" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

August 31, 2016

Reflections and Refractions of Richmond

A pink VALIS like beam hitting my iPod lens in Richmond, Tasmania
Pink light reflecting off the roof and
coming through the window of
St. Johns
Richmond is a town in Tasmania north-east of Hobart, in the Coal River region, between the Midland Highway and Tasman Highway.
The town was initially part of the route between Hobart and Port Arthur until the Sorell Causeway was constructed in 1872.
Richmond's most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 to 1825, around the time of the town's first settlement. 
It is Australia's oldest bridge still in use.
  The Richmond Bridge in
, Tasmania, Australia

I stopped to have a look around Richmond on my way from Port Arthur to Launceston
I was heading for Melbourne that weekend to see my AFL football team Brisbane Lions play the Richmond Tigers at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) as luck would have it, as my plan was just to see a game at the MCG, as I had never been there before.
And my hometown team just happened to be playing there also that weekend, so the stars seemed to be lining up for me on my travels.
My ticket for the weekend game at the MCG
Watching my team take on the Richmond Tigers
at the MCG, June 2016
The Richmond team I was going to see take on my Lions in Melbourne on the weekend had nothing in common with this district in Tasmania though, apart from the name Richmond and the game of football they played.

The Richmond football club in Tasmania,
above and below
The Tasmanian town of Richmond did have a footy team named Richmond, but they weren't associated with tigers in their name, as far as I could tell.
My interest in checking out the town of Richmond didn't have anything to do with the local footy club though, I stopped to look at the stone bridge and then a white duck in the river caught my eye reminding of Michael Leunig's cartoon duck.
Which started me musing on my inner duck and almost made me feel guilty for eating duck when I was in Hobart, like I wrote about in this post -
Looking over the stone bridge in Richmond
while amusing my inner duck
The Brisbane Lions nearly ended up
with a wooden spoon
this season, too
Seeing the white duck in the river and thinking about 
Michael Leunig's "inner duck" cartoons put me in a reflective mood and the scenery in Richmond was heavenly and so picture book perfect that my camera couldn't do it anywhere near justice. 
Richmond's St. John's Catholic Church
looking from the stone bridge
I then saw St. John's Catholic Church from the bridge and since it was the oldest church in Australia I just had to go and take a look inside.
Richmond's St. John's Catholic Church
Seems that the "shop" is open today,
but not the church
But while the front door of the church was open, so you could purchase souvenirs, the main door past this point was locked, so I couldn't get inside to see the altar and stained-glass windows.
I had to buy a $5 fridge magnet to see what the stain glass windows in the church looked like.
I liked the magnet of the stain glass window, because to me it looked a bit like a pair of owl like eyes were staring over the figures below.
So, these interior shots above of inside St. John's I had to pinch off other internet sites, since I couldn't get in on the day I was there to take any photos.
Manfred Weil's hand carved cross
hanging on the wall in
St. John's
I also picked up an informative little magazine about the church for another $5 and an angel pen for another $10 and a crucifix icon. 
I have to admit though, that I only bought the above crucifix because years ago I had read in some book about subliminal messages how the way the abdominal muscles are painted on the Jesus in this artwork makes it look like he has a massive organ sticking out of the top of his pants, and whether it was an accident or not by the artist, I think the author of that book brought up a big talking point in this artwork, pardon the pun;-)
The graveyard at the back of St. John's
in Richmond, Tasmania
St. Luke's Anglican Church,
Inside St. Luke's Anglican Church,
At least the doors to St. Luke's Anglican Church were open when I was there, and I could take my own photos of the interior.
But it wasn't until I got home to Brisbane and was looking at the photo of the pink beam in the photo that I took of St. John's right up the very top of this post, and looking at the pink light on the roof of St. John's in the other photos above, while reading a passage of Jeff Kripal's book, 'Authors of the Impossible' in his chapter about French author Jacques Vallee, where Jeff writes, "He [Jacques] proposed an analogy, the analogy of stained glass for what he called "hereneutics in action," that is, an interpretation of higher-level symbols from the point of view, and for the benefit, of the common person.
He spoke specifically of how stained-glass windows are able to refract an infinite cosmic light that has traveled from untold distances and times before it takes shape in the glass and is able to express itself in the human symbolic language of metaphor, symbol, and word.
He also spoke about how the light of the imaged windows is never the same.
It is different each day, each hour, even each minute, as the sun moves overhead and beams down at different angles and with different intensities."
That put my trip through Richmond into an entirely different light for me, as I always liked the quote that, "you can never step into the same river twice", but now I know with Jacques reflective thoughts that I can't even look at the same river, or stained-glass window twice.
Oh ... and I should point out that St. John's postal address is very "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when it comes to its PO Box number, too.
PO Box 42 

