel the Earth beneath the mattress. Not only the Earth, but each twig, stone, grass clump, hoofprint and ant poo on it. It's imprinting on my skin.
My garden. Thursday, sunset. I gazed out upon a tree, It grows where I spat the seed, As I ate the fruit, and peed.
Stress. We live in stressful times, I hear. People are dying from stress-related issues, I read. Stress is wrecking families, causing crime, and costing the state a fortune. Modern life is stressful, they say.
Wooyung. Tuesday, 6.50am. The ocean didn't feel more acidic than normal during my morning frolic in the waves. (These days I tend to frolic in the shallows rather than bodysurf the big stuff. I'm scared of sharks. They're hungry, they're angry and they're coming to get us.)
I'm angry. I'm doing that lip thing I do when I get angry. People tell me it's a sure sign I'm angry, and, when they see it, they take appropriate action. Like leave. Or put their cool hand on my trembling one and tell me it'll be okay.
Hobart. Monday, 1.20pm: This is baffling. I look around, but no-one else seems perturbed. People continue to wander from artwork to artwork, heads down, staring at the small screens they're holding, listening to whatever it is that's streaming through the headphones they wear.
I'm not sure what art is, but I've embraced whatever it is for as long as I can remember. The best things about my Catholic upbringing were the stained-glass windows that coloured a dreary morning mass with the love of a god-man. Oh, and I loved the mysterious poetry of mumbled Latin coming from the fat bloke robed in white and gold.
I have managed to get on the highway before the traffic has got too intense. There’s already a lot of cars moving south, but I’m trucking along smoothly. I packed up my Woodford Folk Festival camp last night when the temperature dropped to almost comfortable.
Woodford. Tuesday, 4.10pm: Humans are a diverse lot. As I wander the Woodford Folk Festival in a rare comfort (the summer heat mitigated by a cool threat of rain), that diversity is on show. I find it refreshing.
Oh, come on... On stilts? You have to be joking. Two large men in Indian-type attire (epaulets and turbans) are standing on a metal construction two metres from the ground. They’re ready to jump.
Lismore. Tuesday, 4.35pm: I've made a Christmas resolution. Yes, I know, you're supposed to make a resolution on New Year's Eve, but I gave that up years ago. It was always the same.
Larnook. Monday, 4.03pm I'm flying over verdant fields where neat fences separate the millet from the corn, the cannabis from the sunflowers. I like neat. Neat is nice. The corn and sunflowers wave in my slipstream like a chorus line in a musical. Food and medicine for all. Nature is nice.
The gig is going well. When stand-up is going well it feels great. And I'm not just talking about for the audience; I'm talking about for me.
It's a vicious world. No, that's not the right word. Viciousness implies a deliberate cruelty. Raining bombs down on people who have nowhere to run is vicious, but this snake eating a bat is not. It's, um, dinner.
Byron Bay. Tuesday, 3.25pm: Her hands cover her eyes. She sits on concrete edging in Railway Park, elbows on knees, her arms propping a head that seems so heavy it would surely fall onto the grass if they didn't.
Fingal Head. Saturday, 11.10am Sometimes you just need to go adventurin'. You get itchy feet. (These days, though, most adventuring is not by foot, so the 'itchy feet' idiom is probably inappropriate. Most adventuring is by car or plane, but I guess having an 'itchy bum' just isn't going to cut it as suitable phraseology for restlessness.)
Nimbin. Saturday, 9.20pm Double bass players are the coolest people in the world. There, I said it. I'm not scared of saying stuff. Stuff that I believe. (Even if only momentarily.) That's what words are for.
Lismore. Tuesday, 4.38pm: It's quiet. I hear only the sounds of the bush garden. The verandah outside the university classroom is deserted. A few minutes ago, students from many places around this wee planet were gathered in noisy conversation.
It’s a work of art. A shiny box. It has a shimmering aura around it. Wow. I want to touch it – it attracts me. It’s a monolith like in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but gleaming, and in a plumber’s workshop. I hear Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra float down.
My place. Tuesday, 3.20pm. When will it run out of petrol? Soon, I hope. I’m exhausted. But, with steely resolve, I will continue brushcutting until the tank of petrol is finished. This is good work.
The little girl, ceremonial paint on her face, feathers around her arms, looks up at the people beside her to see what they're doing – and flaps her arms like a bird flying. She is flying energetically when, on a cue from the didgeridoo, the other dancers stop flapping, form a circle and, arms outstretched, glide on the wind.