Saturday, August 25, 2012

I ride...

Just thought I'd make a quick post of nothing in particular... just a ride into town maybe one day, I'll put together something that shows just how special this place is and how much beauty I see along the way... this isn't that post.

I was reading a fellow bicycle commuters blog the other day, he was simply describing some of the every day wonders he sees along the way and I was reminded of the sense of gratitude I have for living in such a beautiful part of the world and being fortunate enough to be able to cycle to work or anywhere else I'd like to go in this city.

I had intended to do a bunch of photos of all the wildlife I saw along the way but I didn't actually see too much today and was too slow with the camera for those things I did see so anyway here's a few of the wonders between my place and Darwin City.

As I rode through the park virtually right outside my door a flock of Red Collared Lorikeets was spooked from their roost by a group of Torres Strait Pigeons.The lorikeets would take flight, fly a circle around the trees and then come back and land where they started. Then the pigeons would do the same... It was really weird but then I saw the reason. A group of Black kites were hunting them and all the birds in the park were freaking out! Fortunately for the prey birds the Black kites are due to leave as the humidity returns to the Top End.

I left this scene and peddled off on my Xtracycle with the Avanti Blade in tow... literally.

Towing again...
Towing the Avanti to the bike shop for some tlc.

From the bike shop I headed down Dick Ward Drive to Fanny Bay. (Seriously that's what they're called!)
At Fanny Bay I rolled down past the giant Milkwood and the war memorial, past the playground to the beach and the rocks and the milky blue water and the fish jumping and a large group of Aboriginal people, probably salt water people, possibly Yolngu but maybe a mixed group... I dunno. It was pretty laid back... I didn't talk, just sat and watched the fish jumping for a while... walked to the sea cupped my hands and splashed it over my face and hair, wiping it over my arms and legs. Tasting the salty brew on my lips and dreaming of sailing over the horizon... Enjoying the glorious freedom of the salty sea and the blue sky for the brief time between now and the buildup.

Black kite's hunting along the coast!

Rolling on down the hill past the Yacht club I saw an interesting vessel and wondered what it would take to build her up! Too many times I've wandered down there and drooled through that fence.

Onward toward Vesties Beach, past the ski club where they've built a new bar, Million Dollar views!
That tourist boat bus blocks the path as it prepares to enter the drink.

Boat bus enters the drink... Quack

Peddle past the museum and to the left are a couple of Orange Footed Scrub fowl. Our very own Macropods. They're very common in Darwin but you won't find too many elsewhere. They are very particular about where they live and our City appears to have more suitable habitat than you'll find in the wild. Scrub fowl are loyal lovers. They are always hanging out in pairs, although recent observations have indicated that the females aren't too particular about who sires her chicks. Apparently.

Bit of a slope after the museum headed toward the Highschool. There aren't too many hills in Darwin so I don't often put my chain under too much stress. Well this hill put my gear to the test and I discovered that the 16,000 odd kms I've done have worn out my chain and sprockets! I had to gear right down to get up this hill, the chain kept slipping, I'll have to do something about that some time!

View of Mindil Beach from the lookout. Notice the lack of swimmers on this inviting stretch of coast? Darwin has plenty of nice beaches but unfortunately the combination of stingers, crocks, stone fish, sharks and possibly the huge tidal variation leaves our beaches virtually un-swum!

Oh Yeh... Mindil beach was actually a Larakia Burial site. Nobody cared too much back in the day and even when they built the casino (that big white building just left of the centre) they even dug up some bones! That's the territory for ya! The area has also been a Chinese Garden and holding pen for the abetwar, now it's the site of Darwin's biggest tourist market.

Spiegeltent: This tent is just awesome! Darwin Festival is on so there's art everywhere! All kinds... Check out the Mo on the guy in the shorts! There seems to be a bit of a trend lately for young arty guys to be sporting a Village People Mo! I don't get out much and have no idea how this became popular but it's a great laugh to see young taking their facial hair so seriously.

Sp Tent
Spiegeltent again.

