Tag Archives: Gwalia

Life Isn’t Black And White!

via Daily Prompt: Silhouette

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Locomotive tender, part of the Gwalia Museum, makes a classic silhouette against the light. We could talk about the merits of silhouettes, or the creativity of black and white photographs. But I’m drawn to the grey.

There’s talk everywhere about colouring within lines, following numbers, obeying laws, sticking to the unwritten rules we all “know”, doing it right, being a “good” citizen. Rules and laws are black and white, literally – print on paper or, as folk lore, mores, they are etched in the community psyche, but one needs discernment to navigate life, one needs to appreciate and savour, even learn to trust the grey. The movie Inception illustrates this perfectly as it has no heroes or villains, each character has to deal with their own subconscious, and their own shaddow. Inception is an abstraction of what real life is actually like, but we all take moral positions and justify them, black and white, but the reality is life is beyond our controls and manys the time our rules don’t fit, don’t work, and we have to find another way through.

Life is a series of relational encounters where we flex and compromise and move, sometimes in a direction we’d never thought we would or could go. A bit like dancing. In this dance of life I live by two main principles, loving my neighbour as myself, and doing no harm, I’m not perfect, but these two principles even roughly applied help me navigate the stultifying black and white and live into the grey of reality. Grey is relational, affective, heart over mind. Black and white are sharp polarities, divided, forceful, demanding. Grey is softer, warmer, blended, forgiving, neutral, open.

I like my silhouette, but it is softened by the grey. Live into and appreciate the grey.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under community, life, mindfulness, Spirituality

Extravagant?

via Daily Prompt: Extravagant

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There’s nothing extravagant in old Gwalia. Mining towns that date back to the early twentieth century were rugged, minimalist, isolated communities. Niceties were simple, like hesian walls and ceilings, an outdoor bathroom, toilet and laundry. There was minimal heating, and no cooling at all, other than an open window. No running water. And to have a garden meant working the soil for years to be able to even penetrate it, let alone grow anything in it, it’s like concrete. Power came later, but if you could afford it, a generator was a good option. A telephone would have been a luxury. Farmers of the era also lived this way, it’s what you put up with in order to pursue your vocation in isolated places.

And yet, these communities survived for decades, simply because to live here was a lifestyle choice, people wanted to live out here. Of course, the motives were numerous, and who knows motive (unless self-declared)? Today there are a few who are moving back to these towns, towns like Gwalia, Leonora, Menzies, goldrush towns that emptied as soon as the seam ran out. Retirees, FIFO workers, long distance commuters, those who work from home, all enjoying a bush life.

There’s nothing extravagant out here, but there’s an abundance of community, a generosity of spirit, and peace that runs deep like a river within, that’s truly extravagant, and positively so.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, community, Country, history, life, nature

Dubious

Dubious

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I don’t know about you, but this old ute is a dubious form of transport, I doubt it would get very far. Β But, in its day it worked hard and in harsh conditions. It resides in the Gwalia Museum near Leonora, a testimony to the tenacity of the those who worked the district in a era of primitive machinery compared to today. Dubious, but grand. And I wonder the stories it could tell.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under Country, history, life

Exceptional

via Daily Prompt: Exceptional

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On our recent trip out bush, we stopped in Gwalia for a time and had a look at the museum. Steam engines, steam locomotives, ancient motor vehicles of all types. And there were graders too, as shown above. They were amazing pieces of machinery, tractor or horse drawn, but those who operated them must have been exceptional given that they were working in very demanding situations in the bush. Making those dirt roads and maintaining them must have been bloody hard work in those harsh and unforgiving conditions. When you look at the sophisticated machinery of today (computerised, gps, airconditioned cabs) and the fact that it is still hard work, it makes me wonder how much harder it was with flimsy, basic machinery like in this photo. It would have required strength and patience, wisdom and commitment, and for months on end.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

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Fashionable

Fashionable

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Every time I see or hear the word fashion, I go straight to that old hit by the Kinks, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” where the band poke fun at the culture of which they are a product, art imitating life. The song suggests that what is in fashion is not real, and is in fact unatainable.

Fashion is fickle, here today, gone tomorrow, back around in ten (well, sometimes). The photo shows the main store in Gwalia, a mining town, still inhabited, but the store became a center-piece museum long ago. It was fashionable in its day, claiming to be a one stop shop in four segments, covering every need (and by all accounts it successfully lived up to its claim). Now, the town of Leonora, just up the road has grown around Gwalia and become the main center where people shop. Not only that, the roads south having long been bitumenised made travel quick and easy. More recently online buying has become fashionable for those out in the bush. Somehow I doubt that this delightful family store will come round again in ten or a hundred years. And I wonder too if online buying will be the last fashion, can anything replace lounge room shopping? Local farmers and craft markets are back and they’re a huge hit, they’re fashionable, so who knows?

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life