In this time of transition I wanted to reflect upon the first that I made my first big leap on independence, when I moved out of home, to attend boarding school in Adelaide when I was 15. This I wrote as a blog, in my myspace days when I was 15. I have also published this particular post on Heywire. Its kind of a mix of what the Riverland means to me, what home means to me and trying to prepare for the unknown.
As most of you do or do not know. I am leaving my beloved little suck town and am heading off to the bright shiny lights of the smutty city.
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember the joy of playing alone?
I used to have this game. My bed would be the ship, the wooden floor was a open blue sea. Anything that I wanted to take with me on the adventure had to be on the bed. So I would first rush about. Choosing. Grabbing things. Chucking them on the bed. So that they wouldn’t get ‘wet’ in the sea that is the wooden floor boards and dusty old carpet.
Toys, My favourite dress, the little red shoes, drawings, dolls, umbrella, torch.
Everthing that I needed.
My number one priority was my favourite bunny rabbit. It always had to come.
So that I would never ever be lonely.
And then out onto the ocean we would go. Without a look back, the wish for adventure strong, to find what was beyond the horizon. The little ship would take me far away. To islands, countries, places people have never heard of.
Doing this for real is doing my head in. Everything thats coming goes on the bed.
Anything on there gets to come. Anything thats not is left behind.
Underwear, letters, photos, music, soap, books, favourite things, special things.
The bunny rabbit
So I’ll never ever be lonely.
In a strange new place all you have is your idenity. Lets hope i remember mine.
“The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you’re moving”
All I can do is remember and make the most of what i have left.
These thoughts erupt my mind. Landed quotes slip in and out of memories.
I remember the wine and food festivals. Having water fights in the street, taking cover in the toilets, getting drenched wearing my favourite top. Dipping my feet into the river, waving to the houseboats, dancing in the hot summer breeze, surrounded by a human wave of movement.
“There is something about the way the leaves smell in the summer, that holds me here, but at night I can hear the wind calling me….”
I remember the weekends. Walking barefoot down the empty roads on a Sunday afternoon, playing in the shopping trolleys, camping on the round-a-bout. Coming home after the holidays, gazing out at the transformed grape vines, which were once shriveled, nasty, scratchy things explode into life, luscious green leaves and huge juicy grapes, dangling down.
“It sucks here! I wish I could pack up all my friends and leave”
I remember hating this place because of the boredom and how it stripped me of all my original friends. Knowing that I will lose my friends to the city, wanting to fly away, crying in the arms of my best friends, splattering them with tears, not wanting them to go and leave me by myself.
“I am a part of the Riverland, I am the embers in the fire…..”
I remember playing fairies on the grass, exploring ‘The great Aus bush’, hiding away in my room, under the bed, waiting to be seeked and caught. Sneaking into the swimming pool, my back being sprayed with a water bottle in dance class, squashing my feet into the mud. Covered in the red earth, feeling like part of the land around me.
“… But one day I guess I will have to leave the Riverland, to do what I want to do, to be who I want to be….”
I remember rehearsing Landed.
With people I was getting to know in the process. Learning lines, buying food and hanging out in the kitchen. Sleeping in-between performances, on the itchy carpet underneath the chairs which the audience sat. The bus rides to and from rehersals. Standing in front of the air conditioner, icy air blasting our skin.
The excitement and laughter we shared at the Fringe festival, exploring the nightlife at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. Yelling at buskers to do backflips or to make us bicycles. Being paid to go inside a freakshow and scream, because it made more people come inside.
Late nights out on the balcony, gazing out at the dirty air and lights.
The actual realistic thought of leaving is hideously scary, wonders and exciting.
I will be wandering out into the darkness of the unknowing.With the feeling of moving away and leaving all my toys behind.With the hope of bigger and better toys ahead.
Even though it breaks my heart to leave my scraggly teddy bear behind. I will be reunited with old and new friends. Walking the streets I doubt to see anyone I know.
I will just be one faceless person in a sea full of names.
All aboard! The little bed boat.
* Landed was a collaborative performance created with Riverland Youth Theatre that toured around the Riverland and went to the Adelaide Fringe festival that i was involved with in ’06. The play, explored what it meant to move from one place to another, to be multi-cultured, to be a migrant, and to be a Riverlander. I still think that it was the best experience that i have had with theatre.