Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So there I was, part 2

Silly idea to use part 1[^] as part of the title so let's cut the Gordian knot[^] right now :-) The next installment won't be 'So there I was - part 3' :-)

I've already said that Heino has been waiting for me to start telling the story of Turtle Video; after I posted Part 1 he send me an email asking if it was 'finally' time? I had to admit that it was and then stalled. So let's continue the story.

After that morning in Church when Heino asked me if I was interested in filming my novel what else would I say but yes? It's a long time ago and I'm somewhat blurry on the detail; my excuse is that it was the same month that I went to the music camp at Harrietville, Victoria, as composer in residence, to conduct my first symphony. Not such a bad excuse as it happens; at that time my symphony was my world and a bad novel had to take second place.

It was a pretty bad symphony too but bad in a different way; it's not so easy, in notes played on violins and clarinets to say things that ought not to be said. No, it was bad in that it was derivative of much better works.

This isn't the same thing as the Muslim Cartoons; in looking back at that novel (I still have it on the hard disk of this laptop here in Dallas and I'll keep backing it up and transferring it to new media and to new computers until I die) I'm the one who chooses to say that what I wrote all those years ago deserves oblivion. I'm the one who wrote it and if I'm no longer prepared to let others read it...

On the other hand, I remember reading about an early piano quartet by Mahler that he chose to abandon and feeling what a loss it was; but then again, Mahler was an artist; Me? I doubt it :-)

So anyway, there I was, December 1974, a bad symphony being performed and a worse novel awaiting filming.

When I returned to Melbourne in January 1975, fresh from the music camp via Canberra and a first girlfriend, I was more than interested. Of course it's not quite that simple. In early December 1974 I'd moved out of my parents house to share one with Peter and Helbe. Helbe is Heino's sister and Peter was her husband, my best friend at the time.

My Canberra girlfriend, Jenny, had accompanied me to Melbourne as I drove. I can't imagine why she did given that the following day she flew back to Canberra but there we have it. Assuredly she accompanied me on the long drive from Canberra to Melbourne; equally as certainly she flew back to Canberra the next day. Perhaps the fact that I played Mahlers 'Das Lied von der Erde' on my cassette player on the drive down drove her back! :-)

Those days are vivid in my memory. Indeed, for a while there, that bad novel I keep harping on about transmogrified into the story of those few days. Maybe I should make another stab at it; perhaps I could outdo 'The Bridges of Madison County'! I did enjoy that novel even though I cried through the final forty pages; the image the author drew of those traffic lights blurred by rain matched the images I saw blurred through tears. I've never dared rent the movie for fear of the consequences.

In January 1987 Sue and I went to Canberra for a short holiday. A fun trip.

We visited the Black Mountain Tower; an elevator that goes up into a transmission tower; and I'd swear that the woman we saw there in that elevator was Jenny. Never seen her since though I have to admit that when I lived in Canberra in 1999 I did go looking.

I promise to get back onto the original subject soon! :-)

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