Cocoons & Constellations

The dimension of roving beyond the ordinary, outside recognized and recognizable views, of getting lost and finding yourself again with no preconceptions, leaving your own common place behind you – all of this implies a willingness to be estranged. (Benedetta Donato)

End of Narrandera, end of Time. End of bush living, end of this detour in Thailand. I am at the airport soaking in the south. I am leaving Bangkok – and everything. I am thinking of constellations. I am recalling Ria’s silkworm cocoons. The tightly woven pods. I am thinking how, when wetted and somehow unravelled, these secret things give up silken skeins. How many threads and links we made in this pocket of time. How limited the days with infinite pools of time. How these husks expand, open, given water, given space, given distance, given invitation, given time. How chrysalid connections form a very fine, very thin, long wandering line.

What will you do with this? Will you mat it, felt it, wind or unwind it, keep it knotted, take it out from time to time, test it, marvel over it, wonder and weave it into everyday aspects?

In this narrative, the route is indicated by emotions, feeling, by the search for that instant in which the imperfect is realized. The instant in which, to borrow Cartier-Bresson’s phrase “to take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart” in order to capture the authentic moment when synchrony is all: traveller and place exist in the same time.

This is how dreams are made.

30 chrysalids asleep side by side, head toe head toe in one shed, one bus, one refuge, one side. The only place is now. The only time is here. The thousand silken moments. A word, an image.

A constellation. One dozen. A hundred. A tangle of give or take 30 burning stars. Dense intricate windings and expansive flickering mythologies. Spinning, rotating, orbiting, drifting in and out of phase, on a trajectory, forming different groupings, different patterns – now spanning different skies. Tell a story; trace a picture in the sky.

Expansion. Working in the margins, between lines, along and beyond the frame to expand, to open. Marginalia to extend, excite, tend to the querying line, to counter and to draw…

The experience is certainly extra-ordinary, outside the sphere of the predictable. The narrator is aware he’s facing a complex reality that often overflows so much he may be unable to return to his limbo of partiality (i.e. the frame). So he also reinterprets what apparently remains outside the visual impression, because by now he is inside and has taken possession of it.

Allusions. Would that I could interpret this for your reflection.

Collabs. Dishevelled cutlery. Caution over compost. A helpful hint about the water. “Just dive.” Assistance in the kitchen. Tepid tea and showers. Hot coffee. Hot soups. Sambal by mortar and pestle. Performance. Seeping textiles. The braiding of hair and bracelets. Art and critiques. Triumphant rescues. Happy finds. Demonstration. Convos in town. Convos in pubs, library and schoolyard. “300 of you.” Water paintings. Walks. Collections. Op shops. Collaboration. Rocks. Projections. Aerials. Shadows. Robotics. The teaching of Canadians to speak Aussie. Ganguddy. Jokes, impersonations. Dance battles. Water bag. Another circle. State of emergency. State of conditions. Fireside confessions. “Not enough arguments.” Arvo. Fire up your manifesto. 5 among us reborn as chicken rolls. (Chikka rolls? Chiko rolls.)

Bangkok – not home, not centre. A perch from which I observed the chrysalid expansion. A point from which I saw constellations fly. The eternal big bang.

As Rilke puts it, “the future is set, Mr. Kappus. But we move in infinite space.”

The definition of freedom.


*Block quotes above from Benedetta Donato’s essay, “Extra_vag(r)ant,” a reflection on the work of Maurizio Galimberti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *