Thursday, 25 July 2013

I remember...

I remember seeing 'Cahill Expressway' on the cover of 'The Fat Man in History', Peter Carey's first collection of short stories.

It was pivotal for me: stop, see detail, imagine.

I've long been drawn to Jeffrey Smart's art for his photographic ability to render everyday things into stillness, into shadows.

 Howard Arkley lived in a suburban house near where I grew up in Melbourne. His paintings included textures, patterns, household goods in airbrushed bold colours.One of the greatest compliments for him was somebody saying, 'That looks like Dot's house...I wonder what it's like inside, I bet it's just like Dot's house.'

I remember seeing one his paintings that was unmistakably a Sydney apartment building. It triggered one of my earliest memories - a 3year old visiting Allawah, sitting on my grandfather's shoulders, my twin brothers either side holding his hands.

I remember reading an article years ago where someone said of Helen Garner that she could create an enthralling story about things you'd see just walking around the block together.

I remember being at the Melbourne Writers' Festival years ago, a 16 yo closet writer of angst poems, sitting at the back of a 'conversation with David Malouf'. He speaks quite slowly, even when he's clearly speaking off the cuff, and I've never forgotten him saying what a privilege it is as a writer to be able to control time. An hour can take thirty pages of observations, thoughts, memories. Feelings.

I try not to be self-absorbed.
I try to walk, listen, see, and remember that nothing is ordinary. 
I try to remember that there is a compelling story in everything and everyone.

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