Getting closer to town and there remain only a few signs of the Darwin I found when I arrived here 16 years ago! Oh where have the rusty iron roofs gone!

Met up with a mate and we headed down to Lameroo Beach for a chat. This was once the place where hippies and eccentric travelers used to live on the beach in busted up old boats. It's all been cleaned out now but there are still a few hangers on. Sometimes it feels like Darwin has been completely homogenized but if you get down to the hidden corners you'll find there still exists some of that old spirit that made this such a special place to be!

Today was the last day of the Asylum Seeker Art Cries Freedom exhibition so I dropped in and had a chat with Vikki the curator and Bill Day (Author of Bunji). The art was quite amazing. Click here  Not too many people turned up for this show. Compassion for the vulnerable is not really in vogue in this country at the moment!

Anyhow I'm sick of writing now and not too much more happened... I went back and wandered the beach on my own for a while and then rode home, sunburned nose, tired and happy.

Oh yeh I didn't go to work yesterday or today... two days annual leave... stress leave, what better way to spend them!


Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Pondering the deeper questions....
How do you study creativity at a University that is devoted to producing minions for a desensitized industrialized, extractive resource dependent country that is devoted to diminishing beauty wherever it is found? In her attempt to get the qualification she needs to teach music to kids Sam is currently doing some kind of art unit at Uni. The idea of studying art in this way seems to almost stifle the very spirit required to create in the first place. I remember when my sister first went to Uni and she loved reading so she studied English Literature and was put of reading for years! Being force fed other peoples opinions about how a creation should be interpreted seems to completely contradict or eliminate the very force that creates!

Here are some questions recently posted on Learn Line that Sam submitted her answer to a week late and so will not receive a mark for! I liked her response to the questions and thought the irony of her not receiving a grade for this work qualified it as a free work of creativity in it's own right!

Q: What is creativity? 
Q: Who is creative?
Q: When and where are you creative?
Q: Why are you creative?

Kids impression of their Dad riding home from the volcano

Creativity is a whole brain /body /being process. I say process rather than skill as it happens when skills and a certain way of being are in alignment. The way of being could be thought of as immersion, or, as Cskisenmiyalhi calls it 'flow'. There is a sense of timelessness, of forgetting normal body processes such as hunger, a sense of deep connection with the unconscious and the mystery of life - like being on an exciting new frontier where you aren't really sure what's going to happen but stuffs coming out of you and there is a cathartic expression of deep person hood while at the same time loss of separateness from the space beyond our own bodies. As if we are all time and space and all time and space is us. This is not to be confused with playing video games, as, even though some of these things happen when we play video games, we are essentially riding someone else's creativity - not our own.
All people who have the capacity to lose themselves in their own quest or need to either produce or express themselves in a unique way are creative. Watching Bob Dylan write songs is an example of creative genius. Einstein on his quest for the theory of relativity was creative. Gandhi leading the revolt against English occupation of India was creative. Parents who explore new ways of relating to their children are creative. Mozart was amazingly creative.
I am most likely to be creative in unstructured time - also known as recreation - for a reason I think! I like to have a lot of unstructured time in my life to give myself the space to let any creative energy be released. I actually get pretty narky if my life gets too full of appointments etc. I don't do well in routine! There needs to be space in my head for something unexpected to come up from the unconscious, so getting the balance right between external stimulus and internal quiet is the key for me. I need to be led by my intuition - it's not a controlling thing. In fact, the more I try and exercise control, the more this seems to be counterproductive. I just have to let go and trust. In the meantime, any building of skills is always useful as well. Still need to practice that piano! So discipline does play a part too. I'm mostly creative at home, I think this is because it is my sanctuary and I am free to let go on a deep level. When I lived at home with my parents, it was restricted to my own room.
I'm creative because...I'm not quite sure. Maybe it is just a deep seated need of the subconscious to express itself, maybe it is a need to contribute to community in some personal way and be acknowledged? I'm not quite sure what drives my's an interesting question to sit on and ponder.

(By Samantha F)