27 July 2008

a-ha!

It’s been an a-ha! kind of weekend. Revealing. Satisfying. And not.

A-ha moment #1... Like someone with a rare disease who finally stumbles upon a name for it, I can finally, belatedly, satisfyingly, explain my current bent for baking, knitting, herb-growing, etc. (Today’s etc being learning, sort of, to prune fruit trees at the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard.) I owe this one to Michael Pollan, whose food ethics titles I’m working my way through, but specifically, to the account of his experience building his own writing studio. With his own hands. Pollan being about as tool-handy and buildery as … well, my 19-year-old arthritic cat. As a writer, Pollan mused, he is invested to his armpits in thoughts and words and purposeless abstraction. Often not even creating new purposeless abstraction, but reconditioning other people’s purposeless abstraction so it better serves its purposeless... purpose (aka editing). So when he needed a work-from-home space, he decided to build it himself. With his own hands. He explained the impulse as a lust for something grounded in reality. Like wood and hammers and chisels and sweat. (Or flour and seeds and wool and pear trees.) To create something with his own hands that he could touch and walk into. (Or eat or wear or grow.)

A-ha. As you can probably guess, after spending years writing and reconditioning purposeless puff that often as not ended up in recycling bins, many bells did ring in my general vicinity.

A-ha moment #2... Yesterday was unbelievably sunny and warm. It registered 22 degrees outside. (About ten more than usual.) I read in the sun all morning. I thawed out. I even took off my socks and rolled up my jeans. Then I went for a walk (after failing miserably for weeks to goad myself into a decent forest tramp). I walked and sang. I felt light inside. What was this strange sensation? Oh dear. Or should I say, a-ha.

You see, for months now I've been denying the significant influence the cold weather is having on me. (But this is my home state!) A little swab of sunshine and I'm able to function without internally bracing. Frolic instead of waddle (it's the 13,001 layers). Smile. I guess this is what a real winter, after six years without one, feels like. So I’ve realised – belatedly, grudgingly – I cannot function in this part of the world in winter. A far less satisfying realisation than the first. And one I must do something about. Grrr. Maybe I'll do my tax first...

5 comments:

miaow said...

A-Ha! At first I did suspect a post about the 1980s Norwegian pop sensations, but on closer inspection... I am right there with you. Winters in Victoria SUCK, and, like you, there is no way I'm staying here long term. I am merely here for practical reasons until I can move to somewhere that isn't quite Brisbane and isn't quite Newcastle...

the cook said...

Yes, I'll also admit to having Smash Hits and vertical fringe flashbacks over this post... and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who loathes this weather. What I wouldn't give to find my own place in the sun right now!

austin said...

aurorawell since I missed you in lovely cold Melbourne I'll just have to frolic (while avoiding crocs) up at Cape Flattery, in hopeful sunshine with ya.
Mind you all the plants think it is warm, I was near woodend this weekend and plants are blossoming (by my calculations about a month too early)!

Hooroo x

austin said...

just delete aurora and it might make sense

the cook said...

Mmm, frolicking on the beach! I'm there already Nat! Looking forward to catching up with you both. s x