Monday, September 28, 2009

Life as a painting

View from Cooktown hill, Cape York looking toward Cape Bedford

Life as a painting

It is good to know that the annual Hope Vale Pelican project that normally Pelican has been involved in is right at this moment happening on Ellim Beach. Just around the cape in the image above!

Pelican Expeditions has had an incredibly rough year really. We have lost one of our key people (and friend!) to cancer, lost our funding for a cornerstone project and struggled with solving issues around a report which we had commissioned and which turned into a complete nightmare. This nightmare took up most of our resources to resolve and resulted in us landing in a dead end of academic parsimonious silence. Just as we picked ourselves of the floor and took some heart in the ongoing energy of projects to come, my younger sister began a fight for life with a secondary cancer diagnosis. She has had a very unlucky journey with the disease and is now suffering terribly from the impact of bone and liver cancer.

My own struggles to pursue what I see a positive projects in the world begins to fade into insignificance in the face of the ongoing suffering of someone close to me.

Last night I sat beside her in a big public hospital as she finally seemed to reach some kind of rest after an exhausting day of medical procedures and pain. The cool blue light of the hospital night was punctuated with the beeps, moans and sighs of patients and machines. I sat there, conscious that I could be conscious without pain and aware of the more settled breathing of my sister. Thankful for that respite but alert to the next wave of potential suffering. I felt it all today as I threw myself physically at my garden. As if to compensate for the hours of passive suffering of my sister, I tugged, pulled, carried, dug and chopped through the endless tangle of weeds, ivy and clutter around my house.

And life as a still painting, life as a balance of forces, life as a still life, life tilting into imbalance with our first world settled bargaining with nature, tilts.