Friday, 14 June 2013

Nundle - Writing Retreat: Last Days

I came to this little cottage in Nundle to achieve three things:

  • to edit poems written but not published in the last two years
  • to complete preparations for my presentations for the Black Dog Institute
  • to have a break from the normal responsibility of my life in Tamworth
I didn't come to write. I didn't want the pressure.

A strange thing happened. I relaxed, met people, took photos and started writing.

Apart from the second evening and a searing sunset, the clouds have swept up the Peel River valley and paused as they gathered the effort to pass the 1100m height at Hanging Rock, high above Nundle on the ridge to the east. In waiting to finish the ascent, they have had an attack of the dropsy, leave some of their load on Nundle. It's been chilly too but its winter and with the log fire going when I arrived on Monday, I saw no reason to let it go out. The cottage is equipped with air conditioning inverters on both floors but fossil fuels managed to carry the load.

Tuesday night weather has stayed for the rest of the week.

Each day had a similar pattern. Healthy breakfast, long walk, coffee at the Mount Misery Gold Mine Cafe where I read and jotted down ideas. The rest of each day was lost to my guilty pleasure. Once it was dark, a walk to the pub for a couple of beers and then home for tea in front of TV. Didn't watch the news once but did finish the first season of the original Star Trek. Reading in bed for an hour and great sleep as the roof drummed with rain.

This morning, I ventured up to Sheeba Dam, where the temperature was deep down in single figures, what looked like fog was actually cloud and you were soon wet but it wasn't raining. I took some decent photos, especially around the dock. The colours of eucalypts glows from trunks when they are wet and shine is gone from the day. It was hard to take a bad photo. I felt all alive as I often do when I'm in the bush with only birds and other creatures for company. Lately, in my controlled mood state, its as though I had lost connection with wonders, with electricity I remember from mania. It was nice to feel it prickly behind my eyes again ... to feel it in the pace of my breathing and the sharpness of my senses, which felt all stripped back and bare wires exposed.

I used to live like that but have chosen not to. Short visits can do me no harm.

Home beckons and that other electrician who strips back my wires.

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