Written 7th June 2009
Well. What’s this? Words. Spoken words. Have we not had enough of them already? What might they now spell out we hadn’t heard? Hungry as we are for surprise, for nourishment, we are already jaded by disappointment from the efforts of others, by our community’s deepest thinkers; nothing has emerged that might give us air.
We know that we are by now doomed to the mould that is set; our actions as individuals or as collectives cannot scratch its surface, let alone shape another that might make sense for us.
A state of doom I might define is an empty room and sadness, sickness, madness and loss allude to a depth that is an empty hole signed do not enter or descend.
Hope flourishes from disappointment. New ideas sniff flame to extinguish themselves. In the bright light of day we fall with distinction.
It’s a Sydney day today. We are stuck between Gomorrah and tomorrow. We carry the weight of the world. The eyes of the world are turned towards us providing a comfort that looking to such a distance brings.
What’s this? Words. More words. Scratching, yes, scraping , scouring, from dropping ropes I can secure a purchase. I can cover the face of it, the neck. I can cradle a babe around the breast of it. Yes. I can do as much as most of us do to make the best of it.
It is not so much a scramble that I present today. I had hoped to carve a niche in your descent and a toe hole for your recovery.
This falling action is not delivered by a gravitational pull. Neither is the action of walking a consequence of disturbing an inclination to be inclined.
We are not innately lazy. It is not that we have succumbed to a life of comfort to bring a purpose. We are alive. We are awake. We are encumbered by our memories, and genes have messages buried which offer unfortunate suggestions.
Imagine if you will, this ruin I have described, featured by promises and lies
Take an onion. Dissect into halves. Slice into half rings with diminishing diameters. Move to side of chopping board with side of chopping knife.
Take a knob of garlic. Break off four cloves. Crush off the husks with face of chopping knife. Remove husks. Chop skinned cloves into slices 2mm thick and move to side of chopping board.
Take red pepper. Slice off the cheeks and cut into strips. Chop the strips into rectangles. Move to side of chopping board.
Light stove. Heat oil in wok.
Take chicken thighs. Slice. Slide to edge of cutting board.
Observe how the ingredients queue and jostle, how they threaten to mix, become confused from one another. Observe how they argue, preparing for the heat. Observe their living space. Stand back. Make room! Observe the food as washing stacked in colour-coded piles in a house in which there is no time to wash, to cook and clean.
Turn on radio. Scan for music to equate to mood, to time, to self. Pour a glass of wine. Turn on the lights. Close the doors. Draw the curtains for the night.
Sear chicken in heated oil. Turn until brown, till the pink has gone. Remove chicken from wok and put aside.
Cook onion in heated oil. Turn until the arches flop, till the crispness goes. Turn to save the onion from defeat. Add garlic whichever way you can.
Garlic has an after- life. It records itself on the face and the edges of the chopping board, on fingers, on the breath of users. Before, we would recoil in the face of it, unused to it, we were.
Turn the heater on, adjust the lights.
Put the water on for the rice. Breathe. Relax.