Windows … Do You Look? Or Do You See?

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“Church of My Father”

Colours bleed in

Painting the walls and souls

Of those who wait

In hope of redemption.

Humility sits with Patience

Steadfast, beneath windows

Lovingly created

By hands of man

For the glory of God.

Colour weeps softly on weary shoulders

And burdened souls,

Compressing the pain

Of implied imperfection

Between stone walls and

Ambiguous lines of ancient texts.

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Life pulsing reds

And the dignity of purple proudly

Adorn in folds the human suffering,

Anguish of the ages

Etched into glass faces,

That await absolution with certainty, in the

Vibrant shades of faith.

The greens flow with time,

And the blues sigh and whisper,

Muffled stories that

Speak still,

In reverent moments.

Hands wrung in hope,

Clasp for strength, pray for understanding,

Tithe the price, await the law…

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Gold towers in judgment

And looks down amidst the brown hues

Of a rod for a back

Or a place to kneel.

Cream and orange chastise

with tenderness

Where pink caresses with love and

The lure of forgiveness.

Reverence disguises

The fear of a Father’s wrath.

Pomp and circumstance

Rites and rituals,

The longing for understanding…

The burden of humanity…

The artist paints the journey of the soul

The martyr and the victim,

Bound by walls of stone

And hardwood frames,

Steepled ever upwards in search of the divine,

Like manmade hands in eternal prayer,

Fingers pointing away from the truth.

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“Church of My Mother”

Colours drift in

From all sides

And paint the space and souls of those

Who seek their own redemption.

Gaia dances with Time,

Artists enduring, through windows

Lovingly created

By the hands of God

For the glory of mankind.

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Colours rain on weary shoulders

And unchain the spirit,

Releasing pain

Illuminating perfection

In pools of vain prayers dissolving.

Beyond aspiration,

Understanding awaits,

With no walls,

No constraints, no expectations.

No words.

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The art of the seasons,

Unframed by doctrine,

Life giving reds, glory skies,

And purple sunsets flowing,

In folds of nature’s creation,

Where time forgives and heals

What man struggles to understand.

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Glass faces shatter and melt

Rigid no more,

Revealing moments of truth.

Green flows with life,

And the blues whisper and sigh,

On the breeze,

In stories that ripple across time,

The threads that weave a trembling horizon

Into a circle of belonging.

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Reverent moments offering

A glimpse through windows

Past and future.

Hands release and fall

Free at last to give and receive.

Gold lines the heart instead

Without judgment,

As earthly hues with feet commune

And invite knees and shoulders to rest.

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Cream and orange delight with tenderness

Where pink and crimson caress the senses,

With love and the realization that

Forgiveness

Is the gift you give yourself.

Reverence emerges from within

A Mother’s love – moments and magic

Music and vision – the gift of understanding.

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The artist paints the journey of the soul

Unbound by walls or lines,

Sans martyrs or victims,

Only seasons, ebb and flow…

A cathedral transparent and alive

Like an open heart,

Pulsing,

Breathing

Inviting, the tithe to creation

Our very breath

The communion, inhaled,

Flowing ever inwards to reconnect

With the divine.

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The poems above were inspired by some quiet time spent in a little local church, one of the oldest and most beautiful in the region, where the light flooded in through magnificent stained glass windows, telling stories of old and inspiring thoughts anew…… I could not help but compare the two churches in my life – one the traditional structured set of ideals that we are given from birth by those around us, and the other, an unlimited sacred space we discover in nature as we continue seeking along life’s journey….. two spaces where the colours and the truths emerge to annoint and liberate us ….  it’s a personal choice which church resonates within us…..

Perhaps it is all about the windows and how we “see” through them….

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“Seeing”

They were the eyes of the church

Like windows to the soul

Staring flat and dark and lifeless

No light within at all.

There was no invitation

No promise, warmth or grace

Just blank, unblinking windows

On a stony ancient face.

But still I felt a longing

To search and know some more

I breathed in deeply, then gave a sigh

Opened the old church door.

I stepped into a different world

A whole new point of view

For the cascades of incoming light

Painted stories in every hue.

