Writers Q & A

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Are you interested in writing? Want to know more about more about A View From Moving Windows process? Then you should definitely come on to the A View From Moving Windows performance on Wednesday night (24th of October). It will be followed by a Q & A session with our very entertaining writers. Make sure you book early as this performance is likely to sell out fast!

Book tickets here.

 

Pictures from A View From Moving Windows

 Here are some pictures from A View From Moving Windows.
These amazing images are by the incredible Marnya Rothe.
Make sure you’ve got your tickets

Pip Smith

The amazing Pip Smith, founder of Penguin Plays Rough, has written us a blog entry!

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

About three hours ago I was on the train coming back from the airport. At central, this guy in a suit sat next to me and started talking just as I was punching out a text. He said, “I have just realised my job doesn’t make me happy.” His eyes were slightly yellow, and i wondered if he had been drinking. I said, “what do you do?” “I look at discrepancies between shipping lists. Logistics. I work for a Korean company. I want to work for an Australian company. In Korea we have it all wrong. In Australia the emphasis is on being happy and relaxing. In Korea the emphasis is on being strong.” I said, “I’m not sure you got that right – about Australia.” At Wynyard, an elderly businessman sat next to us, so we had to squeeze right up against the window. I asked the Korean man, “When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?” He leaned in towards me and whispered, “a monk”, I said “sorry, what?” he said “a monk.” He lifted up his wrist and showed me the bracelet he was wearing. “I’m Buddhist. When I was younger, I visited a temple and saw Buddha’s face. It made me so calm. His face – it wasn’t warm or cold.” “It was neutral?” “Yes. Are you a Buddhist?” I said, “No. I’ve never really understood the whole ‘letting go of desire’ thing. It’s always struck me that desire can sometimes be a beautiful thing. Desire can motivate you. And attachment. Attachment to your children, surely that’s a good thing.” He said, “I see what you mean, but I think you’re confusing desire and compassion. Love and attachment. You can watch your friend die and you feel a great amount of distress. You watch a beggar die and…” He shrugged “maybe you feel bad only for a little while. You think your friend belongs to you, but he doesn’t.” I was stunned. How did he know Tim had just died? “So, what’s your major?” He asked “I’m sorry?” “What do you study?” “How did you know I’m a student?” “I can just tell.” The businessman sitting next to us shifted his newspaper, pretending to read it, but he hadn’t turned the page in some time. After a pause I asked, “Well, can you quit when you go back to Korea? Can you become a monk?” He said, “No. My family.” “Ah, I see.” “My family cause me distress.” “Distress??” “They want me to have babies. But I don’t want to marry.” I said, “Oh yes! I know about that.” And we sat in silence. At North Sydney the aisle of people re-configured itself with muted apologies. As we passed the next stations, he told me about the moon, that at the full moon you can attend tea ceremonies in temples in Japan – and that when you drain a cup, you clear your mind. He told me he’d studied martial arts in Hong Kong because he loved Bruce Lee and that he’d visited India and learned that they came up with the number 0. He told me that a mango grows the way it grows by a chance meeting of sun and rain and other things, and that it also starts from zero. That everything is a product of its context. We were standing by the pond at St Leonards station for about 5 minutes while he started telling me that we are cheated by the world because we can’t see the stars during the day, even though they are there the whole time. I’m not sure what he meant by this, but he was so illuminated by what he was saying I decided to walk with him in the direction of the place he was staying. Turns out he was also staying in Greenwich. He told me that heaven is right here, and that you shouldn’t turn the past into a cliche, and that our minds are full of the future so we miss out on the present. He turned and asked me, ‘do you believe in platonic love?’ And I said, ‘yes.’ And he laughed and said, “Ah! You understand!” When we reached the intersection of Greenwich Rd and the Pacific Hwy I had to leave him. We shook hands. He asked me my name, I said “Pip” He said, “I am Rocky. Rocky Mountain,” and he walked down Greenwich Road.

Rocky Mountain, thanks for the excellent conversation.

Sam Atom Stewart

Sam Atom Stewart has written us a blog post on this special of special days! Sam is a writer who currently living in the south west suburbs, and keeping a daily commute that stretches to Bankstown & the city, Sam is a well established train commuter and has loved watching ‘A View From Moving Windows’ develop, bringing poetry to to the often mundane experience of rail travel. 

Trains are impassive. They don’t wait and they’ll take their time if they need to.
They are a number of adjoining boxes with rules that deliver you places. Sometimes when they promised they would.

I don’t drive a car. And I have a lot of places to be that expect things of me. So I live on trains.

Almost every day I embark, quickly sniff out my territory, and dutifully wrap my bubble tight around me. My smart phone, bag and parcel, blank face bubble which shields the primal part of my brain that hates this. All the closeness to other strange animals I don’t know and can’t truly predict. And then I am mostly switched to another channel for the majority of the journey. However, intermittently, I do notice something worth seeing. Someone’s sparkle peeks through to touch me. Stimulate my curiosity. I think it’s easy to fall in love with people on trains. Momentarily. Get taken by a certain angle of them.
The carriage is a strange place. A war zone at times. Of egos. Of social acceptances.  What is acceptable to you? Will you eat? Drink? Conduct your mobile conversation? Clip your finger nails? What’s your limit for PDAs? If you’re both quiet… how far will you go? Would you have the gall to light up?

