Saturday, May 18, 2013

This afternoon

This afternoon I heard Poetica on the radio, a tractor reversing through lines of broccoli, a magpie impersonating a kookaburra, Dave the farmer yelling at his dog, who barked at the cows, and Mick using a grinder to fashion a washer from a length of steel scrap to fix the mower.
(Poetica, on a good day, makes me feel like my neck is being kissed. The smell of a grinder cutting steel takes me back to tin sheds and strange machines and the work of men.)
A still, chilled afternoon: the big, white clouds of autumn always threaten rain and sounds ring clear through the air.
As I hang out my washing, the neighbour shouts over the electric fence, "It must be about to rain, Sarah!" My clothesline habits, it seems, are his storm barometer.

Tis a breaking of the seal, of sorts. Perhaps that is too juicy a metaphor for my situation. Tom Stephenson has posted his recipe to draw out a dried up blogger, when he worried that his mates in other worlds were either dead, buried or walking the Valley of Shit. You can read his recipe here (the comments are v.funny if I may say so myself.)
The only reason I've stopped writing over the last week or so is that I've stepped off my red wine highway. Red wine tends to be my amphetamine or blue meanie when it comes to creativity. It can feed me in more ways than mere alcoholic sustenance, so giving it up for a week means that I am flailing just a bit. I wake up in the mornings feeling brilliantly (or at least vaguely) cognitive, and free of that nasty guilty thing called a hangover. But the rage ... the beauty ... the landscape ... the story ... all these elements have been obscured by a bewilderment, a numbness and the lack of drive to say anything at all. This is confusing for me because I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

So please bear with me. There is plenty banked up that I would like to write about: Helen Garner on literary prizes and writing non fiction in the Weekend Australian, google street view and the paranoid collective, a breath of sunlight outside the gaol for my ex, dancing to my 'own' band C U Next Tuesday in a garage in Lockyer, a visceral lesson in kangaroo tick management, Japan's potential leader's response to the demands of the Comfort Women, my grand daughter's amazing, open mouthed smile when she hears me say 'Hey Tilly, Tilly! It's Nana Sarah!'


  1. That's one adorable baby! :)

    Can't wait to read your next few posts...some of the potential subject matter sounds interesting!

  2. Yes - I am still laughing (inwardly) about those comments. Your grand daughter looks as though she is getting in shape to read your books with those glasses! Are they glasses, or sunglasses?

    1. I've dedicated the book to her, Tom. She wears those glasses because she's had three operations already to remove congenital cataracts. She can't see very well without them.

    2. Oh, I see. Poor little thing, but she looks as though she is getting on just fine!

  3. That 'pressure' was one of the reasons I was intitially going to abandon my own blog. But then I just figured I'd do it on my own terms. It's true I get disappointed when you don't post Sarah (and I suspect there are meny more who do), but that's my issue - not yours.

    That baby is such a dag. Really cute......and what a trooper with those crazy glasses. She is one unique individual alright. Just gorgeous.

  4. Yes, my lack of words was beginning to bother me!
    Matilda Is a real character. What a lovely girl.

  5. Matilda has the most beautiful smile. And those huge eyes ... happiness magnified.

    We've been dealing with ticks (on dogs)too - they seem to spring to life with the rains. I too used to worry about not posting regularly on my blog but I'm happy now to just write when I can.

  6. Looking forward to meeting Matilda one of these days/years ...

  7. Grog and guilt. Powerful combination. I don't get to read every day so your posting pattern suits me - and makes me feel less guilty about my irregular missives but not less grogged (I haven't stopped opening a bottle with my missus every evening.

  8. Alt J. This Is For Matilda I hope the link works, it's nice.

  9. PS. I'm two weeks into a state of total abstinence. Well, drinking abstinence anyway.

  10. Very nice Ciaran, thanks. I'll send it on to Pearlie and Co. And well done! It must be that time of year!

  11. The tide comes in, the tide goes out.

    Tough being prolific...I would imagine... Keep up the good gathering time.

    Lovely baby!

  12. Isn't she!
    The daily practice aspect of writing has been doing me in. When I stop, a crisis comes on! And yet ... when a crisis comes on, I start cranking.