Every night you will go to bed and there will be nightmares . And every day when you wake up it will be the first thing you think of – then one day – it will be the second thing.

Spader in Blacklist

Still the Fatigue. Days drifting by half awake – half asleep. I had a far better night but today the neck and eye hurt again and the nose clots with blood and the Fatigue. No matter. No matter at all. Some Netflix. Some pottering and then bed again. It is cold.


This is still a world that is strange to me. The entire re-arrangement is strange. When I was in the Coma, I “dreamed” of Aboriginal Matters. Of Dancing with the Family on the Macleay. Of travelling North with my son and a group of young doctors who were saving me. My son was dressed in black pants and white shirt and he was an artist. Me – I was being sent back as an Elder. ” Bring Elderhood back with you ” they said. I don’t seem to have been able to do that much – as yet.

I am a little surprised at how little patience and understanding there are with someone in the circumstances I am in. I don’t mean from the ordinary people , so much, as from THEM – the people one thinks exist for emergencies. I don’t know why I expected it when my entire life has proven otherwise – except for the time in rehab and with Langton Clinic.

I have still been fighting – seemingly to survive but really I am still fighting as if I have some power in all of this. Gradually, gradually – I am being worn down to simply living through a day – almost without “thinking”. Almost without Dreams. Without Expectations.

I truly have but minimal idea of what I am learning or being taught. The container of Me is still being emptied.



A Day at Bellingen
I come rowing back on the mauve creek, and there’s a
daylight moon
among the shabby trees,
above the scratchy swamp oaks
and through the wrecked houses of the paperbarks;
a half moon
drifting up beside me like a jelly fish.
Now the reflected water becomes, momentarily, white—
magnesium burning.
My oars
have paused, held in their hailing
are melting;
and the long water is a dove-grey rippled sand.
A dark bird hurries
low in a straight line silently overhead.
The navy-blue air, with faint underlighting;
Has gauze veil hung up within it, or a moist fresh
I land in the bottom of an empty paddock,
at a dark palisade
of saplings…
(Gray 1998, 126)

There’s Robert Gray: doing what he does like no one else, this coastal pastoral, with its echoes of Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Zen masters; there he goes, stilling time, slowing it, at least, to the pace of a dinghy on dark water at dusk. There is his palette: dove-grey, mauve, magnesium white, navy blue. There are some of his motifs: the daylight moon, the saplings, the dark bird in flight, the rowboat, the hanging smoke. There is nature’s “wrecked house.” And there on the shore are the empty paddocks his voice grew up in.


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