The sounds of the outside wash over me.  Really listen acutely to cascading passings; a bucket being a hosed and the water swirling inside the vessel and splattering out, the tweets of various mynahs telling each other things,

the start of a car engine, so easy to write but so engaged and mechanical, with sequences being speedily delivered, metal against metal and then the wind, my favourite thing these days, gliding and rustling through tree leaves and grasses rustling.

ImageA plane!  A child’s bit of voice, and a few footsteps going by.  Inside the dog sighs and the murmur of radio National in the background along with the gentle clicking of my computer keys.  Mass satisfaction as I shift in my chair. 

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Tree sounds

I am getting joy from the sound of wind through tree leaves. I’m noticing the difference between different trees, and the variety of sounds that emanate. There are some trees in a park near by that clatter when the breeze comes up, and finally I have solved the sound issue around casuarinas (she oaks), it is the sound of nature applauding, like the roar of a crowd, but performed by the thin needles. Interestingly, this sound is different to the sound of wind through pines.
A couple of weeks ago on a quiet night, whilst walking I passed a huge wall of ivy. I stopped to watch the moonlight glittering on the leaves and then heard a ticking, clicking patter. I was amazed and ran home to get my video camera, I thought I was hearing the ivy grow. But after filming and observing for more time I realised it was the sound of thousands of little seeds pooping out of their holders (!) and falling down on the leaves below. Still, charmed by observational capacities. Nature gives so much to me, I just have to be willing to be quiet and witness.

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Bombardment and stillness

This fellow was ringing a bell at Shibuya Station the other day. I watched him greedily, but he would not acknowledge me.Maybe I was too greedy.

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Last time

I was in Melbourne, I stumbled on a convenience store where they were selling these Ikebana inspired flower arrangements and ephemera. I was delighted as they reminded me of my own work.


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Heightened sense

$15,000 worth of packets

As you may have gathered I am a sensory junkie. I love to be totally absorbed in sensation, good and the upside of bad. I am forced to appreciate the contrasts between pain and pleasure, revelling in the relief of difference. I have stopped smoking cigarettes, mostly. I might have 4-5 a day, as opposed to 30-40. It is hard work, and I have kept at it since the beginning of the year. I am experiencing heightened smells and surprisingly, touch. I suppose it is only to be expected, but I am enjoying the additional time it gives me, let alone the extra cash.
I really notice sitting by myself in public areas and not busily doing what I always have, since 1978; digging around in my bag for the packet, rolling and ashing and all the gadgetry I used to have to carry with me for just a simple outing.
Its more difficult when I am with people that I used to smoke with, not that they are smoking, but that I am not used to having my hands free…I guess I am a nervous person and used smoking to occupy myself.
I still give in a few times a day, and light one, only to extinguish it almost immediately, its repulsive!
I notice other smokers fagging on out in the street, and I can identify with their habit, but am glad that I am not a victim of the addiction as much anymore. I have a patch on always.
The scents that reach my nostrils are more intense than they used to be, and I am relishing my nose’s abilities to distinguish layers of fragrance. My sense of taste hasn’t changed, good food still tastes great!
The great thing is how the circulation is much better in my extremities, I used to get pins and needles fairly regularly in my hands in the night, and that ceased immediately. I am less out of breath, stopped the terrible hacking cough, and can feel no lung ache. That is really good.
I hope I can get to the point of no smoking at all.

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My ears were pricked for sound, maybe as I wasn’t listening to my I-pod, I got to hear all sorts of beautiful communications…in the park a gaggle of mothers groups calling out the availability of their cakes and biscuits, outside a cafe some girls discussing their toenail colour preference (“I always get sparkles”), little boy wandering and his mum saying “he likes being a dog”. The bats are hard at it in the tree outside, gabbling and flapping after a day of sleep. The hood was filled with the awful sound of tree-lopping today, but it was a fully dead tree, so I don’t mind, but now, I can hear my neighbour practising the piano.
If I weren’t alive I wouldn’t be privvy to all this, if I didn’t have time, I wouldn’t be wandering, hearing what I hear, the ticking past of a bicycle, the clicking of a stone embedded in someone’s tyre, the occasional burst of song from down the road, as the voice coach reaches a higher scale. On the weekends we get to hear the policeman practising his bagpipes, and sometimes another neighbour on her saxophone. Her dog enjoys joining in.
Now that I have my own hound to share sounds with there is a lot more noise coming from our place, as I call out “wheres the ball” and when he gets excited he seizes his squeeky toy and gives it a good workout, adorable romping all over the place.
Sound travels so readily in these medium density cities, I am aware of the parties roaming the streets on Friday and Saturday nights and know school is out as the teenagers return thudding basketballs on their home run. I am not always enjoying the sounds I hear, and will often put on music to hide the exterior noise.
When I was a kid I had a rock tumbler, which was plugged in churning ordinary rocks for months, day and night slowly polishing them. It was the best sleep I have ever had, acting as white noise and effectively drowning out all surrounding noises trying to squeeze into my ears.
I love to sleep near to the ocean and hear the gentle waves breaking, thats my favourite sound of all. I guess they are polishing rocks as well.

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A find

Found this and was delighted by what appeared to be a child’s scrawling wish.

Until I got home and turned it over.

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Local growth

In a park around the corner I found some olive trees in season, and across the road from me there’s a tomato vine that has been left unattended.

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Love the arrangements along Prince of Wales DriveSydney Park after the rain, green algae and tennis balls afloatPainted my nailsLoved the sandstone circles at Gordons BayPhotographed TakaraWatched autumn comeRead some Proust

Loved the arrangements along the Prince of Wales Drive
Sydney Park after the rain, green algae and tennis balls afloat
Painted my nails
Gordons Bay sandstone circles
Photographing the wondrous Takara
Watched autumn come
Read Proust

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Gum trees

Local trees

I love trees. It is so simple, they grow, they are beautiful and I can’t get enough of seeing them. They are astounding sculptures, and I am in awe of their greatness. I look up at a great tree and humbled by nature.
Gum trees are my obsession. To gaze at a gum at length is a great honour. In particular there is a white gum that enchants me, and then there are a variety of others that I enjoy spending time watching, but the white ones in my area have been a rescue rope to existence of late.
I now have a new dog to walk and spend many more hours out of doors than I used to, letting him sniff around and circumnavigate the city. We walk all over the place, I am tracking gums and he is tracking what he is tracking.
I’m terrible with the tree’s names, the man-made, imposed describers, I just know what I like to see and when I see one, my heart catches in my throat and I feel compelled to do it justice by looking at each and every branch and the way it moves in the wind, and the configurations of it’s growth, the fucking lines, drawn by wind and dna, it is maddeningly beautiful under every variety of light, and in every weather condition.
I stand and watch or lie and look, and am happy.

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