Tuesday, October 18, 2005

a trip out of the city - July 2004

got away and now I'm back. Driving through forests divided by roads frayed at the edges, like ribbon. Naked trees like arms reaching up from the dry earth, crooked fingers pointing, curled over and desperate. We pass occasional tin sheds, rusted on the top. Stark and grey, they are almost eaten up by the landscape. It's going to swallow us up, this land. We've tried too hard. Already the English country gardens they so desperately tried to establish 200 years ago have been ravaged by the elements and taken over by the gum and grey - a staple of the Australian landscape.

The surroundings are so quiet and so I turn "politik" on. I want to escape all these scenes of hungry desperation that feature so heavily in my own city life already, but here they are again - the trees, the leaves the dirt - craving something.

We drive through all this. Across bridges, over dried creek beds and through hills. Up, up, up. And spent three days away from everything that stressed and hurt. It was good. It was great, as a matter of fact. I miss the city too much when I'm away. But I like the feeling of escaping, even if it means heading towards the belly of this big land-beast of ours.

I don't really want to go into the details of every single event. Believe it or not, sometimes I can't be bothered disecting everything that happens to me, on paper (err). When I leave my journal behind, I already go through the motions of writing an entry in my head. I hate doing things twice. But there was one stop that stands out more than the others. It was in Castlemaine, yet another of our country towns built near the old goldfields. A visit to Buda house where a hungarian immigrant lived, with his family in the 1800s. He'd made his fortune and his family had followed in his footsteps by being quite artistically inclined. I could see the gardens were once grand and beautiful, but perhaps because of the grey weather and chill in the air, they seemed tired, sad and haunted to me. The house was cold and old, had many rooms, sitting room, working room, music room, silver room, bedrooms etc. I walked through these and had a strong feeling of being stifled and sad.

I don't know if I was projecting but I felt the burden of being female and young and having nothing to do but wander the gardens and waiting for my life to bloom but knowing it might not in this little (for it must have been truly little, then) town. I've never had a feeling like that walking through an old home before. It was such a marked difference, from what I'd always considered an optimistic feeling from those living and working in tiny cottages on the goldfields in Ballarat; where the day must have beeg long and work was hard but there was a sense of real purpose. I wonder if I'm this emotionally malnourished girl, wandering through my life without purpose, and waiting for something to happen? This scares me - like the Australian landscape scares me. It's a feeling of being eaten up by something so much bigger than me. Who ever knew that I'd ever feel so out of control?

But the trip was good. It put some space between myself and all these dramas for a couple of days. I felt the stress building up again we drove closer to the city. I couldn't do without it though.. These twinkling lights and beeping noises of the city. Let the land swallow us up. We were never meant to be here anyway, I don't think. I'll just keep wandering, biding my time. Trying to forget about the desperate fingers rising from the dry, grey earth. It'll get us all in the end. I'll go back to listening to my walkman.