Here’s a run down of what I’ve been up to.
Working at the museum has been quite painless and somewhat rewarding. The museum has about 6000 items. From vintage holdens and triumphs to rabbit traps, to massive blacksmith forge blowers, to the nails they make out of the moulds. The museum is broken up into different buildings. One section of the museum is a series of rooms: a saddlery, a carpenter’s room and a blacksmiths room. Tomorrow I’ll complete the blacksmith’s room, bringing the 1200 odd items of the BS room and carpenters room to a close. It is hoped that by next Thursday, I would have finished the 500 odd items of the Saddlery to a close.
A normal day I ride 5 kms to the museum. I mark and measure as many items as I can before the owner comes down (he can see my bike from his kitchen). I might try to photograph them as well, but usually that has to wait until afterwards. When Max comes down and asks: ‘What do you know?’ And I respond with the question ‘How are you?’ and he answers: ‘No use bloody complaining’ we get into it.
Max’s great grandfather first settled here in the 1850s after travelling around the south west for a while. The majority of the collection, or, shall I say, the collection is built around many of the old/antiquated tools and relics that date before the 1900’s. It’s interesting to entertain touching something that someone relied upon 150 years ago, but you soon get over it.
With sheets of paper separated into lined categories of name, item number, description, marks, dates, materials, dimensions, condition, importance we fill out sheets and sheets of these things until either Max or I get bored of it. With the sheets of paper I return home, sit in front of the computer and enter all the information. I’m supposed to do supporting research on the net to fill out the descriptions, but thus far I haven’t had great access to the net and also I haven’t really had enough time. Each item takes about 10 minutes each, give or take 2 or 3 mins. Today I completed item number 1119. Also I’m trying to get through as many items at this stage so I can do the research when I return to Perth to maintain an income while studying.
The first two weeks I was really emotional. For me, being in a beautiful place can be quite calming, but it also has ambivalent undercurrents. I’ll be standing on the beach, walking along the estuary startling 40 or so massive black swans that leave the white back of their feathers in a swath of stirred water, or Ill be watching the silhouette of the wind turbine in front of a rising Cajun moon, strips of dark clouds across the front of it. Or ill be half cut riding my bike in pitch black down a hill as fast as I can, the wind of the southern ocean pushing me faster while shitting myself that kangaroos might jump out in front of me, drunk enough not to care.
Yeah these moments bring about great bliss, sometimes what I might even call pure bliss. Freedom and the giving in and the letting go. The physical release of the mental pushing against the deliberate and accidental hurt of the hurtful events of the world. Acceptance of loss and no longer sharing. Sharing the loss with a tiger snake as it slithers over the hot road. Sharing the loss in the gain of a few runs, or a group huddle of cricketers after someone has taken a catch they made harder for themselves but dropping it the first time and snaffling it the second. There’s no thought there, but it’s made all the more meaningful when you’ve had the chance to be genuine and sincere with one another hitherto.
Working at the museum has been good, getting back into using the computer to make money. I’ve been thinking about uni a lot; gearing myself up mentally for the discipline required. I going to try to not squander this year, which should set me up nicely for the final semester in 2009.