RE: PICTURES FOR YOU

(Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr 1808-1890)

<<< 01/03/12 1:48 AM >>>

You have been sent 2 pictures.

P1020499.JPG ~ P1020500.JPG

These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google. Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/

Tony!! How art thou? Was looking at  https://anthonyfward.wordpress.com/. Seems  David L. is either living in? or has (work) premises in? Amess St. Nth  Carlton! Another old friend, Terry S. lived (and still lives) at No.xx –  just round the corner from us when we were at xxx Rathdowne St. He was over here (again) only last year.

 I grow old… I grow old / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. 

(T.S Eliot)

And, as we know,

Time wounds all heels.

(Groucho Marx)

Would be good to hear from you when you can find a moment between blogs. Did you ever come across a book titled Future Shock, written by Alvin Toffler in the mid 70s?

As ever, Love, David

We find our fate by the path we take to avoid  it. 

(Jean de la Fontaine)

<<< 01/03/12 00:1AM >>>

It’s  7.40 am here David . Pre muesli. A quick response to reassure you that your new mastery of  email communication has worked! David L is fully recovered from a oesophagus cancer  operation and contracting his quite Titan grip on life to fit into the converted hall in Amess that has both his practice and domestic in it. Me, I’m clinging to good health – physical-  but continue to wrestle with Doubt – the disease of the Romantic. Floating in tropical fluids relieves some of the distress but two months back in Melbourne C’mas~New Year has seen a flare up of this old condition. Time to stop venturing in to the Human World perhaps; which despite the fascination I have with all its variations, gets in the way of finding some peace with mortality. Sometime soon.

That’s the 8.00 News from Sarawak – Keep your eye on the blog. Whatever happens it will happen there first. Have not posted for a while but am getting some pages ready to publish. Soon! At a PC (Get a Mac) near you. My best to Penny and love to all of you – even the broken bits… Thinking of England he poured his muesli into a bowl and reached for the reconstituted milk…

AFW

<<< 02/03/12 23:54 PM >>>

Delighted that you’re still at the end of the line.

(DWW)

‘Plus ca change, plus ca le meme chose’* – when were you not angst-ridden? I’ll keep my eye on that blog but it can’t tell me the ‘ordinary’stuff I want to know about – your environment, what exactly you do day-by-day, who you work with, socialise with? I don’t have any sort of a picture in my head of where you are, how you fit into where you are. Was your C’mas a familiy one with your ‘children’? (my oldest ‘child’ is now 46). Tory is now between four and five years older than I was when we came back from Oz. How’s Kalaya? Last year Tessa and Ben finally decided to get ‘hitched’ (a splendid ‘do’); My sister, Mary, ‘achieved’ 80 in April (another splendid ‘do’); Penny had ‘a holiday of a lifetime’ (accompanied by an old friend) in Peru; I ‘suffered’ two ‘atrial fibrillation’ episodes (the second landing me in local hospital – unfortunately was on my own at the time as Penny was still on holiday) – the net result being  (adding in a couple of  unconnected ‘upseting’ issues) I became, and remain, really rather depressed – and black holes, as we know, are difficult to climb out of. Still, spring isn’t too far off now. Helen is Down Under on a month’s trip financed by her three brothers (one of them in New Zealand) and an old friend (living in the Byron Bay area). She’ll be visiting our old friends in Amess St. very shortly it seems!

Love DWW

* no acute orcicumlex accents on keyboard, am afraid

<<< 11/03/12 21:45 PM >>>

Bugga Picassa ~ I use iPhoto.

(AFW66)

If a picture’s worth a thousand words –  here’s 1000x15x16 words about how I think I fit  an Ordinary Life here.

He retired to the sanctuary of his own bed.

(AFW66)

Like any bed when you’re tired – Kuching’s  a perfect fit. All the more better when it’s your bed(rented), your smells(drains) and your dreams(self). I was born lucky and can make anywhere home when I need sanctuary.

What follows are fragments in this author’s eye of a year+ in Kuching and some rogue asteroids from my life elsewhere that found their way to Middle Earth.(Dinosaurs beware!) Amongst the fragments there are objects that said take me home, people that made me at home and reflections on this sweetly darker place that I call home today with the tolerance of the Malaysian Immigration Ministry – largely because I’m welcome – I am of use – warts and all.

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Near thirty years marriage to Kalaya Sumen, the Princess of Phanga (Naiyoong and Noojee), and bringing to fruition the lives of the heirs apparent as well as any of us can,  has over the last years found me thinking of finding some place in space and time of mine own ~ as sanctuary. Maybe I’ve found it here in Kuching – like James Brooke did.  It’s all different but very familiar. Dangerously exotic and equally banal. Perfect but not quite complete.  A bit like a dream shed at the bottom of the garden – an allotment even? Hard work but all mine own. A great place to be alone.To potter.