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The windows that seem so empty

From the outside looking in

Held the most vibrant blaze of passion

That I had ever seen

This revelation of colour

When seen behind these eyes

Revealed a beauty that outsiders

Could never realize.

A rainbow wash illumines

This sacred alchemy

The light through stained glass windows

Awakens colours here in me.

I breathed in all the silence

Yet my heart could hear a choir

My spirit danced while my artist heart

Knew inspiration’s fire.

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I felt those ancient secrets

Whispered in the solemn air

Shifting from witness to belonging

Between the there and here.

Looking out through other’s windows

Might seem difficult to do

But I felt the gifts as I embraced

Another’s inner unique view.

I stand outside the old stone church

And gaze back at those eyes

Somehow a light glimmers within

A secret knowing, calm and wise,

And though the windows appear the same

Something has changed for me

The more I look through other’s eyes

The more that I can see.

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Community of Music and Festivals – Nannup I applaud you!

I came home from the Music Festival with all the colour, sound and activity swirling inside my head, that I had witnessed in Nannup over the weekend…  Perhaps even more … as I tried to hold onto the memory and meaning of so many magical moments and process my own viewing of them, it was like a sensory kaleidoscope.  Attempting to unjumble the patchwork of interwoven, eclectic experiences was almost impossible but the easiest way is the same in thought as in reality – to step away from the main stage areas, which pulled crowds and dominated the airwaves, and focus in on the periphery of the festival, the multitude of smaller sights and sounds and yes, the very humanity that makes this long weekend such an incredibly memorable place to be.

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Down the road between the main part of town and the riverside park and amphitheatre, crowds of people wander between the mix of markets and information stalls.  Colourful marquees full of bright clothing and handmade jewellery, nature based attire and innovative creations rub shoulders with tents offering healing, musical instruments (I saw a man selling hand carved lyres and offering workshops to carve your own and learn to play – oh how tempting that felt to me), drumming workshops, and political parties!   A man rolled an orb ball around with barely a touch of his hands, as if it was suspended in mid air, while the children and parents gathered to watch and hands twitched with the desire to try it.   On roadsides, children were busking, with their hats or guitar cases on the ground before them, catching spare change from appreciative passers-by.  A young girl played violin, across the road, a small boy played guitar…. On the street corner, three friends sang together, having fun as much as harmony.   Further up the road, two boys busked, one playing a guitar, the other standing on his head (with a cushion) waving his legs in time to the music.   It was all happening.   And it was heartwarming to see the children expressing themselves musically in such a friendly, receptive place where the crowds were so laid back, at ease and friendly.

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I stood back and quietly witnessed the various children busking, feeling such emotion at their courage and talents, and the simple joy of seeing children allowed to participate in the spirit of the musical event, without fear of judgment or insecurity.

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Nobody was rushing, people moved leisurely, and all had smiles on their faces and a relaxed softening of shoulders.  The weekday stresses, the normal day to day troubles were all left behind to attend this event.   That was really obvious!

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Everywhere the tents, campervans and trailers were parked haphazardly, squashed in beneath the tall trees, and the visitors were soaking up the energy of the town and the music.  Nobody seemed angry or stressed.  Everyone was accepted and accepting.   Everyone belonged.  It felt like one big community of those who loved music, creativity and nature.  The food and drink vans were in constant demand and it was great to see so many of them with natural or organic offerings, or homemade food, though the slushy and fairy floss vans were doing a roaring trade with the kids!

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What can I say?  The energy was so calm and peaceful and all about people coming together to celebrate music in the beautiful hills and forests of Nannup.  I was very aware of the community feel to this festival, and the strength of those who had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to organize and pull it together.   To emphasize the fact, Phaedra rode past on her pushbike and stopped to check on someone – perspiring in the scorching sun, running between stalls and stages, performers and participants, messages, instructions, assistance, ensuring everything was running smoothly – she symbolized the team of hardworking community members who were out there in all corners of the festival- some in the public eye, but even more behind the scenes, creating a successful experience for others to enjoy.

