Hello Cruel World
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
One of my favourite book titles
Things you see when you haven't got a gun by Harry (Henry Arthur) Hooton | National Library of Australia catalogue entry for this 1943 self-published poetry book by one of Oz's turbulent poets.
Review in 'Southerly' magazine (www.archive.org/ stream/ southerlymagass05howarich/ southerlymagass05howarich_djvu.txt)
(See also King's Cross)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
An Anniversary Villanelle
- The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
— Elizabeth Bishop
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Bucolia in Tasmania; Bliss in Luna
Seeing the set (see links below) about the 'reality' of the Windows XP default wallpaper screen background reminded me of my small project in Tasmania.
Bucolia Backgrounds – Tasmania 2005
Most of the Australian mainland had been in drought for some years & was fairly brown or straw-coloured where it had been green. Tassie, OTOH, had so much rain the potato harvest was in difficulty because the fields were too muddy to work. The bus route between Devonport and Hobart went through some absolutely classical green rolling hills & fields, which I named 'Bucolia'.
I formed an ambition to try and replicate the WinXP picture as I remembered it (didn't use WinXP) from Real Life, and spent some time taking pictures from the bus. These are a selection. The circumstances mean they're not the best technical quality, and I've standard-sized them down to 1024 x 768 pixels.
“After Microsoft” by Goldin+Senneby. (Photograph “Bliss” by Charles O’Rear. The image was used as the default computer wallpaper for the “Luna” theme, which was included with Microsoft Windows XP).
After Microsoft (posted April 5th, 2007)
www.goldinsenneby.com/ gs/ ?p=81
On this hill grapevines had been planted. But in the early 90s a Phylloxera bug infested the grapes and made them unusable. The entire vineyard had to be pulled out. For a few years the hill was covered with grass
serialconsign.com/ 2009/ 03/ desktop-deja-vu
Spotted on VVORK, After Microsoft (2006-07) by Goldin + Senneby revisits the site of the famous Bliss photograph by Charles O'Rear a decade later.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
thinking on the traveling life
elisem.livejournal.com/ 1426047.html"I'm not sure where this is going to go"
(I'm not sure where this is going to go, but I have to write it right now. Guess we'll find out when we get there.)
Part of being suited to it is something I love, and part was something I feared for a long time. The part I loved is something I got to enjoy years later when I took my Great North American Railroad Expotition. Thirty days and more than thirteen thousand kilometers is a bit of a journey. I did it all with a purse and a carryon bag …
The part that I feared was how easy it was to let go and move on. … I started to worry that I wasn't capable of sustaining any kind of close friendship. I wondered if maybe I was just one of those rootless people who was supposed to wander the earth....…
Anyway, I'm still not entirely sure exactly what it was I was setting out to tell you here, but it seemed important to write it down. …
I'll be pondering this some more. Thanks for listening.
Kind of says it all.
Working on a lot of issues about connections, roots, memories & my own posterity. Am I building myself into my own pyramid before I'm dead?
But a lot of the world's problems are from people losing wise memories, lessons from pain. Except a lot of the world's problems are from people hanging onto memories of pain & bitterness & hate …
Working on a lot of issues …
Monday, March 16, 2009
Real Estate Ruminations
Real Estate Report: Sydney's cheapest inner city flat? On the 6th floor of an attractive, if slightly seedy, Art Deco building with rather wonky lifts, in a central, if also slightly seedy (sketchy?) precinct where I live (close to shops, transport, my hospital, nightclub strip, courts, homeless shelters, drug, alcohol & mental treatment centres). A single room maybe 10 foot by eight. Not too much to keep clean, I guess. Rolled futon on the floor. Door & swing-space takes most of inner wall. Two nice light windows on the outer wall. Small wardrobe & a desk/dining table with shelves above cover left wall – agent suggests one of those fold-up 'murphy' beds.
Right wall taken up by world's smallest bathroom & kitchen ditto. I could sit on the toilet & turn the taps on the tiny handbasin opposite; a hand-held shower perched between them, with the shower curtain across the door.
In the kitchen, an eensy sink with room for a mini bar-fridge (say 18" square) beneath faced a bench with an electric hotplate/griller for the stove. For a space I could just stand & turn in, it had quite a few shelves & cupboards.
All this for roughly 3x mean male annual earnings — $155,000. Le sigh.
Hearing that it's now rented for $200/week shook me a bit. Makes me appreciate room @ $250/week even more, maybe 2.5–3 times the size. ($AU1.00 = $US0.64 approx.)
I did grab mine fast at the time (being evicted midway through chemotherapy), seeing many smaller, grottier places going at higher rents in my search area — not too hilly, walking distance to hospital, close to public transport.
Looking with mingled feeling at returning home. Friday night on the roof here facing the Southern Cross, with Orion behind my shoulder, I watched the full autumn moon rising while lightning-laced thunderclouds rolled up from the south. Aeroplanes from Kingsford-Smith criss-crossed flight-lines with flying foxes while the next-door pub's beer garden rumbled with Friday night crowd noise. Won't be quite the same there.
This is my blogchalk:
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.