Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feeling windswept and weary

west coast NZ

You know what?

I haven't unpacked my clothes yet.

I've looked at the books I brought back -- mainly because I'm in the grip of a Janet Frame frenzy, because I'd never 'got' her before in the way that I suddenly do, whether it's geography or age, I don't care -- and pulled out all the souvenirs and presents, and stashed the brown paper bag full of brochures and guides. But I haven't done more than open my big green & purple backpack to get out my toiletry bag. The rest is sitting there on the bedroom floor, daring me to pick it up and leave again.

Best Beloved usually makes some comment about my part of the bedroom floor or asks whether I want to get my washing out so that he can run it through the machine (he's the washing person of the house) but so far he hasn't. He walks past the bag quietly, so as not to startle it, or me.

I'm not going anywhere, but it is strange to be back after going somewhere that I really loved to be. Most holidays find me gagging to be home, to be back in the studio, to be in Canberra with its lovely wide sky and fierce sunsets (which were the things I really missed). But this time I really felt reluctant to return. It isn't casting nasturtiums at the people I hang out with in Australia, it's just that I really connected with Dunedin, because it had so many qualities that I carry around in my head as a kind of destination wish-list.

So I guess that means I will go back sometime. Donald-the-Special-Collections-Librarian and I hinted to each other that another residency down the track could be a good thing. He's in the habit of inviting people back, an excellent habit.

In the meantime, I am in the grip of an inertia, not helped by the slow transition to my usual waking hours. BB is delighted that I'm waking at 6am, nodding in my chair at 9pm. That's his ideal routine, whereas I prefer the 7am to 11pm scenario.

I got my own copy of the Prime folio in the mail the other day, and am happy to say that I still like it now that I've had some distance from it. Donald keeps sending me all the nice feedback he's receiving, and yesterday I got a lovely response from one of the poets.

I'd ripped up a few of the dud prints and made them into cards, and sent each poet one thanking them for allowing Otakou Press and I to use their poems. I've had emails from a number of the poets liking their particular posters, and yesterday I received a postcard from Les Murray, saying all sorts of lovely things. I don't know where to put it! Maybe I'll print off all the nice things and make myself a feedback box...

I have to get motivated soon, because in two weeks I have a huge task to achieve in collaboration with byrd: PRINT BIG, a Megalo group exhibition in conjunction with the National Gallery's 2010 Print Symposium (if you like or make prints, come along! To both events! It'll be epic!).

But I'm not going to get too flurried until after tomorrow, because tomorrow is my 43rd birthday, and while it's not as exciting as turning 42, I'm sure it will have its merits.


ronnie said...

oh happy birthday for tomorrow! (a nice note from Les would be my idea of a great birthday pressie)

from my lofty (much) greater age I can sagely say that no..... 43 did not have the luster of 42... but WAIT until you make 44 - it's a rippa!

44 is making me feel very hopeful for 45..... damn but I don't know why anyone is worried about hitting their 40s.... I've been having the BEST time so far....

party hat - wear it with flair

Ida said...

welcome back and happy birthday! (try 46!!) Well done on the residency ....I am so jealous of the Les Murray postcard....i'm off to think of someway i can get him to write to me....he sounds like a nice man...maybe i could beg!
ps did you mention a workshop down our way soon? please give us plenty of notice, would love to catch up?

dinahmow said...

Hippo birdie for tomorrow!
I'll raise a glass when I come off the meds.

Carol said...

Happy birthday for tomorrow, dear AD, and I'm not even about to try to compete for the best age - if they keep getting better then mine is (most of the time) amazing. Post card from Les Murray - fantastic but you really deserve it.

Ampersand Duck said...

Thank you, my dears.

I should clarify that, even though it sounds that way, I'm not glum about turning 43, it's just that 42 is the meaning of life, the universe and everything! Which makes 43 a bit of an anticlimax :) I'm actually loving my 40s, and wouldn't go back to my 20s if I were paid to do so.

Fiona Dempster said...

Have to agree on the forties - fabulous! Have a happy day and hope you find the key to kick start activity in time for those exciting opportunities!

Mindy said...

New Zealand has that effect on me too. Happy Birthday.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Happy biiiiiirrrrtttthday! 43 is prime, which according to Harlot's Numerological Haruspications means good things afoot. I pine for Gnu Zealand too. If I could bring my near and dear, I'd migrate in a flash.

lucytartan said...

Happy Birthday duckie. I only just finished unpacking my suitcase from when I went to Canberra in April.

Anonymous said...

The audio version is wonderful too.


An ex-Dunedinite

Ampersand Duck said...

Thanks! I did enjoy.
I love the lines
Your rain-wet ODTs are a place of obituaries,
and your floodlit churches film noir settings

It's not the kindest of poems, but I can see why :)