Story Archive

STORY-3

OUT OF THE SHIRE

Posted on February 21, 2014 by
Raymond
on the road at
Rylstone

 

The last time I watched The Lord of the Rings I found myself urging Frodo not to leave Hobbiton ... Don't go you fool .. its nothing to do with you. The languid domesticity of home cooked meals, of smoke idling out of the chimneys, of a warm ale at the Green Dragon Inn, all looked so appealing. Comfort, that oozing enemy of vitality, is clearly making a claim on my soul and I need to resist. 

Today that resistance continues, the familiar embrace of the Megalong Valley replaced by new landscapes and people, hopefully not of the troll variety. We have camped at Mt York Lookout, on the western end of the Blue Mountains escarpment, where the explorers Blaxland, Wentworth & Lawson stood. After crossing the Blue Mountains they looked out over a valley of rolling pasture which to the 19th Century mind meant Promise. They didn't muck around. Within a year convict built roads were in construction to take drays and coaches down off the plateau and onto the plains.

 

For Tommie and I this point represents a different promise on our adventure around Australia. To a large extent we will bear witness to the after effects of that European descent down off this slab of rock, even as we visit Aboriginal communities whose lives have changed irrevocably in its aftermath. The journey of one era becomes the history of another. 

I have pushed off into new country many times in my life, walking from Sydney to Melbourne along the Great Dividing Range, constructing a shack in the Megalong Valley, building a trail through remote mountains in Central Australia. This feels different. I am housed in my Coaster Bus and take with me other sets of eyes and expectations. As usual with big journeys, it is not only what you will find that excites and scares you, but the fear of what you might not find because, at the core of any adventure, is a quest and with any quest there must be the possibilty of dissappointment. 

Over the next few days we head to Coolah where we have been invited to visit by a local blacksmith. A lure of an upcoming story, The Blacksmith of Coolah, is reason enough to visit. But there are others. We have been invited and that is, well, inviting. It means that the community will surrender its stories with greater ease. I have never been there and that has an appeal. It is surrounded by National Park and close to the historical town of Gulgong and the beautifully named Dunedoo. 

Ultimately it is the unknown that most appeals, that psychic landscape in which the unexpected can emerge more easily from the shadows and in which chance plays its cards more boldly. Both happen in the cities of course but the noise that surrounds people is now so intense that the moment can escape unnoticed. 

But all this begs the question. If this was a scene from Lord of the Rings, which characters would  Tommie and I be. I think both are as clear as the nose on your face but I'll let you decide.

Read Tommie's daily WUFFINGTON POST on FACEBOOK

Send your thoughts and stories to swag@electronicswagman.com.au or call Raymond on 0414 929768. If you wish to speak to Tommie just leave a message.

Comments
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Christine Hunsaker
Reply
Your written word stirs a primal call to be free from all of "life's necessities"......to appreciate things before unnoticed.  Looking forward to your next post, the stories, the people and your courage to keep moving forward! It is converse to people in our lives, that Tommie does not care where he is or where he is going, but is simply full of joy to be beside you!  love and WUFF. Oh, and Cya
Raymond
Reply
Very kind Chrissie but it the central issue is what character from The Lord of the Rings would Tommie and I be. Ill give you a hint .. they will be heroic and central. 
Christine Hunsaker
Reply
At the risk of being very vulnerable and ill informed I tell my friends the truth, and the hugely embarrassing truth, especially to my sons, best friends and perhaps even Willy, I have never read or watched any of "The Lord of the rings," so perhaps this challenge of thought may be just the impetus to dust off those covers to help me decide my answer. Puzzles and challenges do always intrigue me. Of course the lazy side of me is considering renting the movies!  Cya Christine and wills WUFF tommie
Ingrid
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Hi, it's so interesting to follow you and read what's life looks like in small Towns and villages most of the Tourist from abroad never comes to. We drove to Katomba on one of out trips to Australia, arrived in the evening. Next day was foggy and the temp. only +8C and a light drizzle. Unfortunately we never got to explore Blue Mountains. Your photos has been great. I have seen all 3 films and the only I can think of being you and Tommie, are Frodo and Mordor. Enjoy your days in Coolah, I guess it will take you some Days to drive there. Say hi to Tommie. / Ingrid
Raymond
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Gee thanks Ingrid. So I am the incarnation of all that is evil in Middle Earth
Ingrid
Reply
Sorry, I was wrong then. Look forward to see what other people will suggest. Take care out there.
Carlene Bott
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This one spells real adventure Raymond and Tommie, i enjoy your writing, very entertaining, would that Sam and i could come with you in your pocket. very best wishes for your journey.   Looking forward to more, thank you so much.
Raymond
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Well .. Tommie sits in the double seat behind so everyone can feel they have a seat beside me.
Grey
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Thanks for the posts Raymond. My family and I moved to Broome recently after spending our whole lives in the city. I love the way you write and the journey you are on, it captures where I am in my journey and what I am thinking, just much more poetically. Look forward to seeing you, Tommie and the bus when you get up here.
Raymond
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Hi Grey. Thank you for your comments. I will definitely catch you in Broome. I have never been there so it will be a great treat for me.
Helen
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Great considerations in your writing of history, landscape and Promise. It's like a recognition of Deep Time which is probably needed to really connect to what you see. Don't forget Binnaway, another great name for a town in an out-of-the-way place. I understand it is a rival town to Coolah.
Raymond
Reply
Hi Helen. Just arrived in Coolah and great to see a town that looks healthy. Il try and get to Binnaway if possible. On one of my trips an artist was inspired by Deep Time and despite her best efforts I didnt understand what she meant. But the way you use it, yes, it a deeper sense of time, tracks into the past and future.
Ria Roegiers
Reply
Frodo and his faithful servant Sam???
Raymond
Reply
I guess. Kind of thinking more Aragorn than a Hobbit.
Rowena
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Hi Raymond. You would have to be the ring. I hope you are having fun.
RAymond
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You know me Rowena ... a laugh a minute!
Barbara
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Being the sister that I am, I would love to say that you are Gollum - but you're not.  You are Frodo, loyal, courageous and just a little bit simple!  x
Raymond
Reply
Gee thanks Sis!