He straightened up and thought…I’ll get back for dinner – after the sun’s gone down… before the children are asleep.

(AFW66)

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2011 was a year to remember – not fun fun fun but still the stuff of memories – of people. I lost an Uncle (John 81) and an Aunt (Blossom 95). I  got to meet, renew relationships and otherwise re merge into my larger gene pool ~ and took the children with me.

David L. had his skirmish with cancer and has pledged to the simpler more reflective life. I expect to see him up here in October for the conference (REDISCOVERY) as a keynote speaker.

There are others gone missing in body. Some I knew; millions I didn’t. All living at the edge of a darkness ~ like us?. The GP I saw for my annual check up before  leaving tried to scare me with arrythmia and warfrin – he succeeded in scaring me ~ but I did the tests – passed with license to fly colours – and got on a plane. And here I am  – for the moment.

Curled up in a snug fit. Blankets not required.

888
8

Man has a limited biological capacity for change.When his capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.

(Alvin Tofler)

Plans here that I thought were in place when I went back for C’mas and New Year with the children (Juanita 24 + Alexander 27) had been partially demolished by events on a corporate scale,  while I was away.  A couple of months of rebuilding on their good foundation, nurturing others that had survived and were developing nicely,  and now all are progressing albeit with a pronounced local synchopation. A reverse tango – Slow Slow Quick. And there are new and renewed interests dancing in to fill any vacuum left. (That black hole we know and fear.) Plans like sitting out teaching for a couple of weeks in June and coming to England for example. Like looking for a relationship with this place that extends beyond my geographic location and the people that first welcomed me to it.

Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.

(Alvin Tofler)

I live here without the world news (no television or newspapers only heresay) and hardly am aware of the local. The time in Melbourne seemed to drag under the burden of the pervasive demand from the Metropolitan mammoth to be interested in ‘bigger’ things.

Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice .

(Robert Frost)

Against this background and dive-bombed by working children planning a future in which I am an investor without voting privileges ~ I packed many cubic metres of my history mystery into labelled boxes and stored them in the studio. My Shed in  that other life.  A virtual Bonfire. More Grave Goods? And shared the plans of those still there committed to the matrix like Mimmo C.  He completed his Masters – Fine Art Photography. The title across 9 books of photographs – After I’m Dead. A published auto-biography drawing on a lifetime taking, archiving and contriving photographic evidence of his time on Earth. I pursued old relationships (my Dentist Jim Bosinakis,  Roz Picciani  David Lancashire Winston Thomas) and some new ones (Alain Pierre Babin Kevin Murray) if the opportunity to meet face to face was there. Otherwise found most so/too busy with the leisure of their lives. It was the Big Holiday period after all.  But after C’mas was done I had chores including trying to retire from Swinburne Oz so I could work here – and all the time  looking forward to being back in Sarawak – where the Future (A modernist construct?) is a Western intellectual abstraction not quite comprehensible to those of us who exist in the infinity of Now.

8 of Borneo 

8

Arthur my daily teksi driver lives in Now just around the corner from where I live. He collects me in the morning when he starts his day as a radio controlled teksi – and secures my getting back in the evening – for an arranged fee. He goes home early if he has made enough money for the day. He saw Juanita when she was here to the nearest wildernesses for her adventures. And Alex to the same wilderness when he was here. All for a modest fee. I asked once why he did it – drove a teksi – his answer…

I like to drive

(Arthur Reutens)

His Now is richly imbued by a Before where his ancestor came ashore on the north east coast of Borneo from a Portugese trader in the 16th century and didn’t leave.

888
8

A month or so back here and the small things returned with their modestly seductive demands – What to have for dinner. Who to have it with . (I still prefer my own company, my laptop, and cooking in the evening but do lunch 7 days of the week out and often Friday and Saturday evenings ). But there are a gently increasing number of people that I seriously enjoy eating with. Because they seriously enjoy eating. And talking. It’s easy to imagine a statistic in this city of 650000 that there is an eating place for every few hundred people. Eating out – in the evening, morning whenever and talking – is a made here experience for me. And I do a Happy Hour on Fridays with Jonathan and/or JB. One a Canadian educated local (Miri) retail/domestic construction and interior designer. The other (my landlord) a London educated high court barrister local for many generations but still very much a Sikh gentleman.  Conversation,  beer and pizza skimming the surface of the Kuching demi-monde in a most sophisticated bar and eatery (Junk)  – is some sort of professional positioning statement for this traveller.

