us … at an art exhibition opening night in steamy Darwin! Firstly, it was about the rolling pins … beautifully crafted and just lovely enough to gain a place in NTs tribute to its end of school visual artists … there they were – stunningly lit, nicely placed, loudly, proudly shouting out that yes, you can drop Chemistry in March and play about in the woodpile ‘til late October and create something amazing, beautiful and compelling! Secondly, it was about the boy who made them – a man now – returned to the tropics from the town for a moment – snoring and giggling all at once right now in that deep satisfied sleep made of curry and Cold Rock and being part of something! … checking back in to his just-yesterday very comfortable life with a new view from a less steady all-too- different place that bombards, confounds and challenges with its novelty, opportunity and unsteady sense of tomorrowness. Wrapping his arms around that old world, sharing images, jokes and stories from the new.
Next, it is about the girl – town to the tropics too – just for a minute – wise and knowing on coming-of-age eve – a woman now – wandering too through the memories, finding new anchors, and being one. Patient, tempered and beautiful – moving without jolt through the juggle of celebration – joining the dots.
Then, he, 60 next week – proud beside a perspex case, stunned by the occasion – and here.
For me – it was still more – my siblings – all of us – in a photo full to the brim with echoes of the past and shouting about family. A sister-in-law and a niece, standing back, clicking photos and knowing the moment ….
and more still – friends for years travelling for miles, for days across the country to be here too – understanding the power of reunion, of milestone, of celebration – and the fragility of human life that makes every trip worth taking.
Sixty years, twenty one years, three rolling pins …. a million memories …. and me …