Friday, December 14, 2012

Like many people, I get grumpy about change. Today as I walked through an unfamiliar part of my town, I noticed this grumpiness rise, recede, rise, recede ... Eventually I took hold of it and put it to one side, and was then able to appreciate the story of our town as told by the variety of vintage of the housing through which I was walking. Houses with chimneys fascinate me. How old do you have to be (as a house) to have a chimney? Built before the 1970's at least, when gas and electric heating made chimneys redundant; making it a common sight to walk into a house with a covered-up fireplace, and a hearth as floor feature (modern art?)

I would love to get an aerial photo/map of even just that small part of town, down there on the flats, and see the pattern of 19th Century homes, and their lands transformed into 20th Century development. Even the Community Adult Learning Centre and a Dentist's premises in Main Street are chimneyed buildings. The extensions to the Learning Centre, however, sport air conditioning units, the new roof accessory of the late 20th and early 21st Century structures.

What struck me, too, was that no matter how old a house, it occurs either as a Home or as a Shelter. I felt attracted to some, and repelled by others. I also noticed my judgemental self: "They obviously don't care; probably renters; irresponsible etc"  all over the state of a garden that had wild grass rather than mown neatness. And yet, here I sit, experiencing the pleasure of being able to gaze upon a back yard completely given over to wild and random growth, of trees, grasses, succulents and creepers!! What a hypocrite.

I walked wearing a drizabone and carrying my 101 Dalmatians umbrella, and just had to stop in at the St Vincents' Op Shop. It is an Aladdin's Cave, that place. So many treasures! I came home with a hat, a watch, a newer Macquarie Dictionary than we already have here, a beautiful edition of Banjo Paterson's poetry, two lengths of purple lace ... My daughter quite properly asked what the lace was for. I had to admit, sheepishly, that I might put it up on the day I celebrate my 63rd birthday in the back yard.

With my daughter, too, I really got straight about the incident of the letter and choir. Here's what it is: I pretend I'm a champion of all people having a voice and a say. What really goes on is that I won't say something if I think it will rock the boat or I won't be liked. The impact of that is that I lose my connectedness with who and what I love. So from nothing right now I'm inventing the possibility of being an immovable unmessable-with stand for all people's self-expression. My love returns! My heart sings! My voice carries!

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