We used to live in a tiny village called Wombat in NSW. In 1993-7 Wombat had *99 residents. Some nice folks that we met at the time lived on the outskirts of another tiny village named Maimaru. Going to visit was always enjoyable, but the thing that left such an incredible and lifelong impact on Steve and I was the deep, plush, mind-altering, slightly trippy sensation of experiencing no noise when in Maimaru. None. No traffic. No aircraft, no sirens, no construction, no alarms, no neighbours, no FM radio, no barking, nothing. Yes, there was a crunchy sound that our feet made as we walked on the dirt road or across the paddocks. I guess if it rained, there’d be the sound of that on the tin roof, and wind. Any sounds in outer Maimaru were made by nature, and its very few occupants.
More and more, I deeply crave that space and the timelessness of land stretching in all directions, the colours, the seasons, the sensation of being at home in the real world. The mesmerising wonder of a log fire in winter, with an endless black sky filled with dazzlingly bright stars at night. Spring blossoms and life-altering sunsets… such colours and so much earthly peace.
These days we live in the inner city and boy, are we close to everything. Trains, planes, automobiles, helipads, we can walk to 2 hospitals, cafes, restaurants, schools, universities, the Brisbane river, Southbank Parklands, GOMA, QPAC, State Library, the Valley, the city centre for all the best kinds of groovy stuff that can never be found in a place like Maimaru. Our neighbour’s houses are only a few feet away from us on 2 sides, and we are surrounded on all sides by households with great big, bored, lonely and fretful dogs that bark endlessly, all day, everyday.
What does any of this have to do with perfume? Well, some of the frenzied white noise of humanity happening around and within me is really worrying me. There’s a lack of focus or physical presence in so many people walking around with their whole selves entirely located 29cms from their noses. A vast tide of absent humans sauntering along and across roads without a glance or any awareness of oncoming cars, bikes or telegraph poles. Meanwhile, an evil clique of neo-liberal, fascist dictators is running the global show, crucifying the planet, shafting its people, torturing the animals and we are all too busy looking at ourselves through 9 filter choices… ooh, Clarendon or Nashville? My new lips look better in Noir, but my eyes are too… too what? Shut?
I have wandered much too far from the business of breathing and caring and being present and on the job of actually living in the real world. My attention span has shrunk down to a series of flickering tics of anxiety and panic. Look at me!! I am the whole wide world’s favourite rock-star-guru-porn-star-fitness-freak-celebrity-card-carrying member of the swank club of faux riches.
How can I accommodate this deep hunger and yearning for a centred state of peace and quiet when I am slavishly chasing the grand tweet-circus of cyberlarity? I’m fairly certain that I actually need to get up from my comfort zone, stretch quite a bit, and go outside and get my hands dirty from weeding, composting, digging, planting, tending and harvesting actual food for my table. It’s dirty work, but this ol gal’s gotta do it. I deeply yearn to create a Maimaru kind of peace in the core of my being, so I’m going to try and be very quiet now, and practice cyber-silence. Actually meditate. It’s time. No more straining to be noticed, discovered and viral’d. No more chasing likes, follows, thumbs, or retweets. The pulpit’s closed, waffles are off the menu, shouty show’s over. I’m still here purveying my extraordinary fragrances which will be available until they are all gone. There’s plenty in the cellar. Drop me a line or… just go ahead and order. That puts food on my table and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
My aromatic art is my heart on a sleeve…. a little bit on his collar, some in her hair, and many other glorious locations. It’s time to let the art speak for itself.
* Steve corrected me on the population for Wombat in 1997.