11.6.09

long life light

In the kitchen the dim light of the future discloses a practical infinity of meals: fish pies, legs of lamb, Mexican sausages, chicken curries, pasta sauces, potato bakes, rump steak with garlic and mushrooms, pork chops served with broccolini or sugar snap peas, tuna salads, satay sticks plus all those uncountable sandwiches, cups of coffee and tea, glasses of wine and whatever else will pass through here. It is of course the same looking in the other direction, towards the past that was more brightly lit but otherwise unattainable, its food and drink having performed their casual alchemy. Cooking is perhaps what made us human after all, fire unlocking the extra nutrition so that our brains could grow. On the high shelves, a putti, a glass jug with a deep crack in it, the base of a kerosene lamp with swallows flying around on it, a bowl made out of the wood of the jackfruit tree, 2 disused telephones, an empty packet of Gadang Garam, paints and brushes, methylated spirits, a folded Chinese lantern, a jar of one and two cent coins, a sandwich maker, a bottle of Ant Rid, a coffee pot and who knows what else? Laughing Buddha attended by wishbones, ginger jar with broken lid, that little pottery ball and bowl device that Toon Borren's sister made four decades ago now, two handleless cups from Malacca and a spiral shell lined up along the white tiles of the sill above the sink. And on the wall, kid's pictures below the big painting Lexie did of my sister, the photos she did it from yellow-tacked up next to that. The calendar in the shape of Australia stopped at the date of her death. The tape machine and the box of Irish tapes. Little Feat's Sailin' Shoes. My authority card and a pad of the forms a taxi driver must fill out every time he begins a shift. I'll be using them again come Monday. Unpaid bills stuck with magnets to the fridge, a scatter of words, likewise magnetised, that all have something to do with psychotherapy: Stuck With Fear In Deep Past, one sentence reads. I Lash The Manic Animal says another. Will Her Fast Love Gut Me? is a third. They sound good but mean nothing much. Just chance arrangements of the available words. A bowl of stones and a ceramic cat. Tennis rackets, flippers, a soccer ball and another that looks like it's for playing gridiron. That walking robot that doesn't walk any more. The ironing board and the iron, the brush and pan, a bag of rubber bands, where does all this stuff come from? (I know.) And that's not the half of it. A Rubik's cube with some of the coloured panels gone. The dry pod of a jacaranda tree that still, sometimes, lets a papery seed capsule fall. Candle holders in the shape of stars. One day I'll wash the floor, make those black patterned yellow linoleum squares shine again. One day I'll remove that patina of grease that covers everything with sticky. I'll clean out the fridge. One day ... but not this day, which is given over to contemplation of that bright and empty past, this cluttered present and the dim future, illumined only by the thin glow of an ecologically sound long life light bulb in which I will cook the meals I have cooked before and eat them elsewhere, out there, in company, at the table in the sitting room where the facetted windows give out onto the west and secret air that will be even more luminous then than it is now, replete, I am sure, not just with more than we know, but more than we can know.


2 comments:

artandmylife said...

Sitting here writing (typing) at my kitchen table I realise only Martin Edmond could describe a kitchen like this :-) Makes me smile.

Happy driving

Ian said...

yeah - a vintage piece, Martin - keep 'em coming...