Last year, 2005, was so good for me it was foolish to expect to repeat it. I traveled the world, racing thru the jungles of Malaysia, motorbiking to the source of the Ganges at the top of the Himalayas, and trance dancing beside the Arabian Sea in Goa with a close friend; I found a job easily and got good money for the few months my stamina allowed me; I flew to Melbourne twice to visit with my loving family and saw "Sin City" at a drive-in movie theatre; my film "Virgin Beasts" was shown at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival late on a cold, wintry Saturday night, and tho no one came, my family gang of 7 enjoyed it thoroughly; and Kings Cross Library gave me a retrospective of all my outre 'red-light' artworks which pleased me endlessly. I hoped 2006 would be just as rewarding but every moment is different in this Universe, not a snow-flake or dust mote is the same, and just as well, it's the ups and downs of 'Chaos' that make life so fucking interesting.
The wheel of my fortunes crashed upon my head the day I was leaving Bombay on a sleeper bus to attend yet another New Year's Eve party in Goa. I was with a non-friend who I'd let attach himself to me out of sheer loneliness as Goa can be cruel when alone. As we passed a Moslem Cemetary he told me of a Saint buried within who was considered very special by the general populace, whatever the religion. Not only did he grant wishes but somehow 'butter' miraculously exuded from his crypt and mummified body, which people gladly carried away to rub into themselves. Francis had such a dopey look of gullible, superstitious stupefaction on his mug that I couldn't help laughing at him, and his demonic angel's face turned sour as he told me I was now cursed for laughing at such a serious, hallowed phenomena, and I would surely soon get some bad luck.
I couldn't help but grimace in turn for I felt Francis all by his self would set out to screw me to fulfill his dire prediction. In Goa he was Hell as a companion, dour and incommunicative, dumping me at every occasion to hang with his Christian friends tho ever demanding I pay his way, and he ate like a hippopotamus, he was rude to my Goan friends and had the pig-like Goan cops ever on his heels for he looked shifty to them, and so the ogres also eye-balled me, which ruined my partying. This non-friend was not my lover, so don't get that idea, I wanted a traveling companion and I made the wrong choice. He ended up searching my room and robbing me of some money, thankfully not all, and fucking off with his creepy friends, much to my relief as I was glad to get him out of my life. But the Goan party scene crashed, my other friends split and I spent a miserable time alone, tho it's still nice to lie back on the beaches and eat cheap sea food.
Later on in my sojourn other non-friends betrayed me, Indians in general got on my nerves with their constant pushing, shoving and grasping so that I fled back to Auz earlier than I'd planned, the magic of the Land of Spiritual cleansing having worn off, for I was about to mulch down into the dust of the swampy Indian streets. And in Auz I've found it impossible to find the work I want, money is thin on the ground, few friends have come to my succour, the idea of 'ART' makes me nauseous. I had few hopes for the future, I've nearly done it all and wonder what else is there? Francis' 'Curse of the Muslim Saint' seemed to be operating on my fate, except I'm just not superstitious and really believe that things happen because fucked up humans make them happen, and I can use my brains and guts to overcome whatever shit is thrown my way. And there's often something waiting just around the corner to turn the Wheel of Fortune back in my favour, all I've got to do is stay alive for it.
That special something happened last night. I went to a concert at that Temple of Culture, the Sydney Opera House; it was called "The Shock of the New" and could have been called "The Shock of the Sacred" for it was 2 hours of eclectic sacred music that totally blew my trivial inconsistencies away and reunited my soul with the Universe. It started with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet chanting to set the mood, then Varese's explosive "Arcana", with Mozart's Requiem interspersed throughout the program; the TaikOz Japanese drumming troupe banging away thunderously; Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" with fawns leaping in my heart; ethereal choirs ullulating; a violin sonata zipping my heart-strings; William Barton playing traditional didgeridoo with verve and humour; minimalist organ, cello and oboe pieces, and ending with Beethoven's "Symphony No.5 Finale. I cried my soul out, it was the best concert I've ever been to and I've been to plenty over the years, from Mahler's 6th to Beethoven's 9th, from The Cramps to the Stones, from Ray Charles to Screaming Jay Hawkins, Pink Floyd to PIL, and last night, just when I thought there couldn't be anything more to turn me on, I swooned with ecstasy all over again.
It took that hard-arsed, bright eyed brass monkey of a city, Sydney, to yet show me life can be special, a city usually so cruel, full of the wailing ghosts of convicts and aborigines, and failed immigrants who floundered on it's frothy shores, like me, a poor boy from the Housing ghettos of Melbourne, and yet equal with whoever was in that hallowed hall last night, for Amaria, Arthur and I had front row seats, as if the Universe had decided to give me a break and show me love, and get me to forget my miserable year for a few hours, encourage me to struggle on, for today is sunny, people seem sweet and life feels good, and I thank nogod for music!