Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Stand with me outside the house just before dawn on this pre-solstice morning.

Hear the morningsong of the birds as they communicate their experience of the night to each other. Weavers and Sparrows high in the register, all-over-the-place lyrically; Indian Mynahs imitating Crows from the middle distance,thinking they're being very funny, and further off, the crackle-grating of the Hadeda Ibis as another tree top bends beneath their weight.

But what is this undertone humming, coming from the South, coming from the rambling English Rose which has, so far, rambled over the entire shade veranda?

The Sisters are up early, it appears, and, collecting sweetness from the wide-open flowers, are buzzing their business as a bass note for the birdsong.

Now climb the misfit concrete stairs to 34 Melrose Boulevard a half-hour later, and open the flaunting - huge glass and metal doors to the atrium. What is that sound?
Buzzing, louder than the bees at work/play, filling the cavernous space before the elevators. Lighting, data wiring, telecommunications electronic gear. A toxic mimic of the Sisters on their morning rounds.

A toxic mimic is that which, while wholly artificial itself, purports to take the place of something natural in Our lives. So candy, for example,with its bright colours and sweetness, is a toxic mimic of the fruits and berries we used to forage for.Carbonated beverages are a toxic mimic of clear, fizzing mountain streams and underground springs. And buzzing data wiring is a toxic mimic of the hum of life.

What else can we discern as a poisonous substitute, aping the myriad forms of life affirmation?

Cars, trucks, motorbikes. Toxic mimics of our individuated Selves.

Once, we would communicate to each other the extent and state of our individuation through personal communication: this is Who I Am, this cycle. A pitbull, a pearl acacia, a godstruck human being.

Now, we use our vehicles - and our clothes (the entire fashion industry is a toxic mimic of individuation)- to tell ourselves who We Are. Look! I'm a macho male! A wealthy female! A fast-lane rider! Look how my vehicle gleams in the sun as it outraces yours! Look how much of my life energy I can afford to put into it!
Until we have identified our very souls with these artifacts. How sad.

Of course, there's always the view to be taken that our vehicles are disability aids for a flesh and blood species of Chimpanzee.

Look at the traffic around you sometime, and remind yourself that behind each steering wheel, glaring furiously about itself, is a Chimp. Guiding a couple of tons of burnished metal at breakneck speed.

If you don't roll on the floor laughing, I'll be very surprised indeed.