What are the rules of etiquette regarding reading over someone’s shoulder on public transport? I’m not a particularly nosey person but when it comes to what people are reading, I just can’t help myself. Is this considered terribly rude? I try to be as subtle and non-intrusive as possible.
On my way to university today I walked passed a tram stop where a homeless person was camped out, covered by a thin blanket. It was freezing this morning and I had multiple layers on, so I can’t imagine what it must be like to try sleep out in that cold. I’m disgusted by the fact that there are still homeless people sleeping rough in a society as affluent as Melbourne is. It’s a disgrace. I’m also ashamed that about 15 minutes after seeing this person and been angered and upset by his/her lot in life that I completely forgot about their plight and slipped back into the ease that is my life. I’m no saint, but I’m generally someone who cares deeply about the well-being over others and if I can so easily go about my day after this encounter, how in fact do we achieve change in such an apathetic society as ours?
My abilities are limited. Homelessness seems like something that truly shouldn’t exist in a city as beautiful as Melbourne, but I have no idea how to solve it. The only thing I can sort of suggest is some very good causes/projects people might want to get involved in or help support. Time and finances are always limited, trust me I know, but seriously what sort of society are we living in?
And if ever we needed more proof of why there really isn’t any reason poverty should still exist in our society at the rate it does, read this:
I’m attempting to write a paper about mirror neurons, economics and literature and it is not going particularly well. Time is running out, but still I just want to retreat into poetry for awhile. When I was in San Francisco last year, I had the opportunity to visit City Lights Bookstore. And while the staff were the typical snobs that unfortunately frequent beautiful bookstores (something about working in a beautiful and famous bookstore makes these people take on a persona of achievement and success based entirely on their workplace. They’re kind of like those awful snobs that work in high-fashion retail, you know, the Pretty Women type?) it is true that this shop deserves its place in history. It’s an incredibly special place, and with the Brautigan and Laura Riding I brought home, I got hold of the latest Robert Hass. Almost a year ago and I still haven’t managed to read it! Such sadness. But I share with you this poem, one of my favourites from his collection, Time and Materials:
The Problem of Describing Color
If I said – remembering in summer, The cardinal’s sudden smudge of red In the bare gray winter woods –
If I said, red ribbon on the cocked straw hat Of the girl with the pooched-out lips Dangling a wiry lapdog In the painting by Renoir –
If I said fire, if I said blood welling from a cut –
Or flecks of poppy in the tar-grass scented summer air On a wind-struck hillside outside Fano –
If I said, her one red earring tugging at her silky lobe,
If she tells fortunes with a deck of fallen leaves Until it comes out right –
Rouged nipple, mouth –
(How could you not love a woman Who cheats at the Tarot?)
Red, I said. Sudden, red.
Escaping Melbourne’s winter (literal and metaphorical) became a necessity a couple of weeks ago, and what better place to go to than Noosa in Queensland. I was blessed with perfect weather – sunshine during the day and rain tapping on the roof at night. Managed a four hour walk along the coastal cliffs and into the national park forest.
Stayed at Dolphins Beach House in one of their apartments which was quiet and private. Just what I was looking for. Even better was the fact that after only one day the local cafe new my coffee order and made it to perfection. Sunshine bliss indeed.
I was in Sydney for a few days this week and while I don’t want to engage in the whole Sydney vs. Melbourne charade, I do prefer Melbourne. I have to admit that Sydney is incredibly beautiful and I was blessed with enough sunshine to embark on some beautiful walks and indulge in a bit of art.
The exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, subtitled In Finite Blue Planet, is extraordinary and one of the most moving exhibitions I’ve been to in a very long time. I don’t want to sound over the top, but it had an amazing effect of healing and spiritual renewal on me. One of my favourite artists of the exhibition is Subhankar Banerjee, whose aerial photographs of Caribou migration are outstanding. http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/18th-biennale-sydney/ Equally magnificent are Yuken Teruya’s works of magic in transformed shopping bags.
Definitely worth a few hours of perusing. I am only sad I didn’t make it to the other exhibitions making up this wonderful festival of contemporary art.
I caught myself singing out loud tonight. My versions of ‘Summertime’, Suzanne’ and ‘Tambourine Man’ – all of which consist of long rifts of humming.
I think my mojo is making a dazzling come back.
To combat the dreary weather, boredom and writerly frustration I am currently feeling I have turned to French and Saunders: