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

- Jake Kotze

August 22, 2018

What Are We Going to Do About the Ibis?

A "bin chicken" (AKA an ibis)
entertaining me at a
Byron Pub?
I saw an ibis shit on a table and
thought I was going potty:-)
I wrote about arriving at my motel on the Thursday just before the Byron Writers Festival and being greeted by a bush turkey in this post -
On Board the Byron Bay World's First Solar Powered Train?
The bush turkey that greeted me at my motel on arival
And while I did capture a photo of two bin chickens around the BWF 2017 sign when I left the Byron Writers Festival last year, I never really noticed that many ibis hanging around Byron Bay until this year where they seemed to me to be in my face, both literally and metaphorically.
This ibis I saw walking around the BWF this year
After my solar-powered train ride to Elements Resort and back, I sat down for a quiet beer in a Byron Bay pub to relax and look out to the surf, but then an ibis flew onto a table not far from where I was sitting and started doing a bit of a dance and then left a tip on the table that a poor waiter had to clean up afterwards.
Looks like Thoth is a shit writer like me
by the looks of what he left on the table:-)
Thoth, Writing, Books, Magazines and SubSCRIPTions?
Thoth the god of writing
 and other shit
After I left the pub I went for a walk to look for some food and to buy a few books from a bookstore in Byron.
The ibis has been given the nick-name of "bin chicken" in Australia, because of its habit of scrounging around for food, as depicted in this birthday cake pictured below.
Is Taronga Zoo responsible for Sydney's prolific ibis population?
"In the early 1970s, Taronga Zoo launched an experimental breeding program encouraging the Australian white ibis to roost in the grounds on Sydney Harbour.
At the time it was seen as an exciting opportunity, but could the zoo be held responsible for the rise of the much-maligned
bin chicken?

In 1973, just 19 ibis from Healesville in Victoria were held at the zoo and were encouraged to breed as free-ranging birds.
A report on the Taronga program unearthed by the

