ArnaudBarras.ch ArnaudBarras.ch

ArnaudBarras.ch

Critical, creative and digital writingEcriture critique, créative et numérique

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8 60 2014  

08 June

1009 – Cable Beach

I'm at the beach, again. I like it here. I can sort of be alone in an open space. There's no saying, fresh air and saltwater are a wonderful invention, a nicety that deep time has slowly carved out of the raw material of Gaia. It's been a long time since I've written prose by hand. It's a different process from typing, I realise. It's a bit slower, but it's much more organic. Words and sentences are flowing into one another, rather than being separately impressed through discrete taps. It makes the whole process more intimate. This is manifest in the look of my prose. It's unique to my specific handwriting. It's mine only. I appreciate that. The fact that I don't do it often makes it even more special. I'm still wondering what I'll be doing with it.

1400 – Hostel in Broome

I wanted to experience life in an Aboriginal community. I ended up in another sort of community: the backpackers' community. It is also an iconic of North Australian life. I find them a tad sad, though, these people who seem to belong nowhere. They struggle in menial jobs to pay for their relative freedom, but this free life is one of indolence and apathy and boredom. I wonder if they are ultimately happy about how things turned for them. Perhaps they don't even realise it. This whole business makes me think about the importance of having a place of belonging, a home, for one's sanity and well-being. Familiarity with one's origin is important, though I'm sure people can recreate this sense of belonging somewhere else. The thing is, can you belong anywhere when you're constantly on the move? Here I'm not talking about Aboriginal semi-nomadism, but about backpackers' restlessness. I'm a sedentary. I can't help it. I have trouble understanding people who decide to abandon their old life. But perhaps I'm happy with my life. That might be the difference between me and backpackers. It is so sad to create so much tangles with one place, and never ever see it again. A life of movement that is not cyclical is a life of continuous and repeated abandonment.

1548 – Hostel in Broome, Pool

There are so many things I know nothing about. Reading To the Islands, I realised the words "panganus" came up quite often, and I always dismissed it. I knew it was some sort of plant, but had no clear idea of what it looked like. A quick look at my phone, a search on the internet and I had my answers. The point in all this, I guess, is to say that technology can improve our way of reading, but only if one reads proactively. One needs to consider the story not as an alien object, but as a familiar one. One must read with wonder, with an open mind, with a wish to better understand one's self-place relation. The story should be a way into the world. The story should enmesh you even more fully in the fabric of life.