Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best Christmas Present

A few drops fell on Friday night, and yesterday afternoon, and then it rained all last night. The sound of heavy drops falling on my roof is something I haven't heard for what seems like months. The parched earth and thirsty trees are soaking it up. It is putting out the bushfires and bringing relief to all of us in this drought, and especially the people whose livelihood is directly dependant on the land. What better Christmas present could we have?

(Image from stock.xchng)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Money and Study and Time

With a HECS debt that could easily serve as a deposit on a house, and that is going to take me years to pay off, I am very glad that my current course is not adding to it. In fact, I simply wouldn't be able to do it if I had to pay. As it is, I am struggling to work enough to pay my bills, while having time to devote to my music. This year I think the balance was tipped too far towards money-work and not enough towards study-work, and as a consequence I didn't gain the results that I would need to get a scholarship for next year, which would mean that I would be able to do less money-work and consequently achieve more with my music.

It is a chicken-and-egg scenario - it is hard to continually devote the time it takes to excel in anything without having any financial assistance, and the financial assistance is impossible to obtain without achieving results that require large investments of time and energy.

It hasn't always been like this, though: this article in today's Sunday Age reminds me that the baby-boomers who are now running the system, and making it harder and harder for current students, had the benefits of free education, affordable housing and stable employment prospects.

(Image from stock.xchng)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Charn Sunset

The light from the setting sun was blood red on the trunks of the gum trees as I walked through Westerfolds Park this evening. The smoke from the bushfires is a feint haze in the air, but more than enough change the light to remind me of the old world of Charn, in C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, a book that I hadn't thought about for years.
Low down and near the horizon hung a great, red sun, far bigger than our sun. Digory felt at once that it was also older than ours: a sun near the end of its life, weary of looking down upon the world. To the left of the sun, and higher up, there was a single star, big and bright. Those were the only two things to be seen in the dark sky; they made a dismal group. And on the earth, in every direction, as far as the eye could reach, there spread a vast city in which there was no living thing to be seen. And all the temples, towers, palaces, pyramids, and bridges cast long, disastrous-looking shadows in the light of that whithered sun. Once a great river had flowed through the city, but the water had long since vanished, and it was now only a wide ditch of grey dust.
There are rivers and lakes in this country that are little more than dust, thanks to the drought, and with a Prime Minister who is gung-ho for nuclear power, is it so strange to think of a world being destroyed by "magic"?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brian Eno lecture

A couple of weeks ago, while I was up during the night suffering biological payback (why is it always that the women suffer while men get off scott free?), I distracted myself from my discomfort by listening to this lecture by Brian Eno, as part of the BBC's Free Thinking series. Brian Eno is a fascinating chap, and an excellent speaker, and this lecture prompted me to continue my musings about time, particularly in relation to his Long Now project.