Sunday, 24 August 2008

solitude and timelessness, 41 degrees south

sunset by constitution docks, on my walk home from salamanca arts centre this evening. a dusting of white on the peak of Mount Wellington in the background.

at the InFuse workshop today

busy Salamanca market from the window of the Salamanca Arts Centre

"Ladies Purse" - one of the displays at the Conservatory at the Royal Botanical Gardens


Been meaning to update my blog for more than a month now since I quietly left Malaysia, (slipped out of Malaysia) and couldn’t really find an impetus to write up til 20 mins ago when I sent an sms to Noren and Chedd to tell them what a wonderful experience I was encountering, something I missed so much and something I don’t even remember experiencing for a long, long time.

Anyway. The whole long story in sequence will – or may, come on a later date but for now I must gush…before the moment passes.

I have found myself agreeing to live in Tasmania, 41 degrees south of almost everyone else in the world, for 3 months. Up til 2 months ago, I could never have seen this happening, let alone plan for it and allow it to happen, but its one of those serendipitous things you can’t explain and don’t care to know why it happens I guess but I AM HERE.

My MOMENT came as I was walking home from a 2 day seminar and workshop called InFuse, organized by the Salamanca Arts Centre, and for the last 2 days, arts practitioners from all backgrounds – documentary film makers,a digital choreographer, a roboticist, a puppeteer, several introverted artistic people with “extrovert tendencies”, musicians, writers, street art performers and..myself, amongst them, have come together to discuss their work and to share ideas on hybrid, or inter-medium, or cross-disciplinary arts practice. Its been a most exciting 2 days for me and has thankfully, got my creative juices flowing, oozing and bubbling all over again. My notebook is filled with sketches on ideas for set design, new ways of presenting my past work, things I want to try next…I’m re-energized, ready to rock n roll again - it’s wonderful what I got out of it. Its absolutely vital for an artist to engage with his peers, and to interact and share in forums such as this, I feel.

That’s the short version of the long story which will or may come another time.

I left the session earlier than I had planned, and decided to walk home instead of ride in a car. There began that defining moment where I fully understood what this whole elation was about – I had just discovered the meaning of solitude, and timelessness, and never appreciated this luxury ever more than just then. I walked from the Salamanca Arts Centre past the pier with the cool Tasmanian winter wind blowing in my face, loving the fact that I was on my own, and not on any kind of schedule, walking at my own pace, taking my OWN SWEET TIME, for once. It's the most liberating feeling ever, to walk around incognito, without having to worry about my bag being snatched by a psychotic guy on a motorbike, or yelling out to my kids as they glide on their heelies on the sidewalks, and to just be with myself, soaking in the moment and just loving the time and space and loving how at that moment, nothing at all mattered. Bliss.

I have just walked straight into my apartment by the pier and headed straight for my trusty laptop to gush before the feeling passes, but now I realize there’s no real rush at all here for me – I’m living a very different life suddenly, where time doesn’t really matter, the air is the cleanest I've ever breathed, people aren't concerned about appearance and wearing brand-name clothes, conversation is far from being about who's attending what party and which awards show and wearing what, nobody is interested in being judgmental about anyone else, there are no queues at the bank or the cinema ticket counter, people are so genuinely helpful (not because they're after anything from me, for a change!) and I’m loving every moment of it.

Meantime, I’m feeling a little homesick thinking about the family and my friends that I’ve left behind, but it’s probably a good time to be away from the madness that I read about on my reuters and star sms news alerts.

Suddenly, that really feels like a world I’m relieved to be able to leave behind. Good luck to the rest of you, I'm happy in my simple new-found Utopia.