Saturday, July 31, 2010
It is so great to drive across the Mornington Peninsula countryside. Everywhere one looks the grassland is emerald green and glistening with dew. It is so tranquil and pleasant. The air is clean and crisp on my face. I adore looking through the morning fog to the rising sun casting a pink hue behind the low level moisture. Behind me over the Southern tip of the land the full moon is setting and stars are slowly fading from view. It is only 6.30am but the day is beginning down here. There are cars on the road headlights switched on, beginning the commute to work. Those City dwellers are not as privileged as I am living down here. Everywhere I look I see beauty. The sea is a greyed hue as the sky begins to show hints of the blue to come later in the morning. The car radio blares the Melbourne morning train cancellations and the car crashes on the freeways and main arterial roads to the City. I listen waiting to hear of the occasionally necessary diversion to my usual route to Lilydale. Eastlink is rarely a disappointment, "25 minutes in each direction" is the report. Pity that Frankston is 45 minutes away from the Toll Road but I really wouldn't swap this beauty for the traffic hell that is the 40 minute trip from Ringwood to Lilydale out the annoying Maroondah Highway. What about this Road is a highway.... complete with traffic lights , suburban street turn offs and pedestrian crossings every 200 metres?
It is horrid. Who are all these people living out here? Where are they going to? Where do they work? They can't all work in schools and shops in the outer East surely? And why don't kids ride bikes or catch buses to school these days? I really hate all the four-wheel drives ferrying dear little ones to and from schools. I always become distressed as I reflect on the seeming shallowness of suburban life... I want to sing "Is that all there is?".
Do these people know passion?
I get to work and the same theme repeats in my head all day long. The women and men talking about and living through their children's lives.The sheer repetition of working then heading 'home' to the domestic drudge. A night out is often at the 'local pub'... OMG... how can they consider this overpriced badly cooked counter meals and mass-produced mediocre wines, a night out?
Passion... where is it? Not for the food (on either side... patron or cooks), not for the wines... it is alcohol pure and simple... not a product of a skilled craftsperson or artisan. The Pub itself, reaking of stale beer, decorated with thread-bare carpet, poor colour schemes and horrid garish Poker Machines commanding the robots at their stools pouring coins and notes in as impelled by the jangly tinny muzac and flashing lights. Think Roy Orbison... "Step Up and Play the Machines Seem to Say"... but this has no romance of the old Penny Arcades. This is commerce and revenue generation at its purest and stripped back. How is this an enjoyable or pleasant experience?
Turn off your cynicism, turn off your brain, become a zombie... react to the lights... swig on the bad wine and then drive home spouting what a great night out was had. Please if this is my future, let me die now. Where is the beauty? Not here. Not for me.
Get me back to my bay and mountains, the wattle and daffodils, the fog and mists, foghorns of the pilot boats and the waking birdsong.
Why am I doing this to myself? What do I actually want from life? Is the PhD it? Is the outer suburban University a place I want to be? Are these staff members the people I want in my life in five or ten years time? My fear is that the answer to all these questions is a big fat "NO"...
So what now CAC?
Would changing or pulling out be self-sabotage?
Or would it be salvation?