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As I walked up the street, I watched a young man playing the hang, his fingers racing across the steel surface evoking the most uplifting, soulful but energetic melody.   It was mesmerizing.  If you have never seen or heard this instrument being played, you should check it out.  Although I was familiar with the music of Samjjana, and Maia’s soulfelt playing of the hang, (it is an instrument I absolutely love,) I had not seen the hang played in the manner of this young man, Sam.   I stayed, captivated, until he packed up ready to move on.   But then a woman approached him and asked if she could sing with him.   It was a bold request, considering the nature of his form of music.  I waited to see what would happen.  He got out the hang and she sat cross legged in front of him on the road, and opened her mouth and poured out her soul.    I was not sure what to expect, so it came as a shock.  Her voice was so pure and filled with passion, it came straight from the heart, and mingled with the beautiful notes of the hang as if their sounds were two long lost friends reunited across time.  With her eyes closed, her hands moved as if drawing on some invisible ancient language.  There were no words, just a pure language channeled from somewhere far beyond down into this tree lined street full of festival goers.

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I flicked on my video camera and stood still, stunned at the meeting of these two channels of beautiful energy….. this young man Sam calling forth the melody of the universe with his fingers dancing lightly across the surface of the hang, and this woman Deborah delivering the purest song of spirit, right from her heart.  My eyes stung with tears that overflowed from my own heart’s response.

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The crowd gathered and stood in awe as this amazing spectacle unfolded, there on the humble streets of Nannup.   As the music ended, people stood in silence, aware that they had just witnessed something quite magical – experienced an amazing gift.  I felt the tears and recognized them in other eyes around me.   It was difficult to describe but I knew something had flooded through me while in the presence of that music….  As I glanced around me at those who had gathered, I could see I was not the only one feeling this way.

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Then there were smiles all around.  Debra informed us that she was a healer, that she used song as a method for channeling healing in its purest form.   She told us what I realized already – that everyone present had just received a gift of healing.   And although Sam may not have realized it at the time, his own unique offering of music was a healing gift too, and together these two strangers had met and manifested the most amazing power that was shared with strangers and carried away out into the world, ripples that I knew would last forever.   I watched them talk and hoped that somehow they would find a way to perform or record music together as the world could certainly use more of what they had to offer.

Miss M was with me at this point and feeling very tired and unwell, with a sore throat, blocked nose and a sleepless night hanging over her, as well as the nerves of her impending performance in the children’s talent quest.  I mentioned this to Debra who offered to do a healing on her right there and then.   And so it was, this stranger put her hands on my daughter’s throat and sang a healing song.   It seemed very natural to me, though Missy M was shooting me some killer looks as if to say “get me out of here”.  I could tell she was a little embarrassed but to be honest, I don’t think anyone even noticed this small ceremony happening on the footpath behind the crowds.  After that it was time for an icecream and Miss M seemed lighter than ever with the energy she had received.   So did I, for that music had become a part of me.

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Down by the river, beneath the amphitheatre and the main crowds, an amazing event was unfolding on Saturday.  As the beautiful melodies of a female vocalist drifted up the river valley,  the Friends of the Blackwood erected a large marquee with displays about the river ecology, and the beauty and fragility of the natural environment and waterways of the region, together with added information about the Helms Forest issue, the Black Cockatoos, and the need to stop logging old growth forests.  But the most powerful part of this display was the genuine sharing of the local Wardandi people, who spent Saturday creating a sand mandala to portray their stories and culture with iconic symbols in coloured ochres.  This would be the corroboree ground for the night’s final dance.

