(written at my family farm)
So this weekend I have been fully disconnected. I knew there was no internet at the farm and my sister said her phone didn't work, but I was optimistic that mine might get service. Turns out it doesn't... Which is worrying. So I haven't had any sort of external communication since Friday afternoon. The intent of this weekend, though, was to do thesis without being distracted by the internet. Because even if you disable wireless, you know you can just as easily enable it again and you'll have all the distractions in the land.
Here is a list of the things I did yesterday instead of going on Facebook or Skype or "checking my Google Reader"
- read the book 'A stylist's guide to NYC'
- do all the dishes because my sister is a messy so and so
- go for a walk to the dam with the dogs
- cycle up the road (thought I might get phone service on the highway but no, no I do not)
- have a bounce on the trampoline. can i just say best trampoline ever, giant ass circular one at the foot of the Grampians. Challenge you to find a better trampoline
- start to figure out conclusions to my effing thesis
- learn how to drive a stick
- drive the car around in a paddock blasting Coldplay
- park the car next to the big ole tree that fell down a few years ago, turn up Coldplay so I can hear it real good, and climb said tree.
- feel a sense of serenity
- write some more of dem conclusions
- make pumpkin soup with zucchini and bacon fritters
- watch the film Half Nelson. Am genuinely convinced that Ryan Gosling is the one of the best human being actors in the world. Wish I could text my friend to tell him he needs to watch Half Nelson.
and this morning I woke up and had bacon and eggs, had a shower and dried my hair by bouncing on the trampoline. also I think i 'put my neck out'. then i drove me and my sister to Rocklands Reservoir
the thing is, if that list proves anything, it proves that procrastination is a very strong force and is not dependent on an internet connection.
I have been thinking too, a lot about things. Walking around is good time to think about things. Being at this place.. rife for thoughts. So the deal is that my dad inherited this farm from his uncle Arthur. My dad and mum kept sheep for a bunch of years before he died in an accident on the farm. We lived at the farm for a bunch more years after that, four or so, then mum was really depressed and it was horrible so she decided we should move into the closest town, Horsham. We kept the farm for a few years, then mum decided it was bad just letting all the land sit there without being used and she decided to sell the remaining sheep we had and rent the land out, as opposed to selling it. So this man Shamus (don't know why he can't spell it the proper way like Harry Potter) and his wife Georgina lived on the farm for the last 7 or 8 years maybe, keeping cattle and planting things, I think sunflowers, on some parts of the land, living in the house. Mum always complained about things they would do to the property without asking, like changing fences or painting things.
After they had been living there past five years she decided that it we would probably need to do something with it, like sell it to Shamus and Georgina or sell it to somebody else - basically had to do something. The thing is, women in my family (we are all women) are incredibly sentimental. We can't let go of things, places or people. So it took mum a few more years to decide. And this year she decided that she would put out a tender on the land and see if anybody would offer to buy it. We ended up selling it to 'tree people' which means that a reforestation company buys the land and they plant trees that are allowed to grow for 50 years, then we could take them down if we wanted to. We didn't sell all of the land, we kept a number of acres (I have been told a million times but always forget) around the house block and of course the farm house, the shearing shed, the machinery shed and a bunch of old shacks where shearers used to live (these are called Shearer's quarters).
So that is where I spent the weekend. My sister has a lot of anger towards the things that Georgina and Shamus did to the place while they were living here. There are some things that I agree with her about but I am not as menacing about it as she is. I think she has a lot of things she hasn't dealt with regarding our youth here and our dad etc. For a while I thought mum should just sell it all and get rid of it, because when we talked as a family about what to do with the farm people would end up crying and yelling at each other and nobody would decide anything. I just figured maybe we would be better off moving forward and having this part of our life be a memory.
This is something I have considered while I've been walking around. Mum is actually from the UK and emigrated here with my dad. I keep thinking about how amazing it is that throughout you can just be born and be anybody, then you can meet someone and love them and move to another country, then you are a part of what they have there, what they have created. It becomes yours. So this is why it has never been easy for mum to make a decision about it. I think that other people might have reacted to the situation differently, but because we are sort of tied to this land by my dad and his family.. and we are sentimental womenfolk.. it took a while. And if you come here... it is so beautiful, and you understand why it is so hard to let go of.
I just think it is incredible that you can be born to be anybody and then life unfolds in this unexpected way and it's terrible but beautiful at the same time. My sister is living in the farmhouse which I am sorta skeptical about at the moment, just because she has so much stuff and it has already spread out into all the different rooms of the house. As I mentioned earlier she can't let go of anything - we are hoarders - and she's just got all this stuff.. And I know I'm pretty much the same which is alarming. People walk into my room and say "you've got so much stuff". I am glad that I am going away so I can downsize and have less stuff, just become more mobile. I think this encourages an understanding of the temporary nature of life, letting go.
In some ways I'm leaving to get away from this confusing part of my life, these memories that have been weighing on my entire family for over 15 years, finally being fully acknowledged, in a way. Although I would kinda like living out in the country, keeping a garden and having chickens and riding a bike around everywhere and playing with dogs and bouncing on a trampoline, especially as it gets warmer. I just can't imagine myself not moving forward and doing my own thing at this time in my life. Being in the city I think... man this is a big place. Then you travel four hours away from the city and you still feel the same way. The whole world is fucking gigantic.