Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green Point


Yesterday I sat at my old thinking spot and watched the sun go down.

I hop along the basalt blocks that make up the breakwater and I am ten years old again, picking my way across the tidepools at BlackRock and exploring the Red Bluffs, survival kits made of matchboxes and stuffed full of string, matches, sandpaper, a magnifying glass for burning ants, and other essentials in case we kids got stranded and had to spend the night on the cliffs [not likely under the watchful eye of the Beach Rd mansions that look out across the bay].

The water of Port Phillip laps gently at my feet, its surface tension palpable, like a vast rippling carpet gently rolling to the horizon. It is tempting to step onto it and start walking out towards the light. The indigos and oranges of the setting sun dance and shifting, allowing me fleeting glimpses of the rocky bottom beneath the surface. The air is still, crisp, and cold against my cheeks ...this was where I was to come for solitude in later years, after I had made friends with this new place.

I went to elementary school not five minutes from here, my first introduction to Aussie culture when the family moved to Melbourne 21 years ago. Melbourne was cold and grey and unfriendly at that time in my life, full of spoiled little rich kids teasing my American - pidgin english and dark skin, distinctly uncomfortable in my new, alien, british-style school uniforms [socks pulled over calves, shorts above the knees, shirt tucked in, tie and coat to pull the whole ensemble together...].

The awkwardness of being a pre-teen while my older classmates were beginning puberty only added to the confusion finding myself in the midst of transitioning to a new country, a new culture, a new life. I tried out many different identities and began asking myself, "Who am I?" In so many ways, I am still on that quest, and still asking that question.


The Bay has many moods - the water is always freezing cold - the complete opposite of the tepid bathwater-temperatures of Hawaii. In winter, my brother and I used to dread the capsize drills at the local yacht club where Dad has enrolled us into sailing lessons; I don't know what was worse, the bone-chilling waters, or the itchy woolen undergarments that we were told to wear in order to keep us warm.

The stark Melbourne summers brought stifling heat and humidity, the unforgiving Aussie sun beating down mercilessly on the beaches and brightly colored beachboxes and pale skin of Brighton, while the dark waters of Port Phillip stung with icy contrast.

I have only just left home, only to arrive home again. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling, as if I am existing in two places at the same time.

Question of the Day: Is home where the heart is?



  1. Before even seeing your ultimate question I deduced that home, for a person like you, will be wherever you happen to be. You're the kind of guy that can make a home anywhere, Matt, and with all sorts of people. For you it simply takes warmth of human spirit and love. You fit in within that kind of dynamic.

    You thrive in it.

    As an aside, this was so beautiful written. Even just from the inception of this blog 'til now, you've made so much progress. Your writing isn't just competent, it's persuasive and it's damned good. Now comes the time to think about your message. What you want to say.

    Because this will be a book.

    One I'll be the first to buy.

  2. WOW Crys; thank you for the compliments.... you have given me much to think about! has been quite interesting to me to see how this blog has unfolded since the first post...

    I'm sure that my message will bubble through as time goes on; in fact it is very likely that you will be able to tell me what my message is about before I am able to articulate it! Isn't that how all the great writers roll?? ;)

    ...for now, my intent is simply.... to write. and keep writing, and keep on writing...because I like reading back what has sprung forth from my subconscious...and then going back to delve further, and further and further...

    Thank you for reading, and for your comments.