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May 31, 2008

Farewell Mingenew My Love

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This is but one of the many images stuck in my mind of this month that has simply blown me away. I have never experienced such tangible success in a community project, such cherishable people, such hospitality, warmth and generosity. I am simply blessed that I landed in Mingenew and was gifted with the friendships of so many. In what other situation can you enter a community and be welcomed into homes across it, have conversations about life with all walks of life and be loved for what you can bring to them too?
I've experienced the luckiest of things, an authentic immersion and a two-way exchange. Words let me down... but I know that this month's effect on me will be very real in my future decisions on family and lifestyle.

I drove away from Mingenew this morning listening to the melancholy sounds of Mogwai. I said all my goodbyes last night at the exhibition (the final group hug sending me off crying to bed). I chose to leave it as just me today, packing up the car and heading off down the long long road alone.
By the time I got to Great Eastern Highway it was pouring. The ridiculousness of having driven 3 hours south from a drought ridden community to be hit with rain so heavy that I couldn't see through my windscreen, was a bit much on the already peaking senses.

As I listened to an old song about home, I thought of the home I just left and felt the tear of my departure. The love I feel for my new friends was shown as I joined in with the rain and cried heartbrokeness.

We all have to accept endings and know that life is full of them. Nothing lasts forever, and if it did, we wouldn't appreciate it anyway. The ends being pain only due to the beauty of the time we had before. The shorter, the sweeter, the sadder.

I try to remember to smile that I was able to have the experience, not cry that it is over.

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[current mood] Mark Knopfler / Emmylou Harris - This is Us & Mandarins from a Roadside Stall

Posted by natalija at 5:09 PM | Comments (2)

May 5, 2008

The Mingenew Project

This May I'm living in the mid-west Australian town of Mingenew.
A three and a half hour drive north of Perth.

I'm teaching photography and creativity to whoever in the community is keen. We're all contributing to a collection of views of this place. Farmers, teachers and sport fanatics who reside in this drought-ridden place are taking part to share what they love, what they live with, what they do, here, in Mingenew.

Here are some photographs from my very first workshop, by some farmer's wives.

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The on-going website is www.mingenewproject.com

I'll be back on my blog after that.
Although I may have some random tidbits to share... like a little video of my car stuck on the railway tracks in an extreme error of driving due to blinding sun. That was a fun start to the trip...

[current mood] Meat Stew & Country AM radio

Posted by natalija at 5:44 PM | Comments (0)