Flickers of movement across a far away sky…
Melbourne 365: Day 44
A border is itself a space – it occupies, it exists, just as much as the space on either side of it and sometimes it seems to occupy a lot more…
Melbourne 365: Day 26
Sometimes it seems we’re all so many ghosts
walking right through each other,
trapped with our eyes open and our mouths shut,
stopping sometimes, mid-step, mid-breath, as we feel
stirring the air.
So where does a new beginning start? How does it face up to the end of the old, the realisation that the path has ended, the way is shut, there’s nothing there for us?
I think it does so in the usual way. Quietly. Slowly. Tentatively at first, treading with grace and care, not quite sure of the footing, or the exact depth and dimensions of the footprint it will leave behind.
Let’s start there, with that, and see what’s left.
In between spaces pt.33
Sharon and I went to see a performance during the week, for a show titled ‘The Complexity of Belonging’. A line from it has stuck with me ever since – belonging is being an element in a set.
There’s a completeness to belonging. A sense of finishing off. Sharing value. Creating a whole. And that takes awareness – of self, of other, of us.
Do we belong in a place?
In a group?
And does the place, the group, belong to us as well? Do they even know we are here?
Is belonging a thing, or a here, or a this, or a feeling, passing like sand blown on a breeze, settling and unsettling all at once?
In between spaces pt.31
…And if we are all adrift, how do we find our way? How do we navigate our way to home, or something like it?
Maybe we need beacons – little shining points of light, showing us the path, guiding us to ourselves. Fixed points on a changing horizon, the memories, stories, people, places, smells, textures, tastes, that tell us what’s known. What’s us. And maybe my beacons aren’t the same as yours. Some of my beacons: the smell of rain on summer asphalt; green growth bursting through city grey; the shine in my wife’s eyes when she smiles as we meet at the train station after work; the intricate play of light and dark on a cloud filled afternoon; standing still as a shadow as the work of the city goes on around me. These are some of the beacons from my new home; the older beacons are further away, more challenging to recall from the distances of time and memory and story.
Because not all of our beacons make the journey with us, of course. Some stay behind, truly fixed points, and with that the risk that when (if) we return, we’ll find them just as they were, while we’re no longer who and how we were then. Our stories shift, our pasts realign, and what we thought was home just turns out to be another ripple, pushing us forward, pushing us away to who knows where…
In between spaces pt.30
Wandering through the city at night sent my thoughts wandering too, to other places, other times. I thought about what I would call home, where I might say I’d belong. And that got me thinking about what I recognised, and didn’t, about the space in which I’ve found myself. Is this home? Perhaps, perhaps not, but there are ripples to be found.
Like the warped panes of glass in old dark buildings, which have a depth like water, with a surface that distorts and refracts, ripples from time masking our view within, and then the layers behind, sometimes visible, sometimes reflecting, sometimes revealing.
Thinking like this led me to a new kind of wandering, more of a searching, for the ocean of home. Back to the water. This time, from the other side of the Strait – St Kilda.
But this water is not the same. It took me some time to figure it out. There’s still the blue, and beyond and beneath that another blue, and another, and another, sky and water merging and shifting. But it wasn’t my blue. Not my water. It was too calm. Too fixed. And what was really different was looking out – here, I could see the shapes of the city beyond, all lines and edges, harsh against the softness of the tide. I could see the other side.
Thinking back, my ocean has no ending. There are no landmarks on the horizon, nothing to break that blue. It is unfixed, unbounded. It’s in between the known and the possible. The real and the imagined.
So maybe being drawn to the in-betweens I find here in my new home isn’t actually so new after all. Maybe I’ve been in between all along. Maybe we’re all just comfortably adrift in between here and there, now and then. Maybe it’s just the reflections and the contours of that search that change…