time to tell

D Group died while we were in Montreal. It died a nasty and quite painful death and I’ve been in mourning for it ever since. The quartet now seems to lie in 2 distinct halves that won’t be pieced together again.

It’s hard to say what happened, exactly…
M and I  really tried to make it work, but in the end it was impossible.

The most direct and bizarre unpleasantness arrived via email over a period of days that just happened to coincide not only with our return transit to Australia, but also with the 1st anniversary of the death of one very missed friend and the birthday of another who we lost far, far too early. Both talented and creative, these lost Dears loved us like we loved them and enriched both our lives and our art. The message from the cosmos was clear. Life is short. Don’t waste your time or your words where they are not wanted or heard. Communication has now been cut.

Despite this, I genuinely do wish both other D’s the best. The world is richer for their creative efforts and I hope they make more and I would urge you to seek out their work past and future. I am also very proud of the work we did, all four together.

So there it is. The project grief has been somewhat constipating to date. I haven’t felt able to move on or to blog; it seemed dishonest not to acknowledge this creative breakdown but I found it too difficult to find the words for it. I am still mystified by the way it played out and I suspect I might regret some of these words anyway. I often regret looking down and seeing my heart so clearly displayed upon my sleeve.

But this morning instead of waking up sad, I felt more like Johnny Rotten. You know that clip from the last Sex Pistols gig of their American tour in 1978? When he crouches on the stage looking wearily and warily out to the audience during No Fun and asks ‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’. I think I have an inkling how you felt, John.

So as of today I file it under ‘done wrong’ and just put it away. There have been many collaborations M and I have undertaken: each and together. Many repeat collaborations too. It was an expensive business to find that this one could go no further than it had but there will be others in the future too. It’s a process I love and I can’t let the failure of this one hold me back from doing more.

I’m currently hammering away at a manifesto and manual for a collaboration project that I hope to set in motion later this year, that takes redressing some of what I think went wrong over there as it’s motive and structure. To quote John again in one of his other lives ‘anger is an energy’, and I’m determined to use mine for good, not evil.

The big D pictured above was snatched for me by my Mum from the community-defining pulp mill in the city where I grew up. The one the Midnight Oil song, Burnie was written about. I had big plans for the D, which have shrunk significantly now.

Now I’ve put it out in the garden for the time being, but will turn it onto it’s face and plant it out with strawberries as Summer approaches.

Let’s grow something sweet outta this shit.


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6 thoughts on “time to tell

  1. think sieve

    when there’s heaps of bad ju-ju going round, its best to imagine yourself like a sieve– punctuated with millions of tiny little holes– let it pass right through you….

    think sieve, and breathe nice and deep. works every time.

  2. Re: burnie?

    Yeah they did.

    It was once one of the most preventably polluted cities in the country. It’s on Place without a postcard I think… “This is my home, this is my sea, don’t paint it with the future of a factory…” etc.

    There was a weird kind of pride when I was a teenager to be living in an Oils song.

    Thanks for the sieve advice too, Anonymous Stranger. Mine was a bit muddy and clogged up. I’m taking to it with a nail brush….

  3. sh*nk

    Sally, you are a star. My life is richer for knowing you.
    Your writing is beautiful, and so are you.
    Speak your mind. Always. It’s one way to clean the sieve.

  4. Hello blog visitors.

    Just for my own peace of mind (no-one else would care really) I just wanted to say that this is slightly edited version of my original post. I no longer have a copy of the original.

    I was very angry when I wrote it and was not nearly careful enough with the feelings of others. The edit was made a day or so after first posting and after an unpleasant back and forth in the comments with someone upset by my words. I made the edit because it was simply my intention to clear my head, not to attack anyone. My anger had slipped in while I wasn’t paying enough attention.

    Until now I had not deleted that persons comments… maybe I felt they deserved their right of reply… but regardless, in moving this blog from it’s old venue to it’s new, I wanted to take the opportunity to eradicate the unpleasantness. They are now gone.

    What does remain are the wise and kind comments from various friends that I really appreciated receiving when I was thus troubled.

    Thanks everyone. The sieve is much cleaner now.

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