Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Images of eye and mind

Last Saturday I went to a birthday gathering for my friend. I wore my pirate outfit. To clarify, this consisted mostly of some boots that I bought a while ago with no heels (balance is not one of my strong points) and a turn down flap at the top, as well as a plaid skirt that I bought in an op-shop. When I bought it, the skirt had no waistband, only a stretch of fabric with raggedy edges. I cut it and sewed it over before I moved out & away from my mother's sewing maching. I wore it to the outing with the elastic held together inside by a giant safety pin that used to hold up my nappies. Appropriate? Almost.

I also wore a white shirt with a bunch of buttons down the front and a mandarin collar that my Grandmother second-handed to me a few years ago. Then I added a sea-shell necklace that one of my friend's gave me as a parting gift when I left China, and some earings that my sister gave me on my return. They are shaped like tiny cutlasses, and I have never worn them before. They prompted my friend to tell me that I looked 'like a carribean princess'. I took that as a good thing, but you never know with her...I didn't have anything appropriately petticoat-like, but actually that might have been going too far, anyway. Baby steps.

I'd apologise for what is a very out-of-character monotribe about clothing and accessories, but this is my blog, dammit, and making an outfit counts as craft, I've decided. Anyway, the upshot is that I looked cool, felt cool, was cool. That outfit rockes. I am definately wearing it again, and I absolutely longed for a camera, partly because I wanted to share the effect with blogland, since I feel that this coolness was only made possible by the things I have seen here, and partly because I wanted to share it with my future self, to say 'see? You can wear interesting things and look good in them'

I caught the bus into town, and then I walked to North Adelaide. I walked along King Willian Street, past Parliament House. I passed the Festival Theatre. Boy, I've had some good times in that building, seen some great things. If you click on this link, you can see a 360 degree view of the theater and surrounds. That big lawn was covered in people, mostly sitting in those ridiculous low chairs you get when people who like chardonay go to outdoor events. It was, I found out later, the Symphony Under the Stars. There was a big stage set up on the lawn, and beautiful sounds were coming from it, violins sounding like they are supposed to - lush and mournful and joyful and deep. The top of the stage had one of those generic white awnings over it that you get at outdoor concerts, and it was all lit up with blues and purples, contrasting beautifully with the bright orange of the sky. Just behind the stage was the Torrens river, and a huge flock of seagulls was circling over it, seeming to swirl above the stage, as if catching the riffs; or maybe flocking for a rare musical treat. The Torrens itself was beautiful - yes, I know, shocking! But in the twilight you can't see the rubbish and the wrong, wrong colour - you can just see the light glimmering and shimmering, the art installment of lit-from-the-centre paper boats (made of metal and plexiglass) and the fountain spurting away from the middle of the river.

I longed, longed for a camera. And then I thought about it, and I realised that although I could show you what was happening, I couldn't capture the graceful movement of the seagulls, the beauty of the ever-changing reflections from the water. I couldn't show you exactly how the colours in the sky were changing, or share the soft, warm breeze with you. A photograph can't tell you about the buzz in the air as people gathered in the warm evening, or how wonderful it felt to have space all around me, and nice things in that space.

I thought about how Telfair told me "Don't worry about not having a camera. You draw pictures with words" And I thought about how, even though these words still can't quite tell you how wonderful it was to be there, then, they can do a better job of it than pixels can. At least in this instance.

A picture is sometimes worth far less than a thousand words. As I walked past the statue of Don Bradman, I considered how a photo of said statue wouldn't begin to tell you about all the associations that sparked off in my mind - or about how I immediately looked to the other side of teh road, where I could not quite see the war memorial and its rose gardens.

I guess some things need pictures. Others need words.

That said, I am looking forward to next week when I will be going out and purchasing a camera. Probably not the uber-expensive one I am lusting after. But a halfway decent one. Because, you know what? I would still love to have photos of that night. I would like to have them for me, because I do know what that statue means to me, how it felt to be there. And I have a terrible memory. An image is only worth as many words as you have to explain it.

BTW, in case you were wondering, the party was good. Nice dinner, nice people, then we went out to a club where I got hit on by and old guy named Dominic. Clubs are sooooo not my thing...

1 comment:

telfair said...

Hey! See? You did it. I totally saw that party & wished I was there.

(Also saw your pirate outfit in my mind's eye, which was pretty bleedin' cute!)