It’s been a big week and I’m too tired to even write about it. So let’s see if this picture really does say a thousand words.
Photo copyright Jeni McMillan
In spite of my deep eucalypt roots, I tumbled into the abyss and fell deeply in love with France. And when I read Agnes Durbet’s words ‘the candle is now lighted on both end into a contrasting ephemeral existence with no future’ I was inspired. Her roots are French but her branches reach up to the clear Australian sky. Two ends burn and nothing remains the same. It’s simple. Being a foreigner quickens the pulse but creates a ghostly doppler effect that lingers in the ether.
Between two worlds: photo Jeni McMillan
‘Que sera sera but I am not lost anymore.
You might be transported to other continents by some exotic pictures, postal cards blue ocean and white mountains, but I am traveling within your daily life in these places we ignore or are disturbed by. I see ghosts who give my life meaning and dimension.’ Agnes Durbet.
I need to write. I am too full, spinning in perpetual motion. Hold your centre I hear the bare branched street trees rattle outside my window. Come look at the sky sings a scurrying cloud. Can I finish this story I ask the mountain? Which one will you tell comes the measured response. There are so many trails to wander so I pause from indecision. The direction is apparent but the details lack precision. ‘I am my own muse’ wrote Frida Kahlo. ‘I am the subject I know the best. The subject I want to know better.’ So I drop my resistance and do what I do. Nothing actually matters apart from creating. Release expectations and run with the wind.
La Danse, photographic collage: copyright Jeni McMillan
If love is an art, I surrender my preconception, begin at the beginning and open my heart. So many colours, shades, hues opaque and transparent. Light tremors in tentative beginnings. Longings, caresses on unconfined canvas. Full-bodied brushstrokes and playful minds meeting. Passionate and artful, always forgiving. Testing, exploring, cradling perfection. Inception, completion. Breathe and let go.
Digital Painting: Jeni McMillan
I’m at a fundraiser for Nepal. As after shocks break lives apart, firelight is casting beautiful shadows on strangers. A point in time. Nothing more, nothing less. Who am I to question? Encounters are never random.
BEAUTIFUL SHADOWS was written (by Tom Woodward) on buses, underneath trees, in spare rooms & on wintry park benches. It features the majestic production of Yen Nguyen & was recorded over several sessions in Melbourne & Sydney. Some of Australia’s finest & no-doubt sexiest musicians grace these tunes: Munro Melano, Sean Hamilton, Chris Hancock, Yen Nguyen, and not to mention the indefatigable iconoclast, Hubert Von Kunt.
Cover Art by Paul Summerfield
There is no place. No Holy Ground or Grail. Nothing to search for and everything to find. Look within whispers the wind. So I breathe in the flurries of fully fledged wonder. It rests in silence, slow talks the trees. I glance at the mountain because it is the rock that I seek. You are here smiles the Gods and Goddesses so timeless.
Photos: Jeni McMillan
I’m on a roll with musing the memories but thought a little deviation into the universal plot thickening was on my list of to-dos today. I have been having some very odd encounters lately. A few people have popped up, almost simultaneously, taking the Power of Now into the past tense. Only in cyberworld, mind you, but unsettling nethertheless. Here I am ruminating on a dog-eared page from my passé composé in the Australian bush when an old school friend connects, a long lost buddy appears bearing apologies for life doing what life does from time to time and another ghost pursues me incognito under a non de plume. I could stop blogging and hide in my room but I’m already behind the door and, if I continue my obsession with energy saving efficiencies, I’m going to need my computer to add some heat into an otherwise finger-frigid world. Mind you, I’m a great believer in the Universe, whatever that is. I know that if I close my eyes and attempt to put my ego on hold, amazing things happen. Thanks, friends, for sharing the ride with me. I really do appreciate random connections.
‘The Possibility tickled her fancy’, a painting that no longer exists. I decided to re-use the canvas in a rash moment when materials were scarce. Yes, the possibility of ephemeral art tickled my fancy.
The future is carved from the past. The spirit of adventure that led me to the sacred heart of the mountains, to be nurtured and grown into goddess, took me beyond this dreaming and into another. But only after the first chapter was completed. The sun burnt memories into my skin as cicadas screamed in the standstill heat. Slow down sang summer. I ignored the message, cut trees and dragged their limbs in forty degrees plus. My naked feet stung on hot sand as I ran to the edge and dived in. Be cool laughed the river. Build your shelter warned the ants as they carried their dead underground. Don’t forget to sing called the birds. Always fly encouraged the eagle. Dream called my heart. And so the second hut was built.
Photos: Paul Buchlak
Yes, the city girl met the tall, handsome stranger and ran away to the bush where her life was forever changed and enriched, beyond anything she could have imagined. There have been many stories since, lives lived and died, but I think this one is worthy of a dusting down and airing in the sunlight, just so that people know that magic does sometimes happen.
‘There were several huts but the intention for each was that it could return to the ground and not leave a trace. Our first hut achieved this goal and you will find no sign of the building if you search the dry forest flats along the river. We cut dead wattle logs into short lengths to infill a pole frame. We hauled the smooth volcanic rocks from the river bed in a homemade wheelbarrow. Flattened stringy-bark sheets covered the roof. We had no power, power-tools or machinery. This was a labour of love, brute strength and endurance. But above all, it was a symbol of innocence and hope. We didn’t own the land, it belonged to the Crown. At that first moment, when two young city-dwellers chose a building site above the flood line, then adjusted it several metres to avoid a meat-eating ants nest, it seemed impossible that they would forge a life in the wilds that would last for the next decade.’
First hut: Photo Jeni McMillan