Monday, June 28, 2010

Fear, Loathing & Sleep Deprivation

I’m tossing and turning under the doona like a hooked fish, my mind a grand prix. It’s 3 a.m. and even in the dark I can clearly see crabby written all over my face. The new pillows are too thick, one doona isn’t enough, two too many. At the boxing ring in the back of my head, I’m ringside at the showdown. The bookies are calling it evens. In the blue corner, a look of defiance on her face, grandiosity flexing the oiled muscles of her tanned arms is Commitment, bouncing around on the spot in restless anticipation of the face-off. In the red corner Discipline pants, thin lips stretched into a snarl, arrogance staining itself into semi-circles under her arms, a mocking sway gyrating from her hips. The bell sounds. Discipline lunges into the centre, bearing crooked teeth. ‘Fraud’ she spits with vehemence. ‘You and your hollow fucken promises’. Below the belt calls the referee. Commitment, white knuckles clenched, lurches to within inches of her opponent’s face. ‘Liar’ she counterpunches, spraying saliva in her adversary’s face. ‘There’s not a skerrick of self-control in your bones.’ Warning, calls the referee. Saboteur! jabs Discipline. Procrastinator! returns Commitment. The missiles fly with increased ferocity. Bully! Fool! There’s no backing down. With violent precision the adversaries hook into each other … Thief! Addict! Annihilator! Rebel. Foul, foul yells the referee … both of you … to your neutral corners, NOW! The opponents retreat. No Decision, call the three Judges unanimously.

This antagonistic couple used to be buddies. It appears something or someone is causing an existential crisis and blocking their vision. Is a reconciliation likely or do I just need a good night’s sleep? And a homoeopathic?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Who is this tall thin woman with the pale complexion and what’s she doing in the loungeroom?

Strange things occur when you invite people to stay, especially when the place you call home is not really your home and the belongings of somebody else’s life fill the spaces. How many years she’s lived in the studio is anybody’s guess but last week, when I traipsed up the stairs to the studio to show Sal and Dave the large vacant room with scatterings of the owner’s art, I decided it was time for the lonely cold shape to share the winter with me in the house. She’s heavy, mysterious and larger than life and it took the phenomenal muscle of the three of us to navigate her safe passage into the house.

I’ve christened her Avenue which derives from the Latin advenire and means to arrive. It seems appropriate. I think she has something to say, but what, I don’t know. Perhaps she’s here to inform my writing, perhaps not. Perhaps she’s my Venus de Milo and has a thing or two to teach me of love and beauty. A week into her lodging, the fright that accompanied her initial sighting is beginning to wane. I welcome her presence and wonder about the truth of my inner life, that which created a path for her arrival.