4.8.07

For a while now I've been wanting to write about the flour mill. Called Mungo Scott. I used to see its sign from the train when I came into town from the Central Coast to write a film script that would never be made. It was called Blue Fields but the flour mill sign was ambiguous, a C or a G? It still is: Munco or Mungo? When I was younger I had a dog called Mungo, after Mungo Park the Scots explorer. Some kind of retriever though I never hunted him. I did fabricate a pedigree, said he was a Lord Park Hound. Some of my classmates thought it was so and that was the first time I knew the quandary of a liar believed. Have re-sought the experience, never without trepidation, always with the wariness deliberate ambiguity breeds. Yesterday when I paused on the bridge I could smell the wheat smell on the damp air. Was reminded of when we used to feed the chooks, throwing them handfuls of the grain. Many pigeons on the wires and a train on the line, stopped, a red light on the last truck. The red light was my baby, the blue light was my mind. Or should that be the other way round. There was no blue light, but I paused anyway, thinking the train might pull out of the siding and go but it didn't. The ambiguity I live in now is not deliberate but no less confusing for that. I know I will never know the truth. Once I was on the bridge thinking about birds on wires as musical notes, Ezra Pound via Leonard Cohen if such a thing can be. Well of course it can. Another time, a Sunday, the pigeons were feeding on wheat thrown down on bare ground outside for them. There were spotted doves too but they are shy. Where is this going? The flour mill is painted cream, it is large, with well-tended gardens, functioning security but here and there, as in all industrial complexes, there are strangely neglected parts, sheds and things: I am particularly drawn to those corrugated iron structures that cling to the high and far off roofs of the silos, what are they for? Who works, or lives, in them? Sometimes at night there are lights burning there. If I went out now, would I smell the wheat smell, see the grain swelling in the wet air, the bursting of the seed, the radical and the plumule? Is it my heart that goes like that, whether I am at the bridge over the flour mill or here, now, writing? Swollen, I mean, bursting, sending a root down one way and a green shoot up the other? And how could it be otherwise? You cannot live by bread alone.

2 comments:

jacky said...

... I find in your words a sense-ational Proustian reverie, those recollections, eidetic images, and of course the olfactory mnemonics! Triggers of their own which send one upon various trails back through places, impressions, of journeys by train and the Litany of Signs passing by, the curious language of placenames ...

Martin Edmond said...

in Malacca they serve a dessert made of wheat grains soaked in coconut milk with a bit of sugar added ... olfactory mnemonics there too ...