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The Cultural display was dedicated to the matriarchal Grandmother Vilma Webb who had passed away a week before.   Within the display tent, was a memorial table with images and stories commemorating this much loved lady whose family were this weekend mourning her loss, yet celebrating the culture and the love of family and land, that she had upheld and instilled in each of them.  The magnificent sand mandala featured iconography from Burial Stones (Teaching Stones) to highlight the story of life and transition to the Spirit World.  In the sand figures were depicted pointing the way between one world and the other, with the rainbow serpent weaving through the wind and the stars, and over the ocean, for whom the Wardandi people are named.P1060761

Children sat on mats on the earth to paint rocks with iconography – stones that would then be placed in the Reconciliation Garden, higher up the river banks, another special way to share creativity and form a lasting reminder of all hands and hearts together as one in nature’s garden.  Children sat to have their faces painted by other children, with ochre in the traditional manner, or lined up to learn spear throwing (Guess who had to duck once when walking down the track feeling hot and tired and not watching where I was going!  I walked in front of a line of spear throwers and could have ended up being the rather unwilling or unpalatable prey at the end of the day’s hunt!)

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At midday Saturday, the Nyungar men and women performed a small dance ceremony on a secondary mandala, to the sound of Josh (Koomal) on the didgeridoo and drums.  Josh played both instruments so perfectly all the while holding his small son on his lap.  As Father and son bonded within the music, a small hand reached up to hold the didgeridoo his Father was playing.  The powerful pulse of the didgeridoo did not miss a beat.

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As the day wore on, the heat and humidity was pretty overpowering, so everyone headed for shade and water bottles and desperately sought out any hint of a breeze.  Luckily the Blackwood channeled some breeze down the valley which was a certain relief.

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A nine year old boy shyly approached the members of the Wardandi people with his father, and showed his own didgeridoo that he had been given and learned to play in the Kimberleys.  At their invitation, he played it and blew every one away with his mastery of the circular breathing and tonal ranges of this fascinating instrument.   He was gifted a traditional tool from the display to honour his visit and sharing.

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Saturday evening was the grand Corroboree on the mandala.  Excitement seemed to grow as children painted one another in preparation for the event.   In the shade, a small girl painted stripes of white and tan ochre on her cousin’s legs, the brush poised delicately in her little hands, a smile of accomplishment on her face at the completion of each section.  Adults adorned the young ones with traditional headgear, dress and feathers, and painted small faces, before painting each other.  The preparations were a glimpse into another world, one that has endured since long before European settlement.  Small boys chased one another around the tent, laughing, teasing and playing, their excitement at being in traditional attire and paint, a beautiful sight to see, though perhaps not for the parents who were trying to keep them under some form of control before the ceremony!

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As the sound of the didgeridoo and drums rose above the river valley, people came down from the festival grounds above, and gathered to watch the ceremony.   The Nyungar women circled the mandala first, sweeping the earth with peppi fronds, cleansing the area ready for the dance.  Then they began sweeping the whole mandala area, spreading the coloured ochres into the sand and initiating the closing down of the powerful energy portal generated by the circular design.   Their dance was vibrant and symbolic, and flowed on with the dance of the men and the boys, their movements telling stories, acting out elements of their traditional way of life, the hunt, the celebration, their spirituality, their lives.

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The crowd joined in for a final dance – from little things, big things grow – and as the dust rose, the bare feet stamped away last traces of the mandala, arms waves expressively, and smiles stretched across faces and laughter could be heard.  One man got up with his crutches and danced.   A woman with a tiny baby danced and celebrated the life sung in by the river.  The energy rose up higher than the dust and the feelings of joyful celebration settled over the riverbanks and all who were there.

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Meanwhile, the music continued into the warm Autumn night on Saturday, and the crowds relaxed and soaked up the peaceful energy of artists sharing.   The same continued on Sunday, with more song, more dance, more displays.   More fascinating and amazing sights!

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Down the street a man riding a large pink pig wandered, paying his guitar and singing.   A group of very tall “blue ladies” sashayed through the crowd with their purple rinses, plum in mouth accents and baskets of silver teaspoons, performing, as one described to me, “teaspoon readings” to heal the world and resolve the problems of those in it.    I couldn’t help but grin at them, as they mingled and delighted the crowds, and asked about them.   They were a group from the Hairball Theatre company in Denmark, there to raise awareness for their group.   They, hairy legs and blue powdered noses, certainly got my attention!

