If I show you the landscapes of my life what will we find but places connected with spiritual twine that surface in memory and beckon me to hike through them once more. There will be town and country with layers of invisibility and the seen. And each landscape, like, dreams has its own symbolism, history and texture.
Beach scapes of Tasmania in my memory are free of people and are bountiful places to go foraging for crabs. They are spaces close family friends took the whole family to heal after my brother was damaged in an accident. They are places with sand dunes to hide in.
In these spaces I am with a friend’s younger sister cycling to a fishing spot. We don’t have rods, just simple hand lines, and we catch more fish than I have ever caught before or since.
Park scapes of Tasmania are filled with old statues of historical figures, small trains you can pay for a ride on, and swans. They are grand and huge in comparison to our backyard, but when I visit them now they are like shrinkies of the great outdoors my spirit now embraces.
Moving forward in time I find the sandstone streets of Hobart, the markets and the sound of the bells. In this space I am moving away from family, becoming a young adult who hikes Eagle Hawk Neck with other students (most of them overseas ones) who stay in the college over the summer.
I am catching the bus from Hobart to Launceston, regularly, but not as regularly as others as I work on the weekends as a kitchen hand to pay my way through university. On those bus trips I am staring at the landscapes rolling past. Rolling hills, groves of trees, hay bales – sometimes it’s dry and sometimes green.
My friend Paulien, from Holland, tells me it reminds her of Europe. Her family are in the landscape of my memory too. They take me on holiday, caravaning. We spend time with other families who do this regularly. We go for a nature walk. Paulien remains my friend today.
We reconnect in the new landscapes of Far North Queensland as she meets my family for the first time. I take her to the beach for a BBQ with her travel companion. In a new beach scape we share stories and she encourages me to keep on with my creative dreams.
She sees the landscape as so different from her own, and is fascinated. We travel to waterfalls, and past the cane as well. It is precious time where the past and present merge.
I decided that to keep myself sane whilst editing older works and learning the ins and outs of ebook technology I would do a regular free write of a memory on this blog. Then this becomes a resource for future works. I want to capture memories as they happen without worrying too much about structural concerns. This will keep my love of writing alive.
They are more like meditations to find meaning and connection. When I write of spaces I am trying to show you without telling you how to feel, and yet each of these places has a feeling for me, based on the people and experiences I had there.
These free writes, first drafts # help me to breathe as I go through that process of refining other pieces and allow me to capture insights into life. I can see this one becoming a much longer piece and will continue on with the idea of life landscapes until it runs out of steam. The other thing I want to do a lot more of is READ!
What are your life landscapes?
(c) June Perkins