"If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay......"


Matthew Dalziel & Louise Scullion

"If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay......"1

Today we've been shopping for food, maps and paint. Now driving home, we can see the sun setting in my rear view mirror (the last scene of TXH 1138). My wing mirrors look like flashes of gold. We're looking at reflected light, reflected space and I guess at reflected time too. So I think we must be looking at something infinite. In infinity there are no ends. It's like free-floating in a soap bubble, like an astronaut in space or a fetus in a womb. There is no gravity, no up or down, no balance or weight. I'm suffering from vertigo and I feel lost. I need a landmark, a horizon or star perhaps, or maybe a map, a signpost or compass reading from which I can get my bearings to make sense of where and when I am. I need to know where a finite might begin. I need to know what is behind me and what is in front. I need to know what is real, and what is reflected.

You said you remembered a story about a man who once lived in a house overlooking a valley. On the other side of the valley was another house, a house that had windows of gold. Each morning the man would look at the house of gold, wanting what he saw opposite, until one day he decided to seek his fortune and make the long and difficult journey, down his mountain, across the floor of the valley below and up the mountainside to where the other house stood. After many days and nights, and many adventures, just as the sun was slipping over the horizon and night was falling, he at last arrived at his destination. But the house was pretty ordinary really (in fact it looked a lot like his own) not one window was made of gold. Tired and dejected he sat down and happened to glimpse his own house in the distance far away. It's windows were gold too.

Sargassum, 1995

Do you think belief is like that? Is belief a kind of paradox which makes you believe but which keeps the thing which you believe in out of reach?

For something to be real you have to believe, and to believe something has to be real. You told me about some people you know. Eva sometimes dressed in camouflage and stood amongst houses and forests trying to blend in. Her attempts to disappear amongst trees and bushes had been more successful than her attempts in towns and cities, at least she didn't look so out of place. In more natural surroundings it was as if she had a purpose, which was to survive. (And thinking about survival makes you wonder if you could survive. You've read your "How To Survive" book from cover to cover and carry it around with you like some sort of pocket Gideon bible but could you really put what you've read and tried to remember into practice. I guess you have to believe that you could. Perhaps it's a bit like making art--you've done it before, with a measure of success actually, but can you do it again. I guess you have to believe that you can. In the city though, Eva looked out of place (which is strange because that's where she lives), a bit suspicious--someone outside the community, odd and/or dangerous. It's weird how these survival books tell you how to survive on your own and not with other people. It's strange how they don't tell you how to survive in cities. But Eva has been trying to communicate. She's been learning greetings and sending signals. She's been waiting for something to happen, for some type of message to come through. She's been looking for someone and sometimes she waits, watching the sky, the horizon, the sun, for something, anything--a word you can't quite remember how to spell, a face you can't put to a name, a smell you can't define, music that you don't have a title to, a dream which slips over the horizon of memory when you wake in the morning, a green light at the end of a dock...

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