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Acrobats performed, a juggler entertained the crowd with his skills, a beautiful bellydancer shared her sensual movements with a gathering circle of onlookers, especially the men!  In the childrens area, painted Nannup Tigers mingled and entertained and tireless workers kept the younger people busy and happy.  A fairy told stories and had the children dancing.  A large purple dragon boldly wandered in to delight the kids some more.   That dragon had my sympathy – not only having to wait around in the intense heat of the sun in that heavy costume, but to have to walk through the crowds with limited vision and then dance for them!   Another hero in my eyes!  In the “Playground” the children gathered for their talent quest, with entrants ranging from small girls who came boldly on stage to do the splits to a drum roll and then walk off, young teens who danced, leaped and lip synced their way through favourite pop songs (one could only imagine the ongoing mischief at home with the music cranked up, or the state of their bedrooms!), earnest boys with their bands, and then, the highlight of the day – one young girl who had the crowd in stunned awe as she delivered the most haunting and breathtaking rendition of “Hallelujah”.   (Thank you Emily Lambert!)  The crowd stood or sat mesmerized, mouths slightly open, and I heard more than one person comment “What is she doing singing at Nannup, she should be on X Factor! “  It was a goosebumps moment for sure.  I could only shake my head in amazement at such a strong and beautiful voice and her delivery of this powerful song.   I felt I had just witnessed the early rise of an incredible star.  Miss M, standing beside me whispered totally alarmed, “I hope I don’t have to get up and sing next after her!!”  I felt the same, as this girl’s talent shone so bright it would have paled everyone else into insignificance.  As luck would have it however, Miss M WAS called upon next to sing, but her style and song was totally different, and although she was tired and unwell, she got up and sang her Taylor Swift song “Red” admirably.   And was rewarded with a prize for it along with the other talented young people who were all winners because they got up and had a go!  The highlight of her day was spending some time chatting with the talented Emily, and realizing she was just a quiet, unassuming girl who loved to sing as much as Miss M did and was someone my daughter really wanted to be friends with.   Not to mention, be inspired by!

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Later in the afternoon, the emerging talent awards were held, and it was one sensational and gifted performer after another.   I wish I could have been in several places at once, because I did not wish to miss a thing.  It was exciting to see so much talent.   My friend’s daughter Iona Jane, a self taught musician and singer, waited nervously in the shade for her act, surrounded by family and friends to support her.   To cheers from the audience, she sang a song she wrote herself, and all I could think of was “where are the talent scouts! She should be recording!”  More amazing talent!!  I did not get to see the band that won this competition but all I can say is they must have been outstanding!

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Again, into the evening, the sounds of cheers and applause from crowds, the music rising through the trees and touching the night sky, and the relief of a cool breeze sighing in after a hot day, seemed to be the enduring mark of the festival, a lasting memory that filled the senses and restored equilibrium and peace of mind.  And left me with no doubt in my mind, that next year I would be back for more.

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So as I drove home on the Sunday evening, after a second full day, with feet so sore I could barely place them on the ground, and hot and dirty and tired, I knew that it worth every bit of my discomfort.   I had experienced so many amazing moments, sights, sounds and people and the overwhelming feeling I took away with me was of community spirit and creativity…. Very talented and creative people and the community that supported and illuminated them.

Communi-tea … Thoughts on Community

Community

–          “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”

–          “the people of a district or country considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities; society:”

–         “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common”

(from the Oxford Online Dictionary)

Welcome

The past few weeks have brought the thought of “Community” to me.   What do you think of when you hear the word community?

Do you define community by your involvement in something, your immersion, participation, understanding, recognition, belonging?

Do you see Community as something distinct and separate to yourself, to be aspired to?   Is it possible this is due to a lack of connection, where your sense of place has you on the outside looking in, yourself a discrete entity who from the perspective of distance, can only witness, yearn for and hope for belonging?  Do you feel something within the concept of community that touches a chord within each of us, that intrinsic human need for “home”, for family, to belong?

Characters parade at Balingup Medieval Fair

Characters parade at Balingup Medieval Fair

 

I’ve thought a lot about this…. Communities are like circles…… we belong in some, we are outside of others, and many are overlapping or shared.   But all are there for our understanding and learning, about who we are as individuals and who WE are as human beings, …and as opportunities to reach higher or be better or more, or simply reach out and find the courage to share.  And all are created and driven by those who are a part of them.  A community is defined by the people it is made up of….

