Melbourne & Escher

Melbourne & Escher

I am sitting on the plane, blissfully upgraded to business class with frequent flier points, flying back to Perth after a weekend in Melbourne. Well, I’m drafting this blog post but will upload it when I get home as this plane isn’t wifi enabled. There was an immediate flash of annoyance then I reminded myself to relish a few hours of peace in a comfortable seat and remember it’s really not necessary to be connected 24/7. Also, I walked around 6km both days, slowly and steadily, and there’s been lots of intellectual stimulation this weekend so a peaceful few hours disconnected from everything is probably a good idea.

The primary reason for going to Melbourne was to see the ‘Escher x nendo’ exhibition. I was uncertain about a collaboration between the curators of an Escher exhibition and a Japanese design house, but it worked so well. The visual complexities of Escher’s work, with logic defying dimensions, combined with a spare, monochrome design space worked beautifully. Spare, contained detail, uncluttered. 

For one of the exhibitions they had his favourite music playing, one of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which he chose for an exhibition. He said it was a prize greater than any reward, to be able to chose and listen to this piece.

Listen here, it is beautiful and detailed.

Also we visited the State Library of Victoria, a beautiful peaceful old building. Melbourne makes Perth look very modern and somehow insubstantial, as far as the architecture goes ! There was an exhibition of  ancient book, including Ethiopian scrolls and a cuneiform tablet, up to 1950’s pulp science fiction magazines. I lost Andy reading the Chaucer, which he studied in school years ago.

It’s always interesting coming back to Melbourne, even after 20 years it is still so familiar and comfortable. Little laneways, parks, lush greenery, multicultural mix, trams, stately gold rush buildings, great coffee, great exhibitions and shopping … I could easily lose myself for a week. However, it’s not home any more. I love visiting, and if life brought us to Melbourne for year or so I’d happily return, but the people, beaches and river of Perth have become home.

Friends; that’s something Melbourne has, and I met up with a friend I’ve known since my very early days in Melbourne, Joanna. She has MS as well, she was diagnosed a few years before me, and I am so thankful for the support that she has been able to give me over the years. To be honest, I had not appreciated how important that support is, until I met people in Russia who did not have that support network. 

We visited her father Maurice, who is in his early 90’s in a nursing home. He is a gracious learned gentleman, and it was a privilege to spend a short time with him. He recognised me, and knew I was a friend over form Perth who he had visited with his daughter and late wife Jacqueline, years ago. As a backpacker, new to Australia, having dinner with them all 20 odd years ago felt like a brief taste of family and home, in a new country and city.

Visiting Maurice reminded me to seize life and live every moment.

Carpe Diem
Age saw two quiet children 
Go loving by at twilight, 
He knew not whether homeward, 
Or outward from the village, 
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward, 
He waited, (they were strangers) 
Till they were out of hearing 
To bid them both be happy. 
“Be happy, happy, happy, 
And seize the day of pleasure.” 
The age-long theme is Age’s. 
‘Twas Age imposed on poems 
Their gather-roses burden 
To warn against the danger 
That overtaken lovers 
From being overflooded 
With happiness should have it. 
And yet not know they have it. 
But bid life seize the present? 
It lives less in the present 
Than in the future always, 
And less in both together 
Than in the past. The present 
Is too much for the senses, 
Too crowding, too confusing- 
Too present to imagine.

Robert Frost

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