Every time I come back to write after a period of quiet on this site, I meditate again on the ebb and flow of output.
The act of reflecting and reflection is never the same.
My Northern Territory encounter was so rich and so full, I had so much I wanted to express – I struggled with the words, to articulate the complex sentiments and the emotions – but I wanted so much to talk about it. Perhaps because I understood so little, and wanted so badly to understand more.
Two weeks after that humbling trip, I travelled out to Central West Queensland on a scoping trip for a project. There was a similar trajectory; travelling from the centre out is a very poetic experience of space, landscape, and Country, especially when all you’ve known all your life is to look for the horizon of the seas and oceans. The shift from arid red sandy earth to the different shades of green – the texture of the air, the smell, the flat to the ridge – I was humbled once again.
Back in Melbourne, silence was a much better place to process how much I had already missed the vastness of the centre of the earth. Back in Melbourne, I felt the smog of the city on my face. I caught up with the administration – I finished grant applications – I made appointments for meetings.
There was no output – but I was busy, like all over the shop busy.I caught my breath where I could, but there was no output. Inside, I was ferociously trying to join the dots I found on my travels.
A month later and more travel, I visited the family in Singapore and took a short break with Ben swimming in tropical waters in Krabi. I am reminded of my thoughts on anchors. I came back to Melbourne and spent a whole week feeling really emotional, perhaps in realising that place would never be an anchor for me.
The weeks after returning from Singapore would only affirm that realisation. There are big changes ahead for 2017. Ben’s work is taking us across continents. We are packing up the house, and I will be splitting myself between cities and countries.
It is a very exciting time though I don’t actually know how it will all pan out. I anticipate a similar no-output-busy-ness – administratively and logistically, I would be in a constant state of negotiating where I was going to sleep, booking flights, getting the dates right, checking the time differences…
And so I am really glad that I spent this last half a year in reflective mode. Because in the uncertainty that is ahead, the dots do in fact join, and I am actually very clear about how my practice is shaping and shifting, and the big, strong questions that are driving the shape and shift. And perhaps, it is in this space that is my practice and my thinking that is (but one of) my anchor(s).
p.s. I will write about the shape and shift in my practice next.
p.p.s. I must acknowledge that it is largely through Ben’s work that I am afforded the privilege and luxury of such experiences, adventures, and reflection time without worry of my next meal or that rent be paid. Quite clearly, he is definitely one of my anchors. ⚓️