I must admit that I have been lingering on Rainbow Beach much too long. I had decided to travel quietly and within myself, so in that guise I seem to have missed all the parties and revelrie, the market and pageant. Long I pondered what i should give Triton as appeasement for taking a piece of coral from his sea paradise to give to the wise women of Mudjimba.As always when waiting for the muse to strike I attended to what I know best and most instinctively- stitching and colour- the motion and vibration of both things sends the soul ahumming. And so I sat in the far corner of Rainbow Beach working away and as I worked it dawned on me that as i was taking a piece of Triton’s paradise, so perhaps I should gift him something in exchange from another paradise. And so I did. I found a piece of coral from an earlier trip in the Maroochy area at Turtle Beach- a small fragment of the most beautifully patterned coral- the size of a small coin , but how it told of other worlds and places .
This little fragment inspired my stitching. I made Triton a blue piece of coral, to blend in with his underwater world in the hope that he would let me take a red piece of coral.
I boarded the little Led Zeppelin for my journey to the island.About midway there the sea called and I knew I would have to brave my fears and hope that Triton was in the mood for appeasement. Strangely he was- he was fascinated by the gift, wanting to know from whence it had come, whether the sea there was the same as his sea,whether a merman ruled those waters as he guarded his own and so he agreed that I could take a little piece of the red coral if I promised to come back and tell him more of that other world. Surpisingly the piece of coral he gave to me to take was remarkably similar to the blue piece I had given him. Whilst the world so often seems to be at opposite ends and in contradiction when we really look and try to take it in ,things are not so different after all.
And so it happened despite my trepidation I made it safely to Mudjimba Island where the song of the fabric muse awaited me for the women of Mudjimba had heard my lament and had decided to take a hand in destiny and asigned Textilia their youingest sister the role of textile. cloth and stitch, the embrace that touches all humans form the beginning of time.
I must admit I am not looking forward to my encounter with Triton- it can be tricky at the best of times, but I have to find some red coral in his domain and take it to the women on Mudjimba. I thought I would try my luck in the waters closer to Rainbow Beach and see what i could find.
I have been walking the shore of Rainbow Beach, ,the rockpools and water emitting strange and wondrous lights. I am to make my way over to Mudjimba Island and will have to deal with Triton on the way. I have dealt with Triton before and the memory still sends a shiver down my spine. For the moment I am content to watch the strange waters and to wait for the opportune moment.
I slept the sleep of no return, and when I awoke I had almost forgotten at how I had found myself in this place. What was it Enchanteur had said?- “Find your vessel and guide- and pay the ferryman?” I arose and oriented myself- Rainbow Beach was a wonderful colourful place to be sure, but it also seemed a little unreal and where were my fellow travellers? I wound my way down to the waterfront to find a lone boat tied to the pier.
It summoned me- recalling a name from the past- A Stairway to Heaven-a memory from the time before time- was I to carry some of the past into this journey and refabricate it for the future? There was no doubt that the boat was to be my vessel, there was no one around.
As I apporached the boat I found a flyer pinned to the pier. A reminder notice ,that all travellers were to attend a pageant- but it did not say exactly where. Bring something old , something new and something borrowed, it said. I had something old in my bag and something new , but nothing borrowed as I had no idea when I would return from this journey and in any case I always travel very light. I had brought my old teapot from travels in another time and place and because you just never knew when you would want a cup of tea and make a wish, and I had worked the teapot shape into a a small textile piece just in case I lost the real teapot on the journey.
I felt the teapot in my bag, and rubbed it like a talisman- it always sent me off to somewhere- in pursuit of some dream or thought or wish . And just for good measure I also rubbed my hand along the surface of my textile piece- the texture feeling rich and reassuring. I was ready!
In my desire to reach Rainbow Beach, I seem to have departed on the journey a day early, this is probably why the portal led me to the place where I now find myself. I touch the ironwork on the wooden door trying to make sense of the fine and delicate inscriptions . They are a delight- beautiful, fine workmanship and yet there is a message here…
It seems to say “Seek Friend”. I trace the delicate trellising with my hand and slowly but surely the door opens- my heart skips a beat as i take in the vista beyond the door. Behold it is the murmuring wood at sunset. How can the murmuring wood be in this place? Gladly I enter the wood suddenly entertaining some hope of reaching Rainbow Beach.
I leave a gift for the muse- she, the one I hope will give me the creative urge to visualise my journey in textile. Alas there is no muse for Textile only Penelope forever constructing and deconstructing the robe. Perhaps it is necessary to find a 10th muse for are not the gods and godesses and man all clothed- who then created the fabric of their attire? How could Mnemosyne have forgotten a daughter to commit memory to cloth? Perhaps I can tempt her with cloth?
I plunged into the Murmuring Woodl, full of anticipation. I knew I was headed in the right direction when I could hear seagulls screeching.I hurried , the sun had set and yet there seemed to be lights and activity atRainbow Beach. I was exhausted after my journey and could find no sign of the other travellers.
What was it that Enchanteur had said? Hmm let’s think… I am sure she said Rainbow Beach . This is not a beach… it’s a a thriving busy place where people meet and exchange, words and whispers ,goods and ideas.I cannot see even a hint of a bathing suit and I must admit that a mild sense of panic is setting in- how will I find the beach amongst all these people , amongst all these things? Am I supposed to find something here to take on my journey? I look around and the scene gets stranger and stranger- lanterns in antique shops that seem as old as antiquity, huge aluminium pots to store things, water carriers chanting their song of water and tea, and old broken down dolls. What is this place?
I beat back the panic- I have entred the wrong portal- it seemed so magnificent, so right , but it did not lead to a beach let alone Rainbow Beach. I must return and restart. I search for the portal, which seems to have disappeared in the very mortar of this place. I can see a wonderful molded metal door , but this is not the portal through which I entered. Dare I go through this portal ?? I said I would go with open heart and mind, and it is the only portal I can see…….. I must go on.
As one enters the Roman precinct of Palmyra ,an oasis in the desert landscape of Syria, you become lost in the time of the ancients. Perhaps the council of Loginus will stand me in good stead as I set out on my journey or perhaps the words of the Armenians whispered on the desert wind will follow me to the edge of Lemuria. Whatever and however I journey, it will be an adventure!
This is a photograph I took of the Roman gate on a visit to Palmyra in february 2007.