Friday, November 30, 2007

Chicken Mansion

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big Chicks in the Shadowless Village


A large title for a very small drawing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The embalmed bonsai

When I was a kid, my mum wore elastic topped 'slacks' and tunic style tops. She played golf with her friends who also wore elastic slacks and tunics. In the Summer Mum's left hand was always white where she wore her leather golfing glove while her arms up to the sleeve mark were a deep honey brown. Golf was her passion, she spent a lot of time at the golf course and consequently I was at the baby sitters a lot.
One of my baby sitters was wonderful, her name was Mrs Duffy she was short and wrinkled and had a face like what I imagined a plum pudding might look like, or a sugar plum fairy- I wasn't sure which, they were Christmas images I'd read about but never seen in Australia. I don't think Mrs Duffy had a husband, she lived in a little dark stone cottage and kept Eskimo Pie ice creams in an enormous freezer that took up all of her hallway except for a little gap to squeeze past. My other babysitter was called Mrs Skinner, she was tall and thin and had a rather severe angular face. She lived in a house with wooden floors and no toys. I screamed when I was left with Mrs Skinner, the time it took to play a round of golf felt interminably long at Mrs Skinner's house.
Mum spent so much time at golf that she didn't have time for gardening. In every room in our house, there was a vase filled with plastic flowers. There were roses on top of the book case in an array of pastel coloured blooms, that were waxy and death like, whenever I looked at them it chilled me. My mother's nemesis who was also Japanese, brought her a bonsai from the old country once. She gave my mother many gifts and I think Mum accepted them all just so she could recall her vivid hatred whenever she set eyes on them. The bonsai was placed on the top shelf in the kitchen where it languished, never watered or clipped. The bonsai was a precious symbol of the beauty of Mum's home land but at the same time a bitter reminder of Minnie, the hated bestower of gifts.
After many years the miniature tree was completely dessicated but seemed to have extra growth where the dust had accumulated and formed into clumps of grey felty material. One day the bonsai was taken away. I was not living at home anymore at this stage and the next time I came to visit, the bonsai was back but it had been sprayed an artificial dark lime colour, clumps of dust and all. It is still there, slightly larger again with another crop of dust. Mum no longer talks to Minnie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Elastic time


While sitting at my desk this morning, I looked at the scanner and realised why I haven't been posting so often these days. It takes an enormous mental effort to move stuff off the scanner in order to lift the lid and actually scan something. After several minutes of psyching up, I managed to complete the task, once again marveling at the power of procrastination.
This week has dragged out like a stretched bit of blue tac. Phil has been in Croatia for a week and because of this I have been doing Mum stuff and Dad stuff, half of my time has been spent in the kitchen and the other half at the other end of the house in the computer room. While I was folding clothes yesterday during a brief respite in which. I escaped to the bedroom, Kobe came in to perform his duty of regular requests to play Star Wars Lego on the pc. I said I could play for a while and then would have to make dinner and explained as I do on a daily basis, that there was a lot of jobs to be done in the evening before bed. Kobe, to my surprise flung himself face down on the bed and wailed "why do the days go so fast?!!!" I was taken aback, I was under the impression that days only went fast once you reached 30, I could not remember ever having said those words at 6 years of age. If I recall rightly, Summer always took years to roll around and waiting in the doctor's office for vaccinations took even longer.
I looked down at my maudlin boy prostrate on the bed and thought to myself, his 6 years of life so far, seem compressed into an instant, I didn't want time to go so fast either. But time is elastic. Humans invented clocks and made equal measures of time, perhaps believing that we could somehow harness and control our lifetimes whooshing past and evaporating into the mists. Time is liquid though, sometimes it pools and seems static, moments later it cascades past at an alarming rate. When Kobe looked up at me I said "But your birthday and Christmas are coming! What if time went slow all the way until then?" He leapt up, eyes shining and yelled "yeah!" and ran off, I guess to speed things along a little faster.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Writing is a form of drawing!


I suppose these lapses of concentration are common. I'm finding it very hard to get 'into' drawing at the moment, my focus has temporarily shifted towards writing, I recently ordered a copy of "Living Color, a writer paints her world" , by one of my favourite writers- Natalie Goldberg. I was not disappointed, but having rediscovered her I then went on to re read "Writing down the bones." I originally bought the full size edition of this book and found that I was reading it everytime I went out of the house so I was over joyed to find the pocket version which I keep in my bag. It is the perfect companion to a quiet few hours writing in coffee shops. After all, I do live at the edge of Fitzroy here in Melbourne, there is a tradition for me to uphold. However I do not always wear black these days This book is a delicious blend of buddhism and writing, she amazes me that she was able to blend two of my fascinations, it gave me hope much in the way Dan Price did with his books on journalling and simple living. So I'm writing away, perhaps nothing that I would be willing to post but Goldberg's whole premise is writing as 'practice' as in zen practice. I'm going deep inside myself.