Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Nundle - Writing Retreat: Day 1

For this trip I've left my travel buddy behind, spending four days at Nundle, 65
kms to Tamworth's south east. On the face of it, its a chance to be absent from distractions of home and the create opportunities to create some new poems - poems which have remained unrealised ideas. I've been living with vague ghosts who swim in and out of view, teasing me to reach out and give them written form.

In reality, its also a chance to fallow. I'm not the man I was and nor do I want to be. If I was to compare my former capacities to my adjusted standards, it would always be an uneven fight. These days, I have both the hunger and and capacity to consume of normal men, making comparisons a cheat. By the time I left home on Monday afternoon, I needed rest and a chance to breath air without sharing it.

Selfish ... once maybe. Perhaps we might just write it off to my creative vagaries. Being me was once so much easier because it required no thought, no consideration. Changing has made life easier for everyone but me. Sanity comes with responsibilities and creates expectations.

Two years ago, I was advised by a guru who had handed me tools with which to craft a better me, to set up a place I could retreat to, preferably close to home. It should be quiet, discrete and comfortable. It was advice I ignored for a long time and for many reasons.

Until now.

Foggy Nundle evening
The drive out here on Monday was dramatic. Scheduled to leave Tamworth earlier, I couldn't resist sitting in the dark and disappearing into someone else's world for a few hours, so Sue and I squeezed a movie into the time I should have been driving. The result was doubly fruitful. Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" provided another harking back to a radicalisation Redford avoided in the 1960's. It was more the purview of a former co-star, Jane Fonda but he covered the ground well, despite the obscene vision of him jogging through a park for exercise as he nears 80 in real life! Perhaps not the reach it might seem when his character has a 12 year old daughter.

Suspension of belief is easier when you produce and direct.

The second fruits of the delayed departure lay in the approach to Nundle. It had been raining for most of the trip south and then east. More was gathering to the east behind Nundle as the last hour of sunlight was lost behind cloud and fog. The ground glowed orange and the sky a deep, threatening blue. Dividing them was a line of cloud morphing in colour between the two and running down gullies from the hill tops, scampering away from parent cloud which had anchored to the high ridge lines. But for lateness and promises made to the owners, I might have spent the next 30 minutes taking photographs which would have caused argument and the assertions that they were produced by photo enhancement and not opportunity.

The fire was waiting for me
How could I describe the digs as anything else than beyond expectations. Met up the road by the owner in her flannelette pyjamas, I couldn't have had a warmer welcome. A conversation could not have been avoided and on the evidence, why should it have been. I left with the assurance that whatever I might need was only an ask away but, what more could I want? The fireplace was crackling and the house warm. Scones waited on the dining table with instructions for the microwave. Eggs and bacon were on standby in the fridge, waiting on morning duty. The bed was turned down, the pantry full and as welcomes go, it was pretty damn good.

Red wine took care of the rest of the evening.

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful! I love the bit about hoping. That's the thing that really got me to make my final decision to sign with my agent; she had this amazing optimism just leaking out of her pores when she called to offer representation.


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