After my absence I write from home and come to give a brief snapshot of my time in Australia and a small update: I went to Brisbane on the 24th of June and flew back to Sydney on the 4th of July. When I was there I didn’t have my computer so I wasn’t able to write, hence the silence. When I got back to Sydney I only had a couple more days left until I went home and so I was more preoccupied with spending time with my friend, Lily, rather than writing up a little note (shameful).
Being in Brisbane was one long dream from beginning until the very end. I am still in an endless dream as I type even though I am back in the United States. I have not been able to sleep very well and instead I stay up at all hours wandering around the city, going for runs, attempting to read (but finding my mind very distracted), or drawing as a small child would.
I wish I could tell you exactly what my trip was like, but I feel like I would be putting too much on display. It was surreal, however, and any proper surrealist would delight in the humour—or the horror—(a park, for example, that was just a rectangular strip of grass surrounded by homes in Auchenflower. The main attraction of this ‘family park’ was a drain just off center with a bench facing the drain). I remember sitting on the verandah at Tom’s and listening to the magpies and thinking to myself, ‘these are the birds I have read about before.’ Nothing is as it seems and nothing seemed as it was when in Brisbane as the boundaries blurred in every area possible. I fear if I write about my time I will say too much! I am saying too much! Let me simply put forth this: sometimes we find ourselves in places suddenly and for no reason at all the fragile connection we have to what we see is frayed and who knows how we find our way back to the world we thought we once understood. It was in Brisbane that the world moved at an unexpected pace, and it was in a small town an hour and a half away from Brisbane that I burned my hand in Lily’s mum’s backyard when sitting around a fire as we roasted a pumpkin and other veggies. Her mum’s home was filled with flickering candle light because she does not have electricity—a home filled with such soft light that can only reveal so much: scattered and disorganized light: light that you must make an effort to bring with you if you want to see. Lily’s mum’s home felt like a faraway fairytale with exposed walls and open doors. Being upside down on the other side of the world plays with a faltering psyche in ways we sometimes do not expect.
My friendship with Lily has grown so much from my visit and now I feel more at home in Australia than I have ever felt in the place I have spent the last twenty-one years of my life.
On the 17th I am flying to London to meet up with a friend and we are walking the Francigena. I am sure you will hear more about this, but who knows when. Sometimes I just need more time to process everything (sometimes I never have enough time to process everything).