Exploring Australia

I was born here.

I grew up in the country, attended school in the city
and learned about the Battle of Hastings, the American Indians, the Middle East Crisis, Nazi Germany…
I studied Italy, Antarctica, Britain, Vietnam, the Netherlands…

I began to explore Australia when I left.

In Holland
I came to know her soft, sunlit beaches and gentling sounds
and the inner peace born of hours alone with Nature.

In America
I realised her smell of Eucalyptus and unique breed of humour,
the pleasure of a yarn well-told
and the badge of honour worn with pride by the Battler
not the Victim.

In Italy
I discovered her rugged, rounded, crumbling mountains
telling of their ancient formation, back in the Dreaming,
older than all battles and kingdoms and men.

Germany
revealed her casual, laid-back, “it’ll get done” attitude;
her dismissal of traditional pomp and show.

In Austria
the thrill of her deep red dust, shifting and slipping under straining tyres:
the same danger as black ice.

In England
I detected her absence of white ghosts that constantly speak, almost
imperceptibly, of the past:
of births and lives and deaths and deaths
so that her wide horizon fills us with the desire and courage to make our mark
make our own story, our history.

Now, returned,
I sometimes find bits and pieces of the places I’ve travelled.
I learn more about this land
before the white man
and I understand that I can never know her fully
she will never show me all her secrets
and the history books keep getting written
– and re-written –
but I am content, in my imperfect knowledge,
to say that I love her
as she is.

Exploring Australia

Mieke Boynton

Joined October 2009

Artist's Description

Sometimes you have to experience ‘the other’ to fully recognise ‘the unique’…
Perhaps a little simplistic and a lot cliched… but truthful nonetheless.

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