I recently caught a bus to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. An area I don’t frequent often. Sure there are occasional visits. However sitting high on the bus seat and turning into Oxford Street, I started to feel it’s pull. The city’s pull. And that’s when I realised you don’t have to be a tourist. Maybe it was the way I felt; carefree. No rushed appointments and travelling alone to a writer’s festival in Woollahra. An indulgent thing to do on a Saturday – a slight chill, sunny and Winter in Sydney. I felt like a tourist
I felt the pull to the creative and recalled a time I was working on magazines. Carefree. Fun. Creative.
There were trees that said hello again. Twists to streets that said you took your time. Iconic signs that still flaunted their products. Restaurants, bars and cafes that did not want to be dragged into the new millienum. I could feel the energy of the 80s. A time of the “corporate lunch”, shoulder pads, Wendy Heather knits and Robert Clergerie heels. Red wine. And yes the Aussie’s American’s Cup win. More red wine.
Sitting high on the bus, I pass the many restaurants and cafes I would visit, cappuccinos still waiting for a stir. And there was the street where we would celebrate lunch that would take us across the road for an evening meal and then the cab for breakfast. Red wine and cappuccinos.And the trees stretch out their bare limbs across the path. The same trees.
I am at the council chambers where the Festival is to take place. I’m early so I walk through the gardens and look out below onto the bay. I am joined by a lady that stops and remarks that there are two bathers down below. I take a closer look and see two swimming in rhythm and their laps seem to be my Morning Pages – today their strokes and laps are my three pages. I pull out my camera to take a photo of the scene below and in that instant somehow I break the spell – the lady next to me walks off. I look out and see her strolling away and wonder about her quick departure.
It’s time for the Festival to start. I turn my back to the landscape, walk inside and take a seat. The first presenter is Marlere Day, the lady who joined me early on. Crime writer. She starts to talk about her writing practice and I fall back into the spell. I was sitting on the bus again and listening to her landscape; the landscape of a story. Go with the story she said “The psychology of the city“.
She talked about the energy of a city and how she would not take photos of scenes but instead write a paragraph of her impressions. I settled back in my seat and was ready for a day of magic. Synchronicity. And that was just the start.