ABC RetroFocus project describes the ibis as being "among the most graceful and decorative of Australian birds".
Today, Sydney's
ibis population is estimated to be around 10,000.
Far from their graceful persona, the
bin chicken, tip turkey or dumpster diver of 2018 has gone through an enormous perception change.
Creatives are cashing in with creations like bin chicken earrings
The first book I saw as I walked into the bookstore was a book that had a pinkish coloured ibis on the cover, which at first I wasn't sure was an ibis, as I thought all ibis were coloured black and white.
The books I bought on the Thursday at Byron Bay
But after picking the book up I saw the first short story in the book was called 'The Hunter' and was about an ibis plague on a building site and the efforts of the builders to get rid of them.
And the first sentence in the first story in that book was, "Clearly, the question facing us is: what are we going to do about the ibis?"
I wasn't familiar with the stories from author David Cohen before seeing this book in the Byron bookshop, but I noticed in a blurb about the author that he was from my hometown of Brisbane.
His name didn't seem to be on the writers festival list, so it was one book that was going to come home unsigned, but I saw the ibis as a sign that I should buy the book anyway, and I'm glad that I did, because it was one of the best books that I brought home from 
Byron Bay.
And the funny thing about this pink billed ibis was that the singer P!nk was staying in the Elements Resort that I had just caught the solar-powered train to and back from and where the writers festival would be held at from Friday to Sunday.
Pink had picked up a virus and had to reschedule some concerts after a brief stay in Sydney's St.Vincent hospital after she had left Byron Bay.
Pink postpones third Sydney show after being admitted to hospital
The funny thing is that the second short story in 'The Hunter' is about hospitals in Australia as tourist attractions where people were picking up some mysterious virus that required them going to hospital and the only cure for the life of the patients that picked up the virus was to stay on the bland hospital food served in the hospitals.
The hospitals even were selling their food in supermarkets a bit like gluten free products that are sold in the real life supermarkets today for people with food allergies.
That short story was titled 'The Virus (Travel Notes)', a story I'm sure P!nk would find amusing now that she is better (well I hope she is better, because I have a ticket for tonight's show of hers).
UPDATE: Pink showed up and it was a great show.
UPDATE: Pink's concert in Brisbane tonight
The nosebleeds were bad up here tonight;-)
I didn't even know P!nk was in Byron Bay until the Saturday morning of the writers festival when Brigid Delaney told her WTF(?) P!nk story to us in her wellness talk with Sarah Wilson where both Brigid and Sarah had picked up a virus themselves and were both sick at the wellness talk.
I wrote about Brigid's P!nk story in this post recently and it is sure worth reading Brigid's story -  
And as I read more short stories from 'The Hunter' that more it started to synch with my life and current events.
In the story 'The Case of Nathan Gant' David tells the story of a man struck down with 'Jerusalem Syndrome', which I thought was another fake disease David had made up until I listened to
the Jason Louv podcast that week where he and his guest talk about 'Jerusalem Syndrome' and how it is a real thing that strikes visitors to Jerusalem.
Also weird in hindsight was I was having a talk to the nice German lady who sold me the books at the bookstore about books such as Graham Hancock's 'Supernatural' and she also told me about an author who had written a book about Hitler and I told her that I wasn't a fan since I have Jewish ancestry.
I told her that I wouldn't mind visiting Germany one day to look around the Düsseldorf area as my dad's father's family were from there.
She told me that Düsseldorf was the town that she was from too.
Then latter when I'm reading 'The Hunter' I find a story about a fake bus-stop in Düsseldorf outside an old age home where Alzheimer patients meet everyday to catch a bus that ain't coming. 
My father died in an old age home from pneumonia, but was suffering with Alzheimer's pretty bad for a whole year before he died, so it was probably a blessing he didn't linger on for years like some patients I had heard about.
But this story pictured above blew my socks off, as it's about a guy named Darren who rides the Eight Mile Plains bus from Brisbane City.
That's the bus I would have to catch home from the city if I caught a bus from there.
I wrote a post about Beatlemania just recently where a lady in the comments section of that post wrote that she gets me (Darren) and Dennis mixed up -
Mania Sets the Stage for Synchronicity?
Funny thing is that there is also a story called 'Pioneer' about a guy named Dennis in 'The Hunter'.
The last story in 'The Hunter' is a story titled 
'Look for the Silver Lining' about a guy named Duncan who accidentally saws both his hands off with an electric power-saw and has two hooks for hands, but Duncan teaches himself to play 
Jerome Kern's song 'Look for the Silver Lining' on a piano with his toes.
Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945)
I noticed that Jerome Kern passed away on November 11th, which is known as Remembrance Day in Australia and Poppy Day in England (the country Judy Garland passed away in).
Judy passed away in Belgravia (/bɛlˈɡreɪviə/) an affluent district in West London, shared within the authorities of both the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Chelsea is the home to a famous flower show by the way.
"On June 22, 1969, Deans found Garland dead in the bathroom of their rented mews house in Cadogan Place, Belgravia, London; she was 47 years old.
At the inquest, Coroner Gavin Thurston stated that the cause of death was "an incautious self-overdosage" of barbiturates; her blood contained the equivalent of 10 1.5-grain (97 mg) Seconal capsules.
Thurston stressed that the overdose had been unintentional and that no evidence suggested she had committed suicide.
Garland's autopsy showed no inflammation of her stomach lining and no drug residue in her stomach, which indicated that the drug had been ingested over a long period of time, rather than in a single dose.
Her death certificate stated that her death had been "accidental".
Supporting the accidental cause, her doctor noted that a prescription of 25 barbiturate pills was found by her bedside half-empty and another bottle of 100 was still unopened.
A British specialist who had attended her autopsy said she had nevertheless been living on borrowed time owing to cirrhosis, although a later autopsy showed no evidence of alcoholism or cirrhosis.
She died twelve days after her forty-seventh birthday.
Her Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger commented at her funeral, "She just plain wore out."
Forensic pathologist Jason Payne-James believed that Garland had an eating disorder, which contributed to her death."
Artwork on the walls leading to the 'Yellow Brick Road'
pavilion at the
2018 BWF
A section of the story 'Look for a Silver Lining'
from 'The Hunter'
On a personal level for me the story 'Look for the Silver Lining' takes place in a town named Des.
Des happens to be my late father's name, as well as the name of the guy who embalmed Judy Garland's body, Desmond Henley.
Ironically, Des Henley also passed away on 11 November in 2005.
A section of the story 'Look for a Silver Lining'
from 'The Hunter'
In the story 'Look for the Silver Lining' people of the town of Des started identifying themselves with Duncan and in the end of the story .... SPOILER ALERT ... a local artist cuts his own arm off to make a sculpture to Duncan, as these townsfolk believe only "disabled" people can make real art.
A Captain Hook stilt walker at the 2018 BWF?
I had read the last story in 'The Hunter' first on Thursday night, so when I got to the Byron Writers Festival on Friday morning waiting outside the coffee tent and a young lady on stilts dressed as 
Captain Hook pointing her hook at a gloomy looking cloud walks by me I just thought "WTF?
On the subject of art and hooks,
some more art at the
2018 BWF:-)
'Command Hooks', a story from 'The Hunter'?
One eerie synchronicity I had while reading 'The Hunter' was while reading the story 'Woodcutter', where the plot involves a tourism company hiring a fake woodcutter to stand beside a local steam train attraction and wave at tourists as the train goes by, pretending that he is just a friendly local about to trim a tree with a small chainsaw.
Puffing Billy is one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world
SPOILER ALERT: In the story the tourism company is worried that the bridge the train crosses over a deep valley is not structurally sound and since the government doesn't want to spend the money to upgrade the bridge the tourism company knows that soon the railway will have to cease operating, but one day as the train is crossing the bridge, the bridge gives way and one carriage with some tourists falls into the deep valley with the bridge and killing those on board.
I thought how terrible that would be to have a bridge collapse under you as you were crossing it only to see this real life bridge collapse pictured below on the news not long after reading that story.
Anxiety, Crossing Our Bridges When We Come to Them and a Plate of Shrimp?  
And while David Cohen's short story is based on a fictional railway, it wasn't hard too hard to figure out that it was inspired by the Puffing Billy train route.
"The Puffing Billy Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway in the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne, Australia.
The primary starting point, operations and administration centre, main refreshment room (also selling souvenirs) and ticket purchasing are located at Belgrave station."
I couldn't help noticing that you buy your tickets for the Puffing Billy at Belgrave station and that Judy Garland passed away in Belgravia in Chelsea, London.
I guess solar-powered trains are the way forward -
On Board the Byron Bay World's First Solar Powered Train?
The world's first solar powered train
Let's just say I had so many ibis encounters the weekend I was in Byron that I brought home this souvenir to hang on my wall from the Byron Writers Festival to remind me of that weekend.
Lailatrees, cards, prints, original artworks
I just wonder if I should hang it on my wall with command hooks;-)
The Metaphorical God of Good/Bad?
The Lailatrees tent at the 2018 BWF
This post has become longer than I wanted it to be, so I'll write about my other ibis encounters in some future posts.
And 'The Hunter' is a book that I certainly recommend reading.

Lance: Synchronicity and a Bad Omen?

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