So... after months of it being too cold for camping, off we went on Monday, up to Katarapko Creek near Berri. (Murray River, South Australia.) The first hot days and we chose them. It was seriously hot.
We were trying out our new camping set up, a camper caravan, all very nice, secondhand, excellent condition. etc. We hated it. Hated the little tenty beds. Didn't like cooking in it even for a cup of tea. Didn't like sitting in it. It was like a little house, but you don't go camping to be in a house, do you? We spent the whole time depressed about hating it and trying to smile politely and say, 'It isn't that bad', and so on. A comedy skit could have been written about what went wrong. Not to mention us tiptoeing around each other. We forgot to take the coffee pot. There are times when one shouldn't call one's loved one 'darling'.
I guess we aren't caravan people.
But then the sun lowered behind the trees and it cooled down. We got out the camping chairs, turned out backs on our bad investment, and sat by the river. Warm, calm, and exquisitely beautiful. Swallows, river hawks, pelicans, parrots. Water, reflections and the lowering sun painting everything gently.
We pulled the mattresses out into our screen tent and slept there, in cool, delicious air with a 360 degree view, and the night birds calling.
Spent a lovely morning, wandering and photographing, and only going into The Thing to boil a kettle. And then we packed up and came home because the day was going to be even hotter. And we had to get home to put The Thing on Gumtree.
Not that I get insomnia often. I am very good at sleeping. My mum gave me a great gift when I was about eight. I called to her in the night, 'Mum, I can't sleep.' To which she answered, 'Don't worry about it. Even if you just lie awake all night, you will get enough rest.' It took all the desperation out of getting to sleep. I still think of that, and, even though It's not strictly true, it doesn't matter, I'll drift off eventually. And the soft darkness of night is lovely, a fertile place to think about things.
I once heard a sleep therapist talking about some data. He said that one of the things good sleepers do is not stress about not sleeping. Well no, because they are sleeping! Years ago, I heard that six hours prolongs your life. Some people get by on less. Some people stress if it's not a neat eight hours. I think stress is the big baddie, for sleep and everything else.
Back in puritanical times it was believe that, for the good of the soul, people should do two things a day that they didn't like. I don't know who it was who said, 'I'm ok because I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night.' I'm like that. I don't like giving up on my day, not giving up on my sleep.
How well do you sleep? And what do you think about this strange haiga? Does anyone know who the quote is from? Let me know in the comments.
throbbing drum skin's memory
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Haiga = haiku teamed with an image.
In this case, I've used a photo I took in my studio. Originally, I bought this goat skin to make a drum out of a hollow log that we found, but we ended up making a tongue drum from it. Not the most accurately pitched drum in the world, but it sounds good, as my grandchildren will attest. Recently I bought a 'Healing drum' with a dear-hide skin. So beautiful, the sound reverberates through your body as you play it. Trance inducing. Enlivening. Thank you Goat. Thank you Deer.
Here I am working out how to use the goat skin to draw on, something akin to parchment but more primitive. I'm hoping to work a small series about the effect of feral animals on native species.
The haiku came as a result of the image, the skin and it's history.
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Check out some my other haiga over on my older blog, here