August 30, 2016

The Sick Bag Song

A sick bag from 'The Spirit of Tasmania'
and Nick Cave's book
While on the return leg of my road-trip to Tasmania and back I picked up Nick Cave's book, 'The Sick Bag Song', which is a book I never knew existed until I saw it on the bookshelf of Collins books in Armidale.
A Gothic looking church at night in Armidale
"The Sick Bag Song chronicles Nick Cave's 2014 tour of North America with The Bad Seeds. The account of this 22-city journey began life scribbled on airline sick bags and grew into a restless full-length epic, seeking out the roots of inspiration, love and meaning."
I had bought a ticket to see a movie at the Belgrave Twin cinema and had an hour to kill, so I went for a walk around town and came across the Collins bookstore and decided to check out their book range and found Nick Cave's book on the shelf.
To be honest if it wasn't for the title of Nick's book, I probably never would have bought his book, it was only because I still had three sick bags from the ship I had traveled across and back to Tasmania in my luggage and saw this as a sign to buy Nick's book.
While on the ship I thought I might possibly have to use one, or two ... or three of the sick bags, but my fears weren't justified because I didn't even come close to being sick on the ship -
I Sat by the Ocean
But, it was a passage I flicked to at the start of the book where Nick recalls being stuck for two hours in traffic, while helicopters flew overhead that sold me on buying this book, as I was held up for two hours in a road accident that had a helicopter flying overhead while I was trying to get out of Nick's former home city Melbourne while on my way to the town of Eden. 
On the road to Eden from Melbourne,
Lakes Entrance, 237km to go
I wrote about the two road accidents that held me up on my way down and back in this post linked here -
Road Trip #2
The crash outside Melbourne which
closed the highway for two hours
Nick even writes about the blue tarpaulin the police used to cover up a fatality as they drove past later, and I had to drive past a blue tarpaulin in a crash I was lucky not to have been killed in further up the road, when I nearly got slammed up the back of a stationary bus by a four-wheel drive.
The crash outside Gosford which
nearly claimed my car, as well
I didn't know it until now, when I looked Nick up on Wikipedia, but Nick
was 19 when his father was killed in a car accident.
I did know though that Nick's teenage son died falling off a cliff while on LSD last year, because I had written this post last year when I knew Nick was writing the script for the new Crow movie re-boot -
Crow Re-make? Will It Be Cursed Too?
But the thing that really struck me after finishing 'The Sick Bag Song' was the book's main theme is about a young boy who has to leap off a railway bridge where the fall may kill him or be run over by the train coming. 
Nick describes it later as leaping off the world's edge.
I had also been reading Jeff Kripal's book 'Authors of the Impossible', which is about authors who have written about events that seem to come true in their own lives in the near future, as if the authors had foreseen the event in their subconscious somehow and put it into their writing for it to unfold soon after. 
I have to say 'The Sick Bag Song' was a rather eerie read knowing what happened to Nick's teenage son the same year the book was released.
Not only that, but a guy leaped off the same car ferry I had sailed back from Tasmania on the next night as it was sailing back to Tassie, and he spent an hour in the freezing water before going under the ship and disappearing, and still hasn't been found as of this day.
I couldn't help thinking of the Chris de Burgh song, 'Don't Pay the Ferryman', where Chris sings about not paying the ferryman until he gets you to the other side.
Nick also refers to another Ferry man and Nick's unborn twins in his chapter 'Denver, Colorado', which he reads in the You Tube below.
I can't imagine (and don't want to) the pain of losing a son, even though I believe in life after death.
I feel very sorry for Nick and his family and can well understand how he feels trapped in a living hell, which is how the original author of 'The Crow' came to write the graphic novel in the first place, as a way of expressing his anger at a drunk driver killing his girlfriend in a motor accident.
Director of Nick Cave film reveals the musician was ‘trapped’ after son’s tragic death
Life can be sickening at times and that ride can be a long one and this is one read that will haunt me the rest of my life, just like the events I saw and read about on my road-trip and boat ride over the cold black ocean that a man would lose his life in -