I’m listening to a song called “Breathe Without It” by Lalic. That’s my long Serbian friend Mladen and his friends. They’re coming to Perth sometime, and you can go see. Sometimes when I’m prayingmeditating I feel like I don’t even need to breathe to survive. It’s a pretty great feeling. I test it for a while but then I start breathing again, just with a different grin on my face.
When I was a teenager out here in the southlands I read a book about learning to first stop eating meat, then stop eating animal everythings, then stop eating grains, vegetables, fruit, and then to just exist off the sun. I didn’t believe it, but the books were special that I used to get from my friend’s mum up the hill. When I went to their place I’d always do the dishes, and look at the astrological charts on the pantry door, and me and my friend would paint and draw on her walls about bands we liked and waves and whitewash. She was allowed to smoke weed at home, which was quite a treat and magically left her intact for school.
This week a few things happened which were new for me. I saw a girl lift up her shirt to show her really soft looking white boobs while Hamjam/Char Kway Pals were playing at the Rosemount, just dancing and lifting up her shirt, while I danced nearby with other small people and our new 7 foot friend. I walked out to a headland alone, too, with big headlands, cliffs, rocks, islands, a lighthouse, big wild coast, swells bigger than horses stacked up on top of each other all around. Maybe I’ve gone there alone before, but I can’t remember.
We had Magnolias for Revelation Film Festival, that’s our live talk show that makes more sense in Matt’s shed, but we bring it out in public sometimes. The Film Festival ask us to interview the guests they’ve brought over, proudly letting their bodies be in view for people to connect with their films in a different way. I do a segment at Magnolias called “The Love Seat with Amber Fresh” and the man pictured was one of our guests. Tristan did a beautiful interview with him, it was all poetry coming out of his mouth, and cheeky answers about weed, and real answers about playing an indigenous person from a different area and what decisions to make for acting roles that will or won’t influence people’s opinions in good and bad ways about his people.
My theme music came on and I got up from the audience with a flower and started walking towards him up on the stage, Mark Coles Smith, from the movie Last Cab to Darwin. Matt said all the women in the cinema lobbies had been fainting around him, and Matt’s mum whispered in my ear that his grandfather was a pearl diver. I started walking over and our eyes met. He kept looking into my eyes as I approached and I kept looking into his, and all the rest of the room melted away. I got to the stage, gave him the flower and he said “So, do we dance?” So we slow danced there on the stage, our arms around each other, him holding me very very tightly, me touching his very gelled hair at the back of his neck, he gave me a kiss, and then we sat down for the questions but mainly just looked into each other’s eyes. Yes, this really happened. Not sure if I was breathing. I’d forgotten that he kissed me but Matt reminded me later… It was all a blur of some strange meeting through the eyes. A wet, glassy knowing. His minders whisked him out of the door at the end. Should I have gone too?
I calmed down by the time the people from Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites were on stage – an hour later. The director and star. I asked them if they were in love, and they floated around the topic but told me later, and I told them away from the microphones who I love, and all their crew smelled my hair. The director Platon Theodoris joked about telling everyone my secret but I fell to his feet and begged him not to. And in this way I felt like we became friends.
I haven’t seen any of the films from the festival yet, but my friend Benjamin Witt has. He sent me a facebook post about a couple of the films that he decided not to put up because of it being pointless anyway, and not wanting to get drawn into flippancies. It can be like that, you put something deep and real in public and people just make jokes. Or you make a joke and people talk about it forever. So, he just sent the post to me. And now, I just send it to you for two film recommendations and a personal reflection:
“Last night I watched “Tehran Taxi”, a film by Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi. Panahi has been banned from film making in his country but has continued to create, including smuggling a film out of Iran via USB lodged in a cake. Taxi is a sardonic car ride made with a few go-pros mounted to the dash board & a small hand held cannon used by the actress playing his niece, for a school project. There are rules to her project, for example, heroes must have Islamic saints’ names & there must be no portrayals of “sordid reality”. It’s an interesting film & a little insight into Iran but more so a criticism of censorship & control on expression. I recommend watching it. I also watched a documentary about the Indonesian military slaughtering those perceived as communists in the late 60’s, which proposed that this history had often been and still is distorted, leaving a feeling of discontent amongst their society. Both films had anonymous credits. I’m not trying to draw parallels and suggest we live under some kind of oppressive regime/one of equivalence, I feel very fortunate for living here, but with the recent news of the detention centre gag order, I hate to think that truth can be dealt with as some kind of a privilege, rather than a right. It makes you acknowledge & respect the bravery of those putting their ass on the line to defend truth for the safety and dignity of others, and the universal importance of transparency. I usually prefer not to post opinion, in fear of it seeming like pontification, so to end on a lighter note, if I engage with you in an environment of beer and trash talk, please remember that the truth is over-rated in this setting. Signed, Long Post Stew.”
P.S. Everyone looks at each other’s photos and thinks everyone else is having a good time… But the truth is, the people who are having a good time are the ones just looking out for and loving other people, freely, fully… Following their deep intuitions that are always for the benefit of others and the earth… I think that’s the way it goes… Don’t trust the photos, trust your lil heart.