" 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 from the sun 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 about 25 km 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 Richmond, 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 home town 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;-) 
This video below is a good example of what I'm on about here until that last guy in the clip throws his paranoid two cents worth into the mix.
The graveyard at the back of St.John's in Richmond, Tasmania

St.Luke's Anglican Church, Richmond, Tasmania

Inside St.Luke's Anglican Church, Richmond, Tasmania

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 it's PO Box number, too.
PO Box 42 


Dennis/87 said...

Crucifix, instrument of torture. No-thing to worship there. 87

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

I've noticed that you seem to have a hang-up about crucifix imagery Dennis.
I've nailed it haven't I?-)
I see the tortured image of Christ on the cross as more of a soul overcoming the physical world of pain and suffering (that the Buddha raves on about), either imposed by the world, others, or self/or all of the above, on the physical plane and that soul trans-ending to the spiritual plane.
We all have our own cross to bear in life...and overcome.
No one gets out of here alive, as they say.