Lately Ive been feeling a bit vulnerable. And fat.
Ive been travelling around talking, writing, expressing my opinions about, well, everything. And eating. And drinking. Thats what I do.
Apparently it can upset people. And they criticise me. Ow.
Normally, Im pretty tough (comes from being right) but as you know, there are times in your life when the heat of the political spotlight, the thrust and parry of environmental battle, the hot breath of righteous detractors on your neck, all becomes too much and you just want to hide in the shadows (except youre too big); to disappear like that over-stuffed camouflaged wallet I lost in the bush once. (Now whose idea was that a wallet in camouflage colours? What next? Glow-in-the-dark army jackets?)
I had one of these times recently. Last Friday. In town. Around seven in the morning.
Pulling on my jeans over a growing paunch, a button popped under pressure and shot across the room.
Twas the button that broke the camels back. I let the daks drop, sighed, nearly cried, and took a good long look at myself in the mirror.
The facts were obvious. My jeans are getting smaller and Im wasting my time.
Fighting losing battles and copping flak is no way to live your life.
At times like these I turn to home. I let the mighty Camira have its head and we gallop through the hills, steam snorting from her nostrils, frightening God-fearing, pothole-dodging tourists in delicate four wheel drives.
We skid up dirt roads past hand-built homes set among bananas, mulberries and lantana. And finally we bump up the driveway to the little shack under the spreading Angophora.
Here, I ditch my hurt and the incredible shrinking jeans, grab the sarong (one size fits all) and let it all hang out with my uncritical wallaby friends who watch carefully as the latest joey, newly out of the pouch, arches its back, scratches its belly and suddenly bolts around the caged citrus (the wallabies learned to eat citrus during the big drought of 89) racing back to the safety of an understanding mum where it sticks its head (and head only) into the pouch searching for comfort after such a scary excursion into a wild world that is bigger than even this sentence.
I feel like that joey.
I hop over to the stereo. The radio blasts into life. Something about Recherche Bay. (Itll be more depressing news. Probably logged it yesterday. Another battle lost...)
Wait on Whats that?
Recherche is saved? Recherche is saved!
There is a God! If not, thank God theres a Bob. And a Dick. Thank Bob and Dick. And me and everyone who cares.
(And actually I dont look too bad. Must have been the dodgy mirror in town.)