The idea of community is a powerful, much valued, but elusive quality.  Governments and Councillors cannot create, guide or legislate for it (though I personally think it should be a priority to promote and protect all aspects of “community” at any cost), corporations cannot buy, invent or generate it, no matter how crucial it might be for their fiscal wellbeing.   It starts with each individual and the connection they make with another.  It is not taught as a subject in schools, though some discerning establishments foster the spirit of community as a child or student’s first experience of what it means to belong and participate.   Like personal honour, and integrity, it is an intangible quality that no matter how subtle, we all aspire to it, yet there seems to be no value placed upon it by the shabby systems our societies dwell within, and no classrooms are dedicated to it – only the examples received in life and the gifts of our conscience.   A Community is a living breathing, evolving entity, greater than the sum of its parts, and yet only existing because of the individuals within it.

The Queen and King and their entourage enter the village...

The Queen and King and their entourage enter the village…

Many years ago, I went to the Balingup Medieval Festival for the first time.   I came away from the event with the most overwhelming sense of Community, to the point where I decided if there was one place in this state I wanted to live, it would be Balingup.  It was the Community spirit that danced and shone throughout that amazing event showing me what a group of people could do, when they worked together with passion and purpose.   The creativity and imagination that saw the town transformed into a medieval village, with lifesize jesters, colorful characters and icons around the streets, vibrant flags, bunting, real enactments of medieval ceremony and society, dragons, kings, queens, knights and fair ladies, created a sense of community beyond any I had seen, especially in the artistic sense.   For a town to come together with a common goal such as this event, captured my imagination and made me long to be a part of that.   To me, that is the lure of a true community.

However, I did not have to look too far from home to recognize a community that I am already a part of, one that offers many of the same qualities.   Here at the Artgeo complex, a thriving community of real people who share a creative spirit and pride in all that they offer, is already a circle I am grateful to be involved in.

ArtGeo Courthouse Gallery

ArtGeo Courthouse Gallery in Queen Street

For starters, you will find here, a sense of history entwined throughout the creative process and acknowledged openly.   Set in buildings that have played a critical role in this region since first settlement, initially as the local courthouse, police and gaol complex, then as a home for local artisans, buildings that hold many layers of stories from every angle of these human elements, you will also find the history of art for the region entrenched within these walls.  The Busselton Art Society, now over fifty years in the making, is rich with colour and stories and real people – generations of artists creating, sharing and teaching what they do with others.   On any given day, you can witness the women of all ages who turn up to paint and share a cup of tea with their peers, or the men who seek to share their woodturning skills, or those who volunteer to run the gallery and sell other artist’s works, or to help teach children’s art classes.  Many of these members of the art community have been doing this for over forty-five years and this is a primary part of their lives.  My Mother is one of them.   She has been a part of the Busselton Art Society for virtually all my life, and there was never a time when my image of “Mum” did not include the creative woman heading into town one or more times a week with her art supplies, her imagination and her generosity in helping others in the art rooms.  Women, people, like my Mum, form a part of the community that at times is neglected or overlooked, especially when a younger city planners or lawmakers alter landscapes, move parking or access away from the area and make life difficult for the Elders who are the backbone of this artistic family.   They should be treasured and cared for, not ignored or pushed aside in the rush for gentrification and image.   Then you will find a vibrant selection of artists, both professional and amateur, all who have stepped up to express themselves through their chosen mediums, contributing to society in subtle but essential ways through their diverse artistic statements.   New artists arrive regularly, shyly mustering the courage to offer their work for display and sale, or to enter exhibitions, and seasoned artists greet and welcome them, encouraging and inspiring them to follow their passion.  I have witnessed this first hand, the exchange of creative ideas and inspiration and encouragement, not to mention human friendship.  It is what makes Artgeo so very special and most deserving of the tag “community gallery”.

