I look up in my wandering and see a man on his bike.
He notices me and emits a cheerful “Good Morning”. I say the same back and feel a social unspoken rule has been broken. Nobody ever speaks to another in the desert. We are all protected by a sense of personal space.
All it takes is somebody who doesn’t conform and we are all in danger.
I wonder if I could become a non-conformist?
It’s black against the pale blue backdrop.
Its black and twisted and sharp in its nakedness. Its not unique to this place. There are countless black intersecting marks foregrounding the scene.
On a recent road trip, I went to view some desert sculptures in Australia’s New South Whales Outback.
The sun was almost set, and the visiting hours of the site were nearing their end. It was especially cold that afternoon, I remember putting on my jacked and hobo gloves before getting out of the car.
The sculptures were great, but I found myself more captivated by the natural wilderness surrounding them
The endless sense of space, the shrub like plants and the bright unworldly color of the grass against the red rocks.
While groups of tourists gathered around the sculptures,discussing them, photographing them from many different angles, posing with them… I found myself taking pictures of the scruffy trees reflecting the last rays of the day’s sunlight.
Maybe I’m just not cultured’ enough…
But most times, natural beauty wins for me.
Labels get thrown around fairly free and easy in this life.
I’m sure you have categorized or been categorized by others on many occasions during your time on earth.
The first time I felt my category change in an emotionally confronting way, was when I quit my career to move to a new city and start a business with my friend.
I had to take up a cleaning job to pay the bills. Going from corporate sophisticated/ laptop toting garb to dressing like a teenager and scrubbing walls was by no means emotionally easy… especially the way that people looked at and treated me so entirely differently to what I was used to. I eventually got back to wearing court shoes and and carrying laptop cases from office to office, but little did I know…
I was only to repeat the mortifying category shift experience again.
Only this time in a new country, where nobody really knew who I was or what I’d done in the past… and only had my current circumstances to judge me by.
Imagine your own flat mate hiding the wine glasses from you!
(yes this actually happened) as she assumed my occasional glass of an evening was a 24 hour a day habit due to my (at the time) unemployed status.
And this is even before moving to a street that even the real estate agent seemed afraid of.
A lovely street where dogs run loose, the sound of neighborhood swearing carries throughout the suburb and tales of resident’s unsavory pastimes seem only the norm.
The vibe was so foreign to me at first, and altogether terrifying to be honest.
But as time goes on, I have made peace (in part) to the situation and hence the hoodie and ripped jeans (below photo – when in Rome, right?). Let it be acknowledged though, that the wine bottle is all for show, despite what my ex-flatmate might try to insinuate. God knows I wish I could say the same for the cigarette…