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EMISSARY TO PARIS: THE BORDER COLLIE AND THE SHELL

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

EMISSARY TO PARIS: THE BORDER COLLIE AND THE SHELL

Andrew Ryan

“move freely, move freely”. those are the words of a song that translates the universal declaration of human rights into something smaller, more like a tiny white shell than a beautiful border collie. both those things – the collie and the shell – have their purpose.

the shell’s purpose is to cover over a soft thing. to allow the small delicate animal to travel much further than otherwise it would have the capacity to do. capacity and authenticity – both beautiful cities. me, i’m in paris. along with other soft creatures i flew here in a shell. a big grey shell that guzzles oil, (let’s google together: shells, what are they made of? we stumble on wikipedia, which gives a poetic and beautifully devastating description: The shell is part of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out.)

all of us in the shell arrived in kuala lumpur. all of us were surely thinking the same thing, “boy, how lucky we are to move freely across the earth.” surely all of us were dreaming of the scenes at callais, and of the sbs series ‘go back to where you came from’, where wretched humans scrape the ground, shell-less and helpless, to reach a place where their soft parts will not be eaten or rot away.

what these people need is a border collie. the collie is fast, friendly, and has enough fur to transport maybe 3,000 tiny human slugs on its back. the slugs all climb on. when danger approaches, say, some human trafficking wolf with fake passports to offer and shiny teeth, the border collie snarls and puts its fur up. at the same time, all the helpless slugs are lifted by the fur upwards. they realise that together, them and the collie, they are formidable. the wolf – this time at least – backs away.

so, i am in paris. it was 6:30 pm and men were playing petanque by the station at Nation, huge bronze statue with gardens all around, and people on park benches by the flowers all around, and then pale yellow gravel all around on which the men of many ages and colours play this game. in perth we have shows sometimes at lawn bowls clubs. but here there’s no one carrying an amp toward the bowling men, there’s just the men. and a table of old guys set up just beside, outside on the gravel too, four men in a formation playing cards. you see, in my country, this doesn’t happen. i think in my country people are cooking chops before ‘masterchef’ starts.

my temporary housemate is a beautiful artist and sometimes nude model. we have already talked about love stories, many spiritual adventures and ideas, and have found out that from across the world we know some of the exact same people, people who like us can move around at will. this is a treat.

what do i wish you? that your shell is colourful and hard as a rock. and what do i wish you? that you would become a border collie, at the right time, as your spirit and the spirit of the earth wills you.

(clockwise from top left: fkevin in the metro reborn as a photo, passed by by a phantom in white; baguettes amongst the rubbish; flashing in the apartment mirrors; statues, bronzed in summer, bronzed in winter)