There is no tragedy in these commons, along the road to St. Albans:
One journey’s end is another’s beginning.
It’s hard not to look back at the last eleven years and wonder how else it might have all been if we had not flown out of this wide, red land to foreign shores. What fortunes we might have made and lost? What friendships deepened by eleven years of shared experiences in this adopted land I choose again as my home? What tears shed and soaked into the dry soil and what laughter might have shaken our bellies and wet our eyes around a campfire amongst the gum trees.
We are formed by the hammering and grind of life’s forge. Polished and shaped by the delicate brush of unexpected friendships, wherever we find them.We know not what we choose each instance, only what each turn we make leaves within us afterward.
It is only within the laugh lines etched around our eyes, the small scars of adventure left cut into our hands, and the conversations and half remembered voices from around the fires in campsites and backyards half a world away that we can begin to chart the course we have taken on the way to what we each are at this moment.
I don’t remember each detail in crystal clarity, but the overall impression is an artwork that I would not go back and recommission. It is as perfect as it could have been made, whether we like the end result or not.
Perhaps the last eleven years are my own personal Blue Poles. A wide expanse of many hues, expensive yet rich in all its colourful and splattered wealth. Sometimes we are unsure if we ought to have made the decision to “go for it”, but the decision made together some yesterday long ago it hangs there now iconically influencing what we represent today.
On the final miles to this journey’s end there lies behind us not a closing of a chapter nor a turning of a new page. There lies ahead only the continuation of the building of the final person we will each be when we take our last breath.
Behind us is only fluffy, white clouds. Ahead lies one more step in the next excellent adventure.
Yes Dear, we are nearly there now.
NSW has sped by since Broken Hill. The relative nearness of Sydney has found us contemplating an ever more familiar vista beyond the windscreen, and the camera has remained in the boot. Perhaps we are bored with photography with the destination and all it means only a day or so driving away.
It has become necessary to adopt a new approach so as to avoid further selective tanning.
The catwalks of New York, Paris and London – take note.
Just outside of Broken Hill lies the sculptor garden called The Living Desert. Here, elevated spectacularly above the plain, are eight huge artworks cut by hand into boulders that weigh up to 8 tonnes. The sculptors were completed over the course of a month or so by an international group of artists, all of whom camped out on the mountain top from the start of the project to the finish.
Nature too has its sculptors amongst the stone monoliths. Branches stark against the blistering sky, while roots hug sinuously around the rock below, holding fast against the mountain wind.
Bajo el Sol Jaguar (Under the Jaguar Sun) is an apt description for the feeling as you stand looking down on the desert that stretches below from Broken Hill, back across to Adelaide and beyond. Ahead of us lies yet more sun scorched earth, before we reach the green belt of the coast line. The artist inspired to create this carving must have felt much the same; his creation captures well the challenge and beauty of the Broken Hill plain.