the dance of the ink riddled fingers

wanderlusting and longing. sydney

Posted in how was your day? by enisea on 29/09/2011

The morning was drenched with uncertainty, namely: an unscheduled daytime, a handful of restlessness and an unwanted insecurity.  Thanks to my absence of plans, I decided to make good of my feet and walked out of the apartment, only deciding where to go once I was outside on the path, walking a half familiar route.  I left with my heart wrapped in longing and my head wrapped in a scarf I assumed Kat would lend me, had I asked. I walked through Paddie’s market back to the $5 sunnies stand were I stood in unbelief as the exact same pair of glebe market sunnies I last sat on, sat patiently for purchase – which I aptly bought.  I walked with borrowed headphones in my ears, which hardly fit and had to be fiddled with every 30 seconds (where are my customs!??).   I walked without listening, searching for someone.

I found my first someone.  Half sitting, half leaning on the decorative monument tree trunk, the sound of him made me take my headphones out – relieved.  Nobody else had stopped to listen to him with his harmonica and banjo.  Others stood around with things on their mind, but I stopped in front of him and was met by a brave stare, and an unnerving smile.  I held gaze as long as I knew how, somehow thinking that this time was different, this time I couldn’t avert my gaze because somewhere in his eyes lay a clue I to help me unlock and decipher something of my day and something of my longing – for I knew not yet what it was I longed for.  I don’t remember the last time I looked into somebody else’s eyes – do you? Now disqualify your plus one, when was the last time you looked directly/straight at/square into the eyes of another without already having known what you love about them?  Totally disarmed, feeling half scared I let lose my default nervous/polite smile  as he sang to me with one word “smile, smile, smile, smile smile”, I couldn’t take it for more than twenty seconds, I handed him a $5 note for looking into my eyes and for singing to me to smile, ended the conversation and walked nervously off.

About a minute or four later I decided to look for that little cafe I’d attended with Daz during the last Sydney trip, somewhere to put pen to these thoughts and to possibly pull out the waterpaints.  This is where I foresaw two guys in amnesty international gear, trying to engage strangers on the street.  Hearing a witty remark from one of them, I smile and then try to hide it to avoid being targetted, weaving pass one but meeting another. He was young, blonde with a slightly chiselled face… twas a brave face for an advocate of human rights, and enough to stop me.  He was the second someone to find me. We talked about writing, compared melbourne and sydney, and mused about the biography his friend had just written which he’d yet to read.  Conversation then lead to human rights, government and public responsibility, after which he graciously let me walk away without signing into monthly contributions for an organisation I probably agree with, thankfully free of burden of pressure or guilt.  We thanked each other for the window of conversation and Iwalked away in search of the cafe.

I found the cafe, after walking the whole way around the QVB, but the little dwelling I meant to nestle into was too brimming with business.  So join I, the perch of young individuals sitting on the stone ledge outside the church(?).  I began writing when another sound met my ears and I looked up to see a man across the street with fingers dancing across his guitar, impressive rifts and an even more impressive smile seemed to be successfully catching the coins of passers by.  I stayed put and watched him when the cars weren’t in the way and when I wasn’t busy trying to catch the eye, gaze and smile of the hundreds of people crossing at the lights.  Only about three of the people I tried to look and smile at looked back at me, none smiled back.  The rest of them looked away.  I concluded from my social experiment, that we’ve been taught to be too ashamed and embarrassed to accept a smile, let alone meet the gaze of a stranger.  This finding intrigued and saddened me.

I crossed the lights and smiled at the man who was smiling and strumming for everyone on the other side of the road.  He was the third someone to inspire me.  He met me, nodded, smiled and shrugged when I sat a foot away from him and opened my blank pages to write with loud live music accompanying my pen.  Later I asked about the CDs that sat in his guitar case and he said they were $20 and told me how he was from Paris, and I wouldn’t regret the purchase.  I won’t, just because of his smile.

I decided to finally walk to the State Library, and along the way, stopped at the fountain which had me hypnotised from first sight.  I chose a bench and sat there, whipped out the pencilcase of waterpaints, and decided that the puddle at my feet was a perfect source of water.  I used the slightly murky water to wash my brush, and to change colours, feeling indebted to nature for providing my need.  I did a sketchy mop of the fountain and the couple who seemed to be enjoying the sunshine and each other’s company as much as I was enjoying making them into little figures on my A6 sketchpad. They got up and as they walked away, I wondered hastily if I should chase them. I did and they (and their London accents) kept me company for about ten minutes as we chatted and I gave them the sketch, which they were lovely about receiving and I decided it seemed a much richer experience after painting something/someone, to then give away something I had just done. 

I later left the State Library after using 46minutes of internet, got a little lost weaving in and out of its many rooms and frantically finding the sunnies I had left at the computer I was writing this post at, and began walking to The Rocks.  I stumbled upon what appeared to be a ‘free sydney tour’ so joined them shyly and soon learned wonderfully historic tidbits about Sydney, meeting German and English tourists whilst engaging in playful conversation about the Melbourne vs. Sydney competitive natures with the tour guide, a bubbly young lady.  The tour ended and four nice German mechanical engineering students and I walk uncertainly to Chinatown for dinner – thankfully meeting Kat along the way, chasing the bus in brisk walks the whole way to the foodcourt, where we umm-ed and ahh-ed about what to eat and strung conversation on the little I knew about Germany and German food.

Parting with the company of gentlemen, Kat and I made our way to a two hour kareoke session, a room for just the two of us!  It was a frustrating occassion with a temperamental remote control, but a humouring bonding session between us.

Upon return to the apartment, I joined Prema and Bret on the couch for The Ugly Truth and after that, lay myself across three couch cushions I’d arranged on Kat’s room floor, ending my day in makeshift comfort.  With a heave of a sigh, hoped that tomorrow, even if less eventful, might feel a little more fulfilling. Thinking I should probably see God tomorrow, He seems to have things He wants to say to me.

I don’t know what I’m trying to find, who I’m trying to find, or what I’m trying to figure out.  Only that I find snippets of satisfaction in really new experiences, like looking into eyes of others – though if the people I know did that to me, I’d get all shy and probably look away, because it’s a really brave thing that I’m only just conjuring up enough bravery for. 

I love and miss Melbourne, but mostly easily accessible company and car. I’ve walked ridiculous amounts here, and will probably continue to… search.


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