A puppy-filled absence

Blogs require immense work and dedication and I have been very ill-disciplined on both fronts. I am completing a thesis at the moment, that’s the excuse I’m running with. I have also let a beautiful puppy come into and fill my life and because he is such a treasure thought it was time I shared him a bit with the world. Introducing Montgomery Fairweather:

2012-11-18 17.08.38 2012-11-18 17.11.10 2012-12-05 14.21.47 2012-12-05 19.04.09 2012-12-06 09.08.23 2012-12-06 10.22.22 2012-12-08 12.47.54 2012-12-08 12.59.07 2012-12-11 15.04.07 2012-12-29 17.00.08 2012-12-29 17.00.32 2013-01-01 14.09.52 2013-02-18 20.00.40 2013-02-18 20.04.38 2013-02-18 20.05.24 2013-02-18 20.05.55

Homelessness

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?

http://streat.com.au/

http://secondbite.org/

http://www.kerekere.org/our-story/

http://www.bigissue.org.au/about/

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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economy

Poetic Procrastination

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.


18th Biennale of Sydney

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.

http://bos18.com/artists

http://www.climatestorytellers.org/storytellers/subhankar-banerjee/

http://bos18.com/artist?id=112

http://bos18.com/artist?id=38

Big love for brothers

One of the most formative years of my life (big call, I know) was my first (and only) year at Rhodes University where I met some of the most beautiful people imaginable, who I miss every day. One of these people was Siyabonga Mthembu, whose magical voice I’ve heard under many guises; in ‘Mabel and the Prostitutes,’ ‘Orangutan Bitches’ and now in the amazing collective, “The Brother Moves On.” On my return to South Africa a few years ago, I was lucky enough to see the group in action and what a homecoming it was!

Whenever the homesickness/nostalgia grips me, I can turn to ‘Rainbow Child’ and Siya’s voice to lift the soul a little.

Big love to all the brothers out there.

http://thebrothermoveson.com/

That pretty, shallow place

Nostalgia 'Aint What It Used To Be cover artMany have tried and failed to describe the music of Perth band The Shallows and I have no desire to repeat their mistakes. Instead, go here:

http://theshallowsperth.bandcamp.com/album/nostalgia-aint-what-it-used-to-be

http://www.myspace.com/theshallowsau

http://www.theaureview.com/artist/the-shallows

and hear and judge for yourself.

Nuff said.

The High Line

The High Line Park in New York’s meat packing district is one of the most exciting projects I have encountered in a long time. When I first read about it, I was sceptical about how successful the park would be and afraid it might turn out to be a short-lived gimmick. Instead, on a beautiful day of sunshine I discovered a refreshing park, high in the sky, set against a backdrop of old warehouses

juxtaposed with innovative architectural design, birds and even butterflies. I had such a relaxing walk through this park; a special retreat amid the New York hustle.

www.thehighline.org/about/park-information