It is a shell of a place. You fill it with yourself. All your moods and thoughts and dramas. And everyone else’s’. But, stand or sit next to the right person and something interesting might happen.

I had a day like that. A  moment. Just this year. A journey with someone special.
So. There we were. Standing. Facing each other in the crowded space. And we stood. And we shook with the vibrations of the carriage. Then one smiled and the other stepped closer, their bubbles merging.

Hands lightly resting on hips and wrists. Forehead on forehead. And… lips, just so damn gently, on lips.

My eyes lock on your eyes. Then close. Catching the moment just as it is. Breathing into it. Opening it up. Growing a tentative landscape around it. Delicate. Soft. Unfolding and building.

And I can feel it. Deep and wide and tender. All the love my heart thinks it’s capable of. What is this? Is this the train? Is this you? Is this us?

My mind wandered to our cell mates. Their scandalised looks? The clack of the train on the tracks. But then I let them fall away. Our world is better.

We are the pulsating core of this moment. We become everything. This moment is made of cinema. Breath and touch and time ebbing away by inches.

We have stations only. Stanmore… ”(breathe in…) ”Newtown… ”(breathe out…)”Macdonaldtown ”(breathe in…) ”Redfern… ”(breathe out…) ”And then it’s over. You pull away. You disembark.

I dreamily survey the terrain. Gauge the atmosphere. All seems fine. Unaffected. How bizarre.

The train continues on to Central, still seemingly impassive. The people too, seemingly apathetic. And I, seemingly calm and quiet. But I’m not. I’m sparkling.

Friends in Unexpected Places

On the train home last night, I asked a young artsy man if I could take a picture of him. I wanted a picture of someone looking out the window, looking wistful, for the blog. I had realised from past experience that it was better to ask first. I have had my fair share of people getting annoyed or confused or thinking I was some sort of pervert. This stranger looked like a creative type, so I thought he might be willing to sacrifice a moment for the Arts.

The man obliged without a question. Then I asked if I could film him looking out the window.
‘You want me to play?’ He replied, gesturing towards the guitar that was sitting next to him.
I hadn’t thought to ask but encouraged him to do so. In between the few stops left he improvised a song. I told him about A View From Moving Windows and he told me quickly about the band he had just gone to practice for. The bands name was ‘Liam Gale and The Pony Tails‘. The band consisted of him, two girls (with pony tails) and four boys (one with pony tail).

It struck me as a wonderful example of how train travel can make us reach out to people we wouldn’t usually interact with. The fact that Liam happened to be a musician was a happy accident and trains are full of those.

Partly inspired by ideas brought up by Augusta’s interview with TheMusic.com.au, I wanted to urge those of you who are going to A View From Moving Windows to catch the train in. It’ll save you petrol and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have your own train travel experience. It is in these unexpected moments that we can find laughter, friends, new music tastes and find ourselves feeling a little more connected with the world.

 

 

Alternative Media Group of Australia

 

 The Alternative Media Group of Australia talked to Augusta about A View From Moving Windows. Check out the article here.

Miles Merrill

Miles Merrill is the creative director of the literary arts organisation, Word Travels. He is also a writer, performer, facilitator and event co-ordinator who combines poetry with theatre, experimental audio, hip-hop beats, stand-up and, occasionally, political confrontation. This is an extract from a three part group poem that was performed at The Riverside Theatre as part of a Sydney Festival show in 2005.

Train Wars

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Part I

(Imagine us all crushed together on a train moving through the crowd as a clump, leaning when we turn.)

Every morning we form a multi-screen sightseeing machine.

From Home – (All repeating the following line together to a crescendo until Miles turns an imaginary nob) 

To Bossland- where the grey pigs play, living another man’s dream.  (All chanting like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory oohowee oh oooh oh)

In between is a network of clogged veins with a CBD heart.

I am a cell living in a vessel. Pump through the circulatory city on a peak hour vein.

My name stuck in the tracks

Written in the cracks

Rolling in the gap

Sea to city

Wombarra to Bondi

Parramatta to Kuring-gai

past Blue Mountains

I bust from a finger

a spray of blood into the bush. 

(Miles runs from the group as they spread in straight lines throughout the crowd.)

Every morning you ride a serpent

over the bones of buried people

their foreign words float in your ear

Wombarra-Wombarra-WomBombaderry-Nowra

Next Stop.

Ghosts haunt you through familiar suburbs

(Chanting) Baramada Baramada Next Stop.

Don’t these trains chanting place names

mock you?

If sorry is your only reply, guilt is implied.

Every morning a new trial to sleep through.

And here come the grey pigs (I sit and close my eyes)

Want more? Go to Follow That Sound next Friday ( if you can’t come to A View From Moving Windows opening night). Follow That Sound is a tour through the wild lanes and ancient gutters of The Rocks. Spoken-wordsmiths perform and magic happens!