This week has presented a window of opportunity to test the Long Time, No See? Project’s mobile device functionality. Following from our Aspley walkshop on Saturday, attended by an energetic group of 10, the project team has ventured out to further test and refine the web interface. The next iteration of this and the app are due in the coming weeks together with further visualisation of the online component. I managed to get out to do a walk from Royal Brisbane Hospital bus interchange to Fortitude Valley/Teneriffe and then to the City. For this walk, I didn’t make a special trip but rather performed the tasks as I went about various meetings and errands including a visit to the farmers’ market in Brisbane Square. This post distills the resulting text and image – not a great literary moment but in the future text will be editable, so entries can be reviewed. While sound handling continues to be vexing, I had recorded some sound but didn’t upload it.
My Walk Overview
I’ve stepped off the bus at the hospital interchange. I use an existing threshold to mark my beginning point, a crossing. Instead of taking two steps forward and one step backwards, I recognise the error of my ways. I just take three steps backward, lose the ground rather than waste energy and effort to fall behind. From here, however, there’s a vantage point. I can approach this threshold with a renewed sense of hope and care. That is my commitment to making a path for the future.
Opposite the hospital there is a well established park with many old trees. This is perhaps the remnants of an old science garden for acclimatising exotic species. Sitting in the shade of this old fig there’s a cool envelop, an embrace that makes for a clean breath. I’ve never sat here or walked through this garden before, just a step away from the main road.
I’ve had terse exchanges today – with J and then L – where misunderstanding prevailed. Tomorrow I will make an effort to be more careful with my words and to listen to theirs, to find authenticity in our communication.
I have arranged to meet N at an inner city cafe. I am 15 minutes early having walked from the hospital to the Valley and beyond to a cafe-lifestyle strip that stinks of wealth and privilege. I love it and hate it here. It’s not ambient or potent. Just all consuming and consumed, almost excessive right down to the overpriced and perfect fruit in the market. So here, I wonder about care and the kind of delusion or lure that overwrites it. Maybe it is unreal or hyperreal in that way that Umberto Eco writes. Not quite grounded or in place. So care here slips between the fingers of those who think they can consume their way to caring and giving.
It’s a small lane way, a reclaimed space and hub of cultural and indy business. It’s an oasis of creative energy and sensibility. Coffee and chat. I sense the vibe and hook into it easily. I’m not connected here – maybe a quick visit once or twice – but sense I could be.
By the river at the ferry stop. I am trying to listen ‘in sound’ in the way Tim Ingold describes – to be in it rather than to observe it. Music bounces out of a cafe, punctuated by conversations and laughter. Coffee making – grinding, tapping, steaming. Dishes are clattering. Another conversation nearby in Japanese. Two women quietly speaking and the popping of the keyboard as I write on my tablet. A ferry has just left, its engine powering up and churning river water. Laughter is like a bubble. And then it is quiet for a moment except the wind in my ear and the back beat of the musak. Bicycles whir along the pathway. And finally two small birds chirp from their nest tucked into the fold of a building. Footsteps pad along the ferry ramp. Leaving now, the brown river is silent.
In the foyer of Riparian Plaza, the Harry Siedler building. His last. From here, as I watch the comings and goings and as I feel the weight of this building with its treeless promenade as a burden, in response to the question of how we should act to the world and each other … NOT LIKE THIS.
Support and care for metabolic systems.
The work of care needs doing.