“purpose!” they ask…
not “activity” or “event”…
usually the existential questions come from the kids…
“why are you a musician?”
“do you like doing this?”
“is the story true?”
To be asked to sum up my purpose
in two centimetres
first thing on a cool autumn morning
while a receptionist smiles at me expectantly…
well, I think perhaps
I could have been better prepared.
Why am I here?
Why do I blow through a tube of bamboo?
What is my “purpose?”
Seeing my struggle to find the one adequate word …
the seasoned receptionist knowingly suggests
I leave it blank
That was this morning…
it is now evening
I have pulled up on the side of the road in Avoca
surrounded by river gums and screaming cockatoos
to find a wonderful cottage
at a price I can just afford
and it has a spa-bath!
a perfect place for pondering “purpose”
out of the bath
my bedclothes clinging to my damp skin
I know the one word to put in that tiny space on the register for school visitors:
That is my purpose
in all my various school shows
my purpose in my writing and other pursuits
is seemingly more wordy
not able to be squeezed into a visitor registration form
is to stimulate a sense of curiosity and wonder
… firstly within myself
… and hopefully within my audience / readers / chance encounters…
perhaps that wonder and curiosity can be distilled
into the single word
our curiosity may uncover things that evoke
but the greatest of these is Joy
… I know, I know…
“the bible says” the greatest is LOVE
I think LOVE is the foundation
Love of nature
Love of people
Love of surprise
Love of ideas
Love of learning
Love of sounds
Love of the way light reflects and refracts off all we see
Love of touch…
and of course… Love of Self
which is the same as Love of God, or Mother Earth
or whatever it is to which you wish to ascribe
that source of awe / wonder / curiosity / joy
So now I am ready for the next
Visitor Registration Form.
NB: a curious postscript.
Reading back over the above,
I suddenly recall the name of today’s principal:
(I kid you not)
and my assistant who operated the slides
and therefore much of the visual joy and comprehension for the students
was a seven-year-old girl with a generous smile
by the name of
(wait for it…)
………………clearly, I have been well looked after
Photos by Anthony Pelchen
These photos are not of today’s school.
They are of a WWII wheat shed adjacent to yesterday’s school:
a sanctuary of filtered light and shimmering resonance.
A place that filled me with awe; with joy; with excitement; with peace.
Thank you to Anthony Pelchen who made it possible to meet Leigh who kindly filled out
the Visitor Registration Form
in order for me to enter this..Cathedral of Joy
(otherwise known as The Stick Shed of Murtoa)
and blow my bamboo stick.
And thank you to Anthony and Karin who, 2 nights ago, made me the best hot bath I have had in years (much better than a spa bath!), under a gum tree and canopy of stars, with flames licking the bottom of the tub, keeping me on the point of becoming a proverbial boiled frog. Joyous magic.