Passageway Past the Cells

Passageway Past the Cells

I remember the first times I entered the gallery with a view to share my work, and how it could have been a negative encounter that turned me away from my art, had the people there been different.  Instead, it was a positive and welcoming experience, one that made me feel accepted, gave me the courage to take my art to the next level and beyond.  And the community feel has always been enhanced by having those special people working behind the scenes, organizing, planning, promoting and hanging exhibitions, who know what it is to be an artist, who have art in their heart and recognize that the wellbeing of their fellow artists is a priority to the ongoing spirit of the complex.  These are the people who live, breathe and share art on a daily basis, another element of humanity that cannot be taught in universities, or gained from studying, but earned by a way of seeing life, a way of feeling, a way of being.   These people never criticize or crush new and emerging artists nor disrespect the older ones, they believe in inclusion, respect and acceptance, knowing art is something we all share, something beyond monetary value, something that connects us as human beings.  And their spirit rubs off on those they deal with constantly.  If you have had anything to do with Artgeo over the years you will know exactly the special people I am talking about…. these are the people who should be valued more highly than paid bureacrats, ego suited professionals or those who seek to create a high end image for the complex to the detriment of the real people within it; these are the people whose presence defines the true meaning of community…. and without such people, “community” would not exist.

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Main Gallery during my solo exhibition – Cinefest Oz

Nothing epitomizes this more than the little tearooms where I come to sit and write each week.   It is a smaller community in the heart of the larger one at Artgeo.   Here creativity is expressed through the baking and preparation of real food to sustain and nourish real people. Visitors to this little café are treated as guests in a family home.  Brenda greets them all and welcomes them to her “kitchen” as do her specially chosen staff.  There is chat and banter and smiles and always the offer of kindness.  It is as guaranteed as the garnish or rose petals on the side of the plate.  And the team in Brenda’s kitchen deliver heartfelt food and goodwill first and foremost to all who enter this community.   Behind the scenes, the energy of this little café extends over into everyday lives, just as it does within the Artgeo community.   Many who have walked into the café with a sadness, or an emptiness or a longing, walk out fulfilled, and I don’t just mean in the belly sense!  Brenda makes sure that volunteers at the gallery are always offered a free cup of tea or coffee for their time spent helping, something she does of her own generosity and as a contribution to the family feel of the place.     It is a kindness, simple and pure, a gift of the heart, to keep the human element alive, and this symbolizes the community feel that emanates from The Old Post Office Tearooms and the wonderful lady at its centre.

Quiche Smiles

These are rare qualities that are not found in many people or places any more…. they most certainly should not just be found in historic places as a symbol of how it once was or a tribute to the past!   These are qualities that must be protected and enhanced, in all areas of life.  The aspects of kindness, generosity of spirit, creativity and acceptance should be part of every community so that the members can drink freely and be inspired to perpetuate those qualities.

(from the notebooks on Cafe tables…)

Seventh of march, two thousand and thirteen

As I sit back I remember when expression was not limited by lines of ink or fountain pen.  My mind then charts across the ocean my vessel upon which I search for my perpetual Ondine.  There where I sit and the blessed easterly winds blow warm doth do I find the girl of my heart and mind, my faithful Ondine.

(Anon of the Oceans)

School visit mum

Visit over and done,

now for something in my tum!

Take one day at a time

Especially when the weather is sublime

Sit, sip some tea

Never forget to absorb what you see

Remembering that every moment counts

Enjoy eating your cake in small amounts

Talk to friends in the community

You will reap the rewards, just wait and see.

 

13th march 2013

Lovely food

Beautiful crockery

Excellent service

What more could you ask for in Busselton

And the music tops it off

Thank you

Lorna, Alma Heath

 


 

Close to the sea

On

Main street

Making the most of our day

Using our talent to enjoy

Nectar of caramel and pear and rose

Infusion of tea

The word of the week – community

Yes we will return to try again

 

 

I will grow old but never lose life’s zest

Because the road’s last turn

Will be the best  (Henry van dyke)

 

Never make anyone unhappy

Only when you say goodbye

June J

A Place of My Own

Communi-TEA or Coffee?