And there are increasingly others. Because after all these years…

I (still) like to teach

(AFW66)

Recently the sound of rain on the roofs ~ on leaves ~ on stone… has preoccupied me. (It’s raining now)  It is the sound of life isn’t it? It marks a reawakening of the imperative that kept me here after my visit in 2010 – the pervasive physicality of the presence of nature here in all its manifestations – Earth Air Wood Stone – Sun.  A veneer of urbanisation (The  Town) doesn’t disguise for this traveller that the omnipotence of VIRIDITAS  is a constant elemental force in Kuching  that works without respite on everything aspired to here – shaping the days and our humanity.  Unfortunately, policies defining ‘progress’ don’t seem to acknowledge any higher authority than Progress.But that’s politics – and  I don’t do politics.

88

Wouldn’t it be nice to see you and Peter and Douglas and Helen,Heloise and Albert  again type thoughts help keep the undemanding demand of classes and local(campus) politics in their place. Conversations help too,  most times over food with friends and colleagues, sometimes over my body  – whilst getting my tattoo from Ernesto at Borneo Headhunter – or having my hair cut at Salon Anthony or with Arthur in the morning – or Alex – or Boniface – in the evenings.

The conversation is endless and always ‘optimistic’  with Azuar who’s always  here, who I met back in 2010 – a designer, a colleague at the university – very of the place Kuching –  and the world; which while a delight to him it is finally not somewhere he wants to be. And Christine who I inherited the house (JB’s house) at Lorong Eastern Park 5 ~ off Jalan Nanas Barat near ~ UNACO,   I live in from when her life changed to be mostly in Melbourne returning to Kuching for her Ph.D  fieldwork and exhibitions. Once upon a time she was German but after spending much time here, it is where she’s from I think.  Conversations are what do the most to confirm that this is a place for me to be useful.  To be useful – to someone – other than your own self – seems to be necessary if the Third Life that I’m now biologically committed to (no going back)  is going to be other than stumbling on head wrapped in illusions/delusions that were needed to see the Second Life through.

8
8

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

(Orson Welles)

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8

But alone’s ok if you’ve got the Internet – WordPress –  Flickr – Facebook – Skype – a Visa account and you’re not dead.

(AFW66)

8

And a new washing machine…

(AFW66)

8
88

And a new crime fiction novel about somewhere else to read in/on bed.

(AFW66)

8

8

Me Tondelayo… Me stay.

(Hedy Lamarr~White Cargo)

8

That well documented syndrome – going troppo – saw me married and bonded for life after half a year in Bangkok- and still I find myself this hot wet evening – thinking – wouldn’t it be nice to get laid? Perhaps unwise thoughts for a 69er (albeit a wannabe poet) but I’ve stopped drawing imagined creatures and my own children as I imagine them  –  and dream now instead of black dogs and women in wet sarongs... what next.

I’ve bought a mobile phone.

(AFW66)

Otherwise I’ve never been weller and can only reccommend a Bonfire year for others to reconstitute the body electric. However tough the Second Life was, this Third one looks like it’s going be a different kind of hard work.

My Doubt (if it isn’t reflux) is what to do with a dynamic peace of mind after you’ve found it, far from the beloved madding crowd. Can it survive the voyage home…after the sun goes down. Or like a Summer Holiday … it’s a dream ~ and it will be over when it’s over.

We’re going where the sun shines brightly we’re going where the sea is blue. We’ve all seen it on the movies, now let’s see if it’s true.

(Summer Holiday ~ Cliff Richard)

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By giving what is commonplace an exalted meaning, what is ordinary a mysterious aspect, what is familiar the impressiveness of the unfamiliar, to the finite an appearance of infinity; thus I romanticise it. 

(Novalis ~ Poeticism, 1798)

I recommend the images here as a subtext to An Ordinary Life in Kuching and some answers to your questions. Click on the links and you will find out more I want to share. But it’s gonna be read the blog for the whole truth. Along with the two or three others out there in the world who do.

As Socrates did say …

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Do me a favor. Examine away David – subscribe (Click the link!) Follow AFW66 and receive pages as they come off the hard pressed desktop of  your friend of 43? years. That’s your guarantee I’ll be thinking of you as I write.

With

Love to you and Penny

of  Gibraltar Cottage, Pembury

AFW


*

March 11 2012

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2 Responses to “RE: PICTURES FOR YOU”

  1. David Lancashire Says:

    Ward you old fruit did you get my e-mail?

    hope you got back OK and that life is good
    like the way you press words

    • anthonyfward Says:

      Welcome to my cave David – Got back – OK – Peace of mind still a work in progress but signs are good the patient patient will make a full recovery – or is that REDISCOVERY? Thought I responded to your email … maybe I will – see a posting with your name on it coming soon – Fruitfully Yours – Respect.

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