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Living from the edge

Tomorrow makes for four weeks on the road. 3500km and we’re still in Queensland – but about to cross into the Northern Territory. I googled how far from London we’d have got if we drove East. We’d be past Istanbul by now. I smiled that big Aussie smile – only now, within this road trip becoming really aware – in a sensuous experiential way, of how big this country-these countries really are.

We’re heading to the Darwin International Community Development Conference – with the central theme of ‘from the edge’. This trip feels like I’m on the edge. A borderland space. Imaginary borders of states and territories, designed by Men. Yet still evoking a liminal space – from one place to another. From Queensland to the Territory.

The journey so far has felt edgy. Life on the road means you can’t always find stuff like you can at home. I sometimes feel on the edge of batty when I can’t find the matches....again. Living outsides makes for edgy – the weather becomes edgy. How cold at night? Rain approaching? How do we cope with the 2.30pm 33 degrees baking heat in Julia Creek? (we retreat to the library).

We've also spent four weeks enjoying the ‘edge’ of each day. Dawn and dusk – and noticing the difference between dawns and sunrise. Why is the dawn so beautifully orange and red – gorgeous in all its anticipation of the day? And then 30-45 minutes later the sunrises. Also gorgeous, but so different to dawn. These morning and evening edges – the liminal spaces between light and dark – are so alive with the song of life. Critters and birds, morning walkers and early-wakers, surfers, and sun lovers. Some days in Maleny I notice these liminal spaces. On the road, it’s obvious every day.

One of the edgy exchanges I have noticed is how the inner mirrors the outer, and the outer mirrors in the inner. And, as the landscape opens, so I find myself opening. The vastness of the Australian bush-scape reminds me of the vastness of the potential of our lives. The profound freedoms we can live, which in turn invites the ‘rigour of freedom.’ To be reminded of that Rilke image that many of us feel caged in our lives, yet we’ve created the cage we’re in – and we can leave the cage at any time. I find a freedom that is experienced as an expanding imagination. New images of changing landscape mirror new imaginative dreaming’s. I am reminded again of the idea of land as dreaming, or dreamscapes.

Edges are fertile spaces. From a permaculture perspective it’s the edges of biospheres – for example, the mangroves, the reefs, estuaries – that are the sources for food. Rich in exchange, they bubble with the source of so much life. And so, I open myself up to the exchanges that can happen in these liminal edgy spaces, anticipating the bubble of new life.

We now continue what we image as the Third Chapter of our journey. Into the Territory and turning towards Darwin. I continue to dialogue with edges, enjoying borderlands.



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